04-18-19 Colorado Governor Polis signs long bill


Friday, April 18, 2019

Shelby Wieman | shelby.wieman@state.co.us | 303-957-6011

Colorado Governor Polis signs long bill

DENVER — Governor Jared Polis today signed SB 19-207, FY 2019-20 Long Bill, into law. He was joined by sponsors and Joint Budget Committee members Senator Dominick Moreno and Representative Daneya Esgar. The budget funds top priority items including free full-day kindergarten, saving people money on health care, and investments for water and transportation.

SB19-207 establishes an operating budget of $31.9 billion total funds of which $11.8 billion is General Fund.

“This budget lays a strong foundation for a bold vision for our state, creating opportunity for all,” Governor Polis said. “A product of collaboration and teamwork with Colorado’s leaders in the General Assembly, this budget ensures that our state’s economic success can be realized by every child, adult, and business in our communities. My top priority in this first year as Colorado’s 43rd Governor was to provide access to free, full-day kindergarten to every Colorado family. I am proud to say that this budget makes that vision a rapid reality, with funding now available for the school year that starts this fall.”

BARN FOOTNOTE: Here are some snashots of some of the departments that impact agriculture… Continue reading

04-18-19 SECWD News: Pueblo Dam Hydro plant named for Broderick

SECWD News: Pueblo Dam Hydro plant named for Broderick

A hydroelectric generation plant at Pueblo Dam was named for longtime executive director Jim Broderick of the district which is building the facility.

The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District Board Thursday unanimously passed a resolution naming the plant the James W. Broderick Hydroelectric Power Facility at Pueblo Dam when it is completed.

“Jim always takes a proactive approach through strategic planning and forward thinking in addressing the many and complex challenges that confront the Southeastern District, seeking solutions that are fair and equitable, and that protect and conserve the water resources of Colorado and the Southeastern District,” Board President Bill Long in proposing the resolution. Continue reading

04-18-19 USDA/NASS Rocky Mountain Region: Farms and Land in Farms Final Estimates…


USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has published final estimates for Farms and Land in Farms, including revisions made by the Agricultural Statistics Board (ASB), for the years 2013 through 2017. Data included in these final publications provide a historic record and a benchmark for current estimates. Continue reading

04-18-19 USDA/NASS Rocky Mountain Region: Farms and Land in Farms Report


The number of farms and ranches in Arizona in 2018 totaled 19,200, up 100 operations from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in Arizona, at 26.2 million acres, was up less than one-half percent from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 1,365 acres, compared to 1,366 acres the previous year.

The number of farms and ranches in Colorado in 2018 totaled 38,900, unchanged from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in Colorado, at 31.8 million acres, was unchanged from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 817 acres, unchanged from the previous year.

The number of farms and ranches in Montana in 2018 totaled 26,900, down 100 operations from the 2017 estimate. Total land in farms in Montana, at 58.0 million acres, was down less than one-half percent from the 2017 estimate. The average size of farm was 2,156 acres, compared to 2,152 acres the previous year. Continue reading

04-18-19 USDA/NASS-CO: Cattle on Feed



The number of cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Colorado feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or larger was estimated at 1,060,000 head as of April 1, 2019. The latest inventory was 12 percent above April 1, 2018 inventory and 1 percent above the previous month’s inventory. The inventory included 580,000 steer and steer calves, 8 percent above the previous year. The number of heifer and heifer calves, at 480,000 head, are up 16 percent from a year ago. Cattle feeders with 1,000 head or larger capacity marketed an estimated 185,000 head of fed cattle during March 2019. This was 9 percent above the previous month’s marketings and 16 percent above marketings one year earlier. An estimated 200,000 cattle and calves were placed on feed during March, 8 percent above the previous month’s placements and up 21 percent from March 2018 placements. Of the number placed in March, 15 percent weighed less than 600 pounds, 18 percent weighed from 600 to 699 pounds, 28 percent weighed from 700 to 799 pounds, 28 percent weighed 800-899 pounds, and 13 percent weighed 900 pounds or greater. Other disappearance for March, at 5,000 head, was the same as last month and last year.

UNITED STATES Continue reading

04-18-19 NFU Urges Implementation of E15 Waiver, Common-Sense Provisions for Higher Level Blends

NFU Urges Implementation of E15 Waiver, Common-Sense Provisions for Higher Level Blends

WASHINGTON – As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works towards allowing year-round use of E15 gasoline, National Farmers Union (NFU) is concerned EPA’s proposed rule will make it harder for retailers to sell higher level blends of ethanol.

In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, NFU President Roger Johnson urged EPA to rewrite a provision contained within the rule that could amount to a cap on ethanol. It is viewed within the farm community as yet another barrier to family farmers and ranchers being able to sell farm products for biofuel production.


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04-18-19 ASI: Shearing Schools Announce 2019 Dates, including OR, TN, PA & CO

ASI: Shearing Schools Announce 2019 Dates, including OR, TN, PA & CO

A handful of shearing schools have announced their dates for 2019.

In addition to learning to shear in a hands-on manner, the schools offer teaching on equipment, animal welfare and staying in shape for the physically demanding task. Equipment is supplied, but students are often encouraged to bring any equipment they have, as well.

These schools offer training for a wide variety of students – from hobby farmers looking to shear their own flocks to those with aspirations of shearing professionally: Continue reading

04-18-19 ASI: Apply Now For Sheep Heritage Scholarship 

ASI: Apply Now For Sheep Heritage Scholarship

Through the American Sheep Industry Association, the Sheep Heritage Foundation Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $3,000 is being made available for sheep-related graduate studies.

The scholarship is for the advancement of the American sheep industry through financial support of a graduate-level (M.S. or Ph.D.) student who is attending a school in the United States.

Requirements for applying include: Continue reading

04-18-19 USDA: United States Wins Dispute Finding China’s Administration of Grain Tariff-Rate Quotas Breaches WTO Commitments

USDA: United States Wins Dispute Finding China’s Administration of Grain Tariff-Rate Quotas Breaches WTO Commitments

Washington, D.C., April 18, 2019 – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel found that China has administered its tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) for wheat, corn, and rice inconsistently with its WTO commitments.  Contrary to those commitments, China’s TRQ administration is not transparent, predictable, or fair, and it ultimately inhibits TRQs from filling, denying U.S. farmers access to China’s market for grain. Continue reading



LAKEWOOD, Colo. – April 11, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2017 Census of Agriculture results sharing a wide-range of information about what agricultural products were raised in the United States in 2017, as well as where, how and by whom they were grown. The data, which is reported at the national, state and county level, will help farmers, ranchers, local officials, agribusiness and others make decisions for the future.

“The 2017 Census of Agriculture provides a wide range of demographic, economic, land, and crop and livestock production information as well as first-time or expanded data,” said Bill Meyer, Director, Mountain Regional Field Office. “Many of these data about the states in our Region and our counties are only collected and reported as part of the every-five-year census.”

“The Census shows new data that can be compared to previous censuses for insights into agricultural trends and changes down to the county level,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “We are pleased to share first-time data on topics such as military status and on-farm decision making. To make it easier to delve into the data, we are pleased to make the results available in many online formats including a new data query interface, as well as traditional data tables.”

To provide easier access to the data, NASS created a number of online tools for people to find and use Census data, including: Continue reading

04-18-19 Northern Water: C-BT Water Quota Increased to 70 Percent


BERTHOUD – Above average regional water storage coupled with above average snowpack prompted the Northern Water Board of Directors to increase its 2019 quota allocation for the Colorado-Big Thompson Project to 70 percent.

The Board unanimously approved the allocation at its meeting Thursday at Northern Water’s Berthoud headquarters.

Luke Shawcross, manager of the Water Resources Department at Northern Water, outlined snowpack and forecasted streamflows and discussed the impact of this week’s storm on water supplies.

“On a district-wide basis we are generally out of drought conditions and streamflow forecasts indicate average to above average flows,” said Shawcross. “This week’s storm certainly helps our outlook.” Continue reading

04-19-19 NASS-CO: USDA Seeks Feedback from Growers about 2019 Crops, Stocks, Livestock Inventories and Values

NASS-CO: USDA Seeks Feedback from Growers about 2019 Crops, Stocks, Livestock Inventories and Values

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – April 17, 2019 – Over the course of the next two months, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct two major mid-year surveys, the June Agricultural Survey and the June Area Survey. The agency will contact over 12,000 producers across the region to determine crop acreage and stock levels as of June 1, 2019.

“Two of the most important and well-known surveys NASS conducts are the June Agricultural Survey and June Area Survey, due to the widespread and significant impact of their results,” explained Bill Meyer, director, Mountain Regional Field Office. “When growers respond to these surveys, they provide essential information that helps determine the expected acreage and supply of major commodities in the United States for the 2019 crop year. Results of this survey are used by farmers and ranchers, USDA, businesses, exporters, researchers, economists, policymakers, and others who use the survey information in making a wide range of decisions that benefit you as a producer.” Continue reading

04-18-19 ASI: Comment Now on Delisting of Gray Wolf

A picture from a eastern timber wolf

ASI: Comment Now on Delisting of Gray Wolf

In a move that signals a win for conservation efforts, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to remove the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. Initially listed in 1974, gray wolf populations have exceeded recovery goals by more than 300 percent.

“Celebrating the conservation success, now is clearly the time to return management of this species to the states,” said American Sheep Industry Association President Benny Cox. “Removing this species from the Endangered Species list is underpinned by sound science and has bipartisan support. But it remains critical that America’s sheep producers provide comment to the Federal Record.”

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04-18-19 Study Shows U.S. Pig Farmers Making Major Sustainability Progress

Study Shows U.S. Pig Farmers Making Major Sustainability Progress

DES MOINES, April 18, 2019 – America’s pig farmers continue to practice many of the principles of Earth Day, which is April 22, every day on their farms, and in many cases, have done so for generations. This fact is underscored by the results of a recent study from the University of Arkansas, which confirmed that today’s pork is more earth-friendly than ever thanks to great progress in multiple key sustainability metrics over more than five decades.

According to the new study, A Retrospective Assessment of U.S. Pork Production: 1960 to 2015the inputs needed to produce a pound of pork in the United States have become more environmentally friendly over time. Specifically, 75.9% less land is needed, 25.1% less water and 7% less energy. This also has resulted in a 7.7% smaller carbon footprint (see infographic.)

04-18-19 USDA Launches SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot

USDA Launches SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot

Participants May Buy Groceries Online in New York

Washington, D.C., April 18, 2019 – For the first time, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants will be able to select and pay for their groceries online, during a two-year test (pilot) launched today in New York State. In making the announcement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue highlighted online purchasing’s potential, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) commitment to program integrity by looking carefully at the pilot. Lessons learned from this pilot are expected to inform future efforts to expand online purchasing in SNAP.

“People who receive SNAP benefits should have the opportunity to shop for food the same way more and more Americans shop for food – by ordering and paying for groceries online. As technology advances, it is important for SNAP to advance too, so we can ensure the same shopping options are available for both non-SNAP and SNAP recipients,” Secretary Perdue said. “We look forward to monitoring how these pilots increase food access and customer service to those we serve, specifically those who may experience challenges in visiting brick and mortar stores.” Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for April 18th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for April 18th

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Trump Responds to No Ag in EU Talks, Threatens Tariffs

President Donald Trump is threatening tariffs against the European Union if the EU doesn’t bring agriculture to the trade negotiation table. Trump has threatened tariffs on European cars and auto parts imports, a move the EU has previously said it would abandon the talks over, according to Politico. The EU agreed to move forward with the trade talks earlier this week, but reiterated that agriculture will not be part of the negotiation. The refusal to include agriculture makes any deal with the EU uncertain as lawmakers from farm states have threatened the potential agreement would not pass Congress. Agriculture groups are urging the Trump administration to demand agriculture be included in the negotiation, citing biotechnology and pesticide regulations in the European Union, among other issues. If Trump goes ahead with the auto tariffs, the EU seems likely to retaliate with tariffs on U.S. wine and dairy. The EU is also seeking the removal of section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs by the U.S. “prior to the conclusion” of negotiations.

U.S., Japan to Accelerate Trade Talks Towards Agreement

The U.S. and Japan this week agreed to accelerate trade talks to advance a trade agreement. The first round of talks focused on agriculture and cars, according to Bloomberg News. Japan’s Economic Revitalization Minister will meet again next week with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to continue the negotiation. Japan is seeking to avoid U.S. tariffs on cars exported to the U.S., while President Trump is seeking greater access for agricultural goods to Japan and many measures similar to those found in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Farm groups are pressing the administration to reach an agreement quickly to counter lost market share in Japan from competitors that were included in the TPP replacement. Trump removed the U.S. from TPP upon taking office, and the member countries moved forward with an agreement that allowed Japan to import 60 percent more beef from TPP nations. Further, U.S. pork exports to Japan have dropped around 35 percent this year, since the new TPP agreement was enacted.

China Could Lift Poultry Ban in Trade Agreement, But No Ractopamine Ban

China may remove bans on U.S. poultry imports, but not on ractopamine-treated pork. As the U.S. and China seek to conclude trade negotiations, and African swine fever consumes China’s hog production, the U.S. has asked China to remove its ractopamine ban. Reuters says China has resisted the move for pork, but seems receptive to lifting a ban on U.S. poultry.  Data from Rabobank shows African swine fever seems likely to reduce China’s pork output by 30 percent this year. China will need exports to offset the losses, but the exports could come from other suppliers, depending on the outcome of the U.S.-China trade negotiations. Ractopamine is used to promote growth in U.S. pork and China banned its use in livestock in 2002. Meanwhile, China banned U.S. poultry in 2015 during the avian influenza outbreak. Before the ban, the U.S. shipped $390 million worth of U.S. poultry to China. The USA Poultry and Egg Export Council values China’s poultry market at $500 million, representing a major opportunity for U.S. producers.

Senators Seek USDA-Wide Water Quality Initiative for Conservation Measures

A bipartisan group of Senators is seeking a USDA-wide National Water Quality Initiative to prioritize conservation measures in the 2018 Farm Bill to address water quality. In a letter, the Senators point out that the 2018 Farm Bill made “historic investments” in voluntary conservation efforts to address water quality challenges. Specifically, the bill reformed and improved all major conservation programs in order to provide new tools to assist farmers, ranchers, and landowners in addressing water quality concerns. The group of Senators, led by Senate Agriculture Committee ranking Democrat Debbie Stabenow, urged Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to implement the provisions through the department-wide approach, which would build off the existing initiative housed at the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The letter was also signed by Senate Republicans Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mike Braun of Indiana, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and Democrats Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tom Carper of Delaware, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.

Trump Signs Colorado River Drought Contingency Plans

President Donald Trump this week signed a drought contingency plan for the Colorado River. Supported by all 14 Senators in impacted states, the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan Authorization Act implements a water sharing agreement between Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, California, New Mexico and Nevada. The plan was approved on a voice vote in the U.S. House and was “considered approved” and sent directly to the White House by the Senate. The agreement establishes new water conservation measures to protect reservoir levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell, using voluntary water reductions and management strategies to avoid historic lows in Colorado River reservoirs, which would trigger dramatic water delivery cuts. The U.S. Department of Interior notes that Since 2000, the Colorado River Basin has experienced historic drought and dry conditions. Currently, the combined storage in Lakes Powell and Mead are at their lowest levels since Lake Powell initially began filling in the 1960s.

Missouri Farmers, Lawmakers, Seek to Block Transmission Line

Missouri farmers are seeking to block a transmission line that would be constructed across the state on roughly 500 different farms. The Grain Belt Express received approval by the Missouri Public Service Commission last month. However, farmers and rural communities are upset because the state will allow a private company to use eminent domain to procure land for the transmission line. Farmers rallied at the state capital this week in support of legislation that would bar private entities from using eminent domain for overhead transmission lines, citing personal property rights. However, opposition to the measure claims it’s an attack on green energy, as the state allows eminent domain for oil pipelines and other projects. Supporters of the transmission line say it will provide an economic benefit to rural counties. The Grain Belt Express transmission line, owned by Clean Line Energy, would transmit electricity from wind farms in Kansas, through Missouri and Illinois. Clean Line Energy is owned by Invenergy, a private energy investment company.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service