12-22-16 USCA Applauds Obama Administration’s Examination of EU Trade Policies

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USCA Applauds Obama Administration’s Examination of EU Trade Policies

(WASHINGTON) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement from USCA President Kenny Graner following the announcement of President Obama’s first steps towards addressing the European Union’s unfair trade practices against the U.S. cattle industry.

“USCA applauds the Obama Administration for investigating the discriminatory trade practices employed against American cattle producers. We welcome the opportunity to comment on the EU’s 20-year ban on U.S. beef products and look forward to the proposed public hearing. The EU’s ban on U.S. beef is scientifically unfounded and results in lost market access to a population that is increasingly demanding high-quality beef products. As producers of the highest-quality beef in the world, USCA supports the Administration’s examination of the EU’s restrictive and distorted trade policies.”

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12-22-16 Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program selects 20 participants for its 13th class

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CALP...

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CALP…

Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program selects 20 participants for its 13th class

The Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP) recently selected 20 emerging leaders from across the state and with various backgrounds who will make up CALP’s 13th class. The nonprofit organization aims to strengthen effective agricultural leaders who reflect Colorado’s diverse population, by developing participants in the areas of communication, technology, social issues, cultural diversity, coalition building, resource management and government policy, just to name a few.

“As our state’s urban population grows and has a bigger influence, it’s absolutely critical that we develop Coloradans who are committed to the future of our agricultural and rural communities,” said State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, who serves as CALP’s board president. “And we couldn’t ask for a more talented and ambitious group to take part in our next class.” Continue reading

12-22-16 USDA/NASS-CO: LIVESTOCK SLAUGHTER – November 2016

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LIVESTOCK SLAUGHTER – November 2016

UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.50 billion pounds in November, up 11 percent from the 4.04 billion pounds produced in November 2015.

Beef production, at 2.24 billion pounds, was 16 percent above the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.67 million head, up 16 percent from November 2015. The average live weight was down 8 pounds from the previous year, at 1,384 pounds.

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12-22-16 CLA: Fugitive Nitrogen

Over the past 10 years CLA has been actively involved in discussions surrounding nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park. The stakeholder group has been working together to develop BMP’s for crop and livestock agriculture to mitigate the impact of nitrogen deposition.

Over the past 10 years CLA has been actively involved in discussions surrounding nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park. The stakeholder group has been working together to develop BMP’s for crop and livestock agriculture to mitigate the impact of nitrogen deposition.

CLA: Fugitive Nitrogen

CLA - Colorado Livestock Association logoPerhaps nowhere is ammonia from livestock under greater scrutiny than along the Front Range of Colorado. Increased levels of atmospheric nitrogen deposition are having a negative impact on the ecology of Rocky Mountain National Park, a crown jewel of the National Park System. While studies suggest many different sources are contributing to nitrogen deposition in the park (e.g., urban, out of state sources), much attention has been directed to the beef feedlots and dairies that populate the plains just east of the mountains. Continue reading

12-22-16 Beef Checkoff Study: Beef Maintains Favorable Tenderness Ratings

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Beef Checkoff Study: Beef Maintains Favorable Tenderness Ratings

Favorable tenderness ratings for beef steaks, which have improved significantly since 1990, have remained steady over the past five years, recent research shows. This quality retention has occurred despite environmental and financial challenges that could have derailed its progress. The beef checkoff-funded 2015/2016 National Beef Tenderness Survey was conducted at Texas A&M University, which has surveyed beef tenderness regularly since 1990.

“Despite some challenges over the past ten years, including drought, fluctuating supply and rising input costs, the tenderness of the beef being produced in the United States has remained steady, and often improved,” according to Jeffrey Savell, Ph.D., the lead investigator of the research at Texas A&M. “Beef is delivering a good eating experience to consumers, and this research suggests the industry is keeping its eye on the ball when it comes to protecting the improvements in tenderness it has made.” Continue reading

12-22-16 NASS-CO: USDA RELEASES RESULTS OF FIRST LOCAL FOOD MARKETING PRACTICES SURVEY

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USDA RELEASES RESULTS OF FIRST LOCAL FOOD MARKETING PRACTICES SURVEY

Lakewood, CO – December 22, 2016 – More than 3,500 Colorado farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices, resulting in $51.9 million in revenue in 2015, according to the results from the first Local Food Marketing Practices Survey released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The report results cover both fresh and value-added foods, such as meat and cheese. Continue reading

12-22-16 USCA Requests Status on U.S. Beef Trade with China

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USCA Requests Status on U.S. Beef Trade with China

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association sent a letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting an update on the status of trade negotiations with China in relation to the exportation of U.S. beef.

USCA Trade Committee Co-Chair Chasmine Nelson issued the following statement: 

“In September, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced in a speech delivered while in New York that Chinese consumers should no longer be denied the choice to dine on U.S. beef. The news was welcomed by U.S. cattle producers eager to take advantage of a growing demand for beef in the country. The letter requests an update on the status of those negotiations and encourages the Administration to reach out to stakeholders for input and feedback. We look forward to working with the Department to define the details of this proposed expanded market access and are optimistic that we can find a solution that benefits both U.S. producers and Chinese consumers.”

The letter may be viewed HERE. 

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12-22-16 USMEF Statement in Support of USTR’s Action on Beef Trade with EU

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USMEF Statement in Support of USTR’s Action on Beef Trade with EU

DENVER, CO – September 22, 2016 – Today the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it is initiating the process of reinstating industry-supported tariffs on $116.8 million of exports from the European Union (EU) to the United States. This action was taken in response to a request from the U.S. beef industry and is the latest installment in a long-running dispute between the U.S. and the EU over beef production practices. Even though the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled against the EU in two separate decisions, it has not been possible to find a lasting settlement to this dispute. In 2009, the EU agreed to compensate the United States by creating a duty-free quota for specially-produced beef. The United States once supplied most of the beef imported under the quota, but over the past three years U.S. beef has accounted for a minority and declining share of these imports.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Philip Seng issued the following statement: Continue reading

12-22-16 NCBA and PLC Comment on Endangered Species Coalition Report

NCBA PLC logosPublic Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Comment on Endangered Species Coalition Report

Summary: The Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association today commented on the Endangered Species Coalition’s report on priorities for a new administration by adding a few concerns of its own. PLC and NCBA maintain that effective conservation is only achieved through balanced management and a focus on truly imperiled species – not those targeted by activist groups with a “zero human footprint” agenda.

WASHINGTON (Dec. 22, 2016) – After reviewing the report released on Wednesday by the Endangered Species Coalition, entitled “Removing the Walls to Recovery: Top 10 Species Priorities for a New Administration,” the Public Lands Council and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association announced today several additional species overlooked by the report. Continue reading

12-22-16 Local FFA chapters awarded Colorado Corn grant dollars to help with various projects

Colorado Corn LogoLocal FFA chapters awarded Colorado Corn grant dollars to help with various projects

Greeley, CO – December 22, 2016 – The Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC) recently awarded a total of $7,500 to three FFA chapters in Colorado, helping those advisers and students with projects that cover greenhouse irrigation and fertilization systems, livestock facilities, and in one particular case, helping a brand-new chapter get off the ground.

Adding to its support of other youth-focused projects, the CCAC began its FFA grant program in 2013, awarding a $5,000 grant to the winner during the first year, and all together has now contributed a total of $28,984 to FFA chapters through this program.

This year’s Colorado Corn FFA Grant recipients (receiving $2,500 each) are: Continue reading

12-22-16 CDA: Applications Sought for Noxious Weed Management Grants

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CDA: Applications Sought for Noxious Weed Management Grants

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The Colorado Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for 2017 Noxious Weed Management grants. This year, the Department plans to award over $755,000 in grant funds to organizations and associations for projects that focus on controlling the state’s designated noxious weeds. Of that amount, over $105,000 are from the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry program. These grants, which are administered through CDA, support projects that reduce noxious weed infestations occurring close to Forest Service-managed lands.
“Controlling these invasive plants improves agricultural productivity, reduces wildfire risk and soil erosion, and improves soil health across the state,” said Steve Ryder, CDA’s State Weed Coordinator. Continue reading

12-22-16 NACD: CONSERVATION DISTRICTS TO LEAD RECORD 25 RCPP PROJECTS IN 2017

NACD: CONSERVATION DISTRICTS TO LEAD RECORD 25 RCPP PROJECTS IN 2017

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2016 – Over $46 million in federal funds will be awarded to 25 district-led conservation projects through the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) in 2017, setting a program record for conservation district leadership. The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) congratulates both the districts selected to lead these 25 projects and those that will play crucial support roles as partners on other RCPP projects in the new year.

Authorized by the 2014 farm bill, RCPP allocates federal dollars to large-scale conservation projects developed and implemented by localized partnerships. USDA pledged a total of $225 million in funding for 2017 (with the private sector contributing up to an additional $500 million) for 88 new RCPP projects to improve water quality and quantity, soil health, and wildlife habitat nationwide.

“Conservation districts are natural RCPP partners,” said NACD President Lee McDaniel. “Districts are professional innovators, experienced collaborators, and natural resource experts that have been working with landowners to put conservation on the ground since the days of the Dust Bowl.” Continue reading

12-22-16 NCBA Applauds USTR for Defending U.S. Beef from European Mistreatment

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NCBA Applauds USTR for Defending U.S. Beef from European Mistreatment

WASHINGTON (Dec. 22, 2016) – Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced it will start the process of reinstating retaliatory tariffs on goods and products from the European Union due to the E.U.’s unfair treatment of U.S. beef. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Tracy Brunner applauds USTR Ambassador Michael Froman for standing up for the U.S. beef industry and taking action in defense of U.S. beef producers.

“The European Union has left us no choice but to seek compensation for the long-standing mistreatment of U.S. beef exports,” said Brunner. “Our temporary agreement with the E.U. was meant to be an opportunity to build a bridge of trust between U.S. beef producers and E.U. consumers, and to compensate the United States for the losses we have suffered as a result of the E.U.’s hormone ban. The E.U. has violated the spirit of that agreement and caused U.S. beef exports to become a minority interest in a quota meant to compensate U.S. beef producers.” Continue reading

12-22-16 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

12-22-16 USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for December 22nd

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Weekly Export Sales

This report is based on individual reports submitted by private exporters and identifies outstanding sales and accumulated exports of selected U.S. agricultural commodities.  The report is published weekly, normally on Thursday morning at 8:30 A.M.

A PDF file of the complete report is attached.  For more information you may visit: www.fas.usda.gov/programs/export-sales-reporting-program.

For a schedule of upcoming FAS reports, please visit www.fas.usda.gov/data-analysis/report-release-calendar.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, December 22nd

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 Thursday, December 22nd

Combs a Surprise Potential Ag Secretary Nominee

The search for an Agriculture Secretary has turned its attention to Susan Combs. She’s a former Commissioner of Agriculture and state comptroller of Texas. Combs met with Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Tuesday, which may have been due to the endorsement of House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway of Texas. He told Politico’s Morning Agriculture report that he’s “been working to put her name into consideration” with President-elect Trump’s transition management team. The team didn’t comment publicly, but Combs is the first publicly acknowledged candidate for Ag Secretary to meet with Pence or Trump since North Dakota Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp on December 2. Combs grew up on a west Texas cattle ranch, but some are questioning her fit with the Trump administration. As Texas Ag Commissioner, she pushed nutrition policies in line with Michelle Obama’s and backed two of Trump’s rivals in the primaries. Conaway said her accomplishments as a comptroller stand out, saying she streamlined tax processes, recaptured $600 million in unpaid taxes, and cut $400 million dollars in government purchasing by making the process more efficient. Conaway says, “The federal government needs more people with that kind of expertise.”

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Hormel Settles Dispute with Labor Department

37 women are heading to Hormel for work after the company settled a hiring dispute with the Department of Labor. A Meating Place Dot Com article says Hormel will hire the women with retroactive seniority and pay back over half a million dollars in back wages to 403 female job applicants who were denied entry-level jobs at its Fremont, Nebraska plant. Hormel’s fine and retroactive hiring agreement bring to a close a case filed by the Labor Department after it found Hormel discriminated against the women in its hiring process. Hormel is a federal contractor so it’s required to hire according to anti-discriminatory rules set forth in an executive order. Hormel has a federal contract to be a food supplier for the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Defense. The Department of Labor found that Hormel was discriminatory in its hiring practices from February of 2008 to February of 2009. Hormel Foods said in a statement, “While we disagree with the Department of Labor, we believe a settlement now will avoid an unnecessary distraction.” Other meatpacking companies have faced similar suits over hiring practices, including Pilgrim’s Pride and JBS.

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Proposed Organic Livestock Farm Rules Not Guaranteed

Rules that would change the production of organic meat are awaiting President Obama’s approval but may run out of time. That means they might not ever go into effect. The High Plains Public Radio website says the proposed rules would clarify current rules and create new standards of care for animals on organic livestock farms. The rules would focus in on livestock and poultry living conditions, veterinary care, as well as transportation and slaughtering of livestock. The U.S. Department of Agriculture put the new rules together and estimates they’ll cost producers roughly $13 million per year. President-elect Donald Trump will be sworn in on January 20 and has pledged to undo a lot of regulations put into place by President Obama. Livestock industry officials and producers want these new rules to be among those that go away. The USDA says consumers aren’t certain about what the organic livestock label actually means, and that current standards are too ambiguous and confusing. Groups like the Organic Trade Association say the regulation updates are necessary to keep the organic label from getting watered down. The Association says rules like these should make sure producers don’t charge a premium for their product without following the rules for producing organic meats. Ag groups like the National Pork Producers Council and state chapters of the American Farm Bureau are vehemently opposed to the proposed rule changes.  

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EPA Removing Pesticide Ingredients from The Market

The Environmental Protection Agency is removing 72 inert ingredients from the list of ingredients approved for use in pesticides. Any manufacturers who want to use those ingredients in the future will need to first demonstrate their safety to the EPA, either through studies or other information. The EPA will then decide whether or not to approve the request. EPA is taking this action in response to a petition filed by the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, and others. The groups initially asked the EPA to disclose up to 371 inert ingredients in pesticides. In response, the EPA then said it will evaluate the risks found in each inert ingredient and make changes as appropriate. Pesticide ingredients that directly control weeds or insects are called active ingredients. Those that don’t directly affect pests are called inert ingredients. Many of the 72 inert ingredients were included on the original list of 371.

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Rabobank Issues Report on Reshaping Food Sector

The Rabobank Food and Agriculture Advisory Group issued a report on how the future is shaping up for North American agriculture, especially focusing in on agribusinesses over the next five years. The results show farmers will have an incentive to consolidate, streamline their operations, and respond to consumer desires. Senior Analyst Sterling Liddel says, “We’re expecting changes across the agriculture industry and the need for producers to respond and adapt in order to survive and succeed.” The report says three years of losses have forced farmers to use up most of their liquidity and they have tough decisions ahead about structuring debt and equity. Due to a decline in grain prices, the protein sector is expanding and should continue to do so next year. The dairy industry is facing increasing competition from non-dairy, plant-based alternatives across America. To be successful, the industry needs to promote dairy as an integral part of American food consumption. The report also says sugar processors will continue to move towards more non-GMO sources.   

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USDA Announces Cost Sharing for Organic Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says organic producers can head to one of 2,100 Farm Service Agency offices on March 20, 2017, and apply for financial help to assist with the cost of receiving or maintaining current organic or transitional certification. FSA Administrator Val Dolcini says, “USDA is committed to helping the organic sector grow through a wide variety of programs. That’s why, on March 20, producers can head to their FSA offices and apply for reimbursements of up to 75 percent of cost share certification.” He says this provides a more streamlined application process around the nation and will give organic producers a chance to learn more about the various USDA assistance programs, including farm loans and conservation assistance. USDA hopes these changes will encourage more producers to sign up for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, as well as the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program. These changes should also provide organic producers an opportunity to access a full range of USDA programs, such as disaster protection and loans for farms, facilities, and marketing. Eligible producers include any certified producers or handlers who’s paid organic or transitional certification fees to a USDA-accredited certifying agent.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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