05-28-20 CCA: Water With Your Lunch: A Webinar for West Slope Water Users on June 10th – REGISTER ASAP!

CCA: Water With Your Lunch: A Webinar for West Slope Water Users on June 10th – REGISTER ASAP!

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED AND CAN BE COMPLETED HERE: https://bit.ly/3gukEon

Join us for “Water with your Lunch” a new lunch-hour webinar series brought to you by the Colorado River District.

On Wednesday, June 10, Colorado River District staff will be joined by staff from Colorado Cattlemen’s Association and American Rivers for presentations and discussions highlighting the long-term challenges facing West Slope water users — and opportunities for collaboration.

Members of the public are welcome to join in the conversation and will have the opportunity to submit questions to guide the discussions. This webinar is free. Registration is required and can be completed here:

Panelists Include:  Continue reading

06-09-20 Colorado Foundation for Agriculture opens search for board, advisor members

Colorado Foundation for Agriculture opens search for board, advisor members

Westminster, Colo. – The Colorado Foundation for Agriculture is seeking candidates to serve on its board of directors and advisory committee. Applications are due August 5, 2020 and may be found at GrowingYourFuture.com.

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06-09-20 EPA Offers Clarity to Farmers in Light of Recent Court Vacatur of Dicamba Registrations

EPA Offers Clarity to Farmers in Light of Recent Court Vacatur of Dicamba Registrations

LENEXA, KANSAS (June 9, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a key order providing farmers with needed clarity following the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ June 3, 2020 vacatur of three dicamba registrations. Today’s cancellation order outlines limited and specific circumstances under which existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products can be used for a limited period of time. EPA’s order will advance protection of public health and the environment by ensuring use of existing stocks follows important application procedures.

“At the height of the growing season, the Court’s decision has threatened the livelihood of our nation’s farmers and the global food supply,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s cancellation and existing stocks order is consistent with EPA’s standard practice following registration invalidation, and is designed to advance compliance, ensure regulatory certainty, and to prevent the misuse of existing stocks.”

EPA’s order will mitigate some of the devastating economic consequences of the Court’s decision for growers, and particularly rural communities, at a time they are experiencing great stress due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Details of the Order

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06-09-20 USDA: America’s Meatpacking Facilities Operating More Than 95% of Capacity Compared to 2019

USDA: America’s Meatpacking Facilities Operating More Than 95% of Capacity Compared to 2019

Facilities Practicing Safe Reopening to Ensure a Stable Food Supply
Washington, D.C., June 9, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the safe reopening of critical infrastructure meatpacking facilities across the United States. As of this morning, across the cattle, swine, and broiler sectors, processing facilities are operating more than 95% of their average capacity compared to this time last year. In fact, beef facilities are operating at 98%, pork facilities are operating at 95%, and poultry facilities are operating at 98% of their capacity compared to the same time last year. America’s meatpacking facilities are safely resuming operations following President Trump’s Executive Order directing the facilities to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines specifically created for the meat and poultry sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in conjunction with the CDC, OSHA, and state and local health officials have been working around the clock to ensure a safe and stable supply of protein is available for American consumers all while keeping employees safe.
“President Trump took decisive action to ensure America’s meatpacking facilities reopen in a safe way to ensure America’s producers and ranchers will be able to bring their product to market,” said Secretary Perdue. “I want to thank the patriotic and heroic meatpacking facility workers, the companies, and the local authorities for quickly getting their operations back up and running, and for providing a great meat selection once again to the millions of Americans who depend on them for food.”

06-09-20 Leading Rural, Agricultural and Business Organizations Request Tax Relief for Farms and Communities

Leading Rural, Agricultural and Business Organizations Request Tax Relief for Farms and Communities

Washington, DC— On Friday, leading rural, agricultural, business, and public health organizations released a letter to Congress requesting financial relief for farms and rural communities across the country.  Specifically, the letter asks that Congress extend the temporary fuel tax relief that was given to commercial aviation operators through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to non-commercial general aviation operators. 

“General aviation and our network of airports support the health and economic well-being of communities across the country,” said Andrew Moore, Executive Director of the National Agricultural Aviation Association.  “It is crucial that as businesses, farms and communities struggle to recover, that we support general aviation, which is a crucial economic driver representing $247 billion in annual economic output nationwide and 1.2 million American jobs.”

Across the county, general aviation operations were down by 49% in May compared to the same month last year. Airports across the country have reported significant downturns within their local communities as well of up to 95%.

“General aviation is critical to food and agricultural production, which is based in rural communities across the country,” said Betsy Huber, President of the National Grange. “These communities are being deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we should make sure that rural America has every tool available to make a strong recovery.” 

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06-09-20 CO Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on COVID-19 Response

CO Governor Polis Provides Latest Update on COVID-19 Response for June 9, 2020

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, June 9, 2020


Gov. Polis Provides Update on Colorado’s Response to COVID-19, Emphasizes Importance of Staying Home with Lt. Gov. Primavera

DENVER – Gov. Polis today provided an update on the state’s response to COVID-19 and highlighted the importance of staying home. The Governor was joined remotely by Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera, who like many Coloradans has been working remotely during the pandemic.

“Coloradans must remember that we are not out of the woods yet and this pandemic is still very much with us in our communities.  If we want to continue moving forward, we have to remain vigilant, and continue staying home as much as possible or in our great outdoors, and follow social distancing requirements like wearing masks and washing our hands,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I will continue working with the legislature on building a resilient response, from a health perspective and economic perspective, for Colorado in the face of this pandemic. We’re all in this together, and the way we’re going to get through it is by doing right by one another.”

“I know this is a difficult time for so many Coloradans, but it’s critical that we all continue taking the necessary precautions like wearing masks when leaving the house, washing our hands, and staying home as much as we can,” said Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera. “As a four-time cancer survivor and someone who is over 60, I fall into two risk categories and have been working remotely during the pandemic. Though I feel as strong and healthy as ever, I want to do everything I can to protect my family,myself and my community. It hasn’t been easy, and I know many others are going through something similar. We can cope by getting outdoors to exercise or doing Zoom calls with the grandkids. We also must remember that we are all together in this.”

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06-08-20 ACE NEWS: U.S. Farm & Biofuel Leaders Demand Answers on Retroactive EPA Exemptions

ACE NEWS: U.S. Farm & Biofuel Leaders Demand Answers on Retroactive EPA Exemptions

Sioux Falls, SD (June 9, 2020) – In a letter today, America’s top biofuel and farm advocates called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to offer answers on a new effort to undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). During a Senate hearing last month, administration officials confirmed their consideration of retroactive small refinery exemptions (SREs) covering previous years. The “gap-filings” are designed to reconstitute a continuous string of exemptions for select oil companies “to be consistent with the Tenth Circuit decision,” thus circumventing court limits on new oil industry handouts at the expense of farmers and biofuel producers.

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06-09-20 CDA / CPW: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Confirmed in Six Colorado Counties

CDA: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Confirmed in Six Colorado Counties

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Broomfield, Colo.June 9, 2020 ––  The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has confirmed new cases of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHDV2) in domestic rabbits in Weld County, adding to cases previously reported in El Paso and Montezuma Counties. Additionally, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has verified cases of RHDV2 in wild and feral rabbits in Alamosa, El Paso, Prowers, and Pueblo counties.

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06-09-20 Colorado Secretary of State: Statewide Primary Ballots Mailed this Week

Colorado Secretary of State: Statewide Primary Ballots Mailed this Week

DENVER, Colo.- This week, county clerks across Colorado are mailing ballot packets for the June 30 Statewide Primary. Clerks have until Friday, June 12 to mail ballots to registered voters eligible to participate in this year’s statewide primary. To limit the spread of COVID-19, Secretary of State Griswold is encouraging Coloradans to return their voted Statewide Primary ballot by mail or drop-box.

“Our statewide primary will largely determine the ballot for the November general election. I encourage Coloradans to vote their mail ballots to help stop the spread of COVID-19, while also having their voices heard in this historic election,” said Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

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06-09-20 USDA Announces Improvements to the Livestock Risk Protection Insurance Program This Summer

USDA Announces Improvements to the Livestock Risk Protection Insurance Program This Summer

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2020 – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced changes to the Livestock Risk Protection (LRP) insurance program for feeder cattle, fed cattle and swine starting this summer with the 2021 crop year. Changes include moving premium due dates to the end of the endorsement period and increasing premium subsidies to assist producers.

“These changes will make these policies more usable and affordable for livestock producers,” RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said. “We are working to ensure these improvements can be implemented by July 1 so producers can take advantage of these changes.”

Specifically, the changes:

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 9th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 9th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EPA Disappointed in Court Ruling, Retailers Call for Immediate Stay

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler voiced disappointment in a court decision to vacate registrations for three dicamba herbicides. Wheeler says of the ruling, “The 2020 growing season is well underway, and this creates an undue burden for our first conservationists – farmers.” An appeals court last week vacated the registration for dicamba herbicides produced by Bayer, BASF and Corteva. The ruling does not affect a dicamba product from Syngenta. Several states have allowed farmers and applicators to continue to use dicamba products. Still, as Wheeler points out, the ruling implicates millions of acres of crops, and millions of dollars already spent by farmers. Wheeler says the EPA is “assessing all avenues to mitigate the impact of the Court’s decision on farmers.”  The Ag Retailers Association urged Wheeler and the EPA to appeal the federal court ruling “using all legal avenues available.” The American Farm Bureau Federation said Monday in a letter to the EPA, “It’s imperative that the EPA quickly provide clarity to farmers.”

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Away From Home Eating Drops 51 Percent in March

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay-at-home orders have dramatically impacted Americans’ food spending, according to the Department of Agriculture. USDA’s Economic Research Service says, unlike previous economic shocks, the COVID-19 shock has led to a pronounced substitution from food away from home towards food at home. Inflation-adjusted expenditures at grocery stores and other retailers, described as food at home, were 6.5 percent higher in February 2020 compared with February 2019. The same spending was 18.8 percent higher in March 2020 compared with March 2019. Comparing spending for the same month accounts for seasonal food spending patterns. Inflation-adjusted February 2020 expenditures at eating-out establishments, restaurants, school cafeterias, sports venues and other places, were 39.3 percent lower than February 2019 expenditures. March 2020 food-away-from-home spending was 51 percent lower than March 2019 spending. During the Great Recession of 2007-09, expenditures on both food at home and food away from home decreased, with the largest decrease in February 2009.

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Restaurant Coronavirus Recovery Underway

The restaurant industry recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is underway. New data shows the industry brought back 1.37 million workers last month, and consumers are eating out again. More restaurants, and particularly large chain restaurants, have seen a resurgence in sales in recent weeks. However, Restaurant Business Online reports the industry remains far below employment levels from before the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that it could be years before the number of workers lost over that six-week period are fully regained. The restaurant industry employed 7.6 million workers in May, up 22 percent from April’s decades-long low of 6.3 million. It is still 37 percent below February levels, or about 4.4 million employees. The Independent Restaurant Coalition told the publication, “Congress needs to pass a relief package specifically designed to protect our industry,” noting that restaurant workers continue to make up the largest share of jobless Americans. Many restaurants were forced to close when the pandemic began.

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April Red Meat Exports Weather Production Challenges, Economic Headwinds

April proved to be a solid month for U.S. beef and pork exports despite COVID-19 related interruptions in production and trade. U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom says, “despite these significant headwinds, global demand for U.S. beef and pork remained strong.” Beef exports were below last April’s large totals but still topped $600 million in value. Pork exports remained well above year-ago levels but slowed from the record pace established in the first quarter.  While May export results will likely reflect similar obstacles, Halstrom noted that red meat production continues to recover, setting the stage for a strong second half of 2020. April beef exports were down six percent from a year ago to 98,600 metric tons, with value falling 11 percent to $600.9 million. For pork, April volume reached 264,000 metric tons, up 22 percent from a year ago but the lowest since November 2019. Export value was $682.8 million, up 28 percent year-over-year but the lowest since October 2019.

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Lawmakers Seek Wheat Classes Included in CFAP

Lawmakers from Washington state want the Department of Agriculture to include three classes of wheat for coverage under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, or CFAP. Republican Representatives Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers presented the request in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue late last week. The letter seeks the inclusion of soft white, hard red winter and soft red winter wheat classes for coverage in the CFAP. The lawmakers say, “These classes of wheat, like so many other commodities, have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and need assistance under this program.” From January to April, the market for soft white wheat dropped more than 8.5 percent. Soft red winter wheat futures contracts range from $5.77 a bushel to $4.98. And, hard red winter wheat ranged from $5.07 in a bushel in January to $4.23 a bushel in March. CFAP was created as a result of the CARES Act relief package to provide direct relief to farmers and ranchers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Gas Price Continue March Higher

The national average gas price continues to march higher for the sixth conservative week, gaining 4.3 centers per gallon to $2.02, according to GasBuddy. The average price of diesel rose 0.1 cents to $2.41 per gallon over the same period. Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy attributes the trend to increased demand as Americans return to the roadways, and OPEC extending its large oil production cuts until at least July.  De Haan says, “The anxiety pushing oil prices up is coming from the fact that the economy may be recovering quicker than most anticipated.” Crude oil prices continued to rally over the last week on positive economic data. Optimism has played a key role in boosting oil prices. OPEC has extended production cuts for now while demand continues to rally globally. However, Saudi Arabia reminded the market it may not hold its most severe production cuts beyond June to keep oil’s rally in check and likely in hopes of holding off a return of U.S. oil production.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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