03-13-18 CO Farm Bureau Bill Tracker

EPA Calls for Public Comment on Glyphosate Review

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently conducting a routine registration review of glyphosate to ensure registered pesticides continue to meet the FIFRA standard for registration. All pesticides go through this review at some point over the course of their registration. 

As a part of this process, EPA is accepting pubic comment until April 30, 2018. During this period, individuals are able to go online and submit their comment, ensuring feedback of glyphosate users are heard.

To submit comments, visit the EPA’s website or learn more at www.protectglyphosate.com/.

Proposed Ag Exemption for Port of Entry Requirements

A bill introduced late last week would exempt owners and operators (carrying only agriculture products) from the requirements to visit a port of entry within five miles of their route. Several concerns about port of entry requirements and potentially dangerous routes have been discussed throughout the legislative session, resulting in a proposal to exempt agriculture products from the requirement.

If passed, no farmer or rancher hauling an agriculture product within five miles of a port of entry would be required to stop at the port. Colorado Farm Bureau is supportive of SB18-197: Agriculture Motor Vehicle Port of Entry, sponsored by Senators Sonnenberg and Crowder, and Representative Lewis.

Continue reading

03-13-18 Inside the BARN and FarmCast Radio with WGCD’s Kristi Helzer: Scholarship Applications Due by April 11th…

Inside the BARN and FarmCast Radio with WGCD’s Kristi Helzer…

Scholarship Applications Due by April 11th

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio) March 13, 2018 – Each year West Greeley Conservation District awards scholarships to deserving students who will be tomorrow’s conservation leaders in areas of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Joining FarmCast Radio Inside the BARN is WGCD’s Community Outreach & Education Coordinator Kristi Helzer to discuss the scholarships in more detail…


To learn more about the West Greeley Conservation District and to download a WGCD Scholarship Application packet, please visit www.wgcd.org 


03-13-18 USDA Invests $276 Million in Rural Electric Infrastructure

USDA Invests $276 Million in Rural Electric Infrastructure

Loans Modernize Infrastructure and Spur Business Growth in 12 States, including Colorado

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $276 million in rural electric infrastructure (PDF, 60 KB) to improve system efficiency and reliability. This announcement comes the day before Secretary Perdue is set to testify alongside Secretaries Wilbur Ross, Alexander Acosta, Elaine Chao and Rick Perry at a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing focused on rebuilding American infrastructure.

“Investing in our nation’s electric infrastructure is fundamental for rural economic growth,” Secretary Perdue said. “USDA’s longstanding partnerships with rural electric cooperatives help ensure that rural areas have affordable, reliable electric service. These investments also increase efficiency and productivity for businesses and residents, and support the quality of life in rural America.” Continue reading

03-13-18 NPPC Capitol Update for the Week Ending March 9, 2018


President Trump Thursday imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum as a way to protect national security. The administration raised concerns about U.S. reliance on imported steel for defense systems. NPPC has expressed concerns that the restrictions will lead to lost American jobs and could lead to retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products, including on agriculture exports, from U.S. trading partners. A study released this week by Trade Partnership Worldwide, a private analytical firm, found that the proposed tariffs would cost the U.S. economy more than 179,000 jobs, with two-thirds of them being production and low-skill positions. Additionally, the National Foreign Trade Council this week announced the creation of the Alliance for Competitive Steel and Aluminum Trade to weigh in on the import tariffs. The alliance, whose membership is comprised of more than 30 associations, including NPPC, on Tuesday issued a policy paper, outlining its members’ concerns with the anticipated impacts of tariffs on U.S. exports, economic growth and production costs.


03-13-18 USS Colorado To Be Commissioned this Saturday, March 17th

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2012) An artist rendering of the Virginia-class submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Stan Bailey/Released)

USS Colorado To Be Commissioned

By Commander, Submarine Forces Public Affairs

GROTON, Conn. – The newest Virginia-class attack submarine, USS Colorado (SSN 788), will be commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London, Mar. 17, 2018.  It will be the 15th Virginia-class attack submarine to join the fleet.

As the most modern and sophisticated attack submarine in the world, the submarine can operate in both littoral and deep ocean environments and presents combatant commanders with a broad and unique range of operational capabilities. Colorado is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, delivery of Special Operations Forces (SOF), strike warfare, irregular warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and mine warfare.

Colorado is a part of the Virginia-class’ third, or Block III, contract, in which the Navy redesigned approximately 20 percent of the ship to reduce acquisition costs. Colorado features a redesigned bow, which replaces 12 individual Vertical Launch System (VLS) tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs) each capable of launching six Tomahawk cruise missiles, among other design changes that reduced the submarines’ acquisition cost while maintaining their outstanding warfighting capabilities.

161203-N-LV331-001 GROTON, Conn. (Dec. 3, 2016) A panorama composite photograph compiled from several images shows the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus delivering remarks during the christening ceremony of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS Colorado (SSN 788). (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class Armando Gonzales/Released)

Colorado also has special features to support Special Forces, including a reconfigurable torpedo room which can accommodate a large number of personnel and all their equipment for prolonged deployments and future off-board payloads. Also, in Virginia-class SSNs, traditional periscopes have been replaced by two photonics masts that host visible and infrared digital cameras atop telescoping arms, which are maneuvered by a video game controller. Through the extensive use of modular construction, open architecture, and commercial off-the-shelf components, the Virginia class is designed to remain at the cutting edge for its entire operational life through the rapid introduction of new systems and payloads. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, March 13th

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 Tuesday, March 13th

Peterson: House Ag Plans Farm Bill Mark up Soon

Ranking House Agriculture Committee Democrat Collin Peterson says the committee plans to mark up the farm bill on March 20th, but a revolt over food stamp provisions could stop the bill from moving forward. The Hagstrom Report says Peterson and Committee Chairman Mike Conaway had “hit an impasse” regarding the nutrition title, and a spokesperson for Conaway could not confirm the March 20th mark up date. Conaway’s office does say that moving the bill forward by the end of the first quarter of 2018 “remains the goal,” adding that the Chairman’s staff is “working closely” with those across the aisle to “try and get there.” Peterson said the Republican proposal regarding nutrition is similar to what killed the current farm bill the first time it came to the House floor in 2013. Meanwhile, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts says the Senate will not make any significant changes to the bill. The Senate is expected to consider it’s version of the bill in committee next month.


Hartzler Introduces Legislation to Address Broadband in Farm Bill

Republican U.S. House member Vicky Hartzler of Missouri is seeking to include rural broadband in the next farm bill. Monday, Hartzler introduced the Expanding Rural Access to Broadband Act, which she says would make necessary changes to existing Rural Utilities Telecommunications programs to ensure rural Americans aren’t left behind in the digital age. Hartzler says she plans to work with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway to include the legislation in the next farm bill, which is expected to be released soon. Hartzler serves on the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees the Rural Utilities Service. The bill would modify the Rural Utilities Telecommunications loan program to include loan guarantees, find ways to incentivize private investment, streamline loan applications and raise statute baseline speeds for broadband deployment. Current law sets a minimum standard speed of four megabits per second download and one megabit per second upload, and this bill would increase the baseline to 25 megabits per second download and three megabits per second upload.

USDA Finalizing Organic Livestock Rule Withdrawal

The Department of Agriculture Monday announced the formal process to withdraw the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule. Published January 19th last year, the last-minute Obama-era rule would have increased federal regulation of livestock and poultry for certified organic producers and handlers, according to USDA. The withdrawal becomes effective May 13th, 2018. Following review last year, USDA claims the rule exceeds the federal agency’s statutory authority, and that the changes to the existing organic regulations could have a negative effect on voluntary participation in the National Organic Program. USDA Marketing and Regulatory Program Undersecretary Greg Ibach (eye-bah) said in the announcement that existing organic livestock and poultry regulations are “robust” and “effective.” According to USDA reports for 2017, the number of certified organic operations increased domestically by seven percent and globally by 11 percent. Industry estimates show that organic sales in the United States reached almost $47 billion in 2016, reflecting an increase of almost $3.7 billion since 2015.

U.S. Will Engage With TPP-11 Countries Regarding Fair Trade

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States will engage TPP-11 members, emphasizing a need for “fairness” in expanding trade relationships with nations involved in the pact. TPP-11, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, or the CPTPP,  was signed last week by the 11 remaining nations involved in the agreement. Tillerson made the comments last week after the signing of the agreement that President Donald Trump removed the U.S. from upon taking office. Politico reports that Tillerson did not mention Trump’s recent comments on the deal which indicated Trump was willing to rejoin the agreement, if it was deemed fair for the United States. Tillerson said specifically that the U.S. “looks forward to engaging” the trade deal’s members regarding fair trade. The CPTPP will enter into force 60 days after six of the 11 countries ratify the deal, which is expected early next year.

Early Stage Ag Tech Investments Up 29 Percent

Investments in the early stages of agricultural technology in 2017 increased 29 percent, compared to 2016. AgFunder, a self-proclaimed online investment marketplace for agricultural technology, reports early stage investment in agriculture tech startups reached $10.1 billion in 2017, up 29 percent. The increase reverses a downward trend seen in 2016, when agriculture tech investing dropped nine percent to $7.8 billion from $8.6 billion in 2015. AgFunder announced the figures through its AgTech Investing Reports. The reports say large funding agreements pushed the total investment volume up, but a number of agreements fell by 17 percent to 949. Meanwhile, AgFunder says the investor base participating in agriculture tech deals continued to diversify with 1,048 unique investors participating during 2017, including Silicon Valley venture firms, state-backed government funds, pension funds, corporate entities, as well as the growing number of agriculture tech specialists.

Commodity Classic Attendance Tops 8,000

Attendance to the 2018 Commodity Classic in Anaheim, California topped 8,000 guests. Convention organizers say included in the preliminary number of 8,055 registered in Anaheim were a record number of non-exhibitor first-time attendees, at 1,553. More than 3,600 farmers from across the nation and beyond attended the event, along with more than 150 media representatives. The event featured more than 40 educational sessions, along with a keynote address by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Commodity Classic co-chair Paul Taylor of Illinois says organizers were “very pleased” with attendance. Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is presented by the American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The 2019 Commodity Classic will take place February 28th to March 2nd in Orlando, Florida.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service