05-21-15 NFU Applauds Swift Senate Action on Grain Standards Reauthorization Act…

NFU - National Farmers Union logo5

Reminds Congress Threats of Retaliation Only Relevant if Parties Fail to Find Agreement on Moving Forward

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today applauded the Senate Agriculture Committee leadership for its work on the swift reauthorization of the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA).

“On behalf of National Farmers Union’s 200,000 members, I applaud your work on the reauthorization of the U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA),” said Johnson in a letter to Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan, of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “As you are aware, this issue is of great importance to producers across the country. Your work to swiftly move legislation ahead of the law’s expiration is both appreciated and a credit to your commitment to producers who rely on this standard.” Continue reading

05-21-15 U.S Wheat Growers Call for Equal Trade in Canada…

Following is a joint statement from the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW)…

USWA - US Wheat Associates LogoNAWG - wheat_logoARLINGTON, Virginia – Yesterday, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) jointly called for improvements in Canada’s treatment of U.S. wheat classes in a letter to Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Gerry Ritz, and Canadian Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast. While there has been positive collaboration between the two countries on wheat policy, the recent WTO Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) decision concerning the labeling of meat highlights Canada’s inconsistency on the issue of treatment of foreign agricultural products.

The United States is routinely Canada’s top wheat export market and allows wheat grown in Canada to be graded and traded the same as U.S. wheat in the market. Yet, the Canada Grains Act and Varietal Registration System (VRS) denies U.S. producers that same courtesy. Instead, all foreign grown grain is automatically downgraded under Canada’s official grading system to the lowest designation, regardless of whether the wheat is an approved Canadian variety or of high quality. Continue reading

05-21-15 NFU Opposes House’s America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, Urges Senate to Reinstate Research…

NFU - National Farmers Union logo5

Reminds Congress Threats of Retaliation Only Relevant if Parties Fail to Find Agreement on Moving Forward

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2015) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today announced its opposition to the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 that passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last night – noting that the act cuts important funding for climate and renewable energy research – and urged the Senate to reinstate these funds in order to keep the U.S. moving toward climate resilience.

“America’s family farmers and ranchers are already enduring the effects of climate change,” NFU President Roger Johnson said. “Our ability to effectively combat this threat depends on adequately funded research on renewable energy and energy efficiency to curb carbon emissions, and on the climate change impacts that cannot be avoided, offering family farmers the information they need to adjust accordingly. NFU opposes the House reauthorization act and urges the Senate to reinstate important funds for energy and climate research.” Continue reading


USDA NASS Regional News Release header


Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.02 billion pounds in April, up 1 percent from the 3.98 billion pounds produced in April 2014.

Beef production, at 1.93 billion pounds, was 6 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.38 million head, down 8 percent from April 2014. The average live weight was up 32 pounds from the previous year, at 1,338 pounds.

Veal production totaled 6.6 million pounds, 21 percent below April a year ago. Calf slaughter totaled 35,400 head, down 27 percent from April 2014. The average live weight was up 24 pounds from last year, at 318 pounds. Pork production totaled 2.07 billion pounds, up 8 percent from the previous year.

Hog slaughter totaled 9.68 million head, up 9 percent from April 2014. The average live weight was down 3 pounds from the previous year, at 284 pounds.

Lamb and mutton production, at 13.6 million pounds, was down 10 percent from April 2014.

Sheep slaughter totaled 198,200 head, 11 percent below last year. The average live weight was 138 pounds, up 1 pound from April a year ago. January to April 2015 commercial red meat production was 15.9 billion pounds, up 1 percent from 2014.

Accumulated beef production was down 4 percent from last year, veal was down 23 percent, pork was up 7 percent from last year, and lamb and mutton production was down 2 percent.

For a full copy of the Livestock Slaughter report please visit http://www.nass.usda.gov.

For state specific questions please contact:

Continue reading

05-21-15 USDA Reminds Farmers to Certify Conservation Compliance by June 1st Deadline…

USDA seal logoProducers May Need to Take Action to Remain Eligible for Crop Insurance Premium Support

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers to file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) with their local USDA Service Center by June 1, 2015. The 2014 Farm Bill requires producers to have the form on file in order to remain eligible, or to become eligible for crop insurance premium support.

Many farmers already have a certification form on file since it’s required for participation in most USDA programs including marketing assistance loans, farm storage facility loans and disaster assistance. However, farmers who only participate in the federal crop insurance program must now file a certification form to receive crop insurance premium support. These producers might include specialty crop farmers who may not participate in other USDA programs.

“USDA is making every effort possible to get the word out about this new Farm Bill provision,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “We’ve deployed a variety of informational documents and online resources including fact sheets, frequently asked questions and brochures to help farmers understand what they need to do. We’ve also conducted informational meetings and training sessions for nearly 6,000 stakeholders across the country. We want to make sure that those who are required to act do so by the June 1 deadline. We want all eligible producers to be able to maintain their ability to protect their operations with affordable crop insurance.”

USDA has conducted extensive outreach over the past year, especially to producers who only participate in the federal crop insurance program and may be subject to conservation compliance for the first time. Along with the outreach done by crop insurance agents and companies, USDA efforts have included letters, postcards, phone calls, producer meetings and interaction with stakeholder groups to help them reach their members. While there are procedures in place to correct good faith errors and omissions on certification forms, the deadline cannot be waived or extended and a form must be filed by June 1.

The Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form AD-1026 is available at local USDA Service Centers or online at www.fsa.usda.gov/AD1026form.When a farmer completes this form, USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff will identify any additional actions that may be required for compliance with highly erodible land and wetland provisions. USDA’s Risk Management Agency, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, manages the federal crop insurance program. Continue reading

05-21-15 United States and OECD Outline Guidance for Rural Economic Development Policies…

USDA seal logoMEMPHIS, Tenn., May 21, 2015 – Today, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Deputy Secretary-General Mari Kiviniemi released a joint statement outlining three major themes guiding rural economic development policies.

The statement was issued at the conclusion of the three-day, 10th Annual OECD Rural Development Conference, titled, National Prosperity through Modern Rural Policy: Competitiveness and Well-Being in Rural Regions.

The major themes guiding rural economic development policies include:

  • A New Rural Narrative noting that in OECD countries, the term “rural” is synonymous with unharnessed potential for growth. Agriculture and natural resources remains important in some regions, but many rural regions are diversifying their economies to include manufacturing and services.
  • Prosperity for All noting that an approach to rural development policy is to be tailored and specific to the attributes, resources, and priorities of the place is needed to make our rural communities more resilient. Features such as low population density, physical distance, population decline and aging, and limited diversity in economic structures all expose rural communities to economic shocks. For this reason, rural policy should be an important part of any national strategy promoting inclusive growth.
  • Implementing the New Rural Policy noting that Rural stakeholders participating in the Conference recognised the value of the OECD New Rural Paradigm as a policy framework to promote rural development and encouraged OECD governments to implement policies accordingly.

The full statement is available on the OECD website. Continue reading

05-21-15 Make plans to attend the 2015 CO Farm Bureau Mid-Summer Meeting in Sterling July 19-21

CFB - Colorado Farm Bureau Header

CENTENNIAL, CO – May 21, 2015 – The CFB Mid-Summer Meeting is a wonderful opportunity for families from all around Colorado to come together and catch up with old friends and meet new ones. This conference moves around the State of Colorado and is hosted by the local counties in the district. Held every July, the primary goal of this Meeting is to kick-off our Policy Development process. Colorado Farm Bureau prides itself on its grassroots policy process, and therefore, it is the farmers and ranchers themselves that surface policy changes that may be needed. Like all CFB events, our Mid-Summer Meeting is family friendly and truly an enjoyable social time for everyone!

This summer’s conference is held in Sterling, Logan County, and hosted by District 2 Counties. The meetings will take place at the Northeastern Junior College Campus. The Mid-Summer Meeting is a unique occasion to spend a few days in a different part of the state learning and seeing more of what Colorado has to offer or perhaps this year’s conference takes place close to home for you! Continue reading

05-21-15 U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and RFA Participate in Exploratory Market Development Mission to Japan…

USGC - US Grains Council logogrowth-energy-logoRFA-Renewable Fuels Association LogoWASHINGTON, D.C. May 21, 2015 — Representatives of Growth Energy, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) traveled to Tokyo this week to follow up on an industry market assessment of the potential to export U.S. ethanol to Japan. Over the next two years, the government of Japan will be undertaking a full review of its national energy policies, including biofuels, potentially opening up opportunities for additional ethanol exports there.

“The team came away with a much greater understanding of the current Japanese requirements and market conditions pertaining to ethanol and began the implementation of a strategy to help ensure that U.S. ethanol receives fair market access under the future energy policy that will be adopted when the current policy expires in 2017,” said Jim Miller, chief economist and vice president of Growth Energy. Continue reading

05-21-15 Inside the BARN with Colorado Ag Commissioner Don Brown…


CDA NEW main logo 051414

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown

CO Ag Commissioner Don Brown

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) May 21, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Don Browndiscussing several topics including:

To listen to the interview with Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown, click below…


The mission of the Department of Agriculture is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture; promote a safe, high quality, and sustainable food supply; and protect consumers, the environment, and natural resources. The vision of the Department of Agriculture is that Colorado agriculture be strong and vibrant, a key driver of the state’s economy, and recognized worldwide for its safe, affordable, and abundant supply of high quality food and agricultural products.

If you would like to learn more about the Colorado Department of Agriculture stop by their offices @ 305 Interlocken Parkway in Broomfield, CO, give them a call @ 303-869-9000 or visit the CDA online @ www.colorado.gov/ag



05-21-15 USMEF Board Meeting Underway in San Antonio…

CLICK HERE to listen to the full report...

Leann Saunders kicks off the USMEF Board of Directors Meeting in San Antonio

Leann Saunders kicks off the USMEF Board of Directors Meeting in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TX – May 21, 2015 – The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Board of Directors Meeting kicked off in San Antonio, Texas, Wednesday afternoon. USMEF Chair Leann Saunders opened the event by providing members with an update on “Project 40” – a USMEF Executive Committee initiative designed to build on nearly 40 years of success and make USMEF a stronger organization going forward.

Saunders noted that feedback received during a comprehensive survey of the USMEF membership and other interviews conducted as part of Project 40 has been overwhelmingly positive. However, some areas were identified in which members feel the organization could be more proactive and strive for improvement.

“I want you to know that the volunteer leadership and staff of USMEF take these recommendations very seriously,” Saunders said. “USMEF is not a complacent organization. We are always striving for excellence, and will work collectively to move toward positive change. USMEF has achieved a high level of member satisfaction, yet we are always looking to continuously improve.”

CattleFax CEO Randy Blach was Wednesday’s keynote speaker, providing attendees with an informative and enlightening look at the current state of global protein demand, production and trade. He opened with a favorable update on spring planting progress.

“The past few years we’ve put more corn into production and gotten through a tough drought situation, and we’re now producing record-large corn crops,” he said. “And this spring, 85 percent of the corn crop is in the ground. We’re off to a great start, headed for a big corn crop. And on the soybean side we have a similar situation, with huge growth in our soybean output. Continue reading

05-21-15 Dairy Groups Praise Diplomatic Struggle against Additional Restrictions on Common Food Names…

NMPF Joint Press Release alrenate header logoMay 21, 2015 – The dairy industry today praised U.S. representatives to a key international meeting for leading the fight against treaty changes that could seriously impair the ability of companies worldwide to use generic food terms in export markets. Among those potentially affected are U.S. dairy producers and processors relying on numerous generic cheese names.

The National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the International Dairy Foods Association jointly thanked the U.S. delegation to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Diplomatic Conference on the Lisbon Agreement for calling attention to the treaty changes. They also praised the U.S. diplomats for leading a coalition of countries in criticizing the lack of an inclusive WIPO process as well as the negative costs the agreement will likely impose on taxpayers, farmers and companies in other countries.

The three organizations urged the U.S. Trade Representative to evaluate the degree to which countries’ actions under the agreement are likely to violate World Trade Organization obligations and called on Congress to examine the deeply troubling side-lining of a majority of WIPO members in the development of an agreement with global ramifications.

WIPO is a United Nations agency charged with developing a balanced international intellectual property system. It concluded two weeks of talks in Geneva today that both expanded the Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin to include geographical indications and expanded the protections granted under the international registry of protected terms. Continue reading

05-21-15 CSU Ext News: Colorado Precipitation Update from the National Integrated Drought Information System…

NEREC - NE Regional Engagement Center logoPrecipitation over the last Week as of 5/19

·         Northwest Colorado received 0.50-1.50″ of precipitation in most places through midday Monday with some drier regions reporting 0.10-0.50″. Accumulations Monday through to Tuesday morning were generally on the order of 0.25-0.50″.

·         The San Luis Valley and Sangre de Christos were the driest area of the state for the week through midday Monday, but boasted accumulations of 0.50-1.50″ Monday evening and night.

·         The high elevations east of the divide and northern Front Range have received 1.00-3.00″ of moisture over the past week.

·         Most of southeast Colorado received accumulations of 0.10-0.50″ for the week through midday Monday, but had a very generous shot of moisture last night and picked up an additional 0.75-2.50″ of moisture.

·         Precipitation totals across northeast Colorado were between 0.50″ and 2.00″ for the past week.  Continue reading

05-21-15 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

Greeley, CO    Thu May 21, 2015    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week, continued very light trade activity and buyer demand.
Above normal rainfall across Colorado has pushed back first cutting a couple
weeks and prevented access to old crop hay, limiting trades for the week.  Snow
pack levels saw significantly larger increases from the prior week.  According
to the NRCS, regional snowpack levels are being reported in Yampa and White
River Basins at 69 percent, Upper Colorado River Basin at 115 percent, Laramie
and North Platte River Basins at 77 percent, South Platte River Basin at 154
percent, Arkansas River Basin at 168 percent, Upper Rio Grande River Basin at 66
percent, Gunnison River Basin at 118 percent, and San Miguel, Dolores, Animas,
San Juan River Basins at 106 percent.  The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that
more widespread precipitation has fallen in recent weeks across the central and
southern Rockies and environs. In fact, the water content of the high-elevation
snowpack climbed above the mid-May average in several river basins in the
Rockies of Colorado and New Mexico. Due to the extensive precipitation, improved
water-supply prospects, and boost in soil moisture, another round of sweeping
improvements in the drought depiction were introduced in Colorado and New
Mexico, extending northward into southern Wyoming and westward into eastern
Utah. Through May 19, month-to-date precipitation has totaled 200 to 300% of
normal in locations such as Grand Junction, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah;
Denver, Colorado; and Evanston, Wyoming.  All prices reported are FOB at 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

05-21-15 World Pork Expo seminars provide the most up-to-date information in Des Moines, IA June 3-5…


World Pork Expo logo 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa, May 20, 2015 — World Pork Expo is the place to get the most up-to-date information related to pork production, business management and new technologies. More than a dozen seminars scheduled for Wednesday, June 3, and Thursday, June 4, are included in the price of admission to the 2015 World Pork Expo. Brought to you by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), this year’s Expo will take place June 3-5 in the Varied Industries Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.

“To me, the most important activity for pork producers at World Pork Expo is the educational seminars,” says Ron Prestage, D.V.M., NPPC president and South Carolina pork producer. “The exchange of ideas and information is invaluable. The seminars cover such a wide range of topics that all types of producers can capitalize on new insights they can take back home.”

Business seminars feature innovative technologies Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 21st…

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

“House Ag Approves Bill to Repeal COOL”

The House Agriculture Committee Wednesday approved a bill to amend the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946 and repeal the Country of Origin Labeling law for beef, pork and chicken – while leaving requirements for other covered commodities intact. Chairman Mike Conaway says this bill does what is necessary to avoid retaliation by Canada and Mexico. Conaway appreciates the bipartisan support of the legislation and says they will continue working to get the bill to the House floor as quickly as possible to ensure the U.S. economy doesn’t suffer implications of retaliation. House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson would prefer Congress take a look at the requirements in place in more than 60 other countries. He points to the European Union labeling laws that require indication of the country of birth, fattening and slaughter. If information is not available – imported beef can be labeled as non-EU. Peterson says there are distinctions between the EU requirement and what the U.S. tried to do with COOL – but he thinks it’s worth looking at to see if a workable North American solution is possible.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis thanks Conaway and his colleagues for the swift introduction and passage of this legislation. Ellis says retaliation by Canada and Mexico could take place as early as this summer – so the time to negotiate and consider alternatives is long past. He says COOL has been around for more than a decade without benefit – so it is time to act to repeal this broken legislation. NCBA asks the full House to take up this legislation as soon as possible.


“House Ag Approves National Forest Foundation Reauthorization Act”

On Wednesday – the House Ag Committee approved the National Forest Foundation Reauthorization Act by voice vote – which provides the Foundation with resources to continue its work to maintain U.S. national forests and grasslands. House Ag Conservation and Forestry Subcommittee Chair Glenn Thompson says the Foundation has a simple mission – to bring people together to restore and enhance U.S. national forests and grasslands. Thompson says the Foundation is an integral component in keeping national forests viable and thriving for years to come.


“USDA Implements Regional Development Priority Policy”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to implement a farm bill provision – the Regional Development Priority policy – that will make it easier for rural communities to access resources to invest in long-term development efforts by giving priority to applications for RD programs including regional partnerships and strategies. Vilsack says regional planning maximizes the effectiveness of rural American investments. When communities join to share resources, ideas and expertise – he says they can develop a cohesive economy strategy and invest in their future. For more information – visit USDA dot gov slash farm bill (www.usda.gov/farmbill).


“McGovern Says SNAP Benefits Aren’t Enough”

The House Ag Subcommittee on Nutrition held a hearing to review the past, present and future of SNAP on Wednesday. Ranking Member Jim McGovern says the hearing’s purpose was to focus on duplication and unmet needs – but he says the SNAP benefit is too low. He says too many people are hungry and there are a lot of unmet needs in the U.S. food and nutrition programs. McGovern says the SNAP benefit is not enough to take care of nutrition needs of those on the benefit – so recipients rely on food banks and charities to have enough food for the month. While Congress has done its best to lower the benefit or make it more difficult for eligible individuals to receive the benefit – McGovern says the result has been making hunger worse. He says Congress ought to be increasing the SNAP benefit and ensuring everyone eligible for food assistance gets it without onerous burdens.


“Long-Term Transportation Funding Important”

Late Tuesday – the House passed a bill to extend the U.S. Highway Trust Fund’s authorization through July 31st of this year. National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling says NCGA is disappointed in Congress’ repeated failure to pass a long-term highway funding bill. There isn’t a county in the U.S. that does not have a road or bridge in need of work – Bowling says – and farmers need all available modes of transportation to safely and efficiently get their products to market and be globally competitive. He says it’s time to move past short-term stopgaps toward a long-term strategy to invest in national infrastructure.


“Countries Unite in Call for Fair, Comprehensive TPP Agreement”

Agri-food producer and processor organizations from Canada, the U.S., Australia and New Zealand – including the American Farm Bureau Federation – are united in calling for a modern trade agreement that includes meaningful and comprehensive market access opportunities for ag and agri-food. This comes as Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiating countries are meeting this week in Guam to continue negotiations. By creating stable and open market access – Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance President Brian Innes says the TPP’s potential to stimulate economic growth is incredible. Innes says a comprehensive agreement would encourage regional supply chains with production and processing occurring where competitive advantages exist. Without a plurilateral agreement – he says the TPP could reduce market access for agri-food exporters. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says the TPP will only fulfill its promise of improved and increased trade in the Pacific region when it eliminates any barriers to trade. Stallman says U.S. ag has high expectations for the TPP and is calling on all countries involved to commit to a better agreement and freer trade worldwide.


“NPPC Urges Passage of Clean TPA Bill”

The National Pork Producers Council joined 24 other food and ag organizations Tuesday asking the Senate to reject an amendment to trade promotion authority that would require enforceable currency provisions in trade agreements. NPPC President Dr. Ron Prestage says the U.S. pork industry is dependent on exports – which are facilitated through free trade agreements – and he says those agreements are made possible by TPA. The Senate needs to pass TPA now – but Prestage says adding controversial provisions will make it harder to do that.


“Maintain Food Safety This Summer”

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend – marking the unofficial start to summer. As many Americans celebrate with cookouts, camping, road trips and more – USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service wants to remind families to be extra careful to ensure foodborne bacteria doesn’t spoil the fun. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack encourages families to get outside and enjoy America’s natural resources, national parks and forests, and the variety of food America’s farmers are able to provide this weekend and all summer long. Vilsack says it’s important to remember that bacteria grow faster in the same warm temperatures people enjoy – so extra care is necessary to prevent food poisoning when preparing meals away from home. USDA launched its FoodKeeper mobile app last month to answer food handling questions and provide safe cooking recommendations for meat, poultry and seafood products. You can download the app at the Apple App Store or on Google Play. For more information on food safety – visit FSIS dot USDA dot gov (www.fsis.usda.gov).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service