09-05-17 US Senator Bennet, Colleagues Push for Resources to Address Water Contamination near Military Bases

US Senator Bennet, Colleagues Push for Resources to Address Water Contamination near Military Bases

Washington, D.C.—Colorado U.S Senator Michael Bennet, along with Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Bob Casey (D-PA), wrote a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging the Department of Defense (DoD) to investigate and clean up chemicals that have contaminated drinking water sources across the nation.

“Residents of our states are concerned about exposure, and what this means for their health and safety,” the senators wrote. “We urge your support for programs that address the unregulated and emerging water contaminant.” Continue reading

09-05-17 The 27th Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture is February 21, 2018 in Denver

27th Annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture

February 21, 2018 | Renaissance Hotel in Denver

The Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program is proud to host the 27th annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture,​ titled “Colorado’s Agricultural Impact: Economic, Environmental, Social”. This innovative and informative program will bring together producers, consumers, experts and other ag stakeholders to peel back the polarizing rhetoric often found in today’s society.
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09-05-17 NCGA: Corn Farmers Welcome Northey to USDA

NCGA: Corn Farmers Welcome Northey to USDA

WASHINGTON (September 5, 2017) – The National Corn Growers Association today congratulated Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on his nomination to Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Bill Northey is a longtime friend of NCGA and a passionate advocate for farmers. We congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm him,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock. “His roots in production agriculture run deep. He will give farmers and ranchers a senior-level voice on important issues such as risk management and conservation programs, especially as we craft the next farm bill.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 5th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 5th

Some Speculate Trump May Terminate NAFTA as a Negotiation Tactic

Canada-based Global News reports U.S. President Donald Trump may terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement to get more from Mexico and Canada during the ongoing renegotiation effort. Round two of the negotiations started Friday in Mexico City, Mexico. Most analysts believe the heated rhetoric is a negotiating tactic – but that doesn’t mean Trump won’t actually start the process of terminating the agreement. President Trump could trigger the process and then stop it at the last minute. Any move to begin the termination process would be met with stiff U.S. opposition, including opposition from the Agriculture industry, as Mexico and Canada are two of the industry’s biggest trading partners. Further, Carla Hills, who presided over the original NAFTA talks for the U.S., says Trump is not likely to terminate the deal “anytime soon.” She says those in the Trump Administration assure her the President was referring to a mechanism that could be enacted five years from now, after an assessment had been made into whether all three parties had met their commitments. The current round of trade negotiation wraps up Today (Tuesday, September 5th).

Mexico, Canada, Committed to NAFTA, With or Without the U.S.

If President Donald Trump does intend to follow through on his threats to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada and Mexico will opt to stay in. Mexico’s Economy Minister told Reuters last week that Mexico and Canada would remain in the accord, even if the Trump Administration abandoned the free trade agreement. Trump argues the agreement has cost the United States jobs and industrial capacity, while Mexico says the integration of the region has made it more competitive, helping to protect jobs. Depending on the year Canada is either the largest or second largest export destination for U.S. agriculture, while Mexico is consistently the third largest market. Combined, they account for about one-third of U.S. agricultural exports. Since implementation, agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have totaled approximately $310 billion and increased by more than 300 percent from pre-NAFTA levels, according to the American Farm Bureau.

Saudi Arabia Nearly Doubles U.S. Corn Imports In 2016/2017

The U.S. Grains Council says Saudi Arabia has nearly doubled purchases of U.S. corn this marketing year due to a combination of favorable government policy shifts, competitive prices and market development work by the Council. So far in the current marketing year, Saudi Arabia has purchased 2.07 million metric tons of U.S. corn, or 81.5 million bushels, up significantly compared to the prior five-year average of 861,000 tons. Changes to local policy have helped spur these shifts. A second policy shift in 2016 began the phase out of domestic wheat production, which had been utilized primarily for feed, to help conserve Saudi Arabia’s water resources. The Grains Council says the market offers demand potential, but requires extensive market development work. The Saudi dairy industry is one of the most modern in the world and the country’s large poultry industry processes fresh product for domestic use as well as sales to neighboring Gulf countries. While these industries are quick to adopt new technology and ideas, they are still relatively unfamiliar with U.S. co-products.

Rabobank: Cattle Herd Expansion to Continue

A new report from Rabobank predicts the U.S. beef cattle herd will increase 1.6 to 2.2 percent over the next few years. The Rabobank U.S. Long-term Beef and Cattle Outlook report outlines the expanding beef production, which is expected to continue to meet the need for exports. The U.S. beef cattle herd expansion started in 2014, following several years of decline and drought. Analysts with Rabobank say the expansion phase looks likely to continue into the year 2019, or 2020, as corn prices remain low and beef consumption increases. However, somewhere in 2020 to 2025, Rabobank expects increased supplies of both beef and poultry to cause negative price pressure, making it difficult for producers to justify retaining more replacement heifers. With domestic consumption not able to keep up with production increases, exports will become more important, and imports should stay lower. Rabobank is projecting the U.S. to be a net beef exporter from 2017 to 2025. And, because of more beef being exported, U.S. beef producers can expect more volatility in the future.


Nation Chicken Council to EPA: Reduce RFS Targets

As agriculture groups submitted their comments to the Environmental Protection Agency last week regarding the Proposed Renewable Fuel Standard, it should come as no surprise that the National Chicken Council urged further reductions. The National Chicken Council, long opposing the RFS, said in comments to the EPA: “As proposed, the RFS targets exceed the percentage of ethanol Congress envisioned being used in the fuel supply, create inappropriate artificial demand for corn in ethanol markets, incentivize inefficient overproduction of corn-based ethanol, and needlessly drive up corn prices for broiler chicken companies and other corn users who do not enjoy a large federal subsidy.” NCC believes the proposed volume for the total renewable fuel mandate is overly aggressive, based on faulty assumptions about the fuel market, and” will cause economic harm and disruptions to the corn market and nation’s feed supply.”

Whole Foods Launching Plant-Based Burger Joints

Whole Foods announced last week it is opening its fourth “plant-based burger joint” in Seattle, Washington. Next Level Burger makes meatless protein products and is undergoing a national expansion, promising many additional locations beyond three in Oregon and the new Seattle location within a Whole Foods Market. Meat Industry Publication Meatingplace reports that its menu includes more than a dozen burger combinations, plus dairy-free milkshakes, plant-based hot dogs and other sandwiches, as well as salads and sides. Whole Foods says Next Level Burger’s “focus on organic produce, non-GMO ingredients, and overall clean eating is a natural fit for us.” The announcement comes the same week that Amazon took over Whole Foods, slashing prices and offering “farm fresh” Amazon Echo smart devices at discounted prices within Whole Foods locations.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service