07-24-18 White House Announces Trade Aid for Farmers, National Farmers Union Urges Long-Term Solution

White House Announces Trade Aid for Farmers

National Farmers Union Urges Long-Term Solution

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration today announced a $12 billion plan to provide emergency aid to farmers amidst an escalating trade war with China and other trading partners. The plan will include direct assistance, a food purchase and distribution program, and a trade promotion program.

National Farmers Union (NFU), the nation’s second largest general farm organization, urged the administration to do more to provide a long-term fix to the long-term damage of the trade war. The group supports the president’s efforts to improve fair trade relationships with trading partners, yet has grown weary of the administration’s go-it-alone, bull-in-a-china-shop approach.

NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the announcement:

072418 Trade Aid WH Announcement

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07-24-18 US Senator Bennet Statement on President Trump’s Assistance to Farmers…

Bennet Statement on President Trump’s Assistance to Farmers

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today issued the following statement after the Department of Agriculture announced it would give $12 billion to U.S. farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs:

“This solution is as insane as the policy that got us into this mess. Our farmers and ranchers want to compete and grow in the global economy. The President’s incoherent trade policy continues to lead to missed opportunities. President Trump cannot fix this self-inflicted crisis with a $12 billion slush fund.”


07-24-18 Governor Hickenlooper asks Colorado’s congressional delegation to preserve the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Governor asks Colorado’s congressional delegation to preserve the Land and Water Conservation Fund

DENVER — Tuesday, July 24, 2018 — Gov. John Hickenlooper sent the attached letter to Colorado’s congressional delegation, asking them to push for full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF was established in 1964 to conserve parks, open space and wildlife habitat and to enhance recreational opportunities through the development of outdoor amenities. It is set to expire at the end of September. The governor believes the LWCF plays a significant role in preserving Colorado’s recreational and outdoors heritage.

“The LWCF has proven vital for serving the increasing need for outdoor recreation opportunities in Colorado,” writes Governor John Hickenlooper. “Loss of the LWCF risks dealing a considerable blow to the state’s outdoor recreation industry which depends upon increasing public recreational access to the outdoors.”

View the letter here.



07-24-18 USDA Assists Farmers Impacted by Unjustified Retaliation

USDA Assists Farmers Impacted by Unjustified Retaliation

(Washington, D.C., July 24, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally.  Specifically, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated $11 billion impact of the unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods. These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets.

“This is a short-term solution to allow President Trump time to work on long-term trade deals to benefit agriculture and the entire U.S. economy,” Secretary Perdue said.  “The President promised to have the back of every American farmer and rancher, and he knows the importance of keeping our rural economy strong. Unfortunately, America’s hard-working agricultural producers have been treated unfairly by China’s illegal trading practices and have taken a disproportionate hit when it comes illegal retaliatory tariffs.  USDA will not stand by while our hard-working agricultural producers bear the brunt of unfriendly tariffs enacted by foreign nations. The programs we are announcing today help ensure our nation’s agriculture continues to feed the world and innovate to meet the demand.”

Background: Of the total unjustified retaliatory tariffs imposed on the United States, a disproportionate amount was targeted directly at American farmers. Trade damage from such retaliation has impacted a host of U.S. commodities, including field crops like soybeans and sorghum, livestock products like milk and pork, and many fruits, nuts, and other specialty crops. High tariffs disrupt normal marketing patterns, affecting prices and raising costs by forcing commodities to find new markets. Additionally, there is evidence that American goods shipped overseas are being slowed from reaching market by unusually strict or cumbersome entry procedures, which can affect the quality and marketability of perishable crops.  This can boost marketing costs and discount our prices, and adversely affect our producers.  USDA will use the following programs to assist farmers:

  • The Market Facilitation Program, authorized under The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) Charter Act and administered by Farm Service Agency (FSA), will provide payments incrementally to producers of soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy, and hogs. This support will help farmers manage disrupted markets, deal with surplus commodities, and expand and develop new markets at home and abroad.
  • Additionally, USDA will use CCC Charter Act and other authorities to implement a Food Purchase and Distribution Program through the Agricultural Marketing Service to purchase unexpected surplus of affected commodities such as fruits, nuts, rice, legumes, beef, pork and milk for distribution to food banks and other nutrition programs.
  • Finally, the CCC will use its Charter Act authority for a Trade Promotion Program administered by the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) in conjunction with the private sector to assist in developing new export markets for our farm products.


07-24-18 Inside CEP with NestFresh’s Brandy Gamoning: August is CO Proud Month

NestFresh HeaderInside the BARN with NestFresh’s Brandy Gamoning: August is CO Proud Month

Brandy Gamoning

Briggsdale, CO – July 24, 2018 – August is Colorado Proud Month and joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio inside The BARN with more about the celebration from the egg industry’s perspective is Brandy Gamoning, Marketing Manager at NestFresh, and a member of the Colorado Egg Producers


To learn more about NestFresh please visit http://www.nestfresh.com/

To learn more about the Colorado Egg Producers please visit http://www.coloradoeggproducers.com/

And to learn more about August – Colorado Proud Month visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agmarkets/colorado-proud

07-24-18 Farm Foundation: Workshop to examine challenges for economic analysis of antibiotic use in food animals Sep 6-7

Workshop to examine challenges for economic analysis of antibiotic use in food animals
WASHINGTON, D.C. July 23, 2018: Challenges to changing antibiotic use in food animal production and the associated economics, data and policy issues will be the focus of a workshop Sept. 6-7, 2018, at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, July 24th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, July24th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Senate to Hold Trade Hearing This Week

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will be the only witness to give testimony during a hearing this week before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. Lighthizer is one of the key Trump administration members at the center of the president’s trade strategy that’s led to retaliatory tariffs from China, Mexico, Canada, the European Union, and others. Many of those tariffs are hitting the farm sector extremely hard and provoking ag groups and farm-state lawmakers to become much more vocal in their opposition to Trump’s tariffs. The opposition is growing after Trump repeated a threat to add even more tariffs to Chinese goods. He told CNBC that he’s “ready to go to $500 billion.” The U.S. originally hit China with $34 billion in tariffs back in July, but then added another $200 billion to that after China matched the first $34 billion. The escalation was combined with White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro’s complete disregard for the damage the tariffs are doing to the ag economy, drawing sharp responses from ag leaders. Navarro told CNBC that the trade losses due to Chinese tariffs amounted to a “rounding error.”


Republicans Introduce New Immigration Bill in House

Republicans in the House of Representatives have introduced a new immigration bill that they say will benefit agriculture. A Pro Farmer report says the Agriculture and Legal Workforce Act would take the place of the current H-2A visa program. It would require farmers, as well as all employers, to use the E-Verify Program to make sure that all their workers are in the United States legally. The new bill actually includes some of the same provisions that were in a broader GOP immigration bill that was voted down recently in the House. The bill would authorize up to 450,000 H-2C visas annually, which would be good for three years. There is some controversial language in the new bill that would require those workers to have health insurance. A press release from the House Judiciary Committee says the H-2C program would be available to temporary and year-round agricultural employers. The release also says the bill provides generous visa allocations to ensure that labor needs are met, gives needed flexibility to avoid farm disruptions, eliminates regulatory burdens, and provides effective means of enforcement and monitoring.


Farm Bill in Senate’s Court

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are expected to appoint their members of the farm bill conference committee this week. Politico says the upper chamber will need to clear some procedural hurdles on the floor before that can officially happen. During the last farm bill debate, 12 senators, including seven from the majority and five from the minority, were appointed to the committee. The task ahead will be to reconcile differences with the House version of the farm bill. These are the final steps before the farm bill reconciliation process can officially get going. The challenge is that House lawmakers leave for the August recess after this week. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway says that even though he won’t be in Washington, he’ll stay in touch with staff members working on reconciling the two versions of the farm bill. McConnell has actually canceled most of the August recess for the Senate, so most of the chamber’s members will be in town for the bulk of the negotiations.


University of Missouri Reports 1.1 Million Acres of Dicamba Damage

University weed scientists from farm country estimate that 1.1 million acres of soybeans have been accidentally damaged by dicamba in spite of stricter usage limits. Those are the latest findings from a University of Missouri report. Damage was highest in the number one soybean-growing state, Illinois, where 500,000 of those 1.1 million damaged acres are located. Arkansas was second with an estimated 300,000 acres. By way of comparison, an agriculture dot com article says there were 2.5 million acres of soybean damage reported at this point in 2017. Agronomy Professor Bob Hartzler of Iowa State University says state officials have received 121 complaints of herbicide drift, compared to 82 complaints in early July of 2017. Hartzler wrote that “The significant increase in pesticide misuse cases during the first part of the growing season indicates a pesticide stewardship problem.” The Environmental Protection Agency gave a two-year license to dicamba, so the agency will soon need to revisit the decision on allowing the use of dicamba.


Large Livestock Loan Drive Rise in Farm Lending

The Federal Reserve’s Agricultural Finance Databook says lending activity in the agricultural sector increased slightly in the second quarter of 2018. The overall number of non-real estate farm loans was roughly two percent higher than at the same time in 2017. The slight increase was supported primarily by larger loans for livestock. In the short term, The Kansas City Fed says higher livestock prices were likely responsible for the increased size of livestock loans, at least in the short term. Looking longer term, the size of livestock loans has been trending higher, suggesting that farm consolidation has contributed to fewer and larger farms with larger lending needs. Increased lending for farming operations comes as the overall risk in the ag sector is increasing. Adjusted for inflation, livestock loans reached a historical high point in the second quarter, while the volume of farm machinery and equipment loans shrank to the lowest second-quarter level in three years. Expectations of larger supplies and trade disputes have contributed to sharp declines in most of the major commodity prices through the month of June.  


Continued Drought Could Lead to Cattle Culling in Southern States

A Texas A & M AgriLife Extension expert says southern beef producers should be planning ahead when it comes to the size of their herds, should the drought continue. Jason Banta says a shortage of forage and hay might mean producers would need to reduce their herd sizes. A plan to cull their herds could save producers money in both the short term and long term. There wasn’t a lot of hay carryover from last year. Because of the drought, this year’s first alfalfa cutting, which is typically one of the best, was below average. The second cutting was also below normal in both quantity and quality. Hay stocks are also low in several other states like Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri. Banta says producers should adjust their stocking rates to avoid overgrazing pastures. “It’s probably a good idea to have plans on how to reduce herd numbers to save some forage supplies and reduce the need for hay in the winter,” Banta says. He adds that producers should also be mindful of cow body condition, as keeping weight on easier than recovering lost pounds. Banta also says producers may want to wean calves one to two months earlier than normal to help keep cows in better shape going into winter.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service