03-12-19 Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Members Elect Sakata, Soukup and Hirakata to Board

Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association Members Elect Sakata, Soukup and Hirakata to Board

Some 300 growers, allied industry companies and other produce enthusiasts heard from top notch speakers, attended educational workshops, visited with 48 exhibitors and networked with fellow growers and potential buyers Feb. 25-26 at the Colorado Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) 5th Annual Conference.
Elected/re-elected to the CFVGA Board of Directors were (left to right) Robert Sakata, Sakata Farms, Brighton; Catharine Soukup, American AgCredit, Greeley; and Glenn Hirakata, Hirakata Farms, Rocky Ford. Each was elected to a three-year term.
“It is my honor to be able to serve Colorado produce growers,” said Sakata, who begins his third, three-year term on the CFVGA Board. He also was elected by the Board for a third term as president. “We have a dynamic group of Board members, who will be leading and serving this organization as we enter our seventh year as an incorporated association.” Continue reading

03-12-19 Colorado Farm Bureau Sends Letter Supporting Farm Programs During Budget Debates

CFB Sends Letter Supporting Farm Programs During Budget Debates

Every new budget year brings about Presidential budget requests and cuts. This year’s discussion coincides with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. That means farm programs are once again fair game for budget slashing. The proposed set of comprehensive cuts is thought to provide a small offset to the spending in defense money that the President wants, while potentially helping to balance the budget.  A full detailed budgetary explanation can be found here.

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03-12-19 U.S. Senator Bennet Applauds Lands Package Signed into Law

U.S. Senator Bennet Applauds Lands Package Signed into Law

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today applauded the signing of the Natural Resources Management Actinto law. Bennet secured 10 provisions in the package that will improve land management and expand access to public lands in Colorado, and permanently reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

“It’s rare that a set of public lands bills becomes law, so this is a significant accomplishment for communities across Colorado,” Bennet said. “Our work over the last ten years to permanently reauthorize LWCF has paid off. This victory is a commitment to future generations of Coloradans that they will have access to the same iconic landscapes and outdoor opportunities we enjoy today.”

Land and Water Conservation Fund Continue reading

03-08-19 Commissioner of Agriculture to Tour Eastern Colorado Farms – Public Invited to Meet & Greet in Strasburg, CO – POSTPONED

Commissioner of Agriculture to Tour Eastern Colorado Farms

Public Invited to Meet & Greet in Strasburg, Colo. CANCELLED

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg plans to tour much of the state this year. The public is invited to attend a meet and greet during one stop on an upcoming tour of the Eastern Plains.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 – CANCELLED

For more information on the tour and meet and greet, visit our social media sites at:

03-12-19 RMFU: Farm Organization Challenges Tri-State G&T To Review Options

RMFU: Farm Organization Challenges Tri-State G&T To Review Options

Denver, CO – Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) is asking Tri-State Generation and Transmission (Tri-State) to address its high cost electrical rates by exploring other options including gathering input from farmers and ranchers who are member-owners of local rural electric cooperatives.

“Farmers and ranchers work within razor thin margins to make ends meet. We have to think strategically to reduce our cost-of-production, be flexible in how we invest inputs and constantly react to the demands of our customers – we think our energy providers should do the same,” said RMFU President Dale McCall. Continue reading

03-12-19 ACE reaction to EPA’s proposed rule to allow E15 year-round

ACE reaction to EPA’s proposed rule to allow E15 year-round

Sioux Falls, SD (March 12, 2019) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed rulemaking to allow the sale of E15 year-round, as well as its reform proposals to the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) credit market:

“We’re pleased EPA has finally publicized its proposal to allow retailers to offer E15 to their customers year-round. With just 80 days to go until the start of the 2019 summer driving season, we will urge stakeholders to provide public comment to EPA, so a legally-defensible rule can be in place by June 1. Time is of the essence, particularly since EPA insists on saddling the E15 rulemaking with controversial RIN reforms that will need to be carefully reviewed to ensure they don’t undermine ethanol demand. Continue reading

03-12-19 RFA Statement on EPA Proposal for Year-Round E15, RINs Reform

RFA Statement on EPA Proposal for Year-Round E15, RINs Reform

WASHINGTON— Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper offered the following statement on EPA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to allow year-round sales of E15 in conventional gasoline markets and modify Renewable Identification Number (RIN) provisions under the RFS:

“Today’s proposed rule means EPA is one step closer to making good on President Trump’s promise to allow year-round sales of E15. With just 80 days left before the start of the summer driving season, finalizing and implementing the E15 regulatory fix remains a tall order. That is why we have urged EPA to separate the year-round E15 provisions from the RIN reform provisions, and move forward as quickly as possible to finalize a practical and defensible year-round E15 solution. With ethanol plants shutting down or idling and farmers experiencing the worst conditions in more than a decade, removing the summertime ban on E15 once and for all would send a desperately needed signal to the marketplace.

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03-12-19 NFU Applauds Release of E15 Waiver Proposal

NFU Applauds Release of E15 Waiver Proposal

WASHINGTON – In a move to expand use of higher level blends of ethanol, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a proposed rule to allow the year-round sale of E15, or gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol. The timing of the proposed rule will hopefully allow EPA to issue a final rule by June 1, the start of the summer driving season. Sales of E15 gasoline are currently prohibited during the summer in many states.

National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the release of the proposed rule:


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03-12-19 CSU Veterinary Program Ranks Third in Nation

Colorado State University veterinary program ranks third in nation

The Colorado State University Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program continues to be ranked No. 3 nationally in the latest U.S. News & World Report list.

Released today, the “2020 U.S. News Best Graduate Schools Rankings” ranks 28 veterinary education programs in the United States, through a survey of accredited peer institutions. The magazine publishes the list every four years, and the CSU program has held a spot among the top three vet schools in the country for at least two decades.

“We are training the next generation of veterinary professionals to go out and improve the health of animals, people and the planet,” said Dr. Mark Stetter, dean of CSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Continue reading

03-12-19 Registration is Opening Soon for the ASTA’s Policy & Leadership Development Conference, June 15-19 in Denver, CO

Registration is Opening Soon for the ASTA’s Policy & Leadership Development Conference, June 15-19 in Denver, CO

ASTA’s newest event experience began last June. We reinvented the former Annual Convention into something new – an immersive, collaborative experience across multiple generations, connecting and learning about today’s key policy issues, called the Policy & Leadership Development Conference (PLDC). Continue reading

03-12-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Retail Success Drives U.S. Beef’s Remarkable Growth in Korea

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Retail Success Drives U.S. Beef’s Remarkable Growth in Korea

U.S. beef exports climbed by more than $1 billion in 2018, reaching a record $8.33 billion. South Korea accounted for about half of this growth, with exports increasing $526 million to $1.75 billion – a 43 percent jump from 2017. Korea is now the second-largest international destination for U.S. beef in both volume and value, trailing only Japan, and the United States accounts for 58 percent of Korea’s chilled beef imports.

U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Korea Director Jihae Yang offers more details on U.S. beef’s soaring popularity in Korea in the attached audio report.

Jihae Yang on 2018 beef exports to Korea 3-11-19 Continue reading

03-12-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Announces Middle List For ERS and NIFA Relocation

USDA Secretary Perdue Announces Middle List For ERS and NIFA Relocation

Washington, D.C., March 12, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the initial down-select list of 136 Expressions of Interest received from parties in 35 states vying to become the new homes of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  USDA is following a rigorous site selection process to identify the new locations with involvement from USDA, ERS, and NIFA leadership. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, March 12th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, March 12th

No Trump-Xi Meeting Scheduled Yet

There are no in-person trade talks between China and the United States on the schedule right now. A White House official says there’s still “much work left to be done” in the negotiation process. The Director of the National Economic Council says, “We’re on the phone talking with them every day, but no one has made any concrete trip plans yet.” Politico says administration officials have been quick to caution that an agreement with China isn’t “imminent.” That’s in spite of President Trump’s desire to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping sometime this month to hopefully get a deal between the world’s biggest economies wrapped up. Speaking of trade news, Trump recently told reporters he’ll be sending the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to Capitol Hill for ratification “very shortly.” That would jump-start a 90-day clock during which lawmakers would have to approve or reject the president’s signature trade deal. The NAFTA 2.0 deal is likely the biggest item on the congressional agenda this year. While the submission will kickstart the administration’s final push for support, there are still many Democrats that are working on changes to the deal’s drug pricing and labor enforcement provisions.


Trump Budget Includes Crop Insurance Cuts

The fiscal year 2020 budget submitted by President Donald Trump includes a couple of points sure to ignite debate in the budgetary process. The proposal includes imposing work requirements on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients. The Hagstrom Report says the proposed budget also imposes work requirements on recipients of Medicare and federal housing benefits. The work requirements will likely reduce program participation. That’s part of an administration plan to reduce federal mandatory and discretionary spending. A senior administration official says these are the biggest proposed cuts made by any president in history. However, Congress generally doesn’t follow presidential budgets when they write appropriation bills. The budget proposal is typically seen more as a statement of administration priorities. The proposed budget will also cut back on farm subsidies paid out to farmers in the highest income brackets. It would also reduce the average premium crop insurance subsidy from 62 percent to 48 percent. It would also limit commodity, conservation, and crop insurance subsidies to producers that have an adjusted gross income of $500,000 or less.


Crop Insurance Industry/NFU Respond to President’s Budget Proposal

Several organizations within the crop insurance industry were not happy with President Trump’s proposed budget announcement this week. The budget included steep spending reductions at the Department of Agriculture and the federal crop insurance program. The president’s budget proposal won’t receive much consideration by Congress. However, the American Association of Crop Insurers, the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, along with many other organizations issued a statement saying they were disappointed with the crop insurance cuts. “Those proposed cuts come just months after the importance of crop insurance was reaffirmed by the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill,” the groups said in a joint statement. “If this shortsighted proposal would be adopted, it would seriously undermine a critical safety net for farmers when they need it most.” National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson was in agreement. “There’s a real disconnect between the president’s priorities and the economic realities facing family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities,” says Johnson. “Rather than undermine the 2018 Farm Bill by proposing cuts to important programs, the President should be working to build on that success by providing additional needed support to family farmers and ranchers.”


Green New Deal Supporters Reaching Out to Ag

The February rollout of the Green New Deal was not well received in agricultural circles. Even some self-proclaimed ag progressives were less than enthusiastic. Allies of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are starting to reach out to agriculture experts to discuss the proposed legislation. A Drovers’ article says it might be a sign that the bill’s sponsor may be trying to engage rural interests. Frank Mitloehner (MITT-lay-ner) of the University of California-Davis is one of the nation’s top agricultural emissions experts. He described himself as “thrilled” when two outreach staff affiliated with Ocasio-Cortez reached out to set up a phone call to discuss the potential for climate mitigation efforts in ag. During the Green New Deal’s introduction, social media exploded after the legislation mentioned getting rid of “farting cows.” Mitloehner says as a result of that term, many of his colleagues aren’t taking the Green New Deal and its supporters seriously. “I hear all these people talking about sustainability in farming,” he says. “Who is more of an expert on sustainability in farming than a farmer? Who has a greater interest in the sustainability of their lands than a farmer?” Mitloehner says farmers should be the ones leading the discussion on sustainability, not Ocasio-Cortez and her supporters.


Pesticide Registration Improvement Act Now Law

President Donald Trump signed the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act into law. Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow say the move brings certainty to agriculture and other industry stakeholders. “The law will ensure farmers, consumers, and others have an improved process when registering and evaluating the use of pesticides,” Roberts says. “The Senate unanimously approved the bill, which represents the concerns of all stakeholders.” Stabenow says she’s happy the President signed this “long overdue legislation.” PRIA established a framework for the Environmental Protection Agency when registering pesticides. CropLife America released a statement saying the reauthorization will strengthen and improve pesticide registration through 2023. The statement says, “House and Senate leadership, congressional appropriators, and the authorizing congressional committees have worked diligently over the past two years to preserve the benefits and process improvements first realized with the legislation’s original passage in 2004.


Ag Equipment Sales Remain Positive in February

The latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers shows U.S. sales of ag tractors and combines remained in the plus column in February. Total two-wheel drive tractor sales grew 17 percent compared to February of last year. That category was led by under-40-horsepower machines, which gained 24 percent over last year, as well as a seven percent gain for 40-through-100-horsepower two-wheel drive tractors. February sales of four-wheel drive tractors grew 17 percent compared to the same time last year. Self-propelled combine sales in the U.S. grew 21 percent in February. Canada didn’t fare quite as well, with February gains only for self-propelled combines, up 25 percent, and for under-40-horsepower two-wheel drive tractors, which were 23 percent higher than in 2018. “We’re encouraged that USDA estimates farm income is expected to increase slightly in 2019 after last year’s declines,” says Curt Blades, AEM senior vice president. “Hopefully, that signifies some optimism in the U.S. as the year moves forward. We’re hopeful that the new farm bill will provide more certainty for farmers as they plan ahead.”  

SOURCE: NAFB News Service