06-07-18 CDA: Millet Growers Take Next Step to Create Market Order

CDA: Millet Growers Take Next Step to Create Market Order

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Colorado is the number one producer of millet in the U.S., and growers are interested in enhancing research and marketing opportunities. At the request of millet producers, Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown, will hold a hearing for public input on a proposed market order for millet on June 22.
“Millet is widely planted as a rotational crop by Colorado farmers,” said Commissioner Don Brown, “It is drought-tolerant, grows well in Colorado, and brings $23 million in economic impact to our state. If Colorado producers wish to move forward with a referendum on a millet market order, we will support that endeavor.”

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06-07-18 USDA Announces $309 Million Investment in Rural Electric Utilities…

USDA Announces $309 Million Investment in Rural Electric Utilities

Loans Will Improve System Efficiency and Resiliency in 12 States, including CO, KS & NM

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, June 7, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that USDA is investing $309 million in 16 projects (PDF, 107 KB) to improve rural electric infrastructure in 12 states.

“Robust, modern infrastructure is a foundation for quality of life and economic opportunity no matter the zip code in which you live,” Hazlett said. “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is committed to being a strong partner in addressing rural infrastructure needs to support a more prosperous future in rural communities.”

1 project in CO: Sponsored by US Senators Michael Bennet, Cory Gardner
US Congressman Ken Buck

Mountain View Electric Association
$82,152,000 This Rural Development investment will be used to build 197 miles of line, improve 197 miles and make other system improvements. The loan amount includes $2,668,290 for smart grid projects. Mountain View is headquartered in Limon. It serves nearly 50,000 consumers over 6,055 miles. Mountain View serves Arapahoe, Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, El Paso, Lincoln and Pueblo counties.

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06-07-18 NFU: Retaliatory Tariffs Target American Agricultural Goods

NFU: Retaliatory Tariffs Target American Agricultural Goods

Last Thursday, the Trump administration announced its intention to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. The tariffs went into effect that night at midnight.
The tariffs were originally announced in March, and were particularly aimed at China, a country that  has engaged in unfair trade practices, including currency manipulation and intellectual property theft. China promptly responded with tariffs of its own spanning a large number of American products, including soy, sorghum, pork, wine, fruits, and nuts. The two countries have alternated escalating and deescalating tensions, with some effort to negotiate a truce. Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for June 7th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for June 7th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 7th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 7th

More Tariffs From Mexico Planned

More tariffs are expected from Mexico after the nation announced its 20 percent tariff on U.S. pork earlier this week. The list of tariffs from Mexico includes apples, cheeses, potatoes, cranberries, and “Tennessee” and bourbon whiskies, among other items. Mexico is responding to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs enacted by President Trump and put into place last week, after exempting Canada, Mexico and European Union previously from the tariffs. The tariffs will impact just more than one percent of all U.S. exports to Mexico, but will have significant impact on targeted industries, including agriculture. Farmers for Free Trade released a statement this week saying the tariffs “will exact immediate and painful consequences.” Meanwhile, the European Union has planned retaliatory tariffs on U.S. motorcycle’s, jeans and whiskey. Those tariffs will start in July.

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Canada Seeking Answers Regarding U.S. Farmer Support Funds

Canada wants the U.S. to explain an additional $30 billion made available to support farmers harmed by trade woes, and how the U.S. might distribute the funds. Canada made the request through the World Trade Organization last week. Canada’s written question asked the United States to explain the U.S. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, in which Congress lifted certain restrictions on the U.S. Agriculture Secretary’s authority to use Commodity Credit Corporation funds, according to Reuters. The Corporation has broad authority to make loans and direct payments to U.S. farmers when prices for agricultural goods are low. The White House has previously indicated that it is looking at ways to use the Commodity Credit Corporation funds to offset farm income losses in a trade war with China or others. Canada also wants to know if Washington can use the funds to buy domestic surpluses of agricultural products.

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No RFS Changes From the White House, For Now

President Trump indicated he would not be signing a White House proposal that was “bad for farmers,” referring to the proposal offering changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The pledge followed an apparent conversation with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. Further, the comments came the same day Ernst criticized Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt over his handling of the RFS. The proposal would have allowed for the export of RINs, Renewable Identification Numbers, along with allowing the sales for E15. Also rumored in the proposal is a requirement that would force the EPA to reallocate biofuels allotments displaced by hardship waivers issued to refiners. On Twitter, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley called the comments by Trump “great news.” The White House reportedly backed off the proposal because of pushback from Ernst and Grassley, who represent one of the largest biofuel producing states.

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More Than 20,000 Dairy Farms Have Signed up for MPP

The Department of Agriculture this week said more than 20,000 dairy farmers have enrolled in the Dairy Margin Protection Program, which enrollment for closes Friday. USDA undersecretary Bill Northey told Politico he expects more producers to enroll in the program, compared to last year. In 2017, roughly 20,300 dairy farmers enrolled in the program, accounting for 64 percent of U.S. milk production. Congress earlier this year revised MPP retroactively for 2018, including lower premiums for higher levels of coverage. Dairy groups had long advocated for changes to the program that “did not provide a meaningful safety net,” according to the National Milk Producers Federation at the time. Northey says USDA has already sent about $19 million in checks to producers who signed up for higher levels of coverage, and therefore would have received an MPP payment in the last few months. The enrollment deadline was originally June 1st, but was extended a week by USDA.

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Court Sides Against R-CALF in COOL Dispute

A U.S. District Court this week said alleged financial harm to U.S. beef producers was “fairly traceable” to the Department of Agriculture. A lawsuit, filed by R-CALF USA, alleged that USDA was unlawfully allowing imported beef to be both sold to consumers without a country of origin label and sold to consumers with a “Product of USA” label, even if the animal from which the beef was derived was born, raised and slaughtered in a foreign country. The court did not side with R-CALF, but the organization says that recognizing producers are harmed USDA, “makes it even clearer that the Trump Administration and Congress must act now to protect them,” by reinstating COOL. The court determined that the cattle producers were time-barred from prevailing in their case because the regulations that allowed the removal of COOL labels on imported beef was promulgated in 1989 and the statute of limitations expired in 1995. The court did not agree with the cattle producers that the clock should have been reset after the 2016 repeal of the COOL for beef.

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National Pork Board Elects New Officers

Steve Rommereim,(Rome-er-rhyme) a pork producer from South Dakota, was elected president of the National Pork Board at the organization’s June board meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of the World Pork Expo. Rommereim is the owner, manager and operator of Highland Swine, which markets 10,000 pigs annually. He also grows corn and soybeans, as well as has a cow/calf operation. Serving with Rommereim on Pork Checkoff’s executive officer team are David Newman, a pork producer from Arkansas as vice president and Mike Skahill, from Virginia, as treasurer. Terry O’Neel, a pork producer from Nebraska, will serve as immediate past president. The four executive officers will serve one-year terms in their positions effective at the close of the June board meeting. In a statement Rommeriem said “In the year ahead, the Pork Checkoff will focus on driving consumer demand through sustainability.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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