09-07-17 Culver’s Kicks Off Second Year of #FarmingFridays

Culver’s Kicks Off Second Year of #FarmingFridays

Agricultural influencers share their stories on restaurant’s social media platforms

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. – Sept. 7, 2017 – Following the success of last year’s #FarmingFridays social content series, Culver’s has again invited agricultural influencers to share photos and videos depicting their passion for and knowledge about agriculture.  #FarmingFridays is part of Culver’s Thank You Farmers initiative, which recognizes the hard work and commitment of the farmers who feed the nation.

New for this year, #FarmingFridays will extend  throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons on five different Fridays, beginning on April 28 and ending on November 3.

“Culver’s is committed to teaching our guests more about agriculture and the hard work of the people in this industry,” said Jessie Corning, senior marketing manager at Culver’s. “We’re excited to again provide a platform for agricultural leaders to share their stories and educate our guests.”

Here is the remaining 2017 #FarmingFridays schedule: Continue reading

09-08-17 Secretary Perdue Announces USDA Improvements for Customer Service & Efficiency

Secretary Perdue Announces USDA Improvements for Customer Service & Efficiency

(Washington, D.C., September 7, 2017) – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the realignment of a number of offices within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in order to improve customer service and maximize efficiency.  The actions involve innovation, consolidation, and the rearrangement of certain offices into more logical organizational reporting structures.  The changes build on the reorganization Perdue announced in May.  As with the previous realignment, today’s announced restructuring comes with the intention of handling any staffing changes through attrition or reassignment.

“On my first day as secretary, I told our employees that I wanted USDA to be the most effective, most efficient, and best managed department in the federal government.  These changes will move us further toward that goal,” Perdue said.  “We are already providing our customers with great service, and our career professionals are among the best in the federal government, but we can be even better.  This realignment represents further progress on the improvements to USDA we made earlier this year, and will help us better meet the needs of farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers, while providing increased accountability to American taxpayers.”

The realignments include: Continue reading

09-07-17 American Biofuels Producers Demand U.S. Government Respond to Brazilian Tariff

American Biofuels Producers Demand U.S. Government Respond to Brazilian Tariff

WASHINGTON, DC — Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, and the U.S. Grains Council are calling upon the U.S. government to develop an immediate response to Brazil’s newly implemented tariffs on U.S. ethanol imports, a trade barrier that threatens over $750 million in U.S. exports and American jobs. Continue reading

09-07-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 7th

Farmer Optimism Waning

Another poll released this week shows optimism is decreasing in farm country. DTN-The Progressive Farmers released its August Agricultural Confidence Index this week. The survey finds that while farmers are more optimistic than August 2016, the strong optimism they started the year with is waning. The overall index for August fell more than 26 points, to a moderate 104.3, compared to results of the previous survey conducted in March. While still 45 percent above the 71.9 Index conducted in August 2016, it’s a sign the so-called “Trump Bump” is fading. The next Ag Confidence Index will be conducted just before the end of the 2017 calendar year. Earlier this week, the monthly Purdue-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer indicated similar results. The barometer drifted lower in August to 132 points, down seven points from July, but still stronger than the year ago level of 96. Both surveys’s come as commodity prices drifted lower in August, while at the same time, the Department of Agriculture predicted a slight increase in farm income for 2017.

White House Backs 2018 Spending Package

The Trump administration offered support this week to the 2018 spending package the U.S. House is set to consider that includes the ag spending bill. The measure includes funding for the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies. In a statement, the White House says that if the bill was “presented to the president in its current form, his advisers would recommend that he sign the bill into law.” Politico reports that the White House supported putting aside money for rural broadband and infrastructure; for providing full funding for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service budget request; and for the $7 billion it would give for Farm Service Agency loans to farmers. But administration officials took aim at the measure’s inclusion of certain rural development programs, including the Rural Business-Cooperative Service and wastewater and housing grants, which the White House wants eliminated.

Experts Predict Little Ag Damage in DACA Action

An immigration attorney told the Capital Press this week that any changes to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, would have little impact on agriculture. Tom Roach, a Pasco, Washington immigration attorney, says ending deportation deferrals for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children may not be a big hit to agriculture. He says most of those in the program are in other occupations. Roach estimates that only five to ten percent of the 800,000-people benefiting from DACA deportation deferrals work in agriculture. Roach went on to say the administration’s action may be a blessing because it may force Congress to save DACA, noting that 80 percent of Americans favor the program. DACA is a two-year renewable deferral of deportation with work authorization granted to children of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. under 15 years-old. The program was granted by executive order by President Barack Obama in 2012.

KORUS Withdraw Would Harm Pork Producers

Iowa State University says pork prices could fall by nearly five dollars per-animal if the U.S. withdraws from the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, known as KORUS. President Donald Trump suggested the action over the weekend, but the administration has backed away from those claims this week. National Hog Farmer magazine reports that if KORUS is terminated, the United States likely will lose the South Korean pork market to the European Union, Chile and other countries that have preferential trade access to the Asian nation. Terminating the deal, Iowa State University economists say, would drop live hog prices by 3.8 percent, or $4.71 per animal. South Korea is a valuable trade partner for U.S. pork, making it the number five export market. KORUS is the second largest U.S. free trade agreement, eliminating tariffs on 95% of consumer and industrial products.

Cotton and Orange Juice Futures See Bounce Amidst Hurricanes

Bloomberg News reports orange juice futures jumped 6.2 percent before Wednesday, the largest increase in 16 months, ahead of the feared landfall of Hurricane Irma in Florida. The scale-topping hurricane remains on track to threaten Southeast U.S. agriculture later this week. Florida is the nation’s top orange producer, and all of the state’s crop is at risk of moderate to severe damage, with trees already full of fruit. Florida is also the nation’s biggest sugar producer, and sugarcane crops could be knocked down, or lose sugar content, from the hurricane. Meanwhile, as Gulf Coast cotton growers are assessing damage, cotton futures surged 5.5 percent last week, following Hurricane Harvey’s destruction in parts of Texas and around the Mississippi Delta.

Tyson Foods Announces Plans for Kansas Processing Facility

Tyson Foods has announced a $320 million poultry facility in Northeast Kansas. The facility is estimated to bring 1,600 jobs to the community and area around Tonganoxie, (Tong-gan-knock-see) Kansas. The chicken processing plant was announced earlier this week by Tyson officials, who say the facility will help to meet the growing consumer demand for fresh poultry. The facility is expected to be operational in 2019. Tyson will purchase 300 acres for the facility, along with building a hatchery and feed mill, and will be contracting with local farmers for grain needs. However, some nearby citizens protested the plans, as the Kansas City Star reports some boos were heard when Tyson officials made the announcement. Their concerns ranged from smell and animal cruelty to a lack of information provided by the company and elected representatives. Tyson already operates six plants in Kansas.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service