03-12-18 NFU: Organic Livestock Standards Rule Withdrawn to Detriment of Family Farmers, Organic Label

NFU: Organic Livestock Standards Rule Withdrawn to Detriment of Family Farmers, Organic Label

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today withdrew the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule, a set of standards that organic producers would have had to meet to qualify for the voluntary organic label for livestock and poultry.

USDA’s move will exacerbate consumer confusion about the meaning of the organic label, and it will ultimately negatively impact family organic producers who adhere to strict, voluntary organic standards, according to National Farmers Union (NFU).

NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to USDA’s action: Continue reading

03-12-18 Beef Checkoff News: Become A Beef Advocate

Become A Beef Advocate

The Masters of Beef Advocacy program was created to broaden the network of advocates engaging in discussions about beef with consumers. Participate in this checkoff-funded program that equips beef producers and industry allies with the information they need to be everyday advocates for the beef industry. But hurry, applications are due March 15!

Sign Up Today


(303) 220-9890 | 9000 E. Nichols Ave., Suite 215, Centennial, CO 80112

03-12-18 CO Corn’s Mark Sponsler & USGC Delegate Troy Schneider: RFS Concerns, Trade Importance & Upcoming Events…

CO Corn’s Mark Sponsler & USGC Delegate Troy Schneider:

RFS Concerns, Trade Importance & Upcoming Events…

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) March 12, 2018 –  The White House is hosting a meeting this week in consideration of efforts spearheaded by oil refiners to disrupt the effectiveness of the Renewable Fuel Standard. This influential push by non-agricultural interests has received the President’s attention. If the effort is effective, it could seriously disrupt the ethanol marketplace and jeopardize the bottom line of America’s farmers as well as America’s progress toward increased energy independence.

Joining the Colorado Ag News Network to discuss that and more is Mark Sponsler, Chief Executive Officer with Colorado Corn as well as Troy Schneider, Colorado Corn Administrative Committee VP,  CO Corn Market Development Action Team Chair and U.S. Grains Council Delegate. Topics included within the interview:


Here’ how YOU can help in Support of the RFS:

  • Call 1-202-456-1111 and leave a message for President Trump
  • Contact your Senator or House of Representative by calling 1-202-224-3121, and a switchboard operator will connect you directly with the office you request.

Continue reading

03-12-18 Grazing Lands Focus of Upcoming National Conference

Grazing Lands Focus of Upcoming National Conference

Early registration of $295 is available through March 31, 2018

The National Grazing Lands Coalition (NatGLC) will host the 7th National Conference on Grazing Lands Dec. 2-5, 2018, at the Peppermill in Reno, Nev. Conference organizers expect more than 800 ranchers, professors, land managers, researchers, public officials, conservationists and students to attend this national conference and participate in the exchange of ideas and information on the latest grazing land issues.

“We are excited about bringing this national conference to Nevada,” said Chad Ellis, chair of the National Grazing Lands Coalition. “Grazing lands make up more than a quarter of the private land acres in the United States and serve many roles from homes for livestock and wildlife to sponges for rainfall, carbon reservoirs, hunting and fishing grounds, and much, much more.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, March 12th

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, March 12th

Mexico, Canada Don’t Want Tariff Exemptions Tied to NAFTA

Mexico and Canada were happy to hear about President’s Trump’s willingness to exclude them from tariffs on steel and aluminum exports to the U.S. However, they expect any talks about a possible permanent exemption to take place outside of the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Politico quotes the Mexican Economy Ministry in a release that says, “The process of negotiations for the NAFTA modernization continues on a course independent of this or any other internal political measure that the U.S. government takes.” Also, Canada “won’t rest until the prospect of these duties is fully and permanently lifted,” Cynthia Freeland told reporters in Toronto. She also says the tariff discussions and NAFTA negotiations are completely different, adding that, “We treat them on totally separate tracks.” However, Trump more directly tied Canada and Mexico’s exclusion from the tariffs to a successful NAFTA outcome. “We’re going to hold off the tariff on these two countries to see whether or not we can make a successful deal on NAFTA,” he said during a signing ceremony for the two proclamations that will impose the 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum. “National security is a very important aspect of this deal, and if we’re making the deal on NAFTA, this will figure into whether or not there are tariffs on Canada and Mexico,” says the president.


Business, Farm, Union Groups React to Trump’s Tariffs

Reaction to the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports has been mixed among different sectors of the economy. The Hagstrom Report says Business Roundtable President and CEO Joshua Bolten calls the tariffs a major unforced error by President Trump that will put America’s economic progress at risk. He says, “The tariffs will cause significant harm to industries that rely on imported steel and aluminum. Higher production costs mean higher prices, making American products more expensive, thereby putting American jobs at risk.” The Farmers for Free Trade Coalition says it expects that these tariffs will cause retaliation “that comes straight out of the pockets of American farmers.” American Soybean Association President John Heisdorffer says, “These tariffs are a disastrous course of action from the White House. We’ve already heard from China that U.S. soybeans are among the prime targets for retaliation.” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka argues that there is no danger that Trump’s new tariffs will start a trade war, noting that there are already 435 U.S. tariffs in place to try and fight cheaters. Alliance for American Manufacturing President Scott Paul says 500 people are heading back to work for U.S. Steel because of Trump’s move to protect their industry.


Study Shows Capping RIN Prices Detrimental to Biofuels

The National Biodiesel Board and the World Agricultural Economic and Environmental Services organization collaborated on an analysis of putting price caps on Renewable Identification Numbers, or RINs. A move like that, which is something oil refiners are in favor of, would significantly harm the production of biodiesel and related industries. NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik says capping the price of conventional ethanol RINs would devastate the biodiesel industry, swiftly and significantly. “It would reduce the number of volumes produced and the number people employed in the industry,” Kovarik says. “Satisfying the whims of fewer than five refiners aren’t worth the resulting harm to millions of U.S. workers in American agriculture and livestock production, as well as American consumers.” The analysis found that a cap on the price of conventional RINs would lead to a reduction of up to 300 million gallons in biomass-based diesel volumes each year, in part because these volumes would no longer be utilized for compliance with the conventional biofuels requirements. It would also lead directly to $185 million more in the cost of feed for livestock producers. The price caps would also lower the price of soybeans American farmers would get for producing their crop by 16 cents a bushel.


Latest RFS Bill Ignores Ethanol Benefits and Science

Vermont Democratic Representative Pete Welch, along with New Hampshire Democratic Senator Tom Udall, introduced companion legislation into Congress attempting to reform the Renewable Fuels Standard. On a press call announcing the legislation Thursday, the lawmakers were joined by Collin O’Mara, President of the National Wildlife Federation, as well as Debbie Sease, Director of the Sierra Club National Campaign. The National Corn Growers Association says the bill seeks to kill what has been the most successful renewable energy program America has ever had. An NCGA news release says, “This bill ignores current science reflecting the significant environmental benefits of ethanol and would have a catastrophic impact on the nation’s economy, energy security, and family farmers.” The bill would immediately phase out the ethanol mandate and reduce the amount of ethanol in American fuel by up to one billion gallons. It would also help farmers return cornfields to pasture and wildlife habitat through a ten cents per RIN fee to fund a new Private Land Protection and Restoration Fund in the U.S. Treasury. It would pay easements designed to keep private land out of agricultural production and keep the lands in conservation uses, including grassland, forests, and pollinator habitat.


USDA Trims Red Meat Production Numbers

USDA slightly reduced its projections for red meat and poultry production in 2018. The forecast is slightly lower than last month, primarily due to a drop in beef production, which will more than offset increased pork and turkey production. The latest World Ag Supply and Demand Estimates Report says broiler production remains unchanged. USDA sees lower cattle slaughter and weights, which will be offset by somewhat higher fed beef production and higher non-fed beef production in the first half of 2018. Pork production is lowered through the first half of the year because of a slower slaughter pace. However, production in the second half of 2018 is expected to increase thanks to higher expected carcass weights. Beef imports are forecast to be higher in 2018, thanks to robust early-year demand. No change is forecast for beef exports. The pork import forecast looks higher because of expected demand strength, while pork exports are also forecasted higher than they were last month. Broiler exports remain unchanged, with the exception of turkey, which is forecast to drop slightly in certain key export markets because of weaker demand. The Quarterly Hog and Pig Report on March 29 will give a clearer picture of farrowing intentions over the next two quarters of 2018.


Soy Growers Worried About Possible Trade Disruptions at U.S. Ports

The American Soybean Association and its grower-members are urging labor union and port management representatives to get back to the negotiating table and resume bargaining talks. The ASA is concerned about possible trade disruptions at East Coast and Gulf of Mexico ports, which would negatively impact agricultural and food product exports to key markets. The ASA joined several industry stakeholders in sending a letter to the International Longshore Association and the United States Maritime Alliance, asking them to resume negotiations as soon as possible. The letter says, “Reaching a contract agreement before the current one expires will provide supply chain stakeholders with the certainty they need for their operations. Supply chain disruptions arising out of previous negotiations have been well documented.” The letter goes on to say that these kinds of disruptions can have enormous adverse economic impacts. The groups involved in the letter also say that even the implied threat of disruptions can have serious economic impacts as well. Some industries will implement contingency plans if they even think there’s a chance of supply chain disruptions.  

SOURCE: NAFB News Service