05-08-15 NCBA Urges Secretaries to Reject Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s Flawed Recommendations…

NCBA - New Image 2010WASHINGTON (May 8, 2015) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association submitted comments today to the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture on the flawed advice in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report. The report serves as a set of recommendations to the Secretaries of HHS and USDA as they finalize the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. However, the misleading recommendations are inconsistent with decades of scientific evidence and data within the report. Along with NCBA, numerous scientific organizations and individual scientists, including several former Advisory Committee members have also raised similar concerns in their public comments.

NCBA President Philip Ellis said he hopes the Secretaries will carefully review the science and draft a final report that reinforces lean beef’s role in a healthy lifestyle.

“The Advisory Committee ignored the overwhelming body of scientific evidence that shows lean red meat plays an important role in a healthy dietary pattern and ultimately made an unsubstantiated decision to remove lean meats from a healthy dietary pattern for Americans,” said Ellis. “To date, there are nearly 20 randomized controlled trials including the BOLD study showing healthful dietary patterns with 4-5.5 ounces of lean red meat daily supports good health. The Advisory Committee ignored this evidence, and instead relied heavily on weaker forms of science, such as observational evidence.” Continue reading

05-08-15 Colorado Farm Bureau Has a Successful 2015 Legislative Session…

CFB - Colorado Farm Bureau HeaderCentennial, Colo. – May 8, 2015 – The 2015 Colorado legislative session has come to an end and Colorado Farm Bureau successfully worked with both parties to pass legislation to protect agriculture and rural values.

“We had an outstanding session working with both democrats and republicans to create the best possible outcome for our members,” said Don Shawcroft, president of Colorado Farm Bureau. “This is credit to our grassroots, non-partisan policy and our members willingness to speak out.”

Throughout the session, CFB took positions on various bills ranging from water and property rights, pesticide use, agritourism, improving the ballot initiative process, energy, wildlife, agriculture innovation grants and agricultural promotion and education.

With Colorado being a headwater state, water legislation always dominates the conversation. CFB proved to be a leader on discussions regarding water policy issues ranging from regulation of stormwater detention facilities to finding ways to lower the high groundwater in the South Platte. Throughout the legislative session CFB was able to protect water rights across the state. Continue reading

05-08-15 Snowpack News Release for May 1, 2015…

To view the entire report - CLICK HERE

To view the entire report – CLICK HERE

April Precipitation Disappoints Statewide But Satiates South Platte

050815_NRCS-CO_SnowpackSummaryGraphDenver, CO – May 6th, 2015 – Typically, by May 1 nearly all mountain snowpack measuring locations in Colorado are dominated by snowmelt opposed to snow accumulation, with the turning point or peak accumulation occurring slightly after April 1. However, this year all basins experienced the turning point in early March with the exception of the South Platte which, due to mid-April storms, was able to achieve a snowpack peak this year close to normal. When viewed from the Front Range, it may seem that recent precipitation has substantially increased the statewide year-to-date total (currently at 80 percent of normal), but the fact is that statewide April 2015 precipitation was only 71 percent of normal, while the South Platte April precipitation was 110 percent of normal. Mountain snowpack follows the same storyline; the South Platte snowpack is at 96 percent of normal on May 1, while statewide snowpack is just 61 percent of normal. The Rio Grande snowpack is the lowest in the state at 25 percent of normal on May 1.

“Statewide snowpack peaked during mid to early March at about 75% of the normal peak snowpack. This means that mountain snowpack this year will only provide about three quarters of the typical snowmelt to contribute to streamflow” said Brian Domonkos, Hydrologist with the USDA NRCS Colorado Snow Survey Program.

050815_NRCS-CO_CoSnowpackResStorageDuring the snowmelt season, when attempting to get a better understanding of water supply for the remainder of the water year, it is important to remember that snowpack is not the only factor involved in spring and summer runoff. Other factors to consider include snowpack peak timing and spring rain. Snowpack peak timing, which occurred early this year, often results in poor runoff efficiency. Monthly precipitation has been well below normal in nearly every basin for the last two months, which carries more weight since March (63 percent of normal) and April are the two months of the year in which Colorado typically receives the most precipitation. Additionally, April often provides rain at the lower elevations which does not add to the snowpack, but often augments streamflow. Largely that rain has not come to Colorado. These factors and many others, Domonkos goes on to say, “paint a poor streamflow forecast picture for much of the state heading into spring and summer of 2015.” Future near or above normal precipitation would improve streamflow prospects in most watersheds that are currently below average. However, without abundant rain, streamflow outlooks will likely not improve enough to make a substantial difference in the entire water budget.

For more information about Colorado’s snowpack or supporting water supply related information, please go to the Colorado Snow Survey website at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/co/snow/ Or contact Brian Domonkos, Colorado Snow Survey Supervisor at Brian.Domonkos@mt.usda.gov or 720-544-2852.



Dates to Remember:

H-2A Comment Period Extended to June 1

The Department of Labor (DOL) this week provided a 15-day extension to the comment period for its proposed rule to revise the H-2A special procedures program for sheepherding, goat herding and open range livestock. Comments are now due June 1. Continue reading

05-08-15 USCA Comments on Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee…

USCA LogoUSCA (May 8, 2015) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) submitted comments ahead of today’s deadline on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.  USCA’s comments reflect the overwhelming concern of U.S. cattle producers on the report’s dismissal of animal-based proteins and the apparent biased recommendations toward a new national standard.

Linda Chezem, Chair, USCA Health and Dietary Committee, commented on the report, “The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has proposed a set of national standards that does not rely on proven fact; rather, the report shows a distinct bias toward a specific set of ideals.  National standards of this magnitude must be based on best science and must accurately reflect all choices that may be made in a healthy diet.  The report discounts animal-based proteins and the proven science behind the nutritional benefits of such nutrients as iron and zinc that lean meats provide.” Continue reading

05-08-15 CSU Ext – SEA Area: Agriculture Sustainability and Climate Change By Wilma Trujillo…

CSU SEA Ext Says logo

Early last year, the US government released the National Climate Assessment Report.  The report concluded that climate change is unequivocal and that agriculture will be on the front lines with those most impacted by its effect.

Climate disruptions to agricultural production have increased in the past 40 years and are projected to continue increasing over the next 25 years.  Producers and land managers will face increases in the frequency of extreme weather events which will cause significant erosion, runoff and nutrient losses, prolonged droughts; increased pressure from weeds, pests and diseases, and higher temperatures which will affect crop pollination and lower yields.

As bad as those challenges sound, farmers and ranchers currently have a number of strategies to adapt to the changing climate conditions.  These adaptation strategies include changing selection of crops, timing of field operations, and increasing use of pesticides to control increased pressure from pests and diseases.  Diversifying crop rotations, integrating livestock with crop production systems, improving soil health and quality, minimizing off-farm flows of nutrients and pesticides and other practices typically associated with sustainable agriculture also increase the resiliency of the agricultural systems to climate change.  Thus, an adaptation plan consisting of integrated changes in crop rotations, irrigation methods, and fertilization and tillage practices, may be an effective approach to managing climate risk. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, May 8th…

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

“Senators Introduce Legislation to Extend Volatility Waiver to E-15”

Senators Joe Donnelly, Chuck Grassley and Deb Fischer introduced a bill to expand the volatility waiver for E-15 ethanol on Thursday – which would increase consumers’ access to higher blends of ethanol the entire year. This legislation is similar to legislation introduced in the House last month. Under current regulations through the Reid Vapor Pressure – which measures the evaporation rate of gasoline – summertime volatility restrictions are in place from June 1st through September 15th. E-10 receives a volatility waiver – but E-15 does not. The National Corn Growers Association applauds the introduction of this legislation. As June 1st approaches – NCGA President Chip Bowling says we should ensure consumers will continue to have access to energy that is clean, renewable and American-grown. NCGA urges Congress to pass this legislation.


“2015 Farm Mom of the Year Announced”

Shelly Boshart Davis of Oregon has been voted the 2015 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year. America had the opportunity to vote for one of the five regional finalists between April 24th and May 5th. All five regional winners will receive 5,000-dollars – and Davis will receive an additional 5,000-dollars. Davis had multiple nominations that came from people outside of agriculture for this award. Davis’ family grows and transports their own products through their trucking company. Albany, Oregon Chamber of Commerce President Janet Steele says she has been on the forefront of trying to resolve the Northwest port crisis. Davis has been a strong and vocal advocate – testifying at the state level and helping find a solution to bring the ports back to their full strength. Monsanto Corporate Brand Manager Tracy Mueller says all of the women nominated are passionate about everything they do – and their spirits are contagious. Mueller says they are even more impressive in person than they were represented in their nominations. To learn more about Davis and the other regional winners – visit Americas Farmers dot com (www.americasfarmers.com).


“Women in Ag Survey Shows Women Value Need for Leadership Skills”

The American Farm Bureau released the results of its Women in Ag survey yesterday (Thursday). AFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chair Sherry Saylor says the survey results point to a need for a deeper dive into what leadership traits women in ag are interested in learning about in order to achieve their goals. At the top of the list are communicating effectively, establishing and achieving goals, and strategic planning. Saylor says farm and ranch women continue to be seen as credible sources of information on the production of food, fiber and renewable fuels. Working to develop connections with consumers and being transparent when answering questions benefits everyone in agriculture – she says. Nearly 2,000 women completed the informal online survey – and nearly three-quarters of respondents own or share ownership of a farm or ranch. One-third have not yet started a business – but would like to in the future.

[For related story with audio, see Page 6.]


“McConnell Moves to Bring TPA to Vote Next Week”

Agri-Pulse reports Senate Republican leaders have set the first key vote for trade promotion authority for Tuesday. The legislation will combine TPA with a bill extending Trade Adjustment Assistance programs. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has threatened to stall TPA – but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to bring up the legislation on Thursday. GOP whip John Cornyn says this is a test of the White House. He says they will have to produce some Democratic votes and buck their own leadership.


“Majority of Schools Meet Updated Healthy Meal Standards”

According to The Hagstrom Report – USDA released a study Wednesday showing 95-percent of schools are meeting the updated healthier meal standards under the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. The state-by-state data show many states reported all of their schools are meeting the certification standards. Louisiana and New Mexico have the lowest percentages of schools meeting the standard – at 74.1 and 78.1-percent respectively. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says updated healthy school meal standards were created based on the expert advice of pediatricians and nutrition experts – and are widely embraced by students, parents, teachers and nutrition professionals. USDA is working with schools to provide funding, training and flexibility so that 100-percent of schools will be able to successfully serve children healthier meals. Being so close to the finish line – he says it would be unwise to roll back these standards just as they are beginning to work.


“Monsanto Awards IMKP Grants”

Through its Insect Management Knowledge Program – Monsanto will provide research grants to six recipients to enhance the collective understanding of insect management and help address significant challenges and issues in agriculture. Monsanto Vice President of Science Strategy Dr. Sherri Brown says the valuable research generated through this program will provide industry and academia further opportunity to enhance their collective understanding of insect management – leading to even more effective solutions for farmers in the future. The awards are merit-based and are up to 250,000-dollars per award per year for up to three-years. Recipients are Peter Ellsworth of the University of Arizona; Felicia Wu of Michigan State University; Jeff Gore of Mississippi State University; Matthew O’Neal of Iowa State University; Tom Coudron of USDA-ARS; and Philip Zamore of the University of Massachusetts. For more information – visit Monsanto dot com (www.monsanto.com).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service