08-30-19 Colorado State University opens its Western Campus

Colorado State University opens its Western Campus

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On Thursday, Colorado State University celebrated the grand opening of its new Western Campus in Orchard Mesa. The event capped off a year-long collaborative effort to provide residents of Colorado’s Western Slope greater access to CSU resources and a better opportunity to interact with the state’s land-grant university.

“This is an investment in Western Colorado, in Colorado agriculture, and in the future of a state and region where CSU is proud to be an economic partner,” said CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank. “It’s also a tribute to all of the partner organizations and county and state leaders who worked together to make this campus a reality.”

A CSU collaboration

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08-30-19 CDA: Vesicular stomatitis confirmed in 32 counties across Colorado

CDA: Vesicular stomatitis confirmed in 32 counties across Colorado

Broomfield, Colo. – Vesicular stomatitis has now been confirmed in animals in the following Colorado counties:

Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Conejos, Delta, Dolores, Douglas, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Ouray, Park, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, San Miguel, Summit, and Weld.

“We are seeing increasing numbers in new counties across the state,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr.  “It is important to remain diligent in checking horses and livestock for VSV lesions and contacting your veterinarian if symptoms are found.”

ALL VSV cases are important for the epidemiology and management of this outbreak and MUST be reported to the State Veterinarian’s Office at 303-869-9130, regardless if the owner and veterinarian decide to have their livestock tested or choose to manage as positive premises based on the presence of typical clinical signs without testing. The only cases that may be managed as suspect positive are equine cases located in counties that have confirmed cases.

Equine owners and livestock producers across the state are impacted by VSV; all livestock owners should carefully watch the case numbers and affected counties to gauge their level of risk and institute mitigation measures.

The total count of premises under quarantine for VSV by county is outlined in the table below.  CDA’s Animal Health division is updating this table regularly with the latest data on its CDA VSV website.

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08-30-19 NFU: EPA Must Support Biofuels, Uphold Intent of RFS

NFU: EPA Must Support Biofuels, Uphold Intent of RFS

WASHINGTON – On behalf of its nearly 200,000 family farmer and rancher members, National Farmers Union (NFU) today submitted public comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging the agency to adjust their proposed Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) volume obligations for 2020.

Though the proposal would maintain the current volume of conventional biofuels at 15 billion gallons, it would also significantly reduce the statutory volume for advanced biofuels and, consequently, the total renewable fuel volume. Furthermore, the proposal does not compensate for the 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels that was eliminated by the ongoing misappropriation of RFS small refinery exemptions (SREs) to multinational corporations. In response to dwindling demand, at least 15 ethanol plants and several biodiesel plants have closed, and many others have reduced production, resulting in the loss of thousands of rural jobs.

Upon the initial release of EPA’s proposed volume obligations, National Farmers Union (NFU) expressed frustration that the agency neither increased biofuel use nor accounted for the damage inflicted on farmers and rural communities by the exemptions. In the organization’s comments, NFU President Roger Johnson echoed earlier misgivings and again urged EPA to address both issues in the finalized rule:

“Today’s agricultural community is facing a great number of challenges: a prolonged downturn in the farm economy, the erosion of international export markets due to escalating trade tensions, climate change-related weather extremes, and declining populations and job opportunities in rural areas.

“By expanding the market for home-grown biofuels, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) can play an important role in addressing all of these issues. It develops new markets for American farm products, which in turn buoys commodity prices and farm incomes. It reduces the emission of greenhouse gases that drive climate change. It creates good, stable jobs for rural Americans and stimulates local economies. On top of all that, RFS also offers benefits to American consumers and the country as a whole. Incorporating biofuels into the U.S. fuel supply lowers pump prices, improves air quality, and reduces dependence on foreign energy sources.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, August 30th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, August 30th

Trump Says Farmers will be Happy with Ethanol Package

President Donald Trump says “the farmers will be so happy” when they see what the White House is doing for ethanol. On Twitter, Trump says “it will be a giant package, get ready.” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at the Farm Progress Show this week said President Trump would announce details within the next couple of weeks. Perdue declined to offer any details, other than he pushed for easier access to higher blends of biofuels. Trump says that while the package will be welcomed by farmers, it also saved “the small refineries from certain closing.” Ethanol groups have charged that small refinery waivers are killing demand for biofuels, because they exempt refiners from complying with volume requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard. The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced 31 waivers for small refineries in 2020. In the last year of the Obama administration, the EPA issued seven waivers. Trump has held several White House meetings with cabinet members over the last two weeks, working a mitigation package.

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Weekly Ethanol Production Increases as More Plants Close

Weekly ethanol production increased 1.6 percent this week, according to the Energy Information Association. The slight increase comes as ethanol producers say they are struggling due to small refinery waivers that are diminishing demand for ethanol. POET, the world’s largest biofuels producer, announced last week it has reduced production at half of its biorefineries, with the largest drops taking place in Iowa and Ohio. As a result, numerous jobs will be consolidated across POET’s 28 biorefineries and corn processing will drop by an additional 100 million bushels across Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, South Dakota and Missouri. This week, the leadership of the Minnesota Corn Plus ethanol plant in Winnebago announced its closure. The plant was expected to halt production as early as this week. The shareholder-owned plant is laying off about 40 employees. The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy both say the waivers are causing the closures are harming rural America’s economy. The Trump administration fix to the ethanol market is expected in the next couple of weeks.

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USDA Plans Foreign Animal Disease Exercise in September

The Department of Agriculture and the pork industry will hold a foreign animal disease exercise next month. The industry is working on a “full function” exercise that will be conducted the week of September 23. The effort will focus on a fictional outbreak of African swine fever and the subsequent response by federal and state authorities, along with the rest of the pork industry. Industry leaders say the exercise should better prepare the U.S. pork industry and its stakeholders in the event of an outbreak. The drill will focus on exercising plans, policies, procedures and staff members involved in management, direction, command and control functions. National Pork Board senior vice president of science and technology, Dr. Dave Pyburn, says, “We’re trying to create a realistic scenario of a confirmed foreign animal disease in this country to see how each stakeholder reacts and to find the gaps that need more work.” To find out if your state is participating, contact your state pork association office.

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FAPRI Releases U.S. Baseline Outlook Report Update

Excessive spring rain, trade disputes and African swine fever have disrupted agricultural markets in 2019. Despite reduced 2019 United States corn and soybean production prospects, prices for many commodities are under downward pressure because of the many factors that have weakened demand. Economists with the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri just released an update to its baseline price report. Assuming a return to more normal weather conditions in 2020, “projected corn and soybean production should rebound,” according to researcher Pat Westhoff. Projected 2020-21 marketing year average prices for corn fall to $3.39 per bushel and soybean prices fall to $7.94 per bushel. This year’s update was prepared the week of August 19. Policies in place at that time, including China’s 25 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. soybeans and other farm products, are assumed to remain in place. The update uses 2019 acreage, yield and production estimates included in United States Department of Agriculture’s August 2019 Crop Production report.

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American Dairy Coalition Seeks Scientific Review of EPA Nitrate Study

The American Dairy Coalition wants a scientific review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 nitrate report. In a letter to EPA Director Andrew Wheeler, the coalition says the 2013 report never received a proper scientific review, and is a “flawed and damaging” report. The EPA Yakima Nitrate Report began in 2010 and was published in 2012 and 2013. The coalition says the report has been proven false by fifteen national agricultural science experts, and was developed without the peer-review required on “influential science information” as the study was categorized. Laurie Fischer, CEO of the American Dairy Coalition, says, “It is vital that the administration demonstrate their commitment to maintaining the integrity and transparency of science.” The coalition is concerned for farmers that have already been severely affected by the report and believes EPA must stop a “dangerous precedence” from being set which could impact other farmers throughout the United States. Usage of the study led to highly disciplinary enforcement and threats of federal litigation, which has devastated four large dairy farms.

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Deere Appoints New CEO

Deere & Company announced the appointment of John C. May as CEO. May, who has served as Deere’s president and chief operating officer since April 2019, will assume the CEO role on November 4, 2019. May will take the place of Samuel Allen, who will continue as chairman after he steps down from the CEO role. Allen says May’s experience in precision agriculture, information technology, and overseas operations “will be instrumental in driving the company’s digitalization journey and extending its success in agricultural and construction equipment.” May becomes the 10th chief executive in the company’s 182-year history. The 50-year-old May joined Deere in 1997 and became part of the senior management team in 2012 as president, agricultural solutions and chief information officer. Last year, he was named president, of the Worldwide Agriculture & Turf Division. Earlier in his career, May headed the company’s China operations, served as factory manager at an Iowa Deere facility and was vice president of the turf and utility platform.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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