07-14-15 USDA: Secretary Vilsack Proclaims August 2-8 National Farmers Market Week…

USDA Press ReleaseWASHINGTON, July 14, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared Aug. 2 through 8, 2015, as “National Farmers Market Week.” The declaration was made official by proclamation signed by Secretary Vilsack. This year marks the 16th annual National Farmers Market Week in honor of the important role that farmers markets play in local economies. Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate thousands of our nation’s farmers markets, the farmers and ranchers who make them possible and the communities that host them.

“National Farmers Market Week is a great opportunity for farmers markets across the country to host special events to showcase all the tremendous services they provide,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support farmers and help grow rural economies. They bring communities together, connecting cities with the farms and providing Americans with fresh, healthy food.” Continue reading


Future Dates

Congressional Support for H-2A Sheepherder Program
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NASS-CO Mtn Regional Press Release 072115

LAKEWOOD, CO – During the first two weeks of September, growers of small grains around the country will receive survey forms from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The agency is taking a comprehensive look into the 2015 production and supply of small grains, which include wheat, oats, barley, and rye.

“The small grains industry is a big player in agriculture across our region and it is crucial for us to have accurate data about this key sector of the economy,” said NASS Mountain Region Director Bill Meyer. “We will contact more than 6,000 producers in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming to accurately measure 2015 acreage, yield, and production for small grains. The data collected from this survey will also help set small grain acreage and production estimates at the county level.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 31st…

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

Research into E. coli Promising

New research could reduce the probability of E.coli in lettuce. Scientists with the US Department of Agriculture have found the bacterium that causes foodborne illness in humans, is more likely to contaminate lettuce when downy mildew is already present. Downy mildew is a lettuce disease caused by a fungus-like water mold, and is one of the biggest problems lettuce growers face. Microbiologist Maria Brandl has been investigating why so many E. coli outbreaks can be traced back to lettuce fields when E. coli sources are as diverse as undercooked beef, sprouts, raw dairy, shelled walnuts, fruits and vegetables.  Lettuce leaves are actually a harsh place for microbes to survive, but the epidemiological evidence is indisputable about how often lettuce is the source of E. coli contamination. Brandl’s research has uncovered that lettuce that is bred to be resistant to downy mildew is also less likely to host the E. coli bacterium. Brandl and her team are now trying to pinpoint the exact factors that cause the reduction of E. coli in the resistant lettuce, with hopes the genetic trait could be bred into lettuce varieties and thus lead to fewer cases of the food-borne illness. The study is published in the journal Ag Research.


Subcommittee Evaluates Response to Avian Influenza Continue reading

07-30-15 Bennet-Burr Bill to Lower Tax on Cleaner Alternative Fuels Heads to President’s Desk…

US Senate Seal

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate passed a provision to modify the federal excise tax on Liquefied Natural Gas and Propane as part of the three month highway funding extension. The provision, introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), will make modifications to the Excise Tax for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), allowing natural gas to compete fairly with diesel by taxing the fuel on an energy output basis rather than per gallon. Under the current system, Americans are unfairly paying about 70% more in taxes to fill up their cars and trucks with comparatively cleaner Natural Gas than diesel.

“Natural gas is a growing part of Colorado’s diverse energy industry, and this bill recognizes the ongoing shift to alternative transportation technologies and fuels,” Bennet said. “Providing parity to LNG creates an opportunity to help grow this market and encourages the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel.” Continue reading

07-30-15 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

Greeley, CO    Thu Jul 30, 2015    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week, trade activity continues to remain slow with
demand light.  Rain damage during the drying process has supplied large
amounts of Good quality alfalfa to the market.  This, along with feedlot
and dairies carrying ample inventory has affected the demand for hay in
the state.  Wheat straw continued to trade steady on moderate demand.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the D0 Drought Category changed
slightly from 2.04 percent to 2.05 percent, again encompassing small
portions of Moffat, Rio Blanco, Montezuma and La Plata counties.
According to NASS?s Colorado Crop Progress report for the week ending
July 19, 2015, 2nd cutting alfalfa progress is at 52 percent.  Pasture
and range conditions in Colorado remained unchanged at 1 percent Very
Poor, 12 percent Poor, 23 percent Fair, 50 percent Good and 14 percent
Excellent.  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
Department of Agriculture website: www.coloradoagriculture.com.

Northeast Colorado Areas Continue reading

07-30-15 US Senator Bennet: Highway Extension Another Missed Opportunity…

US Senator Michael Bennet color official photo-022513Bennet: Highway Extension Another Missed Opportunity

Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement on passage of a three-month extension of highway and transit funding:

“Kicking the can down the road for three months does nothing to give our states the certainty they need to plan for the future. In Colorado and across the country, crucial infrastructure projects are being delayed because officials have no way of knowing whether the funding will be there to complete them. In the coming months, I hope we can continue working on a long-term plan that provides the necessary certainty to communities across our state. Congress needs to stop operating from one manufactured crisis to another so we can build the infrastructure we need to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”


07-30-15 NCGA Award Program Recognizes Good Stewards…

NCGA OnLine logo

Award Program Recognizes Good Stewards

The National Corn Growers Association announces its third year of the recognizing good stewardship to expand awareness of best practices in sustainable corn production. The focus of the Good Steward Recognition program is to demonstrate the economic and conservation value of soil management.

“Practical solutions are what drive the adoption of best practices on the farm,” said Don Glenn, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “Discovering new methods for improving soil health, preserving water quality and improving the profitability of farming makes everyone take notice. This is why we recognize individuals who excel at demonstrating leadership in sustainable corn production.” Continue reading

07-30-15 NCGA to Congress: Farmers Need Safe, Reliable Roads & Bridges…

NCGA OnLine logoThe National Corn Growers Association today expressed disappointment that Congress failed to pass a long-term highway funding bill before its August recess. Congress voted to extend the United States Highway Trust Fund’s authorization through Oct. 29, the second such short-term extension this year.
“Once again, Congress kicked the can down the road – and that road is in bad shape,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland. “Farmers rely on our nation’s infrastructure system every day. We need safe, reliable roads and bridges to get our products to market quickly, safely and efficiently. Instead, our roads and bridges are at best, in disrepair, and at worst, unsafe or unusable – and that hurts every farmer in America.”

Continue reading

07-30-15 USMEF Op-Ed: Access to China Key Factor in Maintaining Meat Export Growth…

CLICK HERE to listen to the full report...

Philip Seng, USMEF President and CEO

Philip Seng, USMEF President and CEO

by Philip Seng, president and CEO  U.S. Meat Export Federation

The U.S. red meat industry has achieved outstanding export growth in recent years, enhancing profitability for all members of the supply chain. In 2014, both beef exports ($7.13 billion) and pork exports ($6.67 billion) shattered previous records for export value. Beef exports have steadily increased in value in each of the 11 years since global markets began to reopen after the first U.S. case of BSE. For pork, export value has increased in 15 of the past 20 years.

In 2015, several headwinds have made it difficult for the U.S. industry to maintain this positive trajectory. Severe congestion in the West Coast ports – the result of a prolonged labor impasse – impacted our first-quarter results. Unusually large supplies of European pork and Australian beef have poured into key Asian markets, buoyed by favorable exchange rates that make them very attractive to price-sensitive buyers. Key competitors have also achieved gains due to free trade agreements that reduced import duties on their beef and pork products. Continue reading

07-30-15 USDA Announces Available Funding for Farm Bill Broadband Loan Program…

USDA seal logoWASHINGTON, July 30, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of loans to build broadband in rural areas, along with changes to the program required by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“USDA is committed to providing broadband to rural areas,” Vilsack said. “Broadband is as vital as electricity was 80 years ago. Since 2009, USDA investments have delivered broadband service to 1.5 million households, businesses, schools, libraries and community facilities. But our work is not done. With program improvements and available funding made possible by the Farm Bill, we can continue our work to make broadband more accessible to those who live and work in rural areas.” Continue reading

07-30-15 Farm, Consumer and Competition Groups Oppose JBS-Cargill Pork Merger…

NFU - National Farmers Union logo5Deal Would Concentrate Buyer and Seller Power in Pork Industry

Washington, D.C. — Today, American Antitrust Institute, Food & Water Watch, Iowa Farmers Union, Missouri Rural Crisis Center and National Farmers Union demanded that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate the proposed JBS-Cargill pork packing acquisition. The proposed $1.45 billion acquisition would create the second largest pork processing company in the U.S. The groups are concerned that increased concentration in the pork packing industry would harm hog farmers and consumers.

“The wave of mega-mergers sweeping the food and agribusiness industries encourages a cascade of consolidation throughout the supply chain,” said Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch executive director. “The rampant consolidation is raising consumer prices, reducing consumer choices and undermining the economic livelihood of farmers.” Continue reading

07-30-15 Colorado Producers Reminded of Nearing Deadline to Submit Nominations for Farm Service Agency County Committees…


(Denver, Colorado,) July 30, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Leland Swenson, today reminded farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until Aug. 3, 2015, to nominate eligible candidates to serve on local FSA county committees.

“Producers only have a few more days until that Aug. 3 deadline,” said Swenson. “If you’ve been considering nominating a candidate or nominating yourself to serve on your local county committee, I encourage you to visit your county office as soon as possible to submit your nomination form. I especially encourage the nomination of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as women and minorities. This is your opportunity to have a say in how federal programs are delivered in your county.” Continue reading

07-30-15 CSU receives $12M award to establish urban water sustainability research network…

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FORT COLLINS — A consortium of 14 academic institutions and key partners across the country is addressing the challenges that threaten urban water systems in the United States and around the world.  With support from a $12 million cooperative agreement from the National Science Foundation, Colorado State University leads the effort to establish the Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN). Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 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

Symptoms of Sudden Death Syndrome Begin to Appear in Soybeans

The University of Illinois is reporting symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybeans at a university research center. Last week, symptoms of SDS began to appear in April 15-planted soybeans at the University of Illinois’s Northwestern Research Center in Warren County. U of I Extension educator Angie Peltier says weather during the 2015 growing season was favorable for the development of SDS. Symptoms began appearing approximately 3 weeks earlier than in 2014. Research has also shown that SDS may be more severe in fields that also have high populations of soybean cyst nematodes.


USGC Presents Ethanol Export Promotion Strategy To Delegates During Annual Meeting

U.S. Grains Council members learned about an ethanol export promotion strategy developed in consultation with industry partners and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USGC members are at the organization’s 55thannual Board of Delegates meeting in Montreal, Canada. The Council has been working in partnership with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy to develop country-by-country marketing plans for U.S. ethanol in a handful of near-term markets. Delegates heard from a panel that included Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis, RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen and Green Plains Renewable Energy Executive Vice President for Ethanol Marketing Steve Bleyl. The panel was moderated by USGC’s Chief Economist Mike Dwyer, a leading global biofuels analyst. Among other activities, two trade teams in the United States and three missions traveling overseas are scheduled to focus on ethanol in the remainder of 2015.


US Grains Council Elects New Chairman Continue reading

07-29-15 USDA Announces $18.1 Million to Help Rural Businesses Create Jobs…

USDA seal logo

USDA-RD Rural Loan 072915WASHINGTON, July 29, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced loans and grants for 92 projects worth $18.1 million to help support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses. These funds are part of more than 20,000 grants and loans to more than 85,000 rural businesses USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service has awarded since the start of the Obama administration.

“I am proud of the work USDA has done to help small businesses grow in rural America because they are the engine that creates jobs,” Vilsack said. “These funds will allow small and emerging businesses and the organizations that support them to get the financing they need to strengthen their operations, create jobs and expand economic opportunities. Thanks to the 2014 Farm Bill, we can continue this work in a more streamlined and efficient way to benefit small businesses and the American taxpayer.”

USDA is awarding the funds through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program, theIntermediary Relending Program (IRP) and the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program.

USDA provides grants or zero-interest loans through the REDLG program to utilities that in turn fund projects to create and retain employment in rural areas. Vilsack announced $11.7 million in REDLG loans and grants for 18 recipients.

One of the organizations receiving funds under the REDLG program is the South Mississippi Electric Power Association, which has been selected for a $2 million loan. It will lend part of that to the city of Greenwood, which will buy and renovate a building for the Milwaukee Tools company. This project is expected to create more than 100 jobs in Lenore County. Lenore is one of many counties across the nation USDA has targeted for special assistance through theStrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity. USDA launched StrikeForce in 2010 to increase investments in rural communities through intensive outreach and stronger partnerships with community leaders, businesses, foundations and other groups that are working to combat poverty.

In the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP), Vilsack announced $2.5 million for three IRP recipients. Colorado’s First Southwest Bank is receiving a $1 million loan for business and community development in 11 counties in the southwest part of the state. The IRP program provides 1 percent loans to non-profit groups, cooperatives, federally recognized tribes and public agencies.

USDA is awarding 71 Rural Business Development Grants totaling $4 million. Congress established the RBDG program in the 2014 Farm Bill by combining the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program and the Rural Business Opportunity Grant program. One of the RBDG recipients, the Tennessee College of Applied Technology-Morristown, will receive a $110,020 grant to buy state-of-the-art equipment to train students in advanced manufacturing. The Northern Community Investment Corporation in Vermont is receiving two grants totaling $454,892 to establish a revolving fund and to provide technical assistance and professional consulting to help small businesses.

Past examples of how these awards have helped grow the economy in rural America include: Continue reading

07-29-15 Farm Foundation News: Amarillo workshop will examine stewardship of antimicrobial drug use in livestock…

Farm Foundation logo

OAK BROOK, IL July 29, 2015: Stewardship of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food animals is the subject of workshop targeted to livestock producers, their feed suppliers and veterinarians in the Southeast United States. The workshop will be Sept. 11, 2015 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Extension Auditorium, 6500 Amarillo Blvd. West, Amarillo, TX.

This free workshop is an opportunity for participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of two Guidance for Industry (GFIs) issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, as well as FDA’s revised Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). The workshop is also an opportunity for other stakeholders, such as state and federal agencies, colleges of veterinary medicine and university extension personnel, to gain insights into the changes needed to meet the requirements.

Led by Farm Foundation, NFP, this workshop is targeted to pork, cattle, poultry and sheep producers, veterinarians and feed suppliers in Texas, Eastern New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Southeastern Colorado. Advance registration is requested and can be completed online.  This is one of 12 regional workshops Farm Foundation will host across the nation in the next three months. A complete list of workshop locations is available on the Farm Foundation website.

The Sept. 11 workshop will include presentations by producer leaders, the local veterinary community, and representatives from the regional feed industry. Officials from FDA and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will also participate. A major part of the agenda is designated for producers, veterinarians and feed suppliers to identify and discuss the management challenges ahead. Continue reading

07-29-15 NCGA Announces “Leadership At Its Best” Participants, including CO’s Aaron Frank…

NCGA News Release logo

The National Corn Growers Association announced the participants who will constitute the 30th class of NCGA’s Leadership at Its Best Program, which is co-sponsored by Syngenta.  This year’s class includes 14 aspiring leaders from 9 states.

“We are excited to see such great interest in the program and strongly believe the quality of the applicants bodes well for the future of our industry,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling.  “For decades now, Leadership at Its Best has helped train strong, confident volunteers who have shaped the industry through their subsequent work at the state and national level. As a graduate of Leadership At Its Best, I personally understand the importance role this program plays in helping develop the skills and build the relationships necessary to effectively lead such a dynamic grassroots organization.”

This year’s Leadership at Its Best Class includes: Aron Carlson (Ill.); Aaron Frank (Colo.); Jeremiah Freidel (S.D.); John Greer (Neb.); Lynn Greer (Neb.); Kirby Hettver (Minn.); Kurt Hora (Iowa); Shane Kinne (Mo.); Larry Klever (Iowa); Fred Miller (Ohio); Guy Mills Jr. (Neb.); Doug Rebout (Wis.); Dirk Rice (Ill.); and Keith Truckor (Ohio). Continue reading

07-29-15 NCBA News: Application Open for Beef Industry Internship in Washington D.C….

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2015) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for the spring 2016 public policy internship. The deadline to submit an application is Oct. 1, 2015.

NCBA Executive Director of Legislative Affairs ,Kristina Butts, said this is a great opportunity for students with an interest in the beef industry and public policy. Continue reading

07-29-15 Potato Industry Leadership Institute to be Held Feb. 17-25, 2016…

NPC_3-National Potato Leadership Council logoApplication and scholarship deadline is Oct. 15, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Potato Council (NPC) and the United States Potato Board (USPB) are accepting applications for the Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) class of 2016. The annual eight-day program, held Feb. 17-25, 2016, is designed to identify, develop, and cultivate new leaders within the U.S. potato industry.

During the program, 20 potato growers and industry representatives from across the country focus on leadership development, public policy, marketing, team building and public communication. The 2016 class will begin in Grand Forks, North Dakota, where participants will receive an overview of the U.S. potato industry and tour local production areas, storages, fresh pack facilities, and processing plants. The group will then travel to Washington, D.C., where the focus will move to national legislative and regulatory policy priorities for the U.S. potato industry.

Participants are selected through state organization nominations and a committee facilitated by NPC and the USPB, who jointly coordinate the program. The Institute is made possible each year through a major sponsorship from Syngenta, which has a long history of commitment to leadership development in agriculture. Continue reading