08-20-19 CLA: Colorado Governor starts food fight with farmers and ranchers

CLA: Colorado Governor starts food fight with farmers and ranchers

Greeley, Colo. – Agriculture is a significant contributor to Colorado’s economy, generating more than $40 billion in economic activity annually and supporting more than 170,000 jobs. Jobs in transportation, retail sales, food sales and restaurants, and tourism are just a few supported by agriculture.

As well as contributing to the state’s economy, agriculture holds a tremendous duty to protect the environment, through stewardship of the land, water and air. Land in farms and ranches provides habitat for wildlife and open space, and, above all, producing food.

Beef, frozen and fresh, is by far and away Colorado’s top export with over $1 billion in exports in 2018 ahead of electronics, medical equipment and aerospace products. So, when the beef industry learned that the Governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, made a pitch to the Department of Agriculture leadership that they should research plant-based proteins and delivered 250 Impossible Whoppers to the department staff you can bet we were astonished.

For the Governor to suggest that Colorado agriculture begin focusing on growing vegetables for plant-based proteins is confusing to the farmers and ranchers who have worked the land in rural Colorado for decades. Not only because Colorado’s arid climate doesn’t allow for growing the extensive list of ingredients in plant-based burgers and alternative proteins, but also because Colorado’s beef industry contributes so much to the state’s economy. Continue reading

08-20-19 Farm Service Agency Expands Payment Options

Farm Service Agency Expands Payment Options

(Washington, D.C., August 20, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) is expanding its payment options to now accept debit cards and Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit. These paperless payment options enable FSA customers to pay farm loan payments, measurement service fees, farm program debt repayments and administrative service fees, as well as to purchase aerial maps.

“Our customers have spoken, and we’ve listened,” said Bill Northey, USDA’s Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “Finding ways to improve customer service and efficiency is important for our farmers, ranchers, producers, and forest landowners who work hard for our nation every day. Now, our customers can make electronic payments instantly by stopping in our offices or calling over the phone.”

Previously, only cash, check, money orders and wires were accepted. By using debit cards and ACH debit, transactions are securely processed from the customer’s financial institution through Pay.gov, the U.S. Treasury’s online payment hub.  Continue reading

08-20-19 New Study Reveals Majority of Students Have Misconceptions About Careers in Agriculture

New Study Reveals Majority of Students Have Misconceptions About Careers in Agriculture

Bayer and National 4-H Council “Science Matters” Partnership Encourages Interest in Agri-science Education in Classrooms

ST. LOUIS (August 19, 2019) – Education and skills gaps have long been a challenge for the agriculture industry, as the demand for qualified candidates in agricultural science careers has significantly outpaced the pool of applicants with adequate training and education. Bayer, in collaboration with National 4-H Council, today released the results of the second annual Science Matters survey, which explores the opinions of parents, teachers and – new this year – students on the importance of agri-science in high school curriculum.

The 2019 survey confirmed that low awareness of career options in agriculture is a primary factor leading to the limited pool of skilled applicants. In fact, the survey found that although nearly 80 percent of surveyed high school students believe that agricultural science education is important to future success, only 19 percent reported that they are likely to consider a career in agriculture.

One explanation for this disconnect could be a lack of awareness of the diverse opportunities available within the agriculture industry. Only 36 percent of surveyed students reported being familiar with agriculture career choices beyond working on a farm, despite alternative and thriving occupations such as veterinary science, biotechnology, raising and training animals and forestry.

“The 2019 Science Matters study shows a disconnect between students’ perceived value of agricultural science and their awareness of tangible, fulfilling and diverse career opportunities, which presents an enormous opportunity for the agricultural community,” said Lisa Safarian, President, North America Commercial, at the Crop Science Division of Bayer. “These survey results are a call to action for the industry to come together and invest in our youth, educating them and developing their skills in areas where it has been traditionally challenging to identify and recruit a qualified workforce, and highlight the success and impact they can have in a multitude of diverse careers.” Continue reading

08-20-19 Inside the BARN with Colorado Wheat’s Seed and Trait Specialist Tyler Benninghoven…

Inside the BARN with Colorado Wheat’s Seed and Trait Specialist Tyler Benninghoven…

BARN MEDIA – Briggsdale, CO – August 20, 2019Colorado’s Wheat’s Seed and Traits Specialist Tyler Benninghoven joins The BARN / Colorado Ag News Network / FarmCas Radio to disucuss several topics pertinent to wheat producers in the state including:


Learn more about PlainsGold and all the PlainsGold Wheat Varieties – CLICK HERE

Learn more about the CoAXium™ Wheat Production System, developed and owned by Colorado Wheat Growers – CLICK HERE

Learn more about Colorado Association of Wheat Growers, Colorado Wheat Research Foundation & the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee – CLICK HERE


101st Weld County Fair Junior Livestock Sale Sets a New Record

WELD COUNTY, CO – August 20, 2019 – The 101st Weld County Fair’s Junior Livestock Sale raised a total of $1,123,506.85! This accounts for $915,100 from the sale of animals and $208,406.85 from supporter’s individual contributions.

This year’s sale was on July 29, 2019, and is now the top grossing sale in Colorado, surpassing the 2019 National Western Stock Show, which garnered $1,027,750 and the 2018 Colorado State Fair, which brought in just over $500,000.

The grand champion market beef and market swine owned by Jed Sidwell and Cash Burnett, sold for $20,000 each. Lauren Frink’s grand champion market lamb followed, selling for $11,000. This year’s grand champion market goat, owned by Rylee Anderson, brought in $10,500 while Jamie Bond’s grand champion turkey garnered $4,500. Finally, Hazen Weber’s grand champion chickens drew $2,750, and Wyatt Herring’s grand champion rabbit pen hopped in at $2,650.

Thank you to everyone who came out to the event and supported local 4-H and FFA youth.

For more information on the Weld County Fair and Junior Livestock Sale, visit www.weldcountyfair.com. Continue reading

08-20-19 CSU Ext: Using Call Options to Recapture Rising Prices

CSU Ext: Using Call Options to Recapture Rising Prices

STERLING, CO – August 19, 2019 – Many corn produces developed very thoughtful marketing plans last winter that included pricing points at the $3.80 to $4.00 per bushel. These pricing points were established based on sound market outlook information at the time.  Numerous producers forward priced their corn in late April and May only to watch the market rise in early June due to flooding and late planting in the corn belt.

Call options on the futures market are one tool producers can use to recapture rising prices. Call options provide the opportunity but not the obligation to buy a futures contract at a specific level (strike price). As the owner of a call option, you could also sell the option or let it expire if it has no value.

Continue reading

08-20-19 Dalton Henry to Lead U.S. Wheat Associates Policy Team Again

Dalton Henry to Lead U.S. Wheat Associates Policy Team Again

ARLINGTON, Virginia —U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) announces that a familiar face is returning to the organization, naming Dalton Henry as Vice President of Policy. Henry starts his position August 20, 2019, based in the USW Headquarters Office in Arlington, Va. Previously, Henry worked for USW in the same role from March 2015 to December 2016. USW is the wheat industry’s export market development organization.

“We are happy to have Dalton return to a role he previously served well,” said Vince Peterson, USW President. “Trade policy continues to be a critical part of USW’s mission to develop, maintain and expand overseas markets. Dalton has a strong commitment to our industry and fully understands how important reducing international trade barriers is to our mission representing U.S. wheat farmers.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to rejoin the team at U.S. Wheat,” said Henry. “Trade policy has always been a critical piece of the puzzle for wheat producers, and I look forward to working on their behalf.” Continue reading

08-20-19 NMPF Urges Farmers to Sign Up for Dairy Margin Coverage as Deadline Approaches

NMPF Urges Farmers to Sign Up for Dairy Margin Coverage as Deadline Approaches

ARLINGTON, VA – With one month left until the 2019 sign-up for the Dairy Margin Coverage program closes, the National Milk Producers Federation urged all dairy farmers to enroll in the program, which guarantees a payout for cash-strapped producers in 2019.

The DMC, a retooling of dairy programs included in the 2018 farm bill, is guaranteed to pay all producers enrolled at the maximum $9.50/cwt. coverage level for every month of production through June, with another payment predicted for July, according to USDA data and forecasts. Enrollment numbers released yesterday indicate that 63% of dairy operations with an established DMC production history have enrolled so far for this year. This represents nearly 17,000 producers nationwide.

“Dairy farmers prefer to get their income from the market, but much-needed payments for the first half of this year provide welcome certainty for farmers,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO. “DMC offers better support for dairy farmers than its predecessor, the Margin Protection Program. It’s worthwhile for every farmer.” Continue reading

08-20-19 Colorado FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Events Announced for Fall of 2019

FFA range judging places the students in the field to make real-life judgments about the past grazing management and best management practices to recommend for range improvement.

Colorado FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Events Announced for Fall of 2019

Ben Berlinger, Colorado Section of the Society for Range Management, Youth Activities Chair

FFA Range Judging is getting into full swing.  Preparations are underway for the upcoming Colorado FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification Career Development Exercises (CDE’s).  The FFA range judging events have been scheduled for this fall:

Northeast CO Regional at Prairie School on September 16; hosted by the New Raymer FFA Chapter; sponsored by the West Greeley Conservation District; registration at 7:45 AM contest begins at 8:30 AM.

Southeast CO Regional at Branson School on September 18; hosted by the Branson FFA Chapter; co-sponsored by the Branson-Trinchera and the Spanish Peaks Purgatoire River Conservation Districts; registration at 7:45 AM contest begins at 8:45 AM.

Eastern CO State at Seibert Community Center on October 2; co-hosted by the High Plains (Seibert), Stratton, Flagler, and Burlington FFA Chapters; co-sponsored by the Burlington and Flagler Conservation Districts; registration at 7:45 AM contest begins at 8:45 AM.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, August 20th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, August 19th

Tyson Fire Boosting Beef Processor Margins

A recent fire at a large Kansas beef processor has boosted margins for other processors. The Tyson Foods facility in Holcomb, Kansas, represents about five percent of the U.S. daily slaughter, or roughly 6,000 head of cattle. The fire has closed the facility indefinitely as Tyson makes repairs. Reuters says the fire spiked margins for packers, such as Tyson, Cargill and JBS USA to $344 per head of cattle slaughtered, up from $153 the week before the fire. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association responded last week sending letters to federal watchdogs and agencies urging them to assist the market and closely monitor sales. In order to compensate for the loss of capacity at Holcomb, NCBA says major packing plants in Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa, would need to slaughter 8.2 percent more cattle per week, or run 3.3 more hours per week. Department of Agriculture undersecretary Greg Ibach says that “as the cattle industry adjusts, USDA stands ready to assist our customers however we can.”

17,000 Dairy Farmers Enroll in New Safety Net

Nearly 17,000 dairy producers have signed up for the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program. The Department of Agriculture Monday reported the data with a reminder the sign-up period closes September 20. The program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost, known as the margin, falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. USDA undersecretary Bill Northey calls the enrollment data encouraging but says, “we are hopeful that we will get more folks in the door.” To date, more than 60 percent of dairies with established production histories have enrolled in the program. Wisconsin has seen the most participants with more than 4,800 dairy operations, followed by Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan. USDA’s Farm Service Agency began issuing program payments to producers on July 11. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at the time called the choice to sign-up a “no-brainer” as the retroactive coverage through January has already assured 2019 payments will exceed the required premiums.

Trade Deals Spark More Compensation for Canada Dairy Farmers

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada will provide 1.75 billion to dairy farmers to offset changes to market access in recent trade agreements. Canada is allowing other nations more access to enter the Canadian dairy market as a result of the trade agreements. Through Canada’s supply management system, the funds will be distributed to nearly 11,000 dairy farmers. $345 million will be paid in the first year in the form of direct payments and will benefit all dairy producers in proportion to their quota held. The federal government will continue to work with Dairy Farmers of Canada to determine terms and conditions for future years. Dairy Farmers of Canada welcomed the announcement, saying the funds will help mitigate the impact of trade agreements, such as the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The three agreements are estimated to contribute to an 8.4 percent loss of domestic market access for Canadian dairy farmers.

Tariffs, Farm Income, Squeezing Sales for Deere

Low farm income, a challenging growing season and the impact of trade tariffs on agriculture have farmers putting off purchases of equipment. The depressed farm economy is part of the factors why Deere &Co. trimmed its earnings forecast for the year to $3.2 billion, from an expected $3.3 billion and a five percent increase in sales. The sales figures are still up four percent from last year. Deere reports quarterly sales of farm equipment fell six percent from 2018  levels as profit from the farm equipment business dropped 24 percent. Deere chairman and CEO Samuel Allen says the third-quarter results “reflected the high degree of uncertainty that continues to overshadow the agricultural sector.” Overall, Deere’s worldwide net sales and revenues decreased three percent to $10 billion, for the third quarter of 2019 and increased five percent to $29.4 billion, for nine months. Net sales of the equipment operations were $9 billion for the quarter and $26.2 billion for the year, compared with $9.3 billion and $25 billion last year.

Study Shows Decrease in Poultry Antibiotics Use

A new report on antimicrobial use in broiler chicken and turkey farms shows antibiotics use has decreased from 93 to 17 percent since 2013. The U.S. Poultry and Egg Association announced the findings as part of its commitment to transparency and sustainability. The report represents a five-year data set, collected between 2013 and 2017. The report shows that medically important in-feed antimicrobial use in broiler chickens decreased by as much as 95 percent. The findings also show there was a documented shift to the use of antimicrobial drugs that are not considered medically important to humans. Meanwhile, Turkeys receiving antimicrobials in the hatchery decreased from 96 percent to 41 percent. The report attributes the shift to changes in Food and Drug Administration regulations which were fully implemented in January 2017. The changes effectively eliminated the use of medically important antimicrobials for production purposes and placed all medically important antimicrobials administered in the feed or water of poultry under veterinary supervision.

Hearing Scheduled for Suspect in Missing Ranchers Case

A preliminary hearing for tampering with a motor vehicle charge is scheduled next month for Garland Nelson of Missouri. The Northwest Missouri farmer admitted to authorities he took the rental truck of two missing Wisconsin ranchers and abandoned it in a parking lot in mid-July. Human remains were found on Nelson’s farm a couple of weeks ago but have not been identified. No other charges have been filed. Nelson is the only named suspect in the disappearance of Nick and Justin Diemel who went to visit Nelson’s farm regarding cattle they owned in his care. Other farmers who have done business with Nelson admitted they feared he could hurt others, and several stories have surfaced regarding his lack of care for animals. In a recorded phone call with a Kansas rancher, Nelson mentioned he had no money to pay borrowers and may have to resort to turning a gun on himself, or someone else, to remedy his situation. Nelson was previously sentenced to two years in prison for cattle fraud.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service