06-29-20 U.S. Senator Gardner Announces Colorado to Receive More Than $41 Million in PILT Funding

U.S. Senator Gardner Announces Colorado to Receive More Than $41 Million in PILT Funding

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced today that 57 local governments in the state of Colorado will receive a total of $41,738,943 through the Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. The PILT program provides funding to counties that contain federal land within their borders, offsetting the lost property tax revenue that comes from the non-taxable federal land located within the counties.

“The PILT program is an important resource for many counties in Colorado and across the country with large amounts of tax-exempt federal lands,” said Senator Gardner. “This year Colorado will receive more than $41 million in critical funding to support essential services like search and rescue missions, emergency medical services, law enforcement, school maintenance and upkeep, and infrastructure improvements in rural areas.”

The PILT program provides critical resources to nearly 1,900 counties across 49 states. Counties have used these payments for more than 40 years to fund law enforcement, firefighting, emergency response, and other essential county services.

Background:  Continue reading

06-29-20 Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District: Arkansas Valley Conduit funding signed into law


Governor Signs Bill to Fund Arkansas Valley Conduit

June 29, 2020 TRINIDAD, COLORADO – The Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District applauded state approval of a $100 million financing package for the Arkansas Valley Conduit that will allow construction to begin in the near future.

The Colorado General Assembly passed the annual Colorado Water Conservation project bill which contains the funding earlier this month, and Governor Jared Polis signed the bill into law on Monday.

“The Arkansas Valley Conduit will be a lifeline for the Lower Arkansas Valley for generations to come,” said Bill Long, President of the Southeastern District. “Governor Polis, the General Assembly and the CWCB have all shown vision and foresight with this support of the AVC. This goes beyond just financing a pipeline, because really it’s an investment to assure clean drinking water for the future.”

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06-29-20 NPPC Leads Coalition Warning Congress of Major Agriculture Inspection Funding Shortfall

NPPC Leads Coalition Warning Congress of Major Agriculture Inspection Funding Shortfall

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2020 – A coalition of more than 150 agriculture, trade and related groups led by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) sent a letter today to Congress warning of a major funding shortfall that could severely weaken agricultural inspections at our borders. The letter urged lawmakers to protect our nation’s agriculture by appropriating funding to address what could be a $630 million COVID-19-related shortfall through fiscal year 2021.

In the letter, the coalition highlighted a funding shortfall for Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI), which plays a critical role in protecting U.S. agriculture from plant and animal pests and diseases. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) collects the AQI user fees that pay for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture inspections. Due to the recent economic downturn and travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19, there has been a significant reduction in the collection of these user fees.

“We depend on AQI to ensure that American agriculture remains safe from foreign animal and plant pests and diseases. It is inconceivable that Congress would risk widespread damage to U.S. agriculture and the overall economy by not funding these inspections,” the groups wrote.

“CBP and USDA agriculture inspectors are our first line of defense to ensure African swine fever (ASF) and other foreign animal diseases (FADs) remain outside the United States,” said NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “Lapsed vigilance of these inspections would have devastating consequences for U.S. pork producers and all of agriculture, the backbone of the American economy. It is vital that Congress address this significant funding shortfall, allowing U.S. pork producers to maintain a healthy U.S. swine herd.”

A copy of the letter is available here.

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06-29-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Red Meat Production Rebound Great News for Customers, at Home and Abroad

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: U.S. Red Meat Production Rebound Great News for Customers, at Home and Abroad

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – June 29, 2020 – U.S. beef and pork production encountered significant challenges in April and May as processing facilities implemented worker safety measures related to COVID-19, raising concerns about available supplies. But as Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) president and CEO explains, production has rebounded significantly in recent weeks. He says this underscores the U.S. industry’s ability to serve both domestic and international customers.

Halstrom notes that for the week ending June 27, U.S. cattle slaughter was the second largest of 2020 at 680,000 head, up 4% from the previous week and 1.5% above a year ago. Live cattle weights averaged 1,369 pounds, up 50 pounds from last year. Hog slaughter was estimated at 2.64 million head, up 11% year-over-year and the fourth consecutive week above year ago levels, with live weights up 8 pounds from a year ago to 291 pounds.

Halstrom on Production Rebound 6-29-20

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06-29-20 U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Bernhardt Announces $41.7M in Payments to Colorado to Support Vital Services in Communities

U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Bernhardt Announces $41.7 Million in Payments to Colorado to Support Vital Services in Communities

PILT Program Compensates Communities for Supporting Nation’s Public Lands and Waters; Invests in Firefighters, Police, School and Road Construction

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt today announced that 56 local governments in Colorado are receiving a total of $41.7 million under the 2020 Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program. A full list of funding by State and county is available at www.doi.gov/pilt.

“This year’s distribution of $514.7 million to more than 1,900 counties will help small towns pay for critical needs like emergency response, public safety, public schools, housing, social services, and infrastructure,” said Secretary Bernhardt. 

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06-29-20 Announcing Farm Foundation’s Young Agri-Food Leaders and Young Farmer Accelerators

Announcing Farm Foundation‘s Young Agri-Food Leaders and Young Farmer Accelerators

OAK BROOK, IL June 29, 2020 – Farm Foundation is pleased to announce its new Young Agri-Food Leaders and Young Farmer Accelerator Network cohorts for 2020-2021. Each of these new programs were established to engage and connect outstanding young leaders in agriculture from across the country and arise from Farm Foundation’s vision to build a future for farmers, our communities and our world.

The Young Agri-Food Leaders Network is comprised of 10 highly accomplished young leaders in the agri-food and agri-business sector selected to participate in a year-long series of interactive learning and networking experiences, focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the food and agriculture value chain. This program aims to help young professionals build a strong, enduring network of peers in business, farming and government through sponsored attendance at events, virtual conversations, and participation in exclusive learning and networking opportunities.

06-29-20 News from BAYER: Rejuvra™ Herbicide Receives EPA Approval

News from BAYER: Rejuvra™ Herbicide Receives EPA Approval

New herbicide is a long-term, economical solution for the control of invasive annual grasses

CARY, N.C. (June 29, 2020) – The Vegetation Management business within Bayer CropScience LP, announces that Rejuvra™ herbicide was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The herbicide is federally registered for controlling invasive weed species on rangeland, CRP land and natural areas, including grazed areas on these sites.

Rejuvra is a pre-emergent herbicide and restoration tool that is showing consistent multi-year control of invasive annual grasses like cheatgrass-downy brome, medusahead and ventenata. With just one application, Rejuvra stops the need for yearly applications that only combat the symptom, not the problem of controlling the weed seed bank.

By controlling invasive annual grasses, remnant desirable perennial grasses and forbs can recolonize. Forage quantity and quality is improved and wildfire risk is reduced. Trial work across the western United States showed that areas treated with Rejuvra demonstrated a two-to-three-fold increase in perennial grass biomass, compared to untreated areas. A single pre-emergent application of Rejuvra provides consistent multi-year control of invasive annual grasses, reducing costs associated with time and labor.

“We are excited that Rejuvra herbicide has received federal approval from the EPA,” said Bayer Head of Vegetation Management Marketing, North America, Tiffany Fremder. “We are thrilled to provide ranchers and rangeland managers with an economical solution for multi-year invasive annual grass control that results in weed seed bank depletion and increased perennial grass and forb forage production.”

Documented benefits of using Rejuvra herbicide include: Continue reading

06-29-20 USDA Continues to Deliver Innovative Solutions to its Customers

USDA Continues to Deliver Innovative Solutions to its Customers
Washington, D.C., June 29, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released its annual Technology Transfer Report (PDF, 4.1 MB), which highlights agricultural innovations from scientists and researchers that are solving problems for America’s farmers, ranchers, foresters, and consumers; and creating opportunities for American businesses to thrive.
USDA’s total number of income-bearing licenses in Fiscal Year 2019 was 510, total number of active Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) was 278, total number of CRADAs entered by USDA was 95, and total number of new patent applications filed was 97.
“The outcomes and impacts in this comprehensive report represent a tremendous amount of scientific excellence and creativity in finding solutions to complex problems,” said Deputy Under Secretary Scott Hutchins, who leads USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics mission area. “The value-added innovations highlighted in this report are an example of the strides USDA is making to bring forth the vision set by the USDA Science Blueprint and USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda that Secretary Perdue announced earlier this year.”

06-29-20 History Colorado’s Centennial Farms & Ranches Update

History Colorado’s Centennial Farms & Ranches Update

application deadline was extended to June 30th

This year’s Centennial Farms & Ranches event at the State Fair has been cancelled. History Colorado hopes to honor the families that have applied to be honored in 2020 at the 2021 Colorado State Fair instead. In the meantime, the application deadline was extended to June 30th, so families need to APPLY ASAP.

Read our full statement about the cancellation on our website: https://www.historycolorado.org/centennial-farms-ranches

06-29-20 Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Nominees- CLA encourages vote for Colorado’s Steve Gabel by July 31st

Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Nominees- CLA encourages vote for Colorado’s Steve Gabel by July 31st

The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Nominees

The nominees for the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame exemplify the values we share and admire as an industry. Cast your vote now for our inductees. Due to the circumstances brought along by COVID-19 facing our industry and the entire world, voting has been extended to July 31, 2020 to ensure time for those interested in voting.

LEARN MORE AND VOTE @ http://www.cattlefeeders.org/vote-hof/

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 29th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 29th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

FFA National Convention and Expo Goes Digital in October

The National FFA Organization announced last week that the 2020 National FFA Convention and Expo will be held virtually. “We wanted to ensure that our members and guests had the full convention experience,” says Mark Peoschl (PESH-uhl), National FFA CEO. “After a discussion with the Board of Directors, the decision was made to move forward with a virtual experience in 2020.” He says as they continued to plan for the national convention, it became clear that travel restrictions and public health concerns, among many other challenges, made hosting their in-person event impossible this year. This year’s event will still be hosted by the 2019-2020 National FFA Officer Team and continue the tradition of celebrating and inspiring hundreds of thousands of FFA members who will become the next generation of leaders. “While the convention will look, a little different this year than what we’re used to, FFA members around the country have proven their willingness to not only adapt but create meaningful experiences while celebrating FFA and agricultural education,” says Kolesen McCoy, National FFA President. The organization looks forward to returning to Indianapolis with an in-person convention in 2021 as part of its long-term partnership that now runs through 2033. The organization and its board of directors also decided last week to extend the city of Indianapolis’s contract for two more years.


Senators Urge EPA to Reject Biofuel Blending Waivers

Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa, along with Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency on blending waivers. They’re asking the EPA to reject petitions for Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuels Standard for past compliance years. In the letter, the senators warn that by granting any or all of the petitions, the agency would only worsen the economic challenges facing the biofuels industry. They also want the EPA to apply the Tenth Circuit Court decision nationally. “We urge you to reject these petitions outright and respond in writing to our questions about recent use of SREs under the RFS,” the senators say in the letter. “These petitions should not even be looked at because they are inconsistent with the Tenth Circuit Decision, Congressional intent, as well as the EPA’s own guidance.” Most importantly, they say it goes against the best interests of farmers and rural communities who rely on the biofuel industry. “The approval of the SREs for past compliance years will only worsen the already unprecedented challenges facing the biofuels industry and the rural communities that it supports,” the Senators added.


Groups Appreciate Biofuel Support in Senate

The National Biodiesel Board is grateful to a bipartisan group of senators who asked the Environmental Protection Agency to reject 52 RFS exemption requests. Those petitions are for past compliance years. The Senators expressed frustration and alarm in the letter that Administrator Andrew Wheeler is considering exemptions for refineries that either did not submit petitions or weren’t granted waivers in the past. NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs, Kurt Kovarik, says, “A brand new flood of unlawful small refinery exemptions is guaranteed to compound the damage done to rural America over the last several years.” Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the sole purpose of the retroactive exemptions is to circumvent the law at the expense of rural families struggling to get back on their feet. “There is no justification for allowing these petitions to hang over the market, injecting uncertainty into America’s agricultural recovery,” Skor says. “EPA needs to dismiss the oil industry’s latest attempt to destroy demand for biofuels and restore the integrity to the RFS.” Growth Energy is grateful to the senators for standing up to this attempt to “rewrite history, skirt the courts, and torpedo efforts to rebuild America’s agricultural supply chain.”


Mexican President to Meet This Week with Trump

Mexican President Andres Manuel (Man-WELL) Lopez Obrador will be in Washington this week to celebrate the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade going into full effect. The Washington Trade Daily says Obrador will meet with President Trump and may also meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As the agreement between the three North American countries enters into force, Obrador is making the trip to signal Mexico’s commitment to the USMCA and that it’s a reliable partner in the agreement. Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy spoke recently during a webinar sponsored by the Atlantic Council, noting that implementation of the USMCA is even more important as the countries try to recover from COVID-19. The trade pact was negotiated before the coronavirus outbreak took off, but it can also be a model for trade in the post-pandemic world. The Hagstrom Report says officials in Mexico also believe that in the wake of COVID-19, most countries will be looking to bring their supply chains closer to home.


U.S. Hog Industry is Up by Five Percent

As of June first, U.S. farms contained 79.6 million hogs and pigs, up five percent from June of 2019. That’s also three percent higher than March first of this year. The Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report came out last week from USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Out of the total of 79.6 million hogs, 73.3 million are market hogs, while 6.3 million will be kept for breeding. Between March and May of this year, U.S. farms weaned 34.9 million pigs, up one percent from the same time a year ago. Also, from March to May 2020, U.S. hog and pig farmers weaned an average of 11 pigs per litter. U.S. hog producers intend to have 3.12 million sows farrow between June and August of 2020, and 3.09 million sows will farrow between September and November. The largest herd inventory is located in Iowa, where the total number is 25.2 million head. Minnesota was second at 9.6 million head and North Carolina was third with 9.4 million head of hogs and pigs.


McDonald’s in Canada Says No to More Beyond Meat Burgers

Shares of Beyond Meat fell seven percent last week after the CBC report that said McDonald’s stopped testing a burger made with its patties in Canada. McDonald’s’ in Canada says the test ended on April sixth, mentioning on Twitter that they “have no plans to bring it back to our menu at the current time.” A Beyond Meat spokesperson tells CNBC that, “We can only comment generally and share that we were pleased with the test.” The company’s CEO Ethan Brown said in early May that the test concluded for no negative reason at all. “We feel very good about our relationship with McDonald’s,” Brown says. “We feel good about what’s going to be happening, both there and potentially elsewhere.” Back in September of 2019, McDonald’s joined the push for more meat alternatives in North America when it began testing the meat-free PLT burger in southwestern Ontario. McDonald’s says there has been no change in its relationship with Beyond Meat, noting that they’re evaluating learnings from their recent test to inform future menu options.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service