08-04-17 CO Governor Hickenlooper’s statement on Gold King Mine tour

CO Governor Hickenlooper’s statement on Gold King Mine tour

DENVER — Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 — Today Gov. John Hickenlooper offered this statement following the the Gold King Mine tour with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, and Rep. Scott Tipton.

“Today, our team, along with Senators Bennet and Gardner, and Rep. Tipton saw firsthand the coordinated efforts to protect the health of communities along the Las Animas River. Administrator Pruitt assured us that cleanup of the Gold King Mine spill and Bonita Peak Superfund site remains a top priority for the EPA. During today’s tour, Administrator Pruitt committed to support adequate funding for cleanup of the Superfund site and to reopen claims for damages caused by the Gold King spill. I will do everything in my power to ensure Administrator Pruitt delivers on his promises and provides sufficient funding for cleanup.”   Continue reading

08-04-17 USDA NASS Mountain Regional Land Values and Cash Rents…

USDA NASS Regional Release

USDA NASS Mountaim Regional Land Values and Cash Rents

The 2017 Arizona average farmland real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, was $4,100 per acre. This is an increase of 7.9 percent from 2016 and 8.5 percent from 2015. The average value of cropland and irrigated cropland was $8,400, up 1.2 percent from 2016. Pasture values were not published for Arizona to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.

Average cash rent for irrigated cropland in Arizona was $250.00 per acre in 2017, $28.00 more than the previous year. Cash rent for pasture in 2017 averaged $2.30 per acre, up from $2.00 in 2016.

COLORADO

The 2017 Colorado average farmland real estate value, a measurement of the value of all land and buildings on farms, was $1,430 per acre. This is an increase of 0.7 percent from 2016, but a decrease of 0.7 percent from 2015. The average value of cropland was $1,920, up 0.5 percent from 2016. The average value of irrigated cropland was $4,600, unchanged from the previous year, and the average value of non-irrigated cropland was $1,260, up 0.8 percent from the previous year. Pasture values were unchanged from 2016 at $760 per acre.

Average cash rent for irrigated cropland in Colorado was $143.00 per acre in 2017, $1.00 more than the previous year. Average cash rent for non-irrigated cropland in Colorado was $30.00 per acre in 2017, up $1.00 from the previous year. Cash rent for pasture in 2017 averaged $5.60 per acre, down from $5.80 in 2016.

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08-04-17 USDA NASS Colorado Farm Production Expenditures – 2016

NASS-CO Rocky Mountain Header 050615

FARM PRODUCTION EXPENDITURES-2016 UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS

Farm Production Expenditures in the United States are estimated at $346.9 billion for 2016, down from $362.8 billion in 2015. The 2016 total farm production expenditures are down 4.4 percent compared with 2015 total farm production expenditures. For the 17 line items, 5 showed an increase from previous year, while the rest showed a decrease. Continue reading

08-04-17 AmericanWool.org Launches to Educate Consumers

AmericanWool.org Launches to Educate Consumers

DENVER -Wool is the only fiber crafted for the purpose of meeting any purpose. With versatility matched only by the diversity of the wearer, wool is the perfect fiber for any season, any occasion. With that in mind, the American Sheep Industry Association and its American Wool Council have launched a multi-faceted campaign to take wool’s incredible story straight to the consumer, including a new website at AmericanWool.org.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, August 4th

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, August 4th

Ex-Trade Negotiator Says Trump “Misguided on NAFTA

The Trump Administration’s goal to reduce trade deficits by renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement is not a good one. That’s the opinion of former top Obama-era trade negotiator Darci Vetter. Captial Press Dot Com says Vetter feels that goal may cause unforeseen and unintentional consequences for farm exports. Vetter was the chief U.S. agricultural trade negotiator from 2014 until January of this year. She spoke to delegates at the U.S. Grain Council’s annual meeting, saying that using NAFTA to close trade gaps with Canada and Mexico could snare farm exports in trade disputes. “Personally, I think it’s a misguided objective for a trade agreement,” Vetter says, “I don’t believe the trade deficit is a way of measuring whether or not we’re winning or losing on trade.” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer listed deficit reduction as the administration’s number one goal in the negotiations. Vetter says the administration’s goals are “mostly okay.” Some of the goals include maintaining tariff-free trade for farm goods and reducing trade barriers through faster ways of solving food safety disputes. She says the president’s position on trade deficits suggest the negotiations won’t be done this year. Vetter says, “What we have during this negotiating period is uncertainty, and uncertainty is costly.”   

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Largest Ever Dead Zone Found in U.S. Gulf

Federal scientists have measured the largest dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico in recent history. The oxygen-depleted area is roughly the size of New Jersey. Politico’s Morning Ag Report says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the increasing dead zone was fed by nutrient pollution washing down the Mississippi River. NOAA (Noah) says the nutrient runoff comes primarily from farms, as well as urban and suburban runoff. This type of pollution, called “non-point pollution” in the Clean Water Act, is not federally regulated and difficult to control. The nutrients cause massive algae blooms that suck oxygen from the water as they decompose. Scientists studying the problem said that to reach a goal of shrinking the dead zone down to 1,900 miles, runoff from the Mississippi River would have to be cut by 45 percent. A task force formed in 2001 set a goal of reducing the dead zone four and a half times smaller than it is today, missing the goal it set for 2015. The task force now says it will take another twenty years to reach its goals using voluntary, state-led reduction efforts.

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Farmland Values Unclear in the Future

Farmland is one of the most significant assets producers have in their portfolio. Strong land values are critical to maintaining strong equity positions for producers and good collateral for ag lenders in the current economic downturn. An Iowa State University survey results are unclear on where land values are going as signals are mixed. For example, the Iowa State Land Value Survey shows the Iowa farmland market has dropped three years in a row after peaking in 2013. It’s the first three-year drop in Iowa since the 1980s. At the same time, several sources are predicting that the drop in Iowa farmland value has begun to slow. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago recently reported a two and five percent increase in farmland value for Iowa and Wisconsin, respectively, from April of 2016 to this past April. That’s the first year-over-year increase for Iowa in four years. USDA’s recent Land Value Survey in August of last year showed a modest climb in land values in the Southeast, the Delta region, and the Southern Plains, from June of 2015 to June 2016.  

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House Ag Committee Holds Farm Bill Hearing at FarmFest

House Ag Committee Chair Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, along with committee members, held a Farm Bill listening session at the annual Farmfest event near Morgan, Minnesota, today. Peterson, a District One representative from Minnesota, says bringing the Ag Committee to his district and Farmfest, gave members the chance to hear directly from southern Minnesota farmers about the challenges they face in this part of the country. “The input we get from those who actually use farm bill programs will help the committee as we look at potential changes in the next farm bill,” says Peterson. “I appreciated seeing so many familiar faces and thank everyone who was able to join us at the event.” Conaway says Midwest agriculture is wide and diverse, and each sector faces different challenges and opportunities. Conaway says, “I appreciated joining Ranking Member Peterson to hear directly from those most impacted by the farm bill about ways to improve economic conditions in farm country and all of rural America.” Conaway says the committee will take what they learned and use it as they put together the new Farm Bill.

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Organic Family Farmers Need Strong Standards and Enforcement

American family farmers and ranchers grow and raise organic foods for the nation under strict standards. Those standards are set by the National Organic Program under the guidance of the National Organic Standards Board and protect the integrity of the industry. When major producers and organic product importers fail to comply with these standards, it puts all organic farmers and ranchers at a major disadvantage. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson highlighted the importance of the USDA enforcing those standards in a letter sent to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. Johnson pointed out two examples of incidents that called into question the integrity of the organic seal. The first discussed longstanding concerns that the nation’s largest organic milk producer, Aurora Organic Dairy, has not complied with the Organic Access to Pasture rule. Johnson also mentioned imports of corn and soybeans from eastern Europe that were fraudulently labeled “organic.” Johnson says U.S. farmers entered into organic production to add value to their farms. “The fraudulent imports caused a drastic drop in organic grain prices and caused consumer suspicion about the program,” Johnson says.

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Perdue Proclaims National Farmers’ Market Week

U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue proclaims August 6 – 13 to be National Farmers Market Week. It’s the 18th straight year that the USDA has supported local producers by encouraging families to meet and buy from the farmers and other vendors at their local farmers market. Perdue signed a proclamation noting farmers markets and other agricultural direct marketing outlets contribute roughly $9 billion each year to the U.S. economy. They also serve as significant outlets for small-to-medium, as well as new and veteran, producers to market agricultural goods, generating revenue that supports the sustainability of family farms and rural communities. Every week, thousands of U.S. farmers markets will feature the range of produce, fruit, meat, dairy, and specialty products available from their local and regional producers. USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory makes it easy to locate farmers’ markets across the country. Buying directly from farmers and entrepreneurs has a major impact in helping to diversify farm incomes and supporting other businesses by keeping more money in the local community.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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