05-19-20 CDA: Livestock Sales and Shows Must Follow Local Health Guidelines

CDA: Livestock Sales and Shows Must Follow Local Health Guidelines

Broomfield, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture reminds those planning to participate in livestock show and sale activities this season to stay in close contact with state and local health agencies overseeing those events.

Decisions regarding procedures and potential cancelations due to the COVID-19 outbreak are ultimately made by local public health agencies, often with guidance from the state Department of Public Health and Environment and in compliance with state and local public health orders. While the Department of Agriculture has limited regulatory authority within fair, show, and sale operations, the agency does not issue decisions regarding whether or not livestock events will take place.

“Agriculture remains an essential business, and as livestock show and fair season approaches, we will continue to look to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and local health agencies to provide guidance on best practices for gatherings,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “We strongly encourage people to connect with specific counties and municipalities for clarity and direction about events to be held in those jurisdictions.”

The Department will communicate developments and guidance for sale and show activities as it is released. Information about Colorado’s current local public health orders and variances can be found here.

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05-19-20 USDA, FDA Strengthen U.S. Food Supply Chain Protections During COVID-19 Pandemic

USDA, FDA Strengthen U.S. Food Supply Chain Protections During COVID-19 Pandemic

(Washington, D.C., May 19, 2020) – The following statement is attributed to Mindy Brashears, Ph.D., USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, and Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response.

As the COVID-19 pandemic response continues, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have been working around the clock on many fronts to support the U.S. food and agriculture sector so that Americans continue to have access to a safe and robust food supply. As a next step in carrying out Executive Order 13917, the USDA and FDA today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help prevent interruptions at FDA-regulated food facilities, including fruit and vegetable processing. Continue reading

05-19-20 CDA / CPW: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Occurrences Must be Reported to State Veterinarian

CDA: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Occurrences Must be Reported to State Veterinarian

Broomfield, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) reminds veterinarians and rabbit owners that reporting suspected occurrences of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV2), including sudden, elevated numbers of rabbit deaths, is mandatory.  Disease reports are identified by the county of occurrence only,  and all other personal information is protected from open record requests.

“This disease is very contagious and fatal to domestic and wild rabbits,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr. “The appropriate response by rabbit owners is vital to limiting further spread of the disease from affected rabbit facilities.”  

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05-19-20 USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA Announces Details of Direct Assistance to Farmers through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Farmers and Ranchers to Receive Direct Support for Losses Related to COVID-19

(Washington, D.C., May 19, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

“America’s farming community is facing an unprecedented situation as our nation tackles the coronavirus. President Trump has authorized USDA to ensure our patriotic farmers, ranchers, and producers are supported and we are moving quickly to open applications to get payments out the door and into the pockets of farmers,” said Secretary Perdue. “These payments will help keep farmers afloat while market demand returns as our nation reopens and recovers. America’s farmers are resilient and will get through this challenge just like they always do with faith, hard work, and determination.”
Beginning May 26, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), will be accepting applications from agricultural producers who have suffered losses.

05-16-20 CLA: Demonstrating Ag Progress on Water Quality: Modeling the Effectiveness of EQIP-funded conservation practices on May 19th from NOON – 1 pm MT

CLA: Demonstrating Ag Progress on Water Quality: Modeling the Effectiveness of EQIP-funded conservation practices on May 19th from NOON – 1 pm MT

Phil Brink, Brink, Inc., and Tyler Wible, Civil and Environmental Engineering, CSU conducted an extensive modeling project to quantify the effects of EQIP Conservation Practices at the edge of field. Using existing NRCS – EQIP conservation data (2008 – 2018) and the CSU Center Edge-of-Field Conservation Planning Tool (CLEAN), the study demonstrates progress in reducing Nitrogen and Phosphorus discharges from fields.

CLICK HERE for complete details and to get registered for this FREE event.

05-19-20 National Farm Medicine Center and National Children’s Center Year in Review 2019

National Farm Medicine Center and National Children’s Center Year in Review 2019

  • Translating research and increasing its value for agricultural communities
  • Addressing Farmer mental health and resiliency
  • Using rural firefighters to deliver safety messages to farmers
  • Growing up on a farm: its impact on the immune system
  • Updated online database puts sharper focus on agricultural injures
  • Workshops bring synergy to child agricultural injury prevention
  • Developing a ‘Roadmap’ for delivering child care services for hired farm worker families
  • Thanking our donors
  • Highlights, Projects, Auction of Champions and more!
Read the complete issue at https://bit.ly/NFMCYearinReview 

05-19-20 CO Governor Polis and Legislative Leadership Announce Agreement on the Disbursement of Federal CARES Act Funds to Immediately Respond to the COVID-19 Health and Economic Crisis

CO Governor Polis and Legislative Leadership Announce Agreement on the Disbursement of Federal CARES Act Funds to Immediately Respond to the COVID-19 Health and Economic Crisis

DENVER – Governor Jared Polis, in collaboration with legislative leadership, announced today the allocation of $1.674 billion in federal funds from the CARES Act that will immediately support the State’s robust response to the COVID-19 crisis as well as key investments needed for economic recovery.

“COVID-19 has taken the lives of too many Coloradans and disrupted our way of life, and this has been a very challenging time for our entire state. I am grateful for the support we have received from the federal government, but there will still be hardship ahead. This immediate disbursement ensures that no Coloradan has to go without a hospital bed when they need one, that the state can continue to scale up testing and containment, and protect our most vulnerable. It allows parents to return to work by ensuring that our schools have needed resources to adapt to our new reality and helps our frontline local governments in their coronavirus response. My administration is working closely in a bipartisan way with the federal delegation and legislative leadership to do everything in our power to help Coloradans overcome this generational challenge. The steps we are taking now will allow us to increase much needed economic activity in our state,” said Gov. Polis.

“This agreement quickly channels over $1.6 billion directly to our school districts, universities and local governments to help them retain first responders, support our health care workforce, protect our veterans and seniors and rapidly expand contact tracing so we can safely restart our economy. Schools and universities can use it to help them prepare for the fall so parents can go back to work and we can rebuild our workforce. I look forward to the bipartisan work ahead to allocate the remaining funds and pass legislation that helps Coloradans and small businesses get through this crisis.” Speaker KC Becker, D-Boulder. 

“The CARES Act funding is an indispensable lifeline for our state––helping us ease the immediate economic and public health pains caused by COVID-19. But it’s nowhere near enough in terms of recovery,” said Senate President Leroy Garcia. “As members of the legislature, we will continue working hard alongside the Governor and the Joint Budget Committee to protect Coloradans during this challenging time. However we need Congress to do much more, especially for those communities like mine in Pueblo that the CARES Act explicitly left behind.”

Governor Polis signed an Executive Order today authorizing the following transfers: Continue reading

05-19-20 CO Governor Polis, COVID Relief Fund Announce 3rd Round of Grantees

CO Governor Polis, COVID Relief Fund Announce 3rd Round of Grantees

DENVER — Gov. Polis and the Colorado COVID Relief Fund today announced the third round of grants given to Colorado organizations working with those who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

“We’re excited to announce this new round of grants to help those impacted by COVID-19,” said Governor Jared Polis. “We know this is a difficult time for many Coloradans and these organizations are on the ground, working in their communities to provide support. It’s times like these when we see the best in each other, when we lend a helping hand to one another. We want to thank everyone who has donated their money and time to help provide relief to Coloradans across our state.”

Through three rounds, the Fund received 2,451 applications for a total request of $54.2 million. 505 organizations have received grants for a total of $11.1 million. Grants have been disbursed to organizations located in 56 counties in Colorado that are serving all 64 counties.

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05-19-20 Message from CSU’s New Dean of Agricultural Sciences and Director of Agricultural Experiment Station Dr. James Pritchett

Message from CSU’s New Dean of Agricultural Sciences and Director of Agricultural Experiment Station Dr. James Pritchett

Dearest CSU alumni and supporters,

It’s an exciting time to be part of agriculture. We’re seeing a shift in the work we’re doing around research, education, and engagement.

The College of Agricultural Sciences and the Agricultural Experiment Station is embarking on a new chapter, as well. We are thrilled to announce that Dr. James Pritchett will serve as our dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. Continue reading

05-18-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Outlook for U.S. Red Meat Exports Remains Positive, Despite Recent Supply Challenges

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Outlook for U.S. Red Meat Exports Remains Positive, Despite Recent Supply Challenges

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – May 19, 2020 – U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Dan Halstrom reports that global demand for U.S. pork and beef has remained very robust in 2020, despite COVID-19 related disruptions in many countries’ restaurant and hospitality sectors. He notes retail meat demand has surged in many markets, along with sales through e-commerce platforms and delivery services.

Halstrom cautions that first quarter export results (summarized here) did not reflect recent interruptions in the U.S. supply chain, and he anticipates some negative impact on April and May exports. But his outlook for 2020 remains positive, due in part to market access gains in Japan and China. The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, implemented on Jan. 1, lowered tariff rates for U.S. beef and pork and put U.S. meat products on a level tariff playing field with major competitors. The red meat trade provisions of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement took effect in late March, lowering barriers for U.S. pork and significantly expanding access for U.S. beef.

Halstrom Global Demand Update 5-18-20

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05-19-20 Cornell University: Understanding our Current Beef Market Situation & Marketing your Beef Locally

Cornell University: Understanding our Current Beef Market Situation & Marketing your Beef Locally

June 2, 2020, 7:30-8:30 via ZOOM.

COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty to livestock agriculture. Join us for an evening conversation with Cornell’s Beef Specialist, Mike Baker. We will talk through the current situation and explore some of the opportunities it may present for us.

Program and registration information.


05-19-20 RFA-USDA Webinars to Spotlight Retailer Infrastructure Grants

RFA-USDA Webinars to Spotlight Retailer Infrastructure Grants

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Renewable Fuels Association will host two webinars this month to help fuel retailers and others understand the new Higher Ethanol Blends Infrastructure Program, or HBIIP.
“U.S. ethanol producers today are facing the worst economic conditions in the industry’s 40-year history due to COVID-19; once the pandemic is over and fuel markets are showing signs of recovery, expanding infrastructure via the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program will be important to the long-term future of the ethanol industry and rural America,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We want to do all we can to make sure retailers and other have the information they need to participate in this important program, and we thank the USDA for its efforts to support the future of renewable fuels.”
The RFA-USDA webinars will be held at 2 p.m. CDT on Friday, May 22, and Thursday, May 28, and cover the same information. They will last for approximately 45 minutes. Register on the links below:
WEBINAR 1: Friday, May 22. Register for Webinar 1 here.
WEBINAR 2: Thursday, May 28. Register for Webinar 2 here.
For additional information about HBIIP, visit EthanolRFA.org/HBIIP. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 19th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Senators Seek Meat Worker Protections From USDA

Senate Democrats want Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide more worker safety protection to meat processing employees. A group of 29 Senators, led by Democrat Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, penned a letter to Perdue outlining recommendations for ways the Department of Agriculture should improve worker safety. The Senators wrote, “While we recognize the importance of keeping these plants running, it is wrong and shortsighted to use the Defense Production Act to mandate plants to stay open without effectively addressing worker safety issues.” The group says that while the Trump administration has applauded the reopening of several plants, USDA officials in congressional briefings could not confirm that the plants were operating in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidance. The Senators urged USDA to ensure that meatpacking plants take sufficient actions to protect worker safety before opening, including reconfiguring the plants to allow for social distancing, providing appropriate personal protective equipment, instituting ongoing testing, ensuring that infected employees are not coming to work, and making other necessary changes to keep workers safe.

Farm Assets Resisting Coronavirus Impact

COVID-19 may be hurting many areas of the U.S. economy, but strong demand has continued for tractors, combines and other farm assets, according to a spring report from Steffes Group. During the first four months of 2020, the company conducted 170 auctions, all of which were successful. The company is conducting online auctions exclusively during the “shelter in place” period and has conducted online-only auctions for 11 years. Demand was strong for tractors, combines and sprayers throughout the period, regardless of the auction method. The company says well-maintained equipment with low hours commanded a strong premium. Even older machines did well in many cases, with sharp rises in tractors 15 years and older, showing great care.  Land values have been strong, but with some weak spots. Premium land still commands premium prices, and land values continue to benefit from historically low interest rates. Steffes Group provides services throughout the upper Midwest, including Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Illinois and Nebraska.

NPPC Gains DOJ Approval For Industry Collaboration To Address COVID-19 Crisis

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division provided guidance for collaboration among U.S. hog farmers. The guidance will help farmers effectively address unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The favorable decision for NPPC is in response to a “business review” letter submitted to the DOJ by the organization. The review seek permission to allow hog farmers greater flexibility in working to maximize the number of hogs entering the food supply, minimize the tragic need to euthanize hogs, and, facilitate the safe and orderly euthanization of those hogs which are not able to enter the food supply. NPPC President Howard AV Roth, a farmer from Wisconsin, says, “Our goal is to efficiently process as many hogs as possible into the food supply.” Roth says appropriate collaboration across the industry and with state and federal government officials will minimize the number of pigs that must be euthanized and ensure that the situation is handled humanely, and that disposal is environmentally sound.

ISITC Investigation Competition in Raspberry Industry

The U.S. International Trade Commission is seeking input for a new general factfinding investigation on the U.S. raspberry industry in Washington state. The investigation announced last week will look into the conditions of competition between U.S. and foreign suppliers of raspberries meant for processing. The investigation was requested by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in a letter received on April 9, 2020. The investigation will provide an overview of the U.S. raspberry industry in Washington State, including fresh raspberries for processing, frozen raspberries, and raspberry juice, as well as an overview of the industries producing fresh and processed raspberries in major producing and exporting countries, among other findings. The Commission is seeking input for the investigation from all interested parties and will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation in September. The U.S. International Trade Commission expects to transmit its report to the Lighthizer no later than June 9, 2021.

Research Shows More Children May Face Hunger Next Year

The number of people in the U.S. who are food insecure will likely skyrocket over the next year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the University of Illinois and Feeding America. Soaring unemployment and poverty rates may lead to record numbers of food-insecure households. Almost 55 million Americans could lack access to adequate food. Households with children are even more likely to be food insecure, and one in four children could face hunger. The projections for the worst-case scenario would lead to a five percent increase in the child poverty rate, potentially bringing the proportion of children in food-insecure households to 24.5 percent. That means 18 million children would be food insecure, which exceeds the previously measured highest total of 17.2 million during the Great Recession in 2009. The Impact of Coronavirus on Food Insecurity report provides detailed documentation for projected food insecurity levels at the national, state and county level, and is available at feedingamerica.org.

Some States See Double-Digit Gains in Gas Prices

For the second consecutive week, the national average price of gasoline has increased, rising 6.4 cents to $1.83 per gallon. The average price of diesel, meanwhile, fell 1.6 cents to $2.41 per gallon. Patrick DeHaan of GasBuddy says the increase is attributed to a near five percent increase in gasoline demand. DeHaan says, “as long as states continue to loosen restrictions, it’ll mean more motorists on the roads and filling their tank.” Crude oil prices continue to march higher as demand for gasoline weighs on the market, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fetching $24.99 Monday morning, up from $19.19 a week ago, an increase of over $5 per barrel. Brent crude oil was last at $31.11 per barrel, up from $26.01 a week ago. Oil’s rally has come as OPEC and other oil-producing countries limit production and as U.S. gasoline demand has rallied as motorists in reopened states and others alike take to the road.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service