12-20-19 Tri-State seeks dismissal of Colorado Public Utilities Commission complaint

Tri-State seeks dismissal of Colorado Public Utilities Commission complaint

Contract issues should be resolved by membership, and FERC if necessary, say several Colorado members
Tri-State reiterates commitment to comply with all State of Colorado resource planning, carbon reduction and renewable energy requirements

December 20, 2019 – Westminster, CO – Several Colorado members of not-for-profit cooperative power supplier Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association expressed support today for Tri-State’s filings at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Tri-State seeks dismissal of a complaint filed by two of its members and will seek a declaratory order to confirm that it is subject to FERC jurisdiction.

FERC already has exclusive jurisdiction over wholesale utilities like Tri-State. FERC rate regulation ensures the wholesale power cooperative is not subject to differing rate and contract regulation in four separate states, inevitably leading to rate instability for Tri-State’s members and their consumers.

A complaint by two members seeking CPUC intervention regarding their long-term power supply contracts should be dismissed on the grounds that the state commission lacks jurisdiction, the association said today.

“Tri-State remains committed to complying with all state requirements for resource planning, carbon reduction and meeting renewable energy standards. We believe the issue at hand, however, is a matter of federal jurisdiction and is not within the purview of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission,” said Duane Highley, CEO for Tri-State.

Continue reading

12-20-19 One Year After 2018 Farm Bill Signed into Law, US Senator Bennet Highlights Accomplishments, Progress for Colorado

One Year After 2018 Farm Bill Signed into Law, US Senator Bennet Highlights Accomplishments, Progress for Colorado

Washington, D.C. – One year after the president signed into law the bipartisan Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (“2018 Farm Bill”), Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry, and Natural Resources, today celebrated the progress made to implement key Colorado priorities in the Farm Bill, and highlighted work that still needs to be done.

“After years of work in Colorado and with my colleagues on the Agriculture Committee, passing the 2018 Farm Bill was a major victory for Colorado’s farmers and ranchers,” said Bennet. “One year later, I’m excited about the ongoing efforts to implement the bill, and its potential to expand economic opportunity in our rural communities – from improving forest health to investing in local food systems. I look forward to continuing this work with Coloradans and the USDA as they fully implement the Farm Bill.”

In 2019, Bennet has led the fight to ensure key Colorado priorities in the 2018 Farm Bill are fully and effectively implemented, including:

Conserving Land and Water Continue reading

12-20-19 U.S. Senator Bennet Office Holds Listening Sessions in Every Colorado County in 2019

U.S. Senator Bennet Office Holds Listening Sessions in Every Colorado County in 2019

Washington, D.C. – As 2019 comes to a close, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that his team held listening sessions in all 64 Colorado counties this year. Bennet invited constituents to meet with his team in-person to listen to concerns, respond to questions, and help constituents in dealing with the IRS, Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, or other federal agencies.

Topics discussed at the listening sessions ranged from ensuring a full and fair 2020 Census count and the affordability of higher education, to expanding broadband in rural areas and Farm Bill implementation.

“There’s not a greater responsibility than hearing from and helping our constituents in every corner of Colorado – which is why my team held listening sessions in every Colorado county, just as they’ve done in previous years,” said Bennet. “Being a voice for Coloradans in Washington is at the heart of my commitment to the public. No matter what, constituents should always reach out to our office with any questions, concerns, opinions, and requests.” Continue reading

12-20-19 USDA/NASS-CO: CATTLE ON FEED

CATTLE ON FEED

COLORADO

The number of cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in Colorado feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or larger was estimated at 1,100,000 head as of December 1, 2019. The latest inventory was 3 percent above last month’s inventory and 9 percent above the December 1, 2018 inventory. Cattle feeders with 1,000 head or larger capacity marketed an estimated 150,000 head of fed cattle during November 2019. This was 3 percent below last month’s marketings, but 3 percent above the marketings one year earlier. An estimated 185,000 head of cattle and calves were placed on feed during November 2019, 23 percent below the previous month’s placements, but 32 percent above the November 2018 placements. Of the number placed in November, 32 percent weighed less than 600 pounds, 22 percent weighed from 600 to 699 pounds, 16 percent weighed from 700 to 799 pounds, 16 percent weighed from 800 to 899 pounds, and 14 percent weighed 900 pounds and greater. Other disappearance for November, at 5,000 head, was the same as last month and last year.

Continue reading

12-20-19 CDPHE News: New oil and gas rules approved

CDPHE News: Air Quality Control Commission approves first phase of rules to reduce oil and gas emissions

DENVER — The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission approved the first set of ambitious rules designed to minimize emissions from oil and gas operations state-wide yesterday. The rules will help reduce ozone pollution and protect the health of Coloradans and the air they breathe.

“Yesterday was a milestone, and we are already looking ahead to achieve further reductions of emissions at oil and gas sites through our next rulemaking. The department intends to build on this momentum,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The commission’s Thursday vote came after a thorough rulemaking process in which the Air Pollution Control Division worked closely with local governments, the public, and other stakeholders to craft new rules that meet the needs of Colorado’s diverse communities. In addition, the Commission held meetings in Rifle, Durango, and Loveland at which commission members  heard hundreds of comments from the public.

The rules approved by the Commission on Thursday include: Continue reading

12-20-19 Economic Forecast Shows Continued Growth for Colorado’s Economy

Economic Forecast Shows Continued Growth for Colorado’s Economy

DENVER — Today, the Office of State Planning and Budgeting released the December economic forecast showing continued growth in Colorado’s economy.

“Colorado’s economy remains strong with low unemployment, and we must continue to ensure our agriculture, technology, manufacturing, and other critical industries remain on the right path,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We want every Coloradan to have the opportunity to thrive and enjoy the Colorado way of life, which is why we remain focused on lowering health care costs, improving our education system and preparing our workforce for jobs of the future.”

Continue reading

12-20-19 CDA: Colorado State Veterinarian releases final vesicular stomatitis quarantine

CDA: Colorado State Veterinarian releases final vesicular stomatitis quarantine

Broomfield, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has released the state’s final vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) quarantine, following the most extensive outbreak of the viral disease in more than two decades. Since Colorado’s first VSV case was reported on July 3, 2019, the state veterinarian’s office has responded to 896 cases reported by accredited veterinarians, resulting in 699 quarantines within 38 counties.

“This year’s coordinated VSV disease response was successful because of the dedicated effort and expertise of the entire animals division team,” said Dr. Keith Roehr, Colorado State Veterinarian. “Our staff worked together to take on additional duties and operated at a high workload level throughout the summer and fall.”

Continue reading

12-20-19 USDA NASS-Colorado Livestock Slaughter Report

LIVESTOCK SLAUGHTER NOVEMBER 2019

UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS

Commercial red meat production for the United States totaled 4.74 billion pounds in November, up 1 percent from the 4.68 billion pounds produced in November 2018.
Beef production, at 2.30 billion pounds, was 1 percent below the previous year. Cattle slaughter totaled 2.77 million head, down 1 percent from November 2018. The average live weight was up 5 pounds from the previous year, at 1,375 pounds.

Continue reading

12-20-19 NASS-CO: USDA Releases the 2018 Census of Aquaculture Results

NASS-CO: USDA Releases the 2018 Census of Aquaculture Results

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – December 19, 2019 – Total sales of aquaculture products in 2018 was $1.5 billion, an increase of 10.5% from 2013, according to the 2018 Census of Aquaculture released today by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. In 2018, there were 2,932 aquaculture farms with sales in the United States, down 5% from 2013. Five states – Mississippi, Washington, Louisiana, Virginia, and California – accounted for 51% of aquaculture sales and 37% of aquaculture farms in 2018.

“The 2018 Census of Aquaculture updates important information about the industry that we last produced in 2013,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “These valuable data tell the story of U.S. aquaculture, following and expanding on the Census of Agriculture. The information in the report helps trade associations, governments, agribusinesses, and others learn about aquaculture and make informed decisions that have a direct impact on the future of the industry.”

The 2018 Census of Aquaculture provides detailed information about production and methods, surface water acres and sources, sales, point of first sale outlets, and aquaculture distributed for restoration, conservation, enhancement, or recreational purposes.

Data highlights include: Continue reading

12-20-19 NASS-CO: USDA Releases the 2018 Census of Aquaculture Results

NASS-CO: USDA Releases the 2018 Census of Aquaculture Results

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – December 19, 2019 – Total sales of aquaculture products in 2018 was $1.5 billion, an increase of 10.5% from 2013, according to the 2018 Census of Aquaculture released today by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. In 2018, there were 2,932 aquaculture farms with sales in the United States, down 5% from 2013. Five states – Mississippi, Washington, Louisiana, Virginia, and California – accounted for 51% of aquaculture sales and 37% of aquaculture farms in 2018.

“The 2018 Census of Aquaculture updates important information about the industry that we last produced in 2013,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “These valuable data tell the story of U.S. aquaculture, following and expanding on the Census of Agriculture. The information in the report helps trade associations, governments, agribusinesses, and others learn about aquaculture and make informed decisions that have a direct impact on the future of the industry.”

The 2018 Census of Aquaculture provides detailed information about production and methods, surface water acres and sources, sales, point of first sale outlets, and aquaculture distributed for restoration, conservation, enhancement, or recreational purposes.

Data highlights include: Continue reading

12-20-19 NASS-CO: USDA TO GAUGE FINANCIAL WELL-BEING OF MOUNTAIN REGIONAL FARMERS AND RANCHERS

NASS-CO: USDA TO GAUGE FINANCIAL WELL-BEING OF MOUNTAIN REGIONAL FARMERS AND RANCHERS

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – December 19, 2019 – Beginning in late December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will spend several months gathering information about farm economics and production practices from farmers and ranchers across the mountain region states of Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, as the agency conducts the third and final phase of the 2019 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS).

“ARMS is the only survey that measures the current financial well-being of our regional producers and their households as a whole,” said Bill Meyer, Director, Mountain Regional Field Office. “The results of this survey will help inform decisions on local and federal policies and programs that affect our farms and farm families.” Continue reading

12-20-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Top Sorghum Producers Are From Kit Carson County!

Top Sorghum Producers Are From Kit Carson County!

BURLINGTON, CO – Kit Carson County is the home of two state sorghum yield contest winners, with one of them placing nationally.  Justin Livingston (Livingston Farms LLC) placed 3rd in the United States with a dryland sorghum yield of 137.21 bushels per acre.  This entry also placed first in Colorado’s yield contest.  Tim Stahlecker (Triple S Farms) placed 3rd in Colorado’s contest with a dryland sorghum yield of 108.54 bushels per acre.  National placings stop at the top 3.

To view all the winners in the 2019 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest – CLICK HERE

Submitted to Barn Media by: Continue reading

12-20-19 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: Kit Carson County State Corn Yield Champions!

Kit Carson County State Corn Yield Champions!

BURLINGTON, CO – Three Kit Carson County corn producers placed in the 2019 Colorado corn yield contest.  Placing first in Colorado’s no-till dryland division was Jason Kramer with a dryland yield of 163.9 bushels per acre.  Byron Kramer placed second in the state with a dryland yield of 160.4 bushels per acre.

Placing first in Colorado’s strip-till irrigated division was Brian Hornung with a measured yield of 217.9 bushels per acre.

To view a list of all of the 2019 Winners in the NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest – CLICK HERE

Submitted to Barn Media by: Continue reading

12-20-19 US Senate Passes Bennet, Gardner Bill to Extend Platte River Recovery Implementation Program

US Senate Passes Bennet, Gardner Bill to Extend Platte River Recovery Implementation Program

Bill Focuses on Recovery of At-Risk Species and Provides Water Users in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska with Regulatory Certainty

Denver – On December 19th, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan bill introduced by Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D) and Cory Gardner (R) to extend the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program (PRRIP) as part of the year-end spending package. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this week and will now go to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

“The Platte River in Colorado is the bedrock of our economy and the headwaters for a unique and important ecosystem. The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program has helped protect endangered species through a collaborative approach with other states and water users in the region,” said Bennet. “I’m glad to see this effective program extended.”

“The Platte River Recovery Implementation Program has responsibly protected endangered species living in Colorado’s natural habitats,” said Gardner. “It’s a great example of how a partnership between federal, state, and local stakeholders can promote conservation, protect nature and prevent litigation, and I’m pleased to see it reauthorized.” Continue reading

12-20-19 National Potato Council Applauds House Passage of USMCA Trade Agreement


National Potato Council Applauds House Passage of USMCA Trade Agreement

Pact bolsters trade ties with two top export markets for U.S. potatoes

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 19, 2019 – The National Potato Council (NPC) today lauded U.S. House passage of legislation ratifying the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“As two of our top trading partners, Canada and Mexico currently represent more than $550 million in annual sales of U.S. potatoes. By eliminating retaliatory tariffs, ratification of USMCA could lead to additional growth opportunities for U.S. potato growers and our industry partners,” Jared Balcom, Chairman of NPC’s Trade Affairs Committee and a farmer from Pasco, Wash.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 20th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, December 20th 

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

House Passes U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementing Legislation

Agriculture groups are calling on the Senate to “finish the job” and pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement following approval in the House of Representatives Thursday. The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed implementing legislation for USMCA, sending the trade agreement to the Senate. The vote came following a delay of more than a year to make changes and reach an agreement between House Democrats and the Trump administration. Representative Richard Neal, who led the House efforts to modify the agreement, says the transformed trade deal approved Thursday “closes important loopholes and enables the United States to ensure our trading partners live up to their commitments.” Senate leader Mitch McConnell last week stated the Senate would not consider approving the agreement until after the Senate completes an impeachment trial in January. Members of the National Corn Growers Association were in Washington this week, urging the Senate to quickly consider and pass the trade agreement in the new year.

*************************************************************************************
House, Senate, Pass Ag Spending Package

The House and Senate this week came together in passage of spending bills for fiscal year 2020. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, says, “bipartisan cooperation has made this possible.” The spending package for agriculture includes $23.5 billion in discretionary funding, $451 million above fiscal year 2019 enacted levels. It also includes $1.5 billion in disaster funding for farmers and ranchers that was set to expire at the end of this year. Additionally, the bill includes $550 million for the rural broadband ReConnect Pilot program, along with fulling funding the Farmer and Rancher Stress Assistance Network, and reinstating the expired biodiesel tax credit retroactively through 2022. As farm groups welcomed the spending package, the National Milk Producers Federation applauded the legislation for including direction on dairy imitating products using labels containing dairy terms. The Food and Drug Administration provisions include language reaffirming bipartisan congressional concern with mislabeled imitation dairy products, directing FDA to enforce its own rules on labeling.

*************************************************************************************
EPA Maintains SRE Supplemental Rule as Proposed

The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday finalized renewable volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2020. Through the action, EPA says it has “fulfilled yet another key promise” to farmers, however, corn and biofuel producers disagree. The EPA did not make changes to the proposal, as requested by the biofuels industry. The final rule will use a three-year rolling average of recommended small refinery exemptions by the Department of Energy to account for waived gallons. Farm groups told the EPA during the comment period to account for the actual number of waived gallons, rather than the DOE recommendations. The EPA says conventional biofuel volumes, primarily met by corn ethanol, will be maintained at the 15 billion gallon target set by Congress for 2020. Cellulosic biofuel volumes for 2020, and thus advanced biofuel volumes, will increase by almost 170 million gallons over the 2019 standard. Biomass-based diesel volumes for 2021 will be equivalent to the standard for 2020, and total RVO gallons for 2020 is 20.09 billion gallons.

*************************************************************************************
Corn, Biofuels Groups, Disappointed in EPA Decision

Corn and biofuels groups expressed disappointment in the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to finalize a rule relating to small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The final rule uses a three-year average of the Department of Energy recommended waivers as an estimate for 2020 waivers rather than an average of actual gallons waived by the EPA, as requested by biofuel supporters. The National Farmers Union says President Donald Trump broke a promise to farmers. The Trump administration in October promised to fully account for waived volumes due to small refinery waivers. NFU’s Rob Larew says, “farmers are sick and tired of this biofuels bait and switch.” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says more action is needed on the proposal to restore growth under the RFS, adding “this rule leaves important work unfinished.” National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross says the final rule “falls short of adequately addressing the demand destruction caused by EPA’s abuse of RFS refinery waivers.”

*************************************************************************************
EPA Approves Hemp Pesticides, Proposes Atrazine Reregistration

The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday approved ten pesticides for use on hemp crops for use during the 2020 growing season. The much-needed action allows hemp growers to protect their crops with approved products.  Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says the action “is a step in the right direction” for hemp growers, adding “it is important our growers have new technologies and tools to better help protect their crops and increase their yields.” While EPA oversees pesticide registrations for hemp, other federal agencies are working to streamline their separate regulatory implementation processes for the newly legalized crop. The agency also advanced the reregistration of atrazine, a widely used product for weed control. Missouri Corn Growers Association CEO and Triazine Network Chair Gary Marshall says, “We appreciate” the proposal, adding atrazine is “tremendously important to farmers across the country.” The agency is proposing a reduction to the maximum application rate for atrazine used on residential turf, and other updates to the label requirements, including mandatory spray drift control measures.

*************************************************************************************
USDA, USTR, Seek Trade Advisory Committee Applications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the United States Trade Representative are accepting applications for new members to serve on seven agricultural trade advisory committees. Members of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee advise USDA and USTR on operating existing U.S. trade agreements, on negotiating new agreements, and on other trade policy matters. Members of six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees provide technical advice and guidance on international trade issues that affect both domestic and foreign production in specific commodity sectors. The committees focus on trade for Animals and animal products, Fruits and vegetables, grains, processed foods and sweeteners, along with a committee on tobacco, cotton and peanuts. To be considered for candidacy, applicants must have significant expertise in both agriculture and international trade matters. The committees hold frequent conference calls and generally meet in Washington, D.C., twice a year. Committee members serve four-year terms. Application instructions are available at fas.usda.gov. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. ET on January 31, 2020.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

nafblogobluegoldcopy

12-20-19 U.S. Senate Approves Top Bennet Priorities in Government Spending Bills

U.S. Senate Approves Top Bennet Priorities in Government Spending Bills

Washington, D.C. – With funding for federal government operations set to expire at midnight on Friday, the U.S. Senate this afternoon approved two spending bills to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2020, which began on October 1, 2019. Both bills are expected to be signed into law before the Friday night deadline.

The spending bills include key Colorado priorities championed by Senator Michael Bennet, including: Continue reading

12-20-19 USCA Expresses Disappointment in Exclusion of COOL in USMCA

USCA Expresses Disappointment in Exclusion of COOL in USMCA

Columbus, MT –  Following the House of Representatives passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) on Thursday, Leo McDonnell, Director Emeritus, United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), and long-time cattle industry leader hassent a letter to the President of the United States, agriculture committee leaders in both congressional chambers and the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade expressing disappointment at the exclusion of a country of origin labeling provision in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA).  McDonnell provided clarification for policy-makers as USMCA approaches approval in the U.S. Senate and by the president and corrected misinformation provided by proponents of the trade agreement that misrepresent the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on the U.S. cattle industry.

“While some have said that NAFTA has had a positive impact on U.S. cattle producers, that is not correct,” wrote McDonnell.  “NAFTA was an extension of the 1988 Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA) to include Mexico and superseded the previous agreement with Canada.  As one looks at the impact of North American free trade agreements you would need to go back to 1988 to accurately study prior trade flows with Canada and 1993 with Mexico as the two agreements went into force on January 1, 1988 and January 1, 1994 respectively.”

Continue reading