10-28-16 USDA Announces Enrollment Period for Safety Net Coverage in 2017

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USDA Announces Enrollment Period for Safety Net Coverage in 2017

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that producers on farms with base acres under the safety net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, can begin visiting FSA county offices starting Nov. 1, 2016, to sign contracts and enroll for the 2017 crop year. The enrollment period will continue until Aug. 1, 2017.

“FSA issued more than $7 billion in payments in October 2016 under the ARC-County and PLC programs for the 2015 crop to assist enrolled producers who suffered a loss of price or revenue or both,” said Dolcini. “Since shares and ownership of a farm can change year-to-year, producers on the farm must enroll by signing a contract each program year. I encourage you to contact your local FSA office today to schedule an appointment to enroll.” Continue reading

10-28-16 NREL Researchers Discover How a Bacterium, Clostridium thermocellum, Utilizes both CO2 and Cellulose to Make Biofuels

NREL-National Renewable Energy Laboratory LogoNREL Researchers Discover How a Bacterium, Clostridium thermocellum, Utilizes both CO2 and Cellulose to Make Biofuels


NREL scientists Pin-Ching Maness (left), Katherine J. Chou and Wei Xiong hold test tubes containing the bacterium Clostridium thermocellum. (Photo by Amy Glickson / NREL)

OCTOBER 28, 2016 – Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) made the surprise discovery that a metabolic pathway to take up CO2 exists and functions in a microorganism capable of breaking down and fermenting cellulosic biomass to produce biofuels including hydrogen and hydrocarbons.

Clostridium thermocellum is among the most efficient bacteria in directly converting cellulosic materials into hydrogen and hydrocarbons biofuels. Most bacteria feeding upon organic carbon compounds, such as glucose or xylose, release CO2 as a waste byproduct, decreasing the maximum amount of products the microorganism can produce per carbon atom measured as carbon efficiency. Continue reading

10-28-16 Statement by Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on How Ag Export Surge Boosted GDP Growth

USDA Press Release

Statement by Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on How Ag Export Surge Boosted GDP Growth

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued the following statement:

“Today’s report on gross domestic product growth in the third quarter of 2016 brings welcome news for our overall economy, and brings further affirmation that America’s agriculture sector remains a shining star in our nation’s ability to seize export opportunities. Economic growth has increased 2.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016, a direct result of the gains made in export sales. Exports reached 10 percent growth in the quarter, the highest since 2013, with agricultural exports contributing disproportionately to the gains. Although a strong U.S. dollar and lower commodity prices have created headwinds for America’s farmers and ranchers, this report demonstrates their ability to remain resilient and to seize opportunities to sell U.S. food, fiber and fuel to markets around the world. Continue reading

10-28-16 Colorado FSA Acreage Reporting Dates for 2017


Colorado FSA Acreage Reporting Dates for 2017

(Denver, Co) – October 27, 2016 – Colorado USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) state Executive Director Leland Swenson announced that producers who file accurate and timely reports for all crops and land uses, including failed acreage can prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits. Please pay close attention to the acreage reporting dates for 2017.

“In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit their local FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline,” said Swenson.

The following acreage reporting dates are applicable for Colorado: Continue reading

10-28-16 USDA Invests $1.7B to Protect Sensitive Agricultural Lands through CRP

USDA Press Release

USDA Invests $1.7 Billion to Protect Sensitive Agricultural Lands through Conservation Reserve Program

More than Half a Million Americans Involved with Protecting 24 Million Acres

WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will issue nearly $1.7 billion in payments to more than half of a million Americans who have contracts with the government to protect sensitive agricultural lands. The investment, part of the voluntary USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), will allow producers to protect almost 24 million acres of wetlands, grasslands and wildlife habitat in 2016. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, October 28th…

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Administration Given More Time to Defend WOTUS

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers now have an extra month to file their defense of the Waters of the U.S. Rule, or WOTUS. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today says the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals extended the deadline to file their response in defense of the rule from December 23rd of this year to January 18th of 2017. The Justice Department asked for extra time after states, businesses, and other municipal groups challenging the rule were given extra time to file their briefs. Those groups have until November 1 to file their paperwork with the court. The Justice Department will file a consolidated brief on behalf of the EPA and the Corps. The court also set a deadline of February 19, 2017, for intervenors to file briefs either in support of or opposition to the rule.


Trade Deal Between Canada and EU Back On

The Prime Minister of Belgium and other political leaders have reached a consensus supporting the proposed trade deal between Canada and the European Union. The French-speaking region of Wallonia was primarily responsible for holding up the deal. Officials in the Socialist region wanted stronger protections for labor, as well as stronger environmental and consumer standards. The leaders of the different regions in Belgium drew up an addendum that answered additional concerns. Part of the trade agreement involved creating courts to handle disputes between businesses and governments. An article on BBC Dot Com says Wallonia was concerned that would give too much power to multinational entities. They also wanted protections for Wallonia’s farmers, who would now face competition from Canadian imports. Belgian federal law says the country cannot approve any type of deal until the six regional parliaments have all signed off on it. The deal with the Belgians will still have to get approval from the 27 other nations in the European Union.


Poll Shows Trump Leading in Farm Country

A new nationwide poll is out that shows farmers and ranchers favoring Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the presidential sweepstakes. 55 percent of respondents in the Agri-Pulse Farm and Ranch Poll say they’ll vote for the Republican candidate while 18 percent say they’ll cast a vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton. The poll shows two percent of the respondents planning to vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and one percent casting a vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. However, those numbers could change as 15 percent of the respondents remain undecided and eight percent refused to answer the question as to who they were supporting. Trump attracted 59 percent of the male voters and 37 percent of female voters. Clinton drew support from 15 percent of males and 33 percent of females. The GOP nominee scored particularly well in two battleground states, with 68 percent of Ohio farmers and ranchers supporting Trump and 58 percent of farmers and ranchers in Florida also said they will support Trump. 86 percent of respondents were “somewhat” or “very dissatisfied” with the way things are going in the country, which is higher than the 75 percent number back in a January survey.


Bayer CEO Defends Monsanto Acquisition

Bayer AG Chief Executive Officer Werner Baumann defended his company’s planned $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto. There are widespread concerns about getting the deal past antitrust regulators. Baumann called the step, “Entirely logical. He added, “These two companies fit together and complement each other ideally.” The deal with Monsanto is just the latest of several high-profile consolidations in the $100 million global crop seeds and pesticide industry over the past 12 months. The European Union antitrust reviews are currently going on for deals involving Syngenta and ChemChina as well as the Dow and DuPont deal. Bauman said Bayer would submit its application to EU regulatory authorities early next year and would submit one to the U.S. by the end of this year. Baumann said again that he expects to close the deal for Monsanto by the end of 2017. Baumann made these remarks as the company announced its third-quarter earnings results. Net profit for the period ending September 30 was $1.3 billion, a 19 percent rise over the previous quarter.


U.N. Vote on Cuba Embargo Good News for Ag

The United State abstained from a United Nations vote Wednesday on a resolution calling for an end to the Cuban trade embargo. Pro-Cuba trade groups called it good news because it’s the first time in 25 years that America hasn’t stood in opposition to the resolution. While only Congress can change the embargo, Ag groups feel momentum is growing to open Cuba to agricultural exports. “We need these little battles to let people know the U.S. stands behind ending the trade embargo,” said Paul Johnson, co-Chair of the U.S. Ag Coalition for Cuba. Politico’s Morning Ag Report says America’s ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said Washington abstained because of President Obama’s new approach to dealing with Cuba. However, she categorically denies that the embargo violates international trade law. Power also said the U.S. abstaining from a vote this week, “Doesn’t mean that the United States agrees with all the policies and practices of the Cuban government.” The U.S. and Israel are the only two countries that have consistently voted against the resolution calling for an end to the Cuban trade embargo. Israel also abstained from the vote on Wednesday.


Farmers Willing to Walk Away from Cash Rent Agreements

A recent Farm Journal poll on Twitter showed 57 percent of respondents are willing to walk away from cash rental agreements if they can’t be renegotiated. Even more surprising is the Pro Farmer Landowner Survey that showed farmers saying if land prices don’t come down, they may walk away too. “44 percent of our members and subscribers are willing to walk away from a cash lease if it can’t be lowered in 2017,” said Mike Walsten, Editor of the Pro Farmer Landowner newsletter. Walsten said the number of farmers willing to walk away from cash rent agreements is up to 14 percent, which means cash rent conversations could be even tougher this year than they were last year. He said land values could also see a drop, but probably not as much as in years past. However, these numbers don’t mean there isn’t a market out there for farmland. Walsten said when the chance to acquire new acres comes up, there are farmers that come looking for the right price. “We see that 30 percent of our audience is willing to get back into the land market if the right price comes along,” Walsten said.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service