06-23-20 Nutrition Legend Pens Seventh Book…John K. Matsushima, Ph.D., releases Dynamic Beef Cattle Industry

Nutrition Legend Pens Seventh Book…

John K. Matsushima, Ph.D., releases Dynamic Beef Cattle Industry

Written by Larisa Willrett, BluePrint Media

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In his seventh book, Dynamic Beef Cattle Industry, beef cattle nutrition pioneer and innovator John K. Matsushima, Ph.D., offers a comprehensive history of the beef cattle industry. Dynamic is a term that could also be used to describe the book’s author. At almost 100 years old, Matsushima has not only seen much of the cattle industry’s modern development worldwide, but has helped it evolve and improve over much of that time. Continue reading

06-23-20 CDA: Ag Department Seeks Input to Finalize Soil Health Program

CDA: Ag Department Seeks Input to Finalize Soil Health Program

BROOMFIELD, CO – June 23, 2020 – Today marks the second annual National Soil Health Day, and the one year anniversary of the Colorado Collaborative for Healthy Soils (CCHS), a farmer- and rancher-led coalition, created in part to maximize participation by the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s (CDA) stakeholders. For the past year, members of CCHS have been gathering input from ag producers across the state to help CDA build a new statewide, voluntary Soil Health Program. Continue reading

06-23-20 Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Announces June 24th Hearing

Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission Announces June 24th Hearing

DENVER – The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) invites the public and stakeholders to attend the Commission’s June Hearing online. COGCC Director Robbins will provide SB 19-181 updates including the transition to the professional commission, rulemaking and the Commission will have discussion following.
COGCC Director Robbins thanked the current 9-member volunteer commission for their service, which ends June 30: “Last year, you answered the call to implement SB 19-181, changing the COGCC’s mission from “fostering” oil and gas development to “regulating” in a manner that is protective of public health, safety, welfare, wildlife and the environment.”
“Your efforts will shape the future of our state’s relationship with oil and gas operations to be more protective for all Coloradans. We have already seen the benefits of your good work with the Flowlines and Wellbore Integrity Rulemakings. Thank you for serving as a commissioner with the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission.”
June COGCC Hearing Information: 

Continue reading

06-23-20 CDA: Western Slope Receives Disaster Declaration from USDA

CDA: Western Slope Receives Disaster Declaration from USDA

Broomfield, Colo. – In response to a request for a disaster designation submitted by Colorado to the USDA due to damage and losses to fruit crops caused by a multi-day freeze in April, 2020, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has designated Delta and Mesa Counties as primary natural disaster areas Continue reading

06-23-20 Colorado Governor Polis Activates Drought Plan and Task Force as Severe Drought Expands Across Southern, Eastern Regions

Colorado Governor Polis Activates Drought Plan and Task Force as Severe Drought Expands Across Southern, Eastern Regions

June 23, 2020 (Denver, CO) – Governor Jared Polis requested activation of Colorado’s Drought Task Force and Phase 2 of the State Drought Mitigation and Response Plan this week as drought conditions deepen, reaching more than 81% of the state, with severe and extreme drought conditions in 33% of the state (40 counties). Continue reading

06-23-20 Inside the National Association of Wheat Growers with Past President Ben Scholz…

Inside the National Association of Wheat Growers with Past President Ben Scholz…

Impacts of COVID-19, 2020 Wheat Harvest UPdate, CFAP, TRADE, PRICES, GLyphosate, grain standards act, infrastructure, carbon credits & more…

(The BARN / FarmCast Radio – Briggsdale, CO) June 23, 2020 – Joining the  Colorado Ag News Network is Ben Scholz, Past President of the National Association of Wheat Growers discussing several topics pertinent to the wheat industry including:

  • COVID-19 Impacts on U.S. Wheat Industry & Trade
  • 2020 Wheat Harvest Update
  • USDA’s CFAP & Assistance for Wheat Producers
  • Looking Ahead at Trade & Commodity Prices
  • Reaction to recent Glyphosate & Dicamba Rulings
  • NAWG’s Legislative Watch (Grain Standards Act, Trade, Infrastructure & Carbon Credits – Growing Climate Solutions Act)
  • 2021 Commodity Classic Update
  • & More

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BEN SCHOLZ BIOGRAPHY  Continue reading

06-23-20 Farm Groups Launch Free Stress Management Course

CLICK HERE to sign up today!

Farm Groups Launch Free Stress Management Course

The training course, geared toward farmers and ranchers, is open to the public and will help individuals identify signs of chronic stress and offer effective communication skills

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2020 – Following the December 2019 announcement of a new farm stress management online training course for employees and members of Farm Credit, Farm Bureau and Farmers Union, these organizations have supported the launch of a free online training available to the general public.

Developed by Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) and University of Illinois Extension (Illinois Extension), the course will help farmers, their families and neighbors identify and cope with stress. It provides participants the skills to understand the sources of stress, manage their own stress, learn the warning signs of stress and suicide, identify effective communication strategies, and connect farmers and ranchers with appropriate mental health and other resources.

The challenges of ongoing low commodity prices, trade wars and extreme weather events have dramatically affected farmers and ranchers for years. Add the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic disruptions, and that stress multiplies. Stress among farmers and ranchers is felt throughout farm operations and seeps into cities and towns across the country.

Sign up today

This online course builds upon past training materials Michigan State University Extension developed beginning in 2016, and tailored for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency in 2019. Additional courses and specific training have since educated employees and members of Farm Credit, Farm Bureau and Farmers Union nationwide.

“Farm families across the country already faced low prices, disastrous weather, uncertain trade prospects, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It’s a heavy load to carry. We hope farmers and their families and others in rural communities that are feeling stressed will take this free training and use the tools provided to get help coping with this unprecedented situation,” said Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose.

“We have to break through with a message of hope and help,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Families don’t have to face today’s stresses and heavy burdens alone. This free online resource is a first step toward recognizing the signs and knowing what to do. We hope anyone who knows someone struggling will take advantage of this potential lifeline.”

“These are especially difficult times for farmers and ranchers, but because three in five rural Americans live in areas without enough mental health care providers to adequately serve the population, help isn’t always readily available. The pandemic hasn’t made things any easier; social distancing requirements have limited in-person care, and many farmers have lost off-farm jobs that provided their health insurance. These circumstances have made the community-led mental health strategies taught in this online training all the more critical,” said National Farmers Union President Rob Larew.

Anyone can register for the free, online training course. It is funded by a grant from Farm Credit and supported by MSU Extension and Illinois Extension.

LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE PRESS CONFERENCE CALL FROM JUNE 23RD, COURTESY OF THE BARN

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Audio/Video from Today’s Stress Management Course Launch Continue reading

06-23-20 USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program Reaches 20 Million Boxes Distributed

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program Reaches 20 Million Boxes Distributed

(Washington, D.C., June 23, 2020) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farmers to Families Food Box Program has distributed more than 20 million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over the past few weeks, the Farmers to Families Food Box Program has continued to pick up steam, getting food in the hands of more and more Americans while providing much needed support to our agricultural sector,” said Secretary Perdue. “This milestone is a testament that the program is accomplishing what we intended – supporting U.S. farmers and distributors and getting food to those who need it most. It’s a real trifecta, which is why we call it a win-win-win.”

“The Farmers to Families Food Box Program has been an extraordinary success having already delivered 20 million large boxes of farm fresh food to those in need! This administration is proud of the collaborative efforts of farmers, distributors, food banks, non-profits and faith-based communities and their workforces in dispersing fresh produce, protein and dairy to those most in need across the United States,” said Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump.

You may click HERE or on the image below to watch a highlight video of USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program in action across the United States:

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 23rd

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 23rd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

China Suspends Exports from Tyson Foods Plant

China Sunday suspended poultry exports from an Arkansas Tyson Food’s processing plant where workers tested positive for COVID-19.  China’s General Administration of Customs announced the suspension after Tyson Foods confirmed a cluster of COVID-19 cases at its facility in Springdale, Arkansas. A Tyson spokesperson told Reuters the company is investigating the matter, adding, “It is important to note that the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USDA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agree that there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.” China also halted exports from a pork processing facility in Germany following an outbreak of COVID-19 at the plant. China has stepped up food inspections for the novel coronavirus in recent weeks. Reuters says Beijing began testing meat, seafood and fresh produce for the coronavirus last week, and some ports were opening all containers of meat to carry out coronavirus tests.

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New WOTUS Rule Becomes Law

The Trump Administration’s new and scaled-back Waters of the U.S. rule became law Monday after last-minute attempts to block the rule. A federal judge late last week denied an effort to prevent implementation of the new regulation, called the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The challengers claim the new rule removes protection from many U.S. waterways. WOTUS, now NWPR, has been the subject of multiple lawsuits, including some examined by the Supreme Court. In the order denying the motion for temporary relief, the Judge writes, “In the prior cases, the issue was always whether the agencies had gone too far in extending the scope of federal regulation. Now, the question is whether the agencies have not gone far enough.” That judge ultimately sided with the EPA. However, a federal judge in Colorado rejected the Section 404 permit process included in the new rule, which refers to the Corps of Engineers’ authority to issue permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material into navigable waters.

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Court Allows Dicamba use this Season

A late Friday court decision confirms farmers may use existing stocks of dicamba herbicides this growing season. The Ninth Circuit appeals court, which vacated the registrations of three dicamba herbicides earlier this month, denied a petition to stop use of the products already purchased by farmers and applicators. The ruling applies to Bayer’s XtendiMax, BASF’s Engenia and Corteva’s FeXapan herbicides. Additionally, during its series of late evening orders on June 19, the Court granted both CropLife America’s and a grower coalition’s requests to file an amicus brief. The brief supports the Environmental Protection Agency’s order to allow use of the products. That brief highlighted the devastating consequences that would result if the NGO’s request were granted and growers could not use existing stocks. The request counters EPA guidance that allows existing stocks use when registrations are vacated, in accordance with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. The American Soybean Association says, “American growers and the public are fortunate that a proper administrative and judicial-review framework exists.”

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Senate Ag Committee Urges USDA to Extend WIC Flexibilities

The Senate Agriculture Committee Monday sent a request to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to extend existing flexibilities for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The Senators seek the extension through September 30, 2020, as authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In a letter to Secretary Perdue, the Senators wrote the extension would “provide certainty and availability to WIC participants, providers and vendors navigating variable phased re-opening procedures across public, private, and health sectors.” WIC program flexibilities granted by the Department of Agriculture for the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, through state agencies, have helped eligible pregnant women, mothers, and their infants and young children to access and use food benefits while navigating social-distancing protocols. The Senators say month to month extensions, as followed currently, are challenging for states to plan effectively and increase administrative burden. The bipartisan letter was signed by several members of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

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Missouri Farm Bureau Survey Finds Broad COVID-19 Impacts

A Missouri Farm Bureau survey brings to life many of the hidden effects of COVID-19 on farmers and rural communities. While the on-farm impacts have been dramatic, the personal effects are even more painful to read, according to Missouri Farm Bureau. Farmers in the survey report: “I have not seen my first grandchild yet.” “My daughter didn’t get to get married like she planned.” “I’m lonely and miss my friends.” Many respondents expressed feelings of isolation, loneliness and even depression. Inability to attend church and fellowship with friends has had a big impact on rural life. Although there were many differing opinions, over 63 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they take COVID-19 seriously. The agricultural effects have been severe as well. Nearly one-quarter of livestock farmers surveyed have had a meat processor reduce the normal schedule of animals they deliver for processing. The same percentage have had to locate an alternate processing facility for animals. The survey was completed by 377 people in Missouri.

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Virginia Attorneys Plead Guilty in RoundUp Extortion Scheme

Two Virginia attorneys pled guilty last week for a scheme to extort Monsanto out of $200 million last year. Timothy Litzenburg and Daniel Kincheloe each pleaded guilty to one count of transmitting interstate communications with the intent to extort. The U.S. Department of Justice says the two admitted they approached Monsanto and threatened to make public statements alleging the company had significant civil liability for manufacturing a purportedly harmful chemical used in RoundUp. They proposed reaching a “consulting agreement” with the company for $200 million, which would bar the attorneys from representing their clients as plaintiffs in litigation against Monsanto, which is now Bayer Crop Science. The fees were proposed to help their clients. However, the pair planned to split the funds among themselves and their associates. The attorneys threatened that if Monsanto did not accept their consulting plan, “they and others would commence litigation that would become an ongoing exponentially growing problem” for the company, according to the Justice Department. The pair will be sentenced in September.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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