READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for New Year’s Eve – Thursday, December 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

“Agri-Pulse Poll: Trump, National Security Garner Most Interest Among Farmers”

A recent survey by Agri-Pulse shows a majority of Iowa farmers say their preference for president is self-acclaimed Washington outsider Donald Trump. In an online survey conducted earlier this month, of the 157 farmers who responded, 18 percent said they support GOP from runner Donald Trump while 17 percent supported Ted Cruz. Slightly more than 10 percent said they supported Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton. Poll participants were also asked to rank the importance of 15 national and international issues impacting the race for president. Sixty-six percent of respondents rated national security as a top priority while 57 percent said the same about terrorism. Fifty percent selected “renewable fuels” as a top priority, followed by “regulatory issues” at 48 percent, crop insurance/farm bill/farm policy at 44 percent and immigration at 33 percent. Climate change received the least attention with just 11 percent of respondents citing it as a high priority for them in the presidential campaign.

The Agri-Pulse Farm Opinion Poll, conducted in partnership with the Iowa Soybean Association also provided insights about how farmers plan to manage low commodity prices and their use of conservation practices to improve environmental performance. Nearly 37 percent of respondents said they’re planting cover crops to improve soil health and nutrient management. Nearly three of four farmers surveyed have taken action to reduce 2016 input costs. Further, when asked how much of the 2015 crop they’ve sold at a price of $9 per bushel or more, 32 percent of the farmers surveyed replied “less than 25 percent” while 17 percent said they’ve sold between 25-50 percent of the crop.

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“Cruz Win in Iowa Could Mean an End to the RFS”

It’s a long road to the White House, but the Washington Post reports that if Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz were to win the Iowa caucuses, it could mean the end to the Renewable Fuel Standard. Every Republican who has won the Iowa caucuses since 1980 has strongly backed ethanol. Some experts claim Cruz is current front runner heading into the February 1st caucuses while others believe Donald Trump leads the field. Cruz has been critical of federal support for ethanol, including the RFS, which he sees as market-distorting corporate welfare. The majority of Iowans disagree with Cruz on this issue. The latest Des Moines Register-Bloomberg poll found that 61 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers support the RFS. A spokesperson for America’s Renewable Future said warned that, if he wins, “It would kill investment in second generation biofuels” by creating “uncertainty” about future levels of government support. Cruz, a Texas Senator, received praise by the American Petroleum Institute in 2013 for co-sponsoring legislation that would have repealed the RFS.

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“Argentina Crops Setting Records Under New Rules”

Argentina is poised to double its corn and wheat crops following the revision of grain export policies. An Argentine agriculture official says the policy changes are expected to spur double the wheat planted area and corn planted area should follow in the next year, telling Bloomberg that “for sure we will have record crops of both cereals from now on.” Export restrictions were implemented in the past decade in a bid to boost government revenue and ensure domestic supplies. Local prices for corn and wheat slumped and farmers reduced wheat plantings, switching to crops that didn’t require export permits and weren’t taxed such as barley. However, with the election of a new president who is export friendly, the tides have turned, following the lifting of currency controls and easing of export taxes. In the last 10 days, Argentina shipped three times the amount of grains and oilseed abroad that it sold in the entire month of November. It shipped $1.2 billion worth in the last 10 days compared with November exports of $451 million.

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“Cattle Loses in New Mexico Estimated in the Thousands”

The winter storm that rolled through the southwest may claim 20,000 some head of cattle before the count is final. New Mexico State University Extension’s Robert Hagevoort estimates a five percent loss of the state’s cattle. He told AgWeb this week “consider our average herd size is 2,300 cows, and we’ve got 150 dairies in our area,” he explains. “At 5% loss, that’s more than 20,000 cows.” He estimates about 5 percent death loss on milking cows and double that on young-stock. However, total losses will not be known until farmers can dig out cattle, some of which have been buried for days by snow drifts. New Mexico did declare a state of emergency, but the Farm Service Agency is the only agency that will be able to help farmers financially.

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“Cargill to Follow Deere and Monsanto, Exiting Crop Insurance Business”

Cargill has agreed to sell its crop insurance unit, following the steps of Deere & Co. along with Monsanto, who sold their respective crop insurance units earlier this year. The sale marks the latest move by the company that’s reshaping its business amid low crop prices, according to a report by Bloomberg. The sale caps a difficult year for Cargill and other agriculture industry companies. Cargill reported its first quarterly net loss in 14 years in August amid sliding commodity prices and weakness in emerging markets. In September, Cargill announced the breakup and spinoff of investment arm Black River Asset Management. Brazil’s JBS SA bought the company’s U.S. pork business in November.

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“Iowa Joins States in Lifting Poultry Exhibition Restrictions”

This week, Iowa joined other states in lifting restrictions on poultry exhibitions that were imposed in the wake of the avian influenza outbreak, even as USDA warns a threat for the illness remains. The order imposed in May will be lifted January first, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture. With that, Iowa will join Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio in removing poultry exhibition restrictions in recent months, according to Meatingplace. Meanwhile, Secretary Vilsack told USA Today that another outbreak of avian influenza could occur with the spring migration even as biosecurity measures continue across the country. He warned that “it can happen at any time.” USDA spent an estimated $1 billion responding to the 2015 outbreak, while Iowa alone lost about $1.2 billion as a result of lost chicken, turkey and egg production.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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12-30-15 NASS-CO News: USDA NASS CO Grain Prices for November 2015

USDA NASS Regional Release

November Farm Prices Received Index Up 3.4 Percent

The November Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 92, increased 3.4 percent from October. At 82, the Crop Production Index is up 2.5 percent. At 105, the Livestock Production Index increased 1.0 percent. Producers received higher prices for market eggs, lettuce, milk, and strawberries but lower prices for hogs, soybeans, calves, and corn. In addition to prices, the indexes are influenced by the monthly mix of commodities producers market. Increased monthly movement of corn, cattle, milk, and cotton offset the decreased marketing of soybeans, grapes, potatoes, and wheat.

The Prices Received Index is down 9.8 percent from the previous year. The Food Commodities Index, at 101, increased 6.3 percent from the previous month but is down 16 percent from November 2014.

November Prices Paid Index Down 0.9 Percent
Continue reading

12-31-15 Celebrate 27 Years of Cowboy Heritage, Traditions, and Entertainment January 21-24…

2016 Cowboy Poetry Gathering 2

GOLDEN, CO – Proudly celebrating 27 years of cowboy heritage at this year’s Colorado Cowboy Poetry Gathering Thursday, January 21 through Sunday, January 24, 2016.

This four-day roundup includes three evening performances, two full days of popular theme session matinees, authentic chuckwagon cookin’, and Sunday Songs with Old time Cowboy and Gospel music. A weekend that captures the true spirit and lifestyle of the Cowboy heritage through poetry, song and verse. This year’s Gathering also includes two unique classes where attendees can learn to weave their very own horse tack cinch or learn to play the cowboy harmonica instantly.

The tradition continues this year in, Where The West LivesGolden Colorado at the American Mountaineering Center and the Miner’s Alley Playhouse. Both venues have plenty of free parking with easy access.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW

More Informationwww.ColoradoCowboyGathering.com
Tickets Online or by Phone888-718-4253 (888-71-TICKETS) Continue reading

12-31-15 NCGA Accepting Applications for Reaching for Excellence Award…

NCGA News Release logoOver the decades, state associations representing corn farmers have developed innovative solutions to address a variety of challenges.  To recognize these achievements, the National Corn Growers Association has created the Reaching for Excellence Award. This award will be given to spotlight new approaches and encourage implementation of such advances in other states facing similar challenges.

Continue reading

12-31-15 CSU Ext: Start 2016 with “A HEALTHIER WEIGH”

CSU Extension Golden Plains Area logoStart 2016 with “A HEALTHIER WEIGH”

The 2016 “A Healthier Weigh” challenge is set to begin in seven northeast Colorado counties the second full week of January. There will be a staggered start as each county has setup their own registration and weigh-in date. However, the educational content of the program will be consistent for all counties. The AHW challenge encourages increasing activity, making wise food choices, and living a healthier lifestyle in 2016. Continue reading

12-30-15 CSU auction offers top American Quarter Horse sires, supports horse health January 4-16…

CSU News Release Header logo

A mare checks out her foal short after giving birth at the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory, March 7, 2015. A mare checks out her foal short after giving birth at the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory, March 7, 2015.

A mare checks out her foal short after giving birth at the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory, March 7, 2015.

CSU auction offers top American Quarter Horse sires, supports horse health

Start your breeding plans.

Some of the country’s top American Quarter Horse sires are included in Colorado State University’s 17th annual Online Stallion Auction to benefit equine research. The auction runs Jan. 4-16 and is sponsored by CSU’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory and Orthopaedic Research Center.

Breedings with about 40 registered American Quarter Horse stallions are included in the service auction. Among them are top national winners in barrel racing, cow horse, cutting, ranch horse and reining competitions. Continue reading

12-30-15 Website takes ‘FReSH’ look at agricultural safety and health…

extension_logo_i-three_taglineA plethora of agricultural safety and health information is available by typing a few key words into a search engine, but trying to synthesize and validate the masses of content can be difficult. The Farm & Ranch eXtension in Safety and Health (FReSH) Community of Practice (CoP),www.extension.org/agsafety, gathers and disseminates practical, research-driven information. Continue reading

12-30-15 CDA: Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Update – Positive Diagnosis in 4 Colorado Counties…

CDA State Veterinarian Dr Keith RoehrTips for Livestock Owners and Veterinarians
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – As of 12/30/2015, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has 9 locations in 4 counties under quarantine after horses, mules, and cattle herds tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS).
“Now that all areas of the state have had freezing temperatures, the insect populations are dormant. The remaining quarantines are in western slope beef herds that likely became infected prior to the weather changing. We are releasing quarantines based on the time from when the last new case of VS was recognized on a facility. At this time it is anticipated we will be releasing the remaining quarantines in early January,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, December 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

“Weather Scientist Says Recent Violent Weather Not Caused by El Nino”

The violent holiday weather including large snow storms, historic flooding and the first EF-4 Tornado to hit Dallas, Texas in more than 50 years was not caused by El Nino. That’s according to weather scientist Nicholas Bond at the University of Washington. He called the weather event that’s forced farmers to haul grain to higher ground, relocate cattle and some in instances in Texas find missing herds who’ve wandered off, merely a “fluke event.” He says El Nino is likely to bring drying and warmer temperatures to the Midwest, a welcomed reprieve, given the latest round of winter storms. But even with the dryer forecast, Missouri state climatologist Pat Guinan (Guh-NAN) says “We are not going to dry out anytime soon, regardless of what happens over the next few weeks,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  El Nino is expected to bring needed moisture to areas such as California. Southern states are expected to receive above normal precipitation as well. This El Nino already has wreaked environmental and economic havoc in the Southern Hemisphere, disrupting the Australian cattle industry by parching pastures; hurting rice crops in Vietnam; hitting South Africa and parts of South America with drought and sparking wildfires from Australia to Indonesia.

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“Vietnam Milk Producers Changing Strategy Ahead of TPP Agreement”

Facing a glut of dairy once the Trans-Pacific Partnership is finalized, Vietnam’s fast-growing dairy companies are investing big in new markets ahead of more competition. Reuters reports domestic milk demand is soaring as household spending power increases in the country of 90 million people, boosting profits for dairy firms that are expanding quickly, but can meet only a third of the milk needs. That’s leaving a void that giants who could fill with new products and lower prices once the TPP is finalized. The trade deal will eliminate tariffs among 12 markets worth 40 percent of the global economy, and nearly three-fourths of Vietnam’s dairy imports. Vietnamese dairy firms, bracing for stiffer competition, are seeking to expand overseas and utilize non-TPP trade deals, or find niche markets at home. That includes investment into distribution channels in Russia, which has a dairy shortage and is squeezed by European Union sanctions over its military intervention in Ukraine.

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“Kobe Beef Added to Japan’s Protected List”

Japan has added Kobe beef to a list of government protected regional brands. The move comes as producers wait for what may be a flood of competing products stemming from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Meatingplace reports Tokyo’s “geographical indication” system allows for special markings on packages of designated food items to help get consumers’ attention and boost sales. The government is promoting its agricultural products to help improve competitiveness before the TPP deal is in place, allowing for more competing products from 11 other countries, including the United States, to enter the market. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said recently at the National Chicken Council annual meeting that the deal gives the U.S. “a stake in the ground” in Asia, which in 15 years will be home to two-thirds of the global middle class.

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“Plants Adapting to Climate Change”

Researchers at a Swedish University say increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have shifted photosynthetic metabolism in plants over the 20th century. The study is the first worldwide that reduces biochemical regulation of plant metabolism from historical specimens. In most plants, the uptake of CO2 through photosynthesis is reduced by a side reaction called photorespiration. The research group has now found that the CO2 increase in the atmosphere over the 20th century has shifted the balance between photosynthesis and photorespiration toward photosynthesis. This shift has so far contributed to the global vegetation’s ability to dampen climate change by absorbing a third of human-caused CO2 emissions. The change was noted in both wild plants and crops.

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“Sinking Ground Costing California Billions”

One of the results of prolonged drought, along with the pumping of groundwater, is a sinking land, according to a recent report by the Washington Post. The sinking, in some places a foot a year, is not expected to stop anytime soon. Repairs to infrastructure throughout the Central Valley are costing the state billions of dollars. A sparse mountain snowpack in California’s driest four-year span on record has forced farmers in the Central Valley, the nation’s most productive agricultural region, to rely on groundwater to irrigate their crops. The prolonged drought also spawned a well-drilling boom in the region. But experts claim decades of overpumping has led to sagging lands. Farmers are not the only ones taking note of sinking land. The changes have damaged utility infrastructure such as gas lines as well. With a wet El Nino winter forecast, geologists also worry that sinking may cause water to pool, prompting flooding rather than flow toward the sea.

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“Finalist Prepare for Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge Competition”

The four finalists in the American Farm Bureau’s Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge are preparing for the final round of competition. Set for next month during the American Farm Bureau Annual Convention, the finalist will compete for a total prize purse of $40,000. The finalist already received $15,000 when announced in October. The finalist were selected from 165 applicants and include AccuGrain from Rose Hill Iowa, AgriSync from Dallas Center, Iowa, Farm Specific Technology from Bolivar, Tennessee and Fedora Malthouse from Village of Shepherd, Michigan. The final round of competition starts at 10:45 Eastern time on January 10th, at the annual Farm Bureau convention. A live stream can be found online at newsroom dot fb dot org. (www.newsroom.fb.org).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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12-29-15 NGWA News: Managed aquifer recharge growing as important infrastructure tool to cope with water shortages…

 

NGWA-National Groundwater Association logoManaged aquifer recharge growing as important infrastructure tool to cope with water shortages

(WESTERVILLE, OH — Dec 29, 2015) As many states expect continued drought in 2016 and beyond, the management of aquifers — underground geologic formations that retain groundwater — will be increasingly important, says the National Ground Water Association.

One potential tool to help provide for water when it is needed is called managed aquifer recharge (MAR). MAR captures available water during wet periods, during periods of low demand, or water that would be lost otherwise — then moves this water under controlled conditions into underground geologic formations called aquifers. Continue reading

12-29-15 NCGA: U.S. Corn Crop Quality Confirmed in USGC Report…

NCGA News Release logo
The overall quality of the United States’ 2015 corn crop was good, with 94 percent of corn samples samples rated at quality grade No. 2 or better in the U.S. Grains Council’s newly-released  2015/2016 Corn Harvest Quality Report. USGC, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, works collaboratively with NCGA to build demand for U.S. corn.
“This is the fifth year of releasing our corn quality reports,” said USGC Chairman Alan Tiemann. “Our objective in compiling and publishing this unique information is to arm our customers with the data they need to make good purchasing decisions – and take advantage of the excellent U.S. crops now available to them.”

According to the corn quality report, the 2015 U.S. crop is entering marketing channels with the following key characteristics:

Continue reading

12-29-15 NBA: Bison Business Ends 2015 with Record Strength and Stability…

National Bison Association News Header

Growing Popularity of Meat is Fueling Herd Growth

Westminster, CO (December 29, 2015) – The growing popularity of bison meat in retail cases and on restaurant menus has propelled the American bison business to its strongest position in modern history, according to the National Bison Association.
“Consumer demand, combined with favorable growing conditions across the heart of bison country in 2015, sets the stage for ranchers to continue to bring bison back to the rangelands and pastures across North America,” said Dave Carter, executive director of the National Bison Association.

Continue reading

12-29-15 CO AgrAbility’s Winter Workshop Schedule for 2016…

Colorado AgrAbility logo

Join fellow Colorado farmers, ranchers, veterans, their families, and their providers at these upcoming workshops across the state. These educational events are for individuals who are dealing with barriers created by illnesses, conditions, or limitations.

Topics

AgrAbility • Estate Planning • Linking Elder Couples with Returning Veterans • Beginning Farmers/ Ranchers

Agenda

Introduction • What is AgrAbility? Estate Planning • Why is it important? Understanding Military Culture • How to work with veterans

Workshops are from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the days and at the locations below and are provided with a free box lunch for those who pre-register at least one week prior to the workshop.

  • Burlington: January 26, 2016, County Extension Office, 817 15th St., Burlington, CO 80807 w/Ron Meyer (719.346.5571)
  • Rocky Ford: January 27, 2016, Extension Office in Rocky Ford, 411 N. 10th, Rocky Ford, CO 81067, w/ Bruce L. Fickenscher (719.267.5243)
  • Aurora: February 9, 2016, Arapahoe County Fairgrounds & Event Center, Room 1, 25690 E. Quincy Ave., Aurora, CO 80016 w/ Johnathan Vrabac (303.730.1920)
  • Greeley: February 11, 2016, SW Weld County Service Center, large conference room, 4209 County Rd. 24-1/2, w/ Keith Maxey (970.304.6535 x2075)
  • Sterling: February 12, 2016, County Extension Office, 508 S. 10th Ave., Sterling, CO 80751 w/ Dennis Kaan (Voice: 970.345.2287, Mobile: 970.520.1826)

The Presenters Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, December 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

“China Stockpiles to Challenge 2016 Imports”

Large stockpiles of commodities could challenge agriculture imports for China in 2016. A new report by CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division says China has multiyear high supplies of commodities such as corn, wheat, cotton, milk powder and soybeans. The report finds that despite slowing economic growth, China’s urban disposable incomes – which drive the country’s food and agricultural consumption – are increasing 10 percent year-over-year. The report blames China’s subsidization of its agricultural sector, which has yielded mounting stockpiles of commodities and strained storage capacity, as the real culprit leading to decreased imports in most categories. CoBank’s Dan Kowaklsi said “this issue has been brewing for years and is a result of China’s drive to achieve food self-sufficiency.” That’s because China has subsidized its agricultural sector to the extent that supplies have considerably outpaced increasing consumer spending and consumption. The report cites USDA figures, which anticipate that China will import 46 percent less corn, 34 percent less cotton and 35 percent less milk powder during the current marketing year. Wheat, soybeans and other food grains are expected to rise, but by smaller margins than in prior years.

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“U.S. Faces an Aging Farm Population”

An aging American farm population, the need to successfully transition land ownership from senior farmers to new industry entrants, and providing support and training for these beginning farmers, are top concerns for the future of the agriculture. That’s according to agricultural economist Ani Katchova with Ohio State University. She says “farm transitions have been identified as one of the major upcoming structural changes in agriculture that concerns policy makers.” Katchova made those comments at a public meeting earlier this month. Her research found that among U.S. farmers, 6 percent are 35 years old or younger, while 33 percent are greater than 65 years old. As for beginning farmers, many of them are middle-aged, according to the research.  Further, there were just more than 650,000 beginning farmers in 2007, and only 522,000 some in 2012, representing a 20 percent drop over the five-year period. She suggested more support and training, as well as help in acquiring access to farmland as a possible solution.

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“Israel Installing Cameras in Slaughterhouses”

Israel’s Agriculture Ministry has ordered the installations of cameras at slaughterhouses in what officials call an effort to cut down on animal abuse cases. Isreal’s Agriculture Minister said in a statement that  “our inspection of slaughterhouses is rising to the next level.” That level including about 400 cameras and 50 digital recording systems at about 50 slaughterhouses that will be filming workers as they handle animals, according to the Jerusalem Post. By installing cameras, ministry officials expressed their hope that the suffering of the animals will be minimized. To expedite the matter, the Ministry is currently publishing a tender for the supply, installation and maintenance of the cameras. Over the course of 2016, all slaughterhouses and facilities that produce animal food products should have the systems installed.

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“Declining Bee Population Hurting Crops”

A new study by the University of Vermont found the U.S. population of wild bees has declined 23 percent over the last seven years. Wild bees are crucial to crop production and researchers note the study shows significant losses in food production areas, such as California’s Central Valley, the Midwestern Corn Belt and the Mississippi River Valley. The study is the first to map wild bee populations across the lower 48 states. 139 counties across the country with high volumes of crop production, with a focus on California, the Pacific Northwest, the upper Midwest and Great Plains, west Texas and the southern Mississippi River Valley. The study also found that in 39 percent of the regions targeted there is a “threatening mismatch” between rising demand for pollination and a diminishing supply of wild bees. Further, the study found the mismatch between pollen demand and bee populations to be most dramatic in regions where crops are grown that are most pollen-dependent, such as pumpkins, watermelons, pears, peaches, plums, apples and blueberries. Researchers placed blame on a number of threats, including pesticide use, climate change and disease, as well as the conversion of wild bee habitat into cropland.

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“Hershey Ditches Sugar Beets over GM Concerns”

Hershey is transitioning out sugar beets for cane sugar because of concerns over genetic engineering. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that currently, the company’s sugar storage is 75% cane sugar and expected to be 100 percent sometime in 2016. For decades, the company had used sugar made from both beets and cane but decided earlier this year to stop buying sugar beets because it comes from genetically modified seeds. Hershey communications director Jeff Beckman confirmed that the kisses and many other products stocked on shelves since Halloween no longer contain beet sugar. The company also is transitioning away from artificial to natural ingredients. No matter how or where the company sources the sugar, it’s still just going to say “sugar” on the product ingredient labels. Beckman said the sourcing switch has nothing to do with the safety of beet sugar, and the company’s website contains references to numerous scientific groups that have concluded that GM sugar is safe to consume. Sugar beet farmers are feeling the impact, losing a top industry customer. Minnesota is the top sugar beet producer in the nation, followed by Idaho and North Dakota.

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“NCGA, States Explore Ways to Involve, Expand Grassroots”

The National Corn Growers Association will convene task force of state and national staff to examine ways in which the association can broaden membership and continually improve grassroots communications. The group, assembled at the behest of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team with input from state corn organizations, will report back to GSAT during its annual spring meeting. The Membership Task Force, which came about as a result of the most recent GSAT meeting, will explore issues including: extending full membership to farming spouses, expanding communications to interested parties beyond farmer members, potentially expanding membership categories, and identifying the tools necessary to track members’ and advocates’ preferred contact methods, social media handles and other alternate contact information. Following the February meeting, GSAT will make recommendations to the Corn Board for consideration. Final discussion on recommended changes and possible further action will be taken during the State and National Staff Meeting held in April of 2016.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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12-28-15 NRCS-CO’s Julie Elliott details the “Farming Evolution 2016” Workshops in Holyoke Feb 17-18…

Farming Evolution 2016 speakers

Julie Elliott, Rangeland Specialist from the Holyoke Field Office of NRCS-CO

Julie Elliott, Rangeland Specialist from the Holyoke Field Office of NRCS-CO

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) January 28th, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Julie Elliott, Rangeland Specialist from the Holyoke Field Office of NRCS-CO discussing the upcoming Farming Evolution 2016 workshop Feb 17-18 at the Events Center at the Phillips County Fairgrounds…

POSTED SOON AFTER INTERVIEW COMPLETED

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RELATED POST

Farming Evolution 2016 slated for Feb 17-18 in Holyoke, CO…

For complete details & to get register – CLICK HERE

 

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 28th…

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

“Major Trade Groups in favor of passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership”

Last week, a major trade group pledged support to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The National Foreign Trade Council vowed support for the TPP while saying it is encouraged by talks between lawmakers and the Obama administration aimed at making improvements to the TPP deal that will improve its chances of passage on Capitol Hill. The trade deal is gaining support from a large number of agriculture groups, as they say, the deal would substantially expand U.S. agriculture exports. The NFTC said the 12-nation TPP has the potential to serve as a major step forward in establishing rules-based global trade that will provide greater access to foreign markets. Other major groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have yet to take a stance on the trade deal. Earlier this month, the American Farm Bureau announced it supported the TPP, saying the deal promises to expand opportunities to some of the fastest growing markets around the world.

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“Organic Trade Association to Ask USDA for Transitional Organic Designation”

The Organic Trade Association intends to ask USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service to establish a “transitional” organic designation for farmers who are converting their land to organic production. OTA Executive Director Laura Batcha says OTA would ask AMS to manage the transitional designation under its “Process Verified Program.” The designation, she added, would be a clear signal to the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, that a farmer is committed to the transition and worthy of the assistance NRCS can provide, according to the Hagstrom Report. Under the proposal, Farmers must not use prohibited chemicals on their land for three years before their production can be declared organic. During this time farmers have to use organic production methods while selling their crops as conventional, which usually means lower prices and incomes than certified organic producers get. Batcha also said that OTA expects AMS to give its application for an organic checkoff “a judicious review,” but hopes for approval in 2016.

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“EPA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Pesticide Applicator Certification Rule”

The Environmental Protection Agency extended the public comment period on the proposed changes to the Pesticide Applicator Certification Rule an additional 30 days. The closing date for comments is now January 22nd, 2016. EPA is proposing stronger standards for pesticide applicators that are certified to apply the riskiest pesticides, known as restricted use pesticides. The goal is to reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication of those pesticides and ensure a consistent level of protection among states. The EPA proposes the rule that would establish a first-time-ever nation-wide minimum age of 18 for certified applicators and persons working under their direct supervision. The proposal also would require all applicators to renew certifications every three years. The EPA first proposed the certification rule in August of this year.

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“Chipotle Making Changes After E. Coli Outbreaks”

Following dozens of illnesses attributed to E. coli, Chipotle has vowed to make changes in its supply chain. Founder Steve Ells vowed Chipotle will ramp up safety measures at the company’s nearly 2,000 locations. The company will likely rely less on local supplies that can’t comply with sophisticated testing and also prepare ingredients such as cilantro and lettuce in a central kitchen before shipping it to local restaurants. “In Other words,” wrote the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Ells promises to bring his restaurants into the 20th century.” The newspaper notes that Chipotle’s marketing campaign was built around degrading agriculture, yet the campaign couldn’t exist without efficient agriculture. A cult-like following has gone so far as to publish a fabricated news story on a self-proclaimed “alternative news” website, claiming biotech companies, such as Monsanto, were attacking Chipotle by planting E. coli in Chipotle’s supply chain. The Wall Street Journal also reported that perhaps Chipotle’s anti-agriculture campaign may be no longer, pointing out that the company’s stock dropped below $500 for the first time in over a year just last week, and down 25 percent this year.

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“USDA to Survey Honey Bee Colony Health, Impact on Agriculture”

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is reaching out to beekeepers and farmers across the nation this month and next to gather information on the number and health of honey bee colonies, honey production and stocks, and the cost to farmers of pollination services. USDA says the surveys will be used to develop baseline data and additional goal metrics for winter, summer, and total annual colony loss in support of the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators. Among its goals, the Strategy aims to reduce honey bee colony losses during winter to no more than 15% within 10 years. Beekeepers should expect to receive two surveys from NASS. They will receive the existing Bee and Honey Inquiry, which surveys beekeepers about honey production, price, and stocks, but not colony health. Beekeepers will also receive a new survey from NASS, which the agency will use to publish state-level estimates on key topics, including number of colonies, colonies lost, colonies added, and colonies affected by certain stressors.

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“NCGA Encourages Members to Apply for Leadership Academy”

The National Corn Growers Association is asking for members to apply for the Leadership at Its Best Program co-sponsored by Syngenta. Growers must be nominated by their state corn association. The deadline for state associations to submit their nominees to NCGA is March 25th. Open to all NCGA membership, Leadership at Its Best provides training to growers on a number of topics, according to NCGA. The first session, held in August in Greensboro, North Carolina, addresses personal communications skills, public speaking and association management. The second session will be held in March 2017 in Washington and focus on public policy issues, meeting with their congressional delegation and parliamentary procedure.  The Association says through the program, participants build the skill set needed to become a more confident public speaker with a solid background in the procedures and processes used by NCGA and many state organizations. Find more information online at NCGA dot com (www.ncga.com).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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12-24-15 NBA News: Junior Judging Contest Tests Student’s Bison Knowledge…

NBA - National Bison Association logo

Junior Judging Contest Tests Student’s Bison Knowledge 

Three Scholarships to be awarded at Junior Bison Judging Event at Stock Show

Westminster, CO (December 24, 2015) – Students attending the National Western Stock Show in Denver this January 20th will have an opportunity to test their bison knowledge-and to compete for $3,600 in college scholarship money-at the annual National Bison Association Junior Judging Contest. See all the details here. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24th…

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 Again Plans to Nullify WOTUS in New Year”

The U.S. House will again attempt to nullify the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule in 2016, according to a spokesperson for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California. Voting is planned on a Congressional Review Act challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial rule in the House next year and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate is in the process of putting a WOTUS repeal on the President’s desk, according to DTN. A resolution to stop the rule and to prohibit any similar future laws passed the Senate in November but never made it to the President’s desk as Obama promised a veto to any legislation against the rule. WOTUS, which took effect in August, is on hold by a federal court as the rule faces litigation from more than 30 states and organizations representing agriculture and other industries.

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“Syngenta Confirms Takeover Talks with Monsanto, ChemChina”

Syngenta’s chairman told a Swiss newspaper this week that the company is indeed in talks with Monsanto and ChemChina along with other rivals, but has yet to receive a concrete takeover offer from those companies. Chairman Michel Demare said the talks continue and that “Given what shareholders expect for the next 12 months, going it alone is hardly possible,” Demare said Syngenta’s board, which this year opposed a takeover offer from Monsanto, was considering making an acquisition, merging with a rival or selling the company. He declined to say which option he preferred, according to Reuters. The seeds and crop industry is undergoing a major shake-up, with DuPont and Dow Chemical announcing an all-stock merger valued at $130 billion this month. Demare said Syngenta had concluded a deal was necessary after Monsanto’s approach; adding that a combination with DuPont would have made a lot of sense for Syngenta. Shareholders are pressuring for the company to make a move along with the industry consolidation. Industry executives expect 2016 will be another tough year given low commodity prices and weak investment by farmers.

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“Equipment Manufacturer Welcomes Permanent Section 179 Expensing”

New Holland Agriculture this week praised Congress for extending the $500,000 Section 179 capital assets depreciation limit and enhanced bonus depreciation. The tax breaks included in the omnibus spending bill signed into law last week will allow farmers and small businesses to immediately write off the full price of up to $500,000 in capital assets purchases, including farm and construction equipment, instead of depreciating it over time. New Holland North America vice president Bret Lieberman said “this gives our customers a welcomed tax break.” The Section 179 tax deduction is good for new and used equipment and is combined with bonus depreciation for more tax savings on new equipment.

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“Lawsuit Alleging Kraft Foods manipulated Wheat Prices Can Proceed”

Federal regulators can proceed with a lawsuit against Kraft Foods alleging the company manipulated wheat prices. A Judge last week gave the go-ahead to a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The lawsuit alleges Kraft used its financial heft to illegally drive down wheat prices in 2011, according to the Chicago Tribune. In a 47-page opinion, U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey rejected Kraft’s attempt to have the lawsuit tossed, ruling that the CFTC’s allegations were “sufficient to allege that Kraft intended to manipulate the wheat markets.” The CFTC alleged this summer that Kraft made $5.4 million in profit in late 2011 when it helped tank the cash price of wheat near its Toledo, Ohio, flour mill by purchasing far more futures contracts for wheat than it ever could have used. Kraft’s purchase of $90 million in wheat futures at the Chicago Board of Trade represented a six-month supply of wheat — far more than the two months inventory Kraft typically aimed to keep, according to the CFTC, who says the move by Kraft sent wheat prices lower.

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“USDA Trade Mission Spurs Record Ethanol Exports to China”

 USDA reports a significant jump in ethanol exports to China this year, following a USDA-led trade mission to the country last year. Wednesday, USDA said the trade mission proved successful after representatives from nine state departments of agriculture and 28 U.S. companies, including renewable fuels businesses, traveled to northeast China to explore opportunities for trade in the region. U.S. ethanol exports to China have jumped from $8 million to more than $86 million since the May 2014 visit. In October, the U.S. exported more ethanol to China than in the previous 10 years combined, according to USDA Under Secretary for Farm And Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse. China is the largest market for U.S. food and farm products – U.S. agricultural exports to China tripled over the last decade, now accounting for nearly 20 percent of all foreign sales of U.S. agricultural products. The past seven years have represented the strongest period for American agricultural exports, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $911.3 billion between Fiscal Years 2009 and 2015.

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“Christmas Tree Production Booming”

More and more families are heading to Christmas tree farms for a live Christmas tree. From 2009 to 2014, USDA reported Christmas tree sales increased by more than $100 million dollars. The 2014 Horticultural Specialties report released earlier this month shows production increased from 13 million trees in 2009 to 20 million cut Christmas trees sold in 2014. Oregon, North Carolina and Michigan continued to rank top in the nation for number of trees sold, as well as the value of sales. With 15.4 million trees cut and sold, growers in these three states accounted for nearly 78 percent of all cut Christmas trees sold in the United States in 2014. USDA notes that’s an impressive jump, given tree farmers can invest more than eight years growing a Christmas tree for harvest.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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12-23-15 CO Corn: New FAA registration requirements for drones…

Colorado Corn Logo

This month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the new statutory requirement that applies to all recreational users of Unmanned Aerial Systems, also known as UAS or drones.
Under this rule, any owner of a small drone must register it with the federal government through the new website (www.faa.gov/uas/registration), which just went live on Monday, Dec. 21. Any person operating a drone for hobby or recreational use must register as a UAS operator if their unmanned aircraft weighs between .55 pounds to 55 pounds. Operators who purchased a drone before Dec. 21, 2015, must register by Feb.19, 2016, and anyone purchasing after Dec. 21, 2015, must register before their first flight outdoors.  Continue reading

12-23-15 Colorado Corn once again helping sponsor the annual High Plains No-Till Conference on Feb. 2-3…

Colorado Corn Logo

The 28th annual High Plains No-Till Conference is set for Feb. 2-3, at the Burlington, Colo., Community Center (340 S. 14th St.), and Colorado Corn will again be helping sponsor the event.
In addition to being a sponsor of the conference and having a booth on hand, our staff will also once again serve up Rocky Mountain oysters during the Colorado Corn-sponsored Beer N’ Bulls event on Tuesday afternoon.
The annual High Plains No-Till Conference is put on by the Colorado Conservation Tillage Association (CCTA), founded in 1988 to serve the needs of farmers searching for new ways to diversify their farms and better utilize their resources.
Learn more here.