06-01-18 CLA Applauds Governor’s Signing of Animal Feeding Operation Fee Bill

CLA Applauds Governor’s Signing of Animal Feeding Operation Fee Bill

Greeley, CO – Senate Bill 18-033, the Environmental Ag Program Fee Bill, was signed into law on May 29th, 2018 by Governor Hickenlooper. The bill, sponsored by Senator Jerry Sonnenberg, Representative Jeni Arndt, and Representative Jon Becker, continues the current fee structure for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Environmental Ag Program (EAP). Continue reading

06-01-18 USDA Resumes Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment

USDA Resumes Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment

One  Year Extension Available to Holders of Many Expiring Contracts through Continuous Signup

WASHINGTON, June 1, 2018 – As part of a 33-year effort to protect sensitive lands and improve water quality and wildlife habitat on private lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will resume accepting applications for the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Eligible farmers, ranchers, and private landowners can sign up at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office between June 4 and Aug. 17, 2018.

“The Conservation Reserve Program is an important component of the suite of voluntary conservation programs USDA makes available to agricultural producers, benefiting both the land and wildlife. On the road, I often hear firsthand how popular CRP is for our recreational sector; hunters, fishermen, conservationists and bird watchers,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “CRP also is a powerful tool to encourage agricultural producers to set aside unproductive, marginal lands that should not be farmed to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife and boost soil health.” Continue reading

06-01-18 CCWCD Offering Bus Tour this October

CCWCD Offering Bus Tour this October

CCWCD is offering a bus tour on Friday, October 5, 2018 to anyone interested in learning more about the districts operations. The tour will begin at the Southwest Weld County office.

We will tour two of CCWCD’s latest projects, Hokestra Reservoir and the Rinn Valley Reservoir Complex. The tour will then continue on to Chatfield Reservoir where we will enjoy lunch before returning around 4:00 pm.

You can register now for the tour at https://www.cognitoforms.com/CCWCD1/October52018PublicBusTour

SOURCE

06-01-18 CCWCD Board Considering Bond Proposal

CCWCD Board Considering Bond Proposal

Central Colorado Water Conservancy District, through its Groundwater Management Subdistrict, is reviewing a potential bond question for voters in 2018. Although the proposal is in its earliest stages, Central’s board and management believe it’s important to start discussing the next steps to secure both water storage and water rights for the region.  Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, June 1st

CLICK HERE to listen to Today’s BARN Morning Ag News w/Brian Allmer

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, June 1st

Ag Readying for Tariff Pushback 

President Donald Trump is moving ahead with steel and aluminum tariffs on some of the United States’ closest allies and that could result in serious pain for agriculture. Politico says any official documents released by the administration are expected to include some wiggle room for allies. European Union officials are said to be resigned to accepting that some sort of tariffs are coming their way. The EU has vowed to hit back with retaliatory tariffs. A recent list compiled by the EU targeted $3.3 billion worth of U.S. imports. Politico says the list shows products targeted for retaliation were drafted so as not to harm European Union industries. Some of the products are clearly designed to impact Republican-leaning states, such as Kentucky bourbon. Others on the list include rice, peanut butter, orange juice, and cranberries. Canada and Mexico aren’t immune from the tariffs either, and both countries have said they will retaliate. “It’s frankly absurd that we would in any way be considered to be a national security threat to the United States,” says Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

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Groups React to Resumption of Aluminum and Steel Tariffs

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that the U.S. will move forward with steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Farmers for Free Trade Executive Director Brian Kuehl says that decision opens the floodgates to billions in new tariffs on American agriculture. The list of countries that are targeting, or planning to target, now includes 28 EU members, our closest trading partners in Canada and Mexico, and the world’s largest export markets in China and India. U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight says his group is deeply concerned about the new tariffs set to be implemented. “Based on the information we’ve heard from our customers and past experience, we have U.S. agriculture, including the products we represent, will be among the first hit by countermeasures from our trading partners,” Sleight says, “and these countries are our closest neighbors and friends. We’ve spent years building these relationships and markets with other countries.”

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Target Date Set for Senate Farm Bill Introduction

Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts has set a date for introducing the Senate Farm Bill, with full debate to take place the following week. A Feedstuffs Dot Com article says Roberts made the announcement at a farm bill forum in his home state, alongside Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and fellow Kansas Senator Jerry Moran. Roberts says he has a clear path to bringing the bill to the floor of the Senate, as Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised he won’t file cloture on the bill, a potential hurdle that could delay consideration. Roberts did reiterate that the House version of the farm bill wouldn’t pass in the Senate because he’ll need 60 votes to avoid a filibuster. The House version, which hasn’t passed yet, is still relying solely on Republican votes to get through the chamber. Roberts also said the Senate version won’t be proposing any major changes to SNAP, but could possibly look into “some efficiencies we can make as to how that program is run.” He also mentioned that the Senate bill will “fix the ARC program to some degree.”

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RVP Period Begins Friday as Fuel Prices Climb Higher

Friday is the beginning of the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) restriction on E15 sales across most of the country during the summer driving season. The restriction runs from June 1 to September 15. It comes at a time when American drivers would benefit greatly from some relief at the pump. Instead, consumers are barred from purchasing lower cost fuel at a time when gas prices are approaching a national average of three dollars per gallon. That’s a higher average price than consumers have paid in years. “Every summer, earth-friendly E15 is held to tougher standards than other fuels sold year-round, cutting off sales and imposing needless costs on retailers and consumers alike,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. Retailers face costs of up to $1.5 million each year just to relabel their pumps around RVP, while other markets are entirely shut off for consumers because retailers can’t adjust for these astronomical barriers. “RVP relief now means lifting our rural economy out of the worst crisis in a generation, with farm income plunging to a 12-year low,” Skor says. “It also means putting the industry on a path to generate 1.3 billion gallons of additional ethanol demand within five years.”

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Canada Approves Bayer Acquisition of Monsanto, with Conditions

The Canadian Competition Bureau has officially approved Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto, with some conditions. The agreement addresses the Bureau’s concerns that the acquisition would have significantly harmed competition and innovation in Canada’s agricultural sector. Following a review of the sale, the Bureau concluded that the merger would substantially lessen and prevent competition in Canada with respect to the supply of canola seeds and traits, soybean seeds and traits, seed treatments that protect crops against nematodes, and carrot seeds. In order to address those concerns, the agreement requires Bayer to sell its canola seeds and trait business, soybean seeds and traits business, carrot seed business, as well as the nematode seed treatment business, as well as other assets. Bayer has proposed BASF as the buyer of these assets and the Bureau is looking into the suitability of BASF as the proposed buyer. The Bureau is satisfied that the agreement will preserve and protect innovation and competition in important agricultural inputs such as canola seeds, which is Canada’s highest-acreage crop.

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Second Smithfield Trial Underway in North Carolina

A second lawsuit against Smithfield Foods began this week in a federal court located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s the second trial involving claims from local residents that a hog farm contracted with Smithfield uses an inadequate waste disposal system. The residents claim that the inadequate system undermines their quality of life. Lawyers will argue over whether Smithfield should be held liable for damages from storing waste from 4,700 hogs in open-air lagoons and spraying it onto farm fields as fertilizer. The trial stems from dozens of cases filed against Smithfield, the world’s biggest pork producer, on the grounds that hog farms using the lagoon-and-spray model make life miserable for nearby residents. Noxious fumes, carcass-laden trucks, and swarms of flies associated with industrial-scale hog production are all things that residents are giving as reasons behind the suit. Hog farming is big business and a pillar of the state’s economy. The first trial was held in April, when a jury awarded the plaintiffs $50 million dollars, although the judge reduced it to $2.5 million in punitive damages. Kenneth Smith, Smithfield President, says, “If the lawsuits succeed, the company will have to revisit whether we can continue doing business in North Carolina.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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