10-11-18 CSHA: Senate Passes Small Hydro Reform Bill White House Approval Expected

CSHA: Senate Passes Small Hydro Reform Bill – White House Approval Expected

Telluride, CO (October 11, 2018) – The Colorado Small Hydro Association (COSHA) praised U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Richard Hudson (R-NC) for passage of their bi-partisan small hydro reform legislation, HR 2786, which was included in the U.S. Senate’s passage yesterday of the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (AWIA) which passed by a vote of 99-1. The bipartisan bill passed the House on Sept. 13 and it now awaits expected White House approval. Continue reading

10-11-18 FFA State Range Judging in Sterling, CO

Figure 1: Students completing the rangeland inventory, site condition, and range management scenario on the Loamy Slopes ecological site.


By: Nakayla Lestina, USDA-NRCS, Sterling, CO

October 11, 2018 – On October 3, 2018, high school students from across the eastern part of Colorado competed in the State FFA Range Judging Contest at Northeastern Junior College (NJC) in Sterling, CO. The Range Judging Contest is one of many Career Development Events FFA students can participate in to test their skills and knowledge learned through their agricultural education classes.

Through the Range Judging Contest, students are tested on their plant identification skills and reading the landscape to determine the ecological site, condition of the rangeland, amount of usable forage, and number of animals that can be supported on the land. There were 268 FFA students representing 26 FFA chapters who participated in this event. Students were divided into three groups to identify 40-50 different range plant species and two ecological sites. During the plant identification portion, students had 60 seconds to identify the plant before moving on to the next plant. At the two ecological sites, students had 35 minutes to complete a rangeland inventory to determine the ecological site, condition of the site, and a range management scenario that was provided and required the students to recommend the best management practices. Judging the two ecological sites also tested the students plant identification skills. Continue reading

10-11-18 USDA Announces American Lamb Board Appointments

Header Press Release

USDA Announces American Lamb Board Appointments

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2018 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of four members to serve on the American Lamb Board.

Newly appointed to serve three-year terms are:

  • Tom Colyer, Hubbardston, Mass.- Producer (101-500 head)
  • Gwendolyn Kitzan, Nisland, S.D. – Producer (>500 head)
  • Rob Rule, Hawarden, Iowa – Feeder (>5,000 head)
  • Bradley Anderson, Ault, Colo. – First Handler

“The American Lamb Board works to help increase domestic and international demand for American lamb and improve the industry’s sustainability,” said Perdue. “I appreciate the expertise and time of these individuals who have agreed to guide the board and help their industry thrive.” Continue reading




Basedon October 1 conditions, corn production in Colorado is forecast at 171.45 million bushels, down 8 percent from last year’s 185.90 million bushels, according to the October 1 Agricultural Yield Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. The 1.35 million acres expected to be harvested for grain this year are up 10,000 acres from the September forecast and 50,000 acres above the 1.30 million acres harvested a year ago. Corn yield is estimated at 127.0 bushels per acre, down 3.0 bushels from the September 1 forecast and 16.0 bushels below last year’s final yield. As of September 30, Colorado’s
corn crop condition was rated 2 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 59 percent good, and 9 percent excellent. Corn harvested for grain was 11 percent complete, compared with 5 percent last year and the 5-year average of 8 percent.

Sorghum production in 2018 is forecast at 13.95 million bushels, down 32 percent from the 20.52 million bushels harvested last year. Growers expect to harvest 310,000 acres this year, down 40,000 acres from the September forecast and down from the 360,000 acres harvested last year. Average yield is forecast at 45.0 bushels per acre, up 6.0 bushels from the September 1 forecast, but down 12.0 bushels from last year. As of September 30, Colorado’s sorghum crop condition was rated 6 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. Sorghum harvested for grain was estimated at 9 percent complete, compared with 1 percent last year and the 5-year average of 5 percent.

The initial forecast of all sunflower production is estimated at 53.70 million pounds, down 41 percent from the 2017 crop of 90.52 million pounds. All sunflower yield is expected to average 880 pounds per acre, down 185 pounds per acre from last year.
Harvested area is estimated at 61,000 acres, down from the 85,000 acres harvested last year. As of September 30, Colorado’s sunflower crop condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 62 percent good, and 4 percent excellent

Alfalfa hay production in Colorado is forecast at 2.85 million tons, up from the 2.81 million tons produced in 2017. Colorado farmers and ranchers expect to harvest 730,000 acres of alfalfa hay this year, up 10,000 acres from 2017. Alfalfa hay yield is expected to average 3.90 tons per acre, compared with last year’s yield of 3.90 tons per acre and the August 1 forecast of 3.70 tons per acre. Producers expect
to harvest 690,000 acres of other hay in 2018, down 30,000 acres from last year. Other hay production is forecast at 1.24 million tons, down 4 percent from the 1.30 million tons a year ago. Other hay yield is expected to average 1.80 tons per acre, compared with last year’s yield of 1.80 tons per acre and the August 1 forecast of 1.80 tons per acre.

Sugarbeet production in Colorado is forecast at 892,000 tons, down 14 percent from the 1.04 million tons produced in 2017. Growers expect to harvest 25,700 acres this year, compared with 29,000 acres a year ago. Yields are expected to average 34.7 tons per acre, down 0.4 ton per acre from the September 1 forecast and down from last year’s yield of 35.7 tons per acre. As of September 30, Colorado’s sugarbeet crop condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 11 percent excellent. Harvest of sugarbeets was estimated at 9 percent complete, compared with 6 percent last year and the 5-year average of 16 percent.

Dry bean production for 2018 is forecast at 774,000 hundredweight, down 29 percent from the 1.09 million hundredweight produced a year earlier. Yields are expected to average 2,150 pounds per acre, up 50 pounds per acre from the August 1 forecast and up from 2,000 pounds per acre last year. Growers expect to harvest 36,000 acres this year, down 18,500 acres from the 54,500 acres harvested last year. As of September 30, Colorado’s dry bean harvest was estimated to be 72 percent complete, compared with 52 percent last year and the 5-year average of 47 percent.


10-11-18 Inside CAWA with Greg Peterson: Glenwood Springs Ag Water Workshop Nov 7th and more…

Inside CAWA with Greg Peterson: Glenwood Springs Ag Water Workshop Nov 7th and more…

(BARN MediaFarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO November 7, 2018 – Joining the CO Ag News Network by telephone is Greg Peterson from the Colorado Ag Water Alliance , discussing the upcoming CAWA Ag Water Workshop in Glenwood Springs on November 7th and more…


Continue reading



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue swore inVicki Christiansen as Chief of the agency’s Forest Service.

Christiansen has been a wildland fire fighter and fire manager for 36 years. Prior to joining the Forest Service, where she has been serving as Interim Chief since March, Christiansen was the Arizona State Forester and Director of the Arizona Division of Forestry. The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) President Brent Van Dyke released the following statement after Christiansen’s swearing-in ceremony:

“Chief Christiansen has the necessary tools in her toolkit to hit the ground running in this new role,” Van Dyke said. “During her time at the Forest Service, Christiansen has worked closely with conservation districts to improve the health of our nation’s forests. Due to her education and professional experience, she understands how failing to properly manage our nation’s forests leads to longer and more severe fire seasons. NACD commends Secretary Perdue’s appointment, and we look forward to expanding this productive relationship to continue making improvements to our nation’s public and private forest lands.” Continue reading

10-11-18 CLA: Eastern Colorado Hog Producers Receive Environmental Leadership Award

CLA: Eastern Colo. Hog Producers Receive Environmental Leadership Award

Greeley, CO – CLA members, Mountain Prairie, LLC and Smithfield Hog Production, were recognized as Gold Leaders for their efforts in environmental improvement at the 2018 Environmental Leadership Program Awards banquet this past Tuesday.

“We are honored to receive the Gold Award from the Environmental Leadership Program for the second year in a row,” said John Lofdahl, production manager at Mountain Prairie Farms. “We are committed to environmental stewardship and this award is a testament of our efforts.”

The Environmental Leadership Award is given to companies that go above and beyond compliance with state and federal regulations, and who are committed to continual environmental improvement.

“We thank all of our staff for their dedication to setting high standards for environmental excellence with their commitment to going above and beyond the normal regulatory requirement,”  said Julie McCaleb the Environmental Manager for Smithfield Hog Production in Yuma. “We encourage others in the livestock industry to continue their hard work and share their story, which confirms to the general population what livestock agriculture does in our communities in keeping the environment safe.”

Gold Leaders are those companies with a fully operational, facility-specific Environmental Management System (EMS). They must meet beyond-compliance requirements and have no serious violations in three years, or five years for criminal offenses. Continue reading

10-11-18 CO Representative Kimmi Lewis Op-Ed: “Carnivores in Cattle Country”


As a young cattle producer and a mother of six, I learned how to testify at the state capitol in Denver back in the early nineties.  I would go and testify about predators killing our livestock.  I had many pictures showing the damage and the dead calves from coyotes and mountain lions in Southeast Colorado.  In fact, my very first 4-H heifer at the age of nine had her first calf killed by a coyote.  Every time I’d testify I’d also remind people that I RAISE these predators.  Yes, I supply the habitat and land and water on my private property for them to exist.  Do we hunt them?  We sure do, but if you have ever been in the Purgatoire Canyonlands you will realize the hunt is not an easy one plus it takes time that producers don’t have. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, October 11th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, October 11th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

E15 Challenges Ahead

President Donald Trump paved the path for year-round E15 sales this week, but the road ahead is promised to be challenging. The President directed the EPA to move forward with allowing year-round sales, but the National Wildlife Federation says the move is not allowed under the Clean Air Act. Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation says the action “is simply not legal” and would “accelerate the vast damage to our wildlife habitat.” The Federation is a long-time critic of the Renewable Fuel Standard, and pointed to an Environmental Protection Agency report that they say shows the RFS “was responsible for widespread negative natural resource impacts.” The Federation is one of many organizations considering legal challenges. Ranking House Agriculture Committee Democrat Collin Peterson, like several other ag-lawmakers and farm groups, applauded the announcement. Peterson, however, stated the action “will likely get tied up in the courts,” adding that action by Congress to support the move is “the most reliable avenue to finally getting this done.”

Roberts: We’re Making Progress on Farm Bill

Senator Pat Roberts says lawmakers are making progress on the farm bill. The Senate Ag Committee Chairman told Politico this week “we’re making progress,” adding “I know I keep saying that, but it’s true.” None of the 12 titles of the farm bill are completed, but Roberts says the commodity title is “close” to being finished. However, Ranking Senate Ag member Debbie Stabenow reported that she and House Ag leader Mike Conaway remain at odds over moving funding around in the commodity title. Conaway allegedly wants to move a small amount of funding from Midwest-based crops to cotton. The so-called “Big Four” leaders of the conference committee, Senators Roberts and Stabenow along with Representatives Conaway and Collin Peterson,  are waiting for review by the Congressional Budget Office before forging quickly ahead, according to Roberts.

EU Ready for Talks over U.S. Beef

The European Union is readying to negotiate with the United States to allow the U.S. to increase beef exports to EU countries. The European Commission sought approval from its 28-member states last month to open negotiations with Washington. The approval process is expected to be completed next week to allow negotiations to begin. Beef is separate from an arrangement between President Trump and the EU to consider a free trade agreement. Reuters reports that a negotiated agreement on beef would settle a dispute that dates back to 1981 when the European Union banned the use of growth hormones in meat across the EU, including imports. The EU says it will look to raise the U.S. share of hormone-free beef imports into Europe, but would need to convince other countries considered to be “substantial” suppliers to accept less. In 2009, the EU and the U.S. agreed to a quota system for hormone-free beef imports, but U.S. share of the quota has slipped from 100 percent to 30 percent.

U.S., Canada Trade Officials Discussing Next Steps

The U.S. and Canada are discussing the next steps for approving the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer visited Canada this week meeting with his Canadian counterpart, Chrystia Freeland. A spokesperson for Freeland told Bloomberg News the meeting I was an “opportunity to take stock of the next steps on USMCA.” The countries expect to sign the agreement by November 30th, when Mexico’s incoming president takes office. However, lawmakers from all three nations would need to approve the trade pact. Once in place, USMCA promises increased market share to Canada for U.S. dairy. However, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said any gains in USMCA are dampened by the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, adding that he is an advocate for removing the tariffs against Canada and Mexico.

Agriculture Leaders Unite to Oppose USDA Relocation Plans

A coalition of agriculture leaders is urging the Trump Administration to reconsider a plan to reorganize and relocate Department of Agriculture agencies. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced in August that the department’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and Economic Research would be moved out of Washington, DC, to save money and be closer to the agricultural community. The plan would also place ERS under the Office of the Chief Economist. USDA also said the move would help tackle ERS’s poor job retention rate, which was significantly higher than the USDA as a whole. However, the coalition wrote to Congress this week warning of likely damage to U.S. agriculture and urging the administration to abandon the plan. The coalition was organized by the American Statistical Association and includes 56 former USDA and federal statistical agency officials. The group questioned how moving the agencies to a location outside DC could bring them closer to the agricultural community they serve, beyond the general area they jobs would be located.

USDA Ready to Respond to Hurricane Michael

The Department of Agriculture is ready to respond to Hurricane Michael. The department this week reiterated its commitment to rural communities that may be impacted by the Hurricane, saying state and county offices stand ready and eager to help. Hurricane Michael began landfall in the Florida panhandle region Wednesday and was expected to impact Georgia, along with the Carolinas, where farmers are still assessing damages from Hurricane Florence. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the federal response to support the affected states. Meanwhile, USDA’s Forest Service coordinates the response of interagency firefighting personnel, equipment, and supplies mobilized in support of FEMA’s response efforts. USDA recently launched a disaster assistance discovery tool through its new website Farmers.gov that walks producers through five questions to help them identify personalized results of which USDA disaster assistance programs can help them recover after a natural disaster.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service