03-27-17 CFB: Farm Credits, CoBank Donate $25,000 to CFB Foundation Disaster Relief Fund

CFB: Farm Credits, CoBank Donate $25,000 to CFB Foundation Disaster Relief Fund

Centennial, CO – March 27, 2017 – The Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation Disaster Relief Fund received a combined $25,000 donation from Premier Farm CreditAmerican AgCreditFarm Credit of Southern Colorado and CoBank in response to the Northeast Colorado wildfire that consumed 30,000 acres and the livelihoods of many in the agricultural community.

“The damage from a wildfire on a farm or ranch can take many years to repair, but the swift outpour of monetary and in-kind donations from around the country is a great help in recovering losses,” said Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau. Continue reading

03-27-17 NACD: PRESIDENT TAKES FINAL STEP IN ROLLING BACK BLM PLANNING RULE

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NACD: PRESIDENT TAKES FINAL STEP IN ROLLING BACK BLM PLANNING RULE

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2017 – Earlier this afternoon, President Trump signed into law H.J. Res. 44 – the joint resolution disapproving of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s “Planning 2.0” rule.

“NACD has followed the development of Planning 2.0 since its inception, participating in town hall sessions, providing detailed public comments, and submitting letters to both BLM and lawmakers,” said NACD President Brent Van Dyke. “NACD is pleased that President Trump and Congress understand that the BLM should go back to the drawing board to craft a more inclusive planning policy.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, March 27th

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 27th

Ag Groups Divided on Healthcare Reform

Two of the bigger Agriculture groups are divided on the Republican plan (American Health Care Act) to replace the Affordable Care Act. Politico’s Morning Agriculture report says American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall sent a letter to Congress asking House members to pass H.R. 1628. Duvall said Farm Bureau believes the primary responsibility for health care lies with individuals. “We support repeal of mandates that require individuals to purchase insurance and employers to cover their employees,” Duvall said. “Instead, we support a system that incentivizes people to plan for their health care needs and provides for those who are unable to pay for health care themselves.” National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson also sent a letter to House members this week, asking them to not pass the bill. Johnson doesn’t agree with the new plan’s proposal to base subsidies on age instead of income. “In 2012, 75 percent of farms sold less than $50,000 in agricultural products and 57 percent had sales less than $10,000,” Johnson noted. “Young farm families that don’t receive additional income or health benefits from off-farm jobs would find it extremely difficult to purchase health insurance.” Additionally, he says the proposed legislation would also hurt older farmers, saying, “The easing of restrictions on what insurance companies can charge older customers will offset the larger subsidies offered to older farmers.”

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National Chicken Council Wants GIPSA Rules Withdrawn

The National Chicken Council filed comments with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration that explained why the interim and final rules proposed are bad for their industry. The NCC calls the rules “ill-advised,” saying they would cost American agriculture billions of dollars in economic damage, exceed GIPSA’s authority, and represent an arbitrary abuse of federal authority. NCC President Mike Brown says in the comments that GIPSA failed to provide any justification for the sweeping rule changes forced upon the poultry industry. “GIPSA doesn’t explain what benefits would offset the billions of dollars in harm this will cause the American economy,” Brown says. “The agency also fails to take into account the negative effect on consumers, innovation, competition, and even food safety.” Brown says his organization is particularly concerned about a potential storm of litigation that may result from the new rules. He says the new rules appear designed to create uncertainty and litigation, saying that even GIPSA admits costly litigation will ensue. Eight different Courts of Appeals have rejected a key part of the new rules which say a litigant would need to prove competitive injury to demonstrate a violation.

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Iowa Legislature Passes Bill to Limit Nuisance Livestock Lawsuits

The Iowa Legislature recently passed a bill that would put a limit on some damages associated with what it calls “nuisance” livestock lawsuits. Republican Representative Chip Baltimore is the bill’s floor manager, who says Senate File 447 would limit the amount of risk that comes with running a farm and livestock operation for those who are consistently good farmers. The limits on lawsuits would put a cap on some damages. However, those limits don’t apply to consistent offenders or farms that violate environmental regulations. Baltimore says, “This is an agricultural state. We want to foster a healthy agricultural environment so our kids and grandkids can come back and continue the legacy of agriculture. That’s what this bill does.” However, Democrats in the Iowa Legislature are worried that the legislation would protect factory farms while limiting Iowa homeowners ability to receive fair compensation. The bill was approved 60 to 39 and now heads to Governor Terry Branstad.

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Black Market Hackers Selling Tractor Repair Software Illegally

A battle is brewing in at least eight states over “right-to-repair” legislation. Tractors have gone high tech and often require software downloads to aid in the repair process. Fox News Tech Dot Com reports that software hackers overseas are creating and selling hacks to John Deere software. Local repair shops in America’s farm country are downloading the hacks and using them to repair the company’s tractors. The article says when farmers are in crunch-time, like harvest, they usually don’t have time to wait for a dealership employee to come out and authorize a download to help with repairs. But farmers who buy John Deere equipment have to sign a license agreement that doesn’t allow virtually all types of unauthorized repair and modification to the software embedded in most of the new machines. The agreement allows repairs to the actual machinery but no work on the software.  Nebraska is one of eight states considering the “right-to-repair” legislation that would invalidate the John Deere licensing agreement. It would also prevent farmers from suing for “crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, or loss of use of equipment arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software.” John Deere is against the legislation, noting that any non-authorized modifications to the software increase the risk that the machinery won’t work as designed.

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JBS Suspends Brazil Product After Meat Scandal

The world’s biggest packer, JBS, suspended meat production at 33 of its 36 meatpacking plants in Brazil as countries continue to ban Brazilian beef due to the corruption scandal and ongoing investigation. Reuters is reporting that a Brazil police investigation is alleging that multiple meat processors bribed inspectors to turn a blind eye to unsanitary or irregular activity. Those activities are causing challenges to the condition of Brazil’s meat exports. JBS is one of the dozens of firms that police are looking into as part of the ongoing meat investigation, but the company admits to no wrongdoing. Countries that have implemented full or partial bans on Brazilian meat include Egypt, China, Mexico, Canada, the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong and Chile. The United States Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued no ban on beef products from Brazil. However, the service has put pathogen testing in place and increased the examination of all imports of raw beef and ready-to-eat products coming in from Brazil. Donald Trump’s nominee for Ag Secretary, Sonny Perdue, said at his confirmation hearing that he wouldn’t call for a ban either, fearing retaliation from other countries against American agricultural products.

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Study: 82% of U.S. Households Buy Organic Regularly

A recent study by the Organic Trade Association finds that 82 percent of U.S. households in the lower 48 states buy organic products regularly. The Association says those findings build a strong case for continued U.S. Department of Agriculture funding under incoming secretary Sonny Perdue. Laura Batcha (Bat-cha), CEO and Executive Director of the Association, says, “The organic community is looking forward to working with new leadership coming into the USDA.” She says they’re looking forward to showing how important adequate funding is to keep a strong organic program moving forward and to help organic become a part of healthy diets across the country. The survey results showed the five states where organic is growing the fastest include North Dakota, Rhode Island, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The Association says organic accounts for 5 percent of total food sales, amounting to $40 billion in annual spending.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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