05-23-19 RMFU Cautiously Welcomes Ag Bailout

RMFU Cautiously Welcomes Ag Bailout

DENVER, Colo. – Farmers will accept White House action to offset losses farmers are experiencing because of the lengthy tariff war with China, says Rocky Mountain Farmers Union President Dr. Dale McCall, who farms near Yuma, Colorado.

“It is important to note this program may help farmers tread water, but it isn’t going to keep them afloat for long,” adds McCall.

Many producers were left out of the Market Facilitation Program, so Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is applauding USDA’s action to provide payments for a broader range of commodities. Farmers Union also appreciates that producers of all covered commodities will receive more equitable support. At the same time, basing payments on 2019 planted acres fails to help those who have faced or are facing impossible planting conditions due to inclement weather and natural disasters. Continue reading

05-23-19 USDA Announces Support for Farmers Impacted by Unjustified Retaliation and Trade Disruption

USDA Announces Support for Farmers Impacted by Unjustified Retaliation and Trade Disruption

(Washington, D.C., May 23, 2019) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers in response to trade damage from unjustified retaliation and trade disruption. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy to support American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, the President has authorized USDA to provide up to $16 billion in programs, which is in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other trade disruptions. These programs will assist agricultural producers while President Trump works to address long-standing market access barriers.

“China hasn’t played by the rules for a long time and President Trump is standing up to them, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include non-tariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property. President Trump has great affection for America’s farmers and ranchers, and he knows they are bearing the brunt of these trade disputes. In fact, I’ve never known of a president that has been more concerned or interested in farmer wellbeing and long-term profitability than President Trump,” said Secretary Perdue. “The plan we are announcing today ensures farmers do not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs imposed by China and other trading partners. Our team at USDA reflected on what worked well and gathered feedback on last year’s program to make this one even stronger and more effective for farmers. Our farmers work hard, are the most productive in the world, and we aim to match their enthusiasm and patriotism as we support them.”

Participants Opening Statements Audio: 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue

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USDA’s Chief Economist, Dr. Rob Johannson

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Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Bill Northey

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Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Greg Ibach

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Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, Brandon Lipps

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Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney

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QUESTIONS FROM MEDIA & ANSWERS FROM PARTICIPANTS

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LISTEN TO ALL OF THE AUDIO FROM THE CONFERENCE CALL BELOW

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Background: Continue reading

05-23-19 Conaway Commends President for Standing by Farmers, Ranchers

Conaway Commends President for Standing by Farmers, Ranchers

Washington, D.C. – House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member K. Michael Conaway (TX-11) issued the following statement concerning the president’s announcement of $16 billion in aid to help farmers and ranchers weather unjustified retaliatory foreign tariffs:

“I commend President Trump for standing up for our nation’s farmers and ranchers who are struggling against six straight years of economic recession, a situation that is made even worse by unjustified retaliatory tariffs imposed by China. “The president is taking on a job that is long overdue: holding China and other countries to the commitments they made under trade agreements in the same way we in the United States always faithfully honor our commitments. For too long, China and other countries have used predatory trading practices, including high and rising foreign subsidies, tariffs and non-tariff trade barriers to the serious injury of U.S. farmers and ranchers and other important sectors and workers in our economy. To his credit, the president has said enough is enough. 

“Unfortunately, rather than come to the table and agree to finally level the playing field to create truly free and fair markets, some of our trading partners are doubling down, further harming American farmers and ranchers in order to force the U.S. into accepting the status quo. Continue reading

05-23-19 Soybean Growers Appreciate Assistance for Now, Still Need Long Term Relief

Soybean Growers Appreciate Assistance for Now, Still Need Long Term Relief

Additional Assistance will help, but Soy Still Needs Tariff Eliminated

Washington, D.C. May 23, 2019. The news from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue of trade mitigation including, most importantly to soy, Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments and Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program funding, is news welcomed by soy growers who have suffered from the ongoing ill effects of tariffs.

“We recognize and are thankful that these funds will help offset the persisting damage from tariffs, as well as enable new market development through ATP,” said Davie Stephens, president of the American Soybean Association (ASA) and soybean grower from Clinton, Ky. Continue reading

05-23-19 NMPF Statement on Federal Trade-Mitigation Package for Farmers

NMPF Statement on Federal Trade-Mitigation Package for Farmers

ARLINGTON, Va. – From National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern:

“Dairy farmers have been harmed substantially by disrupted markets. We know that USDA is concerned about the damage being done to dairy farmers by ongoing tariff battles. We hope it will use the full range of tools available to provide a large segment of the payment in the first tranche to appropriately assist milk producers who have experienced a prolonged downturn in prices because of these conflicts,” he said. “We appreciate USDA’s concern for dairy’s needs, and we look forward to working with USDA, Congress and the White House as the department further develops its plans.”

NMPF estimates that producers have lost at least $2.3 billion in revenues through March due to higher tariffs against U.S. dairy, which has lowered milk prices for all producers. Continue reading

05-23-19 Governor Polis Announces Dan Prenzlow as the New Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Governor Polis Announces Dan Prenzlow as the New Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Dan Prenzlow as the new Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

DENVER, Colo. — Governor Jared Polis announced today the hiring of Dan Prenzlow as the new Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Dan is a Colorado native and brings over 33 years of experience with the agency to his new role. He currently serves as the Southeast Regional Manager for CPW and has a lifelong dedication and passion for Colorado’s natural resources and recreation opportunities.

“I am extremely pleased that Dan Prenzlow has agreed to lead Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” said Governor Polis, “Dan’s extensive experience and his knowledge of the challenges and opportunities for Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a tremendous asset for our state. Our wildlife, state parks, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation is what makes Colorado, Colorado. Dan is the right individual to build on the sustainable hunting, fishing and wildlife protection legacy of Parks and Wildlife while enhancing our awe-inspiring outdoor recreation opportunities for Coloradans and visitors from across the world.” Continue reading

05-23-19 CFB VP Currier Testifies Before the Senate Subcommittee On East Asia, The Pacific, And International Cybersecurity Policy

Colorado Farm Bureau Vice President Testifies Before the Senate Subcommittee On East Asia, The Pacific, And International Cybersecurity Policy

WASHINGTON—May 23, 2019—Carlyle Currier, Vice President of Colorado Farm Bureau, presented to the Senate Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, And International Cybersecurity Policy on the importance of expanding agricultural export markets in Indo-Pacific countries.

“Export markets are critical for American agriculture. American farmers and ranchers exported over $140 billion in products world-wide in 2017. Overall, more than 25 percent of total agricultural production goes to export markets,” said Currier in testimony on behalf of the Colorado Farm Bureau Federation. “In Colorado, as in other states, we rely on trade each day to market the products we work so hard to grow. In fact, about 35 percent of U.S. farm income is derived from selling agricultural products overseas.” Continue reading

05-23-19 US Senator Bennet Statement on Administration’s Aid Package to Farmers Hurt by President’s Trade War with China

US Senator Bennet Statement on Administration’s Aid Package to Farmers Hurt by President’s Trade War with China

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet issued the following statement after the White House announced a $16 billion aid package to farmers hurt by the administration’s trade policies:

“No one wins in a trade war, and this latest announcement by the White House is further evidence that President Trump’s disastrous policies are inflicting lasting damage on American agriculture. Our farmers and ranchers deserve a trade agenda that provides the security and stability they need to plan for the long term and provide for their families. Instead of reckless tariffs, the president should be doing the hard work of building coalitions to put real pressure on China and create a strategy that expands opportunity for our farmers and ranchers. Until that happens, it will be the American people who pay the price for the president’s self-inflicted trade war.”  

SOURCE

05-23-19 NPPC Attends White House Event on Trade Aid

NPPC Attends White House Event on Trade Aid

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2019 – The Trump administration today announced a trade reliefpackage in response to the U.S. trade dispute with China. Three National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) members—President and North Carolina producer David Herring, Minnesota producer Randy Spronk and Illinois producer Phil Borgic—joined President Trump and USDA Secretary Perdue for the White House announcement.

“It was an honor to attend this event and represent U.S. pork producers, who have been significantly harmed by China’s unfair trade retaliation,” said Herring. “We thank President Trump and USDA Secretary Perdue for standing up for U.S. agriculture, restoring zero-tariff trade with Mexico and providing support for American farmers.” Continue reading

05-23-19 NAWG Responds to Second Round of Support for Farmers Impacted by Trade Disruptions

NAWG President and Lavon, TX farmer Ben Scholz at The White House

NAWG Responds to Second Round of Support for Farmers Impacted by Trade Disruptions

Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2019) – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announcedthat the White House has authorized the Agency to provide up to $16 billion dollars in assistance to farmers who are being impacted by the U.S. trade war with China and other trade disruptions. NAWG President and Lavon, TX farmer Ben Scholz attended today’s ceremony at the White House which focused on this announcement and made the following statement in response:

“NAWG is grateful for the President’s understanding of the stress and damages China’s retaliatory tariffs have had on growers. Further, we look forward to working with the Administration to quickly finalize other trade agreements which open up new markets for wheat farmers.

“While we appreciate the trade mitigation program, it doesn’t make farmers whole. The U.S. exports 50% of its wheat which means we need a long-term solution. This includes getting USMCA across the line, completing negotiations with China and supporting our WTO case, and closing a trade deal with Japan.

“Lastly, NAWG will continue to work with the Administration and USDA as the Agency crafts a relief strategy so that the program works best for wheat farmers. We are pleased to hear that the USDA will take a broader look that the tariffs have had on all trade deals and markets when considering a longer-term relief package.”

About NAWG Continue reading

05-23-19 NPPC Applauds Trump Aid for Trade Retaliation

NPPC Applauds Trump Aid for Trade Retaliation

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2019 – The Trump administration today announced a trade relief package in response to the U.S. trade dispute with China. USDA’s trade retaliation relief program includes direct payments to qualifying pork producers, pork surplus purchases for the benefit of low-income families and others in need, and additional funding to develop new export opportunities. The amount of farmer payments and commodity purchases will be announced at a later date.

“We thank President Trump for recognizing that our patriot farmers have borne the brunt of China’s trade retaliation,” said David Herring, a pork producer from Lillington, N.C., and president of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). “The U.S. pork industry has been one of the most adversely affected sectors, receiving a one-two punch in the form of a 50 percent punitive tariff from China on top of the existing 12 percent duty and, until recently, a 20 percent punitive tariff from Mexico. This trade aid will help repair some of the damage inflicted upon U.S. pork producers.” Continue reading

05-23-19 NFU: USDA Announces Details of Trade Assistance Package

NFU: USDA Announces Details of Trade Assistance Package

NFU Urges Adoption of Supply Management Policies

WASHINGTON –  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released initial details for a trade assistance package to support family farmers and ranchers struggling with oversupply and low prices due to international trade conflicts. The agency plans to allocate as much as $16 billion, including $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). Additionally, USDA has designated $1.4 billion for commodity purchases through the Food Purchase and Distribution Program (FPDP) as well as $100 million for the development of new export markets through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP).

National Farmers Union (NFU) supports efforts to address China’s unfair and manipulative trade practices and has repeatedly urged the administration to provide necessary assistance to farmers caught in the crosshairs. NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement in response to the agency’s announcement:

NFU 052319 MFP-Details_mixdown

Continue reading

05-23-19 Thune Capitol Office Honors National Mammal With Bison Display

Thune Capitol Office Honors National Mammal With Bison Display
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 22, 2019) – A large bison bull head mount installed today in the Capitol office of Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) recognizes the vital cultural, ecological and economic role that bison have played throughout North America.
The National Bison Association and Slim Buttes Buffalo Ranch of Buffalo, SD teamed up to provide a large bison bull head mount on loan to be displayed in Senator Thune’s office in the U.S. Capitol. The mount was installed Tuesday, and the Senator presided over a brief ceremony in the Majority Whip’s office in the U.S. Capitol this afternoon.
“Since South Dakota is home to the largest number of bison on private, tribal, and public lands, I am proud to be able to honor our national mammal with a display in my Capitol office,” Thune said. “This is an opportunity to remind visitors in Washington of the important role this magnificent animal has played in South Dakota and throughout our nation.” Continue reading

05-23-19 Atmospheric science NOAA partnership renewed at Colorado State University

Atmospheric science NOAA partnership renewed at Colorado State University

One of the nation’s most influential atmospheric science-oriented research institutes, based at Colorado State University, has been awarded a new $128 million cooperative agreement with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Continue reading

05-23-19 National Farmers Union Members Urge “Immediate and Decisive” Climate Action

National Farmers Union Members Urge “Immediate and Decisive” Climate Action

The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a  hearing on Tuesday dedicated to the issue of climate change and the agricultural sector. Four witnesses – including two farmers, a professor of animal science, and the previous Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack – presented verbal testimony on the effects of climate change on agricultural production and livelihoods, the role of agriculture in mitigation and adaptation efforts, and potential policy solutions.
National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson submitted written testimony, thanking the committee for addressing the deleterious effects of climate change on the agricultural industry and emphasizing the need for federal policies that assist farmers with the implementation of practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sequester carbon, and build resilience to extreme weather events.
“Climate change is not a future or hypothetical issue for family farmers and ranchers – they are already suffering its effects every day,” said Johnson in a statement. “Farmers Union members understand the urgent threat that climate change poses to agriculture, and they want to do everything they can to lessen the damage. But this work isn’t free or easy – it often requires significant time, money, and expertise.” Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for May 23rd

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for May 23rd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 23rd

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 23rd

Aid Package Announcement Coming Soon

Bloomberg says the Trump Administration is about ready to officially announce another round of aid to help farmers hurt by the trade war with China. The announcement could come as soon as Thursday. People familiar with the plan say it could exceed $15 billion. The aid plan looks to be quite similar to the program the administration put together to help farmers last year after China slapped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural products. The biggest difference between the first and second round of aid is the payments will be larger. Two people familiar with the details tell Bloomberg that the administration is considering payments of $2 per bushel for soybean growers, 62 cents per bushel for wheat growers, and four cents a bushel for corn growers. The payments are designed to help compensate farmers for financial losses from the trade war. “Corn farmers are going to be very upset about this,” says Iowa Senator Joni Ernst. “It’s better than the one cent per bushel they got last year but it’s nowhere near enough.” Bloomberg says other commodities will receive help but there were no specific numbers available.

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African Swine Fever Vaccine is Eight Years Away

USDA Under Secretary Greg Ibach (EYE-baw) says scientists have pegged an effective vaccine for the African Swine Fever Virus is at least eight years away. The Fence Post Dot Com says he made the announcement during a hearing in front of the House Agriculture Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee hearing on animal pest disease prevention and response capabilities. Ibach says the USDA is also working with Canada on research on how to detect the disease, as well as on biosecurity measures. In fact, the agency is working closely with both Canada and Mexico to control African Swine Fever, which hasn’t been found in North America. If the virus does show up, USDA would consult with governments of both countries before deciding where and when to limit animal movements. Ibach was asked about importing organic animal feed from China, where the ASF virus is prevalent. He says imports of feed from China are much lower than they’ve been, but also pointed out that “shutting down imports of feed would hurt the swine industry.

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Optimism Renewed on Capitol Hill Around USMCA

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had kind words for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi after they met this week to discuss the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. Lighthizer attended a closed-door lunch with Republican Senators earlier this week, saying he was optimistic about the prospects of getting the USMCA passed. Lighthizer says the House Speaker is focusing on the deal. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst told Politico that he was “very complimentary of Speaker Pelosi, I’ll be honest.” Senate GOP members seemed more optimistic about the future of the deal, which Politico says was on “life-support” just weeks ago. One sign that Pelosi is working in good faith on the deal is the formation of four working groups to address Democratic concerns. Those concerns included improvements in the areas of labor, environment, and medicines. The fourth group will work on miscellaneous issues that Democrats want to get resolved. There’s no timeline yet as to when the administration will formally submit the text of the agreement to Congress. Senate Republicans know time is of the essence. They share an administration goal of getting the deal done and approved by the end of the summer. That would give Republicans and President Trump a big victory going into the 2020 elections.

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Kentucky Hosting U.S.-China Governors Collaboration Summit

Governors from across the U.S. and leaders from China are converging in Lexington, Kentucky, this week, as part of the fifth annual U.S.-China Governors Collaboration Summit. The event, immediately following ONE19: The Alltech Ideas Conference offers a discussion on economic development opportunities at a time when the U.S.-China economy is overshadowed by a trade war. National Governors Association CEO Scott Pattison says that in times of uncertainty around the world, “U.S. governors are reaffirming our country’s value as a trading partner.” Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin says the U.S. and China are at a “pivotal junction,” adding that the gathering will “provide a platform for progress, cultural understanding, and development of mutually beneficial trade relationships.” Kentucky-based Alltech is among the companies offering support for the summit, and President and CEO Dr. Mark Lyons says the need to identify opportunities for collaboration “is greater than ever.” The forum alternates each year between the two countries. The event started Wednesday morning and will conclude at the end of the week.

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Ag Groups Want Immediate Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension

Thirteen trade groups that represent farmers, rural lenders, crop and biodiesel-based oil producers, as well as biodiesel producers, fired off a letter to the House and Senate. They’re asking each body to take action on bipartisan legislation to extend the biodiesel tax incentive. “America’s farmers and rural communities are facing a mounting economic threat,” the groups say in the letter. “Congress can help lessen the crisis by taking immediate action on a policy that enjoys bipartisan, bicameral support. We are writing today to ask you to renew and extend the biodiesel tax incentive at the earliest opportunity.” Kurt Kovarik, National Biodiesel Board VP of Federal Affairs, says, “Income for America’s farmers is falling, and the impact is beginning to be felt in other sectors of the rural economy. Biodiesel production adds value to oilseeds crops and recycled oils, providing one bright spot for the agriculture sector.” The trade groups’ letter says Senators and Representative from both sides of the aisle and across the country agree that the biodiesel tax incentive should be renewed. That’s why they’re asking lawmakers to bring an extension of the biodiesel tax incentive up for immediate consideration in Congress.

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Farm Credit Administration Chair Dallas Tonsager Passes Away

Farm Credit Administration Chair Dallas Tonsager passed away this week at the age of 64. Tonsager, who’s had a long career in agriculture, was a former Under Secretary for Rural Development. Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose said Tonsager had a life-long passion for rural communities and agriculture. “During his time in Washington, D.C., Dallas worked tirelessly to support farm families and make a more vibrant rural economy,” Van Hoose says. “His leadership and friendship will be deeply missed.” House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson says his thoughts are with the Tonsager family. “Dallas spent his career fighting on behalf of farmers and ranchers in his native South Dakota, as well as those across the country,” Peterson says. “He worked especially hard to ensure the success of the biofuels industry, as well as highlighted the healthcare and broadband needs of rural America.” House Ag Committee Ranking member Michael Conaway of Texas says Tonsager’s leadership will be greatly missed. “Production agriculture and rural America are better off due to the hard work of Dallas Tonsager,” Conaway says.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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