12-21-16 Current, former Colorado Corn board members among 2016 yield contest state winners

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Current, former Colorado Corn board members among 2016 yield contest state winners



Improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices helped corn growers achieve ever-higher yields in the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) 2016 National Corn Yield Contest. The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 52nd year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. Participation in the contest remained strong in 2016, with 7,972 entries received.

Current and former board members for the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC) and Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA) were among those who placed high in the state’s rankings of the yield contest, which included current CCAC board member Gary Melcher, as well as Jim Lenz, who is a past CCGA president. Continue reading

12-21-16 NRCS Debuts Improved Conservation Stewardship Program and Encourages Producers to Apply for Funding Today

NRCS-CO News Release HEader 010816

NRCS Debuts Improved Conservation Stewardship Program and Encourages Producers to Apply for Funding Today

CSP applications must be received by February 3, 2017 for funding consideration.

DENVER, CO – The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications for its improved Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Applications must be submitted to the local Field Offices by close of business on February 3, 2017. Continue reading

12-21-16 NRCS in Colorado Encourages Private Landowners to Sign Up for EQIP Funding

NRCS-CO News Release HEader 010816

NRCS in Colorado Encourages Private Landowners to Sign Up for EQIP Funding

Applications Must be received by Friday, February 17, 2016

DENVER, CO – Producers in Colorado who are interested in implementing conservation practices to improve natural resources on their private agricultural land have until Friday, February 17, 2016, to submit applications for FY 2017 funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  Eligible applications that are received after February 17th will be considered during a later time and will be processed throughout the fiscal year as needed. Continue reading

12-21-16 NRCS in Colorado Makes Available $6.5 M to Help Protect Viable Ag Lands

NRCS-CO News Release HEader 010816NRCS in Colorado Makes Available $6.5 M to Help Protect Viable Ag Lands

Submit ACEP-ALE application packages 4:00p.m. Friday, January 20th, 2017 for funding consideration

December 21, 2016, DENVER, CO– Clint Evans, State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Colorado recently announced the availability of $6.5M in funding for landowners to participate in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agricultural Land Easement (ACEP-ALE). ACEP-ALE is designed to protect agricultural viability, grazing uses and related conservation values of rural landscapes by limiting non-agricultural uses of the land. Application packages are due Friday, January 20th, 2017 by 4:00 p.m. for funding consideration.  Continue reading

12-21-16 The Industry Potato Industry Leadership Institute Set for Feb. 8-16

National Potato Council logo

Rising Potato Leaders Commit To Improving The Industry
Potato Industry Leadership Institute Set for Feb. 8-16

Washington, D.C. – The Potato Industry Leadership Institute (PILI) Class of 2017 will bring together 23 potato growers and industry representativesinterested in developing their leadership potential to better serve the industry. During the eight-day program, the PILI will offer a broad view of the potato industry across production regions and markets. The program also offers accelerated training on leadership characteristics, team development, communication skills, and effective media relations. Participants will also learn about public policy issues impacting the potato industry and experience first-hand how to deliver their personal stories to Capitol Hill. This annual program is administered by the National Potato Council (NPC) and Potatoes USA, and is generously supported by Syngenta. Continue reading


plant-select-logo2016 Top Performers announced

Fort Collins, CO  (December 20, 2016) Plant Select®, the country’s leading source of plants selected to thrive in High Plains and Intermountain regions, is pleased to announce the 2016 top performing plants as reported by our Demonstration Garden Partners.

Fifty three public gardens in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Montana participated in the Plant Select® Demonstration Garden Partner performance surveys in 2016. These gardens display Plant Select® winning plants, providing communities with educational opportunities to discover the plants that grow best in their local environments. To qualify as a partner, each garden must:

  • Display good garden design with regular garden maintenance
  • Have a well-planned educational program
  • Provide clear and legible signage with proper plant names
  • Be open to the public year around
  • Be at least one year old before applying

Plants were evaluated on winter hardiness, bloom and foliage quality, and overall appearance and performance on a scale of 1-9. The results are as follows:

CSU 2016 Grand Winner: top performer overall Blonde Ambition blue grama grass Photo credit: Plant Select®

CSU 2016 Grand Winner: top performer overall
Blonde Ambition blue grama grass
Photo credit: Plant Select®

Grand Winner: top performer overall

This year’s overall winner is Blonde Ambition blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’ PP22,048). Introduced in 2011, this ornamental selection of native blue grama grass was developed by David Salman, founder of High Country Gardens, and owner of Waterwise Gardening, LLC. It received an overall score of 8.3 and was evaluated in 82% of the gardens reporting. This is the second year in a row for Blonde Ambition as grand winner.

The following are the top performers in each of three elevation ranges. Scores are based on reports from a minimum of half the gardens in each range. Score and number of gardens reporting follow the winning plant name.

Top performers in the 3000-5500’ elevation range Continue reading

12-21-16 USDA Provides New Cost Share Opportunities for Organic Producers and Handlers

USDA Press ReleaseUSDA Provides New Cost Share Opportunities for Organic Producers and Handlers

Organic Producers and Handlers May Apply for Certification Cost Share Reimbursements; Expanded Eligibility for Transition and State Certification Cost

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that starting March 20, 2017, organic producers and handlers will be able to visit over 2,100 USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices around the country to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification.

“USDA is committed to helping the organic sector grow and thrive through a wide variety of programs, and part of that commitment is making it easy for stakeholders to access our services. That’s why, starting March 20, producers will be able to visit their local FSA offices to access organic certification cost-share reimbursements for up to 75 percent of the cost of organic certification,” said FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. “This will provide a more uniform, streamlined process nationwide; and it will give organic producers a chance to learn about other valuable USDA resources, like farm loans and conservation assistance that can help them succeed.” Continue reading

12-22-16 USDA Invests $225 Million in Innovative Conservation Partnerships

USDA Press ReleaseUSDA Invests $225 Million in Innovative Conservation Partnerships

Addition of 88 projects brings federal, partner investment to over $2 billion since 2014

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 88 high-impact projects across the country will receive $225 million in federal funding as part of the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). In addition, partners have proposed to contribute up to an additional $500 million to improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

With today’s announcement, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing a total of $825 million in 286 projects, bringing together more than 2,000 conservation partners who have committed an estimated $1.4 billion in financial and technical assistance. By 2018, NRCS and its partners, including Indian tribes, nonprofit organizations, state and local governments, private industry, water districts, universities and many others, will have invested at least $2.4 billion through RCPP, which was created by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“RCPP plays a critical role in connecting partners with producers to design and implement conservation solutions that benefit both natural resources and agriculture,” Vilsack said. “The Farm Bill is the largest source of federal funding for private lands conservation, and RCPP is contributing innovative conservation solutions to communities across the country.” Continue reading

12-21-16 USDA: Interactive Online Resource to Learn about Climate Change Adaptation…


December 21, 2016 – The Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC) has recently released a new education resource on climate change adaptation responses to help the USDA Forest Service, USDA Climate Hubs, other agencies, and the general public learn more about responding to a changing climate.  The CCRC is an online, nationally-relevant resource that connects land managers and decision-makers with credible, relevant, and useable science to address climate change in natural resource planning and application. Continue reading

12-22-16 CPW: Small Colorado native fish no longer “Federally Endangered” candidate

CPW News Release headerSmall Colorado native fish no longer “Federally Endangered” candidate

Arkansas Darter, courtesy of CPW

Arkansas Darter, courtesy of CPW

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Arkansas darter is a two-and-a-half inch native perch found throughout southeastern Colorado, Kansas and a few other states. On Oct. 6, 2016, after a 12-month finding, these fish were official categorized as “ not warranted” for federal listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, bringing some relief to more than 40 years of concern for the species.

Arkansas darter were listed as threatened at the state level by Colorado Parks and Wildlife in 1975, and through a collaborative effort with FWS and other state wildlife management agencies, were designated a federal candidate species in 1991. Candidate species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, are described as “having sufficient concern for their biological status but for which development of a proposed listing regulation is precluded by other higher priority listings.”   Continue reading

12-21-16 Make plans to attend the National FFA Alumni Conference in Orem, UT Feb 3-4…

Make plans to attend the National FFA Alumni Conference in Orem, UT Feb 3-4…

Registrations due by January 22nd…

alumni-emblem-without-background The National FFA Organizations Alumni Region 2 Development Conference will be Feb. 3-4, 2017 in Orem, Utah. This two-day conference is available at no cost for anyone interested in gaining knowledge on how to grow your alumni members at the state and local level.

On Friday evening, Feb. 3, attendees will focus on the state-level leader training and administration. Check with your state to make sure your state council is attending. The second day, Saturday, Feb. 4, will be local-level training targeting individual members, agriculture business and industry, educators and other members of Team Ag Ed. This conference is full of valuable and timely information. It will allow attendees to network and share ideas with other alumni members from across the region. Continue reading

12-21-16 Syngenta announces five new sugarbeet hybrids for 2017

Syngenta HeaderSyngenta announces five new sugarbeet hybrids for 2017

MINNETONKA, Minn., USA, December 21, 2016 – Syngenta will introduce five new Hilleshög® brand sugarbeet hybrids tailored to combat regional pest issues and deliver top genetic performance for the 2017 growing season. 

The new sugarbeet hybrids feature excellent sugar content and improved disease and pest tolerance traits. The following cooperatives will offer the specific hybrids noted:

  • American Crystal Sugar Cooperative: HIL9707, HIL9708
  • Michigan Sugar: HIL9732NT, NT9607RR
  • Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative: HIL9739

“Hilleshög offers high-performing sugarbeet hybrids with key disease traits to meet the challenges of each unique growing area,” said Tyler Ring, sugarbeet portfolio head, Syngenta. “Our hybrid portfolio is the result of innovative R&D practices, which include localized disease screening, breeding, hybrid selection and technology evaluation at specially designed facilities throughout the beet growing regions of the U.S. This leads to a more consistent on-farm experience year after year.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, December 21st…

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 Wednesday, December 21st…

CA Dairy Farmers Navigating Methane Reduction Bill

Dairy farmers in California now have more to consider in running their day-to-day operations. An article on Milk Business Dot Com says farmers face water issues, regulatory burdens, and the nation’s highest minimum wage. Farmers now must reduce methane emissions on their farms after Senate Bill 1383 was signed into law. Producers now have to reduce their methane emissions by 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030. “Dairy farmers are wondering what it means for them and their dairies,” said Paul Sousa, Director of Environmental Services and Regulatory Affairs for the Western United Dairymen. Sousa says the only way dairymen can meet the regulations is to install a digester. Digesters are showing up on more than 200 farms throughout the nation despite their very high cost. California producers have time to meet the regulations. Sousa says the new law can only take effect on or after January of 2024 if the regulations are technologically and financially feasible. “This gives families seven years to prepare and to implement reductions voluntarily with incentive funding,” Sousa says. The state of California has $50 million dollars available to help farmers make those changes.  


Panera Makes Animal Welfare Pledge for Broilers

Panera announced it will be adopting practices outlined in the Global Animal Partnership’s Broiler Chicken Standard. A CNBC Dot Com article says the non-profit organization created a five-step program it says promotes effective animal livestock care. The Standard requires no cages or crowding crates be used on animal farms. It also requires outdoor access for animals, as well as pasture centered farms, which means animals are brought indoors during bad weather. The overall goal is to improve the environment of livestock on farms. Global Animal Partnership also wants no alterations to the livestock, including beak trimming, de-spurring, or toe trimming. Panera is the first chain to adopt these standards and wants more to follow them. The CEO of Panera says, “It is our hope that leadership by companies like Panera will continue to be a catalyst for animal welfare across the industry.” The company wants these standards in place by 2024.   


USDA Releases Local Food Marketing Survey Results

The National Ag Statistic Service released the results of its first-ever Local Food Marketing Practices Survey this week. Over 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices. That resulted in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2015. Farmers who sold directly to institutions and intermediaries like wholesalers who would locally brand the product brought in the most money at $3.4 billion. Roughly 115,000 American farms sell their products direct to consumers, through on-farm stores or farmers’ markets. That segment of producers took in $3 billion in sales. A group of farmers also sold to retailers, pulling in $2.3 billion in profit. The top five states in direct food sales were California, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania led the nation in farms selling their products directly to consumers with over 6,000 operations. Only eight percent of U.S. operations were selling directly to consumers through an online market. The survey also concluded over 80 percent of all direct marketing food sales were made within 100 miles of the farm. Most farms selling to consumers were within 20 miles of their largest grossing marketplace.


Public Comment Period on GIPSA is Open

The comment period on proposed Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration rules is now open and runs for 60 days. The aim of the proposed rules is to protect poultry and livestock producers. The controversial rules would make it easier for producers to sue livestock companies and much harder for meat companies to cancel contracts with farmers. The rules would also give the U.S. Department of Ag more power to punish companies that have a track record of abuse. Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says the changes are designed to improve a system that the Obama Administration and some farm groups say has given meat companies the power to keep farmers in debt and destroy the livelihood of those who speak out against them. Meat and poultry groups across the country have called it the latest regulatory overreach for the Obama Administration. The National Pork Producers Council says the rules are an attack on rural America for playing a large part in helping Donald Trump get elected to the White House.” 


Avian Influenza Problems Continue in Asia and UK

A Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak is taking a toll on wild and domestic poultry flocks in Asia while another outbreak is just beginning in the United Kingdom. The outbreak has left authorities in Asian and European nations scrambling to deal with the disease and prevent further trouble. U.K. officials are now dealing with the first case that’s been recently found on the mainland. Japan is culling another 200,000 birds at a poultry farm after an outbreak killed another 30 birds. Japan had already culled over a half million birds in the last month. South Korea has already culled a record 16 million birds after a series of influenza outbreaks, representing a total of 20 percent of the nation’s flocks. Meating Place Dot Com says another 30,000 turkeys and ducks were culled last weekend in Germany after officials discovered another strain of the H5N8 influenza virus at two additional farms. Several reports in the United Kingdom this week confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza at a turkey farm. Threats of arrest and imprisonment are still in place to prevent the movement of poultry and eggs around the U.K.


Georgia Grower Wins Corn Yield Contest

Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy (dow-dee) took top honors in this year’s National Corn Growers Association 2016 Corn Yield Contest. Dowdy told Brownfield, “It’s not every day you get to announce you have 500-bushel corn.” He finished the year with 521 bushels per acre. Dowdy says farmers need to be students of the crop itself. “We have to control the controllable things,” he said, “and know what those things are. You have to walk the field and understand what stress is to a corn plant.” Once a farmer understands these things, Dowdy says the next thing is to figure out what to do to reduce stress on those plants. He says the key to better yield results starts with the plant stand, including, “how it emerges and how it comes out of the ground. It all has to come up at the same time.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service