12-23-19 USDA Grants Mr. Claus Movement Permit in U.S.

USDA Grants Mr. Claus Movement Permit in U.S.

(Washington, D.C., December 23, 2019) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a movement permit to Mr. S. Nicholas Claus of the North Pole, a broker with Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited. The permit will allow reindeer to enter and exit the United States between the hours of 7 p.m. December 24, 2019 and 7 a.m. December 25, 2019, through or over any U.S. border port.
“With a growing world population, Mr. Claus will have his busiest Christmas yet. At USDA, we want to ensure we are not hindering Mr. Claus’ important work of spreading Christmas Cheer for all to hear,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “Ease of access into the United States for Mr. Claus and his nine reindeer will ensure that children all over the country – including my own fourteen grandchildren – will wake up on Christmas morning with joy and filled with the spirit of the season. USDA issued this permit in advance and waived all applicable fees to help ensure a smooth trip on Christmas Eve night.”
In addition to the normal disease testing requirements, flying reindeer must undergo additional tests to ensure they will be able to safely handle significant changes in altitude and temperature throughout their journey, and are fit for landing on rooftops. On this year’s health certificate, the accredited veterinarian noted that one of the reindeer named Rudolph was positive for “red nose syndrome,” however, it was also explained that this is normal for him and not an animal health concern. The veterinarian also verified the reindeer have been vaccinated against any diseases they could encounter on their trip around the world.

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12-23-19 NASS-CO: Chicken and Eggs Report

NASS-CO: Chicken and Eggs Report


Colorado egg production during November 2019 was 132.9 million eggs, down slightly from October 2019 and up 3 percent from November 2018 production, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDAThe average number of layers on hand in November 2019 was 5.27 million, up 3 percent from October 2019 and up 2 percent from last year. Eggs per 100 layers were 2,520 eggs, up 1 percent from last year.

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12-23-19 NASS-CO: Quarterly Hogs and Pig

NASS-CO: Quarterly Hogs and Pig


Arizona inventory of all hogs and pigs on December 1, 2019 was 161,000 head, down 5 percent from last year. Breeding inventory, at 16,000 head, was down 1,000 head from last year. Market hog inventory, at 145,000 head, was down 5 percent from last year.
The December 2018-November 2019 annual pig crop, at 298,000 head, was down 1 percent from the previous year. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 30,500 head, up 500 head from a year ago. The average pigs saved per litter was 9.77 for the December 2018-November 2019 period, compared with 10.07 the previous year.

Colorado inventory of all hogs and pigs on December 1, 2019 was 750,000 head, down 4 percent from September 1, 2019 but unchanged from last year. Breeding inventory, at 155,000 head, was down 5,000 head from the previous quarter but unchanged from last year. Market hog inventory, at 595,000 head, was down 4 percent from last quarter but unchanged from last year. The September-November 2019 quarterly pig crop, at 806,000 head, was up 12 percent from 2018. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 76,000 head, up 1,000 head from a year ago. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.60 for the September-November 2019 period, compared with 9.60 last year. The December 2018-November 2019 annual pig crop, at 3.19 million head, was up 11 percent from the previous year. Sows farrowing during this period totaled 310,000 head, up 9,000 head from a year ago. The average pigs saved per litter was 10.30 for the December 2018-November 2019 period, compared with 9.60 the previous year. Continue reading

12-23-19 USDA Announces Pilot Insurance Coverage for Hemp Growers

USDA Announces Pilot Insurance Coverage for Hemp Growers

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 23, 2019 – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced a new crop insurance option for hemp growers in select counties of 21 states in 2020.  The pilot insurance program will provide Actual Production History (APH) coverage under 508(h) Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) for eligible producers in certain counties in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The MPCI coverage is for hemp grown for fiber, grain or CBD oil for the 2020 crop year. It is in addition to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection coverage available to hemp growers announced earlier this year.

“We are excited to offer coverage to certain hemp producers in this pilot program,” said RMA Administrator Martin Barbre. “Since this is a pilot program, we look forward to feedback from producers on the program in the coming crop year.”

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12-23-19 U.S. Senator Bennet Announces Support for USMCA

U.S. Senator Bennet Announces Support for U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement

DENVER, CO – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement announcing his support for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

“I’ve long said that we should modernize NAFTA. The final USMCA brings our trade policies into the 21st century, and I am optimistic that it will strengthen labor and environmental standards in North America. Any trade agreement must expand opportunity for American workers and their families, and I commend the Democratic negotiators for securing enforcement tools that the Trump Administration initially left out to make this a much better deal for workers. Continue reading

10-23-19 Democratic Presidential Candidate & U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s Agriculture and Trade Principles


Democratic Presidential Candidate & U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s Agriculture and Trade Principles


EMBARGOED until 10am ET / 9am CT / 8am MT / 7am PT

After his appointment to the Senate in 2009, the first committee Michael Bennet requested to serve on was the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Over the last decade, Bennet has led efforts to create certainty for farmers, open up new export markets, boost rural economies, write and pass two Farm Bills, and most recently push back on the Trump Administration’s reckless trade policies.

The following principles, facts, and policies will guide the Bennet Administration’s approach to agriculture and trade to secure a stronger future for farmers, businesses, workers, and consumers and restore America’s economic leadership around the world.


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12-23-19 NMPF’S Dairy Defined: Be Thankful for Dairy’s Success This Christmas

NMPF’S Dairy Defined: Be Thankful for Dairy’s Success This Christmas

ARLINGTON, VA – Despite the seasonal pressures to buy, buy, and buy, the holidays are best as a season for giving. Yes, that means solicitations – deserving charities fill mailboxes, and earnest pleas to remember the less fortunate have become staples of the holiday season. Continue reading

12-23-19 Congratulations to Bennett FFA…Winners of the Colorado Corn FFA Grant Program

Congratulations to Bennett FFA…Winners of the Colorado Corn FFA Grant Program

GREELEY, CO – December 20, 2019 – The Colorado Corn FFA Grant Program assists chapters in the state with projects that lack funding within their school district’s budget. Applications were accepted through November 15th. The Grant Committee was pleased to have eight chapters across the state to consider.
Using a standardized evaluation process, the committee carefully reviewed the applications and is honored to announce this year’s recipient is the Bennett FFA Chapter. The grant will assist the chapter with an ambitious set of goals to address the needs of their growing student body. Program goals center around an immersive agriculture education facility with a greenhouse.

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 23rd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, December 23rd 

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USMCA Senate Prospects, Markup January 7, 2020

Following a landslide vote to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement in the House last week, the trade deal heads to the Senate. A vote, expected in January, could come early in the month, pending how the impeachment articles are handled. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week elected to hang on the impeachment documents, rather than send them off immediately to the Senate. Pending on how long she chooses to hold them, the action could clear a window for the Senate to consider USMCA. Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley Friday announced his committee intends to hold a markup hearing on January 7, 2020, based on the expectation that the Senate will have received the legislation beforehand from the House of Representatives. Grassley says, “This markup will move us closer to ratifying USMCA in early 2020. Senate leadership expects they could quickly consider and pass the agreement within a couple of days. However, if the Senate must start the year with impeachment trials, then a vote will come near the end of January, following the hearings.

USCA Disappointed in Lack of COOL in USMCA

The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association expressed disappointment last week because country of origin labeling was not included in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The group penned a letter to President Donald Trump following House passage of the USMCA implementing legislation. Leo McDonnell, USCA Director Emeritus, writes, “This administration promised to “Make America Great Again,” but it is becoming evident this does not include U.S. ranchers.” He calls the lack of COOL in USMCA “disheartening at best.” The letter presented years of data, dating back to 1988, as evidence of unfair trade in the beef sector by Canada and Mexico, in making a case for the necessity of COOL. However, COOL, which is illegal by World Trade Organization standards, was in place, but repealed by the U.S. Congress after Canada and Mexico planned trade retaliations. McDonnell concludes, “I appreciate that USMCA may be too far along to address some of these measures, but I feel it is important that, at the minimum, the record needs to be set straight.”

Ernst Will Call for Wheeler Resignation if RFS Doesn’t Reach 15 Billion Gallons

Republican Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa says she will call for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s resignation, if the Renewable Fuel Standard doesn’t meet the statute requirement of 15 billion gallons. Her comments follow Wheeler’s final supplement rule released by his agency last week. In a joint statement with Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, Ernst says, “We will keep holding EPA’s feet to the fire to ensure they truly uphold the RFS as intended.” Ernst alleges that the industry was “guaranteed a deal” earlier in the year that would appease biofuels producers. The agreement would account for all lost gallons to small refinery exemptions. However, the industry says EPA’s plan to reallocate exempted gallons based on a three-year rolling average won’t make up for the four billion lost gallons. The agreement that the Iowa Senators say made earlier in the year would have based the three year average on actual gallons waived.

Iowa Ag Secretary: RVO Ruling Hurts Rural America

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig (Nayg) says the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule regarding Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for 2020 “creates unnecessary uncertainty in our markets,” and is “detrimental to so many across rural America.” The EPA proposal did not follow a request from the biofuels industry. Naig calls the rule flawed, adding, “We must continue to work together to hold the EPA accountable for ensuring the 15 billion gallons mandated by the Renewable Fuel Standard are met.” He made additional calls to invest in biofuels infrastructure. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship administers the Iowa Renewable Fuel Infrastructure program, which offers cost-share grants to help fuel retailers install infrastructure to increase the availability of ethanol and biodiesel. Secretary Naig has requested $3 million in the fiscal year 2021 to continue supporting the program. To date, the program has distributed or obligated over $33 million, with $200 million added in private economic activity. 

Seven Sue USDA Over Pork Processing Revisions

Seven organizations last week jointly filed a lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture over its decision to reduce oversight at pig slaughterhouses and eliminate limits on slaughter speeds. The groups claim the changes ”expose pigs to greater suffering,” and defy federal slaughter, meat inspection, and environmental protection laws. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of Farm Sanctuary, Animal Equality, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Center for Biological Diversity, Compassion Over Killing, Mercy For Animals, and North Carolina Farmed Animal Save. In a statement, a spokesperson from the law firm filing the suit says the revised regulation “reads like a joint venture between big business and the federal government.” The lawsuit challenges USDA’s revocation of limits on the number of pigs that can be slaughtered per hour. The lawsuit also challenges USDA’s decision to remove and relocate federal inspectors in slaughterhouses.

Broadband Map Fix Will Reveal Needs

The House of Representatives passed legislation last week that will improve the accuracy of broadband coverage maps to better identify needs. The Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act requires broadband providers to report more specific data to create a significantly more accurate and granular National Broadband Map. With more precise data, federal agencies can target funding to areas that need it most. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says, “it’s critical” to do so, adding “broadband is a necessity.” Current broadband coverage maps are inadequate, according to AFBF, because they rely on census block data to determine which areas are covered. Census blocks “are too large in rural and remote locations to accurately determine need.”  In addition to creating more accurate maps, the bill requires the FCC to establish an audit process that ensures internet service providers are providing accurate data used to create the maps. It also would create a user-friendly process to challenge the data.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service