11-11-16 CCGA pleased with Amendment 71 passage

Colorado Corn LogoCCGA pleased with Amendment 71 passage

Proponents of Amendment 71, including the Colorado Corn Growers Association, welcomed news this week of the measure passing with 56.4 percent of the vote.

Dubbed as the “Raise the Bar” effort, Amendment 71 makes the amendment process for Colorado’s state constitution more stringent and more inclusive of rural areas, requiring petitions to have signatures from all 35 of the state’s senate districts to get a measure on the ballot, and once on the ballot, requiring 55 percent of the vote to pass.

Through writing letters to the editor and other outreach efforts, CCGA leaders stressed that Colorado, with its changing demographics and a state constitution that’s the third-easiest of all states to amend, has become a playground for special interests. And that can be detrimental to Colorado’s $40 billion ag industry — one of the top contributors to our state’s economy — and its rural communities. 
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2016 – The National Association of Conservation Districts has congratulated President-elect Donald J. Trump on his election to the presidency and stands at the ready to work collaboratively with his transition team.

In a letter from NACD President Lee McDaniel and President-elect Brent Van Dyke, the association offered its congratulations to President-elect Trump and expressed its hope that voluntary, locally-led conservation will be among his administration’s top priorities. Continue reading

11-11-16 CCA News: Seeking Nominations for the 2017 Leopold Conservation Award…


Seeking Nominations for the 2017 Leopold Conservation Award

cca-scf-2017-leopold-nominations-sought-posterThe Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust invite you to submit a nomination for the prestigious Leopold Conservation Award.

The Leopold Conservation Award Program recognizes agricultural landowners actively committed to a land ethic. It recognizes and celebrates extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation by private landowners, inspires countless other landowners and provides a prominent platform by which agricultural community leaders are recognized as conservation ambassadors to the general public. The program builds bridges between agriculture, government, environmental organizations, industry, and academia to advance the cause of private lands conservation. To learn more about the program, please refer to the enclosed brochure or visit http://leopoldconservationaward.org/. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, November 11th…

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Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Acreage Planting Switch Possible in 2017

Some experts are predicting more soybeans and less corn will go in the ground during the 2017 planting season. An Ag Web Dot Com report says the extent of the acreage switch will be determined in part by crop demand for those commodities in the new year. Producers saw an unusually good planting window in 2016, but a return to more normal planting conditions is likely for 2017. “We’ll go back to more typical conditions and more prevent plant in line with a typical year,” said Pat Westhoff, Director of the Food and Ag Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri. Farmer liquidity will also determine how many corn acres make the switch to soybeans in 2017. “I expect more of a shift next year because we’re running out of liquidity,” said Ag Economist Gary Schnitkey at the University of Illinois. “The profitability of soybeans is projected higher and has lower costs, so this will move us toward soybeans.” Schnitkey also says lower wheat prices will likely lead some eastern Corn Belt producers to switch from wheat to soybeans next year. Talk of farmers cutting back on technology and traits next year probably doesn’t happen in soybeans because of increasing resistance in weeds like Waterhemp.


EPA Approves Some Dicamba-Based Herbicides

Monsanto’s new dicamba-based weed killers were approved for use this week by the Environmental Protection Agency. The weed killers are designed for use on next generation biotech soybean and cotton varieties. Reuters says the EPA approved the XtendiMax herbicide for in-crop use on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend biotech soybeans, which are designed to tolerate applications of glyphosate and dicamba. The agency also approved Bollgard 2 XtendFlex Cotton, which will also tolerate glyphosate and dicamba as well as glufosinate. Monsanto is still waiting for EPA approval on its Roundup Extend herbicide, which is also a glyphosate and dicamba blend. Farmers have been using dicamba for years to kill weeds before they plant crops. Up until this week, farmers haven’t been able to use the product on growing crops. Environmental groups were not happy with the approval. The Center for Biological Diversity says the ruling will lead to a sharp increase in pesticide use with the potential for harming threatened animal and plant species. Monsanto says the Xtend product platform will be its largest technology launch in history. The company expects that soybean variety will be planted on 15 million acres next year.


Farm Sector Financial Stress Still Climbing

Financial stress in the farm sector is continuing to make a slow and steady climb. The stress continued to rise in the third quarter as income in the farm sector stayed low. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Ag Credit Survey says producers are expending more working capital to meet financial obligations because of continued weakness in both the crop and livestock sectors of the ag economy. Over 90 percent of bankers who responded to the survey said they’ve seen at least some deterioration in working capital their clients have available. 30 percent of bankers responded by reporting a significant level of deterioration in working capital for their clients. Working capital is important buffer against financial challenges, and less capital means more borrowers run the risk of becoming highly leveraged while trying to sustain their operations. Weakness in the farm economy also led to a decline in farmland values. The value of each type of farmland, including irrigated, non-irrigated, and ranchland, fell more than 6 percent from last year.  Bankers also report increasing collateral requirements for agricultural loans, as well as declining available funds and farm loan repayment rates.


Environmental Regulations Early GOP Target

Top Congressional lawmakers already had Obama-era regulations in their sights shortly after the election of Donald Trump to the White House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConell is urging Trump to see “how many of the regulations he can undo all by himself,” especially regarding rules that have negatively impacted the coal industry. McConnell also wants the new president to undo the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan on “Day One” in office. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan thinks regulatory relief for citizens should come quickly after Trump moves into the Oval Office. Republicans in Congress have certain things on their wish list as well: no federal regulations on fracking, no federal greenhouse gas regulations, as well as expanding development of offshore oil and gas exploration. Senator Rand Paul says one of the first things President Trump will do is get rid of job-killing regulations. Trump campaign advisor Harold Hamm says he expects Trump to begin undoing energy sector regulations imposed by President Obama “on day one” of his administration.


Global Food Prices Continue to Rise

Global food prices rose during October. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says its food price index climbed 1.2 points over the September totals to 172.6. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today Report says the index is 9 percent higher than a year ago and has climbed every month except for a brief tumble in July. The FAO says sugar and dairy values rose sharply during October while the cereal index rose more modestly. Oils and meat went in the other direction, dropping sharply last month. Other notable parts of the report included the FAO raising its global wheat crop outlook 4.3 Million Metric Tons from October to a total of 746 Million Metric Tons. The 1.7 percent increase from last year was forecast due to record-large wheat harvest in Russia as well as a higher crop forecast for Kazakhstan.


Bird Flu Discovered in European Union

Wildfowl infected with bird flu has been discovered in several European Union countries. As a result, the Dutch government ordered farmers in the Netherlands to move their poultry flocks indoors. Reuters says the Dutch authorities are currently testing several dead birds for the H-5-N-8 subtype of the virus. H-5-N-8 is not believed to be dangerous to humans. Possible infections have been reported in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, and Austria. German, Swiss, and Austrian authorities are currently coordinating containment efforts as wild birds can transmit the virus to poultry on the farm. The Netherlands is especially concerned as their 100 million hens, pigs, cows, and sheep are all packed in tightly on high intensity farms. The close proximity of farms and animals makes them more vulnerable to potential disease outbreaks. Going back to 1997, 40 million hens, cows, sheep, goats, and pigs have been slaughtered to contain outbreaks of swine flu, foot-and-mouth, and mad cow disease.  

SOURCE: NAFB News Service