03-25-19 Inside NAWG with President Ben Scholz: NWIC Fly-In; Midwest Flooding; Importance of Crop Insurance; Trade and more…

Inside NAWG with President Ben Scholz: NWIC Fly-In; Midwest Flooding; Importance of Crop Insurance; Trade and more…

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) March 25, 2019 – Joining the  Colorado Ag News Network is Ben Scholz, President of the National Association of Wheat Growers discussing several topics pertinent to the wheat industry including:

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BEN SCHOLZ BIOGRAPHY  Continue reading

03-25-19 RMFU: Ag Day At The Capitol Celebrates Farmers, Ranchers, and Food

RMFU: Ag Day At The Capitol Celebrates Farmers, Ranchers, and Food

Along with the other members of Colorado Ag Council, RMFU hosted an educational booth during Ag Day at the Capitol, today. Ag Day at the Capitol takes place during National Ag Week, each year. The event showcases all that Colorado’s industry does for our state, highlighting ag’s successes in feeding Colorado’s five million people, its stewardship of our resources, and its $40 billion economic impact that makes it as important as tourism.

This year’s crowd heard from Agriculture Commissioner Kate Greenberg, Governor Jared Polis, Senator Kerry Donovan, and Representative Dylan Roberts.

We also welcomed RMFU farmers and ranchers like John Ellis, Sondra Pierce, and Meg Caley, who visited with lawmakers and guests attending the event.

Sondra Pierce, John Ellis, Ag Commissioner Kate Greenberg, Governor Jared Polis, and Nick Levendofsky were among those celebrating Ag Day at the Capitol.

Watch the BARN’s webcast archives from 2019 Colorado Ag Day at the Capitol on March 20th – CLICK HERE

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03-25-19 RMFU Is Opposing Nomination of Rodney Brown To Farm Credit Board

RMFU Is Opposing Nomination of Rodney Brown To Farm Credit Board

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU) in a letter to U.S. Senators from Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, is opposing the nomination of Rodney Brown to the Farm Credit Administration Board, which regulates the Farm Credit System, and is asking President Trump to nominate someone better suited for the position and its duties.

Brown is the immediate past president and CEO of the California Bankers Association (CBA) and a past member of the American Bankers Association (ABA) board of directors. In the past, ABA and CBA have publicly lobbied against the farmer-owned cooperative business structure of the Farm Credit System. The ABA actively lobbied Congress to change the tax structure of the Farm Credit System to put it at a disadvantage. “Given this information, we feel Mr. Brown’s nomination is a blatant conflict of interest,” says RMFU President and farmer Dr. Dale McCall

The Farm Credit System provides competitive banking and loan services designed to support agriculture, but especially young and beginning farmers and ranchers. “More importantly, as a farmer-owned financial cooperative, Farm Credit is in business to make the lives farmers and ranchers better, rather than stockholders whose only interest is in wealth transfer from rural America into their own pockets,” adds McCall.

“Farmers, ranchers, and rural citizens are dealing with enough stress, as it is. Please take steps to make sure the Farm Credit Administration Board is led by someone who is honestly invested in strengthening economic options and opportunities for farm and ranch families,” McCall is asking the senators.

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03-25-19 NFU, Broad Coalition Urge Full Funding for Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network

NFU, Broad Coalition Urge Full Funding for Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network

WASHINGTON – In an effort to improve mental health support for farmers, ranchers and farmworkers, National Farmers Union (NFU) and a broad coalition of leading farm and rural advocacy groups are urging Congress to fully fund the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) in fiscal year 2020.

FRSAN provides grants for extension services, state departments of agriculture, nonprofit organizations and other entities to provide stress assistance programs to farmers, ranchers, farmworkers, and other agriculture-related occupations. Eligible programs include farm helplines and websites, training programs and workshops, outreach services, and home delivery of assistance.

“As you know, farming is a high-stress occupation,” said the groups in a letter to leadership of the Senate and House agriculture appropriations subcommittees. “Financial risk, volatile markets, unpredictable weather, and heavy workloads can all place a significant strain on farmers’, ranchers’ and farmworkers’ mental and emotional well-being. This is exacerbated by the fact that 60 percent of rural residents live in areas that suffer from mental health professional shortages.” Continue reading

03-25-19 Potatoes USA Elects Leadership for 2019-2020

Back: Jason Davenport of Arvin, California; Dan Moss of Declo, Idaho; Phil Hickman of Horntown, Virginia; Heidi Randall of Friesland, Wisconsin; Jaren Raybould of Saint Anthony, Idaho; and Sheldon Rockey of Center, Colorado. Front: Blair Richardson, Potatoes USA CEO; Chris Hansen of Bliss, New York; Steve Streich of Kalispell, Montana; Eric Schroeder of Antigo, Wisconsin; and Steve Elfering of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Not pictured: Marty Meyers of Boardman, Oregon.

Potatoes USA Elects Leadership for 2019-2020

DENVER (March 25, 2019) — Potatoes USA, the Marketing and Promotions Board for the U.S. potato industry, concluded its 47th Annual Meeting on March 14. During this meeting, a new Board Chairman and Executive Committee were elected to lead the industry for the coming year.

Phil Hickman of Horntown, Virginia will serve a one-year term as Chairman, making him the board’s first Chairman from Virginia. Hickman brings vast experience to the Chairman role by actively serving on the Potatoes USA board for 11 years and farming since 1974, when he and his brother began Dublin Farms at the ages 20 and 22, respectively. Hickman grew up farming on property that has been in his family for over 100 years and has harvested potatoes on different portions of the land every year.

“My experience working on a small farm gives me the ability to work well with each region. This is going to be valuable as I work to get each region to work together on the common goal of building demand for U.S. potatoes,” said Hickman.

The majority of the Potatoes USA Executive Committee remains the same as the previous year. Appointed Executive Committee members are: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, March 25th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, March 25th

China Purchases U.S. Sorghum, Corn  as Trade Talks Continue

The Department of Agriculture reports China last week made another 2.6-million-bushel purchase of U.S. sorghum, to the delight of the National Sorghum Producers. China also announced significant purchases of U.S. corn last week. The purchase occurred as China confirmed continuing the ongoing trade talks with the United States. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin will meet with Chinese constituents in Beijing later this week. President Trump has also made comments saying he is pleased with positive direction U.S.-China trade negotiations have taken. Concerns remain, however, after President Trump said last week he would keep tariffs in place on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods until it is clear Beijing is complying with any trade deal that is reached. That could be further concerning if China doesn’t agree to remove trade tariffs on U.S. agricultural products implemented as part of last year’s tit-for-tat trade war. Still, signs remain that the trade talks are progressing and could be finalized by early this summer.

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Growth Energy Calls on DOT to Provide Rail Assistance During Midwest Flooding

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor is calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to help expedite rail delivery of biofuels amid historic flooding. Flooding in a four-state area has delayed transportation of critical supplies of biofuel, which in turn, could impact consumer fuel costs. Rail lines in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri remain closed with many washouts reported from the flooding. Those rail lines are critical for the daily operation of biofuels facilities in the Midwest to receive and distribute its products. In her letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Skor said: “Further delays could not only impact our industry, but could also ultimately increase fuel costs for American drivers.” Ethanol plants report some damages, delays or even closures as flood waters inundated Nebraska and the Missouri River bottom grounds, home to ethanol facilities and critical rail lines for the region. President Trump issued a federal emergency declaration for Nebraska last week.

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USDA Assisting Producers in Flooded Areas

The Department of Agriculture is offering assistance to farmers and ranchers affected by the devastation caused by historic flooding in the Midwest. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA staff in the regional, state, and county offices are responding and providing a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to residents, producers, and communities. Perdue encouraged farmers to contact their local USDA Service Center, as USDA will “do everything in their power” to assist producers. USDA can help producers with the Livestock Indemnity Program, Emergency Assistance payments, along with resources through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, and others. The department can also assist rural communities in removing debris, and offers technical assistance, loans, grants, and loan guarantees to rural communities and individuals to assist with the construction or rehabilitation of utility infrastructure including water and wastewater systems, community infrastructure, and housing.

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Dairy Producers Enrolled in Livestock Gross Margin Program Eligible for 2018 MPP

Dairy producers who participated in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program now can participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy for 2018 coverage. The Department of Agriculture announced the eligibility last week. Producers enrolled in 2018 LGM-Dairy, administered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency under 2014 Farm Bill, were ineligible for coverage under MPP-Dairy, a safety net program available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency. FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says changes in the 2018 Farm Bill “includes the ability for producers with LGM coverage to retroactively enroll in MPP-Dairy for 2018.” The MPP-Dairy program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the national all-milk price and the national average feed cost falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producers in a dairy operation. LGM-Dairy is an insurance product that provides protection when feed costs rise, or milk prices drop. This retroactive sign-up is only for dairy producers with 2018 LGM coverage who produced and marketed milk in 2018 but did not obtain full year MPP-Dairy coverage.

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Canada Expanding Detector Dog Program for ASF Defense

Canada, like the United States, is increasing its defense against African swine fever. Canada recently announced it would more than double the total number of detector dog teams at Canada’s airports within five years. The plan includes new funding of up to $31 million to add 24 Food, Plant, and Animal Detector Dog Service teams for a total of 39. Canada says the new teams are being deployed to help prevent illegally imported meat products from entering into Canada. Canada, like the U.S., is bolstering its efforts to detect potentially illegal animal products from entering its borders as African swine fever remains a threat. Detector dogs in the U.S. recently discovered one million pounds of pork illegally imported from China, where African swine fever is wide-spread. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada says in a news release that meat and meat products from countries affected by African swine fever “present one of the greatest risks for introducing this animal disease to Canada.”

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MillerCoors Suing Anheuser-Busch of Corn Syrup Commercials

MillerCoors has filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch over its series of commercials on the use of corn syrup in the brewing process. Bud Light doesn’t use corn syrup, and MillerCoors does. The lawsuit filed last week alleges the ads are false, misleading and part of a plot to frighten drinkers of Miller Lite and Coors Light to favor of Bud Light, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. MillerCoors says that contrary to what the ads suggest, there is no corn syrup in the final product, as corn syrup is used only as a fermentation aid and is completely turned into alcohol by the time it is finished. The brewer alleges Anheuser-Busch is deliberately playing on consumers’ ignorance that ordinary corn syrup is different from the controversial high-fructose corn syrup. Anheuser-Busch started the conflict with a Super Bowl commercial, which prompted anger amongst corn farmers. MillerCoors is asking a federal court to halt the ads and force Anheuser Busch to launch a new campaign “to correct the false and misleading impressions.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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