11-14-18 US Senator Bennet Pushes for Emergency Watershed Protection Funds for Wildfire Recovery in Colorado

US Senator Bennet Pushes for Emergency Watershed Protection Funds for Wildfire Recovery in Colorado

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today sent a letter to Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey requesting the approval of Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) funds for wildfire recovery projects in Colorado.

“Colorado’s 2018 wildfire season was one of the most destructive ever and recovery efforts are underway,” Bennet wrote. “Without emergency watershed restoration, there will continue to be a high degree of risk to lives and property from debris flow and flooding as a result of these fires. We request that you formally approve EWP funds as soon as possible.”

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11-14-18 USDA Names Members to the National Watermelon Promotion Board

USDA Names Members to the National Watermelon Promotion Board

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2018 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of sixteen members to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms from Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2021.

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11-14-18 Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and Tate & Lyle Announce Sustainably-Sourced Corn Collaboration

Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and Tate & Lyle Announce Sustainably-Sourced Corn Collaboration

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. and HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (Nov. 14, 2018) – Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and global ingredient supplier Tate & Lyle today announced a new collaboration to advance conservation practices on Midwest farms – specifically in sourcing sustainable corn. The relationship enables Tate & Lyle, a significant user of U.S.-grown corn, to enhance sustainable agriculture by helping corn farmers target and measure the impact of their environmental stewardship efforts, using the latest technology.

The collaboration leverages the Truterra™ Insights Engine, a new interactive on-farm digital platform from Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN, that helps farmers scale their environmental stewardship efforts and assess return-on-investment in real time, acre-by-acre. In turn, the Truterra Insights Engine supports Tate & Lyle to have greater visibility of its environmental footprint beyond the factory gates, enabling the company and its customers to make informed decisions about their supply chain environmental strategies.

“This collaboration bolsters Tate & Lyle’s efforts to increase sustainability throughout the value chain, using the industry-leading Truterra Insights Engine,” said Matt Carstens, Senior Vice President of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “Our on-farm conservation practices and technology support a two-pronged approach to sustainability – helping protect natural resources while improving farmer livelihoods. Consumers care deeply about how their food is produced. Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN can aid in implementing specific conservation practices to achieve broader sustainability goals for food companies like Tate & Lyle – and help them demonstrate the results in clear terms.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, November 14th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, November 14th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Little Room for Farm Bill in Lame Duck

The prospect of getting a farm bill finished in the lame duck session appears low, as there is much the conference committee must agree on. Lawmakers returned to work this week with a busy lame duck session in store, and a farm bill full of disagreements on policy. The House and Senate must work quickly to also pass federal funding items by early December. Politico reports House Ag Committee leadership met briefly early this week, but appears no decisions have been made. Representative Collin Peterson, the expected House Ag Committee Chairman next year, has been adamant that he does not want to rewrite a farm bill next year. Current Chair, Mike Conaway, has previously said that the two are looking to “figure out a way to get a House offer” that is passible by the Senate. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa told reporters Tuesday that a one-year extension of the 2014 farm bill may be needed, as the farm bill debate could extend into next year.

American Bankers Association Offers Tips for Strong Ag Marketing Plans

A strong marketing plan is the key for success for farmers dealing with depressed prices, according to the American Bankers Association. A tip-sheet released by the association offers farmers a few simple tips to develop and maintain a solid marketing plan. “A well-developed marketing plan can take some of the price risk off the table, which is especially important in today’s ag economy,” according to an ABA spokesperson. For farmers, ABA says you should know your break-even costs, act on opportunity to profit, set and stick to goals, remove emotion from marketing, keep things simple, avoid spot markets and understand the tools available to you. The information was developed by the ABA Agricultural and Rural Bankers Committee. The Association released the tips in conjunction with its National Agricultural Bankers Conference held in Omaha, Nebraska, this week.

USMEF, NPB, USDA Launch Pork 2040

The National Pork Board, the U.S. Meat Export Federation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that they will engage in a foresight-based marketing study called Pork 2040. The study will investigate changing consumer attitudes and trends in developed and emerging U.S. pork export markets in 17 defined countries. The effort will be more comprehensive than previous efforts,  investigating the factors that shape consumer opinion and markets. The study will also focus on forecasting the pork and pork-product demand landscape over the next several decades to help determine where best to invest Checkoff resources. Finally, the research will assess trends in the development of new production and marketing technologies, as well as growing environmental concerns and in emerging legal, trade and regulatory regimes around the globe. China, which has a growing and increasingly urban population base, will be the first country studied through Pork 2040. A research platform will be developed to enable the U.S. pork industry to design and implement a long-term strategy for U.S. pork consumption in China and to add context to one of the most critical export markets.

Roberts Could Seek Another Senate Term

The next farm bill is the top priority for Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts as many begin speculating if he will make another bid for his Senate seat in two years. Roberts, who has chaired both the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee in his tenure, remains focused on finishing the 2018 farm bill. However, the current atmosphere in Washington could delay the farm bill into 2019. McClatchy News reports that if Roberts does run again for his Senate seat, he may face a primary challenger, as he did in 2014. If the presently 82-year-old lawmaker retires, the candidates for his seat could be Roger Marshall, who currently represents the First District of Kansas in the U.S. House., or Kevin Yoder, who lost his House seat during the midterm election. Agriculture Committee ties run deep in Kansas as Marshall serves on the House Ag Committee, and Yoder served on the House Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture. Also, Jerry Moran, the junior Senator from Kansas, serves on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture and has served on the House Agriculture Committee.

Espy, Hyde-Smith to Debate Ahead of Runoff

Mike Espy and Cindy-Hyde Smith of Mississippi will hold a debate at the Mississippi Farm Bureau ahead of a runoff vote for the Senate seat formerly held by Thad Cochran. Hyde-Smith, a former state agriculture director, was appointed to the seat earlier this year. The winner of the runoff will take the Senate seat for the remainder of Cochran’s term, two years. Espy is a former USDA Ag Secretary in the Clinton years, serving one year, before resigning over questions related to his use of government perks and gifts. Espy was indicted, but later acquitted of all charges. He has since practiced private law, including representing the National Black Farmers Association. Espy is the first African American U.S. ag secretary, and Hyde-Smith is the first female senator from Mississippi, as well as the first female ag director for the state. Smith won the most votes during the midterm elections, but did not get more than 50 percent of the vote, trigging the special election. The two will debate on November 20th. The runoff election is November 27th.

October Combine Sales Decline

Combine sales declined in October while sales of tractors remained mostly flat. The Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s October Ag Tractor and Combine Report shows overall sales remained positive year-to-date. U.S. sales of self-propelled combines declined seven percent in October compared to last year, and U.S. sales of four-wheel-drive tractors were flat with a one-percent drop month-over-month. October year-to-date growth in U.S. sales reached 17 percent for combines and growth of 13.5 percent for four-wheel-drive tractors. Total October U.S. sales of two-wheel-drive tractors grew six percent compared to last year: a nine percent gain for under-40 horsepower tractors, a five-percent increase for 40-100 horsepower tractors, and a drop of eight percent for 100-plus horsepower tractors. October year-to-date growth for overall U.S. sales of two-wheel-drive tractors topped seven percent.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service