07-31-18 Emerging Markets For Grains, Ethanol Take Center Stage At U.S Grains Council Meeting In Denver, CO

Shultz, Taieb and Cordero speak about the Middle East’s demand for U.S. grains products at a panel in Denver.

Emerging Markets For Grains, Ethanol Take Center Stage At U.S Grains Council Meeting In Denver

Denver – In a global trade environment challenged by tariffs and tensions, emerging markets for grains and ethanol provided a bright spot for U.S. farmers, agribusinesses and industry officials at the U.S. Grains Council’s 58th Annual Board of Delegates meeting in Denver. Continue reading

07-31-18 NFU Emphasizes Severity of Trade Dispute, Urges Long-Term Solutions in Farm Bill

NFU Emphasizes Severity of Trade Dispute, Urges Long-Term Solutions in Farm Bill
WASHINGTON – In a letter sent today to congressional leadership, National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson emphasized the need to address agricultural economic hardships in the 2018 Farm Bill. The NFU Board of Directors unanimously approved the motion to send this letter during a meeting held Monday afternoon.

07-31-18 Following Invitation from US Senator Bennet, USDA Nominee Jim Hubbard Plans to Visit Colorado

US Senator Michael Bennet logo header 073118

Following Invitation from US Senator Bennet, USDA Nominee Jim Hubbard Plans to Visit Colorado

Washington, D.C. – At last week’s Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet invited fellow Coloradan Jim Hubbard—if confirmed as Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment at the USDA—to travel to Colorado to discuss the next steps for the Forest Service. Hubbard has since replied that he would be “happy to meet in Colorado for the discussion.”

“In Colorado, our expanding outdoor economy, paired with the increasing challenge of climate change, make it all the more important to have solution-oriented leaders at USDA like Jim Hubbard,” Bennet said. “We’re looking forward to welcoming Mr. Hubbard back to Colorado as the Forest Service prioritizes new projects to safeguard the health of our forests and watersheds.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, July 31st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, July 31st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Trade Aid for Farmers Could Start Late September

The aid package announced to offset harm by the Trump administration’s trade policy for agriculture could be ready to go by October, according to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. While in Argentina as part of the G20 meeting of agriculture ministers, Perdue told Reuters the aid package could have payments reaching farmers by late September. The plan would include between $7 billion and $8 billion in direct cash relief as the Department of Agriculture expects U.S. farmers to take an $11 billion hit due to retaliatory tariffs after Washington placed duties on Chinese goods. However, Perdue cautioned: “Obviously this is not going to make farmers whole.” Checks will go out to farmers “as soon as they prove their yields,” according to Perdue, who says the yields will be based on actual production, not historical averages. The program is a response to trade tariffs implemented on U.S. agriculture goods for the 2018 crop year only, as Perdue says “we do not expect to do this over a period of time.”

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U.S. Chamber: Trade Aid for All Could Cost $39 Billion

Providing aid to industries impacted by negative trade policy could cost the nation $39 billion, according to new data by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Farmers are expected to receive a $12 billion aid package to lessen the burden of trade disputes by the Trump administration. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce calls farmers and ranchers the “hardest hit” by Trump’s trade policy, suffering deep economic losses. However, agriculture is not alone, and an analysis by the U.S. Chamber found that offering so-called bailouts to all industries affected by trade policies would cost taxpayers $39 million. The Chamber says the administration’s focus should be expanding free trade and removing harmful tariffs, “not allocating taxpayer’s money to only marginally ease the suffering” for some of the industries feeling the pain of the trade war. Farmers and ranchers in unison have told the Trump administration they want trade, not aid.

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NAFTA Renegotiation Showing Signs of Progress

The U.S. and Mexico are nearing an agreement on the trade of automobiles as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation effort. Politico reports the U.S. and Mexico are in the “final stages” of reaching a deal on the automotive rules of origin section of NAFTA, key to completing the renegotiation. A team of negotiators is in Washington, D.C. this week to continue the talks. However, other issues within the negotiations, including a sunset provision and dispute settlement, along with dairy trade, remain unsettled. President Trump has leaned towards striking a deal with Mexico first, before moving on to hashing out details with Canada. However, officials from Canada and Mexico agree that any final deal would be trilateral between the three nations. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said last week that finishing the talks with Mexico could put pressure on Canada to reach an agreement. Scrapping Canada’s dairy supply management system, a goal for the U.S. as part of the negotiations, remains “unacceptable,” according to trade officials from Canada.

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Letter Urges Trump to Rejoin TPP

A letter from the Freedom Partners is urging the President to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Freedom Partners started in 2011 to promote the benefits of free markets and a free society. The group launched an advertising campaign this week against President Trump’s trade policy and ongoing trade war with China, that is expected to cost farmers and ranchers $11 billion. In a corresponding letter, the group said “we must join them,” referring to nations that are “not waiting for us,” and signing trade deals to eliminate tariffs. The organization calls the new TPP agreement one that includes better standards for trade and significantly lowered tariffs. Once in full effect, the group alleges that the agreement will put American businesses at a distinct competitive disadvantage and will increase trade losses to other countries.

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Nebraska, Iowa, to Lead Antimicrobial Research

Three universities will partner to lead research on antimicrobial resistance. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges recently announced the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Iowa State University and the University of Iowa will partner to lead a new national institute addressing antimicrobial resistance. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the institute will be jointly funded by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Iowa State at a combined $525,000 per year for three years, totaling $1.5 million. A University of Nebraska official called antimicrobials a critically important tool for maintaining human, animal and crop health. The spokesperson added that the institute will “accelerate discoveries and engage producers in new and impactful ways that will enhance the stewardship and prolong the shelf life” of antibiotics.

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NCGA Seeking Good Steward Nominations

The National Corn Growers Association “Good Steward” nomination deadline is fast approaching, Monday, August 6th. NCGA is asking for nominations of someone who is “doing a stellar job on their farm of demonstrating the economic and conservation value of soil management.” This year anyone can nominate a candidate for recognition if they are a corn grower member of the association. NCGA affiliate states and organizational partners may also submit nominations. One recipient will be selected from a field of nominees submitted by NCGA state affiliates and other corn industry and organizational partners. Nomination forms must be completed jointly by the nominating party and the nominee and will be processed through NCGA. Selection of the Good Steward Recognition will be made by experts in the field of agricultural conservation, environment and sustainability. The announcement of the recipient will be made at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida, next year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-30-18 Navigating Trade Challenges Focus As 58th US Grains Council Meeting Kicks Off In Denver, CO

Colorado Dept. of Ag Commissioner Don Brown welcomes the @USGC crowd to Denver! #grains18

Navigating Trade Challenges Focus As 58th US Grains Council Meeting Kicks Off In Denver, CO

Denver – Navigating the new global trade landscape while maintaining and strengthening relationships with key partners, including Mexico and China, was front and center as the U.S. Grains Council’s 58th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting began Monday in Denver.

The meeting kicked off with keynote speaker Ambassador Carla Hills, a former U.S. Trade Representative, who shared her perspective on how agriculture fits in today’s global trade puzzle.

Ambassador Carla Hills, a former U.S. Trade Representative, who shared her perspective on how agriculture fits in today’s global trade puzzle at the U.S. Grains Council’s 58th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting.

“Global trade is the most effective development tool we have,” Hills said. “It enlarges economic opportunities for poor countries. It is not just a humanitarian effort; it creates tomorrow’s trade partners. One might call it an act of enlightened self interest.

“But these are turbulent times. The U.S. government has always used diplomacy to advance the well-being of our own nation, but it worries me…that we are turning inward.” Continue reading

07-30-18 NCGA: Good Steward Aug. 6, Deadline Rapidly Approaching

NCGA: Good Steward Aug. 6, Deadline Rapidly Approaching

If you have a farmer friend, neighbor or family member who epitomizes the title “Good Steward” then please take a minute to consider nominating them for the National Corn Growers Association’s Good Steward Recognition Program before the 5 p.m. CDT, Aug. 6, 2018 deadline.

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07-30-18 RMFU Letter Supports US Senator Michael Bennet As A Farm Bill Conferee

RMFU Letter Supports US Senator Michael Bennet As A Farm Bill Conferee

U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture
The Honorable Chairman Pat Roberts

The Honorable Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow

The 2018 Farm Bill will result in a make-or-break outcome for thousands of farmers and ranchers across Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming. The Food and Farm Bill is the leading long-term federal legislation that shapes an essential economic and social way of life across the nation’s heartland.

On behalf of the 20,000 members of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, I am urging you to place Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado on the Farm Bill conference committee. During the past year, Senator Bennet organized and hosted a series of on-farm discussions across the state with the only topic being the Farm Bill. We commend Sen. Bennet for his service on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and for amendments that made it into the final version of the Senate Farm Bill that promote conservation, support rural economies, and improve energy options. Continue reading

07-30-18 Inside USDA Rural Development with Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett: Opioid Epidemic Assistance for Rural America…

Inside USDA Rural Development with Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett: Opioid Epidemic Assistance for Rural America…

Briggsdale, CO – July 30, 2018 – This week, USDA Rural Development’s Assistant to the secretary Anne Hazlett is in the Denver metro area attending a conference and wanted to visit with The BARN’s listeners about the assistance that USDA Rural Development can provide to help rural communities dealing with the opioid epidemic. Joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio inside the BARN is Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development

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Opioid Misuse Resource Map graphic

CLICK HERE to watch the video

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. Continue reading

07-30-18 Inside the CCA w/Erin Karney: Drought, Wildfires, Hail, Tornadoes, CCA’s Newly Re-Formatted Ranching Legacy Program & More…

Inside the CCA w/Erin Karney: Drought, Wildfires, Hail, Tornadoes, CCA’s Newly Re-Formatted Ranching Legacy Program & More…

Briggsdale, CO July 30, 2018 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network, FarmCast Radio here inside the BARN to discuss several topics impacting Colorado’s cattle industry is Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Industry Advancement Director Erin Karney…

Topics covered include:

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CCA is committed to enhancing the investment of the grassroots beef producer through legislative representation, research and education, information distribution, public relations, issues management, and allied group cooperation. Learn more online @ https://www.coloradocattle.org/ 

07-30-18 USDA Encourages Rural Communities, Water Districts to Apply for Loans to Improve, Rebuild Infrastructure; $4 Billion Available

USDA Encourages Rural Communities, Water Districts to Apply for Loans to Improve, Rebuild Infrastructure; $4 Billion Available

Department’s Latest Investments to Benefit 165,000 People in Rural Communities in 24 States

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2018 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced a historic commitment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade and rebuild rural water infrastructure.

“USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building their futures,” Hazlett said. “All people – regardless of their zip code – need modern, reliable infrastructure to thrive, and we have found that when we address this need, many other challenges in rural places become much more manageable.”

Eligible rural communities and water districts can apply online for funding to maintain, modernize or build water and wastewater systems. They can visit the interactive RD Apply tool, or they can apply through one of USDA Rural Development’s state or field offices.

Colorado
Sallie Clark, State Director
Denver Federal Center
Building 56, Room 2300
PO Box 25426
Denver, CO 80225-0426
Voice: (720) 544-2903
Fax: (720) 544-2981
Colorado Relay: (800) 659-3656

www.rd.usda.gov/co

USDA is providing the funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

Below are a few examples of USDA’s latest investment (PDF, 162 KB) of $164 million for 54 projects nationwide: Continue reading

07-30-18 CO Corn: Takeaways from Corn Congress in D.C.

CO Corn: Takeaways from Corn Congress in D.C.

The week of July 16th, CCAC President, Mike Lefever, CCAC Secretary, Rod Hahn (Colo. delegate pictured in light blue), and staff members Mark Sponsler and Ann Cross traveled to Washington, D.C. for Corn Congress and to meet with representatives at the capitol.  Continue reading

07-30-18 CO Corn: USDA Announces $12B in Trade Assistance

CO Corn: USDA Announces $12B in Trade Assistance

Assistance is a short-term effort to curb equity losses; long-term trade relations and opportunities that rely on market-driven demand sought by producers.
For weeks, President Trump has vowed he would “take care” of farmers. Until this week, Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA) and other agriculture groups did not know what or how much assistance that package would contain or in what way it might materialize. USDA’s announcement July 24th authorized up to $12 billion in programs. This short-term plan has three components: direct payments to farmers to ease the sting of lower prices resulting from retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods, surplus commodity purchases by USDA for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs, and funding to assist in developing new export markets.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 30th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 30th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Trump to Approve Year-Round E15 Soon

President Trump says his administration is “very close” to approving the year-round sale of the E15 blend of ethanol very soon. During a trip to Iowa on Thursday, Trump told the audience, “I’m very close to pulling off something that you’ve been looking forward to for many years, and that’s the 12-month E15 waiver. We’re getting very close to doing that.” The Quad City Times says Trump called the process “very complex.” The President noted that he stuck with ethanol, saying most of the other candidates “weren’t there, to put it mildly.” Pro-ethanol group Growth Energy says, “We are pleased to hear President Trump say he’s ‘very close’ to making E15 available year-round, fulfilling his promise to America’s farmers.” Growth Energy says increased access to U.S. markets will provide America’s farmers with some financial confidence and they hope the President will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to act quickly to provide year-round RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure) relief.

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EU Insists Agriculture Not a Part of Trade Truce with Trump

The European Union says that the proposed trade talks with the United States wouldn’t include farming. The website Business Times Dot Com says this directly contradicts what President Donald Trump says. An EU Commission spokeswoman says they’ve been very clear on that fact. The spokeswoman adds that agriculture is not part of it, only the things that were specifically mentioned in the statement that came out Thursday. “The joint statement shows no mention of agriculture, as such you’ll see a mention of farmers and a mention of soybeans, which are part of the discussion,” says Mina (MEE-nah) Andreeva. “That is part of the discussion and we will follow up on that.” The EU clarification comes one day after the president called the agreement a “major victory for U.S. farmers,” who’ve seen plummeting exports due to Washington’s trade policies. Trump told a rally in Iowa that “We’ve just opened up Europe for you farmers.” The EU may be feeling pressure to emphasize that there was no farming concession made to Trump because of opposition in Europe to more genetically modified imports from America.

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Bankers: Farmers Want Trade Not Handouts

Following the president’s announcement of a $12 billion trade assistance package to farmers, the nation’s bankers echoed farmer sentiments, saying producers want free trade and not handouts. A Farm Journal report quotes ag lender Alan Hoskins as saying it’s far too soon to know how beneficial the aid will be. Hoskins did say one thing is clear; it’s not what farmers want. “They want to be able to turn a profit by selling their grain,” Hoskins says, “and not by getting government handouts.” Hoskins says cash flow is going to be very tight this year, which will lead to some difficult conversations between producers and lenders. However, he says it’s not something to be feared by producers, but rather it’s an opportunity to sit down and work together to figure out something that will benefit farmers. Illinois producer Michael Cox tells Farm Journal that the aid package is just a temporary fix, at best, because there are too many questions about the program. Hoskins says many farmers are wide open to market volatility at this point and those payments will come in handy.  

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Lighthizer Testimony: NAFTA Deal Possible in August

During congressional testimony on Thursday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers that it’s entirely possible that the three North American Free Trade Agreement members will reach a deal in August. Lighthizer says that would meet the Mexican objective of having current President Enrique Pena (PAIN-ya) Nieto (KNEE-eh-toe) sign the deal before he leaves office in December. Bloomberg says U.S. trade law requires a three-month waiting period before the parties can sign off on the deal. Should the three countries not reach a deal until September or later, the incoming President of Mexico would have to sign off on it after he takes office. Lighthizer says Canada may be the sticking point in reaching a new NAFTA agreement. “My hope is that we’ll have a quick resolution with Mexico, and, as a result of that, Canada may come in more willing to compromise,” Lighthizer said in testimony. The current Mexican Economy Minister says it is possible they will reach a deal with the U.S. in August. The chief NAFTA negotiator for the incoming government says he’s more “cautiously optimistic” about the direction of the talks.

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Senate Stalls on Farm Bill Conference

The Senate left Washington on Thursday without voting to move the farm bill forward to conference, or even naming conferees. Politico says those were two goals that Ag Chair Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow wanted to get done before Senators left town. Politico says the delay could be a result of a number of different things, including backdoor, last-minute deals and jostling by Senators who want to get a seat on the conference committee. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he and South Dakota Senator John Thune, who represent key ag states, could be left off the committee if leadership only names five Republicans to the panel. If the lingering issues get worked out over the weekend, the earliest the Senate could vote would be Monday afternoon. The House left for its summer recess last Thursday. However, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tells the Hagstrom Report that the Senate is expected to vote to go to conference in the coming week.

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Groups Want “Fake Meat” Regulated by USDA

Seven groups that represent meat and poultry producers, as well as processors, wrote a letter to President Trump asking him to place cell-cultured protein products under USDA regulation. The meat industry website Meating Place Dot Com says the groups want these products held to the same high standards for food safety and labeling that meat and poultry are held to under the USDA regulatory system. In the letter, the groups say, “Cell-cultured products that purport to be meat or poultry should be subject to the same comprehensive inspection system that governs amenable meat and poultry products to ensure that they are wholesome and safe for public consumption.” The groups also want the products regulated in a way that ensures they are labeled and marketed in a manner that levels the playing field in the marketplace. The groups also say that the Food and Drug Administration tried to assert itself as the primary regulator of cell-cultured products at a public meeting the USDA was excluded from. The groups say that is inconsistent with meat and poultry inspection statutes, as well as a White House Agency reorganization plan that consolidates food safety inspection duties into a single USDA agency.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-27-18 USDA to Survey County Small Grains Acreage

USDA to Survey County Small Grains Acreage

LAKEWOOD, COLORADO –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will survey producers in 32 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, for its County Agricultural Production Survey (CAPS).

The survey will collect information on total acres planted and harvested, and total yield and production of small grains crops down to the county level. CAPS will provide the data needed to estimate acreage and production of selected crops in the United States.

“The data provided by producers will help federal and state programs support the farmer,” said Bill Meyer, director of the NASS Mountain Region Field Office. “I hope every single producer understands the importance of these data and will take the time to respond if they receive this survey. Producers lose out when there is no data to determine accurate rates for loans, disaster payments, crop insurance price elections and more. When enough producers do not respond to surveys, NASS is not able to publish data. Without data, agencies such as USDA’s Risk Management Agency or Farm Service Agency do not have information on which to base the programs that serve those same producers” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 27th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, July 27th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

European Union Agrees to Buy More U.S. Soybeans

President Donald Trump and European Union leaders announced they’ve agreed to work toward “zero tariffs” and “zero subsidies” on a wide range of non-automobile goods. The sides will also work to resolve U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum which are hitting the European markets hard. In a news conference on Wednesday, the President said the EU has agreed to buy “a lot of soybeans” and increase imports of natural gas from the U.S. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (Zhean Claude-Yunker) says the two countries have agreed to hold off on implementing any more tariffs while they work to avoid a crippling trade dispute. An Associated Press article quotes the President as saying it was a “very big day for free and fair trade.” Trump says they will “resolve the steel and aluminum tariffs and the retaliatory tariffs.” He says America does have some of its own retaliatory tariffs that will be resolved as a part of the trade talks. Juncker says he came to America to make a deal, which they’ve done. “We’ve identified a number of areas to work together on, including working toward zero tariffs on industrial goods,” Juncker says. As American soybean farmers have struggled in recent months, Juncker says the EU can buy more soybeans and will immediately do so.  

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NAFTA Back in the Spotlight

The Mexican negotiating team is back in Washington to continue the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation after talks among the U.S., Mexico, and Canada stalled two months ago. The Mexican Economy Minister will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for the first time since the Mexican presidential election on July first to formally restart the talks. A source close to the talks tells Politico there’s hope that the U.S. might have a new position in the talks. “It wouldn’t make sense to restart the talks if there’s no change in position,” the source says. A big part of this week’s meeting between the U.S. and Mexico will be to see if the U.S. “has found a way to work through the challenges with Mexico.” There is some skepticism that may be the case. A vice president with the National Trade Council doesn’t see how (Trade Rep) Lighthizer will back down, saying “he’s been pretty consistent on the poison pill issues.” Mexico and Canada both shut down the idea on Wednesday that the NAFTA renegotiation could be split into two bilateral deals with the U.S. in spite of President Trump’s repeated comments that the U.S. could reach a deal with Mexico first.

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Ag Committee Leaders Meet to Discuss Farm Bill

Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts, Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, House Ag Chair Michael Conaway, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson met today about the farm bill conference. The meeting took place even though the Senate hasn’t voted to go to conference. The Hagstrom Report says, “The Big Four,” as they’re sometimes called, issued a brief joint statement that didn’t mention any of the major differences between the two bills. The biggest differences between the two bills are the work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and payment limits. The statement says, “We look forward to working together to get a farm bill done as quickly as possible and we’re committed to finding solutions to resolve the differences. We must keep working to provide American farmers and families with the certainty and predictability they need and deserve.” An aide involved in the talks say the four have agreed to weekly phone calls, have begun discussing when they can meet in August and are committed to having a new farm bill in place by September 30.

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USDA Preparing Alternative to WHO Antibiotic Guidelines

USDA officials are reportedly developing an alternative set of guidelines on antibiotic use in animal agriculture, rather than abide by those developed at the World Health Organization. The WHO recommendations first came out last November, proposing to end the use of medically important antibiotics in healthy animals to promote growth and prevent disease. The agency wanted the drugs only used in sick animals, or in healthy animals that were being raised near infected animals. WHO also wants a complete ban on using antibiotics in animals that are used to treat humans. The agency’s goal is to keep the drugs as effective as possible for human use. USDA rejected those findings, saying it should have a broader role in developing the guidelines. A Bloomberg report quotes a USDA official as saying the WHO policies “are not in alignment with U.S. policy and not supported by sound science.” The report says USDA officials are working on a series of guidelines that Bloomberg says aren’t as stringent as the WHO recommendations. A draft of the USDA guidelines allows antibiotics to be used in healthy animals for disease prevention and offers potential uses to promote animal growth, which is currently illegal in the U.S.  

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Study: Farmers Will Buy Less Crop Insurance if it Costs More

Crop insurance critics have said for a long time that it’s such a vital product that a rise in premium rates will have no impact on farmer participation. A peer-reviewed study says such claims may be convenient for special interest groups hoping to weaken the risk-management tool by making it more expensive. However, those claims aren’t correct. Dr. Josh Woodard of Cornell University says, “crop insurance would likely respond fairly quickly to large cuts.” Woodard’s work was recently published in the Journal of Risk and Insurance. He says crop insurance demand is clearly responsive to price. That’s been proven by a rise in participation following Congressional actions over the years to provide premium support instead of ad hoc disaster payments. “Crop insurance is already expensive, but participation is necessary to obtain new loans to invest in new technologies and conservation practices,” Woodard says. “Significantly cutting this support would not only hinder farmers ability to run sustainable operations, it will push many farmers out of crop insurance and out of the business.” The findings are quite a bit different from past studies which assumed that crop insurance demand would be unresponsive to price changes.

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Farm Bureau Recognizes Boot Camp Graduates

The American Farm Bureau Federation recognized the 15 farm and ranch women leaders that graduated from the organization’s 12th annual Women’s Communications Boot Camp. The graduates completed an intensive three-day course which included hands-on sessions on public speaking, working with the media, and messaging. “It’s gratifying to see the increased confidence of these women leaders as they sharpen their skills for sharing messages about agriculture,” says Sherry Saylor, an Arizona row crop farmer and Chair of the AFB Women’s Leadership Committee. “Boot Camp graduates are more persuasive and effective in connecting with influencers at the local, state, and national level.” The AFB Women’s Leadership Committee partners with Farm Bureau staff to provide training for the Women’s Communications Boot Camp. This is the 12th year of the program, which has more than 180 graduates. It’s open to all women in the Farm Bureau. There is an application process used to select each year’s participants.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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07-26-18 NCGA: Volunteers Come Together to Grow, Share Passion at CommonGround Connect Conference

NCGA: Volunteers Come Together to Grow, Share Passion at CommonGround Connect Conference

Farm women volunteers involved in the CommonGround outreach program, along with state and national staff, met in Chicago, Ill., to share their experiences with the program and welcome new members earlier this week. Over the course of two days, the participants worked intensively to gain insight in consumer questions and hone the skills that they use to share their personal story and that of modern farming with urban and suburban moms.

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07-26-18 CDA: Tour Highlights Severe Drought Hitting Colorado

CDA: Tour Highlights Severe Drought Hitting Colorado

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – On Monday, July 23, 2018, Colorado agricultural leaders, including Lt. Governor Donna Lynne and Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown, attended a “Drought Impacts Tour” designed to highlight the challenges Southwest Colorado farmers and ranchers are facing given the continuing drought and recent fires.
The tour by the Colorado Drought Task Force was comprised of representatives from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, and Local Affairs and Public Safety. The intent of the tour was to assess conditions. hear directly from those most impacted by the persistent drought and wildfires, and become informed on how the State can help with both response and recovery.
“The Drought Tour offered us the opportunity to see first-hand the impact the exceptionally dry conditions have had on soils and crops. Colorado farmers and ranchers are often faced with challenges outside of their control such as the economy, market prices, and drought.  Right now, we are facing all three and if there is something we, as a state, can do to help them through these tough times, it’s important that we look into it,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Don Brown.

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