08-01-19 Bennet Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators to Protect Funding for BLM and Forest Service Wildfire Prevention Efforts

Bennet Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators to Protect Funding for BLM and Forest Service Wildfire Prevention Efforts

Senators Demand Savings from Wildfire Disaster Account be Reinvested in Forest Service and BLM for Wildfire Prevention, as Intended

Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today joined a bipartisan group of senators led by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) in urging that savings from the Wildfire Disaster Account be reinvested in the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to ensure the agencies can continue critical wildfire prevention, as intended.

Bennet and Wyden were joined by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Jim Risch (R-ID), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) in sending a letter to the Senate Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Ranking Member Tom Udall (D-NM). The senators requested that savings from the Wildfire Disaster Account, which for fiscal year 2020 amounts to $650 million, is reinvested back into the agencies.

“For over a decade, the growing costs of wildfire suppression forced these agencies to borrow billions of non-wildfire funds to pay for wildfire suppression, which consistently meant less hazardous fuels thinning, less forest management, and a growing maintenance backlog … Therefore, in order to get the agencies back to work in the woods and on the rangeland, we request that you reinvest the full amount of [Wildfire Disaster Funding Act] savings back in the Forest Service and BLM,” the senators wrote.

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08-01-19 Bennet Leads Western Senators in Calling on USDA to Implement New Drought Tools and Establish Western Drought Initiative

Bennet Leads Western Senators in Calling on USDA to Implement New Drought Tools and Establish Western Drought Initiative

Bipartisan Letter Urges USDA to Immediately Implement Drought Provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill and Establish a Targeted Initiative for the West

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, led a bipartisan coalition of Western senators in calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to immediately implement water conservation tools that were included in the 2018 Farm Bill, which was signed into law in December 2018. These new tools and resources will help farmers and ranchers adapt to the prolonged drought in the West.

“Drought is now the single largest cause of U.S. farm production losses, in recent years accounting for more than 40 percent of total crop insurance payments, averaging $4 billion annually,” wrote the senators. “The 2018 Farm Bill provides multiple new authorities for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address these natural resource challenges in a strategic fashion.”

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08-01-19 Colorado Proud Launches The Next Generation of Ag Community Tour

Colorado Proud Launches The Next Generation of Ag Community Tour

Part of a month-long commemoration of Colorado Proud’s 20th anniversary, savoring consumers’ “appetite” for locally-grown food, agricultural relationships and innovation

DENVER – COLORADO DAY, August 1, 2019 – Today, Colorado Proud, a program of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, kicked off its month-long, statewide community tour through Colorado communities, as part of its 20th anniversary commemoration and The Next Generation of Ag campaign. The goal is to connect with Colorado residents and share conversations around agriculture, including innovation and technology and relationships with consumers, farmers, ranchers and retailers.

The tour launched from History Colorado Center this morning, where state partners and consumers came together to celebrate Colorado Day and Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg talked about the importance of agriculture to Colorado’s history and heritage. The lively gathering was a joint celebration for Colorado’s 143rd birthday, Colorado Proud’s 20th anniversary and the beginning of the statewide tour. Governor Jared Polis has issued aProclamation declaring August as Colorado Proud Month.

The Next Generation of Ag tour, scheduled Aug. 1-31, integrates agricultural communities and educates consumers about the “the next generation” of agriculture. The tour, with a total of 13 stops, moves from Denver to Broomfield, Craig, Steamboat Springs, Fort Collins, Woodland Park, Durango, Grand Junction, Dillon, Boulder and Pueblo — visiting farmers’ markets, county and state fairs, and community events with educational information for residents, as well as Colorado Proud 20th anniversary memorabilia. For a statewide calendar of Colorado Proud events in August, please click here.

“This month’s tour is especially exciting during our 20th anniversary year, capturing the dynamic combination of history and heritage in our state’s ag communities. And, The Next Generation of Ag theme puts on umbrella over every aspect of agriculture that’s growing and changing – and that is impacting our state with fresh ideas and, of course, with fresh food,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for Colorado Proud who has been involved for almost the entirety of the program.

Colorado Proud’s 20th Anniversary Continue reading

07-22-19 *UPDATED* AGPROfessionals presents the Peterson Farm Brothers August 7th & 8th in Greeley, CO

AGPROfessionals presents the Peterson Farm Brothers August 7th & 8th in Greeley, CO

AGPROfessionals, along with generous support from the Colorado FFA Foundation, DairyMAX, Colorado Livestock Association, and vNacelle, is pleased to bring the Peterson Farm Brothers to Greeley for two agricultural advocacy events to support the Weld County Food Bank. As friends and supporters in our industry, we would like to invite you to share our event with your constituencies. Attached is the flyer for the event. Continue reading

08-01-19 U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources: Bishop Statement on USFS Sage Grouse Rule

U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources: Bishop Statement on USFS Sage Grouse Rule

“The Endangered Species Act will no longer be used as a weapon …”

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 1, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah) issued the following statement on the announced U.S. Forest Service final rule regarding Obama-era sage grouse amendments.  Previous actions taken by the Obama administration stifled state and local conservation efforts of the sage grouse and locked up 165 million acres of land in 11 different states.

“This move is one more encouraging demonstration of the administration’s deference to state and local wisdom. The Department of Agriculture clearly understands that the ‘one size fits all’ federal approach of the past is inappropriate and unproductive. The Endangered Species Act will no longer be used as a weapon to circumvent states and their unique regional needs and proven track records on preserving sage grouse habitat.”


08-01-19 USDA Releases Proposed Amendments to Greater Sage Grouse Land Management Plans

USDA Releases Proposed Amendments to Greater Sage Grouse Land Management Plans

Washington, D.C., August 1, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service proposed changes to how the agency manages greater sage grouse in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah after hearing concerns from states and land users. The changes strive to improve the clarity, efficiency, and implementation of the current sage grouse plans.

“The Forest Service continues to promote our multiple use mission while ensuring conservation of greater sage grouse habitat,” Secretary Perdue said. “We are sharing the stewardship of the lands with western state governors – their extensive participation throughout this process was the key to landscape-scale conservation that aligns our policies and practices across local, state, and federal jurisdictions.”

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for August 1st

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for August 1st

08-01-19 USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Labor Agreement with Guatemala

USDA Secretary Perdue Statement on Labor Agreement with Guatemala
Washington, D.C., August 1, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the Department of Labor and Guatemala on the signing of an agreement to improve H-2A visa program operations. Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:
“Our farmers and ranchers are the most productive in the world, and they want to obey immigration law. This move by the United States and Guatemala will allow for greater cooperation and will safeguard against disturbances in the H-2A visa program by protecting workers from illegal recruitment activity, providing our farmers with a stable, legal workforce. President Trump is dedicated to securing our borders while continuing to support America’s farmers and ranchers. The signing of this agreement with Guatemala further solidifies our partnership and engagement with our neighbors and commitment to solving the humanitarian crisis at our southern border.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, August 1st

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, August 1st

U.S.-China Talks to Continue in September

The U.S. and China will resume trade talks in September following meetings this week in Beijing. A White House statement confirmed the plans Wednesday, adding the meetings this week were constructive. The two sides talked forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, and agriculture. China and the U.S. remain in a tit-for-tat trade war, but talks seem to be progressing after stalling earlier this year. The White House says the Chinese confirmed their commitment to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural exports. China has reportedly increased buys of U.S. ag products, but not at the presumed volumes touted earlier this summer by President Trump. Some Democrats in Congress are questioning the legitimacy of the claim, but the President says China is not following through on its commitments. President Trump continued his battle against China via Twitter this week, saying “they just don’t come through,” when referring to purchases of U.S. agricultural products, adding that in negotiations, “they always change the deal in the end to their benefit.”

Baldwin, Hawley Lead Effort to Restore Competitiveness to U.S. Exports

Lawmakers say new legislation in the Senate will make U.S. exports more competitive and reduce the trade deficit. The Competitive Dollar for Jobs and Prosperity Act, announced Wednesday by Wisconsin Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Missouri Senate Republican Josh Hawley, would manage the U.S. dollar exchange rate and bring it into alignment by placing a “market access charge” on foreign purchases of U.S. stocks, bonds and other assets. According to the Coalition for a Prosperous America, bringing the U.S. dollar into alignment could add nearly $1 trillion to America’s GDP, create more than five million new U.S. jobs and raise more than $2 trillion in tax revenue over six years. Senator Baldwin says the bipartisan fix “will increase American exports” and boost the “manufacturing and farming economy.” Senator Hawley says the legislation “creates a powerful new tool to fight back against foreign currency manipulators.” Hawley adds farmers “deserve a chance to earn a fair profit on their crops,” saying the bill will help create a level playing field.

Biofuel Industry, Farm Groups, Criticize EPA RFS Volume Proposal

Farm groups Wednesday criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for the 2020 Renewable Fuel Standards and the 2021 Biomass-based Diesel Volumes. The proposal does not include exempted biofuels through small refiner waivers. The groups claim the targets are misleading because of the many waivers issued by the EPA during the Trump administration, with more expected. During a field hearing in Michigan, Kurt Kovarik of the National Biodiesel Board told the EPA the agency is “failing its duty to ensure that the annual required volume obligations are met.” Meanwhile, National Corn Growers Association board member John Linder pressed the agency to move forward with a stronger RFS rule that “supports America’s farmers, their rural communities, and consumers.” Growth Energy also testified, stating, “If EPA is going to waive billions of gallons, it must properly account for those gallons in the RVO calculation.” Under the EPA proposal, conventional ethanol would hold steady at 15 billion gallons. Biodiesel targets, which are set two years in advance, were proposed at 2.43 billion gallons for 2021.

Conaway Won’t Seek Reelection Following Current Term

Representative Mike Conaway of Texas announced Wednesday he would not seek reelection. The long-time House Agriculture Committee member and former Chairman calls his time in Congress “an honor and privilege that I cannot adequately describe.” Conaway made the announcement in Midland, Texas, during a news conference. Conaway told reporters he would be term-limited from continuing his leadership as the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, noting little opportunity for leadership positions elsewhere. Given the situation, he called this “the perfect time” to transition. During his chairmanship, Conaway led the House Ag Committee in crafting the 2018 farm bill. He previously chaired the House Ethics Committee, and currently serves on four committees. The 71-year-old was first elected to represent the 11th District of Texas when it was redrawn to include Midland in 2005. Conaway is a military veteran and CPA, who noted at the end of his current term, he will have spent 34 percent of his adult life in public service.

Study: Soil Health Practices Increase Farm Profitability

Research by American Farmland Trust shows healthier soil on farmland brings economic benefits to farmers and environmental benefits to society. Two case studies announced this week show that through soil health management, producers can increase their yield and improve profits. Soil health helps to conserve resources for the public, on the farm and in watersheds, according to AFT Water Initiative Director Dr. Michelle Perez, the lead researcher on the project. The two-page case studies focus on corn-soybean production in Illinois and Ohio, almond production in California and a diversified rotation of crops in New York. The four farmers featured implemented soil health practices like no-till or strip-till, nutrient management, cover crops, compost, and mulching. All four of the farmers profiled saw improved yields ranging from two percent to 22 percent that they attributed, in part, to their soil health practices, with an average return on investment of 35 percent. The studies were developed through grants provided by the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

AFBF Accepting Farm Dog of the Year Nominations

Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2020 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest. This is the second year of the contest, which celebrates farm dogs who work alongside their people on the farm to feed America. The grand prize winner – Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year – will win a year’s worth of Purina dry dog food and $5,000 in prize money for his or her farmer to offset travel costs to attend the 2020 American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Convention. AFBF will hold the convention January 17-22, 2020, in Austin, Texas. AFBF President Zippy Duvall calls farm dogs “loyal members” of the farm and ranch families, saying the companions “lighten the workload and enrich our lives by providing faithful and playful companionship.” Desired attributes in the Farm Dog of the Year include helpfulness to the farmer and his/her family, playfulness and obedience. Farm dog owners must be Farm Bureau members to enter their dogs in the competition. Eligibility guidelines and submission requirements are available online at fb.org.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service