11-15-17 CLA’s 2017 Legislator of the Year Award Presented in Sterling

Julie McCaleb, CLA Legislative Affairs Committee Chair (right) and Steve Holdren, CLA Lobbyist (left) present the 2017 Legislator of the Year award to Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (center).

CLA’s 2017 Legislator of the Year Award Presented in Sterling

State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg recognized for his commitment to livestock producers in Colorado

Greeley, CO –  The Colorado Livestock Association named State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg as their “Legislator of the Year” this week for his work and commitment to Colorado’s agriculture and livestock industry.

“Senator Jerry Sonnenberg is a real-life farmer and rancher who has a deep-rooted understanding of and passion for agriculture in Colorado. This is most evident in his actions as he represents not just his constituents in Senate District One, but all of Colorado agriculture in carrying out his duties in the Colorado Senate,” states Bill Hammerich, CEO of Colorado Livestock Association. “Because of his commitment to and support of agriculture in the legislative arena the Colorado Livestock Association is proud to recognize Senator Jerry Sonnenberg as the CLA 2017 Legislator of the Year.”

“I am honored to be recognized by my fellow livestock producers for the legislative work that we have accomplished together,” said Sonnenberg.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, November 15th

NAFTA Talks Again Underway

Round five of the North American Free Trade Agreement talks are set to begin Friday in Mexico City. However, Politico points out that talks will unofficially begin Wednesday (today). Much of the two-day prelude to the official talks are expected to focus on textiles, labor, cross-border trade and intellectual property. There’s little expectation of talks regarding agriculture, at least for the start of the negotiations. The Trump administration must still find a way to address Canada’s dairy supply management system, among other agriculture issues. The administration is hoping to wrap up the talks by the end of March. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the negotiations do not have a hard deadline, but says if a resolution is not reached by the end of March, “the political calendar will make it very difficult to complete a deal.”

Analyst Predicts Farm Bill Delay

An Ohio-based economist and consultant told Pacific Northwest farmers last week Congress will most likely pass an extension of the 2014 Farm Bill, and delay the next farm bill until 2019. Matt Roberts told the Tri-State Grain Growers from Washington, Oregon and Idaho, that he predicts there will be an extension in 2018 and that the real bill will come up in 2019, according to the Hagstrom Report. Roberts is a former economics professor who recently started a consulting firm. He also says the next farm bill is likely to be a “relatively minor update” of the 2014 farm bill. Others have said to believe that the next farm bill will be introduced earlier next year. House Agriculture Committee staff members started writing the next farm bill about a month ago.


Agriculture Groups Band Together to Support Section 199

More than 180 agricultural groups are coming together to support the Section 199 tax deduction not included in the tax reform proposal. The groups, led by the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, penned a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi opposing the effective repeal of Section 199. By not including the deduction, the House tax reform legislation would eliminate Section 199. The letter states that ending the deduction would “result in many individual farmers paying more in taxes,” seeing up to double-digit increases in tax bills. Section 199 allows cooperatives to deduct the proceeds earned from products that are manufactured, produced, grown, or extracted and pass those deductions directly back to their farmer-members. The letter emphasizes that with most of agriculture facing the fourth consecutive year of stagnant prices, now is not the time to raise the tax burden on farmers.

McKinney Visit to India Good for U.S. Pork

The National Pork Producers Council says the recent trip to India by Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs Ted McKinney bodes well for future pork exports. The trip, aimed at increasing U.S. agricultural export levels for India, allowed McKinney to press the nation to open access to U.S. pork. NPPC has been working for many years to get U.S. pork into India by eliminating the country’s non-scientific trade barriers. India benefits from the Generalized System of Preferences, a U.S. preferential trade program providing duty-free access to countries shipping goods to the United States. In concluding the trip, McKinney said: “the progress report is good.” India could begin allowing U.S. pork into the country as early as next year.

U.S. Poultry Groups Applaud WTO’s Indonesian Ruling

U.S. poultry groups are pleased the World Trade Organization confirmed Indonesia’s import restrictions for horticultural products and animals and animal products are against WTO rules. The WTO has rejected Indonesia’s appeal of the panel finding, a move U.S. poultry groups say is a “resounding victory.” The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, National Chicken Council, and National Turkey Federation echoed comments made by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who says the WTO action should result in increased export opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers. In its decision, WTO found that the 18 Indonesian measures challenged by the U.S. were inconsistent with Indonesia’s WTO obligations. The poultry industry estimates the potential market for U.S. poultry exports to Indonesia at 170,000 metric tons annually, valued at $177 million.

October Farm Equipment Sales Increase

Tractor and combine sales for October increased from levels recorded last year. The Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s monthly report shows the sale of all tractors in the U.S. in October, were up 12 percent compared to the same month last year. For the month, two-wheel drive smaller tractors, under 40 horsepower, were up 12 percent from last year, while 40 and under 100 horsepower tractor sales were up two percent. Sales of two-wheel drive 100-plus horsepower tractors were up 43 percent, while four-wheel drive tractors were up 15 percent. For the year, two-wheel drive smaller tractors are up eight percent over last year, while 40 and under 100 horsepower sales were even. Sales of two-wheel drive 100-plus horsepower tractors are down nine percent, while four-wheel drive tractors are up five percent. Combine sales were up 69 percent for the month. Sales of combines for the year total 3,439, an increase of three percent from 2016.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service