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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, October 23rd…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 23, 2014

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“Los Angeles City Officials To Consider GMO Free Zone”

The Los Angeles City Council has approved a proposal to ask the City Attorney’s office to draft a measure to make the city GMO free. The proposal, largely supported by council member Paul Koretz, would ban the sale and planting of any genetically modified seeds within the city boundaries, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. While acknowledging the vote would be largely symbolic due to the small amount of agriculture within the city, Koretz said “I want to see all 503 square miles of Los Angeles be a GMO-free growing zone.” The council approved the proposal that asked for a draft measure on a 13-1 vote. The lone vote in opposition was because the councilmember believed it w as beyond the city’s scope of authority.

Koretz said “let’s see what this does for our health, for soil health, for pollination — and let’s see what it does for economic development.” He has argued genetic modification reduces the diversity of seeds, makes food unsafe to eat and is linked to the decline of the bee population. The measure would also ban the planting and sale of fruit plants that are genetically modified.

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“USDA’s Concern with Ebola is Food Assistance.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said this week the main concern for USDA regarding Ebola is the department’s ability to feed people in Africa through food assistance programs. Vilsack noted some schools using the McGovern-Dole feeding program had been shut down and closed, according to the Hagstrom Report. Vilsack called USDA’s role “supportive,” in dealing with the virus.  This comes as the United Nations World Food Program announced it has been provided food to patients and will ramp up its response to Ebola. WFP said it will need an additional $24 million for its Ebola emergency operation in Sierra Leone.

WFP said that as of Monday, it has reached more than 300,000 Ebola-affected people in Sierra Leone with 4,000 metric tons of food. These include patients in treatment centers, survivors, quarantined families and communities.

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“USDA Launches Climate Hub Website”

USDA launched a new website to serve as a portal for climate information. The website launch was announced Wednesday via a department blog. USDA targeted the site towards farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and others to find “useful, practical information to help cope with the challenges and stressors caused by a changing climate.” The website includes resources related to drought, fire risk, pest and diseases, climate variability and heat stress, among other topics. The website also links users to the network of USDA conservation programs and resources that provide producers with technical and financial assistance to manage risks. Each region of the U.S. has its own dedicated hub on the website. To view the site, go to climatehubs dot oce dot usda dot gov. (http://climatehubs.oce.usda.gov/)

The Climate hub’s vision, according to the website, is “to support robust and healthy agricultural production and natural resources under increasing climate variability and climate change.” USDA Climate Hubs National Leader Randy Johnson said in the blog release “We hope this site will serve as a gateway not only to the information and tools provided by the regional Hubs, but also to the larger network of USDA programs.”

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“Iowa Farmer Says Someone stole Soybeans by Harvesting Them”

A La Motte, Iowa farmer claims someone harvested his soybeans in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. KCCI-TV reports Matt Schuster says he’s missing more than 1,600 bushels of soybeans after someone took the crops. He noticed the theft when he checked the land last weekend. Neighbors say they saw the crop being harvested but they thought Schuster had hired someone to combine the field.

He says crop insurance will cover the loss but he has to come up with about 1,600 bushels of soybeans by the first of November to meet a contract. While the county sheriff’s office is investigating, he hopes it was “just a big mistake” and that someone accidentally harvested his crops. The crops were in Northwestern Illinois near East Dubuque.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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10-22-14 USDA Releases New State-by-State “Made in Rural America” Report…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 22, 2014

View the complete list of recipients...

USDA State by State 102214New Data Demonstrates Obama Administration’s Record Breaking Investments in Rural America

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2014 – As part of the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) commitment to strengthening rural economies, Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new state-by-state “Made in Rural America” report illustrating the impact of USDA investments in rural communities. Each state factsheet highlights specific USDA investments in rural businesses, manufacturing, energy, water and other infrastructure development. They also outline how USDA is helping rural communities attract businesses and families by investing in housing and broadband.

“This report shows what investment in rural America means in real terms for families and businesses across the country,” said Vilsack. “Throughout the Obama Administration, USDA has created employment opportunities in rural America through investments in manufacturing, energy and small businesses. At the same time, we are bringing reliable services like water, housing and broadband to make these same communities attract and retain a talented workforce. This report proves that the entrepreneurial spirit is strong in rural America.”

These fact sheets reflect Secretary Vilsack’s efforts to strengthen the “four pillars” of a new economy in rural America: developing a robust bio-based economy; promoting exports and production agriculture fueled by increased productivity and research; encouraging conservation including land management, stewardship and outdoor recreational opportunities; and building a strong local and regional food system to harness entrepreneurial innovation and help small and medium-sized family farms succeed in rural America.

The report’s state by state fact sheets are available at www.usda.gov/opportunities.

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10-22-14 WSGLT News: Stock Growers Land Trust Conserves Ranch for Agricultural Production in Perpetuity…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 22, 2014

WSGLT-Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust logoWood Ranch BDR_Updated 6 (1)HPIM1203Sundance, Wyoming – Almost 2,000 acres of productive ranchland in Crook County will remain in agriculture thanks to a conservation easement on the Wood Ranch donated in part to the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust by landowner Jackie Griffith. The project’s closing on October 22 complements two completed conservation easements in Crook County held by the Stock Growers Land Trust.  The Wood Ranch conservation easement ensures the ranch’s compatibility with agriculture and prevents the ranch from being converted to non-agricultural uses in the future.

The Wood Ranch was founded in 1895 by Jacob Wood and remained in the Wood family for many generations.  Jackie Griffith, the current landowner, purchased the land from the Wood family in 2000 and continues to utilize the forage for livestock grazing. At the location of the original homestead, a cabin was erected in Jacob’s honor and is used today as a Pastor Day Retreat, where religious leaders may have a quiet place to reflect, pray and study.

Wood Ranch is situated in the Bear Lodge Mountains and is nestled in the Beaver Creek Valley, surrounded by other private ranchland and National Forest land, with stunning mountain views in all directions. The property also provides habitat for a host of wildlife species including elk, deer, mountain lion, black bear, bobcat, eagles and several species of hawks.  The ranch is bisected by State Highway 24, which is a popular route for those traveling to Devils Tower National Monument and helps to ensure the unspoiled views of Wyoming’s wide open spaces which are enjoyed by all travelers.

Following the closing in Sundance, Jackie Griffith said “I would like to thank the Stock Growers Land Trust staff for their dedication and perseverance in preserving and protecting Wyoming ranchland, especially the Wood Ranch, which I own. The preservation of this beautiful ranch will protect wildlife and the natural beauty for all to enjoy.” Read the rest of this entry »

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10-22-14 USDA’s WIC Program Has Provided Nutrition Support for New Mothers, Young Children for Over 40 Years…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 22, 2014

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WASHINGTON, October 22, 2014 – USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is commemorating the 40thanniversary of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, more commonly known as the WIC Program. WIC was established in 1974 to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of our nation’s children.  Today, the WIC program is considered one of the most successful, cost-effective and important nutrition intervention programs in the country. Each month WIC safeguards the health of approximately 8.25 million low-income women, infants, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk by providing supplemental food benefits, nutrition education, healthcare referrals, and breastfeeding promotion and support.

“As we commemorate 40 years of accomplishments, WIC’s impact can be seen not only through improved child health, but in healthcare cost savings and economic support for local merchants through WIC participant purchases,” said Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. “In fact, WIC participation actually saves money for taxpayers. Studies on WIC participation among low-income Medicaid recipients show that every dollar spent on prenatal WIC participation saves $1.77 to $3.13 within the first 60 days after birth.”

Since the first WIC site opened in Pineville, Ky., in 1974, the program has improved the health and lives of millions of children, providing nutritious supplemental foods and instilling healthy behaviors that children can carry with them for a lifetime. Significant milestones throughout the years include: Read the rest of this entry »

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10-22-14 NEW POLL FINDS AMERICANS, COLORADANS CONCERNED ABOUT PROPOSED EPA POWER PLANT REGULATIONS…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 22, 2014

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CLICK HERE to learn more…

Colorado Poll Results

WASHINGTON – Polling data released today by the Partnership for a Better Energy Future (PBEF), a coalition of 175 members representing nearly every segment of the U.S. economy, finds that voters in Colorado and nationwide have major concerns about the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations and are unwilling to pay even a dollar more for energy in exchange for these new rules.

Findings from a national survey of 1,340 likely voters and a statewide survey of 867 likely voters in Colorado conducted earlier this month by Paragon Insights include the following:

  • A majority believe the United States cannot afford new costs and potential job losses resulting from the EPA regulations.
  • Nearly half of those polled say they are not willing to pay a single dollar more in their energy bill to accommodate the new EPA regulations.
  • 41 percent of Colorado voters are less likely to cast their vote for a candidate that supports EPA’s Clean Power Plan, versus just 26 percent who say they are more likely to vote for candidates that support the rule.
  • A plurality of voters in Colorado—48 percent—oppose the regulations. Opposition to the rule is strongest in states that stand to be hit hardest by the rule’s expected energy price increases and job loss impacts.
  • Middle-class voters and seniors are among the top opponents of the rule. The poll also finds that public opposition is led by concerns about job loss, possible energy rationing and increased electricity rates, especially for the middle class.

Read the rest of this entry »

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10-22-14 USDA Announces Funding for Rural Broadband and Telecommunications Infrastructure…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 22, 2014

View the complete list of recipients...WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2014 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $190.5 million in grants and loans to make broadband and other advanced communications infrastructure improvements in rural areas.

“Modern telecommunications and broadband access is now as essential to the businesses and residents of rural America as electricity was in the 1930s,” Vilsack said. “USDA is committed to ensuring that rural Americans have robust broadband and telecommunications systems. The investments we are announcing today will provide broadband in areas that lack it, help rural-serving public television stations begin using digital broadcasts, and support other telecommunications infrastructure improvements.”

USDA is providing assistance through the Community Connect Grant program, the Public Television Digital Transition Grant program and the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loanprogram.

Read the rest of this entry »

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10-22-14 USMEF News: Buyer Interest Strong, Competition Intense at SIAL Food Show in Paris…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 22, 2014

Uzra Zeya (right), chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, meets with USMEF members at the SIAL 2014 trade show. Pictured from left to right are Mark Gustafson of JBS, Steve Isaf of Interra International and Juliano Jubileu of JBS.

Uzra Zeya (right), chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, meets with USMEF members at the SIAL 2014 trade show. Pictured from left to right are Mark Gustafson of JBS, Steve Isaf of Interra International and Juliano Jubileu of JBS.

Billed as one of the largest international food shows in the world, SIAL 2014 in Paris is an outstanding venue for showcasing U.S. beef and pork. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) participates in SIAL through support from the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).

About 150,000 participants from more than 100 countries are in attendance at the five-day event. A majority of those attending are from the European Union, but SIAL also attracts a large number of buyers and other food industry professionals from Russia, the Middle East and many Asian countries including Japan and China.

“U.S. beef and pork are strongly represented at SIAL,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president of marketing and communications. “We have NHTC-approved suppliers here on the beef side, but we also have several pork packers in attendance and a large number of traders and purveyors as well. SIAL is an excellent opportunity for them, as the event provides access to many prospective buyers.”

These sentiments were echoed by Steve Isaf, president of Interra International and past chairman of USMEF.

“The European meat trade is going through a volatile and somewhat difficult period,” Isaf said. “Yet interest from buyers has been very strong this week. Despite a number of trade issues that make this a challenging region in which to do business, it can still deliver very solid returns for exporters.”

As USMEF has reported in recent months, U.S. beef exports to the Europe have been growing under the EU’s duty-free high-quality beef (HQB) quota. But heavy utilization of the quota by other beef-exporting countries – especially Australia and Uruguay – have both suppliers and importers concerned that the HQB quota no longer has enough capacity to accommodate current demand.

“Without question, this is a major concern here at SIAL,” said John Brook, USMEF regional director for Europe, Russia and the Middle East. “For July through September, the quarterly allocation of the HQB quota was nearly fully utilized, causing some importers to delay shipments into October. Import activity has been very heavy since the new quarter began, putting us on a pace that could cause capacity concerns to resurface as early as November.”

Europe always has a high degree of self-sufficiency in pork production, and Russia’s current ban on pork imports from the EU (in place since January, due to African swine fever) has significantly depressed the European pork market – making it an even tougher environment for imports. But Halstrom says it is important to view the market from a long-term standpoint. Read the rest of this entry »

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10-22-14 American Butter Institute Elects New President and Officers at October Board Meeting…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 22, 2014

American-Butter-Institute

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL – At the fall Board meeting of the American Butter Institute (ABI) held last week in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Irv Holmes of Challenge Dairy Products, Inc. was elected President of ABI, and two new officers were seated: Dean Van Tuinen of Darigold was elected First Vice President, and John Ellenberger of Land O’Lakes, Inc. was elected Second Vice President. Each position is a two-year term. The institute also welcomed Doug Glade, a new ABI representative from Dairy Farmers of America. Glade replaces the long-serving board member and past ABI President Mark Korsmeyer.

New ABI President Holmes thanked the institute for electing him and expressed a desire to continue the great work that his predecessors have started. He noted that he had an opportunity to visit the ABI offices earlier in 2014 to discuss opportunities for the institute in the coming years. He noted that butter category has garnered a great deal of positive attention in the past several years. President-Elect Holmes thanked outgoing President David Riemersma for his years of service, and for the many contributions that he made to the betterment of the butter industry. Riemersma of Butterball Farms was presented a President’s Plaque.

President Riemersma thanked Korsmeyer for his many years of service, leadership, and contributions he has made to move the industry and institute in a positive direction. Riemersma presented Korsmeyer with a Special Recognition Award. Read the rest of this entry »

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 22nd…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 22, 2014

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Russia Puts Pressure on McDonalds”

The stand-off continues between Russia and Western counties such as the United States as Russia has expanded inspections at the countries McDonald’s restaurants. The latest round of inspections will take in more than 200 of the fast-food chain’s outlets, nearly half of all McDonald’s in Russia, and will probe hygiene and finance, according to the International Business Times. Since economic sanction were placed on Russia from the western countries, Russian courts have shut down nine McDonald’s restaurants. Russia’s consumer safety watchdog regulators cited sanitary violations at the restaurants that have already been closed down, which include the country’s first outlet in Moscow. The iconic branch first opened in 1990, while Russia was still part of the Soviet Union.

There are around 450 McDonald’s restaurants in Russia. Many analysts believe that political reasons are behind the decision to target McDonald’s, as the United States and the European Union have slapped a range of sanctions on Russia. Likewise, Russia has banned imports from those countries. Meanwhile, Russia’s credit rating has been cut to one notch above the lowest investment grade by Moody’s as the country’s economy suffers from those Western sanctions.

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“Growth Energy:  Motorist Win in E15 Case”

A U.S. appeals court denied an attempt to keep E15 from reaching consumers Tuesday. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the American Petroleum Institute and the Engine Products Group did not have standing in their case. The court reasoning said “they cannot show that their members have suffered or are threatened with suffering a relevant injury,” due to E15. Growth Energy successfully sought a waiver from the EPA in 2009 to allow retailers and consumers to choose E15 – a blend of up to 15 percent ethanol. EPA granted the waiver in 2011 for all 2001 and newer motor vehicles.

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis stated the decision was “another victory for ethanol and the American motorist.” Further, he said “This decision is important because it continues to uphold the choice and savings for the American motorist with E15.”

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“EPA Announces Star System for Reducing Pesticide Drift”

More stars equals greater potential for reducing spray drift of pesticides in the latest program by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA announced Tuesday a new voluntary Drift Reduction Technology program to encourage the use of verified, safer pesticide spray products. The program is an effort by the EPA to reduce exposure and pesticide movement. Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, stated “Our new star-rating system of products and technologies will help farmers reduce drift, protect neighbors and reduce costs by keeping more of the pesticide on the crop.”

The EPA says this program encourages manufactures to test their technology such as nozzles and spray shields for drift reduction potential. Spray technology manufactures interested in the program can submit data to the EPA. The EPA will evaluate the data and assign a star rating which will be posted on the EPA’s website. The EPA estimates that one to ten percent of agricultural pesticide sprays drift or move from the intended target crop.
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“Lucas Applauds USDA for Moving Forward With Drought Assistance”

House Agriculture Chairman Frank Lucas welcomed the news from USDA secretary Tom Vilsack announcing Actual Production History adjustment for 2015 spring planted crops. This crop insurance provision in the Agricultural Act of 2014 allows yield adjustments when losses are widespread and beyond the control of producers. Lucas says he commends the ag secretary and his team on implementing what he calls a critical provision in the farm bill.

Further, Lucas stated “the APH adjustment means everything to farmers all across the country who have suffered through year after year of devastating drought conditions.” Lucas calls it the difference between having viable crop insurance for the coming year or not. Finally, Lucas said he remains “hopeful that USDA will also work to make the same relief available to winter wheat producers.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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Keep Electricity Affordable’s Telephone Town Hall Meeting discussing the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan”…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 21, 2014

In case you missed the Keep Electricity Affordable’s Telephone Town Hall Meeting, the BARN has got you covered…

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Ross Eisenberg Nat Assn of Manufacturers

Ross Eisenberg, Vice President of the National Association of Manufacturers

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Moderating the “Clean Power Plan” Telephone Town Hall Meeting is Brian Allmer, owner/host of BARN Media & the Colorado Ag News Network

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, Keep Electricity Affordable is hosting a telephone town hall to discuss the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Clean Power Plan” on your community. As advocates for affordable electricity, it’s important we all understand the facts about these regulations and the potential impact they could have to our energy use, our electric bills and our entire way of life. We’ll be joined by manufacturing expert Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, who will discuss the facts about how the West will be impacted by these regulations. Mr. Eisenberg will also be on the line to answer your questions about the EPA’s plan and what you can do to take action.

Join us by calling 888-550-4122 at 7 p.m. Mountain time, on Tuesday, Oct.21.

Get the facts and make your voice heard!

Click here to register

ABOUT KEEP ELECTRICITY AFFORDABLE

Keep Electricity Affordable is an alliance of citizens and organizations in Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming that believes affordable electric power is an indispensable resource that is essential to families, businesses, communities and the economy. This initiative is a program of the Rural Economic Action Alliance (REA-A), a not-for-profit organization that educates the public on the importance of affordable and reliable electricity, the value of consumer owned, not-for-profit cooperative business model and factors that support a vibrant economy and quality of life across the rural West. Learn more about Keep Electricity Affordable – CLICK HERE

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10-21-14 *CSU Ext SEA News* ‘Who will get the Farm’ Workshop on Nov 6th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 21, 2014

CSU Extension Logo

No matter your age, size of family, or net worth, it is important to have an estate plan. A plan will ensure that your family and financial goals will be met after you die.

Colorado State University Prowers County Extension office will be hosting a one-day session titled “Heirs in Agriculture” on November 6, 2014 from 9:30 – 3:30 at the Home Economics Building located on the Prowers County Fairgrounds.

The session will address how to plan the transition of the family farm and ranch from one generation to the next as it can be complicated and emotional. If you strategically plan, the transition can be smooth and less stressful for all involved. Presenter will be Jeffrey Tranel, CSU Extension Ag Economist.

Topics to be included are final instructions and last wishes, personal possessions, communicating with family members and real estate and financial assets. Even if you do not own a farm or ranch, the information will be valuable to all that attend.

Registration is $20 for the first family member and $10 for additional family members. Registration includes one set of materials per family and lunch. Space is limited, pre-registration and payment are due October 30.

To register or for more information call the CSU Prowers County Extension office at 719-254-7608.

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10-21-14 McCook Farm and Ranch Expo Nov 19-20…Make Plans to Attend!

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 21, 2014

McCook Farm & Ranch Expo GENERIC

McCOOK, Neb. - The McCook Farm & Ranch Expo will return to the Red Willow County Fairgrounds on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 19-20, 2014.

There will be a free producer breakfast on Wednesday the 19th from 7:30-9am. Come out and join us for breakfast to kick off the expo. The show opens at 9 a.m. both days and closes at 7 p.m. the first day and 4 p.m. the second. Admission and parking are free.

“It’s a great place to come see the newest and latest in farming and ranching technology practices,” said Darren Dale, show owner. “We are expecting over 350 vendors from 20 States, Canada and Australia. With record livestock prices the McCook Farm & Ranch Expo is the place to find all your livestock needs.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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10-21-14 History-CO: Farm-Stay Workshop Wednesday, October 29th…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 21, 2014

History-CO Farm Stay Workshop logoColorado Agritourism Association and CTO’s Heritage and Agritourism Program present…

Farm-Stay Workshop on Wednesday, October 29, 9am to 4pm

Learn about starting, managing and promoting a farm-stay on a working farm from Scottie Jones, a farm-stay operator.

Hear from a panel of experts about everything from zoning to liability, and participate in a discussion about the challenges of starting farm-stay operations.

$15 fee includes workshop and meals.

Learn more and register for the workshop today!

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10-21-14 CO Corn welcomes news of USDA implementing critical APH tool…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 21, 2014

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It was music to the ears of producers across Colorado when the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today it would make available a critical crop-insurance tool in 2015, rather than waiting to implement it in 2016, as the USDA had originally said it would do.

Members of the Colorado Corn Growers Association have long stressed that the Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion, which became law as part of the farm bill this year, could be a vital tool for growers in the state who have experienced multiple rounds of drought in recent years.

That’s why it was so discouraging to them when the USDA announced earlier this year the new provision wouldn’t be available until 2016.

Many Colorado farmers were particularly frustrated because they’d helped create a bipartisan, deficit-reducing farm bill, which saved taxpayers over $23 billion, through meaningful program reform in exchange for a strong and reliable farm safety-net system.

In addition to CCGA and leaders from other ag organizations, these concerns were recently voiced by Colorado senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, who wrote a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, urging rapid implementation of the APH provision.

CLICK HERE to view the letter from Udall and Bennet Read the rest of this entry »

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10-21-14 USDA to Launch New Farm Bill Program to Help Provide Relief to Farmers Affected by Severe Weather…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 21, 2014

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2014 Farm Bill’s APH Yield Exclusion to be Implemented for 2015 Spring Crops

WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2014 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the implementation of a new Farm Bill initiative that will provide relief to farmers affected by severe weather, including drought. The Actual Production History (APH) Yield Exclusion, available nationwide for farmers of select crops starting next spring, allows eligible producers who have been hit with severe weather to receive a higher approved yield on their insurance policies through the federal crop insurance program.

Spring crops eligible for APH Yield Exclusion include corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, grain sorghum, rice, barley, canola, sunflowers, peanuts, and popcorn. Nearly three-fourths of all acres and liability in the federal crop insurance program will be covered under APH Yield Exclusion.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency and Farm Service Agency staff worked hard to implement several 2014 Farm Bill programs ahead of schedule, such as the Agricultural Risk Coverage, the Price Loss Coverage, Supplemental Coverage Option and Stacked Income Protection Plan. USDA is now able to leverage data from the Agricultural Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage to extract the information needed to implement APH Yield Exclusion earlier than expected.

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10-21-14 *CSU Ext SEA News* Colorado Agricultural Meteorological Network – COAGMET By Wilma Trujillo…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 21, 2014

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In the early 1990’s, a group of Plant Pathologists from Colorado State University and a group of researchers from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Water Management Unit recognized the need to collect localized weather data in irrigated agricultural areas across the state. The Plant Pathologists wanted weather data for the prediction of disease outbreaks in high value crops, such as onions and potatoes, while ARS researchers needed almost the same information to provide irrigation scheduling recommendations.

These two groups formed an informal coalition and invited others in the agricultural research community to join. They wanted input into the kinds and frequency of measurements that would be most useful to a broad spectrum of agricultural customers.  Eight stations were established in major irrigated areas of eastern Colorado.  These stations had a standardized set of instruments collecting and recoding data with a standard data logger program.  As interest grew and funds were made available, primarily from potential users, more stations were added.  Currently, there are 79 weather stations across the state.

Initially, the station sites were located near established phone service to allow daily collection of data. Currently, the data retrieval is through cellular phone service.  This methodology is widely available, reliable and inexpensive. Commercial software is used to download data from the stations shortly after midnight to a USDA-ARS computer, from which it is then distributed to interested users.

As the network grew, the Colorado Climate Center (CCC) at Colorado State University became interested in the data collected, and subsequently took over the daily data collection and quality assessment. CCC added internet delivery and a wide range of data delivery options (fax, text and voice messages, email, fax, etc.), and continues to improve the user interface in response to a growing interest in the data collected.

Read the rest of this entry »

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, October 21st…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 21, 2014

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

“WTO Rules Against COOL”

The World Trade Organization has again ruled against Country of Origin Labeling. The WTO compliance panel decided the rule was less favorable to meat imports from Canada and Mexico and more favorable to domestically produced meats. The ruling was announced Monday. The panel concluded the amended COOL measure “increases the original COOL measure’s detrimental impact on the competitive opportunities of imported livestock in the US market,” according to the reports released by the WTO. The panel pointed to the incentive to choose domestic over imported livestock and a higher recordkeeping burden contributed to the ruling. The United States can appeal the ruling.

Canada’s Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told Canada Today he expected the U.S. to appeal. A U.S. Trade office spokesperson told the Hagstrom report  “we are considering all options, including appealing the panels’ reports.” Earlier this year, Canadian agriculture officials said retaliations are likely if the rule is implemented. Ritz said Canada calls upon the U.S. to enact legislative change to eliminate COOL’s discriminatory treatment against Canadian hogs and cattle.”

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“Groups Respond to COOL Ruling”

As groups respond to the recent ruling by the World Trade Organization against Country of Origin Labeling, two messages are clear. Groups opposed to the measure are calling on congress to help stop potential tariffs or bring the rule to compliance. Groups in favor of the measure vow to continue fighting for the measure, noting the WTO simply needs the rule to be in compliance with world trade rules. National Catlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan stated the announcement “brings us all one step closer to facing retaliatory tariffs from two of our largest trading partners.” Further, he said there is no regulatory fix to bring COOL into compliance.”  The National Pork Producers Council President Howard Hill said “Congress and the White House need to address this now.” American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser said the decision “ only solidifies what we in the industry already knew to be true: that mandatory country of origin labeling in its current state is an unworkable burden on soybean farmers’ largest customers—the animal agriculture industry.”

The United States Cattlemen’s Association reiterated strong support for the rule. USCA President Danni Beer said “The WTO has never said we cannot require country-of-origin labeling” but rather it needs to be sufficient.” He said this action by the WTO provided “no basis for false alarms about repealing the COOL statute itself.  The National Farmers Union called the ruling positive that the problem is not the rule, but rather how it is to be implemented.

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“Lawyers Say Former Cargill Manager Did Not Steal Trade Secrets”

Lawyers for A former Cargill manager accused of stealing trade secrets and taking them to his new employer denies the allegation. Meatingplace reports Cargill filed a lawsuit in Colorado Federal court against Jason Kuan for allegedly stealing trade secrets and taking them to his new employer, JBS USA, a competitor to Cargill. The allegations were denied based off what lawyers said the information he may possess is unnecessary because “the meat industry is not highly technical.” Kuan’s attorneys said “simply stated, there are only so many ways to cut a steak.

Further, they argued, the case does not involve highly technical information, as competitors in the meat industry purchase raw materials for essentially the same price, process materials the same way, and sell case ready products to the same retailers for the same price. Kuan has returned all of Cargill’s property and is not using or disclosing any Cargill information in his new role at JBS, according to the attorneys.

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“USDA Awards $18 Million for Small Business Research Grants”

USDA announced Monday $18 million worth of grants to small businesses for high quality, advanced research and development that will lead to technological innovation and solutions for American agriculture. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded more than 100 grants through the Small Business Innovation Research Program. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said “the SBIR program has provided hundreds of small businesses with the ability to explore new ideas that have led to cutting-edge solutions to pressing challenges and helped keep American agricultural innovative and strong.” Companies initially apply for Phase I feasibility studies, which may be followed by Phase II research and development projects. Phase I grants are limited to $100,000 and a duration of eight months, while Phase II grants are limited to $450,000 and a duration of 24 months. Approximately 30-40 percent of Phase I projects continue onto Phase II.

In the 2014 fiscal year, USDA awarded $7.4 million in Phase I grants and more than $11 million in Phase II grants. Since 1983, the SBIR program has awarded more than 2,000 research and development grants to American-owned, independently operated, for-profit businesses with 500 employees or fewer. Find a list of the awards online for 2014 at www dot nifa dot usda dot gov.

(http://www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2014news/10_20_sbir_grant_descriptions.html)

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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10-20-14 USDA/NASS-CO: JULY – SEPTEMBER 2014 QUARTERLY MILK PRODUCTION – Mtn Region Highlights…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 20, 2014

 

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS-CO Website

CLICK HERE to visit the USDA/NASS-CO Website

102114 NASS-CO Mtn Region July - Sept 2014Arizona dairy herds produced 1.08 billion pounds of milk during the July – September quarter, up 6.7 percent from the
previous year.

Colorado dairy herds produced 920 million pounds of milk during the July – September quarter, up 9.0 percent from the
previous year.

Montana dairy herds produced 76.0 million pounds of milk during the July – September quarter, up 2.7 percent from the
previous year.

New Mexico dairy herds produced 2.01 billion pounds of milk during the July – September quarter, up 2.3 percent from
the previous year.

Utah dairy herds produced 2.52 billion pounds of milk during the July – September quarter, up 7.0 percent from the
previous year.

Wyoming dairy herds produced 33.0 million pounds of milk during the July – September quarter, up 1.5 percent from the
previous year.

UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS
Nationally, U.S. milk production during the July – September quarter totaled 51.1 billion pounds, up 3.5 percent from the
July – September quarter last year.

For complete results of the Milk Production report go to www.nass.usda.gov

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10-20-14 World Dairy Expo Futurity Entries Due Soon…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 20, 2014

2013 World Dairy Expo logo

MADISON, WIS. – Dairy cattle exhibitors are encouraged to enter animals for the 2017 World Dairy Expo International Futurity. Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn and Red & White Three-Year-Old Futurity competitions will be held, as well as an overall and reserve overall winner selected. Futurity entries will close November 1, 2014 at midnight (CDT).

Animals must be born between September 1, 2013-August 31, 2014 to be eligible to enter the 2017 Futurity. The entry fee is a one-time payment of $50 per animal. No additional futurity payments will be required. However, World Dairy Expo’s stalling/entry fee must also be paid the year of the 2017 Futurity. Visit the World Dairy Expo website for more details and the online entry form. Paper and online entries will be accepted.

World Dairy Expo is recognized as the meeting place for the global dairy industry. In early October, 77,204 dairy producers and industry experts from 94 countries traveled to Madison, Wis. The world-class event drew 2,334 head of North American dairy cattle and 835 exhibiting companies to the trade show. Next year, World Dairy Expo’s theme is “Dairy in Our DNA” and will be held Sept. 29 through Oct. 3, 2015. Visit worlddairyexpo.com for more information.

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10-20-14 CO Section of the Society of Range Management’s Annual Meeting will Focus on Restoration – Dec 3-5 in Ft Collins, CO…

Posted by Brian Allmer on October 20, 2014

CSSRM Event Poster 2014Colorado is no stranger to ground disturbance.  However, the last 24 months have brought a surplus of ground disturbing events to the state.  From grass killing drought, to creek re-routing floods, to forest denuding fires, Mother Nature has assaulted the land from all sides.

In response, the Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management (CSSRM) is hosting “Responding to Disturbance: Effective Restoration and Monitoring”.  The conference and workshop will be held December 3-5, 2014, at the Fort Collins Marriott on Horsetooth Road.  It will run from 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, December 3, until 1 p.m. on Friday, December 5.

The meeting will look closely at the impacts of fire, flood, grazing/drought, and oil/gas development and restoration methods for each.  A key component is a half-day “Practitioner Skills” Workshop on Friday morning.  Workshop speakers will focus on reseeding and revegetation methods, mulch and monitoring techniques and adaptive management.

The keynote speaker will open Wednesday with a look back at the history of restoration.  The remainder of the afternoon will focus on range recovery on the ranch. It will start with a look at the restoration challenges and opportunities on rangeland.  Livestock operators will then learn how they can manage the ranch to soften the impacts of drought and overgrazing.  Attendees will also hear about low cost yet highly effective methods to help riparian recovery.  The closing ranch talk will look at the Coal Basin Cow Stomp.

Wednesday evening will feature the Colorado Section banquet and awards presentation.  The mixer and cash bar will open at 6 p.m., and the banquet at 7 p.m.  The Colorado Section of SRM awards ceremony will follow the meal.

Small acreage lots present unique challenges to widespread disasters.  Thursday will open with a discussion about how to counter these challenges followed by a look at fire and flood repair.

After the provided lunch, the focus will shift to energy industry disturbances and recovery/restoration practices.   Noxious weed impact on restoration and information about efforts to build an ‘ecoregional’ seed network will close the day.

Friday will be the half-day “Practitioner Skills Workshop” co-hosted with the Society for Ecological Restoration Central Rockies Chapter.  The workshop will address questions such as, “How do you identify problem areas and alter your strategy to improve restoration success?”  Attendees will learn skills and techniques to help improve rangeland restoration success across habitats and disturbance types, from wetlands to energy lands to working prairies.

Registration for the full event includes breaks, the Wednesday evening banquet and Thursday lunch.  SRM and SER members pay $150.  Non-member registration is $165.  The Wednesday and Friday half-day sessions is $40 each (no meals) while Thursday is $75 (includes lunch).  After November 15, full registration increases $15 and day registrations increase $10.  Student rates are available.

This meeting is for practitioners, landowners, contractors, city and county government employees.  A complete agenda, registration and exhibitor information is available at the meeting website:  http://cssrm2014.eventbrite.com.

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