05-05-16 CSU Department of Animal Sciences: Dr Temple Grandin “Setting the record straight”…

CSU Dept of Animal SciencelogoSetting the record straight

Dr Temple GrandinTemple Grandin

The Wonkblog article “Why a top animal science expert is worried about the milk industry” by Roberto Ferdman has caused considerable discussion among the dairy industry and academia. My purpose in this writing is to clarify what was said and what are my opinions of the dairy industry.

The premise of Mr. Ferdman’s 15-minute phone interview with me was to help explain the graphs showing the decrease in number of dairy cows and the increase in production per cow. During the interview I praised the excellent Colorado dairies I visited with Bill Wailes prior to his death. I also indicated that, in my opinion, excellent dairies like these represent a third of the dairies in the United States. This was interpreted by Mr. Ferdman to mean that two thirds of the dairies in the United States are bad. This is not true. Continue reading

05-05-16 Ardent Mills Celebrates 80 years of Milling Heritage and Innovation in Commerce City…

Ardent Mills Commerce City logo5Ardent Mills will host a community, invitation-only event to celebrate the 80-year anniversary of their Commerce City Community Mill. From its origin in 1936, the mill and grain elevators have serviced a rich agricultural region of wheat fields and farmers from across Colorado. It is home of the innovative, first of its kind, ultra-fine milled whole wheat flour – Ultragrain. Local officials and dignitaries are scheduled to attend along with wheat growers, customers, team members and families, giving them the opportunity to learn more about the growing, harvesting and milling of wheat. Interactive stations will allow attendees to experience wheat’s field-to-fork story, from a milling demonstration to the making of pizza dough. Two of Denver’s top food trucks, Pavy’s and Basic Kneads, will use flour from the Commerce City mill to serve a variety of delicious sandwich and pizza offerings. Thursday, May 5, 2016, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30p.m. @ Ardent Mills Commerce City

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National Farm Mom of 2016 - Mary Courtney of KentuckyKENTUCKY FARMER NAMED 2016 NATIONAL “FARM MOM OF THE YEAR”

ST. LOUIS (May 5, 2016) – After nearly two weeks of online voting, America has determined the national winner in Monsanto’s 2016 America’s Farmers Mom of the Year Contest. Kentucky farmer Mary Courtney, who started her farm with her husband, Shane, and now grows corn, soybeans, burley tobacco, mixed vegetables, green bell peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, squash and zucchini, specialty peppers and seedless watermelon, and raises cattle, garnered the most online votes to capture the national title. She is the first ever regional or national winner from the Bluegrass State.

Mary was one of five women who were recognized at the end of April as a regional finalist in the program. All of them, including Ann Stamp (Cranston, R.I.), Karen Kasper (Owatonna, Minn.), Katie Heger (Underwood, N.D.), Nikki Weathers (Yuma, Colo.) and Mary were selected by both the American Agri-Women and Monsanto for their dedication and commitment to their families, farms, communities and the agriculture industry.

America voted online at www.AmericasFarmers.com from April 22 through May 4 for one of the five regional finalists to be named the national winner. All five women will receive $5,000. Mary will receive an additional $5,000 for securing the most votes to be named the national “Farm Mom of the Year.” Continue reading

05-05-16 NAWG: Annual Kansas Wheat Tour Concludes…

NAWG - wheat_logo

Annual Kansas Wheat Tour Concludes

The annual Wheat Quality Council tour of the Kansas wheat crop concluded on Thursday. With around 80 participants fanning out across the state to measure and review the wheat crop, the Wheat Quality Council ultimately estimates that the 2016 Kansas wheat crop will be 382.4 million bushels with an average yield of 48.6 bushels per acre. Last year’s tour estimated 288.5 million bushels with an average yield of 35.6 bushels per acre. The prospects for this year’s crop appear to be higher partially as a result of above average rains this spring, though there was also widespread variability in the yield estimates. Continue reading

05-05-16 USWA: Wheat Quality Council Tour See Upside HRW Yield Potential…


USWA - US Wheat Associates Logo

Wheat Quality Council Tour See Upside HRW Yield Potential

What a difference a year makes. This week the Wheat Quality Council’s annual “Hard Red Wheat Tour” hit the road again to survey the Kansas crop, measuring yield potential and scouting conditions. This time last year, the tour participants estimated yield at a lower than expected 35.9 bushels per acre (bu/ac). In contrast, this year’s tour saw much better field conditions and projected higher yields. Continue reading

05-05-16 USMEF: Red Meat Exports Move Higher in March; First-quarter Volumes Up 2 Percent…

USMEF News Header

Red Meat Exports Move Higher in March; First-quarter Volumes Up 2 Percent

March exports of both U.S. beef and pork increased year-over-year in volume, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). March export values were lower than a year ago but trended upward, with both reaching a 2016 high.

Beef exports totaled 89,482 metric tons (mt) in March, up 3 percent from a year ago and pushing first-quarter volume to 254,986 mt – up 2 percent. March export value was $483.3 million, down 8 percent from a year ago but the highest since December. For the first quarter, export value was $1.36 billion – down 13 percent from the same period last year. Continue reading

05-05-16 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…


05-05-16 USDA Announces Conservation Reserve Program Results…

USDA Press ReleaseUSDA Announces CRP Results

More Than 800,000 Acres Selected Through Highly Competitive Application Rounds

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the enrollment of more than 800,000 acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) through the program’s 49th sign up period. Through CRP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) helps farmers offset the costs of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and strengthen wildlife habitat. Farmers’ and ranchers’ participation in CRP continues to provide numerous benefits to our nation, including helping reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gases and providing resiliency to future weather changes.

“The Conservation Reserve Program provides nearly $2 billion annually to land owners – dollars that make their way into local economies, supporting small businesses and creating jobs.  When these direct benefits are taken together with the resulting economic activity, the benefits related to CRP are estimated at $3.1 billion annually,” said Vilsack. “Over the past 30 years, CRP has created major environmental improvements throughout the countryside. The program has removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere equal to removing nine million cars from the road annually, and prevented 600 million dump trucks of soil from erosion. With today’s announcement, USDA is continuing these achievements by maximizing conservation benefits within the limitations provided by law.” Continue reading

05-05-16 EPA: Obama Administration to Help Five Small Communities Revitalize Downtowns through Broadband Service

EPA Headquarters News Release header

Obama Administration to Help Five Small Communities Revitalize Downtowns through Broadband Service

Cool & Connected to Leverage Internet Investments in Five States, including Colorado

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the selection of communities in five states that will participate in the Cool & Connected planning assistance program, an innovative initiative to help people use broadband service for downtown revitalization and economic development.

“Broadband has helped rural communities across the country gain access to improved health care, open the door to educational services and expand business and social opportunities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The new Cool and Connected program will help these small-towns use broadband to provide new opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas.”

“Cool & Connected supports community revitalization in rural America,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  “By supporting economic growth through broadband investments, rural communities are creating vibrant, thriving places that improve human health and the environment.”

Partner communities will receive direct technical assistance from a team of experts to develop strategies and an action plan for using planned or existing broadband service to create connected, economically vibrant main streets and small-town neighborhoods. By combining broadband service with other local assets, such as cultural and recreational amenities, this assistance can help communities attract and retain investment and people, revitalize downtowns, diversify local economies, and improve walkability.

Cool & Connected Pilot Phase Partner Communities:  Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 5th…

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

AgriBank: Livestock, Dairy and Egg Sectors in Trouble

A new report by AgriBank projects livestock, dairy and egg sector margins to continue adjusting downward from record levels set in 2014. The report on 15 Midwest states called the egg industry “the largest percentage loser” due to bird flu and record high prices. However, the report says the turkey industry is rebounding as flocks are rebuilt, and prices remain high. AgriBank’s Jeff Swanhorst says “2015 was, for the most part, a transition year to the reality of lower margins.” For 2016, he says the dominant themes in agriculture will be the impact of several major categories entering or continuing their expansion phases of the production cycle, the increasing dollar’s negative impact on exports, the potential for additional disease events and domestic consumer behavior. The report did say weather remains a wildcard as the transition to La Niña from the historically strong El Niño could bring major drought conditions across the Corn Belt region late in the coming growing season.


U.S. Anti-Trade Movement Would Hurt Economy

A government official from Mexico warns that anti-trade policy being pushed by U.S. Presidential candidates would deal a severe blow to the global economy. Mexico’s Economy Minister told Reuters that a plan to impose a 35 percent tariff on many Mexican goods would violate global trade deals and spark “chaos,” if enacted.” While not naming a specific candidate, the Mexican official was referring to a plan outlined by Republican candidate Donald Trump. Trump and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton have both expressed opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement awaiting approval by Congress. The official from Mexico made the comments while in Washington, D.C. this week meeting with trade officials from the U.S. and Canada.


Farmers Union Opposes FOIA Exemptions for Checkoffs

The National Farmers Union wrote to lawmakers this week expressing opposition to language included in the 2017 Agriculture Apparitions Bill urging exemptions for producer-funded checkoff’s from Freedom of Information Act requests. Farmers Union President Roger Johnson told lawmakers this week the exemption would suggest “that we, as producers, have something to hide,” according to Politico. The House Appropriations Committee approved the bill with the Freedom of Information Act language last month. USDA told the Hagstrom Report earlier this week that the exemption “wouldn’t work” because USDA most abide by laws set by Congress, including the Freedom of Information Act. The bill still needs approval by the full House, and the Senate has yet to consider appropriation bills.


Syngenta Names New CEO

Syngenta announced Erik Frywald as the company’s new CEO Wednesday. Frywald is the current President and CEO of Univar, a U.S. based chemistry distribution company. Frywald will take over as CEO for Syngenta effective June first. He takes the place of John Ramsay, who was appointed interim CEO last November. Syngenta Chairman Michel Demare said the two would work closely together to “ensure a smooth transition and support the closing of the ChemChina transaction.” ChemChina agreed to acquire Swiss-based Syngenta for $43 billion earlier this year. Frywald spent 27 years at DuPont before switching companies in 2008. Fyrwald also served as Chairman of CropLife International for two years while working at DuPont.


Producers say Cage-Free Egg Trend Based on Misinformation

The National Association of Egg Farmers Wednesday charged the cage-free egg trend as being based on misinformation. The claims came as 7-Eleven announced it would become the latest company to switch to cage-free eggs. The convenience store chain expects to complete the change by the year 2025. While the idea of cage-free chickens produces a thought that cage-free leads to better animal welfare and better quality eggs, the National Association of Egg Farmers wants consumers to know that this is simply not true. The Association says removing chickens from cages will lead to more on-farm deaths of chickens because the birds establish a literal “pecking order.” Further, the Association says cage-free eggs are more likely to be contaminated with bacteria due to prolonged exposure to litter and manure. Finally, the Association says the amount of dust in cage-free facilities presents a human health concern to farm workers because the dust can transmit pathogens. The Association says the cage-free trend will force smaller chicken farms out of business because they will struggle with the estimated $40 per bird production increase.


Low-grade Avian Flu Discovered in Missouri

A low-grade avian influenza found at a Missouri Turkey farm has led to federal officials culling 39,000 turkeys at the facility. During a routine inspection last week, USDA says inspectors found samples of H5N1 in a healthy flock, and the birds were destroyed as a precaution. The Wall Street Journal reports the strain is far less infectious and deadly than the H5N2 virus found in the Midwest last year. Still, the scare was enough to convince Japan to ban poultry shipments from part of the Southwest Missouri County where the farm is located. Industry officials say the discovery is unlikely to affect domestic trade beyond the immediate area because the virus us less dangerous than the highly pathogenic strains. The last serious case of the more infectious virus was found in January at an Indiana turkey farm.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service