08-24-18 Camp Rocky: A Big Success

The range management group displays their instructional book on range management: Range and Pasture Management Source Unit for Colorado Teachers.

Camp Rocky: A Big Success

Ben Berlinger, Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management Youth Activities Chair

Camp Rocky 2018 was held on July 8-14 at the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp near Divide, CO.  This year there were 30 high school students participating from all parts of Colorado.  The range management group had 9 students participating.  This year’s curriculum consisted of three major disciplines: Range Management, Soil and Water Conservation, and Wildlife Management.  The range management group instructors were Dan Nosal and Ben Berlinger, who also represented the Colorado Section SRM (CSSRM).  Beth Fortman, Ciara Ahrens, and Jeff Goats, from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) were instructors for the soil and water discipline.  Marina Osier, NRCS Partners Biologist, Ty Woodward, Private Lands Wildlife Biologist, and Tim Kroening, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, were the instructors for the fish and wildlife curriculum this year. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, August 24th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, August 24th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Payments Expected After Labor Day

The Department of Agriculture expects to send payments to farmers after the Labor Day holiday as part of a trade relief package. The $12 billion package is intended for farmers who have been affected by foreign tariffs on U.S. farm products, all in retaliation to President Trump’s trade agenda. A USDA spokesperson confirmed to the Hagstrom Report the department is “on track” to remit payments after Labor Day, but declined to offer further details of the plan, which was expected to be announced by the end of the week. USDA maintains that the agency is “currently engaged” in the federal rulemaking process, and Agri-Pulse reported this week the relief package was under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Preliminary reports suggest the proposed payment rate for soybeans would be $1.65 per bushel, while corn growers would get only one cent per bushel.

Canada Next for NAFTA

A trade official from Mexico is hopeful to bring Canada back into the North American Free Trade Agreement talks to reach a three-way agreement, as early as next week. The comments come as the U.S. and Mexico were close to a “handshake” agreement Thursday, helping calm some anxieties for agriculture amidst the global trade turmoil. Politico reports that the top trade negotiator for Mexico’s President-elect says reaching an agreement in principle between the U.S., Mexico and Canada next week “is an objective, a target.” The trade official told reporters he “wouldn’t bet (his) right hand,” but added: “I’d bet money” on reaching an all parties “handshake” agreement.  Canada has not joined the talks over the last month, as the U.S. and Mexico were working towards a preliminary agreement. Many issues over the last month were strictly between the U.S. and Mexico. Canada and the U.S. have outstanding issues to resolve, quickly, if the Mexican official is correct. Those issues include dairy access and approval of certain U.S.-Mexico provisions.

China, U.S. Trade War Deepens with More Tariffs

The U.S. and China began rolling out more tariffs against each other this week as part of the tit-for-tat trade wat between the two nations. The U.S. will collect an additional 25 percent in duties on Chinese imports ranging from motorcycles to steam turbines and railway cars, and the Chinese retaliation will see a similarly sized tax on items including coal, medical instruments, waste products, and cars and buses, according to Bloomberg. The growing lists of tariffs continues to propel the U.S. and China further into a massive trade war, which is already seen as a hindrance to U.S. agriculture. A meeting this week between officials from China and the U.S. does show signs of further discussions on the horizon. Still, Moody’s Investors Service expects tensions between the U.S. and China to worsen this year, with most of the impact of trade restrictions to be felt in 2019.

8,000 Glyphosate Lawsuits Await Bayer

The California verdict against Monsanto has opened the door for what is estimated as 8,000 lawsuits against Monsanto, now being absorbed by Bayer. On a call with analysts and reporters, Bayer CEO Werner Baumann said the number of plaintiffs in both state and federal litigation was approximately 8,000 as of the end of July. Bayer acquired Monsanto in June and had previously tallied 5,200 lawsuits against Monsanto. The CEO says the number of cases “is not indicative of the merits of the plaintiffs’ cases.” Bayer shares have lost more than ten percent since the California verdict ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in a lawsuit over glyphosate, the ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. Experts say that the lawsuit opened the door for thousands of other similar cases. Bayer contends that the jury’s verdict is the opposite of science-based conclusions of regulators and the company will “vigorously defend this case and all upcoming cases.”

Brazil to Plant Record Soy Crop for 2018/19

Farmers from Brazil are expected to plant another record soybean crop. This would be the 12th consecutive year that Brazil plants a record land area of soybeans, amid strong demand from Asia. Reuters reports that Brazil is likely to expand the area to a record 36.28 million hectares, the equivalent to 89.65 million acres, this season, which farmers will start planting around September. The expected planted area represents a 3.2 percent expansion from the previous growing cycle. A Rabobank analyst says the trade war between the U.S. and China is supporting Brazilian soybean prices in the export markets and could be a contributing factor to the increase. Brazil, the world’s largest soybean exporter, is expected to collect an estimated 119.76 million metric tons of the crop in the next growing cycle, up 0.65 percent from the last growing season.

AFBF Exec Named North American Meat Institute CEO

The North American Meat Institute this week named Julie Anna Potts its next president and CEO effective September 24, 2018. Potts succeeds retiring President and CEO Barry Carpenter. Potts has served the American Farm Bureau Federation since 2011 as its executive vice president and treasurer. She first joined AFBF in 2004, serving as general counsel until 2009. In late 2009, she was named chief counsel of the Senate Agriculture Committee, serving under then-Chairman Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. The North American Meat Institute is the nation’s oldest and largest trade association representing packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal, turkey and processed meat products. Member companies account for more than 95 percent of United States output of those products. The Meat Institute provides regulatory, scientific, legislative, public relations and educational services to the meat and poultry packing and processing industry.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service