02-14-19 Sunflower Production Meetings in 3 Locations in Kansas

Sunflower Production Meetings in 3 Locations in Kansas

The High Plains Sunflower Committee, Kansas Sunflower Commission and K-State Research and Extension are together hosting three sunflower production schools from February 27-March 1.  The schools will comprise of hot topics on sunflower production, including new innovations in sunflower production, planting, fertility, weed control, and insect control.  In addition, representatives from the industry will review recent hybrid plot results and marketing opportunities.

The schools will be held in three locations across the state – Beloit, Hutchinson and Garden City: Continue reading

02-14-19 AFBF Action Alert: SUPPORT THE NEW CLEAN WATER RULE: Take a Stand for Clean Water and Clear Rules

We’ve been waiting for this rule for more than 3 years!

On December 11, 2018, EPA proposed a revised definition of “waters of the United States,” which would clarify regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.  You would not need a lawyer or consultant to know what is, and what is not, regulated.

Farmers and ranchers care about clean water and work hard to protect our natural resources.  As farmers and ranchers continue to reduce the environmental footprint of farming and ranching, they need a new common-sense water rule that protects water quality and gives them clear rules they can follow.  Continue reading

02-14-19 USDA Rural Development Colorado: Inside Your Corner with Director Sallie Clark…

USDA Rural Development Colorado: Inside Your Corner with Director Sallie Clark…

Colorado Rural Development (RD) State Executive Director Sallie Clark
USDA Photo by Preston Keres

DENVER, CO – February 14, 2019 – USDA Rural Development Colorado and our staff have been working diligently to ensure the needs of our customers are met in a timely manner.  We’re also moving full-steam-ahead with our priorities to focus on infrastructure, partnerships, and innovation.

With the approval of the Farm Bill in December, USDA is working quickly and expeditiously to implement this important legislation, which will govern farm policy for the next five years.  There are several exciting opportunities on the horizon for Rural Development (RD) and I look forward to sharing those with you over the next few months.

Most recently, USDA RD has ramped up our efforts to create high-speed internet e-connectivity in rural America by announcing our ReConnect program. To allow applicants adequate time to access technical assistance from USDA staff and its partners, the first application deadline has been pushed back to ‪May 31, 2019 or later. Previously, application deadlines began in April.  New specific deadlines for ReConnect Program grants, loans, and grant-loan combination applications will be posted in the Federal Register in late February. We will notify interested parties of the new dates once published. Continue reading

02-14-19 FCA board approves advance notice of proposed rulemaking to review regulations about service to YBS farmers

FCA board approves advance notice of proposed rulemaking to review regulations about service to YBS farmers

McLEAN, Va., Feb. 14, 2019 — At its monthly meeting today, the Farm Credit Administration board approved an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to review regulations regarding the Farm Credit System institutions’ service to young, beginning, and small (YBS) farmers and ranchers. Continue reading

02-14-19 Bailey Joins Sand County Foundation as Leopold Conservation Award Program’s Western Director

Bailey Joins Sand County Foundation as Leopold Conservation Award Program’s Western Director

MADISON, Wis. – David Bailey of Liberty, Utah has been hired to manage Sand County Foundation’s Leopold Conservation Award program in western states.

Sand County Foundation is a national non-profit conservation group that works with farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other private landowners to improve soil health, water quality and wildlife habitat.

The Leopold Conservation Award (leopoldconservationaward.org) recognizes farmers, ranchers and foresters for their outstanding conservation achievements on working land. Continue reading

02-14-19 USDA: Addressing the Opioid Crisis

USDA Prioritizes Investments in Telemedicine to Address Opioid Crisis in Rural America

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett

WASHINGTON, Feb. 14, 2019 – Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving funding priority in a key grant program for applications to address opioid misuse in rural communities.

“The opioid epidemic is dramatically impacting prosperity in many small towns and rural places across the country,” Hazlett said. “With this focused investment, we are targeting our resources to be a strong partner to rural communities to build innovative local responses to this significant challenge.” Continue reading

02-14-19 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) February 14, 2019 – Joining me inside the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network is CO Senator Jerry Sonnenberg from District 1  discussing several topics including:

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



02-14-19 USDA-AMS National Organic Program News: Proposed Rule to Amend the National List for Crops and Handling

Proposed Rule to Amend the National List for Crops and Handling

On February 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register to amend the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances for crops and handling based on April 2018 recommendations from the National Organic Standards Board.

This proposed rule would allow: Continue reading

02-14-19 Sleight To Retire As U.S. Grains Council President And CEO

Sleight To Retire As U.S. Grains Council President And CEO

Washington, D.C. – Tom Sleight, president and chief executive officer of the U.S. Grain Council (USGC) since 2012, will retire this summer following the appointment of his successor, the Council’s Board of Directors announced this week at the organization’s membership meeting in Cartagena, Colombia.

“I have done what I intended to accomplish, and as I move forward to this new phase of my own life, I am confident the Council is headed in the right direction and poised for continued growth as a relevant, innovative and impactful organization,” Sleight said. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 14th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 14th

China to Meet with Lighthizer Friday

China’s President will meet with U.S. trade leaders Friday as the U.S. and China seek a trade deal before an early March deadline. The South China Morning Post reports China’s President Xi Jinping (zshe-gin-ping) is scheduled to meet with a U.S. trade delegation in Beijing, which includes U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. China and the U.S. face an early March deadline set by the Trump administration to reach an agreement that could end the tit-for-tat trade war between the two nations. However, President Trump said this week he is open to extending the deadline, saying he could let the deadline “slide for a little while.” Trump is expected to meet with China’s President sometime in March in what some say could be a move to close an agreement between China and the United States. The trade war served a blow to U.S. agriculture as China slapped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. farm commodities, most notably, soybeans and pork.

EPA Releases Draft Greenhouse Gas Report

The Environmental Protection Agency this week released a draft report on greenhouse gasses. The report says U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell .3 percent in 2017 from 2016, but estimates that methane emissions grew 1.5 percent. Politico reports the methane emission increase in 2017 was largely due to more emissions from cows and other livestock. In all, the data shows the 2017 estimation represents the highest methane emissions since 2014. Earlier this week, Bill Gates, who funds climate change efforts through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, wrote of the methane livestock issue, stating cattle “give off methane when they belch and pass gas.” He offered no solution, but rather language to focus on solutions to curb methane emissions. Meanwhile, the comment period on the EPA draft report is open until March 14th. Comments may be submitted online through the Federal Register.

EPA to Release Single Draft E15 Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency will release a single draft rule to expand E15 sales, and make RIN market reforms. The announcement follows consideration that the rule would be split to allow the EPA to focus on finishing the E15 rule before the summer driving season. However, an EPA official told Reuters, “the President had instructed us to keep it together.” The rule was expected to be released in draft form in February, but the government shutdown has delayed the rulemaking process. The EPA is still expecting to complete the rule, according to agency officials, by the June first start of the summer driving season. If the agency fails to complete the rule on time, E15 sales would not be allowed in many markets due to current regulations. However, while the timeline is slim, the EPA official says the agency was moving at a “very expeditious” pace on the E15 rule. The agency has yet to announce a date for when the draft rule will be released.

AFBF’s Duvall Calls for Guest Worker Program in Editorial

The President of the American Farm Bureau Federation is calling on Congress to create a guest worker program for agriculture. In an editorial in the L.A. Times, Zippy Duvall states the U.S. has a farm labor shortage. AFBF welcomed legislation recently introduced by California Democrat, U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren, who is the chair of the House Immigration Subcommittee. Duvall says the Agricultural Worker Program Act of 2019, if passed, would provide a pathway to legalization for agricultural workers who are already here. But more is needed, according to Duvall, who says U.S. agriculture needs a guest worker program that “will help us replace the workers covered by the Lofgren bill as they age out or move to other sectors of the economy.” Duvall says the U.S. needs a guest worker program that is flexible for farmers and ranchers, and that it should grant flexibility for growers who cannot construct housing, by allowing them to use a housing voucher for workers.

Cattlemen React to Senate Passage of Public Lands Package

The Natural Resources Management Act passed by the U.S. Senate this week offers a mixed big for rural America, according to the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Federal Lands, Executive Director Ethan lane. Between the creation of a public database for recipients of Equal Access to Justice funds, critical wilderness boundary adjustments, and the resolution of long-standing land and ownership disputes, the bill advances several public policy priorities for U.S. ranchers. However, Lane says the bill “also includes several provisions that are sure to leave rural communities scratching their heads.” The biggest question mark surrounds the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which the Senate voted to permanently reauthorize with only minor progress toward providing states with their “fair share” of funding. In the absence of Congressional oversight, Lane says the program “looks set to become a slush fund used to prioritize recreation over other multiples uses of federal land.”

Ethanol Industry Makes  Significant Contribution to U.S. Economy

An economic analysis of the ethanol industry found significant contributions to the U.S. Economy. Announced by the Renewable Fuels Association during its annual National Ethanol Conference, the organization says the study shows that despite regulatory and marketplace challenges in 2018, the industry made a “remarkable contribution” to the U.S. economy. The analysis found that the industry supported nearly 366,000 jobs and generated nearly $46 billion in gross domestic product in 2018. According to the analysis, the production and use of 16.1 billion gallons of ethanol in 2018 generated an estimated $4.8 billion in tax revenue to the Federal Treasury and $4 billion in revenue to state and local governments. The analysis also estimated the impact of the ethanol industry on the state economy in top ethanol-producing states. Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois were the top three states in terms of economic impacts, but states like Ohio, Kansas, Michigan, Texas, Missouri, California, and New York also benefited from ethanol plants’ contributions.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service