07-02-18 Livestock Groups Urge Swift Passage of ESA Amendments of 2018

Livestock Groups Urge Swift Passage of ESA Amendments of 2018

WASHINGTON (July 2, 2018) – The Public Lands Council (PLC), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), and the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) today urged swift passage of the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018. The amendments, introduced today by Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, are based on the Western Governor Association Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative bipartisan policy recommendations. In a letter of support, PLC President Dave Eliason, NCBA President Kevin Kester, and ASI President Mike Corn stated:
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07-02-18 CEP executive director voted vice chairman of Colorado Ag Council

CEP executive director voted vice chairman of Colorado Ag Council

Bill Scebbi
Colorado Egg Producers
Executive Director

Colorado Egg Producer (CEP) Association Executive Director Bill Scebbi was recently voted to serve as the vice chairman of the Colorado Agriculture Council — a collaboration of statewide agriculture organizations that represent and serve Colorado agriculture producers.

The Ag Council meets regularly while the Colorado General Assembly and acts as a forum for discussion and review of issues important and being considered by its member organizations.
In addition to acting as a forum, the Ag Council also is active in the community including sponsorship of the Colorado Ag Water Alliance (CAWA), the organization and execution of National Agriculture Week activities at the State Capitol and providing annual financial and in-kind donations to area food banks and their agencies.

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07-02-18 CO Corn: CU Engineering Students Exceeding Expectations with Ethanol

CO CORN: CU Engineering Students Exceeding Expectations with Ethanol

JULY 2, 2018 [Greeley, CO] – What happens when a group of college students collide with a bunch of corn farmers? The results are an innovative race car that runs on fuel made from corn!

For the second year, Colorado Corn Administrative Committee sponsored the University of Colorado-Denver’s Lynx Motorsports race team with their ethanol powered car. Over a dozen students from the college of Mechanical Engineering worked on the design and mechanics of the car. From the engine to the brakes, and from the timing to the fuel injection, months were spent building a race car. A few members from the team even attended a special mechanics event featuring guest speaker Dr. Andy Randolph, a world renowned combustion engine expert. Continue reading

07-02-18 American Farmland Trust’s 10th Annual Farmers Market Celebration

American Farmland Trust’s 10th Annual Farmers Market Celebration: A summer-long campaign to promote the people and places that bring us local food

Washington, D.C., July 2, 2018 – Today, American Farmland Trust announces the launch of its tenth annual Farmers Market Celebration, set to run through September 21. The Celebration is a national effort to promote the importance of family farmers and farmers’ markets, while also raising awareness about the loss of America’s farmland.

There is no better way to nourish ourselves and celebrate the people that nourish our communities than by supporting your local farmers market. That’s why for our tenth summer, AFT’s Farmers Market Celebration encourages market shoppers, family farmers, community activists, and anyone who believes in the power of local food to endorse their favorite market in four categories:  Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 2nd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, July 2nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Groups React to Senate Farm Bill Passage

The nation’s Ag groups reacted positively to the Senate passing its version of the 2018 Farm Bill, but all said there is still a lot of work to do. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says his group is pleased by the outcome, saying, “Family farmers and ranchers are in need of some certainty. The Senate’s version of the Farm Bill includes several encouraging provisions.” American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall is pleased that the final farm bill is one step closer to the finish line. “It was time for some good news and the Senate delivered it in a bipartisan fashion,” Duvall says. “While we do have some concerns, no bill is perfect, but this bipartisan effort gives us a solid framework for progress.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says this is another step forward for the 2018 Farm Bill. “Much work remains to address the priorities of cattle producers,” says NCBA President Kevin Kester. “The House version of the bill contains more provisions of critical importance to cattle producers than the Senate version does.” Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts says Congress is one step closer to providing producers with the certainty and predictability they deserve. Ag Committee member Chuck Grassley of Iowa says the bill gives American farmers a number of victories, including funding programs to promote American agricultural products overseas to increase exports.

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NCBA Responds to Canada Tariff Hikes on U.S. Beef Imports

Canada has announced it will place higher tariffs on U.S. beef imports starting on Sunday, July 1. Kent Bacus is the NCBA Director of International Trade and Market Access, and he says Canada has finally followed through on actions it’s been threatening for months. “Canada has followed through on a threat to slap a tariff on $170 million worth of U.S. beef products in direct response to the steel and aluminum tariffs,” he said. “Now, they’ve made good on that threat. These retaliatory tariffs are clearly still avoidable. The unfortunate casualties will be Canadian consumers, as well as American cattlemen and cattlewomen.” He adds that the NCBA may not know the extent of the damage done to American producers, but the NCBA says cooperation is a better path forward than escalation. Bacus adds, “As Canadians gather to celebrate Canada Day and we prepare to celebrate American Independence, we encourage our government and the Canadian government to remember that we are allies and we rely on each other for future economic prosperity.” 

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Soybeans Overtake Corn in USDA Acreage Report

Soybean planted acreage topped corn for the first time since 1983 as the USDA released its Planted Acreage Report on Friday. Soybean acreage is 89.6 million acres. That’s actually one percent lower than last year as planted acres are either down or unchanged in 14 of the 31 biggest soybean states. Corn acres are also down one percent from last year, coming in at 89.1 million acres. Corn acres are down or unchanged in 31 of the 48 states in the USDA survey. All wheat acres are up four percent from last year, coming in at 47.8 million acres. Cotton acres are estimated at 13.5 million, seven percent higher than in 2017. USDA also released its Quarterly Grain and Oilseed Stocks Report on Friday. It showed a lot of soybeans in storage, coming in at 1.22 billion bushels, 26 percent higher than last year. On-farm soybean stocks were 13 percent higher than last year, while off-farm stocks were 33 percent higher. Corn stocks were estimated at 5.3 billion bushels, one percent higher than the same time in 2017. More corn has moved off the farm as the current on-farm stocks were three percent lower than last year. Old crop all-wheat stocks came in at 1.1 billion bushels, seven percent lower than in 2017.

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Meat Companies Accused of Artificially Inflating Pork Prices

A class action lawsuit is accusing Hormel, Tyson Foods, and other meatpacking companies of artificially raising the price of hot dogs, bacon, and other pork products with the help of a company called Agri Stats, an info-sharing service. A Bloomberg report says the complaint was filed by a group of meat buyers in a Minnesota court on Thursday. The complaint accuses the meat packers of conspiring with the service to exchange “detailed, competitively sensitive, and closely-guarded non-public information.” The buyers claim that the scheme boosted prices by more than 50 percent. The “year-average” price in the hog market was $76.30 in 2015, after being at or below $50 annually from 1998-2009. Hormel Foods issues a statement saying, “Hormel Foods is a 127-year-old global branded food company with a reputation as one of the most respected companies in the food industry. We are confident that these allegations are completely without merit and intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit.” A Tyson spokesman says they haven’t seen a copy of the lawsuit so they’re unable to comment on it.

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Pork Industry Hit from All Sides

The pork industry is holding some of its highest inventory of hogs and pigs since the USDA began recording the data back in 1964. That’s according the to the Hogs and Pigs Report that came out Thursday. Politico says pork checkoff experts struggled to find a bright spot for hog producers in the months ahead. “We’re looking at an awful lot of hogs and an awful lot of pork,” says Dr. Ron Plain of the University of Missouri. “We’re going to look ahead to a considerable number of months with red ink going forward.” Other experts say this is a prolonged downturn, but not the sharp “V” bottom that the market saw in 1998. The pork industry is already suffering the effects of recent trade decisions, starting with President Donald Trump’s move to pull the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before continuing with Chinese tariffs. “You certainly don’t want to lose those markets at a time like this when we have record pork supplies and prices are under real pressure,” Plain adds.

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N.C. Legislature Overrides Veto of Farm Protection Bill

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper recently vetoed a bill that would make it difficult to sue large livestock operations. A Farm Journal report says the bill would make it more difficult to sue those operations over odor, declining property values, and other nuisance issues. The North Carolina legislature overrode the governor’s veto of the bill, the 16th of 23 total vetoes the legislature has shot down. Brent Jackson, the bill’s primary sponsor, says overriding the veto tells family farmers and ranchers that they have a clear voice in the state legislature. “This general assembly intends to give them the respect they deserve,” Jackson says. Republican legislators introduced the nuisance language in Senate Bill 711 earlier this month despite opposition that included members of their own party. Backers said the language was necessary to fend off more lawsuits like the 26 cases filed against Murphy Brown, LLC, the hog farming operation of Smithfield Foods. Despite the passage of the law, it won’t affect the cases currently filed against Murphy Brown. As a side note, another provision in the bill prevents soy, almond, coconut, and other plant-based milk suppliers from labeling their products “milk” in North Carolina.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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