10-04-19 ASI Photo Contest Winners Announced

ASI Photo Contest Winners Announced

With 475 photos entered, the American Sheep Industry Association Photo Contest was bigger and better than ever in 2019.
While it was difficult to determine favorites in such a crowded field of great photos, the ASI staff dutifully sorted its way through the entries and selected three winning entries in each of five categories: Action, Open, Scenic East, Scenic West and Working Dogs. The winning entries are featured in the October issue of the Sheep Industry News.
Here’s a complete list of winners:

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10-04-19 ASI Offers Animal Drug Comments

ASI Offers Animal Drug Comments

The American Sheep Industry Association filed comments last month concerning the Food and Drug Administration’s request for input on Incorporating Alternative Approaches in Clinical Investigations for New Animal Drugs.
ASI is certainly in favor of looking at new approaches to the drug approval process. Pharmaceutical companies have continued to abandon the development of new drugs for sheep as the American sheep population has declined dramatically in the past 60 years. While important drugs for sheep continue to be developed in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, companies don’t see value in navigating a lengthy approval process for these drugs to be sold in the United States.

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10-04-19 CLA: Colorado’s farmers, ranchers have earned their tax break

CLA: Colorado’s farmers, ranchers have earned their tax break

For generations Colorado’s farmers and ranchers have been an integral part of the state’s economy. Agriculture’s economic engine generates more than $40 billion annually and provides more than 170,000 jobs. In addition to food production, agriculture also provides employment opportunities in transportation, retail sales, food sales and restaurants, and agri-tourism.

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10-04-19 CDA: Vesicular stomatitis holds steady in 35 Colorado counties

CDA: Vesicular stomatitis holds steady in 35 Colorado counties

Broomfield, Colo. – Cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) have been identified in the following 35 Colorado counties:  Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Chaffee, Conejos, Delta, Dolores, Douglas, Eagle, El Paso, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Las Animas, Mesa, Mineral, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Ouray, Park, Pueblo, Rio Blanco, San Miguel, Summit, Teller, and Weld. There are currently 18 quarantines remaining in 13 counties. The total count of premises under quarantine for VSV by county is updated regularly on the  CDA VSV website.

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10-04-19 President Trump Delivers on a Key Promise to American Farmers as EPA, USDA Announce Agreement on Promoting Biofuels

President Trump Delivers on a Key Promise to American Farmers as EPA, USDA Announce Agreement on Promoting Biofuels

(Washington, D.C., October 4, 2019)— Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue issued the following statements after President Donald J. Trump successfully negotiated an agreement on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

“President Trump’s leadership has led to an agreement that continues to promote domestic ethanol and biodiesel production, supporting our Nation’s farmers and providing greater energy security,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s agreement is the latest in a series of steps we have taken to expand domestic energy production and improve the RFS program that will result in sustained biofuel production to help American farmers.”

“President Trump has once again demonstrated that he is a champion for our nation’s farmers and rural America,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “The President recognizes that American farmers are the most productive in the world, and he has found a way to pursue policy that promotes economic growth and supports our producers. Building on the success of the year-round E15 rule, this forward-looking agreement makes improvements to the RFS program that will better harness the production of our farmers and ensure America remains energy dominant.”

Under this agreement, the following actions will be undertaken by EPA and USDA: Continue reading

10-04-19 NFU: Plan to Expand Biofuels a Step in the Right Direction

NFU: Plan to Expand Biofuels a Step in the Right Direction

More Work Needed to Move Biofuels Industry Forward

WASHINGTON – After several months of negotiations and much fanfare, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a broad plan to offset a portion of the 4 billion gallons of demand for biofuels eliminated due to the ongoing misappropriation of small refinery exemptions (SREs). More specific details will be rolled out within the next week, but EPA is expected to release a supplemental proposed rule that would add about 1.35 billion gallons to its annual biofuel blending quota for 2020.

Under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol and 2.4 billion gallons of biodiesel are required to be blended into transportation fuel. However, EPA has waived that requirement for 85 oil refineries over the past three years, a rate quadruple that of the previous administration. As a result, the amount of corn ethanol and biodiesel in the transportation sector during that time has been under the benchmark, representing a 1.4-billion-bushel decline in demand for corn and an 825-million-bushel decline for soybeans.

National Farmers Union (NFU) has consistently voiced opposition to this administration’s ongoing efforts to undermine the American biofuels industry. Though the organization was relieved that the administration intends to expand the market for biofuels in the coming years, NFU President Roger Johnson is concerned that it will not go far enough to compensate for all of the economic losses incurred by farmers and rural Americans.

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10-04-19 CDA: Ten equine West Nile Virus cases now confirmed in Colorado

CDA: Ten equine West Nile Virus cases now confirmed in Colorado

Broomfield, Colo. – A total of 10 equine West Nile Virus (WNV) cases have been confirmed in eight Colorado counties:  Adams (1), Garfield (1), Larimer (1), Mesa (1), Montrose (1), Pueblo (1), Rio Blanco (1), and Weld (3).  Continue reading

10-04-19 Northern Water: NISP open house set for recreation, pipeline and US 287 relocation, coming up Oct 9th

Northern Water: NISP open house set for recreation, pipeline and US 287 relocation, coming up Oct 9th

BERTHOUD – Northern Water representatives have scheduled an open house to gather input on three key elements of the Northern Integrated Supply Project: recreation at Glade Reservoir, siting of water conveyance pipelines in Larimer County and the relocation of U.S. 287 north of Ted’s Place.

The open house will be 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Drake Centre, 802 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins. All three topics will be included in a proposed intergovernmental agreement between Northern Water and Larimer County as permitting continues for NISP, which will bring water supplies to 15 municipalities and water districts throughout Northeastern Colorado. Continue reading

10-04-19 Students Compete in Eastern Colorado State FFA Range Judging Contest

Students completing the rangeland inventory, site condition, and range management scenario on the Overflow ecological site.

Students Compete in Eastern Colorado State FFA Range Judging Contest

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

On October 2, 2019, high school students from across the eastern part of Colorado competed in the State FFA Range Judging and Plant Identification contest in Seibert, CO. The Range Judging Contest is one of many Career Development Events (CDE’s) FFA students can participate in to test their skills and knowledge learned through their agricultural education classes.

Through the Range Judging Contest, students are tested on their plant identification skills and reading the landscape to determine the ecological site, condition of the rangeland, amount of usable forage, and number of animals that can be supported on the land. There were 213 FFA students representing 23 FFA chapters who participated in this event. Students were divided into three groups to identify 40-50 different range plant species and two ecological sites. During the plant identification portion, students had 60 seconds to identify the plant before moving on to the next plant. At the two ecological sites, students had 40 minutes to complete a rangeland inventory to determine the ecological site, condition of the site, and a range management scenario that was provided and required the students to recommend the best range/grazing management practices. Judging the two ecological sites also tested the students plant identification skills. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, October 4th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, October 4th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

U.S. Implementing Tariffs on EU Products

The U.S. will place tariffs on European Union food products. Following a World Trade Organization win, the U.S., announced the new tariffs, expanding a trade war with the European Union. The U.S. won the largest arbitration award in WTO history of $7.5 billion in a dispute over illegal subsidies to Airbus. Countermeasure tariffs will be applied to a range of imports from EU Member States, with the bulk of the tariffs being applied to imports from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom – the four countries responsible for the illegal subsidies. The U.S. announced this week it will impose a 25 percent tariff on food products, including wine, scotch and cheese. The U.S. will also place a ten percent tariff on large civil aircraft products, and another 25 percent tariff on coffee, and some tools and machinery from Germany. USTR has the authority to apply a 100 percent tariff on affected products, and the authority to increase the tariffs at any time, or change the products affected.

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DMC Payments Top $300 Million

More than 22,000 dairy farmers enrolled in the new Dairy Margin Coverage program, paying out more than $300 million this year. The National Milk Producers Federation says none of the assistance would have occurred under the old Margin Protection Program. The DMC program replaced MPP in the 2018 farm bill. Monthly milk price/feed cost margins so far in 2019 have been above the $8 per hundredweight coverage cutoff that existed under MPP, but below the new $9.50 per hundredweight coverage limit under DMC. An analysis of the program found that under the old MPP rules, the total paid out under the entire program so far this year would have been $75,000, about $3 per farmer and a net loss after premium costs. Wisconsin signed up the largest number of farmers, while California enrolled the highest production volume of any state. NMPF CEO Jim Mulhern says, “The Dairy Margin Coverage program has proven its worth.” Enrollment into the program for 2020 begins Monday.

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Senators Call for Financial Certainty for Rural Counties

A group of Senators request any end-of-year legislation include reauthorization of programs to help counties with federal lands. The group seeks at least a two-year reauthorization of the Payments in Lieu of Taxes and the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act programs. The programs help rural counties containing tax-exempt federal lands to cover typical tax-funded services. Led by Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, the bipartisan group of 31 Senators penned a letter to Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer outlining the request. The group says, “a short-term reauthorization of at least two years is critical to provide fiscal certainty for counties containing federally-owned lands.” The Senators say Congress has an obligation to ensure counties with large swaths of federally-owned, tax-exempt forests and rangelands can adequately provide essential services for their residents. Nearly 1,900 counties rely on the funding to cover basic services, including law enforcement, mental health programs and libraries. The Payments in Lieu of Taxes program expires at the end of this year, while the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act expired last year.

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Study Finds Hydrologic Models may be Inaccurate

A new study by the University of Illinois finds hydrologic models that simulate and predict water flow can be difficult to interpret correctly. The study focuses on the Soil and Water Assessment model, which simulates water circulation by incorporating data on land use, soil, topography, and climate. The models are typically used to estimate how natural systems respond to different scenarios, such as changes in climate, land use, and soil management. The input from the models can inform policy and regulatory decisions regarding water and land management practices. Model accuracy is important to ensure policy decisions are based on realistic scenarios. A researcher involved in the study says if the model is not representing reality, “you are going to draw the wrong conclusions.” And, wrong conclusions will lead to wrong policies, “which can greatly affect communities that rely on the water supply.” The researchers recommend using a combination model, which integrates two different processes to limit variability in results. Funding for the research was provided by the Department of Agriculture’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

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USDA Invests $11M in Research That Will Support Specialty Crop Farmers

The Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Thursday announced $11 million in research funds for specialty crop farmers. The funding will focus on applying innovative solutions to pest management problems “that often are otherwise not available to specialty crop farmers,” according to a USDA statement. The investment is made through the Minor Crop Pest Management Program known as the Interregional Research Project. The program enables crop protection technology often designed for field crops, but equally safe, effective and economical for growers of specialty crops. As part of the funding investment, four universities across different U.S. growing regions will lead regional programs to generate additional data for registration of conventional and bio-based crop protection technology for specialty and minor crops. The efforts require effective collaborations among grower organizations, federal agencies, the private sector, and land-grant colleges and universities. A list of the four universities and their research projects is available on the NIFA website, https://nifa.usda.gov/.

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Smithfield Foods Collects 130,000 Pounds of Food for Feeding America

Employees of Smithfield Foods collected more than 130,000 pounds of food in support of Hunger Action Month, the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks’ awareness campaign. Smithfield announced the donation this week, stating, “We’re proud to have our employees go above and beyond to support their neighbors in need.” The campaign from Feeding America seeks to raise awareness of the fact that 37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children, are food insecure, and inspire action. For 11 years, Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization with a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 partner food pantries, has dedicated the month of September to re-igniting its commitment to ending hunger. In addition to employee efforts during Hunger Action Month, Smithfield works with Feeding America throughout the year for the company’s hunger-relief initiative Helping Hungry Homes. Since the program’s inception in 2008, Smithfield has donated more than 140 million servings of protein across all 50 U.S. states.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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