09-15-20 BREAKING AG NEWS: Requirement to Remove Livestock Prior to First Freeze Date for CRP Emergency Haying and Grazing has been Waived

BREAKING AG NEWS: Requirement to Remove Livestock Prior to First Freeze Date for CRP Emergency Haying and Grazing has been Waived

WASHINGTON, September 15, 2020 — The Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Colorado announced that producers no longer have to remove livestock 30 days prior to the first freeze date on acres approved for emergency haying or grazing. This requirement has been waived for the 2020 program year in response to the critical need due to extreme drought.  Producers approved to hay or graze their CRP acres may continue to do so according to their approved conservation plan with no requirement to implement a 30-day rest period on the cover.

Conditions in Colorado have been progressively dry with deteriorating rangeland and wildfires plaguing millions of acres. As a result, producers have been faced with difficult decisions about how to manage their livestock in these tumultuous times. The requirement for producers to remove livestock for 30 days would impose an extreme hardship.  Emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres has been a tool used by farmers and ranchers to provide relief. As drought conditions persist, emergency haying and grazing on CRP acres provides an option to graze and feed their livestock to avoid marketing their herd prematurely.

All other policies regarding emergency haying and grazing remain in place. It is important for producers approved for emergency haying and grazing to understand the requirements and to follow their conservation plan to ensure long-term damage to the cover is avoided and minimum stubble height to ensure plant thermal cover is adequate.

Questions regarding this waiver and any other issues pertaining to CRP emergency haying and grazing, should be directed to your local FSA office.


Questions?
Please contact your local FSA Office.

09-15-20 Inside the CDA’s Colorado Proud Program w/Wendy White: Upcoming Virtual Webinar & More…

Inside the CDA’s Colorado Proud Program w/Wendy White…

Upcoming Virtual Webinar & More…

The BARN – Briggsdale, CO – September 15, 2020 – Colorado Proud, a division within the Colorado Department of Agriculture is hosting its next virtual webinar on on September 29th from NOON to 1 PM titled, Resilience in Southern Colorado Agriculture: Adapting, Recovering and Thriving” – RSVP ASAP

Joining the Colorado Ag News Network to discuss the upcoming CO Proud Southern Colorado Roundtable Webinar is my guest Wendy White, Marketing Specialist at the Colorado Department of Agriculture in the Markets Division…

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09-15-20 BEEF PROMOTION OPERATING COMMITTEE APPROVES FISCAL YEAR 2021 CHECKOFF PLAN OF WORK

BEEF PROMOTION OPERATING COMMITTEE APPROVES FISCAL YEAR 2021 CHECKOFF PLAN OF WORK

CENTENNIAL, CO (Sep 15, 2020) — The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) will invest approximately $39,380,000 into programs for beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications during fiscal 2021, subject to USDA approval. 

At the end of its September 9-10 meeting in Denver, Colorado, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) approved checkoff funding for a total of 13 “Authorization Requests” – or grant proposals brought by nine contractors for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021. The committee includes 10 producers from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 10 producers from the Federation of State Beef Councils.

Nine contractors brought a total of $47,725,121 worth of funding requests to the BPOC this week, nearly $8,345,121 more than the funds available from the CBB budget.

CLICK HERE to listen to CBB and BPOC Chair Jared Brackett

“Producers drive all the decisions that the BPOC makes during these important meetings,” said CBB and BPOC Chair Jared Brackett. “Cattlemen and women from across the U.S. and importers carefully consider every proposal to determine where we should spend these Checkoff dollars with one primary goal in mind – increasing beef demand to provide producers with the best possible value for their Checkoff investments.

“Once again, our contractors came to these meetings with some incredibly innovative ideas and projects. As always, it’s a real challenge to balance the budget and distribute our limited amount of Checkoff dollars to these contractors in a way that we believe will best drive beef demand. I personally thank all our contractors and committee members for dedicating considerable time and effort to continue moving the beef industry forward.” 
In the end, the BPOC approved proposals from eight national beef organizations for funding through the FY 21 Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget, as follows: Continue reading

09-15-20 CDA REMINDER: Colorado’s Rural Counties Reminded to Complete the 2020 Census

CDA REMINDER: Colorado’s Rural Counties Reminded to Complete the 2020 Census

Broomfield, Colo. – As the 2020 Census deadline of September 30 approaches, the Colorado Department of Agriculture is reminding the state’s rural counties of the importance of being counted. While Colorado’s current overall self response rate in more populous metro counties is exceeding 75%, some rural areas have current self-response rates of 50% or less including Baca, Cheyenne, Conejos, Costilla, Dolores, Routt, and Saguache counties.

A current Colorado county Census response map is available here. Continue reading

09-04-20 UPDATED: Farm Bureau Requests Urgent Changes to CRP Emergency Grazing Rules – 30 Day Rest Period WAIVED

UPDATED: Farm Bureau Requests Urgent Changes to CRP Emergency Grazing Rules – 30 Day Rest Period WAIVED

September 15, 2020 – According to the Weld County NRCS & Weld County FSA, the “30 Day Rest Period” has been waived by FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce – contact your local FSA Office for complete details…
Thanks to CO Farm Bureau, American Farm Bureau Federation, CO Cattlemen’s Association, CO Senator Sonnenberg, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner & FSA Colorado State Director Clarice Navarro for making this happen…thanks to all of the staff members of every organization too…very much appreciated!
I will be interviewing FSA Administrator Fordyce on September 16th to personally thank him as well.
As soon as I see an official press release or statement, I’ll get it posted online and mentioned OnAir too!
TRUTH: One person CAN make a difference to help agriculture…!
BREAKING NEWS: Farm Bureau Requests Urgent Changes to CRP Emergency Grazing Rules

Centennial, CO – September 4, 2020 – The Colorado Farm Bureau today sent a letter to USDA FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce asking for swift changes to improve the flexibility of the CRP Emergency Haying and Grazing program. New rules require a 30 day rest period prior to the state’s first frost date of October 15th. Producers currently grazing CRP acres would need to move livestock out for 30 days starting on September 15th.

“It makes the program essentially unworkable for livestock producers in counties that were just made eligible for the program,” said Zach Riley, Director of National Affairs for Colorado Farm Bureau. “Producers will either be forced to wait to graze until after October 15th, or ship livestock multiple times to access CRP acres, move back off, and then return 30 days later.”

The “rest period” requirement was added subsequent to the 2018 Farm Bill and the Farm Bureau is concerned about the lack of notice to producers of a rule that makes an emergency program so difficult to utilize, especially in years where drought disasters are declared late in the calendar year, close to first frost dates. Continue reading

09-15-20 CropLife America: More Than 300 Agriculture and Conservation Organizations Voice Support for Pesticide Law

CropLife America: More Than 300 Agriculture and Conservation Organizations Voice Support for Pesticide Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CropLife America (CLA), joined by more than 300 agriculture and conservation organizations, sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives affirming their support for pesticide regulations in place today under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The letter is in response to recently introduced legislation (H.R. 7940, S. 4406) that would undermine the science-based standards contained within our nation’s pesticide laws. Continue reading

09-15-20 Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Demand for U.S. Pork on the Rise in Vietnam, the Philippines

Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Demand for U.S. Pork on the Rise in Vietnam, the Philippines

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USMEF

DENVER, CO – Sep 15, 2020 – Vietnam and the Philippines are among several Southeast Asian nations dealing with the impact of African swine fever (ASF) on their domestic pork production. ASF was first confirmed in Vietnam in February 2019, leading to a significant reduction in its swine herd and a sharp increase in Vietnam’s demand for imported pork. Vietnam has historically been largely self-sufficient in pork production, but in 2020 (through July) exports of U.S. pork to Vietnam nearly tripled year-over-year to 11,155 metric tons (mt), up 173%. Export value more than tripled to $24.2 million, up 212%. In July alone, pork muscle cut shipments to Vietnam reached a new monthly record of 2,443 mt, valued at $5.3 million.

Sabrina Yin, who oversees Southeast Asian operations for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), says that despite COVID-19 restrictions limiting travel and face-to-face interactions with Vietnamese importers, USMEF is taking every opportunity to educate them about the safety, quality and versatility of U.S. pork.

The impact of ASF took longer to surface in the Philippines, where the disease was first confirmed in September 2019. U.S. exports to the Philippines got off to a slow start in 2020, but picked up significantly in June in July. For January through July, exports were steady with last year at 21,735 mt, while value increased 8% to $54.3 million. Yin notes that the Philippines is a well-established destination for U.S. pork, and buyers there recognize the U.S. industry as a reliable, consistent supplier.

Sabrina Yin pork demand in Vietnam & PH 9-14-20

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 15th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, September 15th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Report finds Market Facilitation Program Unfair

A new report finds the Market Facilitation Program created deep regional inequities, favored certain crops over others, and funneled money to large agricultural operations over smaller farms. Announced by Senator Debbie Stabenow, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, the report is the result of a Government Accountability Office investigation. Stabenow requested the investigation in February of this year, and says, “The Administration needs to stop playing favorites and start helping the farms hit the hardest.” The report found southern farmers benefitted significantly compared to other regions. Eight of the top nine states with the highest payments per acre were in the South. Additionally, the report highlights unfairness between crops, and large farms befitted over smaller farms. The report says that Instead of providing more support for the 9,852 largest farms, USDA could have targeted funding to the thousands of small and beginning farmers that are often more vulnerable to market swings.

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EPA Rejects Gap-year Waivers

Growth Energy this week welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to reject so-called ‘gap-year’ exemptions from the nation’s biofuel laws. In total, the agency had received 68 retroactive exemption requests from petroleum refiners seeking to skirt obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard and the move Monday denies the majority of pending requests. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says, “Today’s action lifts a cloud of uncertainty that has been hanging over America’s farmers and biofuel producers since June.” In the announcement, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler says, “This decision follows President Trump’s promise to promote domestic biofuel production.” Wheeler adds, “We are delivering on that promise by following the rule-of-law and ensuring 15 billion gallons are blended into the nation’s fuel supply.” Meanwhile, over the weekend, Trump announced an executive order to allow E15 to be used in any pumps approved for E10, the national standard. The move should allow for more expansion of E15 in the market.

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Brazil Tariff Rate Quota for Ethanol Extended for 90 Days

Brazil’s tariff rate quota for ethanol has been extended for an additional 90 days, starting September 14. After expiring on August 31, a 20 percent tariff was temporarily applied to all U.S. ethanol. U.S. corn and ethanol groups expressed disappointment in the move, saying, “we would have preferred Brazil abandon its ethanol import tariffs entirely and resume its free trade posture on ethanol.” The comments came in a joint statement from the U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, and the Renewable Fuels Association. Leaders of the organizations say the extension “serves neither Brazil’s consumers nor the Brazilian government’s own decarbonization goals.” However, the groups note they will use the extension to “aggressively pursue an open and mutually beneficial ethanol trading relationship with Brazil.” The exemption expired as both sides seek a new trade agreement regarding U.S. ethanol. The TRQ allows 198 million gallons of U.S. ethanol to avoid Brazil’s 20 percent tariff annually.

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Branstad Stepping Down as U.S. Ambassador to China

Terry Branstad, U.S. Ambassador to China, will step down to work on the Donald Trump re-election campaign. Reuters reports sources familiar with the matter cite Branstad’s popularity in Iowa, having served there as governor for over two decades, as an asset to Trump. Branstad will resign and leave China early next month. The resignation was first revealed on Twitter by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. A spokesperson from China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Monday stated, “We noted the tweet by the U.S. side and have not yet received notification about the end of Ambassador Branstad’s tenure.” The U.S. Embassy in China confirmed the resignation, however, stating, “The Ambassador confirmed his decision to President Trump by phone last week.” In the statement, Branstad says, “I am proudest of our work in getting the Phase One trade deal and delivering tangible results for our communities back home.” Branstad was previously the longest-serving Governor of Iowa, a state that helped elect President Trump in 2016.

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NPPC Hosts Legislative Action Conference

A COVID-relief package that includes assistance to hog farmers in crisis and foreign animal disease prevention top the list of issues at the National Pork Producers Council’s Legislative Action Conference this week. Pork producers from across the country are gathering virtually to address these and other issues with lawmakers. NPPC President Howard “AV” Roth says, “U.S. pork producers are already suffering considerable losses due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and cannot afford another catastrophic blow should African swine fever or other foreign animal diseases enter our country.” Last week, Germany reported its first African Swine Fever case in a wild boar, as the disease continues to spread. NPPC is urging Congress to fully fund foreign animal disease prevention programs. U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection agriculture inspections at U.S. ports of entry are funded by Agricultural Quarantine Inspection program user fees. Due to the COVID-related economic downturn and significant reductions in travel, collection of these user fees has dropped precipitously.

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Wine Caucus Seeks CFAP Funding for Wine Producers

A group of lawmakers want the Department of Agriculture to include wine grape producers in the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The Congressional Wine Caucus, a group of lawmakers representing wine-producing states, sent the request to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue last week. The lawmakers say the cessation of wine sales in multiple market channels has disrupted supply chains and forced wine grape growers “to swim against a tide of deteriorating prices.” An industry analyst projects revenue losses for the nation’s 10,000 wineries and 8,000 growers due to COVID-19 could reach $5.94 billion. Due to the unique character of the wine grape crop cycle and the processing, marketing, and sales of wine, wine grape growers and the organizations representing them have struggled to quantify a price decline for wine grapes during a January to April timeframe, as dictated currently by CFAP requirements. The lawmakers believe the “narrow, retrospective timeframe unfairly denies support to a vitally important sector of the agricultural community, one that is responsible for an enormous amount of economic activity.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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09-15-20 CDA: Ag Department Appoints Six New Hemp Advisory Committee Members

CDA: Ag Department Appoints Six New Hemp Advisory Committee Members

Broomfield, CO – The Colorado Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce the appointment of six new members to the statewide Hemp Advisory Committee under the approval of the Colorado Agricultural Commission. The 10-member committee, established in 2013, advises and assists the Commissioner of Agriculture on matters regarding the regulation of industrial hemp production. Continue reading