08-27-18 USDA Announces Details of Assistance for Farmers Impacted by Unjustified Retaliation

USDA Announces Details of Assistance for Farmers Impacted by Unjustified Retaliation

(Washington, D.C., August 27, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of actions the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation by foreign nations. President Donald J. 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. As announced last month, USDA will authorize up to $12 billion in programs, consistent with our World Trade Organization obligations.

“Early on, the President instructed me, as Secretary of Agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs. After careful analysis by our team at USDA, we have formulated our strategy to mitigate the trade damages sustained by our farmers. Our farmers work hard, and are the most productive in the world, and we aim to protect them,” said Secretary Perdue.

These programs will assist agricultural producers to meet the costs of disrupted markets:

  • USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will administer the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to provide payments to corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat producers starting September 4, 2018. An announcement about further payments will be made in the coming months, if warranted.
  • USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will administer a Food Purchase and Distribution Program to purchase up to $1.2 billion in commodities unfairly targeted by unjustified retaliation. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will distribute these commodities through nutrition assistance programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and child nutrition programs.
  • Through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP), $200 million will be made available to develop foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products. The program will help U.S. agricultural exporters identify and access new markets and help mitigate the adverse effects of other countries’ restrictions.

“President Trump has been standing up to China and other nations, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include non-tariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property. In short, the President has taken action to benefit all sectors of the American economy – including agriculture – in the long run,” said Secretary Perdue. “It’s important to note all of this could go away tomorrow, if China and the other nations simply correct their behavior. But in the meantime, the programs we are announcing today buys time for the President to strike long-lasting trade deals to benefit our entire economy.”

To watch a video message from Secretary Perdue regarding today’s announcement, you may view Secretary Perdue‘s Overview of Trade Mitigation Package or play the video below.

Background on Market Facilitation Program:

Continue reading

08-27-18 Red Angus Association of America and IMI Global Join Forces in Support of Cattle Producers

Red Angus Association of America and IMI Global Join Forces in Support of Cattle Producers

DENVER – An agreement between the Red Angus Association of America and IMI Global, a division of Where Food Comes From, Inc., will provide convenient access into natural and non-hormone treated cattle programs to producers who utilize the Red Angus Feeder Calf Certification Program.

Gary Fike, RAAA director of commercial marketing, said, “IMI Global has long been recognized for its industry-leading work in verifying cattle for Verified Natural and NHTC programs in beef cattle operations. These designations allow producers to market their cattle to feedyards and packers with the assurance that all USDA requirements have been fully satisfied through enrollment and audit processes. Consumers are demanding more information from the production chain about the beef they are eating. This often includes source, age, genetics, humane handling and how cattle are fed and managed.” Continue reading

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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08-22-18 CDA News: Annual Directory Promotes Colorado Hay…

CDA NEW main logo 051414

CDA: Annual Publication Promotes Colorado Hay

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The 2018 Colorado Hay Directory, published by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, is now available.
“With dry conditions in Colorado and across the country, this publication helps connect horse and livestock owners with the hay they need,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “It is a valuable resource for both producers and buyers.” Continue reading

08-22-18 VIDEO: US Senator Bennet, County Commissioners Make Case for San Juan Mountains Bill in Senate Hearing

US Senator Bennet, County Commissioners Make Case for San Juan Mountains Bill in Senate Hearing

B-roll of Bennet’s meeting with the County Commissioners is available HERE.

Photos of Bennet and the County Commissioners are available HERE.

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today testified at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing in support of the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act. San Juan County Commissioner Pete McKay and San Miguel County Commissioner Joan May joined Bennet in Washington for the hearing.

The legislation, first introduced in 2009, would protect approximately 61,000 acres of land located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado. It also would designate some of the state’s most iconic peaks as wilderness areas, including two fourteeners: Mount Sneffels and Wilson Peak. In April 2018, Bennet—joined in Washington by San Miguel County Commissioner Hilary Cooper and her daughter Maia—introduced an updated version of the bill. Bill background, text, and resources are available HERE.

“For nearly a decade, leaders like Hilary, Pete, and Joan have worked through a collaborative, ground-up process to protect key areas in the San Juan Mountains,” Bennet said in today’s hearing. “They’ve spent countless hours bringing together local businesses, ranchers, landowners, and outdoor enthusiasts to make sure the proposal reflects the diverse interests of the region. The result is a balanced piece of legislation.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, August 22nd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, August 22nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Another Poll Shows Farmer Support for Trump Fading

Another poll shows support of President Donald Trump by farmers is declining. A new Farm Journal poll shows that while almost 70 percent of America’s farmers and ranchers voted for Donald Trump in 2016, only 54 percent would vote for him again. Nearly 2,500 farmers participated in the online poll. 51 percent of those participating view the president as favorable, while 43 percent view him unfavorably and five percent view him neither favorable nor unfavorable. When asked if their opinion of President Trump had changed since the start of trade wars, 38 percent of respondents indicated they had no change in their opinion, while 36 percent said their opinion was less favorable and 26 percent said their opinion was more favorable. Even as the 2018 drought in the Midwest continues to cast a shadow over this year’s harvest amidst the tariff battles, some respondent’s comments were positive declaring President Trump the “best president America has ever had” while others are proclaiming him “the worst.”

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Canadians Happy with Trudeau Handling of NAFTA

Canadians are supportive of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s (true-doh) handling of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada is expected to rejoin the talks this week, as the U.S. and Mexico are working to reach an agreement. Meanwhile, a Canadian public opinion research firm, says 56 percent of Canadians approve of Trudeau’s handling of the ongoing NAFTA talks, representing an 11-point increase since December of last year. Just 24 percent disapprove, and 20 percent are unsure. The poll shows a majority of Canadians, 55 percent, want a new NAFTA deal only if there are moderate or minor concessions to the U.S., as few are supportive of a deal that makes major concessions. Public expectations in Canada are largely unchanged since December. Four-in-ten expect the negotiations to produce a revised NAFTA that is either a fair deal or overly favorable to the United States.

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China Hopeful for FTA with Canada

China is hopeful to create a free trade agreement with Canada as tension with the United States grows. China’s ambassador to Canada this week says he hopes to make progress on a free-trade agreement with Canada and others, according to Canada-based Global News. The U.S. and China remain locked in a tit-for-tat trade war and China is seeking options for imports outside the United States. The trade war includes tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, presenting potential harm to U.S. farmers. Free trade talks have also slowed between China and Canada as Canada has insisted on a progressive trade deal that would also cover some labor, environment, gender and governance issues. Officials say there was little progress on issues that are not directly related to trade. Canada has its own tensions with China, as earlier this year Canada blocked a $1.5 billion takeover of a construction firm by a Chinese company, starting a trade deterioration between the two nations.

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Coalition Seeks Reprieve from Order Reviving Flawed WOTUS Rule

The American Farm Bureau Federation Monday asked a federal district court in South Carolina put a hold on an order striking a rule that delayed implementation of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule. The court order has the effect of immediately reviving and implementing the controversial WOTUS rule in 26 states. The 2015 rule has been blocked by other court orders in the remaining 24 states. AFBF and a broad coalition of agriculture groups asked the U.S. District Court of South Carolina to delay implementation of its August 16th order while the groups appeal the court’s decision. According to the filing, the court’s decision to strike the delay rule harms the public interest “because the 2015 WOTUS rule was promulgated in violation of procedural requirements, is inconsistent with the text of the Clean Water Act, and is unconstitutional—as every court to consider the issue has concluded.”

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American Prefer Grocery Stores Over Online Ordering

A Gallup poll shows consumers are slow to migrate to online grocery shopping. The report released last week found 84 percent of adults say the never order groceries online and 89 percent have never ordered meal preparation kits, despite their perceived popularity. Gallop says Americans are much more inclined to simplify mealtime by ordering takeout or by going out to eat. However, nearly all Americans still shop for groceries the old-fashioned way, by going to a store. More than 80 percent of respondents reported visiting a grocery store at least once a week. Only four percent of adults said they order online groceries weekly. Aside from purchasing their own food, presumably to make at home, 45 percent of adults report eating out at a restaurant at least weekly and 31 percent order takeout food.

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Commodity Prices Have Landowners Searching for Additional Income

Low commodity prices have landowners searching for alternative incomes, according to Farmers National Company. The company says this is especially true as farmers head into harvest of the 2018 crops with current prices impacted by trade issues. In some states, landowners have also been facing increased costs due to rising property tax bills. For owners who have the right type of property, the company says they can increase their farm income through a managed hunting lease. The land normally needs some timber, some cropland, water sources such as a stream or pond on the property or nearby, and access. With the right combination of attributes, the landowner can lease their property to a hunter for the year and receive a payment. Farmers National Company has help available to landowners and farmers with the Hunting Lease Network. The network, the company says, can help landowners improve their income and help handle leasing and insurance.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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BARN Media’s Decision 2018 – The Race for CO House District #65- Democrat Bethleen McCall

BARN Media’s Decision 2018The Race for  Colorado House District #65- Democrat Bethleen McCall

The BARN /  FarmCast Radio – BRIGGSDALE, CO – August 21, 2018 – Once again, Election Day will be upon us very soon and CO will be voting for a NEW Representative for Colorado’s House District #65. As part of the BARN’s Decision 2018 series my guest is Democrat Candidate Bethleen McCall

The interview includes the following topics:

  • McCall’s Background  & Family
  • Republican River Compact Administration Issues
  • McCall’s reason for running
  • 65th District Campaign & Stops
  • Endorsements
  • McCall’s Plans if Elected
  • Thoughts on select Ballot Initiatives
  • McCall’s thoughts on: Transportation, Education, TABOR;  Immigration (Illegal & Legal); Sanctuary Policies for Cities/Counties/Colorado; Water; Private Property Rights; Oil, Gas Industries; Renewable Energy (Wind, Solar, Ethanol, Biofuel, Biomass); Hemp Industry & Referendum X
  • Learn more about Bethleen McCall
  • Final Thoughts

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*This is the second part of the series regarding the Race for Colorado’s next House District #65 Representative. Stay tuned for that and for which political race will be featured next here inside the BARN.

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, August 21st

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, August 21st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Rural Mainstreet Index Rises

The Rural Mainstreet Index climbed above growth neutral this month. The monthly survey of bank CEO’s in ten Midwestern states climbed to 54.8 from 53.8 in July. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral. Organizer Ernie Goss of Creighton University says the survey shows expansion of the economy outside of agriculture, but adds “the negative impacts of recent trade skirmishes have begun to surface, weakening already anemic grain prices.” In reaction to weak farm commodity prices and income, almost one-third, or 31.0 percent, of bank CEOs reported rejecting a higher percentage of farm loans. More than half, or 54.8 percent, indicated raising collateral requirements, while 4.8 percent reported reducing the size of farm loans. Meanwhile, the August farm equipment sales sub-index fell to 37.8 from July’s 38.8. This marks the 60th consecutive month the reading has moved below growth neutral 50.0. In terms of the sale of farm equipment over the next 12 months, bankers expect sales to decline by 7.8 percent.

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Beck’s, Stine, Seek Further Dicamba Restrictions

The two biggest independent seed sellers in the United States are seeking a ban of dicamba beyond pre-plant applications. Beck’s Hybrids and Stine Seed told Reuters most complaints about dicamba drifting would stop if the Environmental Protection Agency restricted its use to killing weeds in fields before crops are planted. Last year, drift issues from dicamba herbicides sprayed on resistant fields damaged an estimated 3.6 million acres, or four percent of all U.S. plantings. Last month, the University of Missouri estimated one million acres had been damaged this year. The move would be a competitive blow to Monsanto, which is being absorbed by Bayer, as Monsanto sells a popular dicamba system for growers. Monsanto counters that complaints have dropped this year and that most damage now stems from improper applications. Registration for dicamba on resistant crops with the Environmental Protection Agency expires this fall and the EPA is expected to issue a decision on renewing the registration within weeks. Monsanto expects the EPA will extend the approval.

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Canada May Rejoin NAFTA Talks this Week

Canada could rejoin the North American Free Trade Agreement talks by the end of this week, according to Politico. The move is a positive sign that the U.S. and Mexico could begin wrapping up their end of the deal quickly, paving the way for the U.S. to pivot towards negotiating with Canada. For weeks, Canada has been on the sidelines of the talks as the U.S. and Mexico engage in negotiations. However, Canada has remained out largely since many issues being discussed are simply topics, such as labor, that Canada does not need to be included in. The U.S. and Mexico are eager to wrap up their sides of the negotiations, with both nations seeing a quick agreement as a political win, before the U.S. midterm elections and before a new President takes office in Mexico.

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Concerns Growing over USDA Reorganization

Land-grant universities and other organizations are expressing concerns over the administration’s plan to move Department of Agriculture agencies out of the nation’s capital. USDA recently announced it will move the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture out of Washington, D.C., to a more “cost-effective” location closer to farmers. The Public and Land-grant Universities Board on Agriculture Assembly says the move “raises important questions that need to be addressed,” according to the Hagstrom Report. Other organizations are calling on USDA and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to release the analysis of the cost savings the department is touting. The plan will move more than 600 jobs from Washington, D.C. to a site yet to be considered. The Housing Assistance Council counters that the main customers to the Economic Research Service are congressional members and staff, USDA policy officials, and researchers at rural-focused groups, many of which are located in Washington. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition charges further, suggesting that the move “fundamentally endangers, our country’s capacity for agricultural research and development.”

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Survey: Commodity Prices Impacting Ag Retailers

A recent survey shows agriculture retailers are feeling the burden of fluctuating commodity prices. Low commodity prices and a volatile market stemming from trade concerns are on the minds of retailers, according to the survey published by Proagrica. 65 percent of respondents are feeling financial pressure due to fluctuating commodity pricing and competition. Elsewhere, 68 percent felt that enhanced management of sales and productivity would provide substantial value. More than 75 percent of Ag Retailers are actively seeking improvements to their current systems, both for themselves and for their customers. The survey was sent to 5,000 U.S. business in the retail ag sector. Respondents answered a total of 11 questions, focusing on the most pressing factors affecting profitability, growth, and the extent to which data and analytics are implemented into their current systems. Proagrica is self-described as the leading independent provider of data integration and insight across the agriculture supply chain.

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Organic Food Company Acquires Iowa ADM Elevator

Pipeline Foods LLC, an organic, non-GMO company, has acquired a grain elevator in Iowa. In a company news release, Pipeline Foods announced it has signed a purchase agreement to buy the facility from Archer Daniels Midland Company and is making capital investments in new equipment and improvements needed to upgrade the elevator to test, clean, grade, dry, store and ship organic grains. The Atlantic, Iowa facility has a capacity of 3.4 million bushels. ADM will continue its conventional soybean origination at the site through segregated operations. Pipeline Foods CEO Eric Jackson said the facility will “increase organic supply chain efficiency and transparency.” Pipeline Foods says Atlantic, Iowa is uniquely located in the heart of the western corn belt, “at the nexus of major truck and rail routes.” The elevator will be open for operation in mid-September and will accept its first organic grain deliveries shortly after that. This is the sixth organic processing facility operated by Pipeline Foods in the U.S. and Canada.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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08-20-18 CFVGA: Produce Growers Meet Gubernatorial Candidate Walker Stapleton

CFVGA: Produce Growers Meet Gubernatorial Candidate Walker Stapleton Colorado gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton discussed his views on agriculture with Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Members at a webinar Aug. 17.

Colorado produce grocers during a meeting Aug. 17 had an opportunity to learn more about how gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton might govern in regard to agricultural issues. To accommodate very busy growers, many of whom are harvesting crops in August, the Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) held the meeting electronically, so that growers could log on at their computers or call in. CFVGA also plans to have a similar forum with gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis.
“It is very important to Colorado’s produce growers to connect with both candidates about the importance of agriculture to our state as well as the specific issues facing produce growers, such as labor challenges, water availability and food safety regulations,” said Robert Sakata, CFVGA president, who emceed the meeting with Stapleton.

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08-20-18 Colorado State University selects design partner for first building at landmark National Western Center

Colorado State University selects design partner for first building at landmark National Western Center

Denver, CO – Colorado State University announced today that it has selected the team of Hord Coplan Macht and SmithGroup as the design team for the CSU Water Building at the National Western Center, the first building to break ground as part of the landmark redevelopment project.

“Our team was honored to have received an extremely qualified pool of more than 17 national firms interested in this important building,” said Amy Parsons, executive vice chancellor of the CSU System. “The partnership of Hord Coplan Macht and SmithGroup stood out as being able to deliver the creativity, connectivity, and experience needed to create a collaborative space for the University and our partners to take on the biggest issues facing our world today.” Continue reading

08-20-18 CDA: Millet Producers Reminded to Vote, Request Ballots if Needed

CDA: Millet Producers Reminded to Vote, Request Ballots if Needed

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Colorado’s millet producers should have received a ballot in the mail to vote on the proposed millet check-off. If you are a millet producer, and have not received a ballot, please contact Glenda Mostek with the Colorado Department of Agriculture at (303) 869-9173 or e-mail glenda.mostek@state.co.us, and a ballot will be sent via first-class mail. Producers should also check with their crop-share landlords, partners or LLC members to see if they have received a ballot.
Ballots were mailed August 9 and voting is open until August 31. Ballots must be postmarked on or before August 31 to be counted.
Voting Eligibility

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08-20-18 WSGLT: Kermit Brown Chosen as Recipient of the 2018 Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award

Kermit Brown Chosen as Recipient of the 2018 Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award

Kermit Brown is being recognized for being an ardent supporter of conservation and agriculture.

The Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust (WSGLT) announced today that Kermit Brown will be the recipient of the 2018 Kurt Bucholz Conservation Award. Brown is being recognized for his exceptional support of agricultural land conservation, property rights, and water rights.

Brown has been an ardent supporter of conservation and agriculture in Wyoming throughout his career as an attorney in Laramie and as a former Republican member of the Wyoming House of Representatives where he served as the House Majority Leader and Speaker of the House.

Brown’s passion for agriculture began in his youth, working on ranches in the Saratoga area. He obtained first-hand experience of the important work that is done by Wyoming’s farmers and ranchers and came to understand the pivotal relationship between agriculture and conservation. Here, he also met and became lifelong friends with Dr. Kurt Bucholz DVM. These experiences impacted his future career choices and helped him become a respected voice and advocate for ranching and conservation. Continue reading

08-20-18 Colorado State Forest Service Offers New Community Forester for Eastern Colorado

Colorado State Forest Service Offers New Community Forester for Eastern Colorado

LA JUNTA, Colo. – August 20, 2018 – As part of an agency-wide restructure that took effect this year, the Colorado State Forest Service has filled a new position dedicated to assisting eastern Colorado with community forestry concerns.

The CSFS recently named longtime forester Donna Davis as the urban and community forestry specialist serving eastern Colorado. Working out of offices in La Junta and Broomfield, she will be serving as a resource for CSFS field offices, partners and communities throughout the eastern half of the state, offering field support, program planning and administration.

“From a community forestry perspective, the primary concerns for our cities and towns in eastern Colorado relate to tree planting, management and long-term care, all in the face of drought and weather events and insect threats like emerald ash borer,” Davis said. “We’ll be looking at how our existing programs can better serve these communities, to ensure that they continue to benefit from having healthy trees.” Continue reading

08-20-18 A Closer Look at the 2018 South Platte Forum in Loveland Oct 24-25 w/Denver Water’s Jason Marks…

A Closer Look at the 2018 South Platte Forum in Loveland Oct 24-25 w/Denver Water’s Jason Marks…

BRIGGSDALE, CO – August 20, 2018 – The 2018 South Platte Forum is set for October 24th & 25th @ the Embassy Suites in Loveland and joining the CO Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to provide more details about the upcoming event is Jason Marks, Environmental Planner @ Denver Water. Topics covered within the interview:
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE…

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