03-06-17 Three Individuals Awarded NFU’s Highest Honor: Anderson, Cook & Peppler…

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Three Individuals Awarded NFU’s Highest Honor

SAN DIEGO – The strength, diversity and success of modern family farm agriculture is the result of hardworking men and women across the industry, and three individuals have gone above and beyond to ensure that success and the well-being of family farmers, ranchers and rural communities.
National Farmers Union (NFU) presented Merle Anderson, Cheryl Cook, and Kent Peppler with the Meritorious Service Award today for their outstanding leadership and service to family agriculture and to Farmers Union over the course of their lifetimes.
 “As advocates for family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities, it is important to our mission as an organization that we recognize those who work to aid progress in rural America,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “Merle, Cheryl and Kent dedicated their careers and lives to bettering life for family farmers, ranchers, and their communities. I am honored to recognize their contributions today with our organization’s highest honor, the Meritorious Service Award.” Continue reading

03-03-17 CSU Ext: New Tools Allow Coloradans to See Costs and Benefits of Going Solar

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New Tools Allow Coloradans to See Costs and Benefits of Going Solar

Fort Collins, CO — With solar installations and solar financing options continuing to grow in the state, Colorado State University Extension has developed an online calculator that provides costs and benefits for those considering taking the leap. The calculator goes beyond existing estimators by allowing for rooftop or ground mount arrays, loan interest rates, monthly lease payments, utility incentives, maintenance, and other realistic inputs to be analyzed. The calculator also provides numerous default values to allow for simpler use as desired. Results include costs, savings, payback, return-on-investment, a 20-year cash flow statement, and optional comparison of purchasing versus leasing a system. Continue reading

03-06-17 ACE appoints Fletcher as Communications Director

ACE appoints Fletcher as Communications Director

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Sioux Falls, SD (March 6, 2017) – Former bioenergy magazine editor Katie Fletcher has joined the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) staff as Communications Director at the organization’s office based out of Sioux Falls.

ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings says Fletcher’s experience as a writer and editor at BBI International, a company that produces bioenergy and biofuels events and trade magazines, makes her a natural fit to set and guide communication strategy and build relationships with the organization’s constituencies including the media and ACE members.

“We are excited that Katie Fletcher is bringing her exceptional communication skills, experience in agriculture and biofuels, and enthusiasm for ethanol to the ACE team,” Jennings said. “Katie is going to develop a stronger and more recognized communications strategy for ACE and our membership.” Continue reading

03-06-17 NFU Commences 115th Anniversary Convention

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NFU Commences 115th Anniversary Convention

SAN DIEGO – National Farmers Union (NFU) officially convened its 115th Anniversary Convention this morning in San Diego, California. More than 450 Farmers Union members from across the country are gathered for the annual event, which runs through March 8.
“As a farmer-driven organization, NFU’s convention is the organization’s most important event of the year. Attendees learn and collaborate through breakout sessions, thought provoking panel discussions and a local farms tour, and delegates from each of our state divisions will set the stage for NFU’s policies and priorities in the year ahead,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. Continue reading

03-06-17 CSU’s Golden Plains Extension: Testing Wheat for Life

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Testing Wheat for Life

(Burlington, CO) March 6, 2017 – Environmental conditions affect plant growth in many ways.  Conditions that are too dry or too wet, too cold or too hot can all affect wheat production and survival.  Determining whether wheat plants are alive in the spring due to adverse growing conditions should be done before spending production dollars on those acres. Visual inspection: Continue reading

03-06-17 CLA & Pinnacol Assurance = Partners in Safety

CLA & Pinnacol Assurance = Partners in Safety

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Pinnacol Assurance partners with Colorado Livestock Association to provide big savings while protecting workers

“Never leave money on the table.” We’ve all heard this good advice, yet most of us fail to follow it at one time or another. My hope is that you’ll consider joining nearly 100 other feedlot, dairy, swine, sheep, and cow and calf producers that participate in the Colorado Livestock Association (CLA) safety group program through Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s premier workers’ compensation insurer. By participating in the group, you’ll leave no money on the table.

pinnacol-assurance-logo Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, March 6th

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 Monday, March 6th

Billionaire Defends Ethanol Plan

Billionaire Carl Icahn (Eye’-kahn) was on the defensive regarding his attempt to restructure the Renewable Fuels Standard. A Bloomberg article says Icahn is arguing that without changes, independent refiners and small gas station owners will soon go out of business. His attempt to get the point of obligation changed under the RFS is drawing criticism thanks to his role as an unpaid adviser to President Donald Trump. He’s also the principal owner of CVR Energy and therein lies the conflict. Icahn was quick to dismiss any criticism and said the action is straightforward. “I own a refinery,” he says, “so obviously, I have an interest in it. But there are 12 other refineries getting killed worse than mine is. I own a refinery so who knows it better than me? Why shouldn’t I advocate” Federal rules prohibit government employees from profiting from government service, but Icahn isn’t paid so those rules don’t apply. His proposed change wouldn’t alter the fact that biofuels are required to be blended in with gasoline and diesel. Icahn wants to change which businesses are required to do the blending, known as the point of obligation.

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No Ag Secretary Six Weeks Later

It was six weeks ago that President Donald Trump selected Sonny Perdue as his nominee for Secretary of Agriculture. Farm-state senators are frustrated as the administration hasn’t yet sent in paperwork for the nomination to the Senate. Those farm-state senators represent a lot of the core voters that were key to Trump’s election. Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts needs that paperwork before he can schedule a hearing. Roberts says he isn’t sure what the hold up is. “We need a champion for agriculture,” Roberts says, “we need him on board.” He predicted last week that once the paperwork is in there shouldn’t be any problem getting Perdue confirmed. The White House says the paperwork is coming soon. Senators say they haven’t been given any reason for the delay. “They don’t seem to have a reason as to why his name hasn’t come up,” says Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, who spoke with several White House staff members about the nominee. Some farm-state senators are questioning whether the president is paying enough attention the the rural areas that played a big part in his election. South Dakota Republican Senator Mike Rounds disagreed, saying “He’s talking about rolling back regulations, things that really matter to rural America.”

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Legislation Would Boost Fuel Choices

The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act was introduced recently in both the Senate and House of Representatives. It’s designed to extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to gasolines blended with 15 percent ethanol. This would give retailers the opportunity to offer E15 without restriction from June 1 to September 15. “The introduction of this leglslation is the first step toward eradicating an unnecessary Environmental Protection Agency restriction that limits consumer choice at the pump during the peak time of year when Americans are on the road,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. RVP is a measure of how quickly fuel evaporates. The EPA regulates it to prevent increased ozone or smog from emissions. Congress granted a waiver to E10 fuel blends because it reduces tailpipe emissions. Congress hasn’t given the same waiver to E15 as it did to E10, even though the 15 percent blended fuel is less volatile than E10. As a result, retailers are prevented from selling E15 for use in 2001 and newer vehicles from June 1 through September 15, despite the EPA approving its use.

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Legislation Would Address Agro-Terrorism

Bipartisan legislation introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives would address the potential threat of an agro-terrorism attack on the United States. The goal is to make sure the food put on the tables of American families remains safe from attack. Senate Ag Chair Pat Roberts co-sponsored the legislation in the Senate and says it reiterates the role of the Department of Homeland Security as it relates to agro-terrorism. “As the DHS continues to build the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas,” says Roberts, “now is the time to shore up our authorities regarding coordination and mitigation should our nation be hit by biological attack on our food and agriculture.” New York Republican Dan Donovan, who co-sponsored the legislation in the House, says America’s enemies are intent on attacking the country’s resources and vulnerabilities, which includes the food supply. “Threats to the U.S. food, agriculture, and livestock industries could devastate our food systems. This would affect millions of Americans and the economy,” says Donovan. He called the bill an essential tool to enhance the country’s preparedness for an agro-terrorism attack.

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Court Upholds Patent Infringement Suit Against Dow

A federal appeals court upheld a patent infringement verdict against Dow AgroSciences involving a gene used in glufosinate-tolerant seed. The Washington, D.C., court of appeals affirmed a 2016 district court judgement that confirmed an arbitration award issued by an international tribunal in October of 2015. An Agri-Pulse report says Bayer accused Dow of infringing on four patents which “describe and contain various technologies related to the pat gene, which confers resistance to glufosinate,” the appeals court said in its ruling. Bayer uses the gene in its LibertyLink line of products and Dow uses the gene in its Enlist cotton and soybean seeds. Dow says it disagrees with the court decision and is examining what its legal options are. Dow could possibly ask the full appeals court to review the decision. It could also petition the Supreme Court for a review. Most experts think neither option has a great chance to succeed. “Neither the arbitration award nor the federal court’s decision changes the company’s plans for Enlist, or it’s soybean and cotton businesses,” Dow says in a release issued shortly after the decision was announced.

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Administration Expected to Notify Congress on Redoing NAFTA

Now that Wilbur Ross is officially confirmed as Secretary of Commerce, the Trump administration may soon turn its attention to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Ross told members of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees trade, that the administration would notify them in mid-March that it will renegotiate the 23-year old pact. Once the administration communicates its intent, it then must consult with Congress on the objective of trade talks during a 90-day period. The administration then must make public a detailed summary of the specific objectives. One possible holdup is President Trump’s pick to head the Office of the Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer (light-hy-zer), has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. The National Pork Producer’s Council has issued a statement saying any redone NAFTA deal must in no way disrupt U.S. pork trade with the industry’s No. 2 (Mexico) and No. 4 (Canada) markets.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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