12-17-18 NMPF Welcomes USDA Assistance, Looks Forward to Farm Bill Implementation

NMPF Welcomes USDA Assistance, Looks Forward to Farm Bill Implementation

In response to USDA’s announcement of a second round of trade mitigation payments to U.S. farmers, NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern offered the following comments:

“The tariff-mitigation payment for dairy farmers in this second round of payments is less than we had hoped for, but it will provide some assistance during difficult times.

“The tit-for-tat tariffs that prompted these mitigation payments continue to inflict damage across the farm economy.We urge the Administration to resolve tensions with key trading partners, including China and Mexico, as the best way to assist farmers going forward.

“We are thankful that Congress last week emphatically supported milk producers and all of U.S. agriculture by passing a farm bill that will provide timely, critical assistance. We look forward to the president signing the bill and appreciate that USDA has highlighted implementation of the new dairy program as an early priority.”

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12-17-18 NCGA: USDA Trade Aid Comes Up Short, Again

NCGA: USDA Trade Aid Comes Up Short, Again

The National Corn Growers Association today expressed disappointment that corn farmers impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty would receive virtually no relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Facilitation Program (MFP).
NCGA’s comments follow USDA’s announcement of the second round of MFP payments, again setting the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel, despite the fact that corn farmers have suffered an average 44 cent per bushel loss since tariffs were first announced.
“Farmers of all crops have felt the impact of trade tariffs,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “NCGA appreciates the progress the administration has made to advance ethanol, reach a new agreement with Mexico and Canada and move forward on negotiations with Japan, but the benefits of these efforts will take time to materialize and farmers are hurting now.”
“One cent per bushel is woefully inadequate to even begin to cover the losses being felt by corn farmers. USDA did not take into account the reality that many of our farmers are facing,” Chrisp added.
In a November 19 letter to USDA Secretary Perdue, Chrisp stressed the disappointment around USDA’s approach to calculating MFP payments. Many farmers felt it was too narrow in scope and did not capture real-time impacts of trade disruptions.

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12-17-18 NAWG Applauds President’s Announcement of Second Round of MFP Assistance

NAWG Applauds President’s Announcement of Second Round of MFP Assistance 

Washington, D.C. (December 17, 2018) – Today, President Trump announced the Administration would be fulfilling the second half of assistance through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to help farmers impacted by the trade war between the United States and China. USDA Secretary Perdue subsequently announced details of the program. In anticipation of this announcement, NAWG met with senior officials at USDA and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and sent a letter to USDA reminding them of the ongoing damaging impacts that these tariffs have had on wheat growers and noting that a second round of assistance to producers is justified.

“NAWG continues to emphasize to both the USDA and OMB that the ongoing trade war with China has continued to harm wheat farmers, which is evident with there having been no sales to China since March,” stated NAWG President and Sentinel, OK wheat farmer Jimmie Musick. “These retaliatory tariffs are not only harming growers through loss of sales but are also placing pressure on wheat prices. Growers want new export markets and trade deals so that this sort of assistance isn’t necessary.”  Continue reading

12-17-18 USDA Launches Second Round of Trade Mitigation Payments

USDA Launches Second Round of Trade Mitigation Payments

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2018 — At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today launched the second and final round of trade mitigation payments aimed at assisting farmers suffering from damage due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.  Producers of certain commodities will now be eligible to receive Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments for the second half of their 2018 production.

“The President reaffirmed his support for American farmers and ranchers and made good on his promise, authorizing the second round of payments to be made in short order. While there have been positive movements on the trade front, American farmers are continuing to experience losses due to unjustified trade retaliation by foreign nations.  This assistance will help with short-term cash flow issues as we move into the new year,” said Perdue.

Secretary Perdue announced in July that USDA would act to aid farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation.  President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to help protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets to help American farmers compete globally. In September, USDA initiated three programs to aid American agriculture in sustaining the short-term damages associated with the trade disputes and securing long-term, stable export markets.

Details of programs currently employed by USDA: Continue reading

12-17-18 FBN℠ Makes Key Announcements at Farmer2Farmer, including FBN℠ Health and Partnership with Amazon Business

FBN℠ Makes Key Announcements at Farmer2Farmer, including FBN℠ Health and Partnership with Amazon Business

Leading independent farmer-to-farmer network announces its latest offerings aimed to benefit farmers nationwide

Omaha, Neb. – December 17, 2018 – Farmer’s Business Network℠, the leading independent farmer-to-farmer network, announced the launch of several groundbreaking offerings and initiatives to benefit farmers and their families. The company announced a partnership with e-commerce giant Amazon Business, a new first-of-its-kind healthcare offering for farmers and their families, released a new zone pricing report, and launched a new seed offering.

The announcements were made at the company’s annual farmer user conference, Farmer2Farmer, which saw a record 2,500 + farmers in attendance. The company also reported that it’s now reached more than 7,450 farmer members who represent 29 million acres of farmland across North America — roughly the size of Pennsylvania.

“We’re constantly looking for every possible avenue to provide family farms with the leverage they have not had previously and increase their profitability, and we’re excited to announce these game-changing initiatives. We’re on the side of the farmer, and helping them fight as they navigate a difficult farm economy, which we’ll do by remaining unapologetically independent.,” said Charles Baron, Co-Founder, FBN. “We believe these initiatives will help ensure farmers thrive and are able to Take Control into 2019 and beyond.”

FBN Health: A Straightforward, Affordable and Reliable Solution to a Complex Industry Continue reading

12-17-18 Inside the CO FFA Foundation with Executive Director Don Thorn…

Inside the CO FFA Foundation with Executive Director Don Thorn…

2019 CO FFA Annual Grants, 2019 NWSS, 55th CO Farm Show, 30th Farm Credit Colorado Agriculture Hall of Fame and more…

BRIGGSDALE, CO – December 17, 2018 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network & FarmCast Radio inside the BARN with an update from the Colorado FFA Foundation is Executive Director Don Thorn, who discusses several topics including:


The Colorado FFA Foundation is a non-profit organization that raises funds to support the more than 6,100 FFA members in Colorado’s 100 chapters. FFA is a national organization of 610,240 members preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture.


12-17-18 Colorado FFA Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

Colorado FFA Foundation Announces Grant Recipients

Approximately $105K to be awarded to 77 CO FFA Members

Greeley— The Colorado FFA Foundation announced the recipients of it’s annual grant program. FFA members and FFA Chapters from all across Colorado will receive grant funds to assist FFA members and chapters improve agricultural experiences in their local communities.  Students and chapters can receive grant funds in three different programs that the FFA Foundation and the Colorado FFA Association host each year.  Those programs are: Continue reading

12-17-18 Inside the BARN with CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg…

CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg Dist 1 040715

Inside the BARN with CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg…

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) December 17, 2018 – Joining me inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network is CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg from District 1  discussing several topics including:

  • Recent Trip to Columbia with CALP Class 13
  • Reaction to Bi-partisan passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in Congress
  • Thoughts about USMCA & China-US Trade War – Positive Developments
  • Reaction to McDonald’s “Anti-Antibiotics Movement”
  • CO Republican Senate Leadership Committees Announced
  • Reaction to CO House dropping “Agriculture”, “Livestock” & Natural Resources” from the newly created “Rural Affairs” Committee by Speaker-designate KC Becker – For those wishing to make comments to Speaker-elect KC Becker, call her @ 303-866-2578 or 720-318-6023 or email repkcbecker@gmail.com
  • Committee Work Yet to be Finished & a Look at 2019
  • Merry Christmas from CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg!
  • & More

To listen to the interview, click the audio mp3 link below…



12-17-18 NRCS Accepting Applications to Assist Farmers and Ranchers Address Colorado’s Natural Resource Concerns, Interview with Becky Ross

NRCS Accepting Applications to Assist Farmers and Ranchers Address Colorado’s Natural Resource Concerns

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Applications Must be received by Friday, January 18, 2019

DENVER, CO – The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Colorado is currently accepting applications for enrollment into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  EQIP is a voluntary Farm Bill program which provides financial assistance for conservation systems such as animal waste management facilities, irrigation system efficiency improvements, fencing, water supply development, riparian protection, and wildlife habitat enhancement.  Producers interested in implementing conservation practices to improve natural resources on their private agricultural land have until Friday, January 18, 2019 to submit applications.

For more about the EQIP Program and application details, check out the exclusive interview with Becky Ross, NRCS-CO’s Assistant State Conservationist for Programs inside the BARN…


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12-17-18 National Conservation Foundation: Supporting the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders

National Conservation Foundation: Supporting the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders

Dear Fellow Leaders,

As many of you know, the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) alongside the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) launched the Next Generation Leadership Campaign in October. This campaign continues to see success, but there is still work to be done. I encourage my fellow conservationists to invest in the future of the conservation industry by supporting NCF and NACD in their efforts to cultivate the next generation of conservation leaders.

After returning home from the U.S. Air Force after Vietnam, I had the opportunity to purchase the ranch I was born and raised on. From working the ranch to being involved in 4-H and FFA, agriculture has always been an important part of my life. I was born during the Dust Bowl, which instilled in me the value of taking care of the land from an early age. My father was a firm believer in the conservation mission, which inspired me to get involved with my local conservation district board and state association. Through state gatherings and annual meetings, I was connected with other like-minded people to share success stories and best practices. Unfortunately, NACD is becoming an older generation, and the further away we get from those who remember the devastation of the Dust Bowl years, the less it resonates with them. That’s why cultivating new leaders is truly imperative—we cannot delay.

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12-17-18 NCGA Announces 2018 Yield Contest Winners

NCGA Announces 2018 Yield Contest Winners

With improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices, corn growers achieved impressive yields despite weather-related adversity in the National Corn Growers Association 2018 National Corn Yield Contest.
The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 54th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.
“While participating in friendly competition, yield contest participants create and share information that shapes the future of the industry,” said Roger Zylstra, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “Contest winners, at the state and national levels, find innovative ways to help their fellow farmers excel in a variety of situations. Emphasizing innovation both from growers and technology providers, our contest enables us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”
The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 349 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national average of 178.9 bushels per acre in 2018. While there is no overall contest winner, yields from first, second and third place farmers overall production categories topped out at 477.6877 bushels per acre.

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12-17-18 CDA: Funding Available for Agricultural Hydropower Projects

CDA: Funding Available for Agricultural Hydropower Projects

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking applicants for on-farm agricultural hydropower projects. The total amount of available assistance for this round is $1,300,000. The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators with appropriate hydropower resources.

“This program gives producers a way to cut their costs and use their resources efficiently. It’s about water quantity, water quality, and energy resources,” said Sam Anderson, CDA’s Energy Specialist, “We focus on helping farmers upgrade outdated and labor-intensive flood-irrigation systems to more efficient pressurized-irrigation systems using hydropower, or retrofit existing sprinkler systems with a hydropower component.” 

The funding is part of the NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Within RCPP, the Colorado irrigation hydropower program provides funding to agricultural producers to help them add hydropower to new or existing irrigation systems.  Continue reading

12-17-18 USDA Highlights Benefits of Improved Dairy Safety Net Tool

USDA Highlights Benefits of Improved Dairy Safety Net Tool

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2018 — More than 21,400 dairy producers opted for coverage through the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) in 2018, up by more than 2,000 producers from the previous year. This U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program was significantly updated in February by the Bipartisan Act of 2018, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said those changes attracted more producers to enroll in the safety net program or to increase their coverage.

“Dairy producers have long been battling low prices, high input costs, and a surplus in the global market. Unfortunately, the 2014 Farm Bill did not provide a sufficient safety net to dairy producers and so it was timely that Congress opted to provide additional support through the Margin Protection Program last February,” Secretary Perdue said. “We are pleased to announce that roughly half of our nation’s dairy producers enrolled for coverage under this reworked Program, providing additional capital to keep some of these folks afloat. We understand that this is not a total fix nor long-term solution for dairy producers, but we are glad that the Farm Service Agency was able to spring into action to get these critical payments out the door just a few months after the legislative changes were enacted. USDA is looking forward to prioritizing the implementation of the Dairy Margin Coverage Program, the new longer-term, more comprehensive dairy safety net program, following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.”

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12-17-18 CALP Corner Inside the BARN featuring Class 13 Member Nathan Dirnberger

CLICK HERE to listen to the interview from December 11th with CALP Class 13 member Nathan Dirnberger

CALP Corner Inside the BARN featuring Class 13 Member Nathan Dirnberger

BRIGGSDALE, CO – December 17, 2018 – Welcome to CALP Corner here inside the BARN, where you’ll get the opportunity to meet each one of the participants of the Colorado Agriculture Leadership Program within Class 13. This week my guest is Nathan Dirnberger…


Want to learn more about the 28th Annual Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture Feb 27, 2019 in Denver – CLICK HERE

Want to learn more about the CALP Program – CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to listen to other CALP Class 13 Member Interviews

Keep checking inside the BARN for the next edition of CALP Corner!

12-18-18 The BARN’s “Colorado Women in Agriculture Series”, courtesy of CommonGround: Jan Kochis

The BARN’s “Colorado Women in Agriculture Series”, courtesy of CommonGround: Jan Kochis

BRIGGSDALE, CO – December, 18, 2018 – Women continue to change the face of many industries, including agriculture. Through managing harvests, running the business and implementing new technologies, like: wind power and using RFID in the tracking of dairy cows for instance. Women are on the front lines – feeding our nation and the world. Many may be surprised to learn that women farmers make up 37 percent of Colorado’s producers. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture there are 21,443 women farmers in Colorado, who farm more than 13 million acres, making a nearly $285 million impact on the economy. There is a group of women farmers here in Colorado that are dedicated to sharing their personal experiences, science and research to help consumers sort through the growing number of myths and misinformation surrounding food and farming. The BARN is starting a NEW “Women in Agriculture” series spotlighting four Colorado women which include:

Mary Kraft, Jan Kochis as well as a mother & daughter team Danielle & Tabor Kalcevic

They do this important work as volunteers with CommonGround Colorado –www.FindOurCommonGround.com– a national grassroots movement designed to help bridge the gap between the women who grow food and the women who buy it.

The second interview within the  BARN’s Women in Ag Series is  Jan Kochis,  a farmer, wife, mom and registered dietician from Matheson, CO.…

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 17th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 17th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Questions Remain Regarding Second Trade-Aid Payments

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue met with President Donald Trump to talk about a second round of trade-aid payments to farmers. Perdue had said an announcement was coming out on December third but that’s come and gone. It was first delayed as Washington honored the passing of former President George H.W. Bush. Now, the delay boils down to a Chinese soybean purchase and Office of Management and Budget Director Mike Mulvaney. Politico says the OMB Director is a longtime critic of farm policy. He’s pushing back against the idea of a second round of trade assistance for farmers and ranchers. “OMB and Director Mulvaney, as always, are looking to hold on to money,” Perdue says. “I understand that. I think this is a commitment that the president made and we hope to have it resolved soon.” The first Chinese soybean purchase from the U.S. in six months has brought about questions on whether there should even be a second round trade aid, which could amount to as much as $6 billion. While the soybean purchase is encouraging, agriculture is still being hit by retaliatory tariffs imposed by China, Canada, and Mexico.


China Dropping Tariffs on U.S. Cars and Corn

A Bloomberg report says China is taking even more steps to lessen its trade tensions with the U.S. China confirms it will remove retaliatory duties on American automobile imports and it’s preparing to restart purchasing American corn. The Chinese Finance Ministry says the 25 percent tariff on automobiles will disappear on January first. Sources close to the discussions told Bloomberg that China is preparing to purchase at least three million metric tons of corn. The White House will delay tariff increases on Chinese goods that were set for January first. Bloomberg sources say the corn purchases likely will start as early as next month. The Chinese government is also considering how to handle the 25 percent tariffs on American corn imports that were implemented in July. The moves by China come only two weeks after its president, Xi Jinping, met with U.S. President Trump.


No Punitive Damages in Latest North Carolina Hog Nuisance Case

The federal judge in the fourth hog farm nuisance lawsuit against Smithfield’s Murphy Brown unit ruled that the plaintiffs didn’t present enough evidence to warrant punitive damages. The Raleigh, North Carolina, News and Observer says the jury in the case issued a verdict in favor of the neighbors that live next to the hog farm in question. The award was $102,400 in compensatory damages that would have to be divided up among the eight plaintiffs. It was a different story in the first three trials. Juries ruled in favor of plaintiffs and tacked on large punitive damages. While a state statute limits the amount of financial rewards, the total still is just under $100 million in each of the three cases. Judge Earl Britt of North Carolina presided over the first three trials but was replaced during this one by Judge David Faber of West Virginia. Smithfield still faces more than two dozen similar suits claiming that it didn’t do enough to manage hog waste. The next trial is scheduled for January.


USDA Looking To Increase Rural Broadband

USDA is putting up $600 million to start a pilot project intended to build broadband infrastructure in rural America. The money will be available in the forms of loans and grants. USDA is calling effort the “ReConnect Program,” which is designed to connect rural areas that currently have less-than-stellar or no broadband service at all. Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, as well as internet service providers and municipalities may apply for the funding. “High-speed internet connectivity is a necessity, not a luxury, and vital for a high quality of life and economic opportunity,” says Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. “We hope that rural communities kick off their planning for rural broadband projects.” Projects eligible for this initiative must serve communities of fewer than 20,000 people. Those communities will either have no broadband service at all or download speeds of less than 10 megabits per second, and less than one megabit per second upload speed. Approved projects must create access speeds of 25 megabits per second for upload speed and three megabits per second on downloads. Priority will be given to projects that propose to deliver higher-capacity connections to rural homes, businesses, and farms.


Poll Says Farmers Negative on Ag Policy

The latest Farm Journal Pulse Poll is out, and it shows farmers have a negative view of agriculture policy in the U.S. Of the hundreds of farmers that responded to the poll, 49 percent say current Ag policy is mostly or very unfavorable. While 24 percent of the respondents said they were “neutral” on the question, only nine percent of the hundreds of farmers said the current policy environment was favorable. The poll came out during movement on a number of issues that are important to American farmers. Those issues include trade, Waters of the U.S., and passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in Congress. The poll was done before the U.S. reached a temporary truce in its trade war with China. Despite frustrations with Ag Policy, most farmers don’t seem to place a lot of the blame on President Trump. Out of all the responses, 62 percent rated the president and his administration as mostly or very favorable. Only 24 percent had a mostly or very unfavorable opinion of the president and his policies.


Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Found

A recent E. Coli outbreak that was linked to romaine lettuce has been traced to at least one California farm. However, an NBC report says that’s probably not the only source of the illness. Federal health officials say 59 people were reported sick because of the outbreak, which affected a total of 15 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 23 of the sick have had to be hospitalized, but so far no one has died because of the outbreak. Investigators located the E. Coli strain in the sediment of an irrigation reservoir on a farm in Santa Barbara County along the central coast of California. The Adams Family Farm has stopped shipping romaine lettuce and is working with investigators. Officials say not all of the illnesses can be traced to this single farm, so there’s another source of the infection still out there. “What we’re seeing is there are multiple farms, multiple processors, and multiple distributors in the various steps of the traceback and they don’t all lead back to this specific farm,” says Dr. Stephen Ostroff, a senior adviser to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service