02-26-18 USDA Announces National Potato Promotion Board Appointments

USDA Announces National Potato Promotion Board Appointments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 30 members to serve three-year terms on the National Potato Promotion Board beginning March 1, 2018.

Newly appointed producer members are: Continue reading

02-26-18 NFU: Farm Groups Caution President Against Weakening RFS

NFU: Farm Groups Caution President Against Weakening RFS

WASHINGTON – Ahead of a Tuesday White House meeting on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), National Farmers Union (NFU) and five other prominent farm organizations are urging President Trump to avoid seeking changes that would weaken the nation’s premier biofuel policy. The meeting will bring together key lawmakers and Cabinet members to discuss escalating tensions over the RFS between oil industry and ethanol industry interests.

The farm groups sent the President a letter today, underscoring the importance of a strong RFS for farming and rural communities that are currently coping with a severely depressed farm economy.

022618 Joint RFS Letter Trump Meeting Continue reading

02-26-18 NCGA to President Trump: We Cannot Accept Changes to the RFS

NCGA to President Trump: We Cannot Accept Changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard

(WASHINGTON) February 26, 2018 — The National Corn Growers Association, along with other agricultural organizations, sent a letter to President Trump on Monday, calling on the President to maintain the integrity of the RFS.

“We appreciate the President’s support of the RFS since the early days of his campaign,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “Rural America supported President Trump last year, now we need the President to support rural America.  Supporting policy changes that undermine the RFS will hurt farmers, renewable fuel plant workers, and rural America.” Continue reading

02-26-18 Op-Ed from Weld County Clerk & Recorder Carly Koppes…

Op-Ed from Weld County Clerk & Recorder Carly Koppes…

Hello Weld County –

Carly Koppes Weld Clerk and Recorder

This is your Weld County Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes. It has been an honor to serve you as your 29th Clerk and Recorder over the last three years. I promised when I ran for this office that I would continue efforts to provide better customer service in the face of challenges from a population increasing at 3.47 % per year.

As more and more citizens join our county, those of us in government must provide great service with fiscal responsibility to meet our citizen’s needs. We operate three locations: Greeley, Del Camino and Fort Lupton. This last year we served over 138,000 people in motor vehicles, recorded 98,088 documents in recording, and, held elections in 2016 for over 184,000 voters. Continue reading

02-26-18 McCall seeks seat for Colorado House District 65

McCall seeks seat for Colorado House District 65

“Growing up here has taught me the power that comes from working collaboratively to take care of our neighbors and improve our community.  I plan to use that same approach at the Capitol to position Northeastern Colorado for a more prosperous future.” said fifth generation Yuma County native Bethleen McCall in announcing her campaign for Representative of House District 65 in the Colorado Legislature.

McCall already serves the residents of Northeast Colorado in various capacities including on Yuma City Council, the Judicial Performance Review Commission for the 13th District, and the Northeast Rural Philanthropy Days Committee. She is a founder of the Colorado Agriculture Preservation Association (a grass roots organization that protects water users & the economy of the Republican River Basin), and Vice President of the Colorado Hemp Industries Association.  Additionally, McCall is a member of the Yuma County Economic Development Corporation, Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee, Yuma County Landfill Board, Colorado Trust Resident Team and the Yuma County Water Authority. “Though my work on these diverse boards in Northeast Colorado it has become apparent that to move many of our local issues forward we need reform at the State level.” said McCall.  Continue reading

02-026-18 CSU Ext: New Rules for Dicamba-tolerant Soybean Production in 2018

New Rules for Dicamba-tolerant Soybean Production in 2018

Written & submitted to The BARN by:

John Spring, Area Extension Agent, Colorado State University Extension, Julesburg CO

If you plan to grow dicamba-tolerant (XtendTM trait) soybeans this year, you should be aware of new EPA regulations governing use of the dicamba formulations registered in the XtendTM production system for 2018 and beyond. After widespread issues with off-target dicamba movement and injury across the US in 2017, additional restrictions have been imposed on the use of XtendiMaxTM (Monsanto), EngeniaTM (BASF), and FeXapanTM (DuPont) herbicides in the XtendTM soybean production system. These formulations are now “restricted use” products, for use only by licensed applicators or those under their direct supervision. Licensed applicators will also have to complete additional, dicamba-specific training prior to using any of these products. It is illegal to apply these herbicides without first completing the training. Additional record-keeping requirements and rules for application method have also been added, and are far stricter than usual for herbicides. These new rules apply only to the dicamba formulations registered for use in dicamba-tolerant soybeans – other dicamba products used in other crops are not included in the new rules. Continue reading

02-26-18 CFB Reminder: Spring Weather a Good Reminder to “Call Before You Dig”

Spring Weather a Good Reminder to “Call Before You Dig”

DENVER, Feb. 26, 2018 — As the days fly by, the ag community across the state is starting to plan for spring activities. Whether it’s putting up new fence lines, planning major construction projects, or deep ripping fields, now is a good time to remember that safety is key, particularly when it comes to moving soil. Call 811 before you dig!

Underground utilities are buried everywhere, and it can be nearly impossible to locate them. The Common Ground Alliance association reports that a utility line is damaged every six minutes, damaging anything from gas, electric, sewage lines and more. Not only are these damages costly, but they disrupt service and can cause serious harm or death to those digging.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of work is happening on a farm or ranch — safety always needs to come first,” said Carlyle Currier, vice president of Colorado Farm Bureau. “The 811 Call Before You Dig system is a way for farmers and ranchers to understand what’s beneath them when they are doing major construction and excavation work.” Continue reading

02-26-18 Colorado’s Ben Duke Elected as United States Pony Clubs President

Ben Duke Elected as United States Pony Clubs President

The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. is pleased to welcome Ben Duke as the President of USPC.  Duke will “take the Pony Club reins”, from outgoing President Nancy Pittman, with passion to keep Pony Club striving for excellence.  Ben is focused on strategic thinking to streamline Pony Club, emphasizing what Pony Club does well and ensuring a positive experience for all members.

“It is humbling to now serve as President of the very organization that has given me so much, over so many decades. The United States Pony Clubs, as the nation’s most notable equestrian and leadership development organization, strives to share, to teach, to encourage, and to celebrate as it develops in its members the qualities needed to become successful, and to share that success with their communities.” Ben stated. Continue reading

02-26-18 Interior Provides Nearly $3.3 Million in Conservation Funding for Colorado to Reclaim and Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines

Interior Provides Nearly $3.3 Million in Conservation Funding for Colorado to Reclaim and Repurpose Abandoned Coal Mines

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) today announced the availability of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Reclamation grants, which will provide $3,255,110 million to Colorado to reclaim abandoned coal mines. More than $300 million in AML Reclamation funding will be available to states and tribes in FY 2018.

“Restoring the usability of abandoned mine lands is an example of the Department of the Interior’s multiple-use mission of conservation in action. Interior will continue helping states and tribes responsibly develop America’s energy resources and address legacy problems related to 200 years of mining,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “AML grants keep Americans working and making a difference in their communities. This money will be used to fix highwalls, stabilize land above underground mines and repair impaired waters, among other things. AML reclamation makes life better in our Nation’s coal communities.” Continue reading

02-26-18 Farm/ranch parents can use new checklist to keep kids safe

NCCRAHS - ational Childrens Center for Rural Health and Safety logo

Farm/ranch parents can use new checklist to keep kids safe 

Parents want to protect their children and keep them safe, but for parents involved with agriculture this can present challenges. Each farm and ranch is unique, and so is each child. Addressing hazards to children in the agricultural environment requires an individual approach. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, February 26th

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 Monday, February 26th

White House Economist Dodges NAFTA Withdrawal Questions

Kevin Hasset, Chief White House Economist, attacked the integrity of past and present government officials who have negotiated U.S. trade agreements. However, he declined to say if the U.S. would be better off economically should President Trump withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement. The question at a White House briefing was, “Would it be a good thing for the U.S. economy” if Trump walks away from the deal, which he’s threatened to do numerous times. Hasset, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, answered the question by referring reporters to the trade chapter of the newly-released annual economic report of the president. The report doesn’t actually discuss the costs or benefits of withdrawing from NAFTA. A Politico report says Hassett, a former economist with the Federal Reserve Board, says he is, “surprised at how right the president has been about trade in one sense: America’s trade deals are asymetric. The U.S. charges pretty much no tariff at all on imports, but many of our trading partners have either high tariffs or high non-tariff barriers.” He says the president is right to prioritize improving those deals. The seventh round of the NAFTA talks start this weekend in Mexico City.


Governors Lobby for NAFTA Conclusion

Governors from more than 40 states are in Washington, D.C., this weekend for their annual winter meeting. International issues like the future of trade will be among the topics they’ll cover, as well as the future of food and agriculture. The timing coincides with the start of the seventh round of NAFTA talks, which begin in Mexico City on Sunday. A CTV News website says the governors are adding their voices to the deal’s supporters, who are calling for caution when it comes to a possible American withdrawal from the negotiations. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (Doo-see’) has already gone on record saying he wants “more trade, not less.” He notes that nearly 150,000 jobs in Arizona are a direct result of trade and investment with Canada, which amounts to nearly one in every 20 jobs in his state. Because U.S. midterm elections aren’t far off, the Trump Administration has toned down withdrawal rhetoric, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely off the table. Farm-state governors have pleaded with the administration to stop making those threats, as has Kansas Senator Pat Roberts. With Mexico looking to South American buyers for more commodities, Roberts says his, and other states could get hit hard by any additional uncertainty in the next few months.


Trump to Meet with Cabinet, Senators of Biofuels

President Trump has scheduled a meeting with Cabinet officials and key Senators to talk over potential changes to the nation’s biofuels policy. The Renewable Fuels Standard is coming under increasing attack after a bankrupt Pennsylvania refinery blamed its troubles on the regulation. The meeting comes as two of the more powerful lobbying groups, the oil and corn/ethanol industries, continue to clash over the future of the RFS. A Reuters report says Trump’s engagement on the issue may reflect the value of protecting jobs in a key electoral state. The meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday. It will include several officials, such as oil-patch senator Ted Cruz of Texas, as well as corn-state senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa. One source told Reuters that the meeting will focus on keeping Philadelphia Energy Solutions in business. The company is asking a bankruptcy judge to eliminate nearly $350 million of its current RFS compliance cost, which is owed to the Environmental Protection Agency. Another source says the discussions will consider capping the cost of biofuel credits and allow ethanol blends to be sold year round.


McKinney Leads Trade Mission to Central America

Ag Department Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney will lead a trade mission to Central America. The mission will be in Guatemala from February 26 to March 2nd. McKinney will be accompanied by a delegation of agribusiness and state government leaders who are looking to increase agricultural exports to Central America’s Northern Triangle of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. “The Northern Triangle offers significant market opportunities for exporters of U.S farm and food products,” McKinney says. “Thanks to population and economic growth in the region, demand for imported goods, particularly high-value, consumer-oriented food products, is rising.” More than 95 percent of U.S. agricultural exports enjoy duty-free access to the region under the CAFTA-DR agreement.” Since implementing the agreement in the Northern Triangle in 2006, ag exports have doubled, totaling $2.2 billion in 2017. While the mission is based in Guatemala, mission participants will also have the chance to connect with importers from El Salvador and Honduras, who are scheduled to travel to Guatemala. The USDA Foreign Ag Service will set up around 450 one-on-one business meetings between U.S. delegates and representatives from local companies who are interested in purchasing U.S. goods.


McKinney Predicts Trade Deal With Japan

The top USDA trade official, Ted McKinney, says he anticipates a trade deal with Japan will likely take place if the United States doesn’t re-enter into the Trans-Pacific Partnership. McKinney says he doesn’t know what the scope of the agreement will be but calls it “not a matter of if, but when.” He spoke about the topic during the Agricultural Outlook Forum. President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the TPP during his first week in office. Since then, the remaining 11 countries have agreed to a revamped deal, knowns as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The 11 countries intend to sign the new deal early next month. McKinney says the timing of the U.S. potentially landing a trade pact with Japan or with other TPP countries is critical for American agriculture, which is competing for Asian market share. He says the administration’s effort to strike bilateral trade deals will depend, in part, on how the U.S., Canada, and Mexico wrap up the NAFTA negotiations. “I hope we don’t have to wait until NAFTA is done before we get going on other deals,” McKinney says. He does worry about the issue of bandwidth, as the U.S. trade officials are all focused on the NAFTA negotiations.


Perdue Advocates for Crop Insurance Program

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue walked a tightrope while talking with reporters about President Trump’s budget proposals that agriculture wasn’t enamored with. One of the proposals included cuts to crop insurance. Agri-Pulse says Perdue is making strong statements in support of the program as it currently is. One of the largest cuts in the Trump Budget Proposal is to crop insurance. The largest cut would save $22 billion over 10 years by slashing premium subsidies. Perdue told reports at the Agricultural Outlook Conference that crop insurance is a very “viable part of the safety net” and that Americans “get a good deal on subsidies for the program.” Perdue didn’t say directly that he tried to talk the White House out of budget cuts. However, he seemed to when he told the reporters, “While it would be inappropriate to disclose private conversations,” Perdue says, “we were advocates for the American farmer.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service