12-06-16 CME Group: Crop futures rally drives large increase in producer sentiment

CME Group Logo

Crop futures rally drives large increase in producer sentiment

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. and CHICAGO, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Agricultural producer sentiment about the industry’s economy improved substantially in November, in part because of soybean and corn futures price rallies, according to the December 6 report of the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer.

The Ag Economy Barometer jumped an unexpected 24 points in November as soybean and corn futures prices rallied. (Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer/David Widmar) (PRNewsFoto/CME Group)

The Ag Economy Barometer jumped an unexpected 24 points in November as soybean and corn futures prices rallied. (Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer/David Widmar) (PRNewsFoto/CME Group)

The barometer, which is based on a monthly survey of 400 U.S. agricultural producers, jumped to 116—the highest reading since October 2015, and up 24 points from the October 2016 reading of 92. Continue reading

12-06-16 Pork Checkoff: Find-A-Vet Tool Helps U.S. Pig Farmers Locate a Veterinarian

Pork Checkoff: Find-A-Vet Tool Helps U.S. Pig Farmers Locate a Veterinarian 

Valid Veterinarian Relationship Essential to Comply with New Antibiotic Regulations

DES MOINES, IOWA – Dec. 6, 2016 – Find-A-Vet is a timely tool created by GlobalVetLINK that assists U.S. pig farmers who are searching for a veterinarian for their animals. The Pork Checkoff, collaborating with the Ames, Iowa-based company, is making this online tool more accessible to all producers by linking it directly to the Pork Checkoff’s homepage at pork.org.

The online tool allows animal owners to quickly find a veterinarian in their area who offers services, such as the establishment of a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) and/or a Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Both a VCPR and a VFD will be necessary to use many in-feed antibiotics starting on Jan. 1, 2017. To use Find-A-Vet, producers will need to enter their ZIP code to search for the veterinarians closest to their location.

“This is just another example of how the Pork Checkoff is trying to help make the adjustment in antibiotic regulations easier for all producers,” said National Pork Board President Jan Archer, a pig farmer from Goldsboro, North Carolina. “While many of us already have a well-established working relationship with a veterinarian, we know some producers and youth exhibitors who live in places with few pigs may not have easy access to veterinary help. We hope this tool will help with that potential scenario.” Continue reading

12-06-16 REVISSED – ​CO House Republican Committee Assignments Announced 


co-house-republicans-logo-120116REVISED- House GOP ranking-member assignments and committee adjustments announced

(The House Public Health Care & Human Services Committee, House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee and the House Transportation & Energy Committees were not listed on the previous release)

Denver – Today, House Republican Leader Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock) announced the following ranking-member committee assignments for the 2017 legislative session. Additionally, Representative Polly Lawrence has been reassigned to the House Finance Committee and Representative Jim Wilson has been reassigned to the House Local Government Committee. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, December 6th

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, December 6th

Nations Racing to Fill Trade Leadership Gap Left by U.S.

China, Japan and Russia are racing to fill a leadership gap on trade issues following the recent U.S. fallout over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The trade agreement took 12 nations seven years to negotiate, and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump pledges to end the deal on day one of his Presidency. Trade experts agree the move opens the door for a new global trade leader to emerge. Without TPP, U.S. agriculture stands to miss out on billions of dollars in exports and risks losing market share once trade deals without the U.S. are completed. China is already moving to replace the U.S. as trade champion, according to a new report by Bloomberg News. China is talking with other nations in Asia to complete a trade deal and China has also discussed the possibility of an agreement with Russia. However, Russia has criticized TPP and the now failed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership because the trade deals allegedly violate World Trade Organization rules by creating closed associations, while at the same time, Russia is touting its own regional trade proposals.


House Speaker Promises Regulation Relief in Next Congress

House Speaker Paul Ryan promises to provide regulatory relief during the next Congress. The Wisconsin Republican over the weekend used agriculture as an example of needing relief during a CBS 60 Minutes interview. He called regulatory relief his second priority, following a plan to repeal Obamacare. Ryan says he wants to have “smarter regulations” that can help grow jobs. He says: “We want to have good stewardship and conservation of the environment and economic growth.” For agriculture groups, the first priority when it comes to regulations is the Waters of the U.S. rule by the Environmental Protection Agency. Ryan’s comments put House leadership in line with President-elect Donald Trump as Trump opposes the rule. For now, the rule remains tied up in the federal court system facing dozens of lawsuits and is under a nationwide stay.


Poultry Industry Fears RFS Increase Will Alter Grain Prices

The U.S. poultry industry is concerned the Renewable Fuel Standard targets for 2017 and 2018 will increase feed prices for poultry farmers. Set by the Environmental Protection Agency, the RFS target for ethanol for 2017 was placed at the statute level of 15 billion gallons. The agency set total biofuel levels – including corn-generated ethanol and biodiesel – at 19.28 billion gallons, up six percent from 2016. The poultry industry fears the increase will change the amount of corn set aside for ethanol production upward and send corn prices higher. That’s welcome news for corn farmers, but National Chicken Council President Mike Brown said it puts U.S. chicken producers “one drought, flood or freeze away from another crisis.” He told meat industry publication Meatingplace that the RFS had cost the poultry industry $59 billion since becoming law.


Survey Shows Little Assistance from Farm Bill Dairy Program

A survey of dairy farmers in Wisconsin shows the 2014 Farm Bill’s Dairy Margin Protection Program has offered little relief to dairy operations. The results of the survey were released Monday by the Wisconsin Farmers Union and included responses from more than 1,000 dairy farmers in the nation’s second highest dairy producing state. A total of 765 respondents said they signed up for the program. Of those, only 93 farms, or 12 percent, had received any payments from the program, and only five indicated they considered the program to be supporting their farm. That’s less than one percent of all farms that signed up. The survey notes additional comments offered on the program tended to involve phrases like: “It’s a scam,” or a: “Total waste of money that could’ve been spent elsewhere.” Many farmers noted how they liked what the Margin Protection Program replaced, the Milk Income Loss Contract program, better, and that it had provided better payouts.

USDA Surveying Sheep Operations

Starting later this month, the Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will measure sheep inventories and wool production during a nationwide survey. The American Sheep Industry Association is encouraging all sheep producers selected as survey participants to submit information to USDA. Operators surveyed will be asked to provide information about their sheep inventories, counts of lambs born during 2016 and production and prices received for wool. The association says accurate data on sheep inventory and production is a significant decision-making tool for USDA and the industry regarding domestic and international markets and consumer needs. NASS will publish the survey results January 31, 2017, in the Sheep and Goats report.


Hot Dog and Sausage Council Unveils Searchable Ingredients Guide

The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council Monday unveiled the Hot Dog Ingredients Guide to provide consumers with more information and transparency. The guide details the role each ingredient may play in a hot dog and is searchable to allow users to easily find ingredients they see listed on their favorite package of hot dogs. Council spokesperson Eric Mittenthal says “as consumers seek more information about their food, the guide will be a helpful tool to better understand hot dogs and how they are made.” The guide also includes descriptions of common terms consumers might find on packages such as uncured, natural casing, hormone free or organic. You can find the guide online at hot-dash-dog dot org (http://www.hot-dog.org/).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

Grain Elevator

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12-05-16 CALP Class 12 in India: Interview w/Kit Carson’s Will Johnson


(The BARN  Briggsdale, CO) December 5, 2016 – Members of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program’s Class 12 are currently on their international trip and joining the Colorado Ag News Network by cell phone from a train in India on their way to Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is Will Johnson of Kit Carson…


CLICK HERE to visit CALP's Facebook page

CALP Class 12 sitting in an international briefing at Punjab Agricultural Unervisory. It was an honor and a lesson in working as an official delegation. CLICK HERE to visit CALP’s Facebook page

Follow the CALP Class 12 while they are on their international trip to India on Facebook – CLICK HERE Continue reading

12-05-16 Congratulations to the 2016 Colorado Wheat Award Winners…

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAWG - CWRF - CWAC

CLICK HERE to learn more about CAWG – CWRF – CWAC

2016 Colorado Wheat Award Winners Announced

December 5, 2016, Fort Collins, Colorado – It is tradition for the Colorado Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG), Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee (CWAC), and the Colorado Wheat Research Foundation (CWRF) to present Colorado Wheat awards when someone has provided exceptional service to Colorado wheat producers.  At the Colorado Wheat awards banquet on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at the Longmeadow Event Center in Wiggins, Colorado, three awards were given. Continue reading

12-05-16 CattleFax to Launch New Digital Platform



CattleFax to Launch New Digital Platform

New online resources and tools will be available to all cattle producers

Centennial, Colo. – Dec. 5, 2016 – CattleFax has announced plans to launch a new digital platform with expanded online resources for both members and non-members.

Beginning Feb. 1, all cattle producers will have easy access to industry updates and management information on their mobile devices or desktops. The redesigned CattleFax.com and free CattleFax mobile application will become one-stop destinations for daily weather, futures markets, industry news, management tools and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data.

Traditionally, CattleFax market information has been available exclusively to the organization’s members. With the new digital platform, CattleFax will continue to serve its membership base while sharing consistent and valuable business information with all producers.

“CattleFax is recognized as a trusted source of market insights from the industry’s most knowledgeable experts,” says Randy Blach, CattleFax chief executive officer. “With this new offering, we’re pleased to provide even more cattle producers with tools and news they need to make more informed management decisions – especially as they deal with substantial price correction since the record-high prices of 2014.”

Tools for management decisions Continue reading

Livestock Exchange, LLC Weekly Update…

Livestock Exchange logo

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) – Each week, Auctioneer Tyler Knode with Livestock Exchange, LLC. in Brush, CO will be inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network providing a RECAP of the previous week’s auctions and also a PREVIEW of upcoming cattle & hay auctions…


12-05-16 – Livestock Exchange, LLC Recap & Preview


**********LE, LLC. ARCHIVES*************

11-28-16 – Livestock Exchange, LLC Recap & Preview


For more about Livestock Exchange, LLC – CLICK HERE

12-05-16 BASF and NAAA award those with a passion for the skies

basf-naaa-joint-news-release-logoBASF and NAAA award those with a passion for the skies

Future aerial applicators receive sholarships to further their goals

LONG BEACH, CA, and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC, December 5, 2016 – In today’s diverse agriculture job environment, aerial application, stands out as one of the more unique and challenging career paths. In an effort to support the continuing growth of aerial applicators, BASF and the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA) are rewarding two promising aviators with scholarships to assist them in following their passions.

Landunn Koyle of Gooding, Idaho. Recipient of NAAA scholarship.

Landunn Koyle of Gooding, Idaho. Recipient of NAAA scholarship.

Matthew Burkhammer of Carlisle, Arkansas. Recipient of NAAA scholarship.

Matthew Burkhammer of Carlisle, Arkansas. Recipient of NAAA scholarship.

Matthew Burkhammer of Carlisle, Arkansas, and Landunn Koyle of Gooding, Idaho, were awarded NAAA/BASF Agricultural Aviation Scholarships of $2,500 and $5,000, respectively. The two winners were recognized at the 50th Annual NAAA Convention & Exposition kickoff breakfast in Long Beach, California.

“We want to ensure that our aerial applicators are knowledgeable, efficient and safe in the skies, especially with today’s rapid technical advancements,” said John Sabatka, Northern Corn Belt IS Manager, BASF. “Our scholarship support helps create a strong pipeline for the industry and enable young aviators to pursue their chosen career paths.” Continue reading

12-05-16 Secretary Vilsack Appoints Members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching

USDA Press ReleaseSecretary Vilsack Appoints Members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of six new members and the re-appointment of five members to the Council for Native American Farming and Ranching. As a discretionary advisory committee, the Council provides recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture on changes to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations and other measures that would eliminate barriers to program participation for Native American farmers and ranchers.

“The Council for Native American Farming and Ranching strengthens our partnerships with tribal governments, businesses, farmers, and ranchers,” Vilsack said. “Their work encourages participation of new and historically underserved agricultural producers in USDA programs, and reflects a strong intergovernmental relationship built upon shared values and inclusion.”

With the addition of a representative from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Council membership is changing to better reflect the diversity of resources provided by the USDA. NRCS provides farmers, ranchers and forest managers with free technical assistance, or advice, for their land.

The Council consists of fifteen members, including four USDA officials and eleven Native American leaders and representatives. Members of the Council are appointed for two-year terms by the Secretary of Agriculture. The appointees may include: Native American (American Indian and Alaska Native) farmers or ranchers; representatives of nonprofit organizations that work with Native farmers and ranchers; civil rights professionals; educators; tribal elected leaders; senior USDA officials; and other persons the Secretary deems appropriate.

The following individuals have been appointed to the Council: Continue reading

12-05-16 NCGA News: World Soil Day – Celebrate a day that matters to farming success!


Soil Health Partnership logo

World Soil Day: Celebrate a day that matters to farming success!

These days, it seems like there’s a designated day to celebrate anything and EVERYTHING! And yes, there’s even a day to celebrate something that’s actually critical to the success of farming: soil. World Soil Day is today, Dec. 5.
The Soil Health Partnership, an initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, is encouraging farmers to take some time on this day to consider ways they can improve soil health. Not sure where to start? Take a few minutes to watch this fun and informative white board video, “Farmers to the Rescue: How Healthy Soil Can Save the Planet.”
SHP will also host a Virtual Field Day Webinar on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 11:00 a.m. Central.

Continue reading

12-05-16 Soil Revolution: It’s More than just dirt” Workshop in Longmont on March 9th…

CLICK HERE for more informationa nd to get registered

CLICK HERE for more informationa nd to get registered

Inviting Farmers and Ranchers of all scales and production systems

12-05-16 OEDIT Awards $4.1 million to Support Technology Start-ups in Advanced Industries

OEDIT-CO logoOEDIT Awards $4.1 million to Support Technology Start-ups in Advanced Industries

DENVER ­-Dec. 5, 2016Colorado companies with technologies that could improve 3D printing, doctor/patient interactions and farming were approved for funding as part of the Advanced Industry Accelerator Grant Program through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). A total of $4,141,990 was approved this grant cycle for Proof-of-Concept and Early Stage Capital and Retention Grants to support Colorado’s advanced industries.
“We are thrilled to fund so many innovative organizations who are working on technologies that will have positive impacts on Colorado’s key industries,” said global business development director and OEDIT deputy director Michelle Hadwiger.  “Colorado continues to be an epic center for innovation and we must support that ecosystem with funding.”

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12-05-16 Alltech Crop Science emphasizes the importance of a healthy agribiome on World Soil Day

On World Soil Day, Alltech focuses on soil health as essential to plant health.

On World Soil Day, Alltech focuses on soil health as essential to plant health.

Alltech Crop Science emphasizes the importance of a healthy agribiome on World Soil Day

alltech-crop-science-logo[LEXINGTON, KY.] – Celebrated in several countries on Dec. 5, World Soil Day raises awareness about the importance of soil preservation and stimulates discussion on effective crop practices. These discussions quickly become a call to action. Many producers are looking to decrease the damage caused by inefficient management practices and, subsequently, improve crop results through a balance in soil microbiology.

More natural farming practices combined with modern science can help increase diversity in the soil biology. Dr. Steven Borst, general manager of Alltech Crop Science, emphasizes the importance of integrating biological technologies into existing management programs to feed the soil.

“We need to work with nature, not against it, to grow not only our crops, but our soil as well,” said Borst. Continue reading

12-02-16 Colorado Farm Bureau Hires New Vice President of Public Policy

CFB - Colorado Farm Bureau HeaderColorado Farm Bureau Hires New Vice President of Public Policy

Centennial, Colo. –  Dec. 2, 2016 – The Colorado Farm Bureau is excited to welcome Spencer Kimball to the organization as the new Vice President of Public Policy. He will monitor federal legislative and regulatory actions for its’ impact and effect on Colorado agriculture, farming and ranching businesses, and rural economies. Continue reading

12-02-16 Produce Trends Expert to Keynote 3rd Annual CFVGA Conference


Produce Trends Expert to Keynote Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association 3rd Annual Conference

Feb. 21, 2017, Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel
The Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) is pleased to announce Pamela Riemenschneider, editor of Produce Retailer magazine, as its keynote speaker for the CFVGA’s Third Annual Conference to be held Feb. 21, 2017 at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel. She will kick off the conference with a look at how consumer trends shape retail, including a special preview of the 2017 Fresh Trends survey results.
This interactive session will include the latest in consumer demand for some of the most popular items in the produce department and an outlook for Colorado-grown produce. Attendees will see how demographics can skew demand, retail sales and influence variety preference.
“Consumer trends are a powerful influence on retailers, and growers as well,” Riemenschneider said. “It’s crucial to understand not only what consumers are looking for now, but also how demographics shape that preference going forward.”

Continue reading

12-02-16 NCBA: Cattlemen’s Organization Conducts Aggressive Membership Campaign

NCBA News Rlease Header

Cattlemen’s Organization Conducts Aggressive Membership Campaign

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Emphasizes ‘Tough Times Require a Tough Team’

DENVER, COLO. (Dec. 2, 2016) – A hard-hitting, two-month membership campaign is being conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to strengthen the U.S. cattle producer’s voice in Washington, D.C. on issues critical to both individual cattlemen and women and the nation’s cattle industry. The “Tough Times Require a Tough Team” campaign will run through Jan. 31, 2017, and features benefits to cattle producers that are both immediate and long term.

“Cattlemen and women have a great NCBA team fighting on their behalf in Washington, D.C. every day, but a bigger team means a bigger voice,” according to Tracy Brunner, a Kansas cattleman and NCBA president. “The cattle producer’s enhanced voice in our nation’s capital can improve the business environment for U.S. beef cattle operations and help us keep those operations running today and well into the future.”

Brunner said burdensome regulations are just a part of the challenging landscape cattle producers are facing that needs to be addressed. Working with current and incoming legislators on future farm bills, the viability of U.S. beef in the global marketplace and laws that impact how producers conduct their businesses daily is also essential.

Continue reading

12-02-16 USDA Partners with Farmers and Ranchers to Protect More Than 500,000 Acres of Working Grasslands

FSA-CO News Release Header

USDA Partners with Farmers and Ranchers to Protect More Than 500,000 Acres of Working Grasslands

WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2016 – Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Deputy Under Secretary Alexis Taylor today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will accept more than 504,000 acres that were offered by producers during the recent ranking period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands enrollment. Through the voluntary CRP Grasslands program, grasslands threatened by development or conversion to row crops are maintained as livestock grazing areas, while providing important conservation benefits. Continue reading

12-02-16 CDA: Nominate a Business for the Governor’s Agricultural Exporting Award

CDA NEW main logo 051414

Nominate a Business for the Governor’s Agricultural Exporting Award

BROOMFIELD, Colo.–Colorado agriculture feeds the state, nation and world and continues to be a key driver to the state’s economy, with Colorado agricultural exports totaling nearly $2 billion annually. To honor Colorado companies for their agricultural export efforts, the Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting nominations for the third annual Governor’s Award for Agricultural Exporting.

“It is our honor to recognize agricultural businesses for their export achievements,” said John Addison, International Marketing Specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “This awards program is a way to celebrate the export successes of Colorado’s agricultural community.” Continue reading

12-02-16 CLA: The Global Impact of Colorado Agriculture

CLA - Colorado Livestock Association logoThe Global Impact of Colorado Agriculture

When looking at the grand global challenges facing agriculture, the need to ensure that our food supply is safe, affordable, and sustainable comes to the forefront almost immediately. In the College of Agricultural Sciences at Colorado State University, we have research programs that focus on the continued viability and profitability of Colorado’s diverse agricultural industry, of which livestock and the Colorado Livestock Association figure prominently. We know that agriculture is a significant economic driver in our state, contributing $41 billion to the Colorado economy and employing nearly 173,000 people, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Continue reading

Registration is now open for the 2017 CFVGA Annual Conference…

3rd-cfvga-annual-conference-2017-logoRegistration is now open for the 2017 Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Annual Conference!

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, 7:30am-4:30pm
Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel
CFVGA members registering early pay just $70 for the entire conference, including lunch
Who will attend?           
Over 300 growers, allied industries, produce buyers, exhibitors and produce resource personnel
Why attend?
  • Learn about the latest in technology, consumer trends, marketing, research and nutrition
  • Network, meet potential buyers
  • Be inspired
  • Kill two birds with one stone by attending the Produce Safety Training Feb. 20, followed by the CFCVGA Conference Feb. 21
Where to learn more?
Log on to http://cfvga.org for more information and registration links

Continue reading

11-29-16 Ag Water Summit: Watch the Webcast Archives on Livestream

CAWA-Colorado Ag Water Alliance header logo

Just in case you can't make it in person, watch online, courtesy of IBCC, CAWA & The BARN. The webcast will begin @ 9am MT - CLICK HERE

Just in case you can’t make it in person, watch online, courtesy of IBCC, CAWA & The BARN. The webcast will begin @ 9am MT – CLICK HERE

Ag Water Summit Set For November 29th

A prominent message of the Colorado Water Plan is that we need to find water to meet the gap without harming agriculture—because we need the food and fiber, because we need the cultural richness, and because we need our rural communities. On the other hand, the Plan says that agriculture will likely take a hit, because so much of the water we divert in this state is for agriculture. Agricultural producers, their water managers and their communities feel the target on their backs.

The Colorado Water Plan puts a lot of stock in ways to move water temporarily from agriculture instead of through transfer of water permanently from agriculture. For the past 10 years, CWCB has granted funds to explore the potential of these temporary means—labeled alternative transfer methods(ATMs). Now that the Colorado Water Plan has been out for a full year, the IBCC and Colorado Ag Water Alliance are calling for a summit to discuss ATMs. Here are questions to be addressed: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 5th

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 5th

Farm Income Drops 17 Percent in 2016

U.S. farmers will see their net incomes drop in 2016 for the third consecutive year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says weaker cash returns on livestock, poultry, and dairy farms will drive income down 17.2 percent to $66.9 billion this year. That forecast would be 46 percent lower than the record profits of $123.7 billion in 2013. An article on Dairy Herd dot com says if the forecast does pan out, that would be the lowest farm income level since 2009, signaling more pressure on the slumping farm economy. The slump isn’t just hitting on-the-farm producers, either. The weakened Ag economy is triggering cost-cutting measures and job layoffs at major farm input suppliers like Monsanto and John Deere, which have both lowered revenue forecasts for 2016. Meat processor Tyson Foods reported a steep drop in revenues over the last month and sees lower revenue numbers ahead in 2017. Cash receipts in dairy, beef, poultry, and eggs are projected to fall 12 percent to the lowest levels since 2011. Row crop receipts are forecast unchanged as stronger revenues for soybeans and cotton offset lower prices for corn and vegetables.


Proposed Tax Regulation a Threat to Future Cattle Farms

The U.S. Treasury Department recently proposed a rule change that would lower or even eliminate valuation discounts on family-owned entities. The Internal Revenue Service hosted a forum to discuss the potential change this week. At the forum, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President Kevin Kester said that will discourage families from expanding and passing the business on to the next generation, or even continuing their operations in the future. Family-owned cattle farms are often small businesses that face the same challenges as other small businesses in different sectors, including making payroll, complying with numerous regulations, and paying bills. Kester says, “Ranching is a debt-intensive business, meaning operators work on an asset-rich, cash poor business model. That makes them vulnerable to the estate tax.” When a principal in a business passes away, assets often must be sold to meet the tax burden. Producers have used valuation discounts to help them shoulder some of the tax burden and keep operations in their family. Kester adds, “The proposed rule will upset expansion plans, halt future business growth, and require most operations to liquidate assets just to survive.”


No GMO Wheat Found in Commercial Supplies

The USDA Plant and Animal Health Inspection Service closed its investigation into genetically engineered wheat showing up in a Washington state farm field. Back on July 29, the U.S. Ag Department confirmed that genetically engineered wheat was found by a Washington state farmer growing in an unplanted field. After an inspection, APHIS confirmed 22 plants were volunteering in an unplanted field. The wheat growing in the field was also confirmed to be glyphosate-resistant. APHIS worked to ensure that none of the genetically engineered wheat made it into commercial supply by testing the farmer’s entire wheat harvest. All samples were found to be without any G.E. material. The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates issued a release thanking APHIS for their work on the incident. The organizations credited effective communication between APHIS, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, farmer organizations, the grain trade, and customers to keep things moving in a positive direction. They also thanked overseas customers for their continued confidence in the quality of American wheat supplies.


More Volatility Ahead for Cattle Markets

Cattlefax CEO Randy Blach (Block) recently spoke at the Kansas Livestock Convention about volatility in the cattle markets, including what’s causing the downturn and what to expect in the months ahead. Cattle producers have recently seen higher prices after a two-year price drop of more than 40 percent. An Ag Web dot com article says 750-800 pound steers brought $125.19 per hundredweight last month. Prices climbed to $134.38 last week. However, Blach said the rally may not last much longer. “This is not about cattle, but more part of a global slowdown,” he said. The bull market for commodities started in 2009 at the end of the global financial crisis. Crop farmers and livestock producers all raised their production efforts before things went in the negative direction starting in 2012. From August 2012-2016, corn prices dropped 60 percent and soybeans were 47 percent lower. Fed cattle prices followed crops lower, dropping 43 percent since November of 2014. The cattle industry has seen huge price swings from the highs in 2014 to this year’s low prices. Steer calves weighing 550 lb. averaged $911 in losses from the cycle high, with 750 lb. feeder steers falling $941. Blach adds, “Commodity cycles are a good reminder of how quickly things can change.”


The Meat-Cancer Link Debate Heats Up Again

The Center for Science in the Public Interest restarted the debate this week over processed meats and a potential link to cancer. Politico’s Morning Agriculture report says the group petitioned the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to require cancer warning labels on foods like bacon, ham, hot dogs, and other products. Back in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer issued an opinion that eating processed meats raises the risk of cancer. The meat industry immediately responded to that statement, calling it “unsubstantiated.” Some lawmakers even called into the question the funding provided to the IARC by the National Institute of Health. The North American Meat Institute responded to the petition this week, calling it “alarmist” and “sensational.” In a strongly worded response, the organization pointed to studies that showed no correlation between eating meat and cancer. CSPI Executive Director Michael Jacobson isn’t optimistic about the group’s chances after filing the petition, saying “We recognize that the chances of the Trump administration taking advantage of the opportunity to protect public health is slim. At CSPI, we’re used to taking the long view.”


Dairy Exports to Increase by $500 Million in 2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is expecting exports to grow larger by $1 billion in 2017 with dairy exports taking up a big chunk of that growth. The latest USDA export projection report expects dairy to grow by $500 million dollars to $5.3 billion. Other dairy-exporting countries are expecting to reduce their outputs in 2017 which will lead to higher prices around the globe and higher U.S. exports. The $500 million gain in dairy exports will make up about half of the overall growth in U.S. exports next year. Overall, exports are expected to total $134 billion next year. The expected convergence of dairy prices in the U.S. and around the world will make American dairy products more competitive overseas. USDA does expect dairy imports into America to rise $200 million in the coming year. The top three U.S. agricultural trading partners are China, Canada, and Mexico. However, trade is uncertain going forward as the incoming Trump administration has vowed to renegotiate trade agreements with all three countries.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service