03-11-20 Inside The BARN with USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce…

Inside The BARN with USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce

ARC/PLC, CRP & Much More

The BARN – BRIGGSDALE, CO – March 11, 2020 – United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce joined the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss numerous programs including:

  • ARC/PLC Enrollment Deadline: March 15th
  • CRP re-enrollment update
  • CRP Grasslands Signup Deadline is May 15th
  • Trade and Commodity Prices
  • & More

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For more info about the USDA’s Farm Service Agency visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/

For more info regarding any of the USDA Programs mentioned visit https://www.farmers.gov/

03-11-20 Training Session Prepares National Farmers Union Members to Respond to Farm Stress

Training Session Prepares National Farmers Union Members to Respond to Farm Stress

SAVANNAH – As part of the organization’s broader initiative to address a growing farm stress crisis, National Farmers Union (NFU) last week hosted a two-day, in-person session to train community mental health advocates across the country.
More than 30 Farmers Union members from 19 states completed the training, which was held in conjunction with NFU’s 118th Anniversary Convention in Savannah, Georgia. The program’s curriculum ­– established in collaboration with American Farm Bureau Federation, Farm Credit, and Michigan State University Extension – prepares participants to both recognize and respond to signs of stress and suicide as well as teach others to do the same. Upon returning home, they will not only serve as a resource for community members struggling with their mental health, but they will also lead future training sessions for farmers’ friends, neighbors, and family members.
“With so much uncertainty and economic pressure, farmers are under immense stress right now,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “At the same time, many people are embarrassed to talk about mental health or don’t know how. By training local leaders to build a meaningful, community-based response to this crisis, we can help break down the stigma and make it easier for farmers to ask for help when they need it most.”

03-11-20 Colorado State Forest Service: Late Winter the Best Time to Prune Trees

Colorado State Forest Service: Late Winter the Best Time to Prune Trees

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – March 11, 2020 – With spring around the corner, the Colorado State Forest Service is reminding residents that late winter is the best time to prune most trees. Trees are still dormant at this time of year and, unlike in early winter, wound closure will happen sooner if pruning occurs just prior to the time new growth emerges.

“Pruning trees during the late dormant season maximizes growth and allows the tree owner to spot problem areas and build strong structure for the long term,” said Vince Urbina, urban and community forestry manager for the CSFS. Urbina noted that although some elms, maples, birch and walnut trees may visibly exude sap if pruned in the late winter or early spring, this should not harm the tree.

The CSFS offers the following tree pruning tips:
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03-11-20 Collaborative South Platte Basin Study Concludes Concept Could Help Meet Projected Water Supply Gap

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Lisa Sigler
303-778-8355 O
303-916-2257 M
lisa@siglerinc.com

Collaborative South Platte Basin Study Concludes Concept Could Help Meet Projected Water Supply Gap

March 10, 2020 – Denver, CO – A South Platte Regional Opportunities Water Group (SPROWG) study has evaluated several innovative regional water supply options that could help fill the greatest supply gap projected for any of Colorado’s river basins. The study evaluated four viable concept alternatives that would use a combination of off-channel water storage at multiple locations, infrastructure and water exchanges to develop additional water supplies from the South Platte River. The concept could meet future water needs of cities and agricultural water users within the basin and potentially enhance the environment and provide recreational opportunities. Continue reading

03-11-20 CDA: Applications Now Accepted for Colorado Hemp Seed Certification

CDA: Applications Now Accepted for Colorado Hemp Seed Certification

Broomfield, Colo. – The Colorado Hemp Seed Certification Program, a collaborative program between the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), CSU Seed Programs, the Colorado Seed Growers Association (CSGA), is accepting applications for new certified seed varieties through April 3, 2020.

Hemp seed certification in Colorado is a multistep process in which CSGA and CDA each have specific roles:  CSGA will determine if a particular hemp variety meets the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies’ national genetic uniformity/stability standards, and as Colorado’s industrial hemp regulatory agency, CDA is responsible for verification of THC levels meeting USDA standards for industrial hemp.

Applicants must complete both the Hemp Variety Certification Eligibility and Industrial Hemp Variety THC Verification application and pay the appropriate fees ($500 to CSGA and $1500 to CDA). 400- 500 grams of seed needs to be submitted for THC trialing for CDA. For the first time, CSU/CSGA is willing to work with seed breeders interested in certifying feminized seed; for more information, please contact Rick Novak, Director of Seed Programs at CSU, at 970-491-4366.

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03-11-20 USDA Awards Funds to Encourage Public Access to Private Land

USDA Awards Funds to Encourage Public Access to Private Land

COLORADO DIVISION OF PARKS AND WILDLIFE will receive $1,220,000 – The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife (CPW) will expand Colorado’s Walk-In Access (WIA) Program. Through the WIA program, CWP delivers opportunities to landowners statewide, opening privately owned lands to increase public access for small and big game hunting.

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it is awarding almost $49 million to help state and tribal governments encourage private landowners to allow public access to their land for hunting, fishing and other wildlife-dependent recreation. This year, 27 recipients in 27 states will receive awards through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP).

“Not only does this program enhance and protect wildlife habitat, but it also provides new opportunities for the public to enjoy the outdoors and potentially generates new revenue streams for private landowners,” said NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr.

VPA-HIP is open to state and tribal governments to establish or expand public access programs. Projects last up to three years, and the maximum amount for a single award is $3 million.

A majority of the funded projects expand public access programs, increasing the number of private land acres available to the public for recreation. Awardees may use up to 25 percent of their award funding to create, restore or enhance wildlife habitat on private lands opened for public access.

Recipients include:

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03-11-20 CSU Golden Plains Extension: Certified Crop Advisor

CSU Golden Plains Extension: Certified Crop Advisor

BURLINGTON, CO – Many professions require a license to practice including medicine, engineering, and accounting along with others. Agronomists are no different except that their licensing is voluntary. The Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) program is a professional agricultural certification that requires agronomists to pass two comprehensive exams. The CCA program is administered by the American Society of Agronomy and local state CCA boards. These exams test for expertise in nutrient management, integrated pest management, soil and water management, and crop management. In addition, once licensed, Certified Crop Advisors are required to earn 40 or more hours of continuing education credits ever two years. As a result, while earning those 40 continuing education credits, Certified Crop Advisors are actively updated with the latest new agricultural technologies and developments. Should a licensed CCA not obtain the 40 continuous education credits over a two year period, then retesting is necessary to keep an active CCA license. Continue reading

03-11-20 PlainsGold® Varieties take top spots in Winter Wheat Variety Survey

PlainsGold® Varieties take top spots in Winter Wheat Variety Survey

Fort Collins, CO – PlainsGold® varieties took the top six spots in the 2020 Colorado Winter Wheat Variety Survey, conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office. According to the survey, Langin was the most popular winter wheat variety in Colorado, planted on 20.1 percent of the winter wheat acres. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, March 11th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, March 11th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Reports Progress on Implementation of China Phase One Agreement

The Department of Agriculture Tuesday said there’s progress in the implementation of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says China has taken several additional actions to reach its agriculture-related commitments. The actions include the signing of a protocol that allows the importation of fresh California nectarines, and the lifting of a ban on imports of U.S. beef and beef products from animals over 30 months of age. Additionally, China has updated its lists of facilities approved for exporting dairy, infant formula, seafood, and fish oil and fish meal. Also, China’s new tariff exclusion process went into effect on March 2 and importers can now apply for exclusions from retaliatory tariffs. Perdue says USDA will continue to closely monitor China’s implementation of the agreement that was signed February 14, 2020. Perdue adds, “These implementation measures are promising steps showing that China is taking steps to fulfill their purchase commitments.”

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USDA WASDE Report Offers Little Change

The monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Report Tuesday offered little change to Department of Agriculture forecasts. This month’s 2019/2020 U.S. corn supply and use outlook is unchanged relative to last month. The season-average corn price received by producers was lowered five cents to $3.80 per bushel based on observed prices to date. U.S. soybean supply and use projections for 2019/2020 are mostly unchanged this month, as well. With soybean crush and exports projected at 2.1 billion bushels and 1.8 billion bushels, respectively, ending stocks remain at 425 million bushels, down 484 million from last year’s record. The U.S. season-average soybean price is projected at $8.70 per bushel, down five cents. Finally, the 2019/2020 U.S. wheat supply and demand outlook is unchanged this month. The projected season-average farm price is also unchanged at $4.55 per bushel. The report followed Monday’s market plunge on coronavirus fears and large cuts to oil prices, which drug farm commodity prices lower, as well. However, farm prices and Wall Street mostly regained some ground Tuesday.

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Rapid Start to 2020 for U.S. Pork Exports; Beef Exports also Trend Higher

Following a record-breaking performance in 2019, U.S. pork exports maintained a torrid pace in January, while beef exports were also higher year-over-year.  The U.S. Meat Export Federation says January pork exports cooled slightly from the volume and value records established in December 2019, but still far exceeded year-ago levels. Both the January export volume of 273,603 metric tons, up 36 percent year-over-year, and export value at $738.7 million, up 50 percent, were the second-highest on record. Meanwhile, beef exports posted more modest growth in January, increasing 2.5 percent from a year ago in volume at 107,374 metric tons and five percent in value at $672.7 million. Exports accounted for 13.1 percent of total beef production, down slightly from a year ago. Release of the January export data comes as coronavirus is dominating news headlines, including those related to global trade. USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom said the virus has had an impact on red meat exports, which will likely be more evident in February and March data.

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Farmers Seek Reassurance of Trade During House Ag Subcommittee Hearing

Farmers Tuesday asked lawmakers to assure positive trade outcomes for agriculture. The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture heard from farmers regarding the current trade atmosphere. Subcommittee Chairman Jim Costa of California stated, “The President’s trade agenda has adversely impacted farmers in California and nationwide.” The National Milk Producers Federation urged lawmakers to “work with the administration to use negotiating resources wisely to target important agricultural markets and create greater access for U.S. dairy products.” In 2019, America’s dairy industry exported more than $6 billion in dairy products ranging from cheese to ice cream to milk powders. Iowa soybean farmer Robb Ewoldt told the committee 2020 holds a “50/50 proposition as to whether I’ll receive an operating loan this year,” adding he’s taken a second job as a truck driver. He urged lawmakers to encourage the administration to initiate free trade negotiations with other trading partners and “assure positive outcomes to bilateral trade negotiations with the EU and the UK.”

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Farmers National: Slight Increase in Number of Land Buyers

Despite volatile and uncertain markets, interest appears to be growing in farmland purchases. Farmers National Company reports a small increase in land buying interest from individual investors. The company specializes in farm management, real estate sales and auctions. The recent Market Facilitation Program, low interest rates and the idea of farmland as a long-term asset appear to support farmland prices. Further, with the stock market volatile and low CD rates, investors are more willing to look for alternatives to invest in, including farmland. Investment funds, for the most part, are remaining active in the land market. Meanwhile, farmers continue to be interested in buying land as there is a bit of optimism among producers for a better year than the last. Farmers National agents have seen stronger than expected prices being paid for cropland. Despite the short-term uncertainties swirling around agriculture, land is seen as the solid long-term asset that both farmers and investors are interested in owning.

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USDA Predicts Sugar Market Gap, Request Export Increase

The Department of Agriculture Tuesday requested an increase in sugar imports. Consistent with the Commerce Department’s Agreement Suspending the Countervailing Duty Investigation on Sugar From Mexico, USDA notified the Department of Commerce of an additional need for sugar in the U.S. market. Consequently, Commerce has increased the quantity of Mexican refined sugar permitted to be exported by 200,000 short tons raw value for the October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020 period. Commerce previously increased Mexico’s refined sugar export limit by 100,000 short tons, also at the request of USDA, in November 2019. In the same way as the November request, Tuesday’s increase in Mexico’s refined sugar export limit will only change the mix between refined and other sugar. USDA says current market conditions point to a sugar shortage. This action is a further step in ensuring an adequate supply of sugar to the U.S. market, given the terms of the U.S. sugar program and the Agreement Suspending the Countervailing Duty Investigation on Sugar from Mexico.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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