06-28-18 United States Senate PASSES their Version of the 2018 Farm Bill…

United States Senate PASSES their Version of the 2018 Farm Bill…

Bennet Applauds Passage of Senate Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Natural Resources, today applauded Senate passage of the Farm Bill. 20 Bennet-led priorities were included in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.

“This bipartisan Farm Bill incorporates ideas and suggestions that we’ve heard across our state,” Bennet said. “The bill legalizes hemp, eliminating uncertainty for businesses in Colorado. The bill also maintains crop insurance, invests in forest health and conservation, secures food assistance for families in need, and expands opportunity for the next generation of farmers and ranchers. We should move this bill quickly to the President’s desk before the end of September—especially given the uncertainty communities face over drought, commodity prices, and trade.”

Check out the audio from the press conference following the vote of 86-11 passage of their version of the 2018 Farm Billon the US Senate with US Senator Michael Bennet


Audio provided courtesy of BARN Media, CO Ag News Network & FarmCast Radio

Progress for Colorado in the 2018 Farm Bill Continue reading

06-28-18 CO Corn News: Senate Passes Farm Bill 86 to 11

CO Corn News: Senate Passes Farm Bill 86 to 11

This afternoon, the Senate passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) by a vote of 86 to 11. The bill can now proceed to a joint conference committee.
Passage of the bill today is another step forward, and holds the possibility of the 2018 Farm Bill’s passage before the current bill expires in September.
Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) are commended for the way they handled the committee markup and floor debate, which avoided poison pill amendments just as Chairman Conaway (R-TX) and Ranking Member Peterson (D-MN) did during consideration of the House version of the bill.
Colorado Corn Growers Association appreciates those senators who supported this critical legislation and were able to pass the bill before the July 4th recess.
View the following link to see how the Senators voted.
While this advancement is positive, the bill still contains unacceptable language for Colorado farmers. We will remain alert and work towards getting unfavorable amendments out of the bill during conference.


06-28-18 NAFB Breaking Ag News: 2018 Farm Bill Passes Senate, Next Stop: Conference

2018 Farm Bill Passes Senate, Next Stop: Conference

Senate Passes Farm Bill, Next Stop: Conference

The Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill Thursday, sending the legislation to conference so the House and Senate can mend their differences. The vote, 86 to 11, capped off a day of consideration on the Senate floor. In a way, the Senate offered a warning shot to the House, tabling an amendment Thursday afternoon that would tighten work requirements under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, in a lopsided vote 68-30, showing resistance to similar language in the House bill. Meanwhile, House Republicans charge it may be difficult to pass a final bill through the House without SNAP reforms. The Senate bill was blocked Thursday morning by Senator Marco Rubio regarding Cuba trade provisions by Senator Heidi Heitkamp, but the two reached an agreement to allow USDA trade funding to Cuba, if it’s in accordance with administration policy, and allow consideration of the farm bill Thursday.

Overall, the Senate bill offers little fanfare in major changes, compared to the current bill that expires later this year. The bill includes Senator John Thune’s amendment to allow partial haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program land, which was approved by voice vote before final consideration of the bill. Included in the bill is Senator Chuck Grassley’s proposal to reform the definition of “actively engaged” in a farming operation in order to receive farm payments. Before passage, the Senate defeated an amended by Senator Mike Lee that farm groups, such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, say “sought to undermine commodity checkoff programs.

View the entire version of the Senate’s 2018 Farm Bill onlinehttps://www.agriculture.senate.gov/2018-farm-bill

06-28-18 NAWG Responds to Senate Passing its 2018 Farm Bill 

NAWG Responds to Senate Passing its 2018 Farm Bill

Washington, D.C. (June 28, 2018) – Today, with a vote of 86-11, the U.S. Senate passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill out of Chamber. In response, NAWG President Jimmie Musick made the following statement:

“NAWG commends the Senate for working together in a bipartisan fashion to move the Farm Bill forward, out of the chamber and on to conference. It’s vital for a final Farm Bill to be reauthorized before the September 30th deadline, so that farmers can have certainty that a safety net and strong risk management tools will continue to be in place during these uncertain economic times in farm country.  Continue reading

06-28-18 Pork Checkoff Ag Media Tele-Conference Call


Thursday, June 28, 2018 – The Pork Checkoff will hosted news media conference call following the USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs Report on Thursday, June 28, 2018. This quarterly teleconference featured three distinguished agricultural economists and their reactions to the report.
The panelists included:

Dr. Ron Plain, Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Dr. Lee Shulz, Associate Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
Joe Kerns, President, Kerns and Associates, Ames, IA


Continue reading

06-28-18 First Look: Rush Creek Wind Project Providing Massive Benefits to Eastern Plains Economy, Residents

First Look: Rush Creek Wind Project Providing Massive Benefits to Eastern Plains Economy, Residents

Matheson, CO – State legislators and economic development leaders joined project developers Xcel Energy and Vestas for a tour of 30 recently installed wind turbines at the Kochis Farms on Thursday. The first-of-its-kind tour of Xcel Energy’s 600-megawatt Rush Creek Wind Project highlighted the project’s economic benefits, including the $1 billion invested in Colorado and the hundreds of direct and indirect jobs created. The developers expect the project will be fully operational in October of this year.

“These wind turbines are serving as a new cash crop for us,” said Jan Kochis of Kochis Farms and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Board Chair. “The new income that these turbines provide will create more certainty for our farming operations by helping balance against the roller coaster commodity markets and unpredictable weather.”

Recent wind energy developments across Colorado’s eastern plains continue to be a boon to the local economy, providing landowners with millions in land lease payments each year. In total, Colorado’s wind resources have attracted $6 billion in investment, and the wind industry now supports over 5,000 jobs in the state. Wind projects have also provided a boost to local governments and small businesses through new tax revenue and increased local spending. Xcel Energy’s Rush Creek Wind Project is just the latest project to provide a much-needed shot in the arm for rural Colorado. Continue reading

06-28-18 First Annual Hunter Norman Memorial Bulls & Ranch Broncs Event Attract Huge Numbers in CO

Top Left to Right: 51 competitors line up for the Grand Entry; Tyler Williams wins Ranch Broncs 1st place; Bottom Left to Right: Emma Rushing is the only female to compete at the event; Gate pullers wearing Hunter Norman commemorative rodeo shirts


GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado (June 28th, 2018) – Nearly 500 spectators, 51 competitors, local business owners and countless family and friends turned out in large numbers to attend the 1st Annual Hunter Norman Memorial Bulls & Ranch Broncs event on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018. With fans filling the grandstands and riders packing the bucking chutes, people flocked to the event at the Mesa County Fairgrounds in Grand Junction to honor and pay tribute to respected Western Slope ranch bronc rider, Hunter Norman who lost his life in a tragic accident in early May.

The highly attended event is just a testament of the profound impact that 20-year old Fruita Monument High School graduate Hunter Norman had on the Western Slope community and beyond. With competitors coming in from Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and throughout Colorado and premier bucking stock from Ty Farris, Lonny Lancaster, Bryan Flynn and Wes Clegg of 7C Buckers, the event showcased fierce competition, big payouts and prizes in one of the best rodeo events to hit the Western Slope. 9-time PBR World Finals qualifier Tony Mendes made his return to bull riding at the event after a two-year hiatus to honor the memory and spirit of the beloved cowboy.

“It’s a blessing and an honor that everybody showed up and attended this,” Mendes said. “It speaks volumes on what Hunter represented as a cowboy. He had heart. He’d always show up with some young kid wanting to learn how to do it. He put a lot back into this sport and I guess that was my biggest thing with coming back. I haven’t been on a bull in two years and the love that that kid showed my sport, I really wanted to be a part of this event.” Continue reading

06-28-18 Western Governors approve policy resolutions

Western Governors approve policy resolutions

Western Governors formally approved 12 policy resolutions on topics such as workforce development, international trade, and western infrastructure at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota. The policy resolutions formally approved include: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 28th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, June 28th

Senate Farm Bill to Include Grassley Payment Limits

The Senate farm bill now contains 18 additional amendments, including Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley’s payment limits amendment. Grassley was the lone vote against the bill when it passed through committee because it did not contain his amendment. The change would “amend actively engaged in farming requirements by allowing only one person or legal entity per farming operation to be considered ‘actively engaged’ in farming based on active personal management.” Grassley said earlier this week that he had the votes on the Senate Agriculture Committee to get the amendment approved at the markup of the bill, but ran into a last-minute procedural problem that prevented him from offering it, according to the Hagstrom Report. The amendment is one of 18 attached to the farm bill and announced Wednesday by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts in an effort to expedite the passage of the bill.

Perdue Signals Aid Plan Announcement Possible Around Labor Day

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in Chicago this week says he is hopeful his aid program for farmers will be released by Labor Day and the harvest season. Perdue spoke at the United Fresh event Tuesday and told the Chicago Tribune that while farmers want “trade, not aid,” the Department of Agriculture is following the trade war on a “weekly basis,” and assessing the impacts of trade disputes while having a plan ready to assist farmers. Perdue continues to hold off on announcing those plans, but conceded he has “probably” given himself a “Labor Day deadline” with the corn and soybean harvest looming. Perdue says he and USDA see the trade environment as “temporary.” A 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans as part of the trade dispute will take effect next week. While there may not be enough export capacity globally for China to stop all U.S. soybean purchases completely, Brazil’s production and exports are growing, and China is seeking alternatives to U.S. agricultural products.

Canada Announces Pork Sector Investment

Amid global trade uncertainty and U.S. pork facing tariffs, Canada is investing to expand its swine sector. While the two moves are not directly related, Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay just announced a federal investment of up to (Canadian) $12.7 million to Swine Innovation Porc, a non-profit corporation that facilitates research in the Canadian swine sector. The non-profit will contribute up to an additional $5.8 million to the project. The investments will be used to examine new ways of feeding piglets that could help provide immunity from diseases; determine best methods for the classification of pork based on quality attributes; and, examine long-distance transport effects on the health and welfare of early weaned pigs. Canada is the 9th largest pork producer in the world, representing approximately two percent of global production. In 2016, Canada exported approximately 70 percent of overall Canadian hog production, with a value of $3.8 billion.

Oil Industry: EPA Makes Right Call on Not Reallocating Waived Volumes

The American Petroleum Institute says the Environmental Protection Agency “made the right call” to not reallocate volumes of biofuels displaced by hardship waivers from the Renewable Fuel Standard. The EPA volume proposal this week included a small overall increase, but kept conventional ethanol at 15 billion gallons for 2019. API made the comments while at the same time calling the RFS an example of “a broken government program.” The proposal by the EPA followed a Reuters report that the EPA “consistently ignored” direction from the Department of Energy to restrict or reject the hardship waivers. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the waivers are “at odds” with the Department of Agriculture, President Trump, and now the Department of Energy. The ethanol industry contends the waivers are destructing demand, and the recent volume proposal for convention ethanol “isn’t a real number” because the EPA won’t make up lost volumes or stop the waivers.

NC Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Protect Hog Farms from Lawsuits

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would provide protection to hog farms from lawsuits. The bill passed by state lawmakers aimed to protect the ability of farms to “operate as surrounding development encroaches” and protect farms from” frivolous nuisance lawsuits.” Governor Cooper stated following his veto: “While agriculture is vital to North Carolina’s economy, so property rights are vital to people’s homes and other businesses.” Further, Cooper stated that giving one industry special treatment at the expense of its neighbors is unfair. Lawmakers in the state passed the bill after $50 million in damages were awarded to neighbors of a hog operation in the state. A federal judge later slashes the award to $2.5 million. Other similar nuisance lawsuits in the state are expected to follow, with one lawsuit already in progress.

Women in Agribusiness Now Accepting Award Nominees

The Women in Agribusiness Summit is seeking award nominations for the Women in Agribusiness Demeter Award of Excellence. Now in its fifth year, the award is bestowed upon “some of the most innovative, action-oriented movers and shakers in the agribusiness sector.” Nominations must have a minimum of ten years of experience in agriculture, be a positive example and break down barriers for others and exemplify professionalism. The recipient of the award, named after Demeter, the goddess of the harvest from ancient Greek mythology, will receive her award on stage at the 2018 Women in Agribusiness Summit in Denver, September 24-26th. There is no limit to the number of entries, and self-nominations will be accepted as well. Entry forms and guidelines for submissions are available online at www.womeninag.com. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, July 20th, 2018.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service