12-02-19 U.S. Senator Bennet Applauds USDA Grant to Promote Soil Health and Boost Farm Profitability on Colorado’s Eastern Plains

U.S. Senator Bennet Applauds USDA Grant to Promote Soil Health and Boost Farm Profitability on Colorado’s Eastern Plains

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, welcomed an announcement that the Colorado Conservation Tillage Association (CCTA) will receive $1.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement a farmer-led initiative focused on soil health and regenerative management systems.

The CCTA was selected to receive funding through On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials) Soil Health Demonstration Trial, a new component of the Conservation Innovation Grants that Bennet helped establish and secure funding for in the 2018 Farm Bill. In September, Bennet sent a letter to Matthew Lohr, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in support of the CCTA’s proposal.

“For farmers across the Eastern Plains, finding ways to promote soil health practices while boosting incomes is essential to sustaining a strong farm economy,” said Bennet. “This grant will go a long way in giving farmers the tools and resources they need to pursue innovative long-term strategies to improve soil health, in turn benefitting our rural communities.”

“We are very honored to receive this grant award,” said CCTA President Michael Thompson. “It is exciting to work on a project that will help farmers and ranchers improve their production practices and soil health in the High Plains.” Continue reading

12-02-19 NRCS-CO: USDA Invites Input on Conservation Stewardship Program Rule

NRCS-CO: USDA Invites Input on Conservation Stewardship Program Rule

Comments Accepted Until Monday, January 13, 2020

DENVER, CO – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) seeks public comments on its interim final rule for the Conservation Stewardship Program. CSP, the nation’s largest conservation program in terms of participating land, is designed to help farmers have more robust conservation activities. The rule – now available on the Federal Register – takes effect upon publication and includes changes to the program prescribed by the 2018 Farm Bill.

We’re excited to roll out an updated Conservation Stewardship Program,” NRCS Chief Matt Lohr said. “We know the program is important to American farmers and ranchers, especially those who want to build on existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operations.”

Changes to CSP include: Continue reading

12-02-19 Farmer2Farmer Conference V in Omaha, NE Dec 11-12-13!

CLICK HERE to learn more and to get registered

Farmer2Farmer Conference V in Omaha, NE Dec 11-12-13!

Beating the Odds: Farmers and Ag Technology Leaders to Gather in Omaha to Take on Toughest Farm Economy in Generations at 5th annual Farmer2Farmer Conference, Farmers Business Network to arm growers with the tools they need to survive and thrive in the face of ongoing headwinds
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.–Farmers Business NetworkSM(FBN), the largest independent farmer-to-farmer network, today announced an agenda for its fifth annual Farmer2Farmer Conference designed to arm growers with the tools, information and inputs they need to profit amid whipsaw trade conditions, shifting global consumer appetites and unpredictable weather.
From December 11 to 13, FBN is expecting more than 4,000 growers, ranchers, technologists and ag professionals from 42 states and 5 Canadian provinces to join together in Omaha, Neb. Representing over 33 million acres, $14 billion in annual trade, and all major commodity crops, FBN & Farmer2Farmer will help producers shape the global agricultural economy for the year ahead.
“From trade issues to industry consolidation to unpredictable weather — 2019 has been a historically tough year for farmers,” says Amol Deshpande, CEO and co-founder of FBN. “FBN is looking forward to bringing the most innovative farmers together and arming them with the tools they need to maximize profits in the 2020 season.”
This year’s conference theme is “Beat the Odds” and will feature these issues:

Continue reading

12-02-19 CSU EXT SEA: Annie’s Project – A Big Success in the Southeast Area!

CSU EXT SEA: Annie’s Project – A Big Success in the Southeast Area!

The mission of Annie’s Project is to empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information in their operations and for their families.  This “Women in Agriculture” project is based on the life of a farm woman who grew in up a small town in northern Illinois.  Annette Kohlhagen Feck had a goal to marry a farmer, which she did, and then she spent her lifetime learning how to be a better involved business partner with her farm husband.  Although they departed this life with a successful operation, it was not easy to get there. Continue reading

11-20-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Private Pesticide Re-certification Meetings

Private Pesticide Re-certification Meetings

Colorado State University Extension is hosting Private Pesticide Recertification sessions at various locations in Northeast Colorado.  Anyone who purchases restricted-use pesticides must have a Private Pesticide Applicator license which is issued by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  Private Applicator license study guides and exams can be obtained either from the Colorado Department of Agriculture or some Extension offices.  This test is also available on-line.  Once a license is received, it is active for 3 years before renewal is needed.  Renewal can be achieved by either retaking the exam or attending a recertification meeting.  These recertification meetings offer credits which can be substituted for retaking the exam.  Licenses that expire prior to obtaining recertification credits will require re-taking the private pesticide exam.

Locations and times are as follows: Continue reading

12-02-19 Keynote speakers announced for 32nd Annual High Plains No-Till Conference

Keynote speakers announced for 32nd Annual High Plains No-Till Conference

KIT CARSON, Colo. – Dec. 2, 2019 – The Colorado Conservation Tillage Association has announced that Dr. David Johnson, Jerry Doan, and Willie Durham will be featured as keynote speakers for the 2020 High Plains No-Till Conference on Feb. 4-5 at the Community and Education Center in Burlington, Colorado. Continue reading

12-02-19 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: European Parliament Approves Agreement Improving Access for U.S. Beef

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: European Parliament Approves Agreement Improving Access for U.S. Beef    

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO -December 2, 2019 – On Nov. 28, the European Parliament voted to approve a plan granting the United States a country-specific share of the European Union’s duty-free high-quality beef quota. The agreement, which was signed and announced in August. U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom explains that lack of capacity in the duty-free quota has hampered the ability of European importers to consistently secure U.S. beef for their customers. Because the quota is administered on a quarterly basis, importers must often wait several weeks for a new quarterly allocation to open before more U.S. beef can enter the EU at zero duty. This has also been a source of frustration for U.S. producers and exporters who have invested in the production and processing of non-hormone treated cattle – which is required for beef exported to the EU. Approval by the European Parliament keeps the agreement on track for implementation in early 2020, clearing the way for consistent, year-round access for U.S. beef.

Halstrom on EU Parliament action 12-1-19

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 2nd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 2nd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EU Parliament Approves Increased U.S. Beef Access

It was a happy Thanksgiving for U.S. beef producers. The European Parliament voted last Thursday to approve a plan that grants the U.S. a country-specific share of the European Union’s duty-free, high-quality beef quota. The agreement was originally signed back in August. The U.S. Meat Export Federation was pleased to hear of the approval. “Approval by the European Parliament keeps this agreement on track to be implemented early next year,” says USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “That’s outstanding news for the U.S. beef industry and our customers in Europe. Lack of capacity in the duty-free quota has been a source of frustration on both sides of the Atlantic.” He says a U.S.-specific share of the quota will help to make sure that U.S. beef can enter the European Market 52 weeks a year, without any delays or interruptions. The EU is one of the highest-value destinations in the world for American beef. Consistent access will not only benefit U.S. beef producers and exporters but also European importers and their clients. USMEF says in a release that it “thanks the U.S. Trade Representative and the USDA for negotiating the agreement and securing its approval.”


USMCA, U.S.-China Deal Pushing Forward

Both the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and a phase one agreement of a deal between the U.S. and China appear to be slowly edging forward. The Hagstrom Report quotes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as saying, “We are within range of a substantially improved agreement for America’s workers. Now, we need to see our progress in writing from the trade representative for a final review.” The Trump Administration says that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will provide a written agreement to Congress this week. Trump is continuing to push House Democrats to bring the agreement up for a vote. “House Democrats have insisted that hard-working Americans need more from the USMCA than just the same broken NAFTA with better language but no real enforcement,” Pelosi says. “It still left American workers exposed to losing their jobs to Mexico.” Meanwhile, President Trump says the phase one deal with China is “close.” At the same time, he also says the U.S. is monitoring the situation in Hong Kong. “We’re in the final throes of a very important deal,” Trump says. “It’s going very well, but at the same time we want to see things go well in Hong Kong.” Trump’s comments last week came just hours after a phone call between the Chinese Vice-Premier, USTR Robert Lighthizer, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (Muh-NOO-chin).


Farmers for Free Trade Launches New USMCA Ad Campaign

Farmers for Free Trade, a bipartisan coalition supported by America’s top ag and business groups, announced a new ad campaign promoting quick passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The ad campaign launched with a $300,000 advertising blitz in more than 20 Congressional Districts. The ads focus specifically on why the USMCA is a badly needed victory for American agriculture. The 30-second radio spots feature American farmers who personally advocate for passing the agreement. The campaign also includes digital ads as well. The initial ad campaign will focus specifically on the home districts of many Democratic members of the House of Representatives. Those Democrats represent districts that have a high concentration of farmers and ranchers that would benefit from the USMCA. Farmers for Free Trade says those legislators are a very important part of making the case for the agreement and getting it to the finish line. Former Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln is a spokesperson for Farmers for Free Trade. She says, “With so many new Democratic members of Congress from districts with agricultural roots, they’ll have to be the ones to make the case that the agreement is vital for their farmers.” Farmers for Free Trade Co-Executive Director Angela Hoffmann says farmers are growing more and more frustrated by the delay in approving USMCA.


Farm Income Rising in Part Because of Aid

In spite of a challenging 2019, farm earnings are expected to rise this year by 10 percent. However, nearly one-third of producers’ net farm income is a result of crop insurance and direct government payments, which does include President Trump’s trade aid. An Agri-Pulse report says net farm income this year is projected to jump by $8.5 billion compared to last year, coming in at $92.5 billion. The USDA’s Economic Research Service says approximately 31 percent of that income is due to crop insurance benefits and government payments. Net cash farm income, which is another way to measure a farm’s profitability, is projected to reach $119 billion in 2019. That’s a jump of 15 percent compared to 2018. Commercial farms at which corn is the primary crop are projected to have net cash farm income around $206,000 this year, a 20 percent increase from 2018. Poultry is the only agricultural sector that’s projected to have a net decrease in cash income during 2019. The average income is projected at around $97,200, which is down from just over $105,000 last year.


USDA Improves Crop Insurance for Sugar Beet Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it’s made changes to crop insurance for sugar beets in 2020. The Risk Management Agency made changes that will start in 2020 for some policies and 2021 for others. The agency says the changes will better protect sugar beet producers who may get a bumper crop in future years, as well as provide other flexibilities. “We continually listen to producers and stakeholders in developing our crop insurance policies,” says RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “We also make adjustments to the policies when necessary to better support sugar beet producers and ensure the early harvest adjustment more accurately matches their current year production.” Key changes include revising the maximum early harvest adjustment to better reflect a unit’s production capabilities, especially in the case of a bumper crop. They’re also adding procedures to allow third-party testing of sugar beets for raw sugar content. Changes are further outlined in a final rule, now available at regulations.gov. Interested parties can comment on the final rule for 60 days.  


Hemp Innovation Challenge Coming to World Ag Expo in 2020

Something new is coming to the World Ag Expo. The Hemp Innovation Challenge is designed to kickstart the future of the hemp industry by supporting entrepreneurs, researchers, and students, who are launching some of the world’s biggest hemp industry innovations. Submissions are invited from hemp innovators in universities, companies, research institutes, barns, and government agencies. Finalists will be invited to the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California, in February of 2020 to take part in the Fast Pitch competition. Prizes will be awarded for ideas that include technology, software, and services driving growth and innovation in food, fuel, medicine, health, fiber, and sustainable development. The winners will receive strategic feedback about their innovation, business model, and go-to-market strategy. Event level highlights will include networking with executives, investors, and mentorship support for launching their innovations. Entering its 53rd year of existence, the World Ag Expo is the largest annual outdoor ag trade show in the world. The show had 102,800 people from 48 states and 65 countries enter the event in 2019 alone.  

SOURCE: NAFB News Service