09-20-16 USCA Submits Comments on Proposed Changes to Checkoff Redirection Assessments

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USCA Submits Comments on Proposed Changes to Checkoff Redirection Assessments

WASHINGTON – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) recently submitted comments on the proposed rule, “Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information; Beef Promotion and Research; Amendments To Allow Redirection of State Assessments to the National Program; Technical Amendments”.  USCA’s comments focused on the redirection of beef checkoff assessments. Continue reading

09-20-16 NFU Joins in Promoting Safe Practices During National Farm Safety and Health Week

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NFU Joins in Promoting Safe Practices During National Farm Safety and Health Week

WASHINGTON (September 20, 2016) – As farmers are preparing to begin the fall harvest, National Farmers Union (NFU) joined in the effort to promote safe practices on and around the farm during National Farm Safety and Health Week. President Barack Obamadesignated farm safety week to reaffirm support for programs and practices that promote health and safety on America’s farms.

“We’re glad to see the White House designate a week to building awareness of farm safety programs and promoting safe practices on and around the farm. Whether you’re a one-time visitor or a multi-generation farm family, farm safety education can help keep everyone safe from avoidable accidents and casualties,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. Continue reading

09-20-16 NCGA CEO Testifies at Senate Hearing on Ag Consolidation

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NCGA CEO Testifies at Senate Hearing on Ag Consolidation

Regulatory barriers facing agriculture are a major driver of agriculture industry consolidation, National Corn Growers Association Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak testified today at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on consolidation and competition in the U.S. seed and agrochemical industry.
“Domestic regulatory hurdles for crop protection chemicals and delays in international approvals for new seed traits represent significant barriers to market entry,” Novak testified.
“These barriers slow down innovation and drive up the cost of seed and chemicals. The process of developing and testing new products, and then securing regulatory approval to bring them to market, requires a substantial amount of time and money. As a result, fewer and fewer companies have the resources to be players in the market. This trend toward consolidation will continue unless and until Congress addresses these regulatory hurdles,” Novak told the Senate Committee.
Novak testified on behalf of both the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association. Together, NCGA and ASA represent more than 500,000 corn and soybean farmers nationwide. Novak told the Senate panel that the two associations have a vested interest in ensuring a competitive marketplace for crop production inputs.
“We do want to preserve market competition, but that doesn’t mean preserving the status quo. Just as farmers need to change and innovate, so do the companies that provide our inputs,” Novak testified. In written testimony submitted to the Committee prior to the hearing, NCGA and ASA argued that a competitive marketplace is measured by not only the number of competitors, but also their relative size and ability to compete. Continue reading

09-20-16 NRCS-CO News: FFA Students Prepare for Range Judging

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Six FFA Chapters gathered in the Jordan Ranch quonset located southeast of Briggsdale to learn about judging rangelands and practice their range plant identification skills.

Six FFA Chapters gathered in the Jordan Ranch quonset located southeast of Briggsdale to learn
about judging rangelands and practice their range plant identification skills.

FFA Students Prepare for Range Judging

By Ben Berlinger, NRCS Rangeland Management Specialist (ret.), Rocky Ford, CO

Six Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapters gathered in the Jordan Ranch quonset located southeast of Briggsdale, CO to learn about judging rangelands and practice their range plant identification skills.  The event took place on September 14th on the Jordan Cattle Ranch, and involved 60 students along with their Agriculture instructors.  These FFA Chapters were brought together with the common goal of becoming more proficient in evaluating and judging the condition and trend of rangeland sites in eastern Colorado as part of the Range Judging & Plant Identification Career Development Exercise (CDE).

The event was organized by Kevin Schlabach, Agriculture Instructor at Prairie High School in New Raymer, along with the West Greeley Conservation District (WGCD). Sponsors included the State Land Board, Emmett Jordan, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Greeley. The participating FFA chapters were Briggsdale, Grover, New Raymer (Prairie HS), Akron, Ovid and Karval.

Check out the RECAP video courtesy of The BARN & SLY Media…

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09-20-16 CO’s State revenue forecast shows solid performance…

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State revenue forecast shows solid performanceState revenue forecast shows solid performance

DENVER — Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016 The Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) today released its quarterly economic forecast. State General Fund revenue is projected to increase 4.5 percent in FY 2016-17; the forecast is lower relative to June’s projections by $160.6 million, or 1.5 percent.

“Economic expansion is expected to continue for Colorado at a moderate pace,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “Colorado’s favorable economic attributes have made the economy resilient to the many headwinds it has faced the past several years.” Continue reading

09-20-16 NCBA: Senate Report Highlights EPA Enforcement of WOTUS Rule

NCBA News Rlease HeaderSenate Report Highlights EPA Enforcement of WOTUS Rule

WASHINGTON (Sept. 20, 2016) – Today, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee released their report highlighting examples of EPA illegally asserting jurisdiction over features traditionally exempt from the Clean Water Act. Despite the fact that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals continues their nationwide stay on enforcement of EPA’s “waters of the United States” final rule, the report demonstrates that EPA is in fact, enforcing the WOTUS rule and expanding jurisdiction beyond congressional intent. National Cattlemen’s Beef AssociationPresident Tracy Brunner said this report is conclusive evidence of EPA’s continued efforts to expand their jurisdiction over all waters.

“While the Courts have temporarily suspended enforcement and implementation of the rule, the EPA continues to exercise federal control over private land in a way that erodes the agricultural exemptions in the Clean Water Act,” said Brunner. “This report clearly shows that EPA continues to regulate private property, including ditches and furrows, without any statutory or legal justification.” Continue reading

09-20-16 NFU Asks Senate Judiciary Panel for More Oversight of Failing Antitrust Enforcement in Agriculture

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NFU Asks Senate Judiciary Panel for More Oversight of Failing Antitrust Enforcement in Agriculture

WASHINGTON (September 20, 2016) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson today joined a panel of industry leaders to testify before members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about the alarming trend of consolidation in agriculture. Continue reading

09-20-16 NCGA, ASA Testify at Senate Hearing on Ag Industry Consolidation

NCGA, ASA Testify at Senate Hearing on Ag Industry Consolidation

WASHINGTON (September 19, 2016) – Regulatory barriers facing agriculture are a major driver of agriculture industry consolidation, National Corn Growers Association Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak will testify Tuesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on consolidation and competition in the U.S. seed and agrochemical industry. Novak is testifying on behalf of both the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association.

“Domestic regulatory hurdles for crop protection chemicals and delays in international approvals for new seed traits represent significant barriers to market entry. These barriers slow down innovation and drive up the cost of seed and chemicals. The process of developing and testing new products, and then securing regulatory approval to bring them to market, requires a substantial amount of time and money. As a result, fewer and fewer companies have the resources to be players in the market. This trend toward consolidation will continue unless and until Congress addresses these regulatory hurdles,” Novak will testify.

Together, NCGA and ASA represent more than 500,000 corn and soybean farmers nationwide, and they have a direct interest in ensuring a competitive marketplace for crop production inputs. Earlier this year, NCGA and ASA joined forces to conduct an analysis of a recently announced merger and ensure their members’ best interests were represented in conversations with the Department of Justice.

In written testimony submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee for the hearing, NCGA and ASA argue that a competitive marketplace is measured by more than the number of competitors, but also their size and relative ability to compete. Continue reading

09-20-16 National Pork Board Delivers on Strategy of Responsible Antibiotic Use

the-national-pork-board-pork-checkoff-news-release-headerNational Pork Board Delivers on Strategy of Responsible Antibiotic Use

U.S. pig farmers have committed more than $6 million in antibiotic research since 2000
DES MOINES, IOWASeptember 20, 2016 — The National Pork Board is leading the conversation to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria and preserve the responsible on-farm use of antibiotics in pork production. The Pork Checkoff, funded directly by America’s 60,000 pig farmers, defined its three-point antibiotic stewardship plan in mid-2015 and has delivered on its pledge of promoting research, pig farmer education and consumer and influencer outreach during 2016.

“Real, substantive change is underway on pig farms across America with the farmers themselves shaping the discussion around responsible antibiotic use,” said Jan Archer, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from North Carolina. “We were the first food-animal industry to announce our stewardship plan, which underscores that antibiotics are essential tools for veterinarians and farmers to raise healthy livestock and to produce safe food.”

Archer added that today’s pig farmers stand ready to implement the new, more stringent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules when they take effect on Jan. 1, 2017. These rules – FDA Guidelines 209 and 213 and the Veterinary Feed Directive Rule – end the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion and bring the use of medically important antimicrobial medicines under the direct supervision of veterinarians and dictate that they be used only when necessary to ensure animal health.

“We have been listening closely to the many audiences touched by food production,” said Archer. “From retail grocery chains to the foodservice industry, and from consumers to those influencers who define food production policy, we completely understand the important role pig farmers play in delivering safe food. We are committed to defining the ideal balance of the right medicine, in the right dose, at the right time for our pigs.”

Toward that end, in 2016 the U.S. pork industry has:

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 20th…

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

EPA Says Glyphosate Likely Not Carcinogenic

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released its long-awaited decision Friday on whether glyphosate is carcinogenic, as a World Health Organization division claims. The EPA announced the agency believes glyphosate is not likely carcinogenic to humans. Last year, the World Health Organization’s cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” However, global opinions vary on the subject, according to Reuters. The European Food Safety Authority last November said glyphosate was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.” The EPA’s proposed position on glyphosate was outlined in a 227-page paper. The EPA said the agency expects to publish its final assessment of glyphosate in the spring of 2017.

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Ag Confidence Continues to Decline

The recent Ag Confidence Index compiled by DTN reached the lowest score recorded since the poll began. Known as the ACI, the August results from farmer surveys produced the lowest score, of 72 in the seven-year history of the index. One year ago, the ACI was a more neutral 98. The data reflects a 27 percent drop in confidence from last year. A poll organizer says the results indicate that “bad has become the new normal” for many farmers. The DTN Agriculture Confidence Index is based on surveys from 500 farmers who are asked a series of questions regarding their financial and business conditions. The survey is conducted before planting, before harvest and just before the end of the year. Results above a rating of 100 indicate optimism, while results below 100 indicate pessimism in confidence.

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Bayer-Monsanto Deal Could Offset European Regulations on Ag Biotech

The Wall Street Journal says the agreement between Bayer and Monsanto could be a step towards fighting back against strict agriculture biotech regulations in the European Union. That’s because Bayer has a more positive reputation than Monsanto among the European public, in part because Bayer is known for products beyond agrochemicals, such as pharmaceuticals. Many genetically modified crops are banned throughout Europe. The Wall Street Journal says the oversight has been driven by fierce public resistance in the EU to pesticides and other crop protection chemicals. The head of Bayer’s crop science division says overregulation is the “single biggest challenge” in the EU for crop protection companies. The regulatory environment and current crop prices helped to kick start consolidation efforts within the industry. Monsanto and Bayer announced the $66 billion takeover agreement last week.

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Egypt Ergot Restrictions Dampening Already Sour Wheat Trade

Global wheat prices are suffering from complicated quarantine rules by Egypt regarding the fungus ergot, effectively taking the world’s largest wheat importer out of the trade market. Facing decade -lows, global wheat prices have softened further thanks to a standstill in wheat sales to Egypt. The standstill occurred after Egypt announced last month the nation would hold a zero tolerance policy for any traces of the naturally occurring fungus ergot, despite internationally accepted standards which allow for levels of 0.05 percent. The Financial Times reports theories surrounding the reason behind the latest decision have ranged from the need to cancel contracts due to falling foreign reserves to infighting between government ministries. The official explanation from Egypt has been public safety and the potential spread of ergot due to climate change. Despite the uncertainty, trade analysts say Egypt is likely to return to the world wheat market after the nation’s domestic inventories dwindle.

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China Investing in Agriculture Modernization

China intends to invest the equivalent of $450 billion to modernize the nation’s agriculture sector. Politico reports the investment over the next four years is an effort to increase China’s agriculture industry’s efficiency and foster rural income growth. The Agricultural Development Bank of China said over the weekend that the bank had signed an agreement with China’s Ministry of Agriculture regarding the investment. The Ministry says the agreement will protect national food security, support the sector doing business overseas and develop China’s seed industry. However, as reported in China, it is not immediately clear whether this commitment is separate from the bank’s plan announced in May for poverty reduction in China via agricultural investments.

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Vilsack Announces New Initiatives to Address Rural Opioid Epidemic

Initiatives by the U.S. Department of Agriculture seek to combat the rural opioid epidemic. Announced Monday, two programs by USDA were formed to strengthen outreach and education resources at the local level to combat the epidemic. USDA says opioid addiction, including heroin and prescription drug misuse, is a fast-growing problem that played a role in more than 28,000 deaths in 2014. The opioid crisis disproportionately affects rural communities, according to USDA, due to the lack of outreach and treatment resources available in remote areas. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says “it’s clear that rural communities need our help.” Vilsack says he has directed local USDA teams to “step up” and expand resources and programs to battle the opioid epidemic.”  The announcement coincides with President Barack Obama’s designated Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week from September 18th – 23rd.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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