05-07-19 USDA Announces March Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers Third 2019 Dairy Safety Net Payment

USDA Announces March Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers Third 2019 Dairy Safety Net Payment

Dairy Margin Coverage Program Sign-Up Begins June 17

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2019 — USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the March 2019 income over feed cost margin was $8.85 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the third payment for dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy), offers 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.

“I encourage all dairy operations to sign up for DMC when we begin accepting applications in June,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “Under certain coverage levels, the amount to be paid to dairy farmers for the months of January, February and March already exceed the cost of the premium.” Continue reading

05-07-19 CSU Golden Plains Area Extension Agricultural Newsletter and Web Page Available

CSU Golden Plains Area Extension Agricultural Newsletter and Web Page Available

The Golden Plains Area Agricultural Extension team along with Colorado State University Extension is highlighting the availability of its Agricultural Newsletter.  The newsletter is published multiple times per year and contains local agricultural information such as wheat and other agronomic test plot results, Weed Science information, animal science information, Ag and Business management information, and horticultural articles.  This publication also lists area agricultural meeting schedules and locations.  The newsletter is available without charge to anyone requesting it.  To get on the mailing list, contact the Washington County Extension office at 970 345 2287 or send an email to: dennis.kaan@colostate.edu.

The Area web page also offers a wide variety of locally adapted information and can be found at:  https://goldenplains.extension.colostate.edu/

05-07-19 CSU – Golden Plains Extension: Corn Planting

CSU – Golden Plains Extension: Corn Planting

Since soil temperature, stand establishment and uniform emergence are all key considerations when attempting to determine an optimum corn planting window, early plantings generally coincide with cold soil temperatures and delayed emergence is the result. Agronomy professionals agree that the optimum corn planting window will be related directly to a consistent soil temperature of around 50 to 55° F at the two-inch soil depth. Traditionally, these consistent soil temperatures occur between late-April through early-May. Cool soils often result in a lengthy germination period, corn emergence can often times take over three weeks from the time of planting to full stand establishment when soils are not able to warm in the spring. Table 1 outlines the approximate days to seedling emergence based on various consistent, soil temperature ranges:

Continue reading

05-07-19 USGC/NCGA: Economic Analysis: Grain Exports Offer Billions in Benefits Beyond the Farm

USGC/NCGA: Economic Analysis: Grain Exports Offer Billions in Benefits Beyond the Farm

WASHINGTON D.C. –  May 7, 2019 – A new study shows access to international export markets for U.S. grains supported nearly $38 billion in business sales in the U.S. economy during 2016 beyond the value of the products themselves.

The analysis commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) found a total economic impact of U.S. grains exports of $55 billion that year, supporting 271,000 jobs directly or indirectly. These sales supported U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $19 billion over what would have occurred without such exports. Continue reading

05-07-19 USDA-RMA: USDA Announces Dual Use Insurance Coverage for Grain/Graze

USDA-RMA: USDA Announces Dual Use Insurance Coverage for Grain/Graze

May 7, 2019 – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced updates to Annual Forage insurance for the 2020 Crop Year. Because of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Annual Forage pilot program now offers a Dual Use Option in select counties of six Great Plains states. Producers who select this option can insure their small grains crop with both an Annual Forage Policy for grazing and a multi-peril Small Grains Policy for grain.

“These changes allow crop insurance to provide coverage and recognize a practice that farmers and ranchers have used for years in certain parts of the country,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “This is another key step in ensuring RMA is meeting the risk management needs of U.S. agriculture.”

The Dual Use Option is ideal for producers who plant a small grain by October 15, 2019, to use as a grazing crop over the winter and to harvest for grain the next summer. The option is available in counties where RMA considers “grain/graze” a good farming practice in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Dual Use Continue reading

05-07-19 NAWG Member North Dakota Grain Growers Association (NDDGA) Chooses to Leave NAWG

NAWG Member North Dakota Grain Growers Association (NDDGA) Chooses to Leave NAWG

Washington, D.C. (May 7, 2019) – It is with much disappointment to announce that the North Dakota Grain Growers Association (NDGGA) has decided to withdraw their membership from the National Association of Wheat Growers, effective June 30, 2019, the end of NAWG’s current fiscal year. NAWG President Ben Scholz made the following statement in response:

“Despite tremendous effort and NAWG conducting hundreds of meetings with members of Congress and the Administration on behalf of all our states including North Dakota, NDGGA leadership has indicated they will leave NAWG. NAWG leadership and staff did everything possible to address NDGGA’s concerns, from private briefings to ramped up communications to our states to traveling to North Dakota with a third-party facilitator to address issues, and yet they have still decided to resign their membership. As the President of a trade association, it always disappoints me when one of our members isn’t pleased with productivity. Continue reading

05-07-19 FDA Must Step in To End Fake-Butter Proliferation, American Butter Institute Says

FDA Must Step in To End Fake-Butter Proliferation, American Butter Institute Says

ARLINGTON, Va. – Plant-based imitations of butter and other dairy products pose an increasing challenge for consumer understanding in the butter sector, which is dealing with proliferating imposters even as butter’s popularity grows. That makes it crucial for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop vegan shenanigans before fake products make federal standards of identity for established terms such as “butter” and “margarine” meaningless, said Tom Balmer, executive director of the American Butter Institute. Continue reading

05-07-19 US Senator Bennet Applauds New EPA Grants for Colorado School of Mines to Address PFAS Contamination

US Senator Bennet Applauds New EPA Grants for Colorado School of Mines to Address PFAS Contamination

Washington, D.C. –Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado will receive $3.9 million in research grants to improve the understanding of human and ecological exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), chemicals that have contaminated drinking water sources in Colorado and across the country.

“Colorado families deserve safe and clean drinking water,” said Bennet. “As a result of the strong advocacy of communities affected by PFAS, the Air Force is now transitioning away from using materials containing the chemicals. But significant challenges remain, including how to effectively clean the water and the extent of the effects on public health. The Colorado School of Mines has long been engaged on this critical issue, and we are fortunate to have their leadership in developing research to address these concerns.” Continue reading

05-07-19 CO Beef Council News: Popular Competitor on NBC’s Ninja Warrior to Appear at Colfax Marathon’s Health and Fitness Expo May 17-18

CO Beef Council News: Popular Competitor on NBC’s Ninja Warrior to Appear at Colfax Marathon’s Health and Fitness Expo

Fitness Course Will Feature Cowboy Ninja Lance Pekus

ENGLEWOOD, CO (May 7, 2019) – Cowboy Ninja Lance Pekus will inspire thousands to find their inner warrior when he appears at the 2019 Colfax Marathon Denver Health and Fitness Expo May 17-18 at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Pekus will be at the expo greeting fans, leading attendees through a ninja course and participating in exhibition runs. His appearance is sponsored by the Colorado Beef Council and the state’s cattle ranchers and farmers through the Beef Checkoff.

Pekus appeared on seasons 4-9 of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior as the Cowboy Ninja, thrilling fans with his amazing strength and endurance. He and his family live in Salmon, Idaho, where he works on his father-in-law’s ranch and part time for the U.S. Forest Service. Pekus represents the beef industry to consumers and within the health and fitness community as part of the beef industry’s Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. strength campaign. Continue reading

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Trump Says Tariffs on China to Increase Friday, Pressuring for Trade Deal

Trade officials from China are in Washington, DC this week as the Trump administration places further pressure on China to reach an agreement with the United States. Trump will increase tariffs on China Friday, saying talks between the two nations are going too slowly. On Twitter, Trump states he will increase tariffs on $200 billion of goods from 10 to 25 percent. Trade organization Tariffs Hurt the Heartland says the move would cost nearly one million American jobs, and “increase the likelihood of retaliation on American farmers.” China and the U.S. meet this week in what was expected to be the final round of formal talks. Trump is expected to host his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (Shee Jihn-ping) in June, with the expectation the two would sign an agreement. A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said Monday the negotiations held so far between the two sides have achieved positive progress, adding, China hopes the U.S. will work to “meet each other halfway and strive for a mutually beneficial agreement on the basis of mutual respect.”

Finalist Sites Named, Groups Restate Opposition to USDA Moves

The Department of Agriculture is eying the Kansas City metro, Purdue University and Research Triangle Park to relocate two department agencies. USDA announced the three finalists Friday as relocation spots for the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The controversial move “will help ensure USDA is the most effective, most efficient, and most customer-focused agency in the federal government,” and allows USDA to be closer to the agency’s stakeholders, according to agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. However, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition says the proposal would result in the loss of skilled staff and bring the potential for politicization of the nonpartisan research agencies. The Coalition says its “deeply disappointed” USDA is pressing forward with the plan, adding that the lack of cost-benefit analysis from USDA is concerning regarding the alleged benefits. USDA plans to release a cost-benefit analysis when announcing the final site.

Midwest Senators Seek Better Communications from Army Corps

A group of Midwest Senators is urging the Army Corps of Engineers to communicate better with lawmakers and stakeholders during flood events. Senators Jody Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa led the effort, along with Senators from Kansas, Missouri, and North and South Dakota. In a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Senators describes issues with communications between the Corps and local levee sponsors and those in harm’s way. The Senators requested the Corps begin sending email updates to all local sponsors of Corps levees in the Missouri River Basin weekly starting within 30 days of receiving their letter. Better communications, the Senators say, “could have mitigated some of the damages,” during the beginning of ongoing flooding along the Missouri River this spring, according to the letter. During heightened flood events along the Missouri River, the Corps of Engineers hosts scheduled conference calls with stakeholders and media, sometimes daily, with the most recent call scheduled Tuesday (today). The Corps also generally provides a forecast for the Missouri River once every three weeks. During this spring, that forecast has been updated weekly.

Midwest River Flooding Expected to Linger

Record flooding continues on the Mississippi River as the Army Corps of Engineers also warns Missouri River Runoff will remain at near record levels. Navigational passage was closed along parts of the Mississippi River over the weekend around St. Louis with flooding expecting to continue. The U.S. Coast Guard says restrictions to operations will be lifted as soon as conditions improve. The National Weather Service says current national weather patterns are the same “seen in most of the significant flooding events in the Mississippi Valley over the past 120 years.” NWS model guidance suggests the pattern will continue through at least the middle of May and will produce areas of very heavy rains across the Mississippi watershed. Meanwhile, above-average runoff continues in the upper Missouri River basin. April runoff in the upper basin, the Missouri River above Sioux City, Iowa, was 7.8 million-acre feet, the third highest April runoff recorded. The Corps announced Monday that releases from all Missouri River reservoirs will be above average for the next several months, and possibly as late as November.

USDA Accepting Applications to Help Cover Producers’ Costs for Organic Certification

Federal funds are available to help farmers applying for receiving and maintaining organic certification through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program. The Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency announced the funding Monday. The program provides cost-share assistance up to 75 percent of certification costs each year to producers and handlers of agricultural products for the costs of obtaining or maintaining organic certification. The maximum funding available is $750 per certification scope, including crops, livestock, wild crops, handling and state organic program fees. FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says the program also “gives organic producers an opportunity to learn about other valuable USDA resources, like farm loans and conservation assistance, that can help them succeed.” Producers can visit their local FSA county offices to apply for fiscal year 2019 funding. Eligible expenses for cost-share reimbursement include application fees, inspection costs, fees related to equivalency agreements and arrangement requirements, travel expenses for inspectors, user fees, sales assessments and postage.

USDA Announces Repayment Option for Previous MPP Participants

The Department of Agriculture announced options last week for repayment to dairy farmers who participated in the Margin Protection Program for Diary, now replaced by the Dairy Margin Coverage Program. To be eligible for repayment, a dairy operation must have participated in the MPP-Dairy during any calendar year from 2014 through 2017, have the repayment calculated and verified by the Farm Service Agency and elect one of two options by September 20, 2019. An operation’s repayment amount is calculated for each applicable calendar year in which that dairy participated in MPP, from 2014 through 2017. An operation either can elect to receive 50 percent of the repayment amount as a cash refund or take 75 percent of the amount as a credit that can be used toward premiums for the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program. Signup for DMC begins June 17 and also ends September 20.  Eligible dairy producers soon will receive a letter from FSA, outlining their repayment options.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service