02-28-17 Trump Must Consider Policy Impacts to Rural and Farming Communities, NFU Says

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Trump Must Consider Policy Impacts to Rural and Farming Communities, NFU Says

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress tonight, offering a blueprint of his vision for the future of the country. NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response: Continue reading

02-28-17 Register for the Yampa/White Basin Ag Producers’ Water Future Workshop in Steamboat Springs March 22nd

cawa-logo-updatedRegister for the Yampa/White Basin Ag Producers’ Water Future Workshop!

The next Colorado Ag Water Alliance (CAWA) Ag Producers’ Water Workshop will be held Wednesday, March 22 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center, 1605 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO, from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.
The event is free, and the organizers hope to have a good turnout of producers in the region. See below for more information about CAWA:

Continue reading

02-28-17 NCGA: President Trump Overturns WOTUS

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NCGA: President Trump Overturns WOTUS

WASHINGTON (February 28, 2017) – The National Corn Growers Association today applauded President Donald Trump for issuing an executive order repealing the 2015 Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.

“We appreciate the Trump Administration’s commitment to reducing regulatory burdens for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock. “We fully support the repeal of the WOTUS rule. Farmers and ranchers care deeply about clean water, but this rule had significant flaws. It was arbitrarily written, legally indefensible, and extremely difficult to implement.” Continue reading

02-28-17 NMPF Commends Executive Order to Begin Rollback of Waters of the U.S. Rule

NMPF Commends Executive Order to Begin Rollback of Waters of the U.S. Rule

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From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, National Milk Producers Federation

ARLINGTON, VA – “President Donald Trump’s decision today to roll back the controversial Waters of the U.S. regulation is a welcome development for the nation’s dairy farmers, who have been concerned by the continuing lack of clarity and certainty generated by this policy. Today’s action signals that the Trump Administration recognizes we need to go back and rethink the entire process that led us to this point.

“The Waters of the U.S. rule was finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers in 2015, but was subsequently blocked by a federal appeals court, which has suspended nationwide implementation of the regulation. Today’s decision directs EPA to revise or rescind the rule that expanded the number of waterways that are regulated under the Clean Water Act. Despite NMPF’s best efforts to influence EPA’s work on this measure several years ago, we were disappointed with many aspects of the final rule.  Continue reading

02-28-18 NPPC: Trump Repeals Waters of the U.S. Rule

nppc-press-release-headerNPPC: Trump Repeals Waters of the U.S. Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 28, 2017 – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) applauds an executive order issued today by President Trump that begins the process of rescinding or rewriting a controversial Clean Water Act regulation that would have given the government broad jurisdiction over land and water.

The order directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a formal review of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which took effect Aug. 28, 2015, and ostensibly was implemented to clarify the agency’s authority over various waters. That jurisdiction – based on several U.S. Supreme Court decisions – had included “navigable” waters and waters with a significant hydrologic connection to navigable waters. But the regulation broadened that to include, among other water bodies, upstream waters and intermittent and ephemeral streams such as the kind farmers use for drainage and irrigation. It also covered lands adjacent to such waters. Continue reading

02-28-17 America’s Biofuel Advocates Reject Effort to Derail Renewable Fuel Standard

Fuels AMerica logo smallAmerica’s Biofuel Advocates Reject Effort to Derail Renewable Fuel Standard

WASHINGTON, DC – The nation’s leading coalition of biofuel advocates, unified under the Fuels America coalition, today have resolved to reject a play by Carl Icahn, owner of CVR Refining, to permanently destabilize the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and has severed ties with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The Fuels America coalition has issued the following statement:

“Fuels America represents a diverse coalition, from farmers to scientists, working to protect America’s Renewable Fuel Standard and promote the adoption of homegrown biofuels that are good for the U.S. economy, for our nation’s energy security, and for the environment. In keeping with our mission, we adamantly oppose any effort to derail the RFS by shifting the point of obligation and exempting certain refiners and fuel importers from their responsibility to deliver cleaner, more affordable biofuel options to consumers.  Continue reading

02-28-17 NFU Urges Trump Administration to Avoid Changes that Undermine RFS

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NFU Urges Trump Administration to Avoid Changes that Undermine RFS

WASHINGTON – Amidst reports of a pending executive order to change the point of obligation for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging the Trump Administration to avoid changes to the RFS that would undermine the success of the nation’s strongest biofuel policy.

Echoing concerns raised by the organization in a recent letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, NFU President Roger Johnson released the following statement:

“To this point, President Trump has expressed support for renewable biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard, and his administration has stated it’s intent to administer the program as written by Congress. Any attempt by the administration to change the point of obligation through an executive order would unnecessarily complicate compliance and undermine the underpinnings of the RFS.

“NFU strongly urges the Trump Administration to avoid changes that would undermine the RFS. We look forward to ensuring the program continues to grow the ethanol market and be a boon to rural economies, energy independence, and the environment.” Continue reading

02-28-17 NACD CEO TELLS HOUSE LAWMAKERS WHAT’S NEEDED IN UPCOMING FARM BILL

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NACD CEO TELLS HOUSE LAWMAKERS WHAT’S NEEDED IN UPCOMING FARM BILL

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2017 – The CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts, Jeremy Peters, testified on behalf of the membership association today in a House subcommittee hearing on the next farm bill – a critical piece of legislation that underpins a sizable portion of voluntary conservation work in the United States.

“Today, our nation’s conservation delivery system reaches into virtually every community,” Peters told members of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry. “The voluntary-incentive based model has and continues to work to ensure our nation’s natural resources are protected.” Continue reading

02-28-17 Beef Checkoff News: The 3 Ds Strategy to Market U.S. Beef Worldwide

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The 3 Ds Strategy to Market U.S. Beef Worldwide

When the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), contractor to the beef checkoff, is making plans to increase the movement of U.S. beef into export markets, they keep a “3-D” strategy in mind: 1) Develop, 2) Displace and 3) Defend. That is, Develop new markets and new sectors in existing markets, Displace the competition, and Defend the U.S. market share against aggressive competition by other beef exporters worldwide. Continue reading

02-28-17 Beef Checkoff News: New Research Examines Beef Demand Indices

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cattle-industryNew Research Examines Beef Demand Indices

Beef demand is critical to understand and monitor as it directly influences overall beef industry prosperity. When beef demand strengthens, beef and cattle prices for the entire industry are higher than they otherwise would be, says Kansas State University Economist Glynn Tonsor. This highlights the clear economic value in accurately measuring beef demand. One way to do this is through construction of an index that provides an easy to understand, single-measure indicator of beef demand over time. A beef checkoff-funded study by Glynn T. Tonsor, and Ted. C. Schroeder, both of Kansas State University, recently examined the feasibility of developing new foodservice and grocery store beef demand indices. Continue reading

02-28-17 Soil Health Conference scheduled in Longmont on March 9th

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Soil scientist also known as an agronomist, looks at soil to determine its health, Virginia.

Soil scientist also known as an agronomist, looks at soil to determine its health, Virginia.

Soil Health Conference scheduled for Thursday March 9

Boulder County, Colo. – The 2017 Soil Health Conference will take place Thursday March 9, at the Plaza Conference Center in Longmont. Activities at the conference include soil health demonstrations, presentations from scientists and farmers, and networking with participants and exhibitors. 

Featured speakers include Rudy Garcia, State Agronomist for New Mexico NRCS, and Meagan Schipanski, Assist. Prof in the Dept of Soil and Crop Sciences, CSU. Continue reading

02-28-17 CSU Ext News: ARC-CO and PLC Payment Calculators Now Available

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CSU Ext News: ARC-CO and PLC Payment Calculators Now Available

STERLING, CO – Operating loan renewal time is well underway and many farmers and ranchers are busy preparing their financial documents to share with their ag lender. One common financial document required by most lenders is a cash flow statement. The cash flow statement captures all of the inflows and outflows of the farm/ranch business and designates the month in which the income or expense occurs. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, February 28th…

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 Tuesday, February 28th…

Poll Shows Free Trade Support is Growing

A new poll by the Wall Street Journal shows an increase in support for free trade in the United States. The growing support comes despite anti-trade sentiments by President Donald Trump and his removal of the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, along with intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The poll last week found that 43 percent of Americans surveyed thought positively of free trade between the U.S. and foreign countries, while 34 percent of respondents thought free trade hurt the country. The results represent a sharp reversal from a similar poll from March of last year. That poll found just 27 percent of Americans favored free trade, and 43 percent said free trade harmed the nation. Increasingly positive views of the net benefits of trade came mainly from Democrats, as 57 percent of them said free trade helped more than hurt, up from 34 percent in 2016.

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Mexico Won’t Negotiate New Tariffs in NAFTA

Mexico issued a warning to the United States over the weekend, saying if any North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations include new tariffs, the nation’s trade leaders would “get up from the table.” Mexico’s Economy Minister said the country “refuses to even discuss the kind of tariffs President Donald Trump” has suggested, according to Bloomberg. Trump wants to build a border wall and impose a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico, along with another possible tax on automobiles. Without NAFTA, the U.S. and Mexico would be subject to stricter tariff limits by the World Trade Organization, if both countries choose to be WTO compliant. The U.S. is the biggest trading partner for Mexico, but the nation has trade deals with 40 other countries and is accelerating trade talks with Brazil and Argentina, two possible sources to replace corn purchases from the United States. Trade officials from Mexico have said they expect NAFTA talks to start in June.

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Ag Groups Ask Trump to fill USDA Trade Role

A group of 29 agricultural and food organizations, including the National Pork Producers Council, last week urged the Donald Trump administration to fill a key trade position within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The groups penned a letter to the president, urging him to fill the position quickly. The organizations asked that an Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs be appointed. The position was established in the 2014 Farm Bill, but the Obama administration never filled the post. “Such a position will bring unified high-level representation to key trade negotiations with senior, foreign officials and within the Executive Branch,” according to the letter.

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CoBank Loan Volume Up 10 Percent

CoBank says loan volumes increased in 2016, as did the bank’s net income. CoBank is a cooperative bank serving agribusinesses, rural infrastructure providers and Farm Credit associations throughout the United States. In its financial results for 2016, the bank says net income for the year rose one percent to $945.7 million, reflecting increased net interest income offset by a greater provision for loan losses, as well as higher Farm Credit insurance fund premiums. Net interest income increased by seven percent to $1.4 billion, as a result of higher loan volume and increased earnings. Meanwhile, CoBank’s average loan volume increased 10 percent in 2016, to $91.6 billion, driven by higher levels of borrowing from affiliated Farm Credit associations, grain cooperatives, food and agribusiness companies, rural electric cooperatives and communications service providers.

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New Research Challenges 2050 Agriculture Production Needs

New research suggests the world’s agricultural production may not need to double by 2050, but offered a wide range in what the increase in production may need to be. Penn State University researchers say production likely will now need to increase between 25 percent and 70 percent to meet 2050 food demand. The first “double production by 2050” claim originated in 2005, some 12 years ago. Since that time, researchers say agricultural production has increased. However, much of the research announced by Penn State University focused mostly on what researchers say is an “out of balance” narrative in agriculture, between food production and ensuring a healthy environment. The researchers say agriculture needs quantitative targets for both food and environmental impacts to “clarify the scope of the challenges” agriculture will face in the coming decades.

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Atrazine Reregistration to Begin Next Year

Renewing the registration of Atrazine, the most popular herbicide in the United States, will start next year. The University of Missouri Extension says more than 500,000 farmers use atrazine to control grass and broadleaf weeds on 50 percent of the country’s cornfields. Atrazine’s last registration received approval in 2003. The Environmental Protection Agency reviews products every 15 years after a lengthy process that often involves public opinion and scientific data. Closer scrutiny of atrazine use comes when it appears in drinking water supplies at higher rates than allowed by EPA. The University says farmers can do their part to help minimize scrutiny over atrazine and prevent runoff by applying atrazine when weather conditions are right and using proper land management practices. University officials also say, if atrazine is running off fields and into water systems, it also means farmer are losing money and weed control.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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