12-11-14 US House Passes Responsible Spending Bill, Sets Up Challenge on Immigration…

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement after the House passed responsible legislation to keep the government running:

“With a bipartisan vote, the House has passed a responsible bill to keep the government running and address the American people’s priorities.  This measure puts us on track to save taxpayers more than $2.1 trillion while protecting jobs and supporting our national defense.   In addition, by the House’s action, we are setting up a direct challenge to the president’s unilateral actions on immigration next month, when there will be new Republican majorities in both chambers.  The Senate should act on this bipartisan legislation in short order.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT H.R. 83 — Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 – ON THE MOTION TO CONCUR IN THE SENATE AMENDMENT WITH A HOUSE AMENDMENT – ADOPTED 219 – 206


12-10-14 NASS-Colorado’s Weekly Hay Report…

Greeley, CO    Thu Dec 11, 2014    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week: Hay movement is slow this week with steady prices.
Cow hay is still hard to move due to abundance.  According to the NRCS Regional
snowpack levels are being reported as Yampa and White 88 percent, Colorado 86
percent, North Platte 83 percent, South Platte 86 percent, Arkansas 89 percent,
Upper Rio Grande 55 percent, Gunnison 73 percent, and (San Miguel, Dolores,
Animas, San Juan) 59 percent.  All prices reported FOB the stack or barn unless
otherwise noted.  Prices reflect load lots of hay.

If you have hay for sale or need hay, use the services of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture website: www.coloradoagriculture.com.

Northeast Colorado Areas Continue reading

12-11-14 USPB News: Smart Potato Campaign Turns to International Potato Cuisines…

USPB Press Release Header

DENVER (December 11, 2014)—Two years ago, the United States Potato Board (USPB) launched an umbrella marketing campaign called “SMAPO,” otherwise known as the Smart Potato Campaign, in Japan to highlight and promote the use of U.S. frozen and dehydrated potatoes in new foodservice menus. As part of the ongoing promotion, a Trend Development Seminar, with the overarching theme of “World Potato Dishes,” was hosted. Nearly 100 representatives from quick service restaurants (QSRs), family dining restaurants (FDRs), importer/distributor organizations, retailers, wholesalers, caterers, hotel restaurant institutions (HRIs), Japanese press and media companies, manufacturers, as well as the U.S. Embassy in Japan Agricultural Trade Office (ATO), attended this event November 19, 2014, at the Hotel InterContinental in Tokyo, Japan.

This World Potato Dishes Trend Development Seminar was a Japanese tribute to the many different types of cuisines utilizing potatoes around the world. Mashed potatoes as a comfort food in the United States, gnocchi potato noodles from Italy, shepherd’s pies from the United Kingdom and aligot—a dish made from melted cheese and mashed potatoes from France, are but a few recognized examples. A trend towards slight luxuries continues to be popular in Japan as a result of changes in demographics, economic trends and lifestyles. This has led to the concept of brunches and other light meal occasions at Japanese dining tables, which bring new opportunities for U.S. potatoes.

Exploring these opportunities, 10 new menu items and four new meal concepts were presented at the Trend Development Seminar. Emphasis was placed on being true to the flavors of foreign cuisines, while also being mindful towards Japanese sensibilities of how foods first need to be pleasing to the eye, to truly be savored and enjoyed.

Continue reading

12-11-13 *USDA/NRCS News* USDA Seeks Public Comment on New Environmental Quality Incentives Program Rule…

USDA NRCS Colorado headerWASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2014 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture is publishing a rule that outlines how it will improve the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), one of USDA’s largest conservation programs. The interim final rule includes program changes authorized by Congress in the 2014 Farm Bill.

USDA has established a 60-day comment period for the rule. The rule is expected to be available in the Federal Register and regulations.gov on Friday, Dec. 12.  Beginning Friday, public comments can be submitted through regulations.gov or by mailing them. Comments are due by Feb. 10, 2015. Full details are in the Federal Register notice.

“This interim final rule provides a roadmap to help streamline and simplify EQIP for farmers and ranchers,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “We strongly encourage agricultural producers, private forest landowners and stakeholders to provide comments on our implementation processes.  This feedback will help us improve our operation and deliver technical and financial assistance more efficiently to our nation’s agricultural producers and forest landowners.”  

The changes are intended to simplify the EQIP regulation regarding conservation practice scheduling, payment limitations and other administrative actions. Vilsack said USDA has enhanced EQIP by streamlining the delivery of technical and financial assistance to agricultural producers and forest landowners nationwide.

Highlights of program changes in this rule include the following: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, December 11th…

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

“Largest School Districts in U.S. Want Antibiotic Free Chicken”

Six of the largest U.S. school Districts will switch to antibiotic free chicken, as reported earlier this week by Reuters. The move is intended to protect children’s health, according to school officials. The school districts are concerned of a rise in the so called “superbugs” that can be resistant to conventional medicines. However, the change may raise costs for schools because bird mortality rates are typically higher in flocks raised without antibiotics. The six districts, which served at least 2.6 million meals last year, hope to limit costs by combining their purchasing power. The districts of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami-Dade County and Orlando, say implementation will take several years.


“Australian Beef Imports Expected to Increase”

With the smallest beef herd in the U.S. since the 1950’s, imports of beef from Australia are expected to rise for the 2014-15 marketing year. A Report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences indicated imports of Australian beef and veal will jump 35 percent, to 360,000 metric tons to the U.S. That would amount to the highest volume since 2004-2005. The U.S. bought some 35 percent of Australia’s beef and veal exports in the first four months of 2014-15, compared with 19 percent in the year-earlier period.


“USDA Conducting Census of Horticulture”

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is conducting the 2014 Census of Horticulture. The census is the only detailed production and sales data for the U.S. floriculture, nursery and specialty crop industries, including greenhouse food crops. NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly stated the data will be used “to help develop new technologies and programs to support sustainability and growth within this agriculture sector.” Growers can complete the census securely online at ag census dot usda dot gov (www.agcensus.usda.gov) or return their questionnaire by mail by February 5, 2015.

In mid-December, NASS will mail the census to approximately 40,000 horticultural operations in the United States that grew and sold $10,000 or more of horticultural specialty products, as reported in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Producers are asked to provide information on horticultural activities conducted during 2014, including production of horticultural crops, value of products, square footage used for growing crops, production expenses and more.


“Advanced Energy Providing Thousands of Jobs”

A survey suggested advanced energy employment in Iowa is more than 22,000 strong and on pace to reach nearly 24,000 jobs in 2015. The report is a first-ever survey by the Advanced Energy Economy Institute. The AEE Institute published a similar report on California’s advanced energy industry. Based on this survey of more than 2,000 companies doing business in California, advanced energy employment in the state is currently 431,800. Employers are optimistic about the future as well, with about half of all firms expecting to add employees during the coming year, for more than 70,000 new jobs – a 17% projected increase, for California.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service