10-15-14 Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust Earns Continued National Recognition…

CCALT logo 5Denver, CO – The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) has achieved renewed accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

“Our accreditation renewal is a reflection on all of the high-quality conservation work that we do,” said Chris West, CCALT Executive Director. “When we were founded, this was the expectation that was placed on CCALT the agricultural community in Colorado.

The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust was founded in 1995 and serves ranchers and farmers across the state.  The Land Trust has worked with more than 270 conservation-minded landowners to protect more than 425,000 acres of working ranches and farms.

Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation. Continue reading

10-15-14 RABOBANK REPORT: GLOBAL PORK INDUSTRY Q4 2014…

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New York,  NY – October 15, 2014 – Rabobank has published a new report on the global pork industry, saying that heated international markets are slowly cooling down.

In the report, the bank’s Food & Agribusiness Research team says that, although the peak of the 2014 porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) outbreak is past, the global pork industry faces another challenge from the Russian import ban affecting EU, U.S., and Canadian markets, which is resulting in a rapidly changing trade landscape.

Rabobank says that beneficiaries of the ban include Brazil, which has seen a 30% per kilogram price surge, while the EU has seen prices drop by 9% with no sign of recovery.  Even taking into account the positive impact of declining feed costs on margins, it will be a disappointing year for the EU pork industry, says Rabobank.

“As Russian markets will not open again until July next year, the wildcard next year will be the possible return of PEDv this winter, cutting back available hogs for slaughter in 2015,” says analyst Albert Vernooij.

Regional Outlooks: Continue reading

10-15-14 CCA News: Colorado Cattlemen Tell USDA: Don’t Hijack Our Checkoff…

CCA HeaderArvada, CO – Oct. 14, 2014 – Today, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) along with 43 other state cattlemen’s associations sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, urging him to cease any efforts to establish an additional beef checkoff under the 1996 General Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act. Frank Daley, President of CCA says cattle producers in Colorado are very concerned that this effort by the Secretary will harm the success of the current checkoff and erode producer support.

The Beef Checkoff Act of 1985 is a grassroots effort, developed by the beef producers who benefit from the program. “The Beef Checkoff has served our industry well, it is supported by 4 out of 5 producers, and it returns $11.20 for every dollar producers invest. We will not stand idly by and allow this administration to jeopardize our industry’s research and promotion efforts for political gain,” says Daley.

Secretary Vilsack announced on Sept. 30 that he asked the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service to begin drafting a proposed rule to implement a supplemental checkoff under the 1996 Act. It is unclear if the Secretary’s intent is to eliminate the 1985 Act and replace it with a government controlled program, or add an additional layer on top of the existing Act. Either way, the effect would be the same, according to Daley. “Even if the Secretary’s proposal yields more Checkoff revenue, producers control being replaced more government is not something this industry is willing to accept.”

CCA is opposes greater government control of our industry and heavy-handed, federally-mandated action by giving more power to the federal government. The 1895 Act requires the Secretary to appoint only cattle producers and beef importers to the board that controls the Checkoff; it limits administrative expenses at 5 percent of revenue, and ensures the role of state beef councils. The proposed changes could remove the requirement of board member being beef producers or beef importers, allowing the Secretary to appoint any member of the general public, including those who claim an interest in our industry but have competing agenda, such as anti-meat and anti-livestock activists. It would also increase the limit of administrative expense to three times the current limit, and make no provision for state beef councils or any state level involvement.

State beef councils were established in the 1985 Act as the means in which beef producers invest and direct programs that build demand for their product, and help direct research and promotion dollars on the state and national level. By comparison, the 1996 Act is a top down, federally controlled program that not only fails to recognize the role of the states, but places the control and administration of promotion dollars in the hands of bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

More information can be found at www.beefUSA.org and producers can sign a petition directing the administration to abandon their efforts to take over the Checkoff at coloradocattle.org.

Continue reading

10-15-14 USDA Announces Measures to Help Farmers Diversify Weed Control Efforts…

View the complete list of recipients...USDA Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2014 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced several steps that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking to address the increase of herbicide resistant weeds in U.S. agricultural systems.

“Weed control in major crops is almost entirely accomplished with herbicides today,” said Vilsack. “USDA, working in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, must continue to identify ways to encourage producers to adopt diverse tactics for weed management in addition to herbicide control. The actions we are taking today are part of this effort.”

Today USDA is announcing several of the steps it is taking to help farmers manage their herbicide resistant weed problems in a more holistic and sustainable way:

  • USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer financial assistance under its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for herbicide resistant weed control practices that utilize Integrated Pest Management plans and practices.
  • Later this year NRCS will be soliciting proposals under the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) Program for innovative conservation systems that address herbicide resistant weeds.
  • USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will actively promote use of best management practices (BMPs) in design protocols for regulated authorized releases of genetically engineered (GE) crops and will include recommendations for BMPs with the authorization of field trials of HR crops.
  • USDA is partnering with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) and is providing funds to develop education and outreach materials for various stakeholders on managing herbicide–resistant weeds. The Secretary has directed Dr. Sheryl Kunickis, Director of the USDA Office of Pest Management Policy, as the point person leading this effort with the USDA.

The issue of herbicide resistant weeds has become one of increasing importance for agriculture. When herbicides are repeatedly used to control weeds, the weeds that survive herbicide treatment can multiply and spread. Continue reading

10-15-14 Inside the NACD w/President-Elect Lee McDaniel: WOTUS, RCA, Farm Bill Implementation and More…

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NACD 1st VP Lee McDaniel

NACD 1st VP Lee McDaniel

(BARN Media & CoAgNews Network – Briggsdale, CO) October 15, 2014- Joining the BARN by telephone is Lee McDaniel, National Association of Conservation Districts President-elect discussing several topics including:

– WOTUS comment period xxtended by EPA until Nov 14th

– Upcoming Resources Conservation Act (RCA) Roundtables

– Farm Bill implementation update

– Upcoming 2015 NACD Annual Meeting Feb. 1-4 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

& MORE

To listen to the entire interview with NACD President-electLee McDaniel…

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Biography: Lee McDaniel, NACD President-elect, operates his family’s Indian Spring Farm in Darlington, Maryland.  He has served on the Harford Soil Conservation District Board since 1997, elected as Chairman since 2005.  He has served two terms as President of the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts from 2005 to 2009. He has been involved on the national level since 2005, serving on the Board of Directors and the Executive Board. McDaniel is a graduate of Cornell University, with a BS in Agricultural Economics. McDaniel and his wife Connie, a retired school teacher, grow corn, soybeans and alfalfa hay on the 850 acre farming operation. Conservation practices on the farm include cover crops, no-till, grassed waterways, diversions, spring developments, strip cropping, stream bank protection, grassed and wooded buffers and stream crossings.

For more information about the National Association of Conservation Districts – CLICK HERE

For more information about the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts, an NACD Member –  CLICK HERE

10-15-14 *DoI News* Secretary Jewell Commends Wyoming Ranchers for Commitment to Conserving Sagebrush Habitat…

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PINEDALE, WY – Secretary of the Interior Sally- Jewell today joined Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and local officials to recognize the efforts of private Wyoming landowners in helping to conserve the landscape of the American West at a ceremonial signing of nine long-term protection plans for sagebrush habitat – the first of their kind in Wyoming.

The ceremony, in the Upper Green River Valley, one of the greater sage-grouse’s remaining strongholds, highlighted the conservation leadership of the ranching community and the state of Wyoming in advancing sagebrush protection that benefits both wildlife and future generations of ranchers.

“Successful conservation of sagebrush habitat depends on a spirit of collaborative partnership among states, tribes, federal partners, private landowners and other stakeholders – and this is especially true for the greater sage-grouse, which inhabits both public and private lands across the West,” Jewell said. “Today we’re celebrating a group of committed private landowners who are stepping up to the plate to take voluntary actions that will take care of the land and wildlife, and preserve their ranching heritage and the Western way of life.”

State, federal and local officials were on hand to commemorate the first Wyoming ranches to be enrolled in Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAA), covering more than 39,000 acres in the state.

“The efforts of Wyoming ranchers are integral to Wyoming’s first-in-the-nation strategy for protecting the greater sage-grouse,” said Governor Mead.  “Wyoming is working to maintain a healthy sage-grouse population that never needs to be listed. Wyoming’s strategy is a model for protecting this species and balancing multiple use.  The efforts support the environment, energy and the economy.”

Continue reading

10-15-14 USCA Conducts Annual Membership Meeting; Elects New Slate of Officers…

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USCA (October 16, 2014) -*CORRECTED* The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) recently concluded its annual Board of Directors and general membership meeting.  The annual conference was held in Bismarck, North Dakota in conjunction with the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota’s (I-BAND) Annual Meeting. USCA and I-BAND conducted their respective meetings over the course of two days, with guest speakers and presentations on Friday, October 3rd and Saturday, October 4th.

USCA members began the annual meeting with the election of a new slate of officers for 2015; nominated for the position of USCA President is Danni Beer, Keldron, South Dakota; Chuck Kiker for USCA Vice President and Jane Wooster for Treasurer. Regional Directors were nominated for the following regions: Region I: Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Hawaii, Kent Wright; Region IV: Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, Adam Redland; Region VII: Nebraska and Iowa, Rod Gray; Region X: North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota: Kenny Graner.

USCA Committee Chairs reported on issues ranging from Membership, Beef Check-off, COOL, Animal Health & Welfare, Marketing & Competition and Environment.  USCA Executive Vice President, and full time representative in Washington, gave a comprehensive report on policy issues and Congressional items the group has faced in the past year and expectations for the coming months.

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), State Director for Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Congressman Cramer (R-ND) addressed attendees regarding multiple issues they continue to face in congress.  Issues included the Clean Water Act, Country of Origin Labeling, implementation of the Farm Bill program, increasing Section 179 expense limits, and proposed rules on trade parameters with regions of Argentina.

Brian Klippenstein, Executive Director of Protect the Harvest, addressed members regarding ongoing efforts of the organization to combat state-based propositions crafted against production agriculture.  Klippenstein focused on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their targeted efforts against various sectors of the industry. In addition to Protect the Harvest, Cassandra Fish gave a market update, highlighting her new publication, “The Beef”. Fish’s presentation gave market trends in today’s industry and what producers should expect in the coming months and years ahead.  American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Director of Congressional Relations, Mary Kay Thatcher addressed the group on issues currently facing the industry and items that should be flagged for producers across the country.  Thatcher noted specifically the issue of “big data” and how producers will need to be cognizant of any agreements entered into on behalf of their respective operations. The evening finished off with I-BAND’s banquet which included industry awards, a silent and live auction, and concluded with live entertainment from singer/songwriter Bren Hill.

USCA members will vote on all proposed policy resolutions, Board of Director appointments and elected Officers via mail-in ballot.  For more information on the United States Cattlemen’s Association, visit uscattlemen.org. 

Continue reading

10-15-14 NCGA News: Scholarships for College Ag Students Available…

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The National Corn Growers Association and BASF Corporation will again award five $1,000 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field during the 2015-16 school year.

“NCGA understands that to remain successful as an industry we must focus on education and keeping our best and brightest interested in ag,” said Tom Haag, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “This program is an important component of NCGA’s commitment to fostering youth in agriculture and to the future of our rural communities.  It is an investment in not only their future but also our own.”

Applicants for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program must be entering at least their second undergraduate year or any year of graduate study, and they or a parent or legal guardian must be an NCGA member. Scholarship applications must be postmarked on or before December 12, 2014.

Scholarship recipients will be selected in early 2015. Recipients and a parent or guardian will enjoy travel and lodging to attend the 2015 Commodity Classic in Phoenix, Ariz. to be recognized at the NCGA Banquet and have the opportunity to learn more about modern agriculture.

This is the eighth year for the partnership between BASF and NCGA. Click here for the complete rules and application packet.

To learn more about the NCGA – CLICK HERE

10-15-14 NCBA News: Five Nations Beef Alliance Meeting Concludes with Statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership…

DENVER (Oct. 15, 2014) – The Five Nations Beef Alliance* concluded a successful meeting and tour in south Texas last week, capped by the unanimous endorsement of a public statement calling for all Trans-Pacific Partnership nations to support ‘gold standard outcomes’ for beef that do not sacrifice important reforms for political expediency.

The annual meeting, hosted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, unites beef industry leaders from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. This year, members of the group toured several Texas beef value chain operations, including McFaddin Enterprises Ltd., a fifth-generation ranch operated by NCBA President Bob McCan; King Ranch; Graham Land & Cattle, a 30,000 head feedlot; and Capitol Land & Livestock, one of the largest livestock dealers in the United States. The group also visited HEB, an important retail partner which offers a wide variety of beef cuts to consumers. Continue reading

10-15-14 Colorado Simmental Association elects directors, honors Schager…

 CoSimmentalLogoPUEBLO — Roger Schager was honored with an engraved cowbell, a traditional gift to outstanding Colorado Simmental Association board volunteers. Schager, of Louisville, had served 9 years on the CSA board of directors including several years as marketing outreach coordinator.  His recognition came during the 2014 Colorado State Fair here.

Also during the fair, CSA and Colorado Junior Simmental Association both held annual meetings. Outgoing President Curtis Russell of Sugar City coordinated the events in Pueblo. Robert Campbell of Ignacio and Mike Rains of Oakley, KS, were re-elected to seats on the nine-member CSA board, which also welcomed newly elected trustee Russ Princ of Fort Collins and Mitchell Jergensen of Burlington.

In CSA officer elections, Campbell was elected president, Beth Temple of Center was elected vice-president, and Susan S. Russell of Sugar City was re-appointed secretary/treasurer of the breed association. She also is serving as an American Simmental trustee and executive committee member.

In CJSA officer elections, Chad Russell of Sugar City, was re-elected president and Keanna Smith of Ignacio was elected vice-president. RJ and Andrea Kerchal of Calhan were retained as junior advisers.

To learn more about the Colorado Simmental Association – CLICK HERE

 

10-15-14 CMU News: Former Las Vegas Water Czar to Speak at CO Mesa University Forum on Nov 5th…

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Pat  Mulroy is the former head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority

Pat Mulroy is the former head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority

Written by: Hannah Holm, Coordinator, Water Center at Colorado Mesa University

On the evening of November 5, Pat Mulroy will give a dinner speech at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.  Ms. Mulroy is the former head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which provides water to the City of Las Vegas, Nevada.

She led the agency during a time when persistent drought spurred numerous innovations, from paying Las Vegas residents to remove lawns to negotiating new agreements with other Colorado River water users on how to manage water.  Ms. Mulroy is currently the Senior Fellow for Climate Adaptation and Environmental Policy for the Brookings Mountain West program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is known as a fiery and straight-talking speaker.

Ms. Mulroy’s talk will be the centerpiece of the 2014 Upper Colorado River Basin Water Forum, which will begin with pre-forum workshops on Tuesday, November 4 and wrap up on the afternoon of Thursday, November 6.  The forum theme is “Seeking a Resilient Future.”

Over the two days of the forum, researchers, water managers, policy makers and other stakeholders from each of the Upper Basin states, as well as Nevada and California, will exchange information and ideas related to enhancing the region’s ability to respond and adapt to changing water conditions.

Speakers will address climate change, state water plans, tribal water claims, Colorado headwaters challenges and responses, agricultural irrigation innovations, demand management and the Colorado River Delta pulse flow, as well as the management of Lake Powell and Lake Mead.  A key goal of the forum is to generate insights into how science and history can inform management and policy.

The Thursday lunch keynote speaker will be William Hasencamp, Manager of Colorado River Resources for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.  He will discuss what lessons can be learned from California’s current extreme drought.

The dinner with Pat Mulroy will begin at 6:15 on November 5, and anyone can register to attend, regardless of whether or not they are also attending the full forum.  Details on the forum, with a links to register for all related activities, can found at www.coloradomesa.edu/WaterCenter, or by calling 970-248-1968. One-day and student registration options are available, and the event is free for CMU students, faculty and staff.

This is part of a series of articles coordinated by the Water Center at Colorado Mesa University in cooperation with the Colorado and Gunnison Basin Roundtables to raise awareness about water needs, uses and policies in our region. To learn more, go to www.coloradomesa.edu/WaterCenter.  You can also find the Water Center on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WaterCenter.CMU or twitter at https://twitter.com/WaterCenterCMU . Continue reading

10-15-14 CMU Op-Ed: How will Colorado’s water plan address West-East water transfers?

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wRITTEN BY: Hannah Holm, Coordinator, Water Center at Colorado Mesa University

As the first draft of Colorado’s Water Plan nears completion (it’s due in December), many who have participated in its development remain anxious about what will and won’t be in it  –  particularly in relation to the potential for more West Slope water to be transported east to serve growing cities on the Front Range.

Colorado’s Water Plan, which was ordered by Governor Hickenlooper in May of 2013, is intended to close a projected gap between water needs and developed supplies in coming decades.  “Basin Roundtables” of water providers and other water stakeholders in each of the state’s major river basins contributed key building blocks to the plan back in July, when they turned in plans for how to address needs within their own basins.

Now, Colorado Water Conservation Board staffers are scrambling to integrate information from each of the basin plans, as well as their own statewide analysis and public input, into a cohesive document.  This would be a big task even if all of the basin plans agreed with each other – which they don’t.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 15th…

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 Panel Favors US in Avian Influenza Retractions Dispute”

U.S. trade Representative Michael Froman announced Tuesday alongside USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack the U.S. won a major victory at the World Trade Organization. A WTO dispute panel found in favor of the United States regarding a dispute challenging India’s ban on U.S. agricultural products. The ban was allegedy to protect against avian influenza by banning poultry meat, eggs and live pigs. The WTO panel agreed with the U.S that the ban breached international trade rules. Trade Representative Froman said “this is a major victory for American farmers.” Secretary Vilsack stated “our farmers and producers deserve a level playing field – and this dispute reflects that we will accept nothing less.” The WTO panel agreed with the U.S. that the ban lacked scientific basis. This marks the fourth WTO victory for the U.S. this year. For more than seven years, India had claimed the ban on select U.S. products was needed to prevent entry of avian influenza into India. The United States, however, has not had an outbreak of high pathogenic avian influenza since 2004, while during that same interval India has had over 90 HPAI outbreaks. The industry estimates that U.S. exports to India of just poultry meat alone could easily exceed $300 million a year once India’s restrictions are removed.

Previous WTO victories this year included: In June, the WTO found that China breached WTO rules by imposing unjustified extra duties on American cars and SUVs. In August, the WTO found that China breached WTO rules by imposing duties and quotas on exports of rare earth metals.  Also in August, a WTO panel agreed with the United States that Argentina’s import licensing requirement and other import restrictions breach international trade rules.

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“State Cattlemens’ Associations Don’t Want New USDA Checkoff”

The National Cattlemens’ Beef Association announced Tuesday 45 cattlemens’ associations don’t want USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to issue an order for a supplemental beef checkoff. Vilsack has said he is considering the supplemental checkoff under his authority under the 1996 General Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act. The threats have come after a working group has failed to bring forth any proposals for reworking the Beef Checkoff. NCBA President Bob McCan stated “Our state affiliates sent a clear message to the Secretary that they do not want a supplemental checkoff under the 1996 Act.” He said NCBA stands behind it’s producer organizations and vowed to do everything the national organization can do to support their efforts. McCan said “The checkoff belongs to cattlemen, not to the USDA or any administration.” The 45 state associations sent a letter to secretary Vilsack this week opposing his considerations.

NCBA was represented in the Beef Checkoff working group that has failed to come up with any proposals. Concerns received more attention recently after the National Farmers Union voted to leave the working group, claiming NCBA was uncooperative in the group.

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“Brazilian Beef Exports Down 16 percent”

Beef exports by Brazil fell 16 percent by volume, nine percent in revenue for September. Meatingplace reports however, Brazilian exports still remain on pace to set new records by the end of the year due in part to gains from Russia, according to a Russian trade association for the beef industry. Beef exports in September totaled 118,200 tons worth $564.9 million. The September highlight came in sales to Russia, which began to show gains from roughly 100 Brazilian meat processing plants that were approved for Russian export in early August. Shipments to Russia totaled 35,100 tons worth $153 million in revenue, gains of 13 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively, from September 2013. Those figures are also up 3.9 percent and 4.4 percent from August.

The main importers of Brazilian beef continue to be Hong Kong and Russia. For exports this year through September, the rest of Brazil’s Top Ten beef markets were Venezuela, Egypt, the European Union, Iran, Chile, Angola, Algeria and the United States.

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“Harvest Progress Remains Slow, Quality Still High”

The National Corn Growers Association says farmers are working hard to harvest a record crop, despite slowdowns in the last week. USDA released its updated Crop Progress and Condition reports on Tuesday. The U.S. corn harvest for 2014 gained only seven percentage points in the last week, standing now at 24 percent, compared to a five-year average of 43 percent harvested by this date. Crop quality continues unchanged, with 74 percent rated good or excellent. NCGA President Chip Bowling said “our growers are busy trying to harvest a record crop and, in many places, facing wet conditions which make it difficult to do so.”

Harvest progress in the 18 states tracked now ranges from two percent complete in North Dakota up to 85 percent complete in North Carolina. Eighty-seven percent of the corn crop is rated mature, compared to a five-year average of 89 percent

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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