04-30-19 Governor Polis and Secretary of State Griswold announce March 3rd, 2020 as Colorado’s new presidential primary date


Governor Polis and Secretary of State Griswold announce March 3rd, 2020 as Colorado’s new presidential primary date

DENVER — Today Governor Jared Polis and Secretary of State Jena Griswold announced March 3rd, 2020 as the new date for Colorado’s presidential primary. The two were joined by leaders from the Democratic, Republican, Unity American Constitution and Approval Voting parties.

“Our Super Tuesday primaries will be a tremendous opportunity to participate in democracy and for Coloradans to have their voices heard by presidential candidates in all parties,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We are proud of 2018’s record turnout, as well as Colorado’s status as a leader on voting rights. We hope to build on that momentum by participating in a primary along with other Super Tuesday states to ensure that all major candidates listen firsthand to the concerns of Colorado voters.” Continue reading

04-30-19 EPA Takes Next Step in Review Process for Herbicide Glyphosate, Reaffirms No Risk to Public Health

EPA Takes Next Step in Review Process for Herbicide Glyphosate, Reaffirms No Risk to Public Health

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking an important step in the agency’s review of glyphosate. As part of this action, EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. The agency’s scientific findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies. While the agency did not identify public health risks in the 2017 human health risk assessment, the 2017 ecological assessment did identify ecological risks. To address these risks, EPA is proposing management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays on the intended pest, protect pollinators, and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate.

“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s proposed action includes new management measures that will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections. We look forward to input from farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the draft management measures are workable, realistic, and effective.”

“If we are going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, we are going to need all the tools at our disposal, which includes the use the glyphosate,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “USDA applauds EPA’s proposed registration decision as it is science-based and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.” Continue reading

04-30-19 USDA Releases Report on Rural Broadband and Benefits of Next Generation Precision Agriculture

USDA Releases Report on Rural Broadband and Benefits of Next Generation Precision Agriculture

Reliable, High-Speed Broadband e-Connectivity is Essential to Enhanced Agricultural Production

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today unveiled a groundbreaking report, A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies(PDF, 2.5 MB). The report finds that deployment of both broadband e-Connectivity and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technology on farms and ranches throughout the U.S. could result in at least $47 billion in national economic benefits every year.

“Broadband and Next Generation Precision Agriculture are critical components for creating vital access to world-class resources, tools and opportunity for America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters and producers,” Secretary Perdue said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, USDA is committed to doing our part to clear the way for nationwide broadband connectivity that will allow the next generation of precision agriculture technologies to thrive and expand.” Continue reading

04-30-19 USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today the availability of a new web-based tool – developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin – to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

“With sign-up for the DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program,” Secretary Perdue said. “Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry.” Continue reading

04-30-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: NAMI President and CEO Gets Firsthand Look at U.S. Red Meat’s Success in Japan, Korea

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: NAMI President and CEO Gets Firsthand Look at U.S. Red Meat’s Success in Japan, Korea

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – April 30, 2019 – Julie Anna Potts, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), just made her first visit to two of the leading destinations for U.S. beef and pork – Japan and South Korea. Potts was accompanied by U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom and participated in several consumer events, retail promotions and industry meetings arranged by USMEF. She also received market briefings from U.S. Embassy staff in Tokyo and Seoul.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 30th

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 30th

USDA Extends Market Facilitation Program Deadline

The Department of Agriculture Monday extended the deadline to May 17 from May 1 for producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program. The trade relief program payments will be issued only if eligible producers certify acres before the updated May 17 deadline. Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce says the deadline was moved because rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests in many parts of the country, preventing producers from certifying acres. The program helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports, according to USDA. MFP provides payments to producers of corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans, wheat, dairy, hogs, fresh sweet cherries and shelled almonds. To date, more than $8.3 billion has been paid to nearly 600,000 applicants. Producers can certify production by contacting their local FSA office or through farmers.gov.

Trump Promises Ag Focus in Japan Trade Talks

President Donald Trump promises agriculture will be a focal point in trade talks with Japan. Farmers are hoping a deal with Japan will make up for lost market access after the U.S. withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Japan and TPP-member countries have signed a new agreement now in place, giving other nations reduced tariffs and improved access to Japan, resulting in a decline of U.S. products flowing to Japan. Before meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (sheen-zoh ah-bay) last week, Trump stated the two would be “discussing very strongly agriculture,” according to Politico. Japan will be seeking market access in return, which could include growing markets for its specialty agricultural products. The U.S. and Japan earlier this month agreed to accelerated trade talks in hopes of reaching a speedy deal by focusing on agriculture automobile trade. The benefits seen in a new trade deal with Japan are likely to be similar to those agriculture welcomed during the TPP negotiating process.

Next Two Rounds of China Trade Talks Critical

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hopes the next couple rounds of trade talks with China will bring a deal or a decision to “move on.” He told Fox Business there is a “strong desire” to wrap up the talks, or move on. The negotiations have entered the final stages, according to Mnuchin. The U.S. and China meet again this week in Beijing. Officials from China are scheduled to then revisit Washington to continue the negotiations next week. Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping (Shee Jihn’-ping) may visit the White House in June, in what would be an expected meeting to sign an agreement. Mnuchin believes both sides want to reach a deal. Agriculture groups are seeking an agreement that removes tariffs on U.S. products implemented as part of the tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China. However, Trump has previously stated that U.S. tariffs, those China retaliated against U.S. ag products over, may remain following an agreement.

RFA “Strongly Supports” EPA Proposal to Allow Year-Round E15

In comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Renewable Fuels Association Monday said it “strongly supports” the year-round E15 proposal. The proposal would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for fuels blended with 15 percent ethanol year-round. The waiver currently applies to E10 only during the summer months. According to RFA, the EPA proposal would allow year-round sales of E15 in conventional gasoline markets for the first time, opening the marketplace more broadly to a fuel that provides consumers higher octane, lower cost, and reduced tailpipe emissions. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper says, “President Trump was correct when he called the summertime prohibition on E15 unnecessary and ridiculous.” However, just 32 days remain before the start of the summer driving season. Cooper says to honor the President’s commitment, EPA must act quickly to complete the rule. RFA’s comments also discouraged EPA from finalizing any of the four proposed Renewable Identification Number market reforms. RFA is concerned that changes may be counterproductive, undermine the efficient operation of the RIN market mechanism.

Representative Crawford Eyeing Top GOP Spot on House Ag Committee

Representative Rick Crawford of Arkansas is seeking the top Republican seat on the House Agriculture Committee after the 2020 election. Crawford told the Arkansas Farm Bureau last week that if the Republicans win control of the House, he will run for chair of the committee. House Republican rules limit members from serving in leadership positions on a committee for more than six years, preventing current ranking member Mike Conaway from serving as the top Republican beyond the current Congress. Crawford said he believed his biggest competition for the role would come from Representatives Austin Scott of Georgia and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson of Pennsylvania, according to the Arkansas Democratic Gazette. If Republicans regain majority control of the House after the 2020 elections, and Crawford is reelected, he would be running for the Chairmanship of the committee. Democrat Collin Peterson of Minnesota currently chairs the committee. Reelection and winning the top committee seat would put Crawford in the driver’s seat leading up to the next farm bill.

Ag Champion Richard Lugar Passes

A champion for agriculture, former Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana passed away Sunday. Farmers for Free Trade Co-Chair Max Baucus, a former Senator from Montana, says Luger “leaves behind an unmatched legacy of bipartisan achievement” on agriculture and foreign policy. Luger, a Republican, served as U.S. Senator representing Indiana from 1977 to 2013. He twice served as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Upon leaving office, Lugar created The Lugar Center which focuses on global food security,  and other international issues. Former President Barack Obama called Lugar a problem solver, calling him “an example a public servant can make” by focusing on common ground. Vice President Mike Pence of Indiana called Luger a friend, saying his “contributions to the life of our nation are countless.” Luger, 87, was surrounded by family during his passing following a short illness in a hospital.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service