04-12-17 NRCS Helps Predict Colorado’s 2017 Summer Water Supply and Availability

NRCS-CO News Release HEader 010816NRCS Helps Predict Colorado’s 2017 Summer Water Supply and Availability

April 12, 2017, DENVER, CO – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Snow Survey and Water Forecasting team in Colorado recently hosted its annual Snow Survey and Water Forecasting media tour.  Each year the team takes members of the press up to one of the state’s 97 manual snow courses to report the most recent findings.  Participants also see firsthand, how snow is collected and measured for water availability predictions. Continue reading

04-12-17 CCA/PLC-CO: Do Not Miss Federal Lands Seminar

“Know the Rules, Know your Rights” Federal Lands Seminar Coming to You!

Delta County Livestock Association and Mesa County Cattlemen’s Association are hosting Federal Lands Seminars on April 24th.  Knowing the rules and knowing your rights will keep your permit, and that is why a Federal Lands Seminar is coming to the Western Slope.  This seminar is designed to inform and equip federal lands permittees to have a better foundational knowledge pertaining to their rights.

Federal lands grazing regulations and rules have become some of the most complicated and misinterpreted laws that exist.  Recently, there has been increased confusion poised by permittees to the Colorado Public Lands Council (PLC) and Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), that are in need of explanation and clarification.  These organizations then worked to create this equitable and vested seminar for public lands permittees to gain a better understanding of their rights.

Program Overview Continue reading

04-12-17 NPC: Potato Growers Provide NAFTA Enhancements to Administration

National Potato Council logo

Potato Growers Provide NAFTA Enhancements to Administration

Washington, D.C. – In a letter to the President, the National Potato Council (NPC) provided specific recommendations on how the Administration can improve the terms of trade for potato exports under NAFTA.

“Improving NAFTA can benefit rural America and our nation’s economy,” said NPC Executive Vice President and CEO John Keeling. “The potato industry is strongly supportive of building on the successes we have seen over the life of NAFTA.” Continue reading

04-12-17 NFU Urges Trump Administration to Stay in Paris Agreement

NFU Urges Trump Administration to Stay in Paris Agreement

Agreement Key to Mitigating Climate Change, Bolstering Rural Communities

WASHINGTON – As President Donald Trump weighs the merits of keeping the United States in the Paris Agreement, National Farmers Union (NFU) is urging the administration to maintain U.S. commitments to global leadership on climate change. The Paris Agreement is vital to enhancing the climate resiliency of family farm operations and rural communities, and it allows family farmers and ranchers to join carbon sequestration efforts that stimulate economic growth in rural America.

The President is expected to make a decision on whether to stay in the Paris Agreement by late May. NFU has been an adamant proponent of the agreement since its adoption in 2015.

“Farmers are on the front lines of climate change, and they have been experiencing costly disruption from climate change for some time,” said NFU President Roger Johnson in a letter to President Trump today. “We ask that you maintain our existing commitments under the Paris Agreement. The contributions rural communities can make under the agreement will drive economic growth in the countryside and make American agriculture more resilient to extreme weather.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 12th

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 12th

Livestock Groups, Roberts, Praise GIPSA Rule Delay

Livestock groups welcomed a delay by the Donald Trump administration to an interim final rule under GIPSA, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. A notice in Wednesday’s Federal Register will indicate the Department of Agriculture is delaying the April 22nd effective date for the interim final rule by 180 days and setting a 60-day comment period from April 12th  to June 10th on whether to further delay or withdraw the rule. The National Pork Producers Council said the regulation “likely would restrict the buying and selling of livestock, lead to consolidation of the livestock industry, putting farmers out of business and increase consumer prices for meat.” NPPC, along with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and others, is calling on the Trump Administration to withdraw the rule. The National Chicken Council applauded the delay, saying the rules would “inflict billions of dollars of economic harm to American agriculture.” Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts of Kansas also welcomed the delay, saying the rule “ignored the comments submitted by thousands of cattle producers in opposition to the rule.”


White House Plans to Tackle Tough Issues First in NAFTA Talks

The Donald Trump administration is considering front-loading the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement by negotiating the political issues first, ahead of more technical talks. A former official at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office told Politico this week the idea would be to “have a lot of those high-level discussions with principals at the beginning, and find out within the first few months: Is this doable or not?” Typical trade negotiations put technical talks first and saves the tougher political issues until near the end of talks. Jeff Weiss, who has served in the USTR office and just recently left the Commerce Department, says discussions surrounding the potential elimination of Chapter 19 dispute settlement, which the U.S. wants, as well as intellectual property issues with Mexico and dairy talks with Canada, will likely be some of the toughest areas of negotiations. NAFTA renegotiations could start in July, after a formal waiting period required following notification to Congress by the Trump administration.


Trade Critical for U.S. Railway Operators

Union Pacific says millions of American jobs depend on trade occurring along the U.S.-Mexican border, and that fact needs to be considered during any discussion of changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. The railroad company is highlighting the impact of the agreement as an effort to promote trade across the border. Less trade between the U.S. and Mexico would undoubtedly impact Union Pacific’s profits. The company points out that each year, NAFTA-related trade generates about 200,000 export-related jobs that pay about 15 to 20 percent better than the manufacturing jobs lost due to rising imports from Mexico, according to the International Trade Commission. In the agriculture sector alone, Mexico is America’s third-largest agricultural market, importing $18 billion of U.S. agricultural products. Union Pacific points to comments by a Mexican trade economist who was also an architect of NAFTA, who says the deal “probably” needs renegotiated, to be “brought into the 21st century.”


Global Soybean Stocks Increase in Latest USDA Report

The April World Agricultural Supply and Demand report expects increases in soybean production and global soybean stocks. Released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tuesday, the report raised global soybean production for the 2016-17 crop year by 5.18 million metric tons and boosted global soybean ending stocks by 4.59 million metric tons to 87.4 million. For the U.S., soybean ending stocks are projected up 10 million bushels to 445 million. Also in the report, USDA is forecasting increased corn usage for ethanol production, up 50 million bushels to 5.45 billion. Global corn production was raised 4.52 million metric tons, and global ending stocks for corn were bumped up by 2.3 million metric tons to just under 223 million metric tons. U.S. wheat ending stocks were raised 30 million bushels on lower feed and residual use, which more than offsets a slight import reduction.  At 1.15 billion bushels, ending stocks are projected to reach a near 30-year high. Global wheat supplies were raised 1.7 million tons due to higher projected beginning stocks and a 0.3-million-ton increase in production. 


Grassley Bill Would Ban Packer Ownership of Livestock

A bill reintroduced in the U.S. Senate last week by Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley seeks to ban packer ownership of livestock. A news release from his office says the Senator is concerned about the continued impact of consolidation within the livestock industry. Grassley says over the last several decades large packing companies in the poultry and pork industries have moved to concentrate and vertically integrate, noting the beef industry is showing similar signs of consolidation. Pork Network Magazine reports online the National Pork Producers Council is opposed to mandates on ownership of livestock. NPPC President Ken Maschhoff (mash-off), says “NPPC is opposed to any government mandate that would restrict producers’ ability to sell and packers’ ability to buy livestock.” Maschhoff also pointed out that at least one existing packing plant and all five of the new plants coming online over the next two years are partially or fully owned by producers, raising concerns about the legislation’s effect on those operations.


Canada Farmland Values Up 10 Percent

Farm Credit Canada announced this week farmland prices in Canada increased 10 percent last year as the nation’s property boom is spreading to agriculture. A report by Farm Credit Canada found the average price of farmland across Canada increased 10.1 percent in 2016 as low-interest rates and strong crop income helped maintain demand. The 2016 increase, according to the report, follows part of a continuous uptrend in farmland prices in Canada that started in 1993. The gains, however, are lower than in recent years, as 2013 saw a 22 percent increase and 2014 recorded a 14 percent increase. The agricultural finance group says prices aren’t going up evenly across Canada. Despite the higher average nationally and in every province, many more regions across the country saw price declines in 2015 than saw them in 2014. In a news release, Farm Credit Canada said: “There appears to be greater volatility with a higher number of locales where values decreased,” advising farmers to prepare for a potential softening of the market as lower crop prices have an impact.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service