09-04-20 USDA Rural Development: Trump Administration Invests $97,727 to Assist Agricultural Producers in Northern Colorado

USDA Rural Development: Trump Administration Invests $97,727 to Assist Agricultural Producers in Northern Colorado

Investment will help with Solar Energy and Energy Cost Savings

DENVER, CO – September 4, 2020 – The Trump Administration announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $97,727 to help lower energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers in Larimer and Weld Counties in Colorado.

CLICK HERE to listen to USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director Sallie Clark’s statement

“Rural Development has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner to rural Colorado in helping to build strong, healthy communities,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Colorado, Sallie Clark. Two entities in Northern Colorado were awarded grant funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for renewable energy systems, energy efficiency improvement, and energy audits for businesses, farms, and organizations.

“The REAP Program can help rural communities decrease the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments help to reduce energy costs for small businesses and agricultural producers such as those two entities funded today,” said Clark.

The projects announced today are: Continue reading

09-04-20 CSU Agronomy Agents Corner #5 – “Integrated Pest Management” by Todd Ballard, Agronomy and Weed Management Agent, Golden Plains Area Extension

CSU Agronomy Agents Corner #5 – “Integrated Pest Management” by Todd Ballard, Agronomy and Weed Management Agent, Golden Plains Area Extension

SEDGWICK COUNTY, CO – September 4, 2020 – Integrated pest management (IPM) is a commonly used term in agronomy. IPM implies the use of multiple tools to control pests in your fields. While the name lends itself to control of unwanted animals, IPM is used as a strategy to control any unwanted organism. Let us look at some of the tools; why they work and why adaptation to current conditions is necessary to keep as many tools viable as possible.

Tool 1 Continue reading

09-04-20 Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation Awards Texas A&M’s Jeewan Pandey its 2020-21 Academic Scholarship for Potato Research

Potato Leadership, Education, and Advancement Foundation Awards Texas A&M’s Jeewan Pandey its 2020-21 Academic Scholarship for Potato Research

WASHINGTON – The Potato Leadership, Education and Advancement Foundation (Potato LEAF) is pleased to announce Jeewan Pandey, a third-year graduate student Texas A&M University’s Department of Horticultural Sciences, as the recipient of its 2020-21 Academic Scholarship. The $10,000 scholarship award is provided annually to one graduate student with a strong interest in research that can directly benefit the U.S. potato industry.

“Potato LEAF was created to ensure the long-term health of the U.S. potato industry by investing in its future leaders,” said the organization’s chair Shelley Olsen. “We’re thrilled to support Jeewan’s educational and research goals that will advance our collective knowledge and set us on the path for a better, more productive tomorrow.”

As a Ph.D. candidate and graduate research and teaching assistant, Pandey’s research involves the application of DNA-based markers in potato breeding to speed up the development of new varieties that would require fewer pesticide applications. He is also conducting genetic diversity studies and genome-wide association studies with the final goal of accelerating selection using genomics-enabled approaches.

“I’m so excited and grateful to be a Potato LEAF award recipient! This award will be incredibly beneficial in helping me move forward with my career aspirations of obtaining a Ph.D. degree in plant breeding,” said Pandey. “After this, I want to apply my knowledge and skills to contribute towards the education of new professionals, the generation of scientific knowledge, and contribute towards the advancement of the agricultural industry.”

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09-04-20 FCA encourages Farm Credit System institutions to work with borrowers affected by natural disasters

FCA encourages Farm Credit System institutions to work with borrowers affected by natural disasters

McLEAN, Va., Sept 4, 2020 — The Farm Credit Administration is encouraging Farm Credit System (System) institutions to work with System borrowers who have been affected by recent hurricanes and wildfires.

System institutions can alleviate the stress of borrowers affected by natural disasters in several ways:

  • Extending the terms of loan repayments
  • Restructuring borrowers’ debt obligations
  • Easing some loan documentation or credit-extension terms for new loans to certain borrowers

“Natural disasters are among the challenges that farmers and ranchers face over which they have no control,” says Glen Smith, FCA board chairman and CEO. “But System institutions have considerable flexibility under FCA regulations to provide disaster relief. By extending loan repayments and offering other concessions, they can greatly alleviate the financial stress caused by natural disasters.” For more information, see FCA’s policy statement on disaster relief efforts by Farm Credit System institutions.

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09-04-20 USDA-RMA Administrator’s Message: Better Options

RMA Administrator, Martin Barbre (right), discusses crop insurance with a soybean farmer, New Berlin, Illinois, September 2018

USDA-RMA Administrator’s Message: Better Options

WASHINGTON, September 4, 2020 – We just wrapped up our quarterly Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors meeting where we discussed several proposals to Federal crop insurance to better meet producers’ needs.  These meetings are generally for performing oversight functions and considering new crop insurance policies.  We also examine existing policies and consider changes based on feedback from producers and industry, while also ensuring actuarial soundness.

The week resulted in several policy modifications approved for implementation that I think many farmers will welcome.  I would like to highlight a few, namely the new Enhanced Coverage Option (ECO), modifications to Livestock Risk Protection (LRP), and changes to record-keeping requirements for Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP).

Enhanced Coverage Option Continue reading

09-04-20 USMEF: July Beef and Pork Exports Rebound, but Still Below Year-Ago

USMEF: July Beef and Pork Exports Rebound, but Still Below Year-Ago

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – Sep 4, 2020 – July exports of U.S. beef rebounded from recent lows but remained below 2019 levels, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). U.S. pork exports, which are on a record pace in 2020, were also down from a year ago in July but increased compared to June. July lamb exports increased year-over-year and were the largest of 2020.

“With production returning to near-normal levels, we definitely saw an improvement in beef exports, though the recovery was not quite as strong as expected,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “China’s pork demand has moderated and we are also entering a time when year-over-year gains are not nearly as dramatic, as exports to China began gaining momentum in mid-2019. But pork exports to Mexico showed encouraging signs of recovery in July and we also saw promising growth in several emerging markets, including Vietnam and the Philippines.

“It is also important to remember that the monthly export data is in the rear-view mirror and that weekly export sales data, along with observations from our USMEF-China team, suggest that China’s demand for both U.S. pork and beef will be strong through the balance of the year, including purchases for Chinese New Year. When combined with the rebound in other main markets, growth in emerging markets and the return of the U.S. supply advantage, USMEF remains optimistic about a strong finish for U.S. red meat exports in 2020, despite many challenges related to COVID-19.”

Continue reading

09-04-20 CAWA Presents…”Drought and Rangelands”

CAWA Presents…”Drought and Rangelands” featuring Retta Bruegger & Janie VanWinkle

September 4, 2020 – This summer and fall the Colorado Ag Water Alliance is putting together a series of interviews on water issues of interest to the agricultural community. These interviews are with water experts around the state and discuss everything from water law, water quality, and water use in agriculture. They will be playing on air and you can find them on their website in the resources section at coagwater.org.

The next in the CAWA series is another interview conducted by CAWA Executive Director Greg Peterson regarding “Drought and Rangelands” featuring:

Retta Bruegger, Regional Extension Specialist – Western Region, Range Management
Retta has an MS in Rangeland Science and Management. Prior to working for CSU Extension, she worked as the Outreach and Research Coordinator on the Learning from the Land project, out of CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources. Retta has also worked on multiple interdisciplinary teams conducting rangeland research and outreach in Colorado, Arizona, and Mongolia
& Janie VanWinkle
Western Slope Rancher in Mesa County and current President of the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association…

The Colorado Ag Water Alliance (CAWA) is comprised of agricultural leaders from across Colorado committed to the preservation of agriculture through the wise use of Colorado’s water resources.  Members represent major facets of production agriculture, as well as partner organizations such as the Colorado Water Institute, Colorado State University, Colorado Department of Agriculture, and the Colorado Water Conservation Board.  Learn more online @ https://www.coagwater.org/

09-04-20 U.S Senator Gardner Applauds $900,000 Suicide Prevention Grant for Colorado

U.S Senator Gardner Applauds $900,000 Suicide Prevention Grant for Colorado

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) applauded the announcement that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) will receive a $901,139 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve suicide prevention in Colorado. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this funding will be used to implement and study a “comprehensive public health approach to suicide prevention.”

“Colorado has one of the highest suicide rates in the country, and it causes heartbreak and loss in communities across our state,” said Senator Gardner. “As our country is facing an unprecedented challenge in responding to COVID-19, suicide prevention is now more important than ever. I’m pleased to see this important funding awarded to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and I will continue fighting to ensure Coloradans have access to life-saving suicide prevention services.”

Senator Gardner has made it a priority to address rising suicide rates in Colorado and across the nation: Continue reading

09-04-20 U.S. Senator Bennet, Colleagues Urge Administration to Clarify Why Farmers Were Denied Access to Critical Relief

U.S. Senator Bennet, Colleagues Urge Administration to Clarify Why Farmers Were Denied Access to Critical Relief

Senators are Calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Fairly and Adequately Support Farmers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

EDWARDS – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, along with U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue urging the Administration to fairly and adequately support farmers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The letter asks USDA to clarify why farmers were denied access to critical relief and clarify the data being used to determine eligibility for CFAP.

“We are concerned that many commodities in our states were deemed ineligible for CFAP assistance despite experiencing market supply chain disruptions or significant additional marketing costs due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote. “Our understanding is that they were denied because of insufficient data, a lack of information about qualifying losses, or due to the fact that the losses were not fully realized during the covered period.”

The text of the letter is available HERE and below… Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, September 4th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, September 4th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Survey Shows Farmers Strongly Support President Trump

A new Farm Futures poll shows farmers significantly plan to support President Donald Trump in the November election. The poll asked the question, “If the presidential election was held today, would you vote for President Trump?” Just over 1,000 producers responded, with 75 percent saying yes. In 2018, 60 percent said yes to the same question, following the start of the U.S.-China trade war. Meanwhile, 66 percent of farmers said yes to the same question in 2019.  In the most recent Farm Futures survey, Trump received high “grades” from farmers on his handling of agriculture, domestic issues and foreign policy. In 2017, nearly 50 percent of farmers gave him either an A or B grade on his handling of agriculture and 44.5 percent on foreign policy. In 2018, his handling of agriculture slipped to 47.1 percent. In Farm Futures’ current survey, Trump received a score of 67 percent as an A or B grade on his handling of agriculture, and 63 percent on foreign policy.

Another Private Yield Forecast Predicts Record Crop

Another private crop forecast predicts a record corn harvest for 2020. Main Street Data forecast the 2020 national corn yield at 178.1 bushels per acre for corn. Despite setbacks from storms and a lack of rain, the forecast still surpasses the last national yield record, set in 2017 at 176.6 bushels per acre. However, Iowa corn yield was reduced further, thanks to derecho damage and a lack of rain. With Iowa and neighboring states reeling from the August 10 derecho, a lack of rain is now worsening yield forecasts for corn. Main Street forecasts Iowa corn loss at 185 million bushels. This puts Iowa’s final yield forecast at 195.7 bushels per acre, compared to the Iowa record of 203 bushels per acre. With no derecho damage and good soil moisture, Indiana forecasts for both corn and beans may hit records, conversely, showing how yield can vary widely between states.

Roberts, Klobuchar Lead Request for Wheat Grower Assistance

A group of farm-state Senators seeks CARES Act funds for wheat growers to address price impacts from COVID-19. Led by Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, and Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, the Senators sent the request to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue this week. For U.S. wheat farmers, the Senators write,” COVID-19 and other factors outside their control continue to depress the price of wheat.” The lawmakers say the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program is providing critical assistance to many producers impacted by COVID-19, including at-risk 2019 crop losses for hard red spring and durum wheat. While this assistance remains important to those producers, these classes of wheat represent approximately 30 percent of 2019 production, leaving the majority of wheat farmers without access to assistance through the CFAP program. The Senators cite the August WASDE that projects world ending stocks at a record of 316.8 million tons, saying record world ending stocks, caused in part by the impacts of COVID-19, are expected to significantly depress wheat prices.

AFBF: Investigation is Positive Step Towards Fixing Trade Imbalances

The American Farm Bureau Federation calls the Trump administration investigation to remedy damages to U.S. produce farmers a positive step. The Department of Agriculture and U.S. Trade Representative’s office this week announced a plan to investigate and help produce farmers harmed by increased imports from other countries. USTR is requesting the International Trade Commission focus on blueberries. Imports of fresh fruits and vegetables have increased dramatically over the past 25 years, driving down prices for domestically grown produce. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall testified about the concerns of produce farmers at a USTR hearing in August. Duvall says, “We appreciate the work that has been done in recent trade deals to level the playing field for America’s farmers and ranchers, but this investigation demonstrates there are still imbalances that must be addressed.” As part of the plan, USDA will conduct targeted outreach to produce farmers to maximize the use of existing USDA programs. USDA says it will also develop a market promotion strategy for domestically produced produce.

Ethanol Production Leveling, Down 13% From Pre-COVID Levels

Recent federal data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending August 28, ethanol production eased one percent. Production remained nine percent below the same week in 2019 due to the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The four-week average ethanol production rate declined 0.2 percent, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.16 billion gallons. Ethanol stocks grew 2.3 percent, which was 12.3 percent below year-ago volumes. Inventories increased across all regions except the Gulf Coast. The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, contracted by 4.1 percent. Gasoline demand remained 7.2 percent lower than a year ago. Meanwhile, this week, GasBuddy reports Hurricane Laura prompted a massive drop in crude oil and gasoline inventories. That news comes as GasBuddy says Labor Day Weekend gas prices are at the lowest levels since 2004. GasBuddy predicts a national average of $2.19 per gallon, down nearly 37 cents from last year and the lowest priced Labor Day since 2004’s $1.82 per gallon average.

USDA Designates 18 Iowa Counties as Primary Natural Disaster Areas

The Department of Agriculture Thursday designated 18 Iowa counties as primary natural disaster areas. The designation enables producers who suffered losses from the August derecho to be eligible for emergency loans. Additionally, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue reminded producers about the suite of disaster assistance programs available through USDA, including program flexibilities and a special signup through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Secretary Perdue visited Iowa Thursday to assess damages in the state. The natural disaster designations allow the Farm Service Agency to extend emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs, including replacing essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or the refinancing of certain debts. Meanwhile, to assistant other states impacted by the Derecho, the FSA has streamlined the environmental compliance review process for the Emergency Conservation Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program, Emergency Loan Program, Farm Storage Facility Program, and Tree Assistance Program.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service