05-14-19 Tractor Supply Presents a Record-Breaking $970,121 to National FFA Foundation

Tractor Supply Presents a Record-Breaking $970,121 to National FFA Foundation

Fourth Annual Grants for Growing Donations Support Youth-Led FFA Projects

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (May 14, 2019) – Tractor Supply Company and the National FFA Organization continue to partner to support the next generation of agricultural leaders through their Grants for Growing program. Grants for Growing provides funding to FFA chapters across the country for the development or improvement of a proposed agricultural project. This year, Tractor Supply stores nationwide raised a record $970,122 through customer donations to fund sustainable, youth-driven agriculture projects made possible by the initiative. Continue reading

04-14-19 US Senator Bennet, Boozman Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Agricultural Exports to Cuba

US Senator Bennet, Boozman Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Agricultural Exports to Cuba

Bill Provides New Market Opportunity for American Farmers and Ranchers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and John Boozman (R-AR) today reintroduced the Agricultural Export Expansion Act of 2019, legislation to remove a major hurdle for American farmers and ranchers to selling American agricultural products in the Cuban market. The bipartisan bill would support jobs in Colorado, Arkansas, and across the country by lifting restrictions on private financing for U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that American farmers and ranchers want the opportunity to compete and sell their product around the world, including in the Cuban market. Despite our progress in the 2018 Farm Bill, existing trade restrictions with Cuba continue to put our farmers and ranchers at a disadvantage,” Bennet said. “This common-sense bill would unlock new market opportunities for Colorado farmers and ranchers who have a tremendous amount to gain from competing in the Cuban market.” 

“Arkansas farmers need new markets and one solution is sitting less than one hundred miles off our coast. Cuba imports 80 percent of its food, but Americans start out at a disadvantage since private financing is not allowed. Our bill removes this barrier, allowing our agricultural producers to compete, while simultaneously exposing Cubans to American ideals, values and products. It’s a small step, but one that can yield big dividends for American farmers and the Cuban people,” Boozman said.

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05-14-19 Inside The BARN with Doug O’Brien, NCBA-CLUSA President & CEO…

Inside The BARN with Doug O’Brien, NCBA-CLUSA President & CEO…

BRIGGSDALE, CO – May 14, 2019 – Despite recent news that the Trump administration wants to cut funding for clean energy programs again, rural co-op utilities still have a chance to expand energy efficiency programs for their members.One way to accomplish this is applying for the Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP). Available until this September, RESP offers rural communities a way to upgrade their current forms of energy with a zero-percent loan.

Joining FarmCast Radio and the Colorado Ag News Network to discuss how your community can overcome energy efficiency challenges is Doug O’Brien, President and CEO of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International


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05-14-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Customers of U.S. Red Meat in Mexico Seek More Stable Trade Environment

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Customers of U.S. Red Meat in Mexico Seek More Stable Trade Environment  

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – May 14, 2019 – Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) president and CEO, just returned from a series of meetings in Mexico with importers, processors and other key customers of U.S. red meat.

Halstrom says that despite a 20% retaliatory duty on most U.S. pork entering Mexico and growing concern that the Mexican government could eventually retaliate against more U.S. agricultural products, customers remain cautiously optimistic and upbeat. He notes that one of the main objectives of the trip was to reassure customers about the reliability of the U.S. red meat supply chain. They were also interested to learn more about U.S. industry efforts to build support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and removal of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico. Continue reading




WASHINGTON – Today, the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) submitted comments to the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the proposed delisting of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Gray wolf populations have been federally protected under endangered species legislation since 1967.

“NACD is encouraged by the agency’s decision to review releasing the gray wolf from the ESA’s endangered and threatened list,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “The nation’s conservation districts and landowners know the land and its natural resources and are best-equipped to make decisions regarding its management.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 14th

CLICK HERE to listen to The BARN’s Morning Ag News w/Brian Allmer every day

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 14th

How Quickly Will Farmers Get More Tariff Relief?

President Donald Trump further hiked tariff rates on $200 billion on Chinese imports last Friday. Now, the administration is trying to assure farmers and ranchers that they’ll get more help to deal with Beijing’s retaliation. Politico says Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue put out a Twitter post last Friday saying that USDA will be working on a relief plan “quickly.” The president says the administration may buy up to $15 billion worth of U.S. farm commodities and send them to needy countries. However, Politico says that plan might take months to get going, would offer little in the way of relief to farmers, and could possibly sow even more chaos in the world markets. It’s difficult to picture that food aid programs could buy up enough commodities to significantly reduce huge stockpiles and thus give farmers a boost to crop prices. That’s the opinion of former USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber. The Trump trade agenda is facing the double-whammy of increasing tensions with China and major opposition in Congress to the USMCA trade pact. As Trump eyes the 2020 election cycle, Politico says there isn’t a lot to show for his trade promises other than frustrated farmers and a turbulent stock market.  


Soybean Farmers Fed Up with Tariffs

The American Soybean Association says U.S. farmers are frustrated by the lack of progress between the U.S. and China in bringing the trade war to a close. The dispute threatens soybean prices and farmers’ ability to even stay in business. The ASA has consistently opposed using unilateral tariffs to address U.S. trade deficits with China and other countries. The organization supports the negotiation of trade agreements and other measures that can increase U.S. agricultural exports, including soybeans. “The U.S. has been at the table with China 11 times and still hasn’t closed the deal,” says ASA President Davie Stephens. “What that means for soybean farmers is that we’re losing a valuable market, stable pricing, and losing an opportunity to support our families and communities.” He says the trade negotiations are directly impacting farmers’ livelihoods. The organization says the soybean industry realizes the Administration’s reasons for trying to force China to make structural changes to its predatory economic policies. However, ASA continues to recommend that the U.S. achieve these goals through coordinated actions with like-minded countries. “The soybean market in China took 40 years to build,” Stephens says, “and as this confrontation continues, it will become increasingly difficult to recover. Soybean farmers aren’t willing to be collateral damage in an endless trade war.”


China Announces Retaliation Against U.S. Tariff Hikes

The Chinese Finance Ministry made the expected announcement on Monday that it would respond to the most recent hike in U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports. China will raise tariff rates on $60 billion in U.S. imports, including agricultural products. The Ministry will boost tarif rates in June on more than 5,000 U.S. products. Agricultural commodities that will cost more in China include citrus fruit, berries, vegetables, and nuts. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both said over the last several days that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin work immediately on a new trade assistance package for U.S. farmers and ranchers in the event that China retaliated. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue echoed that pledge on Friday in a Twitter post. While at the G-20 Ministerial Meeting in Japan, Perdue said China indicated they would retaliate against the U.S. tariff hike. “If and when they do, President Trump is committed to supporting our producers who may be harmed by the retaliatory efforts of China,” Perdue said in Japan. An Agri-Pulse report says it wasn’t even a month ago that optimism was running high that the trade war would soon be ending. However, that optimism quickly disappeared after U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (Muh-NOO-chin) returned from talks in Beijing.


Ag Ministers Will Work to Heighten Acceptance of Biotech Crops Worldwide

Ag Ministers from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S. say global food demand is climbing and food production faces significant hurdles. Those obstacles include limited access to arable land and fresh water. Because of that, they agreed that agricultural innovation like biotechnology will continue to play a large role in addressing these challenges and can improve farmer productivity in ways that are both safe and sustainable. The ministers say the number of biotech crops being developed and cultivated around the world is growing quickly. However, despite twenty years of experience in safely using these kinds of products, regulatory processes in many jurisdictions create time gaps between introduction and authorization. That leads to a risk in trade disruptions resulting from low-level presences (LLP) of biotechnology crops that are approved in countries that grow them but are not approved in many importing countries. In a joint statement, the four ministers say they’ll work together with other countries to advocate for global approaches to manage LLP’s in ways that are practical, science-based, predictable, and transparent. These efforts will include the universal use of international science-based guidelines.


April Tractors Sales Up 12 Percent in 2019

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ Monthly Flash Report showed good news for April tractor sales. The sales of all tractors in April of 2019 were 12 percent higher than they were in April of last year. So far this year, the association says they’ve sold more tractors than they did in 2018. To date, a total of 73,820 tractors have sold so far in 2019, compared to a total of 68,147 through April of 2018. Smaller tractors had an especially good month of April. Two-wheel drive tractors under 40 horsepower sold at a 17 percent higher rate than last April. 40-100 horsepower tractor sales were down two percent in April compared to last year. Sales of two-wheel drive tractors over 100 horsepower climbed seven percent higher compared to last April, while four-wheel drive tractor sales were up 32 percent. Two-wheel drive tractors under 40 horsepower have some of the best year-to-date sales numbers compared to last year, climbing 13 percent compared to last year’s numbers. Four-wheel drive tractors are also up 27 percent year-to-date compared to 2018.


USDA Investing in Water and Wastewater Infrastructure in 20 States

The Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, Joel Baxley, announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will make significant investments to improve rural water infrastructure. The investments will include 40 separate projects that stretch over 20 states. USDA estimates that the investments will benefit approximately 111,000 rural Americans. “The investments will have a far-reaching, positive impact on rural residents, businesses, and communities,” Baxley says. “Improving water and wastewater infrastructure enhances the quality of life, helps support economic development, and ensures that rural areas have safe and abundant water supplies.” USDA will invest $82 million through the Water and Waste Water Disposal Loan and Grant Program. Rural communities, water districts, and other eligible entities can use the funds for drinking water, stormwater drainage, and waste disposal systems. The projects can only be in rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents in order to be eligible for the funds.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service