08-22-18 Colorado State Fair Opens this Friday!

Colorado State Fair Opens this Friday!

Now With Free Parking Shuttle, 11-Day Celebration Kicks Off With PRCA Rodeo And Oak Ridge Boys Concert

PUEBLO, Colo. – The Colorado State Fair, the summer’s biggest party, kicks off on Friday, and you can ride there on the Pueblo Transit Courtesy Shuttle for free!

This year’s Fair starts with PRCA Rodeo and a concert by The Oak Ridge Boys Friday night, as well as free attractions like surfing dogs, a Stilt Circus, the kid’s pedal tractor pull, lots of free music and more. Concerts this year include comedian LARRY THE CABLE GUY and music by Old Dominion and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. You can see the full lineup at www.ColoradoStateFair.com. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, August 23rd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, August 23rd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Expected to Announce Trade Relief Package Friday

The Department of Agriculture is expected to release further details of its trade relief package Friday. The aid package previously announced by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue will provide $12 billion in assistance to farmers hurt by President Trump’s trade agenda. Agri-Pulse reports that sources involved with the process say the payment rate for soybean farmers has been preliminarily proposed at $1.65 per bushel and one cent per bushel for corn farmers. However, further details regarding the plan have not been released officially, or leaked, leaving the industry in a phase of wonder.  USDA would not confirm or deny the proposed payment rates to Agri-Pulse. A USDA spokesperson told Agri-Pulse the department will not confirm the information because “it is based on preliminary information, is incomplete, and lacks context.” The proposed payment rates are subject to change as the plan is under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Mexico, U.S., Expected to Announce NAFTA Agreement Thursday

A handshake between Mexico and the United States is expected today (Thursday) on the North American Free Trade Agreement. Politico reports the Trump administration is planning to formally announce a breakthrough with Mexico on the talks, which could pave the way for Canada to resume negotiations with the United States. The announcement is “on the schedule,” however, plans can, and often do, change in negotiations. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office maintains there “is no deal on NAFTA,” adding “there are major issues outstanding.” But, the White House could announce a “handshake deal,” that would be an effort to move forward with the talks beyond issues only between the U.S. and Mexico. Getting any agreement with Mexico would be positive for U.S. agriculture, as it would offer some market stability and a certain future, much needed as Mexico is a top buyer of U.S. corn. However, NAFTA is just one piece of the Trump trade puzzle that the industry wants solved quickly.

Farm Bill Conference Meeting Date Set

The farm bill conference committee will meet September 5th, according to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts. Roberts will chair the farm bill conference. The conference is set for one day after lawmakers return from the Labor Day Recess. Roberts also says committee staff members have made progress on the differences in the two bills on conservation, but not on other issues, according to E&E News. Typical first public meetings, as this one, are simply speech-filled affairs. Much of the work of the committee is expected to take place within closed-door meetings. The conference committee must find a bill that can pass both the House and Senate. But, with the House work requirements included, and with a ratio of Representative and Senators favoring the House, the biggest obstacle will be getting a bill that can pass the Senate. The Senate version of the bill does not include the controversial work requirement for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants.

Federal Proposal includes Flexibility for Livestock Haulers

A federal proposal regarding motor carrier rules could mean greater flexibility for farmers, ranchers and truckers. The American Farm Bureau Federation says the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers “an important proposal” that recognizes the difficulties inherent in moving farm commodities and livestock. AFBF’s Andrew Walmsley considers the proposal a “first step” to consider options for flexibility in hours-of-service rules. The federal agency is seeking public comment on revising current Hours of Service regulations, which limit the hours drivers may be on the road. The comment period will be open for 30 days. Walmsley says the agency must address motorist safety along with “the health and welfare of animals being transported.” The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association calls the proposal a “positive step,” but adds that more specific changes that “address the unique realities of the livestock hauling industry” are still needed.

Canada Expecting High-Volume Crop Season

Just as the United States is expected to harvest a bumper crop, according to the latest Department of Agriculture numbers, Canada is expecting a high-volume harvest as well. CNS Canada reports Canadian grain companies are bracing for a high-volume year. Grain companies say this year’s overall crop to be roughly equivalent to those of the past two years, when shipping backlogs were an issue. The Western (Canada) Grain Elevator Association says: “We’re still talking about the new normal here; what is a very large crop in Western Canada.” The U.S. has faced similar rail and shipment issues in the past. Canada has imposed penalties for service failures, but those regulations will not be enacted during the fall shipping season. Grain movement remains” fairly stable,” but the Associations does note that global trade disruptions this year could make the situation less predictable for grain companies trying to assess market risks.

Study: Cool, Calm Cattle Helps Meat, Dairy Production

A recent University of Florida study says cooler, calmer cattle improves overall meat and dairy production. The research focuses on heat stress, and how prevention of heat stress can improve production. The researchers studied 725 Brangus cows – a cross between Brahman and Angus– in south-central Florida, which also is the most common breed in Florida. Researchers found that cows with shorter hair are cooler and more productive and a calm cow also is more productive than an agitated cow. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the findings are expected to have the biggest impact for beef producers in hot, humid environments, specifically in the southeast United States and other sub-tropical and tropical regions around the world. Recent data by Ohio State University estimates that the U.S. livestock industry suffers an annual economic loss of $2.36 billion to heat stress in cattle.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service