12-09-16 NCBA: Congress Provides Necessary Relief from EPA’s SPCC Regulations

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Congress Provides Necessary Relief from EPA’s SPCC Regulations

WASHINGTON (Dec. 10, 2016) – Statement by Scott Yager, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association environmental counsel on the Congressional passage of The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act, which includes a provision to provide regulatory relief for farms from the EPA’s Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Rule for farms. Continue reading

12-09-16 US Senator Bennet-Authored Measure to Expedite Gold King Mine Reimbursements Passes Senate

US Senator Michael Bennet color official photo-022513Bennet-Authored Measure to Expedite Gold King Mine Reimbursements Passes Senate

Headed to President’s Desk for Signature

Washington, DC – Yesterday the Senate passed a bill to reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) with a measure sponsored by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet to expedite the reimbursement of emergency response costs assumed by States, Indian tribes, and local governments following the Gold King Mine spill.

“For the last sixteen months, we’ve been pushing the EPA to reimburse the State, Indian tribes, and local governments that responded quickly to the Gold King Mine spill,” Bennet said. “We were disappointed last week when the agency announced that it did not plan to pay back more of the money that local communities spent responding to the spill. The bipartisan amendment that we included in the Water Resources Development Act will require the EPA to pay communities back for more of their costs. It also ensures the EPA continues to work with local communities to develop a long-term water monitoring program for the Animas River and authorizes funding for the program. We look forward to the President signing this bill into law and will work with southwest Colorado to make sure they receive the reimbursements they are due.” Continue reading

12-09-16 USDA Announces Additional Financial Incentives for Conservation Reserve Program Participants to Improve Forest Health and Enhance Wildlife Habitat

USDA - FSA HeaderUSDA Announces Additional Financial Incentives for Conservation Reserve Program Participants to Improve Forest Health and Enhance Wildlife Habitat

JACKSON, Miss., Dec. 9, 2016 – In an effort to improve wildlife habitat and the health of private forest lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced additional incentives available for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants to actively manage forest lands enrolled in the program.

“Many CRP forests were initially established to conserve soil and protect water quality, but there is also a critical need to restore wildlife habitat” said Brad Pfaff, FSA Deputy Administrator for Farm Programs. “Over the years as trees grow and the forest canopy closes, the quality of wildlife habitat for many species declines. These new incentives are intended to reverse that trend, while also maintaining healthy forests.” Continue reading

12-09-16 National Wheat Foundation: Deadline for Jerry Minore Scholarship is December 31st…

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Deadline for Jerry Minore Scholarship is Dec 31st

The deadline for the Jerry Minore Scholarship, offered by the National Wheat Foundation, is December 31, 2016, and the Foundation encourages college freshman, sophomores, and juniors to apply for the chance to win either $1,000 or $1,500 for the 2017-18 school year. Students pursuing an agricultural-related degree, and with a connection or membership to NAWG, are eligible for the Minore scholarship, which honors Jerry Minore, a longtime friend of the wheat industry and advocate for wheat farmers. Students interesting in applying should click here for more information. The postmark deadline for the application is December 31, 2016. Continue reading

12-09-16 National Wheat Foundation Announces Wheat Yield Contest Winners and Opens 2017 Contest…

 

NWF-National Wheat Foundation logoNational Wheat Foundation Announces Wheat Yield Contest Winners and Opens 2017 Contest

Last week, the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) announced the winners of the 2016 National Wheat Yield Contest, including the fourteen national winners, and all the state winners. The highest yielding grower was Phillip Gross from Warden, Washington, who grew a yield of 192.85 bushels per acre, with Westbred Keldin seeds. A full list of the winners can be found here.

With the announcement of the winners, NWF is also pleased and excited to open registration for the 2017 National Wheat Yield Contest. Continue reading

12-09-16 NAWG Welcomes Congress’ Prioritization of Funding for FSA Loans in Continuing Resolution…

NAWG - wheat_logo

NAWG Welcomes Congress’ Prioritization of Funding for FSA Loans in Continuing Resolution

This week, Congress is working to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) spending package to fund the government through April 28, 2017. As of this writing, the House has passed it, and a Senate vote is expected tomorrow or Saturday. NAWG is pleased to see that Congress has allocated resources for the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) direct and guaranteed operating and ownership loan programs, which have been in abnormally high demand following an extended period of low prices for wheat farmers.

Continue reading

12-09-16 TAMU News: People, politics, agriculture key components for new wheat growers leader…

12-09-16 USDA releases December 2016 WASDE Update..

WAOB- World Ag Outlook Board - WASDE

The current World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) is now available in PDF, XML, and Microsoft Excel formats at:

http://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde

Acrobat Reader, which is required to view and print the WASDE report, can be downloaded at:

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

The next release of the WASDE report will be January 13, 2017.

Previous WASDE reports are available at http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1194.

NAFB: USDA WASDE Report At a Glance Continue reading

12-09-16 CO-OEDIT: New Study Identifies Economic Drivers and Hurdles for Success to Recovery for Colorado Communities

OEDIT-CO logoNew Study Identifies Economic Drivers and Hurdles for Success to Recovery for Colorado Communities

Denver (Dec. 8, 2016)  The University of Colorado Leeds School of Business and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) today released a new study that cites community visions, leadership pipelines, and public-private partnerships as factors that are essential to being an economically resilient community. The study conducted a comprehensive statewide analysis of factors that affect a community’s economic resiliency to understand what makes some communities in Colorado thrive while others fail to retain population and sustain economic growth.
“While our state as a whole has experienced an incredible economic rebound over the last several years, we know that the rebound has been uneven across the state,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “This study provides information that can support communities in building a diverse economic base and sound strategies to achieve economic resiliency.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 9th…

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 9th…

Food Price Index Down Slightly

The monthly Food Price Index compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations dipped slightly in November. Released Thursday, the index averaged 171.3 points in November, only 0.4 percent below its October level, but still 10.4 percent higher than November 2015. The month-to-month small decline marked a departure from an almost uninterrupted rising trend in the index since the start of the year. November’s decrease was driven by a sharp dip in sugar prices, which more than offset a strong rebound in the price of vegetable oils. Cereal grains, vegetable oils, and dairy prices all increased for the month. Meat prices remained relatively unchanged from October. Dairy prices across the globe increased near two percent on rising usage and robust demand. Meanwhile, the fall in international sugar prices was largely attributed to a weakening of the Brazilian currency with respect to the U.S. Dollar, which stimulated sugar exports from Brazil, the world’s largest sugar producer and exporter.

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Most U.S. Farms are Family Operated

A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture released this week shows 99 percent of U.S. farms were family farms in 2015. Family farms, according to USDA, are classified as a farm where the principal operator and his or her relatives owned the majority of the business. The report shows that small family farms—those with less than $350,000 in annual gross cash farm income—accounted for about 90 percent of U.S. farms, half of all farmland, and a quarter of the value of production. Midsize and large-scale family farms, which have at least $350,000 in gross farm cash income, made up only nine percent of U.S. farms -but contributed most of the value of production. Over the past 25 years, production has shifted to midsize and large-scale farms. However, small family farms did produce a relatively large share of two commodities in 2015: 57 percent of all poultry and eggs and 52 percent of the nation’s hay crop.

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Canada Increases Bovine TB Quarantine

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced earlier this week the federal quarantine in Alberta and Saskatchewan now includes about 50 premises as inspectors continue the investigation into a micro bovine tuberculosis outbreak. The list includes more than 26,000 animals. The number of cattle confirmed to be infected with TB has remained at six since last month. However, roughly 10,000 some cattle may have been exposed to bovine TB. All the infected animals and animals exposed to TB have been or are due to be destroyed, and all farms now under quarantine are scheduled for on-farm testing. Online publication AgCanada reports the testing could be completed by early January, given the current pace of testing. The federal agency says compensation teams are still meeting with ranchers and all affected producers have been provided with a point of contact with the government.

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EPA Finds Widespread Nutrient Pollution in U.S. Lakes

A report by the Environmental Protection Agency released Thursday finds four in 10 lakes suffer from too much nitrogen and phosphorus. The national assessment is part of a series of aquatic surveys that outline the condition of U.S. water resources. The report says low concentrations of the herbicide atrazine were found in 30 percent of lakes along with a toxic algae in 39 percent of lakes, but below levels of concern. Atrazine is currently under review by the EPA in a slow and lengthy evaluation to consider limiting the herbicide’s use. Farm groups maintain atrazine’s effectiveness and safety is well documented with nearly 7,000 scientific studies conducted on the product. The EPA says nutrient pollution is one of America’s most widespread and costly environmental and public health challenges.

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Immigration Crackdown Could Increase Food Prices

A blog by the Washington Post says if President-elect Donald Trump pursues a major crackdown on illegal immigration, prices of some fruits and vegetables may soar higher. Trump has promised a crackdown on the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. However, a deportation effort would take workers away from agriculture. Undocumented workers account for 67 percent of people harvesting fruit and 61 percent of all employees on vegetable farms, and as many as half of all workers picking crops. Agricultural economists say any interruption in the workforce would ripple throughout the food system. Some of the effects feared include farm bankruptcies, labor shortages and high priced food items. The Washington Post even ponders that a crackdown on immigration could lead to more food imports from other nations, undermining Trump’s effort to boost American industry. Still, farm labor accounts for only a small share of most foods, about 1.6 cents of every dollar on average. An Agriculture Department Economic Research Service economist predicts the impact of stricter immigration policy on grocery costs overall would be “very small.”

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High School, College Students Unaware of Ag Jobs Available

A new study shows the agriculture industry adds nearly 60,000 jobs annually, yet only three percent of high school and college students are aware of the job prospects in agriculture. The survey, sponsored by America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, a Monsanto Fund program, shows just 13 percent of high school and college students are interested in pursuing a career in the agriculture industry. The survey also identified several misconceptions that contributed to the findings. For example, only 35 percent of high school and college students believed careers in agriculture were technology-driven. The survey questioned 1,000 respondents and found 45 percent were interested in technology careers, while 40 percent were interested in arts and entertainment careers. To raise awareness of the job prospects in agriculture, the Monsanto Fund is supporting the America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders program, which will award more than $500,000 in scholarships in 2017. Students can learn more online at Grow Ag Leaders dot com (www.GrowAgLeaders.com).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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