07-31-17 CYFEA HIRES SHARON PATTEE AS THEIR NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CYFEA

CYFEA HIRES SHARON PATTEE AS THEIR NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The Board of Directors of the Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association are pleased to announce the hiring of Sharon Pattee, to serve as the organization’s new Executive Director, starting August 1, 2017.  Sharon had served as the Executive Director for the CO Association of Conservation Districts for the past three years and as a CACD Board Member for two years prior to that.  Her knowledge of agriculture and natural resource conservation here in Colorado, along with her strong financial background and statewide networking ties, will allow her to start the CYFEA on a dynamic course of action, helping to deliver on the vision of the current Board of Directors and the twelve local CYFEA chapters here in CO.

The mission of the Colorado Young Farmers Educational Association is to provide support and resources for its local chapters to develop and strengthen their education, leadership, and advocacy. The organization provides opportunities for its members to grow, personally and professionally, beyond their local chapters and communities.

You may contact Sharon at (970) 616-1396, or at spattee@cyfea.org

Mission Statement: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 31st

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, July 31st

Perdue: Japan Tariff Increase Could Increase Trade Deficit

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Friday voiced concerns that Japan’s tariff increase on U.S. frozen beef could increase the U.S. overall trade deficit with Japan. He says the potential deficit increase would harm the U.S. bilateral trade relationship with Japan on agricultural products. Japan announced that the increase in frozen beef imports from the U.S. in the first quarter of the Japanese fiscal year triggered a safeguard, resulting in an automatic increase to Japan’s tariff. The tariffs will begin August first, and last through March 31st, 2018. Perdue says he has asked representatives of Japan’s government to “to make every effort” to address his concerns and the harm that could result to consumers from the U.S. and Japan.

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Japan Beef Tariff Increase Highlights Need for Trade Agreement

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the increased tariff on beef imports to Japan underscores the “urgent need” for a bilateral trade agreement between Japan and the United States. Japan announced it would increase the tariff on frozen beef imports from 38.5 percent to 50 percent until April 2018. NCBA President Craig Uden says the tariffs “unfairly distort the market and punish both producers and consumers. Japan was the top export market for U.S. beef, valued at $1.5 billion in 2016. According to data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation, first quarter U.S. beef sales to Japan increased 42 percent over 2016. In addition to the United States, the 50 percent safeguard tariff also applies to imports from Canada, New Zealand, and other countries that do not have a free trade agreement with Japan.

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Trucks Carry Majority of NAFTA Freight

Trucks carry more freight between the U.S., Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement than railcars. The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics last week reported that trucks carried 63.4 percent of NAFTA freight between May 2016 and May 2017. U.S.-NAFTA freight totaled $98.2 billion during that time, with trucks accounting for $32.2 billion of the $53.5 billion of imports and $30.1 billion of the $44.7 billion of exports. Vehicles and vehicle parts were noted as the top products being moved between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Those statistics come just weeks before the Trump administration is set to renegotiate NAFTA, which includes the top trading partners for U.S. agriculture.

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Farmers Union Relieved by Failed ACA Repeal Vote

The National Farmers Union released a statement Friday announcing “relief” by the failed Senate vote on a so-called skinny repeal of parts of the Affordable Care Act. NFU says the bill would have risked access to health care for 16 million people and marketplace stability. Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says rural residents, including farmers and ranchers, need and desire a solution to rising premiums and an unstable marketplace. However, of the skinny repeal, he says the bill would have made matters worse for rural residents. Johnson says the organization now looks forward to working towards a bipartisan solution that improves access to affordable, high-quality health care for family farmers, ranchers and rural Americans.

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Grains Council Meeting in Vancouver

The U.S. Grains Council summer meeting is getting underway this week in Vancouver, Washington. Starting today (Monday) and lasting through August 2nd, the meeting includes the USGC 57th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting. More than 300 Grains Council members, delegates and guest are taking part in the meeting. The meeting schedule will offer deep dives into emerging ethanol opportunities, China’s growing influence in global trade and the U.S. approach to trade policy negotiations, including the coming modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Advisory teams for USGC are also meeting to track progress toward the implementation of the 2017 Unified Export Strategy. More information is available at Grains dot org (www.grains.org).

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Wind Power Advancing in U.S.
A new report from the American Wind Energy Association finds 357 megawatts in new wind energy projects were brought online during the second quarter of the year. Nationally, the U.S. now has 84,405 megawatts of installed wind power capacity, with more than 52,000 commercial wind turbines currently operating in 41 states plus Guam and Puerto. Another 25,819 megawatts are under construction or in advanced development, according to the U.S. Wind Industry Second Quarter 2017 Market Report. Nearly 80 percent of current wind turbine construction and advanced development activity is found in the Midwest, Texas and the Mountain West, as America’s rich wind resources draw even more business to heartland states.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-28-17 US Senators Bennet, Gardner Announce Potato Research Grant for Colorado State

Bennet, Gardner Announce Potato Research Grant for Colorado State

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) this week announced that Colorado State University (CSU) will receive $2.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to study the integration of new technologies to manage potato pathogens in North American potato crops.

“Congratulations to Colorado State on receiving this grant to improve the treatment and management of potato pathogens,”Bennet said. “Potatoes are a critical part of our agricultural economy in Colorado. This grant is an investment in research that will assist potato growers across the country and protect future potato production”

“It is critically important that the Department of Agriculture is working with our nation’s universities like Colorado State to support research that will assist our farmers with crop production,” Gardner said. “I’ve been a proud supporter of agriculture research through National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and believe this grant will be an asset to our potato farmers throughout Colorado.” Continue reading

07-28-17 US Senators Bennet, Heller, Colleagues Request Funds for Colorado River Basin

Bennet, Heller, Colleagues Request Funds for Colorado River Basin

Bipartisan Western Senators Request USDA Funds for Infrastructure and Planning

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Dean Heller (R-NV) this week led a bipartisan group of six other Western senators in sending a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue requesting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) direct a portion of recently-appropriated funds for the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program (Watershed Act) to the Colorado River Basin (CRB). Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 28th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 28th

Exports Slip on NAFTA Uncertainty

A panel of expert witnesses told the House Agriculture Committee this week that speed is a critical factor in renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. The uncertainty over how negotiations may play out is causing some importers to look elsewhere for suppliers. Many of the importers that are looking elsewhere for chicken and grain products are located in Mexico. Those buyers are looking at South America to supply their needs and it shows in America’s export numbers. Corn, sorghum, and barley exports are down seven percent and will only get worse if negotiations drag on for a long period of time. Foreign importers are worried that President Donald Trump will follow through on his threat to pull the U.S. out of NAFTA altogether. “That threat prompted the Mexican government to look to Brazil and Argentina for alternative sources of corn and other grain products,” says Floyd Gaibler (Gayb’-lur), a Director with the U.S. Grains Council. Government and trade sources have told Agri-Pulse that they hope to wrap up negotiations by the end of this year, but that’s not a firm deadline. Ag groups fear exports will fall further if it’s not done by the end of 2017.

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EPA Formally Proposes WOTUS Withdrawal

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will formally propose to withdraw the “Waters of the U.S. Rule,” a controversial Obama-era rule on clean water. This move will mark the end of years of efforts by farm groups to get rid of something they called a burdensome federal overreach. Politico’s Morning Ag Report says the proposed rule to withdraw WOTUS was first revealed back in June, but it hadn’t been noticed in the Federal Register. That formal step kicks off a 30-day public comment period. Critics of the withdrawal have called for more time to weigh in on the matter. The proposed rule to withdraw WOTUS won’t have much of a noticeable effect out in the countryside. WOTUS was only in effect for a short time before the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put it on hold. The repeal rule is seen as a possible safety net in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court determines that the Court of Appeals didn’t have jurisdiction over the case and lifts the hold. While the repeal rule keeps the status quo, the Trump Administration will work on its own plan to decide which waters are subject to federal regulation and will reveal the plan in December.

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SCN Resistant Soybeans are Showing Some Problems

Iowa State University nematologist Greg Tylka (Till’-kah) says soybeans with Soybean Cyst Nematode resistance are becoming less effective. He calls it an alarming trend that sets the stage for even more yield loss to SCN in the future. Farmers have effectively managed the pest for decades thanks to the built-in resistance. Just about all the SCN-resistant varieties have the same resistance gene. Iowa State researchers analyzed 25 years of data from four-row variety evaluation research plots to look for long term trends. The results show a breakdown in resistance in SCN-resistant soybeans. “In the 1990s, SCN was well controlled by the resistance gene,” says Tylka. “Starting in 2001, we saw a steady decrease in control of SCN in the varieties that had the resistance gene.” He says the buildup in SCN resistance is similar to weeds developing resistance to glyphosate after prolonged use of a single mode of action. The study concludes that resistance issues will worsen if farmers only have the same resistance gene going forward. Tylka adds, “This is a serious situation. SCN has infested 70 percent of Iowa’s soybean fields.”

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Drought Still Growing Across the U.S.

The latest Drought Monitor shows soils continuing to dry out and crops suffering as drought and abnormal dryness expands and intensifies across the Plains, Midwest, northern Rockies, and Virginia. Montana saw the most severe level of drought, called exceptional drought, grow by 10 points in a week. 12 percent of the state is in exceptional drought and 24 percent is under extreme conditions. In neighboring North Dakota, eight percent of the state is in exceptional drought. Another 30 percent of the state is in extreme drought. In the Corn Belt, drought conditions have shown up in Iowa. The state’s moderate drought grew to 34 percent. All states east of the Mississippi River are drought free for now, but patches of abnormal dryness mean it could change as early as next week. USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says drought conditions are intensifying across the central United States. The Corn Belt has seen double-digit percentage increases. Drought coverage is growing around the nation, with the current drought monitor showing over 32 percent of the country in some form of drought.  

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China Sets Ban on Australian Beef imports

China has imposed a temporary beef ban on the products from six Australian processors. A Meating Place Dot Com report says the concern is regarding label non-compliance. Australian government officials have confirmed the ban is in place, vowing to work closely with the country’s beef industry and Chinese officials to get the ban resolved. The dispute doesn’t involve food safety concerns or health issues. It stems from non-compliance issues centered on labeling meat from Australian processors that include two facilities owned by JBS of Brazil. Australia’s trade minister says there are significant amounts of beef products involved in the ban, which even includes shipments already in the water and on the way to China. Officials hope the issue can get resolved before those shipments reach Chinese ports. China is currently the fourth-largest beef market for Australia, whose beef exports were worth over $600 million in 2016.

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KSU Researchers Looking for New Ways to Preserve Bacon

Kansas State University researchers are looking into the question of whether or not an antioxidant could increase the sizzle in America’s love affair with bacon. Meat scientists have known for a long time that meat doesn’t taste as good the longer it sits, even if it’s in the refrigerator. KSU Meat Scientist Terry Houser says the fat in the meat deteriorates over time, a process called oxidation. It’s caused by exposing the meat product to oxygen. “We know that bacon has a problem with oxidation over time,” Houser says, “so we’re looking at finding an antioxidant that can stabilize the fat.” He says the challenge is to add antioxidants to the frozen products so they last longer and keep the flavor that customers want. The KSU study will focus on adding natural antioxidants found in smoke and plant extracts that could possibly be the most effective in preventing oxidation in bacon. After that, Houser says they’ll work on determining how long the antioxidants work and what are the most optimal concentrations. The university research is funded by the National Pork Board.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-27-17 NAWG and the National Wheat Foundation Host a Wheat Summit

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NAWG and the National Wheat Foundation Host a Wheat Summit 

Washington, D.C. (July 27, 2017) – Today, the National Association of Wheat Growers, in conjunction with the National Wheat Foundation, held a Wheat Summit to address and collaborate on the challenges and opportunities facing the wheat industry. The Summit was attended by more than 20 industry professionals from across the wheat value chain.

NWF Executive Director Chandler Goule made the following statement:

“Wheat growers across the country have experienced a multitude of challenges the past couple of years, with record low commodity prices coupled with weather and disease problems affecting the crop. These hurdles are not only exclusive to wheat growers, but can impact every entity in the value chain. Continue reading

07-27-17 CO BQA hosting New Stockmanship and Stewardship Program on September 22-23

Colorado Beef Quality Assurance to host new Stockmanship and Stewardship Program 

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Colorado Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is hosting one of several new regional events for cattle producers as part of the Stockmanship and Stewardship program from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Colorado State University’s Agriculture Research, Development and Education Center (ARDEC) in Fort Collins, Colo. will house the event on September 22-23, 2017, which will feature world-renowned livestock behaviorist, Temple Grandin, Ph.D., as the keynote speaker. Other sessions will provide cattle handling strategies and education to help cattle producers improve their bottom lines.

Thanks to support from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, the Stockmanship and Stewardship program has been expanding and enhancing its scope beyond the local events held in the past, according to Chase DeCoite, NCBA associate director for BQA. The regional series has already held events in California and Nebraska, and has others slated throughout the country.

“Stockmanship and Stewardship sessions have become ‘must attend’ events for cattlemen and women who want to apply innovative and proven cattle handling strategies on their own operations,” said DeCoite. “These new regional programs will allow us to attract cattlemen from a larger area to a central location.” Continue reading

07-27-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for July 27th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales

07-27-17 Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation Calls for Blizzard Relief Applications

Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation Calls for Blizzard Relief Applications

Centennial, Colo., – July 27, 2017 – Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation has called for applications from farmers and ranchers impacted by the late spring blizzard that swept through Baca and Prowers counties, devastating crops and livestock. Any farmers and ranchers impacted by the storm who need help recovering some of their losses are urged to apply. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 27th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, July 27th

NCBA Warns Congress on COOL

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association warned lawmakers Wednesday not to resurrect Country of Origin Labeling for meat through North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations. NCBA CEO Kendal Frazier told the House Agriculture Committee that if the Trump administration gave COOL new life in NAFTA, trade retaliations would be imminent. Canada and Mexico have been two of America’s top five export markets for beef, with approximately $1 billion each in annual sales. COOL was a law for six years, as Frazier told lawmakers it “failed to deliver” on its intention of building consumer confidence and adding value for producers. The World Trade Organization authorized Canada and Mexico to create retaliatory tariffs of more than $1 billion unless repealed. Congress repealed COOL in 2015, but Canada and Mexico still have the authority to retaliate against the United States if COOL is brought back into effect.

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Grain, Ethanol Groups, Applaud Brazil Tariff Delay

U.S. grain and ethanol groups applauded Brazil’s announcement to delay a tariff on U.S. ethanol imports. Brazil announced this week it would impose a 30-day delay of a decision on a pending proposal to impose a 20 percent tariff on U.S. ethanol imports. The proposal would allow 500 million liters, or 132.1 million gallons, annually of U.S. ethanol imports before triggering the tariff. In a joint statement, the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association said they were “encouraged” by the postponement. The groups say the proposed action on U.S. ethanol imports will go against Brazil’s longstanding view that ethanol tariffs are inappropriate and will harm the development of the global ethanol industry.

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Clovis Nomination Sent to the Senate

The White House has sent the U.S. Senate the presidents nomination of Sam Clovis to a top Department of Agriculture post. The Senate confirmed this week it received President Trump’s nomination of Clovis as the USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics, according to the Hagstrom Report. The nomination is coming under some scrutiny, as Senate Agriculture top Democrat Debbie Stabenow questioned his merits to serve as the USDA chief scientist, and his comments against crop insurance. In 2013, Clovis commented that he thought crop insurance was unconstitutional. Those comments would be a “nonstarter” to the leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee, whose chairman said they would like to know why he said that. It does not, however, appear to be an issue for farm groups. 20 farm and agriculture groups offered their support for Clovis in a letter earlier this week.

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Antitrust Institute, NFU, Say Monsanto-Bayer Merger Puts Farmers at Risk

The American Antitrust Institute, along with Food & Water Watch and the National Farmers Union penned a letter to the Department of Justice denouncing the Monsanto-Bayer merger. The groups say the deal would likely harm competition, farmers and consumers. The letter notes that the merger would complete a sweeping restructuring of the agricultural biotechnology industry, creating the “Big 3” companies where just two years ago, there were six major rivals. Roger Johnson, NFU’s president, pointed out that the merger is likely to affect not only the markets for genetically-modified seed, but also for important non-genetically modified, or “conventional” seed. Johnson says: “Farmers want and deserve choice in what they plant, with seed that is appropriate to their region and climate.” The letter notes that over time, firms have cut back on their conventional seed offerings, making it more difficult and costly for farmers to secure appropriate seed.

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EWG Study Finds High Nitrate Levels in Rural Drinking Water Systems

The Environmental Working Group says rural water systems have high levels of nitrates. A new report and database released by EWG this week found that the 30 utilities with the distinction of the highest nitrate contamination in tests between 2010 and 2015 all exceeded the legal limit. And all 30 served small populations in rural, farm-based economies, according to Politico. The research says that nitrates, a chemical from animal waste or agricultural fertilizers, was detected in more than 1,800 water systems in 2015, serving seven million people in 48 states above the level that research by the National Cancer Institute shows increases the risk of cancer – a level just half of the federal government’s legal limit for nitrate in drinking water. EWG’s recently released national Tap Water Database allows users to search by zip code and learn about tap water quality. EWG researchers spent the last two years collecting data from state agencies and the EPA for drinking water tests conducted from 2010 to 2015 by 48,712 water utilities in all 50 states and D.C.

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Study Claims to Find Glyphosate in Ben &Jerry’s Ice Cream

The Organic Consumers Association claims it found traces of glyphosate in 10 of 11 samples of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. The detected levels were far below the ceiling set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Among the flavors tested, Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie showed the highest levels of glyphosate, with 1.74 parts per billion. However, such amounts might seem insignificant. John Fagan, the chief executive of the Health Research Institute Laboratories, which did the testing for the Organic Consumers Association, calculated that a 75-pound child would have to consume 145,000 eight-ounce servings a day of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream to hit the limit set by the EPA. Still, a Ben & Jerry’s spokesperson told the New York Times the company was working to ensure that all the ingredients in its supply chain come from sources that do not include genetically modified organisms, saying “We’re working to transition away from GMO as far away as we can get.” Monsanto labeled the research “bad science” and the rehashing of a study done five years earlier.

SOURCE: NAFB

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, July 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…

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, July 26th…

U.K. and U.S. Taking First Steps to Trade Deal

British International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer have taken the first steps towards a U.S.-U.K. free trade agreement. The duo recently met to create a working group that will “lay the groundwork” for a bilateral trade deal, according to Politico. However, official negotiations cannot begin until the United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union around April 2019. In 2014, the U.K. was reported to rely on the EU for 27 percent of its food imports. Just four percent of food items in the U.K. originated from North America, and 54 percent of food consumed in the U.K., originated in the U.K., according to the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The newly established U.S.-U.K. Trade and Investment Working Group will explore trade priorities for the two nations.

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Crop Insurance Comments Could Jeopardize Clovis Nomination

Comments made by Senate Agriculture Committee leaders suggest that Sam Clovis’s position on crop insurance could jeopardize his nomination for a top post at the Department of Agriculture. Senate Agriculture Ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow and Chairman Pat Roberts both eluded to the nominee’s statements on crop insurance. Clovis has previously questioned the constitutionality of crop insurance. Stabenow said: “It is important we all continue to work together to make sure we have the resources we need for crop insurance,” while Roberts commented that: “If there is some nominee who is coming before the committee who says crop insurance is unconstitutional, they might as well not show up.” Roberts said after Tuesday’s hearing that it is too early to say whether the Trump administration should withdraw Clovis’s nomination, but that Clovis should have an opportunity to explain his comments to him and Stabenow, according to the Hagstrom Report. Clovis was nominated by President Trump to serve as the USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics.

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Bankers List Goals for New Farm Bill, Ways to Prevent Farm Crisis

The Independent Community Bankers of America is urging Congress to adopt a new long-term farm bill incorporating five broad goals and offered enhancements to USDA programs to prevent a farm credit crisis. Testifying before the Senate Agriculture Committee Tuesday, an ICBA representative advocated for Congress to adopt a dynamic multi-year farm bill to provide continuity and enable agricultural producers and their lenders to engage in multi-year business decision making. The organization wants Congress to provide producers ample funds for commodities, crop insurance and credit programs to help them weather a potential farm income or farm credit crisis. Other goals include: considering any program changes that benefit producers and their community banks, directing agencies to reduce regulatory burdens and prohibit regulations not based on statutory language, require federal agencies’ rules to treat all categories of program participants fairly, and requiring direct loan programs to complement, not undercut, private sector lending.

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Perdue to Attend House Farm Bill Listening Session

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will attend a farm bill listening session in Texas next week. The listening session by the House Agriculture Committee will feature comments from Texas farmers on farm bill priorities. The “Conversations in the Field” is planned for 10:00 a.m. central time Monday, July 31st, at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. It follows a listening hearing last month at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and a handful of hearings on Capitol Hill by both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway earlier this year vowed to complete the 2018 farm bill “on time,” adding that completing the farm bill on time will avoid adding more uncertainty to an already strained farm economy.

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Pork Industry Supports No Regulation Without Representation Act

The National Pork Producers Council Tuesday expressed support for the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017. The legislation, introduced in the U.S. House by Wisconsin Republican James Sensenbrenner, would stop states from adopting laws and regulations that ban the sale of out-of-state products that don’t meet their criteria. NPPC says that means the bill would prohibit a state from imposing tax or regulatory burdens on businesses, including pork operations, that are not physically present in the state. NPPC CEO Neil Dierks testified to Congress Tuesday saying: “Changes in production practices should be driven by the marketplace, not government fiats or even ballot initiatives.” Nine states have banned, through legislation or ballot measures, gestation stalls, battery cages and veal crates, but only California and Massachusetts extended the bans to sales in their state of products produced anywhere in the country that don’t comply with their housing standards.

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Chlorpyrifos Ban Introduced in U.S. Senate

Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal and New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall Tuesday introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate to ban chlorpyrifos (clo-PEER-uh-foss), a widely used agricultural insecticide. Udall explained that The American Academy of Pediatrics says chlorpyrifos use “puts all children at risk,” adding that “we need to listen to the experts” and ban the pesticide.” The Obama-era Environmental Protection Agency was poised to ban Chlorpyrifos. However, new EPA administrator Scott Pruitt denied the petition calling for the ban, arguing that the EPA needs more time to study the health risks of the chemical. Chlorpyrifos has been used as a pesticide since 1965 in both agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, according to the EPA. The chemical is used to protect a number of crops such as soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, citrus, tree nuts, peanuts, vegetables, and others, from losses to insect pests.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-25-17 NAWG Testifies on Need for Strong Crop Insurance, Title I, and Credit Programs in the Farm Bill

NAWG - wheat_logoNAWG Testifies on Need for Strong Crop Insurance, Title I, and Credit Programs in the Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. (July 25, 2017) – Today, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing titled “Commodities, Credit, and Crop Insurance: Perspectives on Risk Management Tools and Trends for the 2018 Farm Bill.” NAWG President and Kansas farmer David Schemm testified to the Committee on the need for growers to have access to a strong safety net and risk management system.

“Between record low commodity prices, unfair trade practices in the global market, disease issues, and extreme weather, wheat farmers across the nation are experiencing the toughest economic conditions they have faced since the 1980s,” stated David Schemm, NAWG President and Sharon Springs, KS farmer. “Fortunately, programs authorized in the 2014 the Farm Bill, specifically crop insurance, have enabled farmers to be able to farm another year when prices collapse or disaster strikes.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, July 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…

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, July 25th

Multiple Rounds of NAFTA Negotiations Expected

A top official from Mexico expects between six to nine rounds of negotiations between the United States, Mexico and Canada on the North America Free Trade Agreement. Mexico’s Economy Minister said last week the NAFTA members were looking at avoiding gaps of more than three weeks between negotiating rounds with a view to making quick progress, according to Reuters. The three countries had already agreed to an aggressive timetable to broker a deal on NAFTA to avoid politicizing Mexico’s presidential election in July 2018. The first round of talks on renegotiating NAFTA is due to begin in Washington on August 16th.

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Drought, Prices Weaken Rural Midwest Bankers’ Outlook

After rising to growth neutral for two straight months, the Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index fell below the 50.0 threshold for July, according to the latest monthly survey of bank CEOs in 10 Midwestern states. The index, which ranges between 0 and 100, tumbled to 40.7, its lowest level since November of last year, and down from 50.0 in June. Organizer Ernie Goss says drought conditions and weak grain prices are to blame, as they have attributed negatively to economic conditions. For the month, the July farmland and ranchland-price index sank to 36.6 from June’s 40.0. The July farm equipment-sales index fell to 20.0 from 26.2 in June. Borrowing by farmers was very strong for July as the loan-volume index climbed to 81.5, the second highest reading on record, and up from 78.3 in June. Finally, the confidence index, which reflects expectations for the economy six months out, slumped to a weak 38.4 from 48.9 in June, indicating a continued pessimistic outlook among bankers.

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Farm Groups Support Clovis Nomination

While some lawmakers have voiced concerns, agriculture groups Monday vocalized support for the nomination of Sam Clovis to a Department of Agriculture position. President Trump announced he would nominate Clovis to serve as the USDA undersecretary for research, education and economics, which also serves as the departments chief scientist. Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow, Senate Appropriations Committee ranking member Patrick Leahy, and Senator Chris Coons, all Democrats, have questioned the nomination because Clovis does not have a scientific background. However, more than 20 agriculture groups signed a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts Monday expressing support for the nomination. The groups, including the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the American Farm Bureau Federation, said USDA already has lots of scientists, according to the Hagstrom Report. The letter stated: “They do not need a peer. They need someone to champion their work before the administration, the Congress, and all consumers around the world.”

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Senate Committee Blocks E15 Bill

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has halted a bill that would have allowed gasoline with 15 percent ethanol to be sold year-round. The bill was co-sponsored by Republican Senators Deb Fischer of Nebraska and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, along with Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Despite the bipartisan support, the legislation was unable to muster enough support in the committee. Committee leaders announced Friday that there would be no action on the bill before the August recess. It also remains unclear whether the legislation will be resurrected sometime in the fall. Ethanol groups say the fight for year-round E15 sales doesn’t end with the failure of support for the bill. Further, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said in May that the EPA was working to determine whether the agency had the authority to allow year-round sales of E15 fuels.

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Class Action Lawsuit Aimed at Monsanto Over Dicamba Spraying

A lawsuit filed last week accuses Monsanto sales representatives of secretly giving farmers assurances of using “off label” methods for a dicamba herbicide formulation. The St Louis Post-Dispatch reports the lawsuit claims: “This was Monsanto’s real plan: publicly appear as if it were complying, while allowing its seed representatives to tell farmers the opposite in person.” A Tennessee weed management expert, Larry Steckel, says in the suit that “it’s almost impossible” to follow label directions for dicamba-based herbicides, given the recent changes that have surfaced over drift allegations. Formulations were changed to dicamba-based herbicides following an outbreak of drift incidents last year to reduce volatility and drift. However, those changes have not seemed to slow reports of drifts problems in 2017. The suit says the defendants “actually benefit” from rampant drift, because it pressures farmers to adopt dicamba-tolerant seed to avoid damage. Monsanto and BASF indicated to the Post-Dispatch that they were aware of the suit but declined to comment on specific allegations. Both companies cited their efforts to educate growers about correct application of dicamba.

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Shareholders File Class Action Suit Against Chipotle

A New York law firm last week announced it would lead a class action lawsuit against Chipotle by the company’s shareholders. The lawsuit was filed against Chipotle Mexican Grill and its officers, on behalf of shareholders who purchased Chipotle securities between February 5th, 2016, and July 19th, 2017. The class action seeks to recover damages for alleged violations of federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The suit alleges that Chipotle made false statements relating to the chains food quality and safety measures, following several occasions of illness outbreaks relating back to Chipotle restaurants. The most recent outbreak of norovirus originating from a Chipotle restaurant in Virginia, and a report of rats falling out of a Chipotle restaurant ceiling in Dallas, Texas, sparked the lawsuit. This is not the first time a class action suit was filed on behalf of Chipotle shareholders. A similar suit was filed in the wake of E. coli and norovirus outbreaks of 2015.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-21-17 National FFA Organization Names 2017 American Star Award Finalists

Click here to learn more about the National FFA Organization

National FFA Organization Names 2017 American Star Award Finalists

INDIANAPOLIS (Friday, July 21, 2017/National FFA Organization) –Today, the National FFA Organization selected 16 students from throughout the United States as finalists for its 2017 top achievement awards: American Star Farmer, American Star in Agribusiness, American Star in Agricultural Placement and American Star in Agriscience.

The American Star Awards represents the best of the best among thousands of American FFA Degree recipients. The award recognizes FFA members who have developed outstanding agricultural skills and competencies through the completion of a supervised agricultural experience (SAE) program. A required activity in FFA, an SAE allows members to learn by doing. Members can own and operate an agricultural business, intern at an agricultural business or conduct an agriculture-based scientific experiment and report the results. Continue reading

07-21-17 Secretary Zinke and Colorado Senator Gardner Announce more than $50 Million for National Parks Infrastructure

Secretary Zinke and Colorado Senator Gardner Announce more than $50 Million for National Parks Infrastructure

NPS Centennial Challenge Program is Matching $20 Million in Congressional Funding with $33 Million from Partner Organizations to Support Maintenance Projects at National Parks

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and Colorado Senator Cory Gardner announced today that the National Park Service is teaming up with partners across the nation to distribute nearly $50 million in high priority maintenance and infrastructure projects at 42 parks in 29 states. Congress provided $20 million for the projects as part of theCentennial Challenge program which will be matched by $33 million from more than 50 park partners to improve trails, restore buildings, and increase visitor access to parks.

Secretary Zinke and Senator Gardner made the announcement while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, which will receive $200,000 in federal funds matched by $200,000 from the Rocky Mountain Conservancy to reduce deferred maintenance on the Alluvial Fan Trail.

“Our national parks span twelve time zones and attract more than 330 million visitors every year. Some locations, like Rocky Mountain National Park, attract millions of visitors alone. This puts an incredible stress on the aging infrastructure at our parks and thanks to Centennial Grants and the generosity of public-private partners, we are able to distribute funds to rebuild our parks,” said Secretary Zinke. “Using public-private partnerships to help address the deferred maintenance backlog remains a priority for the Department and the Trump Administration. Park infrastructure includes trails, signage, restrooms, lodges, roads, bridges and waterlines. These funds will help us continue to provide a world-class experience to visitors and ensure that these amazing places are around for future generations.”

“Today, I stood alongside Secretary Zinke as he announced critical funding grants for Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park,” said Senator Cory Gardner. “We must continue to be good stewards of our National Parks and protect these treasures for future generations. I want to thank Secretary Zinke for highlighting a crown jewel of Colorado’s public lands, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the dedicated Park employees that care for this land every day.” Continue reading

07-21-17 CO Governor Hickenlooper responds to US DoI Secretary Zinke’s decision on Canyons of the Ancients

CO Governor Hickenlooper responds to US DoI Secretary Zinke’s decision on Canyons of the Ancients

Gov. Hickenlooper offered the following statement in response to Sec. of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s announcement that Canyons of the Ancients is no longer under review and no modifications will be made to the national monument:

“It’s great to hear that no changes will come to our popular Canyons of the Ancients,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “We’ve had great conversations with Sec. Zinke and we’re grateful that he respected the overwhelming consensus in Colorado on our national monument.” Continue reading