01-30-15 *USDA/NASS-CO* December Grain Prices: CO Release…

USDA NASS Regional News Release header

December Farm Prices Received Index Down 1 Point

The December Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 100, based on 2011=100, decreased 1 point (1.0 percent) from November. At 82, the December Crop Production Index is up 1 point (1.2 percent). At 127, the Livestock Production Index decreased 7 points (5.2 percent). Producers received lower prices for milk, broilers, lettuce, and cattle. Higher prices were received for corn, eggs, soybeans, and grain sorghum. In addition to prices, the indexes are impacted by the five-year average monthly mix of commodities producers market. Increased monthly movement of wheat, broilers, oranges, and milk offset the decreased marketing of corn, calves, grapes, and soybeans. The Prices Received Index is unchanged from December 2013. The Food Commodities Index, at 114, decreased 6 points (5.0 percent) from the previous month but increased 5 points (4.6 percent) from December 2013.

December Prices Paid Index Unchanged

The December Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW), at 111 percent (2011=100), is unchanged from November but is 5 points (4.7 percent) above December 2013. Lower prices in December for feeder cattle, LP gas, diesel, and gasoline offset higher prices for complete feeds, feed grains, feeder pigs, and supplements.

Special Note: Beginning January 2015, NASS will publish full-month price data only. In addition, the method for computing annual indexes is revised.

For details see, http://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Prices/update2015.pdf. For a full copy of the Agricultural Prices report please visit http://www.nass.usda.gov.

For a full copy of the report please visit www.nass.usda.gov. For state specific questions please contact: Continue reading

01-30-15 Certified Angus Beef News: We still want beef…

CAB-RGB-LG logoBy Miranda Reiman

People love beef.

When price skyrockets, and incomes are tight, people still love beef. That’s according to a new Oklahoma State University research report, “Retail and Foodservice Marketing Trends for Beef.”

Co-authors Bailey Harsh and Deb VanOverbeke combined data from major consumer databases to find, “even as late as 2013, among consumers who changed their meat purchases 91% were spending less.”

Most indications show that’s returning to pre-recession levels.

“The majority of consumers today say beef isn’t too expensive. But most importantly, 72% of consumers listed beef as their first or top choice of proteins in 2013,” it states.

“Even during a recession, folks still want to have beautiful moments in their lives,” says John Lundeen, senior executive director of market research for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff.

Still, as drought and other herd-shrinking circumstances helped elevate prices and add to the cash register crunch, many predicted a decline in demand.

“If you look at the trends, beef consumption didn’t really fall during that time,” says VanOverbeke. “They maybe changed how they used it, maybe using more casserole-type dishes using beef, rather than having steak—but people didn’t change beef consumption as a whole.” Continue reading

01-30-15 WE HEART EGGS: Colorado egg farmers suggest eggs as part of a heart healthy diet…

CEP-CO Egg Producers LogoWe love CO EggsDENVER – February 2015 – It seems that everywhere you look in February, there are hearts. From Valentine’s Day balloons and decorations to heart-shaped cards and candy, everyone is thinking about hearts. But have you thought about your heart lately? In addition to celebrating love, February is a time to celebrate the importance of heart health and recognize the cardiovascular issues that plague men and women of all ages. The Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association wants you to be good to your heart this month and know about all of the heart healthy benefits of eggs.

When it came to improving heart health, eggs used to get a bad rap. These days, however, many health professionals consider the nutrient-packed egg essential to a healthy diet – one that promotes a healthy heart.

“As local egg farmers, we understand the nutritional and health value of eggs. That is why we try to educate consumers about the latest egg facts,” said Mike Surles, Colorado egg farmer and CEP member. “Many people still believe that eggs cause high cholesterol and lead to heart problems. However, research has shown that they actually have the opposite effect. Backed by more than 40 years of research and recommended in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eggs are an important part of a well balanced diet and a healthy heart.” Continue reading

01-30-15 CWC awards Gunnison Rancher Bill Trampe prestigious 2015 Aspinall Award…

Bill Trampe is a third generation cattle rancher from the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. He attended Colorado State University and has been managing the family ranching business from 1967 to the present. Trampe served on the Board of Directors of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District and currently serves on the Colorado River Water Conservation District. He is a founding Director of the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Gunnison Basin ranchlands.

Bill Trampe is a third generation cattle rancher from the Gunnison/Crested Butte area. He attended Colorado State University and has been managing the family ranching business from 1967 to the present. Trampe served on the Board of Directors of the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservancy District and currently serves on the Colorado River Water Conservation District. He is a founding Director of the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of Gunnison Basin ranchlands.

The Colorado Water Congress presents the prestigious Wayne N. Aspinall Award annually to a Coloradan who has long demonstrated courage, dedication, knowledge and leadership in the development, protection and preservation of Colorado water - those attributes possessed by Mr. Aspinall. The late Wayne Aspinall, a lawyer and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, remains one of the most influential water leaders in Colorado history.

The Colorado Water Congress presents the prestigious Wayne N. Aspinall Award annually to a Coloradan who has long demonstrated courage, dedication, knowledge and leadership in the development, protection and preservation of Colorado water – those attributes possessed by Mr. Aspinall. The late Wayne Aspinall, a lawyer and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, remains one of the most influential water leaders in Colorado history.

Denver- Jan. 30, 2015- The Colorado Water Congress awarded Bill Trampe, a life-long Gunnison Rancher and Colorado water advocate, the 2015 Wayne N. Aspinall “Water Leader of the Year” Award.

The Aspinall Award is given annually in recognition of a career of service and contribution to Colorado’s water community. It is awarded to a person who has dedicated a significant part of his or her career to the advancement of the state and its programs to protect, develop and preserve the state’s water resources.

Trampe is a pivotal and influential advocate for water use and water quality, known for his ability to develop consensus among ranchers, farmers and other water users.  His many accomplishments, including his participation in the negotiation of the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement, prove that he inspires historic cooperation among municipal, industrial, and recreational interests. He was a key negotiator at the Colorado River Water Conservation District in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison reserved federal water rights case and the Colorado River Basin Proposal on water supply solutions.

Trampe was selected for the award by the previous Aspinall Award winners and Colorado Water Congress officers. CWC Board President, John McClow, said: “Bill Trampe’s leadership and original thinking in water and agriculture have had a tremendous positive impact in our community and the entire state. His modesty, wisdom and tireless commitment to achieving the best result, even when there is strong resistance, inspires everyone who has the opportunity to work with him.”

About the Colorado Water Congress

The Colorado Water Congress was established in 1958 to provide leadership on key water resource issues and serve as the principal voice of Colorado’s water community. Our belief is that the state of Colorado’s water impacts the state’s overall well-being.  We are dedicated to successful promotion of policy that supports high-quality, sustainable water supplies through protection of water rights, conservation, planning, management and infrastructure investment.  As such, we strive for thoughtful and equitable development and administration of water laws, regulations, and compacts.

 

01-30-15 USDA/NASS-CO Annual Fruit and Vegetable…

USDA NASS Regional Release
VEGETABLES – 2014 SUMMARY

Fresh market vegetable and melon production for the 24 selected crops estimated in 2014 totaled 413 million hundredweight, down 1 percent from last year. Harvested area covered 1.58 million acres, down 3 percent from 2013. Value of the 2014 crop is estimated at $10.9 billion dollars, down 5 percent from a year ago. The three largest crops, in terms of production, were onions, head lettuce, and watermelons, which combined to account for 36 percent of the total production. Tomatoes, head lettuce, and onions claim the highest values, accounting for 29 percent of the total value when combined.

For the 24 selected vegetables and melons estimated in 2014, California continued to be the leading fresh market State, accounting for 47 percent of the harvested area, 52 percent of production, and 60 percent of the value.

NONCITRUS FRUITS AND NUTS – 2014 PRELIMINARY SUMMARY Continue reading

01-30-15 The 2015 National Bison Association Jr. Judging Contest Winners Announced…

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Colby, Kan., Weld Central, Colo. Contestants Shine, $4,600 in Scholarships Doled Out  

NWSS – DENVER, CO –Bison judging contestants vied Jan. 21, for $4,600 in individual scholarships and team trophies at the National Bison Association’s (NBA) Seventh Annual Junior Judging Contest.  Taking top honors and a $1,500 scholarship with an overall score of 226.5, was Chase Cervsosky from Colby, Kan. The top placing team, scoring a total of 659.5 points, was from Colby (Kansas) FFA, and included Cervsosky, Christian Calliham, Alexsis Dennis and Tresta Urban. The team is coached by Colby FFA Advisor Tom Rundel and was one of two Colby FFA entries.
Continue reading

01-30-15 Applications Now Being Accepted for 2015 NFU Beginning Farmers Institute…

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Applications Now Being Accepted for 2015 NFU Beginning Farmers Institute

WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) is now accepting applications for the 2015 class of the Beginning Farmers Institute (BFI). The annual program is open to individuals who are new to farming, in the process of transferring an operation from a relative or non-relative to themselves, or contemplating a career in farming or ranching.

“The Beginning Farmers Institute underscores NFU’s commitment to growing a new generation of family agriculture,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “One unique feature of the Institute is that participants direct the agenda, allowing them to gain information on topics that will be most relevant to their particular operations. The small size and diversity of the group also ensures valuable interaction and learning opportunities among the participants.” Continue reading

01-29-15 Governor Hickenlooper names Don Brown as Colorado’s Agriculture Commissioner…

Don Brown cuDENVER — Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015— Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today Don Brown will be the Commissioner of Agriculture, effective Feb. 17, 2015. He replaces John Salazar who retired last month, having served since 2011.

“We are fortunate to welcome Don Brown to the team and thrilled to add his experience and leadership to Colorado’s thriving agriculture industry,” said Hickenlooper. “Agriculture is a critical sector for our economy, contributing $40 billion and providing nearly 173,000 jobs annually. Having Don at the helm, we know agriculture across Colorado will continue to grow.”

As commissioner, Brown will lead the department’s daily operations, direct its 300 employees, and  oversee the agency’s seven divisions: Animal Health; Brand Inspection; Colorado State Fair; Conservation Services; Inspection and Consumer Services; Markets; and Plant Industry.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to work with Gov. Hickenlooper and the Department of Agriculture. To be able to contribute to the industry which I have so greatly benefited from is incredibly rewarding,” said Brown. “I have lived the life of those who the commissioner is to serve and I am committed to doing all I can to see that the industry continues to grow and that farmers and ranchers have every opportunity to succeed.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, January 30th…

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

“Growth Energy, NCGA say Old, False News Released by World Resources Institute”

The World Resources Institute recently released a report that criticizes biofuels. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says the report repackages old, previously debunked food and fuel and Indirect Land Use Change myths in attempts to discredit an American success story. Buis says the criticism is based on the limited assumption that the U.S. and the rest of the world must choose between a cleaner, healthier environment resulting from renewable transportation fuels and an adequate, affordable food supply. Without the biofuels industry and its impact on the farm economy – he says the U.S. might be producing less food in order to control the expansion of surplus stocks and assistance payments to farmers. Buis says the WRI fails to note the U.S. has produced record corn crops for the past two-years and corn prices have fallen dramatically. It also fails to credit U.S. ethanol production results in co-products that displace the need for other livestock feed crops – reducing the net acreage for ethanol production to about 17.5-percent of total corn acreage – according to Buis. National Corn Growers Association Corn Board member Keith Alverson says ethanol is a very efficient energy source – representing a 40-percent net energy gain. Alverson says there is more than enough corn to meet demands for food, fuel, feed and fiber.

Buis says WRI is relying on the same analyses and falsehoods utilized by Big Oil that have already been proven to be incorrect. He says diversity in energy resources and a dramatic reduction in fossil fuel use is the best way to ensure the U.S. has the necessary energy resources while reducing the use of carbon intensive fuels that are a finite resource and a leading cause of climate change. Alverson says it’s time to put these arguments to rest and focus on continuing to grow American energy independence. The U.S. must embrace an all of the above energy strategy – Buis says – and biofuels play a critical role in ensuring such a strategy succeeds.

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“Global Adoption of Biotech Crops Grows”

A new study released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications titled Global Status of Commercialized Biotech-GM Crops 2014 says 18-million farmers in 28 countries are growing biotech crops on 448-million acres. Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization Executive Vice President Cathleen Enright says GM crop technology is a critical food production tool – increasing yields and efficiency for farmers and enabling them to produce food more sustainably for a growing global population. The report says since 1996 – global adoption of biotech crops has seen 18-years of consecutive growth and a more than 100-fold increase. Enright says BIO supports farmer choice to plant the seeds that work best for their operations. She says 18-million farmers around the world are testament to the benefits they are realizing through the adoption of agricultural biotechnology.

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“Grassley’s Take on Proposed Renewable Electricity Tax Credit Extension Amendment”

On Wednesday (January 28th) – Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley voted in favor of an amendment offered by Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota to extend the renewable electricity tax credit for five-years. However – Grassley says the credit – which was first introduced more than 10-years ago – wasn’t meant to go on forever – and shouldn’t. In 2012 – Grassley says the wind industry was the only one to put forward a phase out plan – and he and other Senators have been working to construct a responsible, multi-year phase out of the wind tax credit. This past November – the House offered a multi-year wind production tax credit extension – but President Obama threatened to veto – so the incentive expired. While Grassley supports wind energy – he says he supports a prudent way forward on an extension of the production tax credit – and this amendment does not achieve that way forward. He says lawmakers should be working together to craft an extension that works for the wind industry, is realistic politically and makes sense for American taxpayers. Unfortunately – Grassley believes this ill-timed, ill-conceived amendment may harm these efforts.

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“FFA Officers Return from South Africa”

National FFA reports 75 past and present FFA officers from 23 states just returned from the 2015 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers in South Africa – sponsored by Bunge North America and John Deere. The two-week educational and cultural experience allowed participants to learn about international agriculture, experience foreign culture and gain more knowledge of the global marketplace. Participants traveled through five of South Africa’s nine provinces – surveying the ag landscape. Officers also met with government and U.S. Embassy officials to learn about trade relations between the U.S. and South Africa, toured crop and livestock operations, met with business and industry leaders and much more. To learn more about this program – visit www dot FFA dot org slash programs slash global slash ILSSO (www.ffa.org/programs/global/ILSSO).

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“Animal Activist, Environmental Groups Sue EPA”

Meatingplace reports the Environmental Integrity Project, Center for Food Safety, HSUS, Clean Wisconsin, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Association of Irritated Residents filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency this week. The lawsuit seeks injunctive and declaratory relief for EPA’s failure to answer a 2011 legal petition – as required by law – asking EPA to use its authority under the Clean Air Act regarding concentrated animal feeding operations – CAFOs. The organizations are asking the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to find EPA in violation of federal law for not responding to the petition, to compel EPA to provide a response and award the plaintiffs’ attorney fees and other reasonable expenses they have sustained so far.

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“Cattle Industry Convention Almost Here”

Next week – cattle producers from across the country will enjoy top-notch general session speakers, a number of educational sessions and industry organization meetings at the 2015 Cattle Industry Convention in San Antonio, Texas. For more information on the convention – visit Beef USA dot org (www.beefusa.org).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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01-29-15 NCGA Responds to World Resources Institute Study…

NCGA LogoWASHINGTON (Jan. 29, 2015) – The National Corn Growers Association today issued the following statement in response to a study released by the World Resources Institute.

Statement by Keith Alverson, South Dakota corn grower and a member of the Corn Board:

“This ‘new’ study is just more of the same, tired arguments Big Oil have been using for years. They simply are not true. In fact, numerous studies by independent, unbiased third parties have come to vastly different conclusions.

The fact is, ethanol is a very efficient energy source. When calculating the amount of energy used to produce ethanol, from farm to pump, ethanol represents a 40% net energy gain. No other energy source comes close. Ethanol is also better for the environment: reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 110 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 20 million vehicles off the road. Continue reading

01-29-15 CDA UPDATE: Final Vesicular Stomatitis Quarantines Released in Colorado…

CDA - Animal Health Division logo*UPDATED on 01/29/15*

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –As of 1/28/2015, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has released all quarantines related to the 2014 Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) outbreak in Colorado. In all, there were 556 livestock investigations in the state resulting in 370 quarantines.
“The last confirmed case was discovered in mid-November; quarantines are lifted once the affected animals are completely healed and no longer infectious,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “State and federal officials will review the outbreak and the investigative process to assess any necessary changes for future outbreaks. We’ll continue to evaluate future disease control options based on science, disease transmission and risk, and economic impacts to the livestock community.”
The Department of Agriculture is appreciative of Colorado’s livestock owners, the US Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services and Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health,  and CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, private-practice veterinarians, and many others that provided vital time and services during this disease response.

Continue reading

01-29-15 NASS-Colorado’s Weekly Hay Report…

hay_20060403SmSq-bales-GL_GR310   
Greeley, CO    Thu Jan 29, 2015    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week: Hay movement is steady this week with steady prices.
Demand is moderate.  According to the NRCS Regional snowpack levels are being
reported as Yampa and White 80 percent, Colorado 95 percent, North Platte 79
percent, South Platte 96 percent, Arkansas 93 percent, Upper Rio Grande 61
percent, Gunnison 78 percent, and (San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, San Juan) 63
percent.  According to the United States Drought Monitor, there are also above-
normal chances of below-normal precipitation through much of the plains,
Midwest, Gulf Coast and Ohio River valley, while portions of the central and
northern Rocky Mountains and the southeast look to have the best chances of
receiving above-normal precipitation.  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: http://www.coloradoagriculture.com.

Northeast Colorado Areas Continue reading

01-29-15 Make plans to attend the CCTA’s 27th High Plains No Till Conference in Burlington, CO Feb 3-4…

CLICK HERE to view the poster

CLICK HERE to view the poster

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO – January 29, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Curt Sayles, President of the Colorado Conservation Tillage Association discussing the upcoming 27th Annual High Plains No Till Conference @ the Burlington Community Center in Burlington, CO on February 3-4…

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To learn more about the 27th High Plains  No Till Conference or to learn more about the CCTA – CLICK HERE

01-29-15 NMPF NEWS: 114th Congress Will Include a Large, Bipartisan Dairy Farmer Caucus…

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ARLINGTON, VA – The new 114th Congress will feature a large and active group of House members looking out for the interests of dairy farmers, according to the National Milk Producers Federation.

A bipartisan group of legislators is reestablishing the six-year-old congressional Dairy Farmer caucus, and NMPF expects the new group to be even larger than the Dairy Farmer caucus in the 113th Congress.

“The 85-member caucus in 2013-14 was nearly one-fifth of the House,” said NMPF Vice President for Government Relations John Hollay. “We expect the 2015 caucus will be at least that large.” Hollay added that the dairy group is one of the most bipartisan and regionally diverse of the many caucuses in Congress.

The Dairy Farmer caucus educates House members on dairy industry issues and helps build consensus on legislation impacting milk producers and processors. For example, Hollay said, the caucus played a key role in enacting the 2015 farm bill, which included the most significant rewrite of federal dairy policy in more than a generation. The congressional Dairy Farmer caucus was initially started in 2006 to provide a bipartisan forum to collaborate on policy issues that addressed the interests of dairy producers nationwide.

In recent years, the caucus has worked closely with NMPF and the dairy industry to secure emergency funding for farmers suffering from low prices and disasters, protect dairy trade interests and secure passage of federal nutrition programs that deliver nutritious dairy products to school aged children. Continue reading

01-29-15 FFA members return from educational, cultural experience in South Africa…

2015FFA  ILSSO picFFA Logo good copyINDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, January 29, 2015/National FFA Organization) –FFA members recently returned from a 14-day educational and cultural experience in South Africa. Members participated in the 2015 International Leadership Seminar for State Officers, an annual, international opportunity through the National FFA Organization for past and present state FFA officers. The experience allows FFA members to experience foreign culture, learn about international agriculture and become more knowledgeable of the global marketplace.

Seventy-five past and present FFA officers representing 23 states left the U.S. on Jan. 4. The contingent traveled throughout five of the country’s nine provinces while surveying the agricultural landscape. FFA officers met with government and U.S. Embassy officials to learn about U.S.-South African trade relations, toured a host of crop and livestock operations, met with business and industry leaders and explored big-game reserve Kruger National Park as well as Robben Island, the former prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years of his life. The group also met with producers and consumers of various economic classes to better understand local culture and food purchasing decisions. The most gripping encounter came with a visit to an impoverished settlement area in Soweto township outside Johannesburg.

Prior to departing the United States, the students completed ten weeks of online coursework related to cross-cultural adaptability. The program was made possible by corporate sponsors Bunge North America and John Deere.

Those who participated in the experience included: Continue reading

01-29-15 Optimism Prevails at 20th Anniversary Meeting of Bison Association…

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Ranchers, Marketers See Strong Growth for Buffalo Business 

DENVER, CO (January 28, 2015) – Optimistic attitudes among bison producers attending the National Bison Association’s 20th Anniversary conference and strong prices paid at the annual bison auction held at the National Western Stock Show here last week, both reflect the strong outlook for the buffalo business in the coming years.”Attendance at our annual conference and the prices paid during the Gold Trophy Show and Sale both demonstrate that our ranchers and marketers have built a strong foundation for the continued growth of our business,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, January 29th…

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

“Food, Ag Groups Urge Federal Government to Find Solutions to End Ports Disputes”

Yesterday (Wednesday) – the National Pork Producers Council – along with 92 other food, ag and allied industry groups – urged parties involved in the West Coast ports labor dispute to resolve their differences as soon as possible. Due to this dispute – it’s estimated the U.S. meat and poultry industries are losing more than 30-million dollars a week. Exports to Asian markets – which are most directly affected by the ports slowdowns – have grown to 144-billion dollars as of 2013 from 46-million in 1994. The organizations have written an open letter to the White House, Congress, the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union – pointing out the increase in food and ag products exported has been beneficial to the companies that own West Coast ports and the dock workers – yet the indifference by the PMA and ILWU to the impact the slowdowns are having on the food and ag sectors is disturbing.

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“AFBF Disappointed with Court’s Ruling Regarding Farmers’ Personal Information”

Late Tuesday – the federal district court in Minnesota dismissed its lawsuit seeking to block the Environmental Protection Agency from releasing the personal information of livestock and poultry farmers and ranchers in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. The court decided no federally permitted livestock or poultry farmer is injured by such disclosure because the Clean Water Act mandates disclosure of information concerning permit issuance. For those without a permit – it concluded EPA’s distribution of their personal information doesn’t result in any injury to the farmer – as long as the farmer’s information can be found on the Internet. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says farmers, ranchers and citizens in general should be concerned about the court’s disregard for individual privacy. Stallman says the court seems to believe the Internet age has eliminated the individual’s interest in controlling the distribution of his or her personal information – and Farm Bureau strongly disagrees. AFBF and its co-plaintiff – the National Pork Producers Council – have 60 days to appeal the decision.

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“TPP Problems with Canada”

According to The Hagstrom Report – Chief U.S. Agricultural Trade Negotiator Darci Vetter says all eyes are on Canada right now in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Vetter says Canada really needs to bring something more comprehensive to the table regarding dairy, poultry and eggs. While there still are trade barriers with Japan that Vetter says shouldn’t be there – she says Canada is now the main problem – but she expects the country to come to the table.  

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“EPA Confuses U.S. Soybean Farmers”

The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced it will approve an application allowing Argentine biodiesel easier access to the U.S. market. American Soybean Association President Wade Cowan says this decision shows a lack of coordination and alarming tone-deafness regarding the purposes of the Renewable Fuels Standard. Cowan says EPA has put the interest of foreign competitors above those of U.S. soybean farmers. Cowan says it seems EPA doesn’t recognize that they haven’t set volume requirements for 2014 or 2015 – nor do they realize every link in the biodiesel supply chain is in limbo awaiting these decisions. He says the agency also seems to neglect the fact the RFS is supposed to increase domestic energy independence.

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“NCGA New Leaders Meet This Week”

The 2015 National Corn Growers Association DuPont New Leaders Program is taking place this week in Des Moines. NCGA First Vice President Rob Elliott says he was happy to meet such a dedicated group of growers new to industry involvement. Through the program – participants learn to enhance communications depending on personality traits, use improve techniques to better communicate, master top social media tools and learn the importance of conversation and dialogue from U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance representatives. Program participants will travel to Delaware and Washington, D.C. in July to attend NCGA action team meetings, Corn Congress sessions and visit their state delegates on Capitol Hill.

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“Scientists Research Phosphorus Losses in the Midwest”

For the past seven-years – USDA Agricultural Research Service soil scientist Doug Smith has been monitoring phosphorus in surface runoff and tile drainage from farm fields in the St. Joseph River Watershed in Indiana. From 2008 to 2013 – Smith noticed 49-percent of dissolved phosphorus and 48-percent of total phosphorus in the watershed was discharged through tile drains. Ag engineer Kevin King monitored phosphorus levels in the discharge from six tile drains and the outlet of a headwater watershed in Ohio from 2005 to 2012 and noticed 47-percent of discharge came through tile drains. King’s measurements show around two-percent of phosphorus applied by farmers was lost through runoff – but concentrations in the tile drainage and watershed discharge exceed concentrations recommended for preventing algal blooms. As a result – King’s team believes reducing phosphorus losses will require practices that mitigate losses through tile drainage in the late fall, winter and early spring.

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“30 Students Selected for USDA Ag Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program”

USDA has announced the 30 university students it has chosen based on their essays regarding Agriculture as a Career to attend the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum in Virginia February 19th and 20th. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the Forum will help give students the chance to lay the groundwork for their future, hear speakers from diverse backgrounds in agriculture and help them expand their opportunities in their chosen fields. For more information on the Forum – visit USDA dot gov slash OCE slash forum (www.usda.gov/oce/forum).

The undergraduate student winners are: Alexis Allen, Tennessee State University; Nicole Bayne, Oklahoma State University; Taylor Benedict, University of Arizona – Yuma; Darryl Blakely, Pennsylvania State University; Rycal Blount, North Carolina A&T State University; Rodrigo Bonilla, Washington State University; Ariel Bourne, University of Maryland College Park; Nathan Carson, University of Florida; George Collier, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Jamie Duggan-Lara, San Diego State University-Imperial Valley; Conlee Fry, Prairie View A&M University; Morgan Fortune, Tuskegee University; Onelisa Garza, Texas A&M University – Kingsville; Petros Maskal, California State University – Stanislaus; Kaylin McNary, Prairie View A&M University; Jamal Palmer, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Fatma Rekik, Cornell University; Martin Sanchez, Oregon State University;Gianfranco Santaliz-Rogers; University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez; and Malcolm Smith, Iowa State University.

The graduate student winners are: Parker Byington, Washington State University; Latisha Judd, University of Maryland College Park; Heather King, Humboldt State University; Alison Leathers, Tennessee State University; Emily Loehmer, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale; Holly Mayton; University of California, Riverside; Joshua Moore, University of Arizona; Wallace Seda-Calderon, Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico; Cassandra Skenandore; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Melissa Woolpert, University of Vermont.

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“Chefs to Receive Honor for Produce Excellence in Foodservice”

The United Fresh Produce Association wants to recognize seven chefs in different business categories for their use of fresh produce in the culinary arts. The categories are business in industry, casual and family dining restaurants, colleges and universities, fine dining restaurants, hotels and healthcare, K-12 school foodservice and quick service restaurants. Creativity in concept development, menu design using fresh produce, knowledge of handling fresh produce, produce-related events and recognition among peers or by the company all are considered when choosing the winners. Each winner and their corporate executives receive complimentary registration to United Fresh 2015. To nominate a chef – visit United Fresh dot org (www.unitedfresh.org). The nomination deadline is March 16th.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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01-28-15 CO Water Congress Webcast: DARCA Workshop “The Next Step – Modeling CO’s Water Plan”…

CLICK HERE to WATCH the Press Conference LIVE!

CLICK HERE to WATCH the Press Conference LIVE!

DARCAls LIVE WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28th, 2015 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm Wednesday, January 28th…TO WATCH – CLICK HERE

Colorado’s Water Plan is a compilation of Colorado’s abundant, complementary, and competing interests, all of which voice their concerns of how to best avoid the projected, mid-century gap. Options on how best to achieve the goal of reducing the gap include: conservation, additional use of groundwater, recycling water, transfers of agricultural water to M&I, and additional transbasin/mountain diversions.

Through the use of analytical tools, can we determine the best, unbiased, and objective course of action for all Coloradans? The answer is, yes.

This DARCA workshop will show how an open source and analytical model for the state water plan can aid policy makers in the identification and implementation of viable and efficient solutions to Colorado’s water problems. DARCA would like to pursue a transparent and collaborative modeling effort that may challenge settled beliefs, opening doors to previously unidentified solutions.

To watch the LIVE or ARCHIVED WEBCAST of the DARCA Workshop from Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center during the 2015 Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention CLICK HERE