08-31-17 NMPF Statement on USDA Announcement to Allow Farmers to Opt Out of Margin Protection Program

NMPF Statement on USDA Announcement to Allow Farmers to Opt Out of Margin Protection Program


From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, NMPF

ARLINGTON, VA – “The Margin Protection Program (MPP) in its current form has been a disappointment to many dairy farmers, which is why NMPF has been working both with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress to make significant improvements to the program. We had earlier suggested to USDA that, given this level of dissatisfaction, one option would be to allow farmers to opt out of the MPP in the coming calendar year.

Today’s announcement to allow farmers to opt out of the program in 2018 is a welcome development, in that it acknowledges the widespread dissatisfaction among farmers enrolled in the program. Simply put, the way the program was enacted in the 2014 Farm Bill, it does not meet the needs of America’s dairy farmers today, and declining participation levels amply illustrate farmers’ disenchantment with the MPP. Farmers who choose to opt out of the MPP will then be able to enroll in the Livestock Gross Margin program for 2018.

“Looking ahead, Congress must make more resources available to the MPP, so that the program provides a more effective, affordable safety net – one that provides support when farmers need it. We are currently working with lawmakers to secure program improvements that will restore farmers’ faith in the value of the MPP. We also will continue to work with USDA and Congress to develop additional risk management options for dairy producers.” Continue reading

08-31-17 NFU to EPA: Stand With Farmers and Consumers on RFS…

NFU to EPA: Stand With Farmers and Consumers on RFS; Law Creates American Jobs, Bolsters Rural Communities, Strengthens Energy Independence and Protects the Environment

WASHINGTON – For the past decade, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been a boon to American-grown renewable energy development, thereby expanding markets for family farmers, creating jobs in rural communities, shoring up American energy independence, and cleaning up the environment.

So when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues new renewable fuel volume obligations this November, they must continue to build on the success of the RFS, says National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson. In public comments filed to the EPA today, Johnson urged the agency to issue RFS volume obligations that expand markets for higher blends of ethanol and advanced biofuels.

“The RFS has provided tremendous benefits to American family farmers, rural residents, consumers and the environment for the past decade, ” said Johnson. “If the EPA upholds Congress’ intent to institute a market-driving renewable energy policy, the RFS will continue to pave the way for America’s transition to a renewable energy future.” Continue reading

08-31-17 CO Water Congress: Gary Bostrom’s Passing

Gary Bostrom’s Passing

All too often, we lose a colleague with such speed that it startles. We think we’ll always have another day. Like the losses of Chips Barry, Jay Britton, John Carlson, and Bart Woodward; Gary’s passing seems out of time. His friendship, incessant drive, constant teasing, and caring spirit changed the course of many lives. His life was a gift.

This article touches on Gary’s work with Colorado Springs Utilities, where he spent nearly two-thirds of his life, as remembered by some of his friends and colleagues.

Services for Gary Bostrom

Sunday, September 3, 2017 2:00 p.m.
Village Seven Presbyterian Church
4040 Nonchalant Circle South
Colorado Springs, CO 8091
(719) 574-6700

Continue reading

08-31-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

08-31-17 NCGA Submits Comments to EPA on 2018 Ethanol Volumes

NCGA Submits Comments to EPA on 2018 Ethanol Volumes

WASHINGTON (August 31, 2017) – In comments submitted today to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Corn Growers Association asked the Agency to maintain the proposed amount of conventional ethanol blended into the nation’s gas supply for 2018, and to raise the amount of cellulosic, advanced, and total biofuels.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, NCGA President Wesley Spurlock writes, “In the 10 years since Congress expanded the RFS in 2007, corn farmers have responded to the growing market for ethanol, increasing production efficiency to help meet the RFS goal of moving the United States toward greater energy independence and security, boosting production of clean, renewable fuels and protecting consumers.” Continue reading

08-31-17 CO Governor Hickenlooper shares bipartisan blueprint to stabilize individual health insurance market

CO Governor Hickenlooper shares bipartisan blueprint to stabilize individual health insurance market

DENVER — Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017 Gov. John Hickenlooper today, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, shared a letter detailing their bipartisan framework for stabilizing the individual health insurance market. The letter to Congressional leadership is signed by six other governors.

View a copy of the letter here.


08-31-17 USDA/FSA: Dairy Producers Can Enroll for 2018 Coverage

USDA/FSA: Dairy Producers Can Enroll for 2018 Coverage

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced that starting Sept. 1, 2017, dairy producers can enroll for 2018 coverage in the Margin Protection Program (MPP-Dairy).  Secretary Sonny Perdue has utilized additional flexibility this year by providing dairy producers the option of opting out of the program for 2018.

“Secretary Perdue is using his authority to allow producers to withdraw from the MPP Dairy Program and not pay the annual administrative fee for 2018,” said Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Rob Johansson. “The decision is in response to requests by the dairy industry and a number of MPP-Dairy program participants.”  Continue reading


National Potato Council logo

During an aerial pesticide application demonstration at Hoff Farm, pilot Leif Isaacson (second from right) conducted fly-overs to show participants the capabilities of the spray plane. EPA staffers learned how the spray can be carefully controlled so that drift concerns are minimized.


Washington, D.C. – The National Potato Council (NPC) led a delegation of 6 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff on a tour of Idaho potato fields during the week of August 14. The annual field event, held over 3 days, gives EPA staff the opportunity to see firsthand potato production, discuss pesticide utilization and interact with farmers on the site of their operations. Growers provide employees at EPA an in-depth look at their pesticide stewardship practices and the process of bringing potatoes from field to table. The 2017 tour, which was supported by the Idaho Potato Commission, was held in various locations surrounding Idaho Falls, ID.

“This tour is a unique way for EPA staff to see firsthand how pest management is conducted in real conditions and to better understand the challenges potato growers face on the field every day,” said NPC CEO John Keeling, who attended the tour. “We believe it’s vitally important for growers and policymakers to have this interaction to increase understanding on both sides.” Continue reading

08-31-17 NMPF: Dairy Farmers Launch “Peel Back the Label” Campaign to Expose Deceptive Front-of-Package Food Labeling, Highlight Need for Responsible Food Marketing

NMPF: Dairy Farmers Launch “Peel Back the Label” Campaign to Expose Deceptive Front-of-Package Food Labeling, Highlight Need for Responsible Food Marketing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As food manufacturers increasingly turn to fear-based food labeling to prop up profits and consumers face more confusion in the grocery aisles, America’s dairy farmers today launched “Peel Back the Label,” a new campaign to highlight this troublesome trend and stress the need for truth and transparency in food marketing.

The campaign comes as almost 70% of consumers say they look to front-of-label claims when making food purchasing decisions, and as food manufacturers increasingly utilize “free from” labels – i.e. ”no high fructose corn syrup” or “GMO free” or “hormone-free”– to play on consumers food safety fears and misconceptions.

Nowhere is this fear-based marketing more rampant than with GMOs. For example: Continue reading

08-31-17 ACE comments on proposed 2018 RFS

ACE comments on proposed 2018 RFS

Sioux Falls, SD (August 31, 2017) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed blending volumes for 2018 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The organization emphasized the economic benefits of the RFS and stated in its comments that “Congress directed EPA to take seriously the impact any reductions of RFS volumes would have on rural economies.  When proposing RFS volumes, EPA, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, must look at issues such as job creation, economic development, and commodity prices.  EPA is bound by law to ensure it does no harm to commodity prices or the rural economy.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, August 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 Thursday, August 31st

USDA Forecasts Increase in Farm Income

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday predicted a slight increase in farm income for 2017, reversing three years of major decline. The August update of the farm income forecast predicts net cash farm income for 2017 at $100.4 billion, up $11.2 billion, or 12.6 percent, from 2016. Net farm income, a broader measure of profits, is forecasted at $63.4 billion, up $1.9 billion, or 3.1 percent, relative to 2016. USDA says the stronger forecast growth in net cash income is largely due to an additional $9.7 billion in cash receipts from the sale of crop inventories. The net cash farm income measure counts those sales as part of current-year income while the net farm income measure counted the value of those inventories as part of prior-year income. However, that predicted increase is still lower than every year from 2010 to 2015. During that period, net farm income peaked in 2013 $131.3 billion.


Perdue Offers Support to Trump Tax Plan

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue offered support to President Trump’s tax reform agenda. Trump announced his plans for tax reform during a stop in Springfield, Missouri, Wednesday. Perdue says: “The president’s tax reform package will be of great benefit to agriculture and help improve rural prosperity.” Trump did not offer many details on reforms, but offered broad outlines that he said would offer economic benefits to main street America. Trump says the plan includes cutting taxes for individuals and business. Perdue mentioned that farms are small businesses, and that “time and costs associated with merely complying with the tax code are impeding American prosperity.” Secretary also mentioned the Estate Tax, or death tax, saying “too many family farms have had to be broken up or sold off to pay the tax bill.”


Most U.S. Farmers Will Feel Impact from Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey stands to harm virtually all of U.S. agriculture, in some way. Many ports that ship agricultural commodities are in the path of the storm, from Texas to Louisiana, where the majority of corn and soybeans destined for other nations leave the United States. Texas produces high volumes of cotton, wheat, rice and soy and is a large exporter of crops from around the country. Some of the regions impacted by the storm are expected to see about a years-worth of rainfall this week, causing flooding and stressing infrastructure. Mike Steenhoek of the Soy Transportation Coalition says that until the storm passes, they will not be able to assess the structural integrity of railroad tracks or bridges. And because of these transportation issues, grain elevator operators, which will have reached capacity, will discourage farmers from delivering crops by lowering the commodity prices that farmers are usually paid. Steenhoek told DTN: “From a soybean and corn logistics perspective, the larger concern occurs if the consequences of Harvey extend farther east to the 230-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to the Gulf of Mexico.”

Officials from Mexico Visited Washington After NAFTA Threats

Two government officials from Mexico were in Washington D.C. earlier this week, following threats by President Donald Trump to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement. While Canada and Mexico have both dismissed Trump’s threats as a negotiating tactic, two officials traveled to Washington on what the Mexican Government called a “pre-planned” trip. A source in the foreign ministry of Mexico told Reuters the trip was organized before Trump’s latest warnings that he would prefer to scrap NAFTA than negotiate. Mexico also said earlier this week that it would not negotiate the trade deal through social media, referring to the Twitter post by Trump calling Mexico and Canada “difficult” in the ongoing negotiations. The second round of talks to renegotiate the 23-year-old agreement ais due to start in Mexico next week.

Secretary Perdue Embarking on Second RV Tour

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is visiting states in the Northeast U.S. Thursday and Friday as part of his second installment of the “Back to Our Roots” RV tour and gathering input on the 2018 farm bill. Perdue will make stops in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Friday, Perdue will visit Albany, New Hampshire, will he will also swear in Forrest Service Chief Tony Tooke. The tour schedule Thursday includes a listening session with 40 farmers at a farm near Lebanon, Connecticut, and hold another listening session at a farm near Northborough, Massachusetts. Perdue held the first installment of the RV tour at the beginning of August, visiting Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.

Goodyear Introduces Soybean Tires

Goodyear will introduce a tire made with soy-based rubber this fall. The assurance WeatherReady tires for passenger vehicles features a soy-based rubber compound that remains soft at lower temperatures, leading to enhanced traction in dry, wet and winter conditions. The United Soybean Board says the tires offer another market opportunity for U.S. soybean farmers. Goodyear’s interest in soybean oil included a look at sustainability, a priority for many corporations throughout the United States. However, what they found was a competitive advantage, according to USB. The United Soybean Board worked with Goodyear in creating the rubber compound, a move that USB board members say helps increase demand for soybeans and increase profit opportunities for farmers. Goodyear’s Assurance WeatherReady tire will be widely available in September 2017, offered in a wide range of sizes, covering 77 percent of cars, minivans and SUVs on the road today.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service