06-16-17 Weld County FSA: Organic Certification Cost Share Program

Organic Certification Cost Share Program

(GREELEY, CO) – June 16, 2017 – Weld County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Jeff Wilson informs producers of the new Organic Certification Cost Share Program.  Organic producers and handlers can now visit their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to apply for federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic certification. The program is administered on a 1st come 1st served until the funds are exhausted.  More information is available at the FSA Organic site https://www.fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/occsp/index . Continue reading

Watch the 2017 Colorado FFA State Convention on Livestream – Get Ready to ELEVATE!

Watch the 2017 Colorado FFA State Convention on Livestream June 13-14-15 and get ready to ELEVATE!

Watch all of the Sessions, Talent Show & Exclusive Interviews on Livestream, courtesy of The CO FFA, CO FFA Foundation, Snob Productions & The BARN…CLICK HERE

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06-16-17 Japanese Media Tour Wyoming Ranches to Learn About Beef

Japanese editors in WyomingJapanese Media Tour Wyoming Ranches to Learn About Beef

On June 4, Japanese magazine editors toured the King Ranch near Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the Y6 Ranch of Cattlemen’s Beef Board member Irv Petch near Meriden.

The Japanese guests helped move cattle at the 112-year-old King Ranch, learned how ranchers care for the cattle and land with emphasis on how today’s ranchers maintain age-old traditions while contributing to research and embracing progress to improve ranching and agriculture production. At the King Ranch, the Eisele family treated the visitors to beef brisket produced on the ranch and topped off the experience with homemade homegrown rhubarb pies.

The visitors then drove north to tour the Petsch family’s Y6 feedyard and farm ground. The Petsch family began hosting international visitors in the 1980s with the goal of showing them how they produce cattle and a quality meat product, along with the care they give to their animals.

“We have the opportunity to increase our market share in Japan, and by doing these tours and by doing everything we can to make the Japanese customers more comfortable with our product, it just adds to the production side of our economy,” says Petsch. “We couldn’t do as well without the export market as we do with it. It’s an integral part of our beef industry.”

Twelve-year-old Sam Petsch was an integral part of the tour from start to finish. Most notably, he prepared perfectly seared ribeye steaks for all guests using Grandpa Irv’s secret marinade recipe.

Beef Exports to Japan

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06-16-17 USGS: High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Levels Continue to Decline

USGS: High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Levels Continue to Decline

High Plains aquifer water-level changes, predevelopment to 2015

High Plains aquifer water-level changes, predevelopment (about 1950) to 2015. Figure 1 from USGS SIR 2017-5040.(Public domain.)

JUNE 16, 2017 – The U.S. Geological Survey has released a new report detailing changes of groundwater levels in the High Plains aquifer. The report presents water-level change data in the aquifer for two separate periods: from 1950 – the time prior to significant groundwater irrigation development – to 2015, and from 2013 to 2015.

“Change in storage for the 2013 to 2015 comparison period was a decline of 10.7 million acre-feet, which is about 30 percent of the change in recoverable water in storage calculated for the 2011 to 2013 comparison period,” said Virginia McGuire, USGS scientist and lead author of the study. “The smaller decline for the 2013 to 2015 comparison period is likely related to reduced groundwater pumping.” Continue reading

06-16-17 U.S. Wheat Organizations See Hope in Growing Public Support for Cuban Trade

U.S. Wheat Organizations See Hope in Growing Public Support for Cuban Trade

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 16, 2017) – Even as President Trump announces changes to current travel and trade rules with Cuba, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) are hopeful that the increasing public and congressional support for more open trade will lead to an eventual end to the U.S. embargo. Continue reading

06-16-17 USGC Statement On Cuba Announcement

 U.S. Grains Council Statement On Cuba Announcement

A statement from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight on changes to Cuba policy, announced Friday:

“The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has worked in Cuba for nearly two decades to help capture grain demand and develop its livestock industry within the confines of U.S. policy. While the announcement today will make our efforts in Cuba more difficult – and almost certainly cost U.S. corn farmers sales in the short term – we have every intention of continuing our work there to build long-term, mutually-beneficial trade.

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06-16-17 Weld County FSA County Committee Nomination Period is Open

FSA County Committee Nomination Period is Open

Weld County is looking for producers to serve on the local county committee. County Committee elections are held annually in every county. Each year, FSA will accept nominations for a Local Administrative Area (LAA).  This year the nominations will come from LAA number 2 which covers the center area of Weld County from Gilcrest to Pierce.  A map of the boundaries is available at the Greeley Service Center located at 4302 W 9th Street Road.  If you farm in LAA-2 and wish to serve on the committee, please consider nominating yourself or another producer to serve on the FSA County Committee. Continue reading

06-16-17 Secretary Perdue Names Leadership in Acting Roles as USDA Reorganization Takes Shape

Secretary Perdue Names Leadership in Acting Roles as USDA Reorganization Takes Shape

(Washington, DC, June 16, 2017) – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today named three individuals who will take on leadership roles as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues the reorganization announced on May 11, 2017.  In accordance with a directive in the 2014 Farm Bill, USDA created a new Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs as part of a realignment of several mission areas.  The reorganization also included a reconstituted mission area reporting to a newly-named Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation.  The U.S. Forest Service, given its size and importance, will be the only agency to report to the Under Secretary for National Resources and Environment.  For these three mission areas, Perdue has named Acting Deputy Under Secretaries, who will serve in their roles until the Senate confirms permanent presidentially-nominated appointees.

“Today we continue our progress of making USDA the most effective, the most efficient, and the best managed department in the U.S. government,” Perdue said.  “These three career USDA employees have already shown the leadership and expertise needed to deliver the highest quality service to our customers – the people of American agriculture.  I welcome them to the leadership team and I thank them for their dedication to agriculture.”

Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, June 16th

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 Friday, June 16th

Senators Want NAFTA Renegotiations to Address Canada Poultry Market

A group of senators wants the renegotiation effort of the North American Free Trade Agreement to address U.S. poultry exports into Canada. The group, led by Delaware Democrat Tom Carper says Canada has engaged in protectionist trade policies that limit sales for U.S. poultry exporters. The Senators are asking the Donald Trump administration to address the issue during NAFTA renegotiation talks in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The letter states: “NAFTA presents American poultry exporters with a unique opportunity to eliminate Canadian trade barriers, which have hampered growth for more than 20 years,” according to Politico. Similar to dairy, Canada maintains a strict supply management system on poultry production. The system’s import restrictions and production limits are meant to create a more stable system immune to market forces.


China Trade Agreement Includes Biotech Approvals

The trade agreement between the U.S. and China that focused on U.S. beef also paved the way for Chinese approval of two U.S. genetically modified crop traits. The Wall Street Journal reports China has approved imports of two new varieties of genetically modified crops, clearing the way for U.S. agricultural companies to market new biotech seeds to farmers. Through the announcement, China this week approved the import of Dow Enlist corn and Monsanto’s soybean variety, Vistive Gold. The approval stems from China agreeing to speed reviews of biotech products as part of the trade deal with President Donald Trump announced last month. Seed companies have long complained that China’s regulatory approval process was slow-moving and vague. The announcement does not, however, approve cultivation of GM crops in China.

Nebraska Firm First to Ship U.S. Beef to China

Nebraska’s Great Omaha Packing Company is sending U.S. beef to China, the first shipment of its kind in 14 years. After the U.S. and China finalized protocols to allow the U.S. to export beef to China, the Nebraska-based company announced it would send beef by air freight to a customer in Shanghai. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach(eye-bah) joined Greater Omaha Packing Chief Executive Henry Davis to load the first box of beef destined for China Thursday morning. Davis told the Drovers Cattle Network: “China has the potential to be the largest market for U.S. beef,” adding “this will be the first of many shipments.” On Monday, The Department of Agriculture announced final details concerning export requirements to resume beef shipments to China. Among the requirements, U.S. producers must track the birthplace of cattle born in the United States that are destined for export to China.

Organic Trade Associations Applauds USDA for Revoking Organic License

The Organic Trade Association welcomed a move by the Department of Agriculture aimed at stopping fraudulent organic products from entering the United States. USDA this week revoked the organic certificate for a Turkish firm for shipping nonorganic ingredients to the United States labeled as organic, according to the Hagstrom Report. The Organic Trade Association said “fraud cannot be tolerated in the organic system,” adding that “the integrity of the organic certification process and the commitment to compliance and enforcement are the lifeblood of the organic industry.” Earlier this week, the Organic Trade Association announced that it would create an anti-fraud task force. The anti-fraud task force will create guidelines for the private sector to use in verifying its international supply chains.

Renewable Energy Covering 10 Percent of U.S. Needs

Wind farms and solar panels that dot the map of rural America now account for more than 10 percent of U.S. power generation. Bloomberg News reports wind farms in Texas, Oklahoma and elsewhere accounted for eight percent of electric generation, while residential and commercial solar installations provided about two percent. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says that during 2016, wind and solar accounted for about seven percent of power generation in the U.S. The record set in March comes after developers added a record 22.2 gigawatts of wind and solar in 2016. However, clean energy is seasonal, as solar power flourishes in the summer when the days are longer, and wind energy thrives in the spring and summer as wind speeds increase. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the total clean energy output to fall back below the 10 percent level later this summer.

Arkansas Investigating Dicamba Misuse Complaints

The Arkansas Agriculture Department is investigating more reports of dicamba misuse complaints. Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward says there are currently 50 alleged dicamba misuse complaints this year in the state. Those complaints, according to Ward, are currently under investigation. The state’s Plant Board is handling the investigations and is encouraging farmers to report any potential dicamba misuse or drift issues. Drift issues of dicamba-based herbicides were reported in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, among other states, last year. A group of farmers filed a class- action lawsuit against Monsanto in February over the issue. Additionally, an Arkansas farmer was shot and killed during a dispute over dicamba drift near the Missouri and Arkansas border last year. Arkansas is planning a series of public meetings that begins Friday to keep producers informed on the investigation process.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service