02-09-18 U.S. Interior Secretary Zinke Prioritizes Conservation & Big Game Migration Corridors

U.S. Interior Secretary Zinke Prioritizes Conservation & Big Game Migration Corridors

SALT LAKE CITY – Today​, at the Western Conservation and Hunting Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah,​ U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed Secretarial Order 3362, which will improve habitat quality and western big game winter range and migration corridors​ for antelope, elk, and mule deer​. ​The order fosters improved collaboration with states and ​private landowners and facilitates all parties ​using the best available science to inform development of guidelines that helps ensure that robust big game populations continue to exist.

The order seeks to improve wildlife management and conservation and expand opportunities for big game hunting by improving priority habitats ​within important ​and migration corridors across the West. Priority states currently include Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming​.

​”​We all know that animals go where animals want to go, and more often than not that’s dependent​ ​upon natural features like watersheds,​ ​rather than whether land is owned by the BLM, state, or private landowners. We need to manage appropriately. ​My goal is healthy herds for American hunters and wildlife watchers, and this order will he​​lp establish better migration corridors for some of North America’s most iconic big game species like elk, mule deer and antelope,” said Secretary Zinke. “American hunters are the backbone of big game conservation efforts, and now working with state and private landowners, the Department will leverage its land management and scientific expertise to both study the migration habits of wildlife as well as identify ways to improve the habitat. For example, this can be done by working with ranchers to modify their fences, working with states to collaborate on sage brush restoration, or working with scientists to better understand migration routes.” Continue reading

02-09-18 USCA: Meat is Meat, Not a Science Project

U.S. Cattlemen’s Association: Meat is Meat, Not a Science Project

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) requesting the agency to establish accurate beef labeling requirements to better inform consumers on the difference between beef products derived from cattle and those created in a laboratory.
Following recent investment interest by major U.S. and international companies, USCA’s membership initiated the effort to clearly label and identify alternative “beef” products that are not derived from cattle. These alternative “beef” products include synthetic product that is made from plant and/or insects and lab-grown product derived from animal cells in a petri dish.
USCA President Kenny Graner issued the following statement following the submission:

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02-09-18 KDA Hosts Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture

KDA Hosts Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture hosted a planning seminar for the Multi-State Partnership for Security in Agriculture the week of Feb. 5–9. Representatives from 16 states gathered in the Manhattan KDA building to work on strategies to improve the nation’s readiness to respond to emergencies and disasters affecting the agriculture community.

The Multi-State Partnership is a consortium of 15 state departments of agriculture and state veterinarians’ offices in the Midwest. It was formed in 2003 with a few member states and has continued to grow as the Partnership has made substantial progress in the area of animal emergency planning. Continue reading

02-09-18 World Classic Rockers to Perform for Commodity Classic’s Evening of Entertainment

World Classic Rockers will perform classic rock hits during the Evening of Entertainment at Commodity Classic in Anaheim, Calif.

World Classic Rockers to Perform for Commodity Classic’s Evening of Entertainment

ST. LOUIS (February 9, 2018) — Santana. Lynyrd Skynrd. Journey. Boston. Steppenwolf. The Evening of Entertainment at the 2018 Commodity Classic will be rocking with classic rock hits, performed by the artists that first made them famous as World Classic Rockers take the stage.

The Evening of Entertainment at the 2018 Commodity Classic on Thursday, March 1puts the cherry on top of America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show. Commodity Classic will be held Feb. 27-March 1, in Anaheim, Calif. Thursday night’s Evening of Entertainment is sponsored by Monsanto. Continue reading

02-09-18 Wheat Growers Name Montana Senator Steve Daines as Wheat Leader of the Year

Wheat Growers Name Montana Senator Steve Daines as Wheat Leader of the Year

Washington, D.C. (February 09, 2018) – Today, the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) officially recognized Senator Steve Daines (MT-R) as the 2017 Wheat Leader of the Year. NAWG President and Outlook, Montana farmer Gordon Stoner, presented Senator Daines with the Wheat Leader of the Year award yesterday.

“In my home state of Montana, wheat farmers not only put food on our plates, but are one of the leading drivers of our local economy,” said Daines. “I am committed to continuing to support America’s wheat growers so they can feed our nation and compete on the world stage.”

The Wheat Leader of the Year Award is given annually by NAWG to one member of Congress, regardless of party affiliation, whose philosophy and records demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of America’s wheat farmers. It is the wheat industry’s highest legislative award. Continue reading

02-09-18 CDOT and Colorado Farm Bureau join forces to study pay-as-you-go-drive fee

CDOT and Colorado Farm Bureau join forces to study pay-as-you-go-drive fee

Transportation funding discussions have been front and center in the legislature the past few years. Elected officials return to the same question — How do we pay for it?

One option being discussed is a shift in tax policy. Increasing vehicle efficiency, a massive increase in population and other factors have made the gas tax out-of-date and insufficient to fund our transportation needs. To better understand potential solutions, the Colorado Department of Transportation received a grant to study the impacts of implementing a road usage charge. Continue reading

02-09-18 CFB: Reclaimed Water Bills Moving Under the Dome

CFB: Reclaimed Water Bills Moving Under the Dome

Measures to expand uses of reclaimed water were introduced in both the house and the senate. Two of the four bills were forwarded from the Interim Water Resources Review Committee.  Both allow reclaimed water for Hemp and Marijuana. CFB supports the efforts to expand uses for reclaimed water and allow for use on edible crops and hemp production. The fourth bill is to expand use to toilet flushing as well.  Continue reading

02-09-18 Food Trends a Focus at CFVGA Annual Conference, Feb. 19-20

CFVGA Applauds Nutrition & Food Trends

The Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) is glad to see top culinary trends incorporating produce. According to the National Restaurant Association which interviewed 700 chefs, the hottest menu trends this year are local, vegetable-forward choices and ethnic-inspired menu items.
“All of these trends and in particular vegetable-forward choices that ‘flip the plate’ from a meat and starch focus to a produce entrée are positive for Americans’ health,” said Marilyn Bay Drake, CFVGA executive director. “This trend and the interest in nutrition led our conference committee to incorporate this topic into CFVGA’s Fourth Annual Conference Feb. 19-20, 2018.”

02-09-18 NMPF Statement on Congressional Passage of Dairy Policy Changes in Budget Package

NMPF Statement on Congressional Passage of Dairy Policy Changes in Budget Package

Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of

ARLINGTON, VA – From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO, NMPF:

“The votes early Friday in both the House and Senate to pass a budget bill containing major improvements to the dairy safety net are an important victory for America’s dairy farmers. The enhancements to the Margin Protection Program (MPP), coupled with the expansion of additional risk management options, are coming at a crucial time for our producers. Farmers need insurance options that are both effective and affordable, and the disaster package helps deliver on that promise. Continue reading

02-09-18 USW Participating in Wheat Education Event on Capitol Hill

USW Participating in Wheat Education Event on Capitol Hill

Between record low commodity prices, extreme natural disasters and unfair trade practices in the global marketplace, wheat growers across the country have experienced a multitude of challenges the past couple of years. To educate the Administration, Members of Congress and their staff on just how expansive and important the entire wheat value chain is to the economy and to global food supplies, the National Wheat Foundation (NWF) is hosting a wheat industry educational event Feb. 8 in Washington, D.C.

“This event featuring organizations throughout the entire wheat value chain is the first of its kind for the Foundation and for Congressional staff,” stated Foundation Board Chairman Phil McLain. “We hope to give our policy makers and all attendees a better understanding of the how each component of the wheat value chain functions. We were also particularly pleased to be able to have USDA Deputy Secretary Censky, Chairman Roberts, and Ranking Member Stabenow walk through the event during a special preview.”

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02-09-18 U.S. Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers Meet 

U.S. Wheat Associates and National Association of Wheat Growers Meet 

It is a busy week in Washington, D.C., for wheat industry leaders. They have gathered to participate in joint board meetings between U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), and for an educational event on Capitol Hill Feb. 8 . Continue reading

02-09-18 Groups Want Injunction Against WOTUS Rule

Groups Want Injunction Against WOTUS Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 9, 2018 – The National Pork Producers Council and a diverse coalition of agricultural and business groups late yesterday – in the case American Farm Bureau Federation, et. al. vs. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – filed a request in federal court for a nationwide preliminary injunction against enforcement of the Obama administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. Continue reading

02-09-18 American Lamb Board Adds Denver as a Target Market

ALB - American Lamb Board Header

American Lamb Board Adds Denver as a Target Market

Wondering why you don’t see any American Lamb advertising or events in your area? With a limited budget, the American Lamb Board (ALB) has been thoughtfully focusing your checkoff resources in target markets. The target markets are large, diverse cities that have thriving food scenes and have retailers and restaurants who are committed to American Lamb. For the effectiveness of your checkoff, markets are chosen in which consumers will most likely have access to American Lamb year-around at both supermarkets and restaurants, and where lamb demand is trending upward. ALB has been working in Boston, the District of Columbia, San Francisco, Austin (Texas) and Seattle for several years. Now, we’ve added Denver as a new target market for 2018.

Last month, ALB hosted two educational events to start building awareness and partnerships in Denver:  Continue reading



DENVER – Colorado producer Steve Raftopoulos was a guiding voice for the American Sheep Industry Association during some of the most difficult times in the industry following changes in agriculture policy in 1993 that phased out national price support and market promotion. For a lifetime of service, he was recognized with the McClure Silver Ram Award, which was presented during a luncheon on Feb. 2 at the ASI Annual Convention in San Antonio. Continue reading



DENVER – The 2018 American Sheep Industry Association Annual Convention – From the Hill Country to Capitol Hill – provided 500-plus members of the sheep and wool industry with the opportunity to address important issues with congressional and agency leaders Jan. 31-Feb. 3 in San Antonio.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 9th

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 Friday, February 9th

Conaway Wants Farm Bill Movement Next Month

House Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Conaway this week expressed his desire to see mark up and a vote on the farm bill by the end of March in the House of Representatives. Conaway says that timetable would leave plenty of time to work out differences with the Senate version of the bill and ensure new legislation is finalized before the farm bill expires at the end of September. Conaway does not expect the Senate to have a version of the bill ready next month. The Congressional Budget Office is scoring the House version of the bill, and Conaway has previously said the bill would be released once all titles receive a score. Meanwhile, Conaway told the crop insurance industry the House version of the bill leaving his committee will include a strong crop insurance component, and he will work to fight off attempts to weaken crop insurance.

Cruz Hold on Northey Continues

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley this week attempted to move forward the nomination of Bill Northey to a top Department of Agriculture post, but was again blocked by Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Grassley sought unanimous consent from his Senate colleagues on the chamber floor Wednesday. However, Cruz objected, further delaying Northey’s confirmation. Cruz has blocked the vote to confirm Northey as the USDA undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services since October of last year, wanting to reach a deal on biofuel credit prices under the Renewable Fuel Standard. On the Senate floor, Grassley stated: “Taking a nominee hostage to try and force an ill-conceived policy change is only going to cause more problems for this body in the future.” Ranking Senate Agriculture Committee Democrat Debbie Stabenow also called for the nomination to move forward. Stabenow said: “It’s important to note that Mr. Northey’s leadership is needed now on a number of issues, including disaster recovery for our farmers in the aftermath of hurricanes, wildfire and drought.”

Net Farm Income Forecast Shows 2018 Decline

The Department of Agriculture predicts net farm income will decline 8.3 percent in 2018, dropping $5.4 billion to $59.5 billion. Meanwhile, USDA’s Economic Research Service suggests that net cash farm income is forecast to decline $6.7 billion, or 6.8 percent, to an inflation-adjusted figure of $91.9 billion. USDA says the forecast declines are the result of changes in cash receipts and production expenses. If realized, 2018 net farm income would be the lowest since 2002 and net cash farm income would be at its lowest level since 2009. Both profitability measures remain below their 2000-2016 averages, which included substantial increases in crop and animal/, and animal product cash receipts from 2010 to 2013. Net cash farm income includes cash receipts from farming as well as farm-related income, including government payments, minus cash expenses. Net farm income is a more comprehensive measure of profits that incorporates noncash items, including changes in inventories, economic depreciation and gross imputed rental income.

USDA February WASDE Report

The latest monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report from the Department of Agriculture shows lower estimated soybean exports for the 2017-18 crop year. USDA lowered soybean exports by 60 million bushels to 2.1 billion bushels. The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2017/18 is projected at $8.90 to $9.70 per bushel, unchanged from the previous report. USDA increased its forecast for corn exports, while reducing stocks. Exports increased 125 million bushels on price competitiveness with other nations. The season-average corn price received by producers is projected at $3.30 per bushel, up five cents from the previous report. Projected wheat ending stocks were raised by 20 million bushels, with exports increasing. USDA left season-average farm price for wheat unchanged at $4.60 per bushel.

Crop Insurance Sets Acreage Record in 2017

2017 was a historic year for crop insurance, with 311 million acres enrolled in the system. During the industry’s annual meeting this week, National Crop Insurance Services chairman Mike Day told the group that insurers backed more than $106 billion worth of crops in 2017, up $6 billion since 2016. And, farmers paid $3.7 billion out of their own pockets for insurance protection, a more than $250 million increase from the year before. Day says crop insurance protects around 90 percent of the insurable land and more than 130 different kinds of crops. Despite its popularity, according to the industry, some farm policy opponents are angling to cut crop insurance funding in the upcoming farm bill debate. Day says that would be a mistake, pointing out Congress’ efforts to make crop insurance affordable and available for farmers and economically viable enough to encourage efficient private-sector delivery.


Research Paving Path to Combatting Citrus Greening

Research by a group of scientists and a University of Florida professor has traced the evolutionary history of Florida’s signature crop up to eight million years ago in the Himalayas of Southeast Asia. Through analyses of 60 types of citrus whose genomes they sequenced, scientists identified ten natural citrus species, according to a new study. By sequencing genomes, scientists can find out all the genes controlling inheritable traits of an organism. The group says their work now allows scientists to work with more citrus genomic information and can search for a gene to target to reach citrus greening resistance. One researcher says scientist can now “search through the many genomes of tolerant types and compare with sensitive types,” and better select the most likely genetic targets to be effective against citrus greening.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service