06-11-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on President Trump’s Biotech EO

USDA Secretary Secretary Perdue Statement on President Trump’s Biotech EO

Council Bluffs, IA., June 11, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement after President Donald J. Trump Signed the Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products Executive Order.
“Our current regulatory framework has impeded innovation instead of facilitating it. With this Executive Order, President Trump is once again putting America first and setting us on a course to modernize our regulatory framework so that it works for our farmers, ranchers, and consumers. We need all the tools in the toolbox to meet the challenge of feeding everyone now and into the future – if we do not put these safe biotechnology advances to work here at home, our competitors in other nations will,” said Secretary Perdue. “Science-based advances in biotechnology have great promise to enhance rural prosperity and improve the quality of life across America’s heartland and around the globe. I applaud President Trump for signing this important Executive Order that will help America’s farmers do what we aspire to do at USDA: Do Right and Feed Everyone.”
Background:

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06-11-19 NASDA: Nearly 1000 Food & Agriculture Organizations Urge Congress to Swiftly Ratify USMCA

NASDA: Nearly 1000 Food & Agriculture Organizations Urge Congress to Swiftly Ratify USMCA

Arlington, VA – June 11, 2019 –

Letter

Date Sent
June 11, 2019
Sender
Agriculture Coalition Group
Recipient
U.S. House & Senate Leadership
183.18 KB, PDF
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer,
We, the undersigned organizations representing all segments of the U.S. food and agriculture value chain at the national, state and local levels, write to urge your strong support for swift ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices.
Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under NAFTA – growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018. NAFTA has significantly helped create a reliable, high-quality supply of food products for U.S. consumers, while supporting more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy. USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade. This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and agricultural exports to our neighbors and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity.
The International Trade Commission’s new report, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and Specific Industry Sectors, confirms that the USMCA will improve market access for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food producers. The report states that USMCA would have “a positive impact on the U.S. agriculture sector.” Furthermore, it “would likely have a positive impact on all broad industry sectors within the U.S. economy”, raising U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion. USMCA further strengthens U.S. food and agricultural trade by enhancing standards for biotechnology; reducing the use of trade distorting policies; establishing modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards; reinforcing disciplines for science-based SPS measures; improving grading standards and services; facilitating the marketing of food and agricultural products; and strengthening safeguards for commonly used food names. These advances help provide certainty in the North American market, which is essential to the success of American agriculture and retailers.
Given the significance of USMCA for the U.S. agriculture and food industry, we strongly urge that it be considered quickly, and we respectfully ask you to vote to ratify the agreement.

06-11-19 NPPC Supports Executive Order to Keep America First in Agriculture

NPPC Supports Executive Order to Keep America First in Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 11, 2019 Based on recommendations by the administration’s Rural Development Taskforce, President Trump today signed an executive order to streamline regulations for agriculture biotechnology, a development welcomed by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).

“Agriculture is one of the crown jewels of the U.S. economy,” said David Herring, NPPC president and a pork producer from Lillington, North Carolina. “Today’s executive order paves the way for common sense regulation to keep America first in agriculture so that we remain the global leader in an economic sector that has offset the U.S. trade imbalance for decades and that is so critical for the prosperity of our rural communities.”

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06-11-19 LMA: Producer Comments Needed for USDA Study on Payment Protection

LMA: Producer Comments Needed for USDA Study on Payment Protection

When a livestock dealer’s check bounces, should the farmer or rancher who raised the cattle be able to get them back? 

USDA wants to hear from the livestock industry regarding potential changes to priority in livestock dealer default situations. The comment period is open through June 24.

While most people agree producers should be entitled to repossess livestock they sold and have not been paid for, too many sellers have learned the hard way that is not usually allowed under current law. Often times, when a dealer fails to pay, that dealer’s bank takes first priority in the cattle. The Eastern Livestock default in 2010 is the best-known example of this. Eastern owed approximately $112 million to creditors, and many sellers of livestock received less than 5 cents on the dollar from Eastern. Continue reading

06-11-19 CDPHE News: Air Quality Control Commission travels to rural Colorado for community input

CDPHE News: Air Quality Control Commission travels to rural Colorado for community input

Colorado Air Quality Control Commission to meet June 20 in Lamar

DENVER — The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission will hold a public comment session at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 20 in the Lamar Community Building’s multipurpose room, located at 610 S. 6th St. in Lamar, Colorado. Community members and government and elected officials interested in air quality issues throughout the region are encouraged to attend and provide their perspectives on air quality. The public comment session will conclude no later than 9 p.m., or earlier if all who want to speak have had a chance to do so. The commission will hold its regular monthly meeting beforehand at 9 a.m. in the same room.

“The commission continuously seeks input from residents about air quality in their communities, and sometimes that means holding evening meetings in different areas of the state,” said Trisha Oeth, director of environmental boards and commissions and the commission’s administrator. “Colorado is a large and diverse state, and the opportunity to meet residents where they live and work is vital to commissioners in fulfilling their responsibilities to protect air quality throughout the state.”

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06-11-19 NMPF Applauds Passage of H-2A Amendment Aiding Dairy Farmers

NMPF Applauds Passage of H-2A Amendment Aiding Dairy Farmers

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

“We greatly appreciate the work of Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) on behalf of America’s dairy producers to include year-round employees on farms in the H-2A farm worker visa program. Continue reading

06-11-19 U.S. Pork Producers Seek Main Course, Not Crumbs

U.S. Pork Producers Seek Main Course, Not Crumbs

China Represents Single-Greatest Sales Opportunity in U.S. Pork History 

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 11, 2019 –Expanding U.S. export markets is vital to the success of American pork producers, but trade disputes with some of our top markets, most notably China, are hampering growth and have caused severe financial harm to U.S. hog farmers, National Pork Producers Council Vice President and Counsel of Global Government Affairs Nick Giordano said today at a Global Business Dialogue event in Washington, D.C.

“Mostly because of free trade agreements, the United States is the leading global exporter of pork. As a result, U.S. pork is an attractive candidate for trade retaliation. America’s hog farmers – and many other sectors of U.S. agriculture – have been at the tip of the trade retaliation spear for more than a year,” Giordano explained to the briefing at the National Press Club. Continue reading

06-11-19 USDA-NASS-CO: CROP PRODUCTION – June 2019

CROP PRODUCTION – June 2019

COLORADO HIGHLIGHTS

Winter wheat production in Colorado, based on conditions as of June 1, 2019, is forecast at 88.15 million bushels, according to the June 1 Agricultural Yield Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. This forecast is unchanged from the May 1 forecast and 26 percent above the 70.20 million bushel crop produced last year. Estimated acreage for harvest, at 2.15 million acres, is unchanged from May 1 and 200,000 acres more than the 1.95 million acres harvested in 2018. As of June 1, the average yield is forecast at 41.0 bushels per acre, unchanged from the May 1 forecast and 5.0 bushels above last year’s final yield. As of June 2, Colorado’s winter wheat crop condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 20 percent excellent, compared with 5 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 7 percent excellent last year.

UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS Continue reading

06-11-19 Dairy Farmers – Industry to Congress: Help Us by Passing USMCA

Dairy Farmers – Industry to Congress: Help Us by Passing USMCA

ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. dairy industry is urging Congress to quickly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) with an outreach campaign highlighting the importance of the agreement to the success of America’s dairy farmers and manufacturers.

In a letter sent to representatives of top-producing dairy states, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) detail how provisions of USMCA positively impact the U.S. dairy industry. The timely resolution of ongoing trade disputes and negotiations is critical to growing the dairy sector’s international market share as well as maintaining credibility with U.S. trading partners. Therefore, the dairy community is asking Congress for immediate passage of this important trade agreement.

The organizations write: Continue reading

06-11-19 Western Landowners Alliance Scholarships Steer Diversity into Western Ranch Management

WLA Scholarships Steer Diversity into Western Ranch Management

Mounting pressure on working lands spark need for educational opportunities for future land stewardship

Santa Fe, NM (June 10, 2019) – Western Landowners Alliance (WLA) – a member-based nonprofit organization focused on advancing policies and practices that sustain working lands, connected landscapes, and native species – has announced the availability of $1,500 scholarships to those in need of financial assistance to attend the 2019 Western Ranch Management and Ecosystem Stewardship summer field course offered by the Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship at Colorado State University (CSU).  The course runs from July 14 – July 23 and July 28 – August 6, 2019 (attendance to both sessions is required).

“We recognize the inherent value of human diversity, broadly defined, and hope to encourage this diversity within the field of land and natural resources management,” said Lesli Allison, executive director at WLA.

“We also recognize the urgency in developing a new generation of individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to steward our land and natural resources,” said Allison.  “A pivotal shift is underway on ranches and farms across the country. As more land is developed, more pressure is put on remaining open lands to provide for everything from food, fiber and energy to wildlife, water and human recreation. Land managers today need to understand everything from ecology to livestock management to wildlife biology to GIS technology.” Continue reading

06-11-19 USDA-FAS: Members Named to Seven Agricultural Trade Advisory Committees

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

USDA-FAS: Members Named to Seven Agricultural Trade Advisory Committees

06-11-19 USDA Helps Farmers, Businesses and Ag Producers Cut Energy Costs

USDA Helps Farmers, Businesses and Ag Producers Cut Energy Costs

CO: Shop-All Inc. $12,783 This Rural Development investment will be used to retrofit all old and inefficient fluorescent, incandescent, Halogen, HPS and MH light fixtures throughout this rural grocery store with new, efficient LED fixtures. These energy efficiency improvements will reduce the current electrical usage by 113,276 annually, which is a 59 percent reduction, and equivalent to the annual electrical usage for 12 homes. It will also reduce this rural small business’ electric bill by $11,441 annually.

CO: Darvin Meurisse $6,879 This Rural Development investment will be used to install an 11kW solar system. This project will replace 94 percent of their current electrical usage. This will save the borrower approximately $2,000 annually

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2019 – Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding 58 grants for projects in 17 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (PDF, 146 KB) to reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and rural-based businesses and institutions.
“Lowering energy costs helps businesses improve their bottom line and create jobs,” Baxley said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA is committed to increasing economic development in rural communities across the country through strong partnerships with rural businesses.”
USDA is providing the grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Congress appropriated $50 million for REAP grants and loan guarantees in fiscal year 2019. Under today’s announcement, USDA is investing $1 million in renewable energy projects. USDA will make additional funding announcements in coming weeks.

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06-11-19 CCALT: Important Conservation Legislation

Governor Polis signing HB 19-1264 into law.

CCALT: Important Conservation Legislation

We are pleased to report that on Monday, June 3rd, Governor Polis signed House Bill 19-1264 (Conservation Easement Tax Credit Modifications) into law in Salida, Colorado. The ceremony was a culmination of an exhaustive multi-year process to extend critical regulatory components of Colorado’s innovative conservation easement tax credit program. House Bill 1264 passed with broad bi-partisan support: 30-5 in the Senate and 50-14 in the House. The bill is a huge win for conservation in Colorado. The main highlights of the bill are:

06-11-19 NACD Encourages Producers to Implement Conservation Practices In Face of Extreme Weather

NACD Encourages Producers to Implement Conservation Practices In Face of Extreme Weather

WASHINGTON D.C. – June 11, 2019 – This spring, America’s heartland has faced nearly unprecedented levels of flooding, with the United States experiencing the wettest 12 months on record. Farmers across the nation are facing the difficult decision of whether to plant or not this season, watching as topsoil washes away with each rain event. Many producers are beginning to explore transitioning to conservation practices, including no-till and cover crops, in order to prevent further soil erosion in the face of extreme weather. Continue reading

06-11-19 Colorado Potato Board Update: “Spud Item”

Colorado Potato Board Update: “Spud Item” for June 10, 2019

NEXT CPAC MEETING
The next meeting of the CPAC (area II) will be held THURSDAY, June 20th, 2019 at 7:30 pm

NINTH ANNUAL CPAC GOLF TOURNAMENT AND DINNER it is with pleasure that we invite you to the 2019 Annual Dinner & Golf Tournament, on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Dinner will be at Cattails Golf Course and will begin at 6 PM. There will be a raffle to benefit POPAC/CPLA held with a chance to win a night at the Creede Theater, Stampede bundle, Pagosa Springs get away, or $500 Stub Hub gift card! Please RSVP to our office by Monday, June 10, 2019 for dinner. Come enjoy the day with Industry friends. ALL GROWERS, INDUSTRY PERSONNEL AND FAMILIES ARE INVITED.

POTATO ACRES 2019 Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 11th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 11th

Mexico Offers Little Details on Tariff Agreement

Mexican officials and President Trump differ in details regarding an agreement to stop the U.S. from imposing tariffs this week due to border crossings. Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation over the weekend, a Mexican official simply stated that trade between both countries, including agriculture, is expected to increase over time. President Trump last week on Twitter said a deal with Mexico would include immediate buys of U.S. farm products. A deal was later reached, but there is no word or evidence to back his claims. The primary concern of the Trump administration was to address the migrants passing through Mexico to reach the United States. Mexico did make border concessions in the agreement, vowing to send National Guard officers to the border and to not only allow those returned to stay in Mexico, but offer them work permits, health care and education. Trump claimed over the weekend the new purchases of U.S. farm products by Mexico would start immediately. Another Mexican official Monday said there was no side deal for agriculture made during the talks. Mexico is already one of the largest markets for U.S. agriculture. 

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China Targeting Tech Exports in Latest Trade War Move

New technology export controls by China are part of the nation’s efforts to shield “against certain countries,” a shot at the United States as part of the ongoing trade war. The new national technologic security management list announced over the weekend would blacklist “unreliable” foreign entities “deemed to have damaged the interests of Chinese firms,” according to the South China Morning Post. The U.S. and China remain embattled in a trade war after both sides appeared to be nearing an agreement in May. However, a Department of Agriculture official included in the talks confirmed China was “backsliding” on agreed-to terms in the final round of negotiations. The new tech controls from China are just part of the long list of tit-for-tat measures between the two that have largely resulted in tariffs on U.S. agricultural products. Experts are eying an end of June meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (Shee Jihn’-ping) in Japan that could be “a replay of the summit in Argentina last December.” However, that meeting has not been confirmed.

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Farmers National Reports Increase in Farmland Sales

Farmers National Co. reports an increase in land sales in 2019. A spokesperson for the self-proclaimed national leading agricultural landowner services company says it is seeing an increase in the number of farmland sales by financially stressed producers due to multiple years of reduced income. Despite the slower land market and cautious buyers, Farmers National Company is experiencing a 29 percent increase in the number of acres sold by the company compared to last year, and 22 percent over two years ago. The company says agricultural land values have been surprisingly resilient over the past two years despite the continuation of depressed farm incomes. However, concerns are building in the land market primarily surrounding the financial health of farmers and ranchers. The U.S. farm economy is in its sixth year of a downturn with overall net farm income for 2019 projected to be down 50 percent from 2013. Working capital has declined almost 70 percent since 2012 and inflation-adjusted farm debt is at the highest level since the 1980s.

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Record Flooding to Enlarge Gulf Dead Zone

This year’s flooding in the Corn Belt will lead to a larger dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the abnormally high amount of spring rainfall in many parts of the Mississippi River watershed led to record high river flows and much larger nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi River watershed drains 1.2 million square miles, including all or parts of 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The excessive amount of runoff, along with its contents, is slowly mixing fresh water with salt water, creating the uninhabitable space for marine life. NOAA says the annually recurring Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone is primarily caused by excess nutrient pollution from human activities, such as urbanization and agriculture. Once the excess nutrients reach the Gulf, they stimulate an overgrowth of algae, which eventually die, then sink and decompose in the water. The resulting low oxygen levels near the bottom are insufficient to support most marine life.

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House Lawmakers Call for Biodiesel Tax Incentive Extension

A letter from 22 lawmakers urges House leadership to immediately extend the biodiesel tax incentive. The lawmakers, led by Democrats Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Dave Loebsack of Iowa, say failure to extend the tax incentives “jeopardizes environmental and public health benefits, as well as the future of the industry.” The incentive was retroactively extended for only 2017 in the last Congress, and the economic uncertainty over the status of the incentive is harming the biodiesel industry. The National Biodiesel Board welcomed the call, stating biodiesel producers “are looking for an immediate resolution to the uncertainty they’ve faced since the start of 2018.” In the letter, the lawmakers call biodiesel a significant economic driver in rural communities, supporting more than 60,000 jobs. The lawmakers are urging House leadership to consider a retroactive credit for 2018, and an extension through 2019. The National Biodiesel Board adds that the industry “needs policy certainty to meet the nation’s goals for low-carbon fuels, green jobs, and cleaner air.”

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ARS Study Identifies Scab Resistant Wheat Gene

A new Agricultural Research Service study should boost efforts to develop new varieties of wheat that are better equipped to resist a fungal disease, according to the Department of Agriculture. The report announced Monday identifies a key gene that could be used as a genetic resource by wheat breeders to address the challenge posed by Fusarium head blight. FHB, also known as “scab,” thrives in warm and moist conditions and is becoming an increasing threat worldwide because of unpredictable weather patterns, according to USDA. The disease has caused an estimated $2.7 billion in losses in Minnesota alone since the 1990s, and forced many wheat and barley farmers there into bankruptcy. A plant molecular geneticist with the ARS Central Small Grain Genotyping Laboratory, in Manhattan, Kansas, identified a gene, known as TaHRC, that plays a key role in conferring resistance to FHB. The findings may be applied to breeding improved varieties of wheat. The discovery is the result of more than ten years of research by an international team.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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