04-09-18 Inside the BARN and FarmCast Radio with Karl Wetlaufer, Assistant Snow Survey Supervisor at NRCS-CO…

Inside the BARN and FarmCast Radio with NRCS-CO’s Karl Wetlaufer, Assistant Snow Survey Supervisor…

Briggsdale, CO – April 9, 2018 – The latest Snowpack Survey and Colorado Basin Outlook reports are out and joining the BARN and FarmCast Radio to delve deeper into those is Karl Wetlaufer, Assistant Snow Survey Supervisor at NRCS-CO…

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Colorado Snowpack Report

Colorado Basin Outlook Report

04-09-18 NFU: Farm and Rural Groups Urge Congress to Address Farmer Suicides in Farm Bill

NFU: Farm and Rural Groups Urge Congress to Address Farmer Suicides in Farm Bill

WASHINGTON – Farmers and ranchers commit suicide at a rate five times that of the general population. In an effort to address this crisis, National Farmers Union and a coalition of 36 prominent farm and rural advocacy groups are urging Congress to make mental health treatment more accessible to farmers through the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN).

The groups sent a letter to U.S. Senate and House of Representatives agriculture committees’ leadership today, urging Congress to reauthorize FRSAN and to provide the program with adequate funding in the next Farm Bill.

“Farming is a high-stress occupation,” noted the groups. “Financial risk, volatile markets, unpredictable weather, and heavy workloads can all place a significant strain on a farmer or rancher’s mental and emotional well-being. Due to the prolonged downturn in the farm economy, many farmers are facing even greater stress. We urge you to reauthorize FRSAN in the next farm bill and to provide funding necessary to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers as they endure increasing financial, mental, and emotional stress.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, April 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 Monday, April 9th

The U.S. Calls For Additional $100 Billion In New Tariffs on Chinese Goods

A Bloomberg Report says President Donald Trump ordered administration officials to consider imposing an additional $100 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods. That announcement heightened concerns the two nations are heading toward a trade war. The move could unravel efforts by officials from both countries to take the rhetoric down a notch and come together to negotiate an agreement that averts a trade war. A Trump statement issued by the White House says, “In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I (Trump) have ordered the U.S. Trade Representative to consider whether $100 billion in additional tariffs would be appropriate under Section 301, as well as identify which products to impose the tariffs on.” A White House official says the number Trump quoted is the total value of imports that would be covered by the additional tariffs, not the total amount of tax that would be charged on Chinese products. China’s state news agency says Beijing vows to defend itself against U.S. actions. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer followed Trump’s announcement of possible additional tariffs by saying none of them would take effect right away. Trade Adviser Robert Kudlow and other officials spent multiple days trying to quiet fears of a possible trade war with China.

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Trump Acknowledges Ag Pain Due to Tariff Talk

In a speech on Thursday, Politico says President Trump admitted publicly that his trade crackdown is causing U.S. farmers and ranchers to feel pain. He also says steps will be taken to address that reality. The president has directed Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue “to use his broad authority to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.” Perdue told Politico that he would use all of USDA’s authorities to ensure U.S. agricultural interests are protected. One day earlier, Perdue said the prospect of an extended trade war might require Congress to take some extraordinary measure in the next farm bill. The USDA can also utilize funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation to stabilize and support farm income and prices. Producers have already been caught between China and the U.S. Beijing has already imposed tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods, including pork, fruit, nuts, and wine, in retaliation for American duties place on steel and aluminum coming into the country from all over the world, including China. The Chinese commerce ministry says it doesn’t want a trade war “but we aren’t afraid of fighting one.”

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Mexico Not Ruling Out Quick NAFTA Result

The Mexican Foreign Minister says he’s not ruling out a quick ending to the North American Free Trade Agreement talks. Reuters says the top Mexican diplomat says progress is being made on several issue-specific tables of the negotiations. The U.S., Canada, and Mexico’s top negotiators were meeting late in the week to continue discussions. The talks have moved slowly for the past eight months and all three countries want to settle the process as quickly as possible. They all want to finish before the Mexican presidential election on July 1. The upbeat Mexican comments are similar in tone to the positive comments from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier in the week. U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he expects the three nations to have something to announce on the NAFTA negotiations very soon. Some challenges still remain, including the U.S. demand that the North American content of vehicles produced in the NAFTA nations be increased from 62.5 percent to as much as 85 percent. A Mexican source close to the talks told Reuters the U.S. has shown some flexibility in the rules-of-origin discussions, and the three countries are now looking at alternatives.

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Arkansas Dicamba Decision Appealed

An Arkansas judge recently made a decision to allow six Arkansas farmers to use dicamba on cotton and soybeans during the 2018 growing season. A DTN report says the state’s attorney general is now appealing that decision. The state will ask the court to halt that decision until the appeal is decided. The group of farmers has been dubbed the “Arkansas 6” on social media. They hit the public spotlight after suing the Arkansas Plant Board because it refused to amend the state’s ban on dicamba use, which runs from April 15 to October 15. Judge Tim Fox dismissed the farmers’ lawsuit on Good Friday but then decided to declare the ban null and void for these six farmers, after ruling that the dismissal violated their due process rights. The Arkansas Attorney General immediately filed an appeal to the state’s Supreme Court. “Judge Fox acknowledged that the Plant Board is immune to suit but decided to exempt the plaintiffs from the Plant Board’s rule,” said Jessica Ray, Arkansas Attorney General. “This is a serious legal error, and we have asked the Arkansas Supreme Court for review. The Plant Board’s rule preventing the spraying of dicamba was lawful.”

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USDA To Make $2.36 Billion in Disaster Payments

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the USDA will make disaster payments of up to $2.36 billion to help farmers and ranchers recover from 2017 hurricanes and wildfires. The funds, authorized by Congress, are a part of the new 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program, or WHIP. Sign up for the new program will begin no later than July 16. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency will begin making these payments to help agricultural producers offset losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, as well as devastating wildfires. The USDA says 2017 was a historic year for natural disasters and this investment is part of a broader suite of programs that USDA is delivering to rural America to aid in recovery. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2017 provided a total of more than $3 billion in disaster relief by creating new programs, as well as expediting or enhancing payments to producers. “America’s farmers feed our nation and much of the world, and throughout history they have known good years and bad years,” says Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue, “but when significant disasters strike, we are ready to step in and provide the assistance they need.”

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Missouri Man Charged in Cattle Scheme

A Missouri Man has been indicted on a cattle-investment scheme that defrauded 89 investors out of $4.7 million dollars. Cameron Hager of Clinton, Missouri, was charged with a nine-count federal indictment that alleges he persuaded investors to put money into a cattle fund that he said would be used to buy cattle and sell them later at a substantial profit. Hager operated the scheme from July of 2015 to March of 2018. Court documents say he never purchased any animals and never intended to. He received roughly $4.7 million from investors, who gave amounts ranging from $1,000 to $267,000. Hager also roped in others to recruit investors and paid their commissions from the investment money he received. He also used some of the funds for personal expenses, like mortgage payments, paying taxes, and travel expenses. He also used some funds to provide “returns” to other investors.  

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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