05-26-17 USDA Seeks Applications for Community Development Grants

USDA Seeks Applications for Community Development Grants

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2017 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is inviting applications for grants to support economic development in rural communities.

“These grants will support partnerships between community development groups and rural communities to develop essential facilities and create jobs and business opportunities,” USDA Rural Development Acting Deputy Undersecretary Roger Glendenning said. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, May 26th

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 Friday, May 26th

Experts Expect Down Farm Economy to Continue

A financial expert forecasted to lawmakers Thursday the current agriculture economic conditions will continue. During a Senate Agriculture Committee on the rural economy, Nathan Kauffman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City informed the committee that a farm crisis does not appear imminent, but there are still risks that could lead to more widespread challenges in the coming years. He noted the downturn began in 2013 during a sharp drop in commodity prices that has lingered. He says reduced profitability in agriculture has gradually intensified the level of financial stress among farm borrowers. Kauffman expects the trends to continue in the near term as global supplies are likely to continue to weigh on agricultural commodity prices and profit margins.


Top Senate Ag Democrat Releases Trump Budget Fact Sheet

A fact sheet released by the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Ranking Democrat highlights the expected impact of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget on agriculture. The fact sheet claims that President Trump is “turning his back on rural America.” Released by Senate Democrat Debbie Stabenow’s office, the fact sheet says cuts included in the proposal to crop insurance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, hurts farmers and families. She says other cuts to conservation programs also harm land and water resources. The budget proposal would cut $29 billion from crop insurance while laying off 5,200 Agriculture Department employees. The budget would also cut $193 billion from SNAP and eliminate some conservation programs. The fact sheet by Senator Stabenow’s office says “this budget would make a five-year farm bill impossible to pass.”


NPPC White Paper Details Benefits Of NAFTA

New documents released by the National Pork Producers Council Thursday show the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement to the U.S., Canada and Mexico. NPPC released a white paper that focuses primarily on trade with Mexico and makes the case for not abandoning the 23-year-old pact. The paper also argues for not disrupting trade in sectors for which the agreement has worked well, including U.S. pork. Mexico is the number two export market for U.S. pork, and Canada is number four. For all U.S. goods and services, Canada and Mexico are the top two destinations, accounting for more than one-third of total U.S. exports, adding $80 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 14 million American jobs. For U.S. agriculture, Canada and Mexico are the second and third largest foreign markets. They imported more than $38 billion of U.S. products in 2016, or 28 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports. Those exports generated more than $48 billion in additional business activity throughout the economy and supported nearly 287,000 jobs.

NAFTA a Success Story for Agriculture

A farmer from Nebraska says the North American Free Trade Agreement is a success story for U.S. agriculture, and warns of the risks involved in renegotiation. In a letter published by the New York Times, Alan Tiemann writes that NAFTA has tremendously benefited U.S. agriculture. Tiemann, a past U.S. Grains Council Chairman, recalled a delegation of Mexican buyers who recently visited Nebraska and Washington, D.C. He says: “Throughout this visit, the message was clear: the Mexican market has demand for quality ag products and want to continue buying from the U.S., but they will look elsewhere should free trade no longer be an option.” Mexico recently inked a deal with Brazil and is expected to import a record amount of corn from Brazil, according to Tiemann. He says since the inception of NAFTA, U.S. ag exports to Canada and Mexico tripled and quintupled respectively. Noting concerns of the renegotiation of NAFTA, Tiemann says farmers “look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to ensure we maintain and build upon our established partnership with Mexico.”


Perdue Echoes Vilsack on Cottonseed Declaration

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week echoed his predecessor, telling U.S. House lawmakers the Department of Agriculture does not have the authority to declare cottonseed as an oilseed. Perdue carried the same message former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack offered to lawmakers on the issue, as advised by USDA lawyers. Perdue was asked about the issue during a House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. He said he knew Vilsack “wrestled with that” and added, he is “getting the same legal advice from the general counsel now,” according to the Hagstrom Report. The National Cotton Council and Southern members of Congress have asked both Vilsack and Perdue to declare cottonseed an oilseed so that it would be eligible for oilseed subsidies.

Corn Replant Expected to reach “Historic” Levels

Seed industry leaders are expecting corn replant rates this year to reach historic levels. Ryan Parkin of Beck’s Hybrids told DTN-The Progressive Farmer “this will be a historic replant year, particularly for corn.” Many seed companies say the year ranks first or second in company history for replant demand. Spring rains were far too abundant, leaving fields across the Midwest flooded out and chilled, and plants struggling to emerge. The areas with the most replant demand so far are Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri and parts of the Great Lakes states, Iowa and Kentucky, according to multiple seed companies. Some farmers are even calling seed dealers for their second replant of the year, after flooded fields in parts of Illinois and Indiana were hit by another ill-timed mid-May storm.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


05-25-17 CO Governor Hickenlooper orders flags lowered Monday to observe Memorial Day per President Trump’s Proclamation

CO  Governor Hickenlooper orders flags lowered Monday to observe Memorial Day per President Trump’s Proclamation

DENVER — Thursday, May 25, 2017 Gov. John Hickenlooper today ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff on all public buildings statewide on Monday, May 29, in recognition of Memorial Day, and as proclaimed by President Donald J. Trump. Flags should be lowered from sunrise to noon.

The full text of the president’s proclamation: Continue reading

05-25-17 State Legislators to attend NYFC Farmers Roundtable in Mancos on May 31st

The National Young Farmers Coalition and Local Chapter Four Corners Farmers and Ranchers Coalition Host State Legislators for Farmer Roundtable

MANCOS, CO (May 25) – The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC), which represents America’s next generation of farmers and ranchers, is hosting a Farmer Roundtable in Mancos with Senator Don Coram and Representative Barbara McLachlan. The Farmer Roundtable is co-hosted by local NYFC affiliate chapter the Four Corners Farmers and Ranchers Coalition, a joint chapter with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. Young farmer leaders from the chapter will discuss how the legislators can support the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Continue reading

05-25-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

05-25-17 USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15th

USDA Farm Service Agency County Committee Nomination Period Begins June 15th

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today that the nomination period for local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees begins on Wednesday, June 15, 2017.

“County committees allow farmers and ranchers to make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally to best serve their needs,” said Acting FSA Administrator Chris Beyerhelm. “We strongly encourage all eligible producers to visit their local FSA office today to find out how to get involved in their county’s election. There’s an increasing need for representation from underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers.”  Continue reading

05-25-17 WGCD: Don’t Miss the CSFS Nursery Tour on June 30th

WGCD: Don’t Miss the CSFS Nursery Tour on June 30th

Greeley, Colo.- – – The West Greeley Conservation District (WGCD) will host a free nursery tour for district stakeholders who are interested in learning more about the growth and production of the low-cost seedlings offered annually during their conservation seedling tree sale. WGCD Conservation Technician, Liz Schneider will meet attendees at the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery (CSFSN), at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 30. The tour group will meet inside the gates of the CSU Foothills Campus at 3843 LaPorte Ave. in Building 1060, Fort Collins, CO 80521. Continue reading

05-25-17 NAWG Applauds Senate Agriculture Committee for Holding Hearing to Examine the Farm Economy

NAWG - wheat_logoNAWG Applauds Senate Agriculture Committee for Holding Hearing to Examine the Farm Economy 

Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2017)  Today, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing to examine the farm economy in rural America. Members heard testimony from USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson who spoke on several domestic and global factors generating low commodity prices and the financial implication this has on farmers. Additional witnesses included Nathan Kauffman, assistant vice president and Omaha branch executive with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City; Bruce Weber, professor emeritus of applied economics and director of the rural studies program at Oregon State University; and Alec Sheffer, director of retail sales for Agri-AFC.

NAWG President David Schemm made the following statement:

“With the rural economy struggling and farm income down 46 percent from only three years ago, growers are enduring some of the toughest economic conditions since the 1980s.  Farmers have also had to deal with severe weather issues, making the Farm Bill a key tool to enable them to farm another year.  Continue reading

05-25-17 USDA Awards Loans to Build and Expand Rural Electric Infrastructure

USDA Awards Loans to Build and Expand Rural Electric Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2017 Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Rural Development Roger Glendenning today announced that USDA is providing more than a quarter billion dollars in loans for rural electric infrastructure improvements.

“These loans will help improve the delivery of reliable electricity, and will help ensure that rural areas nationwide can prosper economically and benefit from today’s technologies to meet tomorrow’s needs,” Glendenning said. Continue reading

05-25-17 National Dairy FARM Program Opens Registration for 2017 Evaluator Conference


National Dairy FARM Program Opens Registration for 2017 Evaluator Conference

ARLINGTON, VA – The second annual National Dairy FARM Program Evaluator Conference will be held in Indianapolis, Ind., from July 18-19, with an optional farm trip to Fair Oaks Farm on July 20. More than 400 certified FARM Program evaluators will have the chance to network and discuss relevant topics in animal care, environmental stewardship and antibiotic stewardship.

Starting on Tuesday, July 18, FARM evaluators will spend a day with key Elanco staff, focusing on professional development and learning more about Elanco’s global business of feeding a growing population. Wednesday, July 19, features a full day of programming, including presentations on “The Economics of Animal Well-Being,” as well as insight from a panel of farmers and veterinarians on the importance of protocol development and employee training.

“We are excited to host a dedicated group of FARM evaluators for what will be three full days of enlightening conversation and learning,” said Emily Meredith, chief of staff for the National Milk Producers Federation. “Nurturing strong relationships among members of the animal care community will only enhance our ability to share the industry’s great story of top-notch animal care.” Continue reading

05-25-17 NPPC White Paper Details Benefits Of NAFTA


NPPC White Paper Details Benefits Of NAFTA

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 25, 2017 – Following last week’s notification by the Trump administration that it will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the National Pork Producers Council today released a white paper on the benefits of the trade deal among the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The paper, which focuses primarily on trade with Mexico, makes the case for not abandoning the 23-year-old pact and for not disrupting trade in sectors for which the agreement has worked well, including U.S. pork. Mexico is the No. 2 export market for U.S. pork, and Canada is No. 4. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 25th

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, May 25th

Trump Budget Proposal Puts Perdue in Awkward Position

The deep cuts to the nation’s agricultural support programs proposed by President Donald Trump have put Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in an awkward position with both lawmakers and farm groups. Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report says a good example of this is the plan to cut funding for trade promotion programs and to eliminate more than 230 jobs geared toward boosting U.S. exports. These proposed cuts follow a promise from the secretary that the administration would focus on expanding foreign market access to help farmers. The plan also proposes to cut $193 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over the next decade. However, that idea runs completely opposite of comments that Perdue made about SNAP before the House Agriculture Committee that said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In a budget hearing with reporters on Tuesday, Politico says Perdue didn’t speak much, passing off the telephone to acting USDA Deputy Secretary and Budget Director Michael Young. During the briefing, Young was quick to point out that USDA and the secretary had little to no part in putting together the budget proposal.


Heritage Action Praises Trump’s Budget Proposals

Heritage Action is a conservative think tank known for criticizing programs at the USDA. The Hagstrom Report says the group applauds White House budget proposals released this week. However, the group did say it was disappointed the proposals didn’t include structural changes to Medicare and Social Security. Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham calls budget proposals “visionary documents,” saying that the Trump proposal would put taxpayers first by directing their dollars toward the most effective programs. “It’s the type of document our president promised on the campaign trail,” he says, “including some serious, structural reforms to our nation’s entitlement system.” He added that the failure to address Social Security and Medicare would make it difficult for the nation to address its ever-growing debt. “The Trump budget presents an opportunity for Republicans to unite around fiscally responsible reform for food stamps, disability insurance, and the Earned Income Tax Credit,” Needham says.


Organic Ag Sector Posts New Records in U.S. Sales

The organic sector stayed on an upward trend last year, gaining new market share and setting new records as consumers across the country ate more organic products than ever before. That news comes from the 2017 Organic industry survey that was released during the OTA policy conference this week. Organic sales in the U.S. totaled $47 billion last year, $3.7 billion more than the previous year’s total. The total marked the first time the organic market broke through the $40 billion dollar mark in sales. Organic food sales also make up more than five percent of overall food sales in America, at 5.3 percent. That’s another high water mark for the organic industry. Organic sales increased by 8.4 percent from 2015. The sales growth rate was 8.8 percent higher in 2016, a number that easily surpassed the growth rate of .8 percent in non-organic foods. The $15.6 billion dollar fruits and vegetable market held onto its position as the largest of the organic food categories in 2016. Sales of organic meat and poultry products shot up by more than 17 percent in 2016 to $991 million, the category’s biggest yearly gain ever.


Elanco Seeks Injuction Against Deceptive rbST Advertising

Elanco initiated legal action last week in an eastern Wisconsin U.S. District Court against international dairy conglomerate Arla Foods last Friday. Elanco wants the court to force Arla to stop what it calls a deceptive advertising campaign and false business practices against rbST. It’s a supplement marketed and sold by Elanco under the brand name Prosilac. Elanco says the technology has been proven safe and effective since it was first approved by the FDA in 1993. The Arla campaign is called “Live and Unprocessed,” launching across America in late April. The campaign is based upon a child’s understanding of what rbST is and then brings the perception to life as an animated monster with razor-sharp horns and electrified fur. Elanco’s complaint says it believes that Arla is intentionally deceiving the public about the safety of rbST. The product has been used for more than 20 years, with rbST used to help cows give more milk without changing the safety and quality of American dairy products.


AZ Rancher Wants Burden of Federal Regulations Lifted

Arizona rancher David Cook is calling on Congress to remove layers of red tape and federal bureaucracy that have made it much harder to effectively manage and care for public lands. He testified this week before the U.S. House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Cook told lawmakers he doesn’t believe it was the intent of Congress to disenfranchise communities like his when it enacted the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the Wilderness Act, but that’s exactly what happened. “The burden of compliances with these regulations, plus the struggle to get our voices heard as stakeholders have become the dominant consumer of time and resources,” he said, “for anyone or entity interacting with federally-managed lands.” Cook and his wife, Diana, own DC Cattle Company and partner with other ranches in their local county. The agreement between the entities covers 4,800 square miles, but less than five percent of that is deeded as private lands. Cook says the delegation of authority from Congress to land management agencies has resulted in unchecked authority over land-use planning and has been abused by administrators and capitalized on by environmental groups through continuous litigation.


New Proposal Could Protect Farm Workers from Deportation

The American agriculture industry relies on foreign workers, especially at harvest time. The website Eater Dot Com reports a group of Democrats has introduced legislation that would give farm workers some protection from possible deportation. The bill is called the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2017 (Senate Bill 1034). It would protect undocumented workers from deportation if they can prove a history of working in American agriculture. The bill may also provide them a path to long-term residence and citizenship. Workers that can prove 100 days of employment in American agriculture over the previous two years can apply for a blue card, which grants temporary residency and authorization to work, pending background checks. A blue cardholder that meets more stringent requirements may apply for a green card. Those who hold green cards for five years and meet other requirements may eventually apply for full citizenship.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service




Colorado State University Extension, CWAC, CAWG, CWRF, the Wickstrom Farms and Cooksey Farms would like to invite wheat producers and ag consultants in the area to The 2017 Wheat Field Days in Orchard and Roggen. Continue reading

05-24-17 CDA: Funding Available for Agricultural Hydropower Projects

CDA: Funding Available for Agricultural Hydropower Projects
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking applicants for on-farm agricultural hydropower projects. The total amount of available assistance for this round is $1,200,000. The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators with appropriate hydropower resources.
The funding is part of the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Within RCPP, the Colorado irrigation hydropower program provides funding to agricultural producers to help them add hydropower to new or existing irrigation systems.
“The program addresses water quantity, water quality, and energy resource concerns,” said Sam Anderson, CDA’s Energy Specialist, “by helping farmers upgrade outdated and labor-intensive flood-irrigation systems to more efficient pressurized-irrigation systems using hydropower, or retrofit existing sprinkler systems with a hydropower component.

Continue reading

05-24-17 Soil Health Institute Accepting Applications until June 23, 2017

Soil Health Institute Accepting Applications until June 23, 2017
SHI-Soil Helath Institute logoThe Soil Health Institute is accepting applications until June 23, 2017, for grants supporting compilations and reviews of soil health-related scientific literature.

The Soil Health Institute’s on-line library and search engine for soil health-related information, the Soil Health Research Landscape tool, is a living compilation of published literature and other sources of information valuable to the soil health community. It is available on this website without fee to researchers, practitioners, consultants, producers, and others in the public and private sectors. Continue reading

05-24-17 USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Support the Development of Rural Community Facilities

USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Support the Development of Rural Community Facilities

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2017 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA is seeking applications for technical assistance and training grants in the Community Facilities program.

“Too often, rural community organizations lack the technical expertise they need to access federal dollars,” Perdue said. “These technical assistance and training grants will help rural organizations overcome hurdles that prevent them from fully utilizing the Community Facilities Program. Increased access to federal funding will help build essential community facilities, and will allow rural areas to thrive.” Continue reading

05-24-17 CYFEA Announces 2017 Scholarship Winners: Bushnell, Schneider, Cooksey, Etl & Fischer

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CYFEA

CYFEA Announces 2017 Scholarship Winners

The members of the Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association are proud to sponsor an outstanding educational scholarship program.

We are pleased to announce that the recipients of the scholarships for the 2017-2018 year are as follows:

  • Stephanie Bushnell of Ft. Lupton, CO attending NJC
  • McKenzie Schneider of Gill, CO attending  CSU
  • Molly Cooksey of Roggen, CO attending NJC
  • McCall Etl of Fleming, CO attending CSU
  • Nichole Fischer of Windsor, CO attending CSU

Continue reading

05-24-17 USFRA Unveils Agriculture in America Sustainability Report at Sustainable Brands Conference

Click here for the full report.

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® Unveils Agriculture in America Sustainability Report at Sustainable Brands Conference

First-ever Agriculture in America Sustainability Report by USFRA highlights examples of exemplary sustainable farming practices on farms across the nation.

DETROIT, (May 24, 2017) – This week at the Sustainable Brands Conference, a national event showcasing brand leaders who create environmental and social purpose to drive innovation, U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®) will publicly introduce its first-ever Agriculture in America Sustainability Report. It demonstrates how farmers and ranchers seek out and employ practices that allow them to better protect the planet’s resources, while efficiently and effectively producing food.

The sustainability report builds on key insights from USFRA’s annual research that aims to identify and gain a clearer understanding of consumers’ perception of sustainability in U.S. food and agriculture. Through this research, findings conclude that consumers struggle to define sustainability. Moreover, the topic is best understood by consumers when farmers explain the tangible ways they are improving the water, soil, air and habitat on and around their farms.

“Sustainability as it relates to food and agriculture and the tools that farmers and ranchers use help us conserve our resources and continually improve, so we look forward to having conversations and sharing our story at the Sustainable Brands Conference,” said Brad Greenway, USFRA Chairman and South Dakota crop and livestock farmer. “Our Agriculture in America Sustainability Report identifies how sustainability for various commodities is being defined to inform food companies and other influencers about misperceptions of today’s agricultural practices.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, May 24th

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 Wednesday, May 24th

White House Budget Proposal Cuts Ag Spending $46 Billion

A Reuters report says President Trump’s budget proposal contains $46.54 billion in cuts to government funding in the Ag sector, with those cuts spread out over ten years. The biggest proposed cut is $38 billion dollars from farm support programs. Those cuts include new limits on federal subsidies for crop insurance premiums and a cap on potential commodity program payments. The president proposes a 36 percent cut in the federally subsidized crop insurance program. That’s a larger cut than what the Obama Administration proposed and was ultimately rejected by farm state lawmakers. Crop insurance cuts would yield the largest savings, including $16.2 billion by limiting the government’s share of premiums. It would also save $11.9 billion by eliminating the harvest-price option. The proposed budget cuts would actually eliminate the Rural Development Program, which provides zero-interest loans to rural utilities and support to rural businesses. It would also reduce government costs for federal inspectors at meat plants in two years by adding $600 million in user fees for the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.


Ag Groups Respond to White House Budget Cuts

Several major Ag organizations and lawmakers representing farm states reacted negatively to the president’s budget proposals. American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says agriculture has done more than its fair share to help reduce the deficit over the years. “The Administration’s budget proposal fails to recognize agriculture’s current financial challenges or its historical contribution to deficit reduction,” Duvall says. The National Farmers Union called the president’s budget proposal an assault on the farm safety net and rural communities. “It’s deeply disappointing that the president would propose such cuts, especially in the midst of a farm crisis that has families who’ve lost 50 percent of their farm income over the past few years,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. U.S. Wheat Associates is disappointed that the budget proposal eliminates funding for the USDA’s Market Access Program and the Foreign Market Development Program. “Without funding for these vital programs,” says USW President Alan Tracy, “we would not be able to continue the training necessary to promote our product and our competitors would swoop in and overtake American producers in foreign markets.” He adds that the effect on wheat prices would be obvious.


EPA Is The Top Target for Budget Cuts

Candidate Donald Trump vowed to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency in virtually every way, leaving only tidbits of what it once was. A Washington Post article says his budget proposal aims to follow through on that campaign promise. The proposed budget from the White House hits the EPA with a 31 percent budget cut, down to $5.65 billion. The plan eliminates several regional programs, including those that restore the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, and Puget Sound. It slashes funding for the Superfund Cleanup Program, which helps restore some of the most polluted sites in the nation. Despite the cut to the Superfund, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lists the program as one of his biggest priorities. Pruitt said the president’s budget respects the American taxpayer. “This budget supports EPA’s highest priorities with federal funding for priority work in infrastructure, air and water quality,” Pruitt says, “and it ensures the safety of chemicals in the marketplace.” The proposal does maintain funding for high priority infrastructure investments like grants and low-cost funding for projects that improve drinking water quality and wastewater treatment.


China/U.S. Beef Import Discussions Moving Faster

The pace of talks to resume U.S. beef exports to China appears to be picking up. Final details are expected to be in place by early next month. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it’s great news for American farmers who will be able to pursue business in China that’s been lost by rival beef producer, Brazil. As a part of the final details of the hoped-for agreement, U.S. beef producers will stop the use of growth-promoting hormones in cattle specifically destined for the Chinese beef market. U.S. producers will also log the movements of those cattle to be marketed in China. The two sides are negotiating ahead of a deadline for shipments to start by the middle of July. If they’re able to finalize the deal by early June, that should give packing companies like Cargill and Tyson Foods the opportunity to sign contracts by the mid-July deadline. The timing of the new deal will allow American producers to benefit as rival Brazil is rocked by a scandal in their beef sector and Australia is in the middle of a drought that’s negatively affected the country’s beef production numbers. “This is a very opportune time for the American beef industry to step up,” says Darrel Peele, an Ag Economist at Oklahoma State University.


Brazil Launching Four New Probes Into JBS

Brazil’s securities regulator announced it’s launching four new probes into meatpacker JBS and other companies also controlled by J & F Investments. The probes are looking into suspicious trades made just before markets were rattled by the news of a plea deal by the company’s top executives. The investigation is looking into signs of “possible insider trading” of foreign exchange futures, derivatives, and JBS stock, all ordered by JBS and other companies. According to plea-bargain testimony, the controlling shareholders in JBS say Brazil President Michel Temer (Muh-shel’ Tuh-Mehr’) received approximately $4.6 million dollars in bribes from the world’s largest meat processor. Temer refused to resign last week. The Brazilian real fell 8 percent last week against the U.S. dollar. A report last week says the controlling shareholders in JBS bought over $1 billion in U.S. dollar contracts in the local market hours before news of the plea deal broke.


ChemChina Plans a Second Merger

ChemChina and Sinochem (Sih’-noh-kem) are planning a merger next year. Several senior bankers in Asia say the merger would create the biggest chemicals group in the world with $100 billion in revenues. The merger would come after ChemChina’s $43 billion merger with Syngenta. A Financial Times Dot Com article says China has 1.4 billion people to feed, so the country is looking for more control of technology in seeds, herbicides, and pesticides. The Chinese government is pushing for more control of technology despite widespread domestic opposition to genetically modified crops. Bankers across Asia told the Financial Times that the move is politically driven and intended to make sure that ChemChina has the financial strength to absorb Syngenta. The heavily indebted chemicals conglomerate will have achieved China’s largest overseas purchase when the Syngenta deal is complete.  While bridge financing has been in place for the Syngenta deal for over a year, ChemChina has revealed very little about its financing plans other than a mix of loans, equity, and support.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


05-23-17 NCGA Statement on President’s Proposed FY18 Budget

NCGA Statement on President’s Proposed FY18 Budget

WASHINGTON (May 23, 2017) – The White House today released its detailed proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget proposal includes the following:

  • Cutting the federal crop insurance program by $28.56 billion over the 2018-2027 period
  • Eliminating funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) ($200 million/year) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program ($34.5 million/year)
  • Reducing conservation program funding by $5.8 billion over the 2018-2027 period

The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association:

“The time and place to debate farm bill programs is during the farm bill reauthorization, not the annual budget process. The farm bill represents a 5-year commitment to America’s farmers and ranchers, which Congress made in 2014. We are counting on Congress to honor that commitment, and reject cuts that would be harmful for rural America. These proposed budget cuts would hurt farmers’ ability to manage risk, grow their revenues, and farm more sustainably. Continue reading