11-09-17 NPPC: Delay Sought For Reporting Farm Air Emissions

NPPC: Delay Sought For Reporting Farm Air Emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 9, 2017 – With a Nov. 15 deadline looming, the National Pork Producers Council and the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association today filed a brief in support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s motion to delay a mandate that farmers report certain air emissions from manure on their farms. Continue reading

11-09-17 USDA: RMA Announces Awards for Risk Management Education

USDA: RMA Announces Awards for Risk Management Education

Farming is a risky business. Natural disasters and extreme weather, like this year’s hurricanes and wildfires, can have immediate and devastating effects on farms, crops and livestock. That’s why it’s critical for producers to better understand those risks and how to properly plan for them.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) made 76 awards to partner with the agency in the form of cooperative agreements to provide education and training nationwide. The funds are for risk management education and training to assist producers, including limited resource, socially disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers. They also target training for new and beginning producers and military veterans returning to farm and ranch. Continue reading

10-12-17 USDA-NASS: Colorado Crop Production for November 2017…

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Based on November 1 conditions, corn production in Colorado is forecast at a record high 187.96 million bushels, up 17 percent from last year’s 160.29 million bushels and up 3 percent from the previous record production of 182.71 million bushels in 2010, according to the November 1 Agricultural Yield Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. The 1.27 million acres expected to be harvested for grain this year are unchanged from the October forecast and 100,000 acres above the 1.17 million acres harvested a year ago. Corn yield is estimated at 148.0 bushels per acre, up 3.0 bushels from the October 1 forecast and 11.0 bushels above last year’s final yield. As of October 29, Colorado’s corn harvested for grain was 31 percent complete, compared with 66 percent last year and the 5-year average of 61 percent. The corn crop was rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 61 percent good, and 18 percent excellent as of October 29.
Sorghum production in 2017 is forecast at 19.88 million bushels, down 4 percent from the 20.75 million bushels harvested last year. Growers expect to harvest 375,000 acres this year, unchanged from the October forecast and down 40,000 acres from the 415,000 acres harvested last year. Average yield is forecast at 53.0 bushels per acre, down 2.0 bushels from the October 1 forecast, but up 3.0 bushels from last year. As of October 29, Colorado’s sorghum harvested for grain was estimated at 25 percent complete, compared with 78 percent last year and the 5-year average of 49 percent. The sorghum crop was rated 6 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 19 percent excellent as of October 29.
Sugarbeet production Colorado is forecast at 1.04 million tons, up 12 percent from the 927,000 tons produced in 2016. Growers expect to harvest 29,100 acres this year, compared with 27,600 acres a year ago. Yields are expected to average 35.6 tons per acre, up 0.2 tons per acre from the October 1 forecast and up from last year’s yield of 33.6 tons per acre. Harvest of sugarbeets was estimated at 62 percent complete, compared with 48 percent last year and the 5-year average of 70 percent as of October 29. The sugarbeet crop was rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 11 percent fair, 67 percent good, and 17 percent excellent as of October 29.
Fall potato growers in Colorado produced an estimated 21.53 million hundredweight of potatoes this year, down 3 percent from last year’s crop. Fall potatoes produced in the San Luis Valley totaled 19.39 million hundredweight compared with 19.83 million hundredweight produced last year. Fall potatoes grown in all other areas in Colorado totaled 2.14 million hundredweight compared with 2.41 million hundredweight last year. Average yield, at 382 hundredweight per acre, decreased 7 hundredweight per acre from the combined yield attained last year. The harvested area, estimated at 56,400 acres is down from the 57,100 acres harvested last year

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11-09-17 Milk gets a new voice…EDGE!

Milk gets a new voice…EDGE!

Top dairy cooperative rebrands to give dairy farmers an Edge

GREEN BAY, Wis. [Nov. 9, 2017] — Milk is getting a new voice in America’s Heartland. Meet Edge, the dairy farmer cooperative taking a fresh approach to representing its members.

Edge, formerly known as the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, has been a game-changer for dairy farmers since its inception in 2010.

“Edge is now representative of the growth and evolution our cooperative has undergone over the past seven years. It’s also apromise of the future,” says John Pagel, a Wisconsin dairy farmer and president of Edge. “We put our members at the forefront of the discussions, giving dairy farmers a voice in matters critical to their businesses and their communities.”

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11-09-17 NFU: House Tax Plan Would Increase Burden for Family Farmers and Ranchers

NFU: House Tax Plan Would Increase Burden for Family Farmers and Ranchers

Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives released its blueprint for sweeping tax reform in a bill known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The legislation, which is billed as a simplification of the tax code, would enact the most significant changes to national taxation in decades.
If passed, the bill would consolidate the current seven income brackets to just four, which would be taxed at rates of 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent, and 39.6 percent. Though about 93% of Americans would see at least modest tax cuts, the bulk of the windfall would go to high-earners; indeed, middle-income earners would save only about $800 per year, while those in the top one percent would save an average of $37,000. Other provisions in the bill would also disproportionately help the wealthiest among us. For example, the act would immediately double the exclusion for estate taxes, from $5 million to $10 million, while ultimately eliminating the tax entirely within 6 years. According to the  Washington Post, usually only the top .5 percent of earners have to file an estate tax. When it comes to agriculture, the effect is even more negligible. According the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service, only 663 farms had to file an estate-tax return last year, of which a mere 161 owed any taxes.
The bill includes other significant changes, including increasing in the standard deduction and child tax credit, eliminating the state and local tax deduction, lowering the corporate tax rate, among others. These changes don’t come for free; by some estimates, the bill would increase the deficit by up to $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, November 9th

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Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, November 9th

House Ag Committee Leaders Call for NAFTA Conclusion

House Ag Committee leaders and a group of farm lobbyists are calling on the Trump Administration to not withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Hagstrom Report says they’re also asking the White House to finish negotiations quickly to avoid potential declines in agricultural exports. Texas Republican and House Ag Committee Chair Michael Conaway and Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson, the ranking member, met with lobbyists this week to discuss NAFTA. Following the discussion, Conaway, Peterson, American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall, and the pork, dairy, grains, and fruit and vegetable lobbyists said they were all unified in their opposition to withdrawal from NAFTA and in favor of a quick end to the negotiations. However, the difficulty in the mission to prevent NAFTA withdrawal became apparent when the dairy lobby defended the Trump administration’s proposals to force Canada to end its supply management system. The uncertainty surrounding the NAFTA negotiations is hurting American exports in an increasingly competitive international economy. U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight said the South American grain companies are improving their competitiveness every day. The European Union is taking advantage of the uncertainty and already seeking to make free trade deals with key U.S. markets like Japan and Mexico.


Asian Trip Highlights Lack of Trade Deals with America

President Donald Trump is on a trip through Asian countries this week. Politico Dot Com says he’s likely to be looking for new trade deals, but many of the countries he’s traveling through don’t want to negotiate a two-way deal with the U.S. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Shee Jihn’-ping) celebrated new deals on Wednesday as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross brought along a contingent of people from 30 different American companies. Xi may also announce possible advancements in policy areas like investments and drug approvals. Trump is also talking about potential arms sales to Japan and South Korea. However, by pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his third day in office, the president said no to deals with countries like Japan, the third-largest economy in the world, as well as Vietnam, which is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Though Trump has said he wants to negotiate bilateral deals with Asian countries, he hasn’t been able to persuade one to get started on the process. Politico says Trump’s “America-first” trade policy risks putting the U.S. in a weaker position as other countries get together to negotiate trade deals without American involvement.


China Online Mall To Buy Large Amounts of Beef and Pork

JD Dot Com, Inc., says it will buy $2 billion worth of U.S. goods, over half of which will be beef and pork. The deal comes at the same time President Donald Trump is in China. JD Dot Com, China’s second-largest online mall, will buy more than $1.2 billion worth of beef from the Montana Stock Growers Association and pork from Smithfield Foods over the next three years. The company released a statement after a signing ceremony this week, saying that the deal is part of a commitment to buy a wide range of U.S. goods. American companies that made the trip with the president and China announced deals this week worth about $9 billion dollars. China has officially reopened its borders to American beef there hasn’t been a lot of movement yet as only a limited supply meets Chinese import requirements. China is the world’s biggest pork producer, consumer, and importer. JD Dot Com CEO Richard Liu (Loo) says, “Chinese consumers will rest assured knowing that they will be able to purchase safe, high-quality meat products imported from the U.S.” Beef is the fastest-growing meat sector in China and the country is the world’s fastest-growing overseas market for beef.


Working on Sugar Support Programs Before 2018 Farm Bill

Politico’s Morning Ag Report says North Carolina Republican Representative Virginia Foxx is working on sugar market reforms as the 2018 Farm Bill draws closer. Foxx and a bipartisan group of more than 30 members of Congress have introduced the Sugar Policy Modernization Act. She says the policies within the legislation will keep processors from having to forfeit their crops and default on loans. The Act would take away price supports and repeals current marketing and quota requirements that help to control the amount of sugar moving through the American marketplace. Foxx tells a news conference that, “The legislation will get the sugar program to a zero-cost program by ending special-interest bailouts.”  However, the co-chairs of the House Sugar Caucus opposed the bill, saying it would have devastating effects on sugar producers and consumers. Representatives Mike Simpson, an Idaho Republican, and Florida Democrat Alcee (Al-see) Hastings say the bill would deny sugar producers access to nonrecourse loans and, as a result, those producers would have difficulty obtaining capital and staying in business. Galen Lee, president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, says that “a better name would be the ‘Sugar Farmer Bankruptcy Bill’ because that’s exactly what the Foxx plan is designed to do.”


USDA Chief Scientist Responds to WHO Antibiotic Recommendations

The World Health Organization issued recommendations on the use of antibiotics in agriculture. Dr. Chavonda (sha-vohn’-dah) Jacobs-Young, Acting Chief Scientist with the USDA, says the WHO guidelines are not in alignment with U.S. policy and aren’t supported by sound science. “The recommendations incorrectly combine disease prevention with growth promotion in animals,” she says. “The WHO previously requested the standards for on-farm uses of antibiotics in animals be updated through an open and science-based process. However, before the process could begin, they released these guidelines based on low-quality and, in some cases, very low-quality evidence.” Current Food and Drug Administration policy says medically-important antibiotics should not be used for promoting growth in animals. FDA allows antibiotic use for treating, controlling, and preventing disease in food-production animals under the direction of veterinarians. Jacobs-Young says the WHO guidelines would impose unnecessary constraints on the judgment of the veterinarians that oversee antibiotic use. She adds, “USDA agrees that we need more data to assess progress on antimicrobial use and resistance, and we need to continue to develop alternative therapies for the prevention, treatment, and control of diseases in animals.”


Grain Exports Provide $55.5 Billion in Economic Output

Exporting feed grains and related products is worth a lot of money to the U.S. economy.Those exports offer billions of dollars in direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, the rural communities they live in, and the nation as a whole. Research commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council and the National Corn Growers Association provided concrete numbers to the benefit claims. Feed and grain exports were worth $18.9 billion as recently as 2015, supporting $55.5 billion economic output. These exports were either directly or indirectly linked to 262,000 U.S. jobs. Hypothetically speaking, if these exports were halted for some reason, the analysis indicated that more than 46,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in Gross Domestic Product would be adversely impacted at the farm, ethanol production, and meat production levels. That’s even before accounting for losses in linked industries along the food production chain. Deb Keller, USGC Chair and a farmer from Iowa, says international markets represent demand that wouldn’t exist elsewhere. “This research highlights the important economic benefits of U.S. exports that our country’s economy depends on to exist,” says Keller.  

SOURCE: NAFB News Service