04-17-18 NFU: Farm Leaders Visit Opioid Memorial in Show of Unity

(L-R) AFBF President Zippy Duvall, USDA Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Ann Hazlett and NFU President Roger Johnson at the “Prescribed to Death” Opioid Memorial

NFU: Farm Leaders Visit Opioid Memorial in Show of Unity

WASHINGTON – The presidents of the nation’s two largest general farm organizations today visited the “Prescribed to Death” opioid memorial in Washington, D.C., in a show of unity to address the national opioid epidemic that is disproportionately affecting farming communities.

American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Zippy Duvall and National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson joined Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The three toured the exhibit, which memorializes the 22,000 people who died from a prescription opioid overdose in 2015. Continue reading

04-17-18 Ethanol Market Development Organizations Applaud Japan Policy Shift To Allow Use Of U.S. Ethanol

Ethanol Market Development Organizations Applaud Japan Policy Shift To Allow Use Of U.S. Ethanol 

Houston, Texas – The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Growth Energy and their member organizations welcome the news Tuesday that the Japanese government’s new biofuel policy will allow imports of ETBE made from U.S. corn-based ethanol. Continue reading

04-17-18 CSFS: Plant Trees to Prepare for Emerald Ash Borer, Increase Diversity

Plant Trees to Prepare for Emerald Ash Borer, Increase Diversity

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – April 17, 2018 – Many Coloradans plant trees in the spring because it’s the best time of year to get new trees established, and communities around the state will be hosting plantings this week to recognize Colorado’s Arbor Day – which this year falls on April 20. With the exotic, tree-killing emerald ash borer (EAB) establishing its presence in the state, there’s one more reason for planting in Colorado communities this year.

“Now is a great time to consider planting trees for any reason,” said Keith Wood, urban and community forestry manager for the Colorado State Forest Service. “One good reason is to ultimately replace ash trees that may later succumb to emerald ash borer.” Continue reading

04-17-18 Dan Moss Elected to Lead Potatoes USA

Dan Moss Elected to Lead Potatoes USA

Denver, Colorado (April 17, 2018) – Dan Moss of Declo, Idaho was elected Chair of Potatoes USA on March 15th, 2018 at the organization’s 46th Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. He will be serving his third year on the Board and his second on the Executive Committee. Last year, he served as Co-Chair of the Research Committee.

Moss is CEO of Moss Ag. Where he operates as a grower for the dehy, fresh, frozen and seed sectors as well as a packer and shipper. He has been farming for 48 years and primarily grows Russet varieties. Moss has also served as the President of the National Potato Council.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 17th

Pence: “Very Close” to Renegotiated NAFTA

Vice President Mike Pence said over the weekend he is “very hopeful” the U.S. is close to a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement. Talks to reach an agreement continue this week in Washington, D.C., as all sides are eyeing an early May finish line. Pence spoke at the Summit of the Americas in Peru over the weekend. He told reporters there is a “real possibility” an agreement could be reached in the next several weeks, according to Politico. Pence and an official from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office took part in bilateral meetings during the event with Canada and Mexico. The comments from Pence echo those from a Mexican trade official last week, who speculated that an agreement could be reached by early May. The timeline would allow the U.S. enough time to present the agreement to lawmakers following the November midterm election.

Farm Credit Administration Releases Quarterly Report

A report on the performance of the Farm Credit System shows 2018 is another challenging year for agriculture. The report, presented to the Farm Credit Administration board, outlines the economic issues affecting agriculture. Based on its first forecast of the 2018 farm economy, The Department of Agriculture projects net farm income to decline by 6.7 percent, with both crop and animal receipts down from last year. The report says profit margins for corn and soybean producers are expected to be at or just above breakeven, with prices remaining near current levels. The outlook for most livestock sectors remains positive although less favorable than 2017. Dairy producers will likely see greater losses in the near term, with higher global production and reduced demand driving margins lower.  The current trade environment with China has also introduced uncertainty within many sectors of the farm economy. Further, the report says that overall, the Farm Credit System is safe and financially sound, and system institutions are well-positioned for the risks facing agriculture.

Farm Co-ops Applaud the American Food for American Schools Act

The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives applauded the introduction of The American Food for American Schools Act. The legislation in the Senate will strengthen monitoring and enforcement of “Buy American” provisions of the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, if approved. Chuck Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, says the last several years has seen an “alarming increase” in the amount of foreign-produced food served in schools “when comparable American-grown products are readily available.” The organization believes that the legislation will help to “shed light on the extent of this problem.” Beginning in the late 1980s, provisions were added to the school lunch and breakfast programs that require schools to purchase domestic commodities and food products. However, recent reports have found a significant amount of school lunch foods are imported.

API: Forcing Year-round E15 Sales a Concern

While the Trump administration was met with applause from many in agriculture in suggesting it will grant an E15 summertime waiver, to allow sales year-round, oil industry officials are expressing concern. The American Petroleum Institute says forcing higher ethanol fuel blends into the marketplace “could have negative consequences for the American consumer.” API claims higher ethanol blends, such as E15, can harm engines and fuel systems and, and potentially force drivers to pay for unexpected and costly repairs themselves. An API spokesperson says: “The industry plans to consider all options to prevent such a waiver.” The waiver would grant exempt E15 fuels from Ried Vapor Pressure requirements that are currently limited E15 sales. The waiver talks come as the oil industry complained about RIN prices, seeking a cap. However, ethanol supporters say the E15 waiver to allow year-round sales will lower RIN prices, and provide consumers more options at the pump.

Trump to Name USDA Undersecretary for Natural Resources, Environment

President Donald Trump will nominate James Hubbard to be Agriculture undersecretary for natural resources and environment. The post at the Department of Agriculture requires confirmation by the Senate. If confirmed, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said that Hubbard would supervise the U.S. Forest Service. Hubbard has worked for the Colorado Forest Service for 235 years and has served on multiple National Association of State Foresters committees. In 2004, Hubbard was named director of the Office of Wildland Fire Coordination at the Interior Department. In 2006, Hubbard was appointed deputy chief for state and private forestry at the U.S. Forest Service, a division of the Agriculture Department. Secretary Perdue says Hubbard’s service with the Forest Service and the Department of Interior makes him “exceptionally qualified” for the post.

Culver’s to Donate Custard Sales to FFA

Culver’s announced it will donate proceeds from custard sales to FFA on May 3rd. Proceeds from every scoop purchased will go to FFA and other local agricultural organizations, according to the restaurant chain. Thursday May, 3rd is Culver’s Scoops of Thanks Day. Scoops of Thanks Day is part of Culver’s Thank You Farmers Project. The project supports agricultural education programs, like the National FFA Organization, that encourage “smart and sustainable farming practices” in an effort to “make sure we continue to have enough food to feed our country’s growing population.”  A Culver’s spokesperson says the day allows customers to support “young leaders who will work to create a sustainable food supply for future generations.” To date, the Thank You Farmers Project has raised over $1.7 million in support of the National FFA Organization, local FFA chapters and other local agricultural organizations.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service