04-08-20 STAKEHOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT: USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19 *Updated April 8, 2020*

STAKEHOLDER ANNOUNCEMENT: USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19

*Updated April 8, 2020*

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2020 – USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural
America.

Visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMMEDIATE RELIEF

Continue reading

04-08-20 USDA-NRCS Accepting RCPP Applications thru April 10th

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0064.JPG

USDA-NRCS Accepting RCPP Applications thru April 10th

The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination of NRCS conservation activities with partners. Through RCPP, NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners to implement projects that demonstrate innovative solutions to conservation challenges and provide measurable improvements and outcomes tied to the resource concerns they seek to address. 2020 projects in Colorado include:

  • Rio Grande Water Cons. District
  • Colorado River Headwaters

CLICK HERE for more information.

04-08-20 NRCS Accepting EQIP Applications

NRCS Accepting EQIP Applications thru April 10th!

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation  in Colorado is currently accepting applications for enrollment into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Colorado’s traditional, non-traditional, certified and transitioning organic ag operations, those classified as beginning, limited resource, or socially disadvantaged, those interested in installing seasonal high tunnels, or interested in the reduction of farm energy are encouraged to apply.

CLICK HERE for more information.

04-08-20 USDA-NRCS Seek Public Comment on More Revised Conservation Practice Standards

USDA-NRCS Seek Public Comment on More Revised Conservation Practice Standards

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is seeking public comment on proposed revisions to 49 national conservation practice standards through a posting in the Federal Register. The public comment period closes April 23, 2020.

NRCS is encouraging agricultural producers, landowners, organizations, tribes, and others that use its conservation practices to comment on these revised conservation practice standards.

To see revisions and to comment, CLICK HERE.

04-08-20 USDA-NRCS Seek Proposals for On-Farm Conservation and Soil Health Test Projects

USDA-NRCS Seek Proposals for On-Farm Conservation and Soil Health Test Projects

The NRCS is accepting proposals through May 11 for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials (On-Farm Trials), now in its second year. On-Farm Trials, part of the agency’s Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program, help support the adoption and evaluation of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural land. Continue reading

04-08-20 NRCS Joins Forces to Implement Colorado’s Ogallala and Republican River Basin TCP

NRCS Joins Forces to Implement Colorado’s Ogallala and Republican River Basin TCP

The NRCS partnered with the Republican River Water Conservation District and the Colorado Master Irrigator Project Advisory Committee to develop the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Ogallala and Republican River Basin Targeted Conservation Project (TCP). Continue reading

04-08-20 NRCS Accepting Applications for the ACEP-ALE and ACEP-WRE Programs

NRCS Accepting Applications for the ACEP-ALE and ACEP-WRE Programs

The ACEP-ALE program helps protect the agricultural viability and related conservation values of eligible land by limiting nonagricultural uses of that land that negatively affect the agricultural uses and conservation values and protects grazing uses and related conservation values by restoring or conserving eligible land. ACEP-WRE help conserve agricultural lands, wetlands, and their related benefits. Cut-off dates include: Continue reading

04-08-20 NRCS Easement Program Helps Conserve Glade Park Views, Wildlife Habitat and Ranches

NRCS Easement Program Helps Conserve Glade Park Views, Wildlife Habitat and Ranches

Using the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Colorado helped conserve a 680 acre ranch on Glade Park. Colorado’s Glade Park is located on the western slope and is surrounded by the Colorado National Monument, Piñon Mesa, the Grand Mesa National Forest, and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Continue reading

04-08-20 USDA Service Centers are OPEN for Business by Phone Appointment ONLY

USDA Service Centers are OPEN for Business by Phone Appointment ONLY

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. While our program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email and online tools whenever possible. Field work, including conservation planning assistance, will continue with appropriate social distancing.

Producers can find their Service Center’s phone number at farmers.gov/service-center-locator.

04-08-20 *UPDATED* CDA Hosting Virtual Public Town Hall on Thursday, April 9th @ 3:30pm MT

CO Department of Agriculture Hosting Virtual Public Town Hall on Thursday, April 9th @ 3:30pm MT

UPDATED APRIL 8, 2020 @ 16:00 MT
Good Afternoon Colleagues and Stakeholders, 
Please Join us Tomorrow, April 9th at 3:30pm for a Live Call-In Town Hall!
This “Town Hall,” has no registration, it is first come, first served and will allow for 500 participants. Feel free to login 10 minutes early. We understand this may cause anxiety about whether or not you will “make the list,” but rest assured, we will be posting the town hall audio in full and continue to leave our question form open.
Tomorrow you will simply dial the phone number “+1 301 715 8592, followed by the “Webinar ID” 501 039 997 and the pound key.
In our last message the Commissioner requested that you submit questions in advance via this google form. However, we want to reiterate that CDA will be taking live questions for the last 20 minutes. To ask a question, press “ * 9” (star – nine) on your phone. The audio in your speaker will state that “You have raised your hand.” We will do our best to answer all questions, in the order they are received. You will know it is your turn to ask a question when you hear in your headset that “You are unmuted.”
Thank you,
Ben Walther
Colorado Department of Agriculture
Digital Media & Outreach Specialist
Current COVID-19 Relief Resources for Businesses Continue reading

04-08-20 Colorado: State, partners secure alternative care facility locations to help Colorado health care system handle potential surge in COVID-19 cases

State, partners secure alternative care facility locations to help Colorado health care system handle potential surge in COVID-19 cases

DENVER, April 8, 2020: The Colorado state Unified Command Center (UCC) has developed a statewide plan to manage an expected surge in demand for intensive care unit (ICU) and acute care treatment for COVID-19 patients.

As part of that plan, the UCC has worked with the Colorado Hospital Association, local communities and the US Army Corps of Engineers to select and prepare alternative care sites throughout the State that can be repurposed to provide medical care for patients who have stabilized in-hospital and no longer require critical care. Alternative care sites serve as medical shelters and are not field hospitals.

The state and its local government partners have completed leases on two large-scale facilities to serve as alternative care sites: The Colorado Convention Center in Denver, and The Ranch – Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex in Loveland.  The Army Corps of Engineers will begin construction Friday to retro-fit them to serve as Tier 3 medical shelters. The UCC also plans to finalize leases with three other alternative care sites by the end of this week, and is working to secure additional facilities.

It is important for the public to know that the alternative care sites will only accept patients who are being transferred from hospitals and health care facilities – the sites will not be open for members of the public seeking medical care or diagnosis.

How the medical surge system works: Continue reading

04-08-20 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 8th

AUDIO ONLY, courtesy of The BARN

040820_GovPolis_COVID19-PressConference_53m53s

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, April 8,  2020

Shelby Wieman| shelby.wieman@state.co.us | 303-957-6011


Gov. Polis Provides Update on Colorado Response to COVID-19, Announces StayAtHomeCO Guide

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis provided an update today on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 and announced a stay at home guide for Coloradans.

“Everyone is working hard, doing their part, and giving what they can so that we can defeat this virus and get back to normal life here in our great state. This is a critically important time for Coloradans to stay at home to do our part to help save lives,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I know that for so many Coloradans, our faith plays an important role in our lives. We want all Coloradans to have the chance to celebrate the upcoming religious holidays with their loved ones safely. Even though we can’t be together physically, we can be together emotionally and spiritually.”

Gov. Polis discussed important guidelines the administration has released for upcoming religious holidays Coloradans of different faiths will be celebrating, including Easter, Passover, and Ramadan. The Governor encouraged faith leaders to offer online or drive-in services in order to serve their congregations or safely accommodate worshippers by ensuring a six-foot distance between them.

Other guidelines are:

Continue reading

04-08-20 USDA’s Press Conference regarding Nutrition Flexibilities to Ensure Americans are Fed in Response to COVID-19

USDA’s Press Conference regarding Nutrition Flexibilities to Ensure Americans are Fed in Response to COVID-19

Washington D.C. – April 8, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Deputy Under Secretary Brandon Lipps held an on-the-record, off-camera media briefing call regarding USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s flexibilities and new pilot programs to ensure children and low-income Americans continue to have nutritious food during the COVID-19 outbreak..listen to ALL of the audio, courtesy of The BARN…

040820_USDA-PressConference_NutritionFlexibilities_33m26s

RELATED PRESS RELEASE

Arizona and California Added to Innovative SNAP Online Pilot Program

USDA is expanding access to innovative online food purchase program

(Washington, D.C., April 8, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced approval for Arizona and California’s request to provide online purchasing of food to SNAP Households in the States of Arizona and California. This approval will allow the States to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date later this month. California’s SNAP participation is over 4 million individuals, more than 2.2 million households, and totals more than $6 billion annually in federal funding. Arizona’s SNAP participation is nearly 800,000 individuals, almost 380,000 households, and totals nearly a $1 billion annually in federal funding. This announcement further demonstrates President Trump’s whole of America approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic by ensuring those affected are fed.
“We are expanding new flexibilities and innovative programs to make sure Americans across this country have safe and nutritious food during this national emergency,” said Secretary Perdue. “Enabling people to purchase foods online will go a long way in helping Americans follow CDC social distancing guidelines and help slow the spread of the coronavirus. USDA is mandated with the noble goal of feeding Americans when they need it most, and we are fulfilling that mission with new innovative programs during this national emergency.”
Background:

Continue reading

04-08-20 Inside the BARN with CO Corn Executive Director Nick Colglazier: Spring Planting, Trade, COVID-19 Pandemic Concerns/Challenges & More

Inside the BARN with CO Corn Executive Director Nick Colglazier: Spring Planting, Trade, COVID-19 Pandemic Concerns/Challenges & More

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – April 8, 2020 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss Sprint Planting, Trade and the Corn Industry’s concerns during the COVID-19 Pandemic and much more is Colorado Corn Executive Director Nick Colglazier...

040820_CoCorn-NickColglazier_33m49s

VIDEO TO BE UPLOADED SOON

If you would like to learn more about the Colorado Corn Growers Association or the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee please visit www.coloradocorn.com and I also invite you to check out the other social media pages on

 

04-08-20 Cornell University: Market impacts on price of beef

Cornell University: Market impacts on price of beef

Dr. Peel, OK State Livestock Marketing Specialist provides information on market demand. Cutout values are what packers base their bids for cull cows and finished beef on cutout values. Demand is lower at the restaurant level due to fast food service open only for drive through and restaurants for take out only. Fast food uses a lot of ground beef and restaurants use more middle meats. Demand for retail is up for ground and lesser value cuts.

Beef market impacts from COVID-19_Peel

SOURCE

04-08-20 U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Bernhardt Proposes Historic Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities

U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Bernhardt Proposes Historic Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities

New hunting and fishing opportunities across 2.3 million acres at 97 national wildlife refuges and 9 national fish hatcheries

WASHINGTON — Continuing the Trump Administration’s significant efforts to increase recreational access on public lands, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced today a historic proposal for new and expanded hunting and fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres at 97 national wildlife refuges and 9 national fish hatcheries. This proposed rule is the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) in history.

“America’s hunters and anglers now have something significant to look forward to in the fall as we plan to open and expand hunting and fishing opportunities across more acreage nationwide than the entire state of Delaware,” said Secretary Bernhardt. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Hunt Fish Chiefs have been instrumental in our effort over the past two years to streamline our regulations and identify new opportunities for sportsmen and women like no other previous administration.”

This proposed rule would create nearly 900 distinct new hunting and fishing opportunities (an opportunity is defined as one species on one field station in one state). On top of last year’s expansion of 1.4 million acres for new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities, this proposal would bring the Trump Administration’s total expansion to 4 million acres nationwide. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 8th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 8th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Dairy Groups Unite to Ask Federal Government for Help

The National Milk Producers Federation, the largest dairy organization in the U.S., as well as the International Dairy Foods Association, came together to ask for help. They sent a request for assistance to Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue. Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF, says, “As most of the country shelters in place and large swaths of the foodservice sector come to a standstill, dairy sales outside the retail channels have plummeted. Market prices have dropped rapidly, which has created a crushing economic outlook for producers of nutritious and necessary milk and dairy products.” The groups say no plan will fully remedy the losses; however, dairy is responding with a united plan that can help mitigate the damage caused by COVID-19. “Dairy industry discussions have led to a comprehensive action plan to address many of the key marketplace challenges created by the pandemic and we will present it to USDA,” Mulhern adds. “We understand the demands that USDA is under, but after five straight years of poor milk prices, they were just starting to rebound when the pandemic hit.” He says immediate actions by USDA are critical to helping people survive the market devastation that has occurred.

**********************************************************************************************

Ethanol Industry in “Free-Fall”

The ethanol industry is in an economic free-fall as fuel demand drops because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Governments around the world are urging or requiring their citizens to stay home as a means to help control the spread of the coronavirus. The Capital-Journal says as more and more individuals stay home, the demand for ethanol-blended gasoline continues to drop. The pandemic hit the ethanol industry at a time when it was already struggling because of poor market conditions. The industry had already endured a trade war with China, a glut of oil production that sent ethanol prices tumbling, as well as waivers from the Environmental Protection Agency that helped refineries use less ethanol. “The important context here is that a lot of the ethanol industry was hanging on by a string before the coronavirus hit,” says Brian Jennings, CEO of the American Coalition for Ethanol. “We’re seeing unprecedented demand destruction and 2020 is likely going to be a bloodbath for the industry.” The market upheaval has put thousands of ethanol jobs in jeopardy. It’s also hurt the pocketbooks of the tens of thousands of farmers who provide the corn that ethanol plants use to make the biofuel and its byproducts like dried distillers grains. The per-gallon price paid to ethanol producers dropped 37 percent from February to March.

**********************************************************************************************  

Farmer Sentiment Takes a Hit in March

The Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer took a dive in March, dropping 47 points from the previous month to a reading of 121. This was the biggest one-month drop in the history of the index, which dates back to late 2015. Declining agricultural commodity prices and the coronavirus impact on the U.S. economy and ag sector are what took down farmers’ previous optimism. This month’s decline in the index wipes out the improved sentiment that took place last fall and winter, leaving the index at the same reading it was in September of 2019. The Index of Current Conditions dropped 43 points, while the Index of Future Expectations went down 49 points during March. Both measures dropped by their largest amounts since the survey began collecting data back in 2015. The biggest reason for the drop is producers’ worry over what kind of impact the coronavirus outbreak will have on their farms in 2020. Coinciding with the coronavirus impact, a growing number of producers say they expect their farm’s financial performance in the upcoming year to be worse than last year. The weaker economic outlook also made farmers less optimistic about investing in their operations.

**********************************************************************************************

Trump says China will Meet Its Obligations

President Donald Trump gave what could be called a “qualified endorsement” of China’s attempts to meet its purchasing obligations under the Phase One Trade Deal. While commenting on the measures that the government is taking to protect the U.S. economy, agriculture came up in the conversation. The South China Morning Post quotes Trump as saying American farmers could expect some support from agricultural purchases that China will make as part of the agreement. “As of April 1, it seems like China is buying,” the president says. “We’ll let you know how that’s going, but they’re buying anywhere from $40 – $50 billion worth of our agricultural products, which will have a huge impact on our farmers.” Trump is confident that China will follow through because “I know and respect President Xi (ZHEE), and I think he’ll honor the deal that China made with us.” Without specifying who he talked to, Trump added, “In fact, I called up a while ago and asked how farmers are doing concerning China. Are they buying as anticipated?” Trump says the answer was “yeah, I think so.” He told reporters that the answer wasn’t the “most positive,” but it was at least starting.

**********************************************************************************************  

USDA Working on Aid for Livestock, Dairy, Specialty Crops

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is working on developing aid programs for livestock, dairy, and specialty crop producers ahead of any aid to traditional commodity producers in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The Hagstrom Report says House Ag Committee Chair Collin Peterson spoke with Perdue, who told the chairman that he’s trying to develop systems to provide aid specifically for livestock, dairy, and specialty crop growers. Perdue also told Peterson he’ll “hold off” on any aid to commodity growers because they received significant payments earlier this year. Peterson also says the secretary told him he’s going to wait and see if crop producers will eventually need more aid. Perdue is currently having the chief economist and staff look across the different segments of the agricultural economy and try to determine which of the commodities have been hit hardest by the coronavirus. “They’re also looking at which ones will likely have the most damage going forward from here,” Peterson says. “USDA may come up with an aid system like last time, but the formula will be different. Facilitation payments won’t be based on trade, rather on the damage done by COVID-19.” Peterson is also concerned about the dairy industry, saying he supports reopening signup for the Dairy Margin Coverage Program.

***********************************************************************************************

NASS to Re-Survey Producers with Previously Unharvested Corn, Soybeans

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will once again have follow-up work to do on the 2019 harvest. NASS will be contacting survey respondents in Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, who had previously reported unharvested corn and/or soybean acres. If the newly collected data make any changes necessary, NASS will update the January 10th estimates in the May 12th Crop Production Report. Stocks estimates are also subject to review since unharvested production is included in the estimate of on-farm stocks. When NASS originally surveyed producers in December for the Crop Production 2019 summary, there were significant unharvested acres of corn in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin; and there were unharvested soybean acres in Michigan, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. The unharvested acres were included in the January 10th report. NASS had originally said it would resurvey producers in January. However, because it wasn’t clear when producers would be able to get back into the field to finish harvest, the agency couldn’t set a re-survey date until now. Since there is still significant acreage left for harvest in North Dakota, producers there will be contacted at a later date.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

nafblogobluegoldcopy