04-30-20 CO Governor Polis Takes Action in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor Polis Takes Action in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

DENVER – Gov. Polis today signed Executive Orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Polis today signed Executive Order D 2020 050, restricting spending for the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.The Executive Order directs the Office of State Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) to submit the sequestration plan outlined in the Executive Order to the Joint Budget Committee and General Assembly. The sequestration plan set out in the Executive Order D2020 050 is a targeted and practical approach to reduce spending quickly by $228.7 million to attempt to maintain the statutory reserve requirements directed by statute. It builds on OSPB’s Guidance for Fiscal Conservation issued March 30, 2020 and does not rely on broad across-the-board cuts but rather specific line item reductions that can be made with the least possible impact to State programs and services. Importantly, the Executive Order does not mandate any furloughs or layoffs for State employees this fiscal year, and we want to ensure we have a strong, stable State workforce as we manage the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full Executive Order and OSPB plan here. Continue reading

04-30-20 US Representative Mike Conaway’s Comments on USDA’s COVID Aid for Agriculture

US Representative Mike Conaway’s Comments on USDA’s COVID Aid for Agriculture

April 30, 2020 – In a telephone town hall on April 29th, the Ranking Member in the House Ag Committee Mike Conaway was asked by The BARN to provide the latest update regarding COVID-19 Aid for agriculture that the USDA was putting together said…

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LEARN MORE ABOUT US REPRESENTATIVE & RANKING MEMBER OF THE HOUSE AG COMMITTEE – CLICK HERE

04-30-20 Checkoff Contest Challenges Consumers to Get Cooking with American Lamb

Checkoff Contest Challenges Consumers to Get Cooking with American Lamb

American Lamb Board (ALB) is creating opportunities during the COVID-19 crisis, including a new consumer social media contest inspiring increased at-home usage of American Lamb. The Great American Lamb Challenge runs May 1 through June 30 and has consumers preparing 2 different lamb recipes as they explore the adventurous appeal of our great product, while supporting America’s farms and flocks and helping raise funds for Feeding America. Continue reading

04-30-20 US Wheat Associates: Plans Being Made for Virtual Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour

US Wheat Associates: Plans Being Made for Virtual Hard Red Winter Wheat Tour

April 30, 2020 – For the first time in its 50-year history, the Wheat Quality Council (WQC) Hard Winter Wheat Tour has been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) knows that its customers around the world look forward to the snapshot of new hard red winter (HRW) wheat crop yield potential the tour provides.

We want our customers to know that plans are being made to conduct a limited, virtual tour of the Kansas wheat crop during the week of May 18. Organizers are working with certified crop advisors, Extension agents, elevators, farmers and others in the field to make yield and quality observations of the crop and share information during the tour.

The organizers and USW will provide more information about the planned virtual hard winter wheat tour as soon as it is available. Stay tuned to #wheattour20 for future updates.

This week in Wheat Letter, USW Market Analyst Claire Hutchins shared information about challenges from freeze damage and increasingly dry conditions to the crop in the Central and Southern Plains. In addition, several state organizations report on new crop progress at the following links: Continue reading

04-30-20 Midwestern wheat growers benefit from a wider application window with Miravis® Ace fungicide from Syngenta

Midwestern wheat growers benefit from a wider application window with Miravis® Ace fungicide from Syngenta

Fusarium head blight (head scab) can be found in Colorado wheat when conditions for infection are right, and it can cause decreased yield and increased DON levels if not controlled. Miravis Ace fungicide is registered for use in Colorado

GREENSBORO, N.C., USA, April 30, 2020 – Growers looking for relief from Fusarium head blight can get a head start with Miravis® Ace fungicide from Syngenta, according to performance results from 2019.

First available during the 2019 growing season, Miravis Ace widens the application window, allowing applications as early as 50% head emergence up to flowering. This flexibility, combined with proven disease control, helps maximize growers’ yield potential despite some of Mother Nature’s biggest threats.

“Miravis Ace definitely has an edge on any other product that’s out there right now for Fusarium head scab control,” said Leslie Tanke, an agronomist in Miller, South Dakota. “With the issues we had in 2019, like weather and uneven emergence, Miravis Ace made it much simpler to feel confident in our head scab control. Our pollination window was so wide, and Miravis Ace covers that window much better than any other Fusarium control product out there.”

Miravis Ace is a convenient premix that combines propiconazole and Adepidyn® technology – the first and only molecule with an SDHI mode of action available for head scab control. The fungicide enables growers to: Continue reading

04-30-20 Nation’s Public-Private Partnership for Suicide Prevention’s Press Call to Address Crisis Services and Response – AUDIO

Nation’s Public-Private Partnership for Suicide Prevention’s Press Call to Address Crisis Services and Response – AUDIO

Leading crisis services and suicide prevention experts convene in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic

April 30, 2020 – The news media play a critical role in providing accurate, reliable information to the public in the wake of a pandemic, like COVID-19. The information journalists provide can help keep Americans safe and healthy—physically, emotionally, and mentally—both during and after a public health crisis. All Americans need to be equipped with the tools and resources to prevent a mental health or suicidal crisis. In addition, as physical distancing mandates have changed how some crisis services are accessed, it’s important for Americans who are experiencing mental health and suicidal crises to know where they can turn to get the help they need and deserve.

To assist journalists in generating stories highlighting prevention tools and resources, as well as how to access crisis services, the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) hosted a media call for reporters and provided the following information:

  • access to some of the nation’s leading subject matter experts in the crisis services and suicide prevention space;
  • story ideas for developing coverage that is accurate and continues to promote help-seeking; and
  • guidance about reporting on suicide and mental health to ensure stories follow best practices.

The media call featured the following experts:

  • Ms. Colleen Carr, Director, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Education Development Center
  • Mr. Travis Atkinson, President, Crisis Residential Association and Consultant, TBD Solutions LLC
  • Dr. John Draper, Director, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
  • Ms. Becky Stoll, Vice President for Crisis and Disaster Management, Centerstone

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Below are some additional links to the resources that were referenced in the press call: Continue reading

04-30-20 CSU-designed model helps predict whether there will be enough grass for grazing livestock

Hereford cattle on USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory near Miles City, Montana. Photo: Keith Weller, USDA

CSU-designed model helps predict whether there will be enough grass for grazing livestock

By Mary Guiden

April 29, 2020 – Predicting grassland production is a major challenge for ranchers and other land managers with grazing livestock. This productivity is key each spring when these ranchers and managers are trying to decide how many cattle to turn out to pasture, how long to graze an area or where forage might be abundant.

An online tool – first created by Colorado State University researchers and designed to help make such decisions – is available again this spring. Known as the Grassland Productivity Forecast or Grass-Cast, the tool was developed in 2017 by scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, with other federal agencies and several universities.

Forecasting tool designed for and with ranchers, land managers Continue reading

04-30-20 U.S. Department of Interior Announces $24.7M in Support for Habitat Conservation in Big Game Migration Corridors and Winter Range in the West

Interior Announces $24.7 Million in Support for Habitat Conservation in Big Game Migration Corridors and Winter Range in the West

Grants benefit elk, mule deer and pronghorn in 11 western states

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced over $4.4 million in grant funding for habitat conservation projects in 11 western states that conserve migration corridors and winter range for elk, mule deer and pronghorn, including $3.1 million from a public-private partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). These grants will generate an additional $20.3 million in matching contributions to support big game species habitat conservation for a total conservation impact of $24.7 million.

“As we continue to approach conservation of migration corridors and winter range for mule deer, elk and pronghorn in a non-regulatory and voluntary manner, we are showing how conservation succeeds in the 21st century,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “Working together with government and non-government partners, along with private landowners, we are protecting, enhancing and restoring habitat for big game and countless other species of wildlife.”

“Elk, mule deer and pronghorn face increasing obstacles from highway traffic, development, and habitat degradation as they navigate migration corridors that connect vast stretches of our western landscapes,” said NFWF Executive Director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. “Working with the Department of the Interior, and other partners, such as ConocoPhillips and BNSF Railways, these NFWF awards support the work of local organizations as they implement projects that will reduce vehicle collisions and help to ensure healthy populations of these iconic animals.”

The grants are a part of the Department’s ongoing efforts to implement Secretary’s Order 3362, “Improving Habitat Quality in Western Big-Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors.” These recent grants bring the Department’s and other stakeholders’ support of big game species habitat conservation to nearly $36 million.

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04-30-20 RMFU Foundation College Scholarship Program Application Deadline Extended to May 1st!

 

RMFU Foundation Scholarship app deadline extended to May 1st.pngRMFU Foundation College Scholarship Program Applications Due May 1st

The RMFU Foundation College Scholarship Program provides financial help for students who are active in their community and Farmers Union, so they can pursue higher education. The program awards up to $7,000 annually in scholarships. The RMFU Foundation encourages life-long learning and rewards active participants in their schools and communities.

To download a scholarship application – CLICK HERE

For complete details –  CLICK HERE

04-30-20 NJC Moving Forward with Annual Collegiate Farm Bureau Plant Sale May 9th

NJC Moving Forward with Annual Collegiate Farm Bureau Plant Sale May 9th
NJC’s annual Collegiate Farm Bureau plant sale will be held on Saturday, May 9th, from 9am-3pm. This year there will be a few modifications.
First, no customers will be allowed in the greenhouse. Instead we ask that you fill out the order form below and reply back to NJC Collegiate Farm Bureau Advisor Andy Bartlett with your purchase. I will reply within 24 hours with your confirmation number. We will have a group of ag faculty/staff that will bring you your plants when you arrive. There is no need to even get out of your car!
Secondly, we have removed all prices and just ask that you give us a donation. I’ve added a suggested donation range to the spreadsheet but feel free to give us more or less!

ORDER FORM

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Check out the NJC Collegiate Farm Bureau Plant Sale FAQ’s below:

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USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for April 30th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for April 30th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 30th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 30th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Agriculture Responds to Meatpacking Executive Order

President Donald Trump’s executive order to open meatpacking plants helps ensure the food supply chain but poses risks to workers. A statement by the National Farmers Union says the organization shares the president’s concerns around maintaining food system infrastructure. However, the organization is equally concerned with the health and wellbeing of meat plant employees. NFU President Rob Larew says, “These workers work in close quarters and often lack access to appropriate protective equipment or paid sick leave, making them among the most vulnerable to coronavirus.” However, ordering the facilities to stay open ensures that producers of meat have a market for their product. National Pork Producers Council President Howard AV Roth says, “We must safely stabilize the current plant capacity challenge.” Pork and poultry producers face the tough decision to depopulate because there is no room for animals in the current supply chain. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, in a statement, says he is “hopeful” the executive order will protect workers while ensuring the supply chain for farmers and ranchers.

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Senators Seek Open Antitrust Investigation into Meatpackers Amid Plant Closures

Two U.S. Senators seek an antitrust investigation into the meatpacking industry. Senators Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, asked the Federal Trade Commission to open the antitrust investigation Wednesday. They say the industry is currently dominated by just a handful of large, multinational firms that have concentrated meat processing into fewer and fewer facilities, leaving America’s food supply chain vulnerable to disruptions. In the bipartisan letter, the Senators note that the closing of three pork plants because of COVID-19 has resulted in the shutdown of 15 percent of America’s pork production “at a time when stable supply chains have become more critical than ever.” The Senators say the FTC has the power to “shed light on these growing competition and security problems.” Baldwin and Hawley say the FTC should ask probing questions about major meatpacking firms’ conduct, pricing, and contracting, as well as how their commitments to overseas interests impact the U.S. market and national security.

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Expanding Overseas Markets Key to Dairy Post-COVID-19

Expanding export markets oversees is key to helping the dairy industry recover after the COVID-19 pandemic. National Milk Producers Federation vice president for trade, Shawna Morris, says work continues on “what needs to happen over the next year or two” to help the industry recover. Despite the disruptions, Morris says trade officials need to keep long-range goals of open commerce essential to returning dairy to prosperity in mind. Morris says NMPF and others are working with the federal government and others to outline the dairy industry’s priorities for upcoming trade agreements, notably with the UK and Kenya. Additionally, NMPF is focusing on issues and policy barriers that had existed before COVID-19 and are still in place and hindering dairy trade. With the drop in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dairy farmers are forced to dump milk, and some experts have warned the industry needs to retract production by ten percent. However, strong export demand following the COVID-19 pandemic could help the industry quickly recover.

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COVID-19 Impacting Ag Equipment Demand, Supply Chains

More than half of U.S. equipment manufacturers believe the COVID-19 pandemic has had a very negative impact on the industry, according to a survey released by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. In addition, eight out of ten executives say the federal government should prioritize a significant investment in the nation’s infrastructure to help equipment manufacturers weather the crisis and help rebuild the economy. The survey was in the field from April 16 to 27, 2020. Seven out of ten surveyed experienced a moderately negative impact on their supply chain, while a quarter said the impact has been very negative. Four out of ten said they expect the outlook for the next 30 days to get worse and said they plan to lower their financial outlook for the same period by more than 30 percent. Finally, nine out of ten cited a decline in demand for equipment as the primary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business.

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Organic Outlook: Corn and Wheat Face Glut, Soy Demand Strong

Larger-than-expected beginning stocks and more harvested acres have placed organic corn and wheat on a bearish trend over the 2019/20 market year, according to the new Mercaris (Meh-CAR-us) Organic Commodity Outlook. Meanwhile, strong demand and lower imports have provided support to organic soybeans markets. Mercaris, the nation’s leading market data service and online trading platform for organic, non-GMO and certified agricultural commodities, this week released its spring outlook. Despite poor planting and harvest conditions in 2019, additional certified corn and wheat farms helped push harvests above previous estimates. In addition, corn imports rose sharply at the end of the 2018/19 market year, 12 percent above projections. For organic soybeans, a collapse in imports from China and a reduction from Canada and the Black Sea Region point to supply constraints and higher prices. Meanwhile, organic corn production is estimated at 39.7 million bushels for 2019/20, up nine percent from the previous outlook but still down four percent year-over-year.

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Midwest Dairy Donated $500,000 to Food Banks

Midwest Dairy this week announced a $500,000 donation to food banks in the Midwest to purchase dairy products for those in need. The contributions will be spread across the ten states Midwest Dairy represents to help meet the increased demand for dairy products during the COVID-19 pandemic. Food banks across the region have been seeing an unprecedented need in recent weeks, setting records of daily and weekly food distribution and showcasing the urgency of finding resourceful ways to provide more food to those experiencing food insecurity. With unemployment numbers still climbing and schools – where many children receive most of their daily meals – continuing to be closed, the demand is expected to continue growing. Though dairy checkoff funds cannot typically be used to purchase dairy products, the USDA has granted a one-time exception at the request of Midwest Dairy. The program also offers processors an opportunity to keep their supply chains active while navigating changes in demand.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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04-29-20 USCA: President Trump Utilizes Authority Under Defense Production Act to Keep Meatpacking Plants Open

USCA: President Trump Utilizes Authority Under Defense Production Act to Keep Meatpacking Plants Open

(WASHINGTON) April 29, 2020 – On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order which invoked his authority under the Defense Production Act to secure the food supply chain during the current national emergency caused by COVID-19. The executive order signed late Tuesday afternoon at the White House specifically directs Secretary Sonny Perdue to “take all appropriate action under that section to ensure that meat and poultry processors continue operations consistent with the guidance for their operations jointly issued by the CDC and OSHA.”

United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Brooke Miller issued the following statement:

“Earlier this month, USCA sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging Secretary Perdue to do everything in his power to keep meatpacking plants operational during these uncertain times. Last week, at a meeting hosted by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, we learned that the U.S. meatpacking sector was operating at only 60 percent of its full capacity, with nearly 8 percent of plants ‘off line’.  As we see farmers and ranchers forced to make difficult decisions this week due to that reduction in slaughter capacity, we are appreciative of the President’s decision to step in and ensure the safety and security of the food supply chain.  Continue reading

04-29-20 BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on Agriculture

BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson: Long-Term Impacts of COVID-19 on Agriculture

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO / Thayer, MO – April 29, 2020 – COVID-19 poses challenges for everyone, and those involved in growing, processing and selling food are no exception. In a new report from BARN Ag Reporter Samantha Munson has this NAFB ag news story featuring North Carolina State University, economist Nick Piggott, who says the pandemic’s impact on agriculture and food systems could be staggering…

04-29-20 CCA/CBC/CLA: Stabilizing Steps Secure Beef Supply

CCA/CBC/CLA: Stabilizing Steps Secure Beef Supply

April 29, 2020 – Like others, beef producers are learning to make adjustments in our everyday activities. Yesterday’s executive order from the Trump Administration invoking the Defense Production Act will deliver additional needed personal protection equipment and screening supplies to further ensure worker safety in meat-processing plants. Concurrently, meat-processing plants will remain open as critical infrastructure while the nation confronts growing food supply disruptions from COVID-19.

Colorado’s beef community, led by the Colorado Beef Council, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and Colorado Livestock Association, is committed to doing our part to provide the public with safe and wholesome products.

“The beef industry is doing everything possible to meet consumer demand, but the primary concern is ensuring the health and safety of those who produce, process, inspect and deliver beef,” stated Dwain Weinrich, Colorado Livestock Association President.

As a growing number of processing plants across the country started experiencing slow-downs and temporary closures, processing capacity was 14-16 percent lower than the same time a year ago – jeopardizing the ability to meet consumer needs during the pandemic.

“Being able to keep plants open and get those that were closed back open, will help keep the supply chain intact and ensure that beef will remain available to consumers,” commented CBC Chair, Sallie Miller of Briggsdale, CO. “Feeding families has always been our top priority,” she added.

Consumers should continue to be confident that adequate supplies of beef are available in their grocery store of choice. The disruptions to the food supply system have not caused lasting food shortages and impacts felt by consumers are not permanent. Meat is available in cold storage for distribution and the supply chain is catching up to consumer demand.

“These stabilizing measures will ensure beef supply, worker safety advancements and a structured return to normal operations in Colorado’s beef sector”, said Steve Wooten, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association President. Wooten went on to say, “While continued vigilance is prudent, our producers are doing their part to advance Colorado’s economy toward recovery and a vibrant future.”

SOURCE: Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Beef Council & Colorado Livestock Association

04-29-20 U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Reports Progress, New Leadership During Virtual General Assembly

U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef Reports Progress, New Leadership During Virtual General Assembly

DENVER (April 29, 2020) – The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB), America’s leading beef sustainability initiative, reiterated the importance of sustainability amid the economic and emotional challenges facing the beef industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement came at the organization’s virtual 2020 General Assembly meeting where the USRSB reported its progress and elected a new Board of Directors and Executive Officer group.

The USRSB reported reaching 9,000 individuals since launching the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework last year. Also announced was a 9% increase in membership, a 98% member-retention rate, and the launch of new educational outreach modules.

The announcements represent the organization’s expanded outreach to continuously improve the production, processing, distribution, and overall trust of U.S. beef, as well as its robust stakeholder representation that accounts for 30% of cattle raised, 80% of beef processed, and 28% of consumers, leading retailers, restaurants, and non-governmental organizations in the United States.

“It is a tremendous honor to have led the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef,” said Ben Weinheimer, who served as chair of the USRSB during the past year. “I was fortunate to serve alongside leaders who shared a vision to continuously improve beef sustainability while increasing trust in beef and helping ensure the economic viability of farmers and ranchers – something that’s top of mind for the beef industry as it feels impacts from a global pandemic.”

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04-29-20 Western Growers Applauds Governor Newsom’s Farm to Family Expansion

Western Growers Applauds Governor Newsom’s Farm to Family Expansion

IRVINE, Calif., (April 29, 2020) — In response to Calif. Governor Newsom’s announcement today of a partnership with the California Association of Food Banks to increase deliveries of fresh produce and other California-grown foods to Californians in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia issued the following statement:

“We thank Governor Gavin Newsom and Secretary Karen Ross for working to boost the state’s Farm to Family Program. The collapse of the food service sector has hit farmers who supply restaurants, schools, universities, hotel resorts and other institutional buyers of fresh produce. Many farmers who planted before the economy was shut down made the difficult decision to abandon their crops rather than double their financial loss by harvesting, packing and cooling highly perishable produce with no market.

“California food banks have experienced a huge spike in demand, and it makes sense to redirect as much of the food orphaned by the economic shutdown as possible to food banks. Our growers recognize this and have more than doubled their donations of berries, baby carrots, grapes and other fresh fruits and vegetables to food banks up and down the state in March and April.

“Given the massive economic harm to farmers in our state, much more relief is needed, but this is a good step forward.”

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04-29-20 Colorado Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on State Response to COVID-19

Colorado Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on State Response to COVID-19 for April 29th

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Governor Polis Provides Update on State Response to COVID-19

April 29,  2020 – DENVER – Governor Jared Polis today provided an update on the State’s response to COVID-19, reiterated the importance of Safer at Home, and discussed the State’s testing strategy.

“These next few weeks are critical and I know Coloradans will continue to be safer at home as much as possible and wear masks when in public,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Testing is an important puzzle piece to Colorado’s response to this pandemic and the state continues ramping up our testing capability, infrastructure, and epidemiological work and will continue to aggressively seek resources through the private sector and federal government. When this crisis began the state could only run 140 tests per day and we have increased that capacity 20-fold, with more to come.”

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