05-21-19 The White House: Now is the time for USMCA

The White House: Now is the time for USMCA

Last November, President Donald J. Trump fulfilled one of his most important promises to voters when he joined leaders from both Canada and Mexico to sign the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), replacing the outdated NAFTA.

“In short, this is a model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever. And this is an agreement that, first and foremost, benefits working people,” the President said. Continue reading

05-21-19 Minnesota Agriculture Leaders Urge Passage of USMCA

Minnesota Agriculture Leaders Urge Passage of USMCA

For Immediate Release: May 21 2019

(HAWLEY) – Leaders within the Minnesota agricultural industry met on Tuesday, May 21st in Hawley, MN for a roundtable discussion focused on the importance of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and its potential impact on the local, state, and national economy.

In attendance at the roundtable were local farmers and producers, in addition to representatives from American Agri-Women, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, Minnesota Corn Council, Pioneer Seed, AgCounty Farm Credit Services, and West Central Ag Services. Participants shared their perspective on the benefits of international trade for the region and emphasized the importance of the swift passage of USMCA for the future of the state’s agriculture industry. Continue reading

05-21-19 NRCS-CO: USDA Opens Signup for New On-Farm Trials Effort

NRCS-CO: USDA Opens Signup for New On-Farm Trials Effort

USDA is investing up to $25 million per year over the next five years to help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through July 15, 2019, for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials), a new, additional sub-program created by the 2018 Farm Bill for the USDA’s Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. On-Farm Trials include a Soil Health Demo Trial, also created by the 2018 Farm Bill.

The On-Farm Trials funding announcement, including the 2019 funding priorities, is available here.

“Our Conservation Innovation Grants program is time-tested, highly successful and has led to tremendous discoveries and enhancements in conservation over the years,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “The addition of On-Farm Trials and the Soil Health Demo Trial provide us with expanded opportunities to work with partners to encourage the adoption of innovative conservation approaches that, for any number of reasons, have yet to be widely adopted by agricultural producers.” Continue reading

05-21-19 NRCS-CO: USDA Invests Millions and is now Accepting Applications to Protect Communities from Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems and Improve Drinking Water

NRCS-CO: USDA Invests Millions and is now Accepting Applications to Protect Communities from Wildfires, Restore Forest Ecosystems and Improve Drinking Water

DENVER, CO – The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest more than $12 million this year to mitigate wildfire risk, improve water quality and restore healthy forest ecosystems through 13 targeted projects on both public and private lands, including one in Colorado. During the next three years, Colorado’s new Joint Chief’s project offers landowners within the St Vrain, Big Thompson and Cache la Poudre Watersheds the opportunity will work with local USDA experts and partners to effectively apply targeted forest management practices on their land. Interested forest landowners have until June 21, 2019 to apply and applications MUST be submitted by 4:00p.m., to the local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field office in Fort Collins located at 150 Centre Ave., Bldg. A. Ste. 116, Fort Collins, Colorado 80326.

Continue reading

05-21-19 Smithfield Foods 2018 Sustainability Report Now Available!

Smithfield Foods 2018 Sustainability Report Now Available!

We are pleased to announce that the Smithfield Foods 2018 Sustainability Report is now available. This report highlights milestones and ongoing efforts at our company and throughout our entire supply chain to feed the world’s growing population in a responsible way.

Over the next several weeks, we will be spotlighting our employees who help us deliver on our promise to produce “Good food. Responsibly.®”. Visit our YouTube channel for day-in-the-life videos about how we live sustainability every day. Continue reading

05-21-19 CSU Ext – Teller County: Coloradoans now have an app to help identify trees, shrubs, and woody plants

CSU Ext – Teller County: Coloradoans now have an app to help identify trees, shrubs, and woody plants

CSU announces the launch of the new CO Woody Plants mobile app, available for free on iOS, Android, and Google Play

(Fort Collins, CO) A group of Colorado State University faculty and Extension specialists have created a free shrub and tree identification mobile app called CO Woody Plants. With the launch of the app, Colorado’s wide-range of shrubs, trees, cacti, and woody plants are easier to identify than ever.

What kind of shrub is this? Continue reading

05-21-19 WGCD Scholarship Awards Announced

WGCD Scholarships Announced

Greeley, CO – The West Greeley Conservation District (WGCD) selected 12 students from their  conservation district’s service area to benefit from their scholarship program during the 2019-20 academic school year. Six recipients are graduating from high school this month, three are renewal awards going to students who will be starting their sophomore studies and three are upper class women. All 12 will receive $5,000.

All are attending a Colorado institution of higher learning, pursuing careers in: Natural Resources, Environmental Studies, Agriculture, Animal Science, Agribusiness, Crop Science, and related conservation fields. They earned a 3.0 GPA or better and have been very involved in their schools and community. Below are the scholarship recipients, their school and identified degree program.

Incoming Freshman Scholarships awards are going to: Continue reading

05-21-19 American Agri-Women to host Symposium, other events during annual Fly-In to Washington, D.C.

American Agri-Women to host Symposium, other events during annual Fly-In to Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AgPR) May 21, 2019 — Members of American Agri-Women (AAW) from across the nation will gather in Washington, D.C. , June 9-12 for the organization’s annual Fly-In. Members will present white papers on land use & policy  —  a special theme for this year  —  as well as legislative positions statements to elected officials and policymakers.

During the event, AAW will host its 26th annual symposium with the theme, “Federal Land Policies: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” The public event is set for 9-11 a.m., June 10, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.  Go here to register: www.americanagriwomen.org. Continue reading

05-21-19 Inside the National Association of Wheat Growers with President Ben Scholz…

Inside NAWG with President Ben Scholz…

Weather in Wheat country & Prices, NDDGA leaving NAWG, Section 232 Tariffs Removed Potus & thhe impact on USMCA ratification, China Trade War – USDA Trade Aid 2.0 & more…

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) May 21, 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:

  • Weather in Wheat Country & Prices
  • Thoughts on the NDDGA leaving NAWG
  • USDA Announces CRP Continuous Signup starting June 3rd
  • Reactio to POTUS lifting Section 232 Tariffs & the Imapct on USMCA
  • U.S.-China Trade War Continues
  • USDA contemplates $20B in Trade Aid 2.0
  • 2019 NWF Wheat Yield Contest Information
  • & More

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BEN SCHOLZ BIOGRAPHY  Continue reading

05-21-19 U.S. Senator Bennet Urges FCC Chairman to Reconsider Proposal to Limit Resources for Program Essential to Bridging the Digital Divide Between Rural and Urban Communities

US Senator Bennet Urges FCC Chairman to Reconsider Proposal to Limit Resources for Program Essential to Bridging the Digital Divide Between Rural and Urban Communities

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai urging him to reconsider his reported proposal to cap spending for the Universal Service Fund (USF), the program responsible for increasing access to essential communications services, including broadband, for all Americans. The Commission’s proposal comes at a time when approximately 40percent of rural households in America lack access to broadband.

“In the 21st century, not having access to high-quality broadband is like not having access to electricity: it is vital for a community’s economic development, allowing individuals to work remotely, entrepreneurs to innovate, and businesses to reach distant markets,” Bennet wrote. Continue reading

05-21-19 CSFS: Compensation Available for Landowners Wanting to Protect Forestlands

CSFS: Compensation Available for Landowners Wanting to Protect Forestlands

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – May 21, 2019 – Colorado landowners who want to protect environmentally valuable private forest areas that could someday be threatened by development or conversion to other non-forest uses – and who desire to receive monetary compensation in the process – now have the opportunity to submit proposals to protect their forestlands.

The Colorado State Forest Service is accepting Forest Legacy Program proposals from Colorado landowners. The program authorizes the CSFS or U.S. Forest Service to purchase permanent conservation easements on private forestlands to prevent those lands from being converted to non-forest uses.

The application deadline is July 31, 2019, for federal fiscal year 2021 funding, and proposals must be submitted by standard mail. Continue reading

05-21-19 CLA: Introduction: Food Waste Series

CLA: Introduction: Food Waste Series

Virginia Till, CALP Class 14 member

Greetings CLA readers. I’m Virginia Till and I am a current member of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP) Class 14 and also work at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8 office in Denver, CO. I work on the voluntary prevention and reduction of materials going to landfills for Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and Montana.

I became interested in learning more about the connection of consumers to agricultural education when I learned the USDA Farm to School Census polled schools and found that when kids know more about where their food comes from, they waste less food. This could mean meeting a farmer or rancher, operating a school garden, reading about agricultural production, etc. I care about wasted food because 30-50% of food produced in the US is thrown away – accounting for the largest portion of material in landfills at 22%. This happens while less than 2% of the US population is engaged in direct on-farm employment. Clearly, I don’t need to tell you that there’s a need to communicate effectively with consumers about how food gets to their plates. Continue reading

05-21-19 CLA: RMNP Milestone Report – Nitrogen deposition has plateaued

CLA: RMNP Milestone Report – Nitrogen deposition has plateaued

Nitrogen deposition has plateaued. Contingency Plan not triggered

In 2005 the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Park Service (NPS) formed the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) Initiative to address air pollution issues within the park. The three agencies, through a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), work collaboratively with interested stakeholder groups to understand the status of nitrogen deposition and ecosystem impacts at the park, identify sources of emissions, and devise workable approaches to resolve the nitrogen deposition issue in RMNP. In 2007 the MOU agencies issued the Nitrogen Deposition Reduction Plan (NDRP), with milestones for achieving nitrogen deposition reductions that will protect park resources over time. Subsequently, a Contingency Plan was issued in 2010 that outlines corrective measures to be taken in the event a deposition reduction milestone described in the NDRP is not realized.
Continue reading

05-21-19 CLA: RMNP Milestone Report – Nitrogen deposition has plateaued

CLA: RMNP Milestone Report – Nitrogen deposition has plateaued

In 2005 the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Park Service (NPS) formed the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) Initiative to address air pollution issues within the park. The three agencies, through a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), work collaboratively with interested stakeholder groups to understand the status of nitrogen deposition and ecosystem impacts at the park, identify sources of emissions, and devise workable approaches to resolve the nitrogen deposition issue in RMNP. In 2007 the MOU agencies issued the Nitrogen Deposition Reduction Plan (NDRP), with milestones for achieving nitrogen deposition reductions that will protect park resources over time. Subsequently, a Contingency Plan was issued in 2010 that outlines corrective measures to be taken in the event a deposition reduction milestone described in the NDRP is not realized.
Continue reading

05-21-19 CLA: Agriculture’s Nutrient Exemptions At Risk

A corn field that is healthy and well irrigated in an area of the Wapato Irrigation District that is getting more water than other areas in the district. Amid alligations of water theft, some areas in the district are drying up where others have water.

CLA: Agriculture’s Nutrient Exemptions At Risk

Producers asked for input ahead of 2020 hearings

Seven years ago, in June of 2012 to be exact, the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) adopted Regulation 85. Prior to the rulemaking hearing a number of ag groups in Colorado came together to form the Colorado Ag Producers Alliance (CAPA) for the purpose of being part of the stakeholder process and to be “at the table” as the regulation was being drafted. The regulation was adopted in order to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading to the state surface waters. Continue reading

05-21-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: USMEF Economist on Important Breakthroughs for U.S. Red Meat in Japan, Mexico and Canada

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: USMEF Economist on Important Breakthroughs for U.S. Red Meat in Japan, Mexico and Canada 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – May 21, 2019 – On May 17, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that Japan has agreed to eliminate longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports, including the 30-month cattle age limit. Details are in this USDA news release.

Later in the day, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced the removal of Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada and elimination of those countries’ retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 21st

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

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 21st

Ag Groups Pleased With Tariff Removal

U.S. Ag groups representing different sectors of the industry were pleased that the Trump Administration reached a deal to remove the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico and Canada last week. National Sorghum Producers Chair Dan Atkisson says the move will “hopefully clear the way for USMCA to be ratified by Congress and enacted soon, providing more fair and open markets north and south of our borders.” The trade group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland is pleased with what it called “long-overdue news. We’re hoping the administration sees the folly of imposing tariffs and taxing Americans.” American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says, “Retaliatory tariffs are a drag on American farmers and ranchers at a time when they’re suffering more economic difficulty than many can remember. Farm Bureau believes in fair trade and eliminating tariffs is critical to achieving that goal.” National Cattlemen’s Beef Association VP of Government Affairs, Colin Woodall, says his group, “Fully supports USMCA and now is the time for Congress to work with the president to get it passed as soon as possible.” The National Corn Growers Association says it’s also pleased to hear the news, saying “Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest and most reliable markets.”

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Mexico/Canada Removing Retaliatory Duties on Red Meat

The Mexican government published an official notice that Mexico has removed its retaliatory duties on U.S. pork. Canada’s Department of Finance announced that Canada will immediately eliminate the 10 percent tariff that Canada imposed on prepared beef items from the United States. U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom says restoring duty-free access to the Mexican and Canadian markets is a tremendous breakthrough for the U.S. red meat industry. “USMEF thanks President Trump and Ambassador Robert Lighthizer for reaching an agreement with Mexico and Canada on steel and aluminum tariffs,” Halstrom says. “We’re also grateful for Mexico and Canada’s lifting of retaliatory duties on U.S. red meat.” He says this will remove a significant obstacle for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. The USMEF says they’re hoping that all three countries will ratify the new North American trade agreement as soon as possible.

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After Tariffs are Removed, What’s Next For USMCA?

The tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum imports are history, removing a key barrier to ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. However, Democrats are still not close to giving full support to the Trump Administration’s biggest trade victory. Agri-Pulse says Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says, “There are still many other issues that are outstanding before Democrats would support the USMCA.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants changes made to USMCA that would add enforcement regulations to Mexican labor reform. They’d also like to reverse an agreement with Mexico and Canada to extend patents for certain pharmaceutical drugs to 10 years. Wisconsin Representative Ron Kind, a Democrat with the House Ways and Means Committee, says his fellow Democrats want some changes in the body of the agreement. Side letters won’t be enough. U.S. Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer is listening to Democrat concerns but is growing frustrated with the overall number of those concerns, as well as the number of Congressional members on the fence when it comes to the trade deal. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says if USMCA can get through the House, it won’t have a problem getting through the Senate and to the president’s desk for signature.

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Deere Slowing Production of Farm Equipment

John Deere says it will slow production output at certain facilities by as much as 20 percent year-over-year during the second half of 2019. Reasons for the decision range from trade uncertainty to a host of other issues pressuring the Ag industry. Director of Investor Relations Josh Jepsen says output reductions will mainly focus on large equipment in the North American market. Cory Reed, President of John Deere Financial, points to a lack of trade dispute resolution, as well as wet weather conditions and African Swine Fever as reasons to lower production. Reed wants the company to position itself well for 2020 by the end of this year. Higher freight costs, including some air freight charges to bring in parts, as well as unfavorable product mix and overall uncertainty, along with upcoming decreased production volume, are all causing manufacturers to drop their margin projections in the industry by one percent this year.

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Perdue Says No “Long-Term Fallout” From Dispute with China

The U.S. trade talks with China seem to be a long way from wrapping up. However, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is trying to assure producers that when an agreement is finally reached, it will be good for farmers’ pocketbooks. When that agreement is reached, Perdue says China will be purchasing even more farm goods than they had before the trade dispute began. “The numbers that China was negotiating when they were here and talks were going well, the commitment of purchases was re-established as multiples of what they had been purchasing,” Perdue said in a Friday interview with Fox News. “That’s part of the agreement that we’ve insisted on. So, I think we’ll regain those markets.” However, Politico says Ag exporters aren’t so certain. For months, they’ve warned that the standoff could also damage the sector over the long haul if China, adjusts to other sources for its farm import needs, especially soybeans. In the meantime, the Trump Administration is still working on a short-term trade relief package for farmers and ranchers burned by retaliatory tariffs from China.

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Court Denies Request to Halt EPA RFS Waivers

An Associated Press report says a federal appeals court granted oil refiners a victory by denying the Advanced Biofuels Association’s request for an injunction to stop EPA from issuing small refinery blending exemptions. The Renewable Fuels Standard requires those refiners to blend billions of gallons of renewable fuels into the nation’s fuel supply. The court issued a one-page order last Friday that says, “Petitioner has not satisfied the stringent requirements for an injunction pending court review.” The court didn’t offer any explanation as to why it denied the request. Paul Winters, a spokesman for the National Biodiesel Board, says the court “offered no explanation for its decision to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to continue holding small refinery waiver discussions behind closed doors and without any opportunity for public review.” The ethanol industry is currently engaged in a separate court fight over the waivers. It’s blamed the waivers for destroying demand for its corn-based fuel. The refinery industry praised the court’s decision as vindication for the EPA’s refinery exemption program and proves the renewable fuels industry was wrong to oppose it.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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