06-23-17 NMPF Leaders Applaud European High Court Ruling Preventing Imitators from Using Dairy Names

NMPF Leaders Applaud European High Court Ruling Preventing Imitators from Using Dairy Names


PARIS, FRANCE – The recent European Court of Justice ruling upholding European Union regulations that prevent plant-based dairy alternatives from using terms like “milk,” “cheese” and “yogurt” is a victory for the same battle occurring in the United States, leaders of the National Milk Producers Federation told their French dairy counterparts here today.

During a visit Friday with French dairy cooperative Sodiaal and the French Dairy Interbranch Organization (CNIEL), NMPF’s board officers applauded the European high court’s ruling that upholds the standards of identity and labeling for milk products, and emphasized that NMPF will continue to fight for the enforcement of existing U.S. dairy food regulations.

“The European Court of Justice did just what we’re asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to do: Uphold and enforce current standards of labeling for milk and milk products,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF president and CEO. NMPF is leading efforts on Capitol Hill to pass the DAIRY PRIDE Act, legislation that would require FDA to develop a timetable for enforcing standards of identity for dairy foods. Continue reading

06-22-17 CPW News: Combating Plague to Conserve Colorado’s Wildlife

CPW News Release header

Combating Plague to Conserve Colorado’s Wildlife

DENVER, Colo. – New research from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and its partners shows that treating prairie dog colonies annually with a flea-killing dust or an oral vaccine can prevent their complete collapse when confronted with plague.

In a three-year study conducted in northern Larimer County, dusted or vaccinated prairie dog colonies survived during plague outbreaks while nearby untreated colonies were devastated. Neither treatment was completely effective at preventing plague, but some prairie dogs did survive in the colonies treated prior to plague outbreaks.

“The results of our field study showed that using insecticide dust to control fleas in prairie dog burrows or an oral vaccine to immunize prairie dogs against plague can help prevent the collapse of prairie dog colonies” said Dan Tripp, a scientist with CPW.

Burrow dusting has been used by CPW since 2010 to protect select Gunnison’s prairie dog colonies from plague in the Gunnison Basin and elsewhere. Those efforts furthered conservation of the species sufficiently that a federal listing as threatened or endangered was deemed unnecessary. Dusting also has been used at sites scattered throughout the West in recent years to help restore the endangered black-footed ferret. Continue reading

06-23-17 Colorado Energy Office Releases $500K in USDA Funds to Assist the Agricultural Industry

Colorado Energy Office Releases $500K in USDA Funds to Assist the Agricultural Industry

Funds help finance energy and water savings for irrigators, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries and cold storage facilities

CEO-Colorado Energy Office logo NEW 2015BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The Colorado Energy Office (CEO), in partnership with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service, is releasing $500,000 in project assistance funds through the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The funding is available to Colorado agricultural irrigators, dairies, greenhouses, nurseries, and cold storage facilities. The deadline to apply is July 21, 2017.
Applicants must be enrolled in the Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program and complete an energy audit to receive funding for projects. Interested participants can enroll in the CEO program through its online application. The Colorado Agricultural Energy Efficiency program provides free energy audits and technical support to Colorado producers, along with assistance in selecting and implementing cost-effective improvements that reduce energy use, environmental impacts, and operating costs.

Continue reading

06-23-17 USCA: USDA Announcement on Brazil Beef Import Ban Welcome News to U.S. Cattle Producers

USCA: USDA Announcement on Brazil Beef Import Ban Welcome News to U.S. Cattle Producers

(WASHINGTON) – The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) issued the following statement on the announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that all Brazilian Beef imports to the U.S. will be halted until further notice.  The statement may be attributed to USCA Trade Committee Chair Leo McDonnell:

“USCA applauds the announcement by Secretary Perdue that all imports of Brazilian beef products to the U.S. will be halted until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which the USDA finds acceptable. Since March, USDA FSIS has routinely inspected Brazil beef shipments to the U.S., with 11% being refused entry.  USCA has remained adamantly opposed to imports of Brazilian beef products for this exact reason and the actions taken today confirm the concerns held by producers regarding the many “bad acts” by Brazil in the global trade arena. Continue reading

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

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

USDA Halts Brazilian Beef Imports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday evening announced that it would halt imports of fresh Brazilian beef. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement said: “Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness,” in making the announcement. The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which USDA finds satisfactory. Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been inspecting 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil.  FSIS has refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products. That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world. Brazil’s meat industry has been in turmoil this year since the investigation of a corruption scheme that allowed tainted meat to pass in-country inspections.

Perdue Comments on Rural Broadband Needs

On the way to Iowa this week, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told a White House press pool that broadband internet has become infrastructure of necessity in rural areas. His comments came as President Trump toured agriculture education facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to learn more about agriculture technology, and to pledge a focus on rural broadband in his infrastructure plan. Perdue said that the administration is developing proposals to enhance rural broadband connectivity with providers. When asked about a national plan, he said: “I don’t think you’re going to see a national plan” because each area is different. While there will not be a national footprint, Purdue said that the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development offices would look at “every area” in “working with the resources that we have” to make rural broadband as widespread as possible.

Farmers Union Requesting Emergency CRP Grazing in Drought-Stricken States

The National Farmers Union is asking the Department of Agriculture to release Conservation Reserve Program lands in drought-stricken states for haying and grazing. NFU, along with state affiliations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana, are urging USDA to release the CRP grounds immediately. In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Farmers Union emphasized the need for immediate relief for affected farmers. The letter says Farmers Union members are reporting a deteriorating feed supply, and that “while recent rainfall has helped, it has done little to significantly alter conditions in the long term.” Emergency haying and grazing of CRP land is authorized in areas affected by a severe drought or similar natural disaster to provide relief to livestock producers. Given the severity and duration of the drought, the group warned that “waiting until August to allow producers on to CRP land will provide little relief, as the grass will be of little nutritional value,” by that time.

Dicamba Complaints Increasing in Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture now says there are more than 200 complaints of dicamba drift and misuse in the state, up from the 135 reported on Tuesday. The Department’s Plant Board updated the number of complaints Wednesday night, with more complaints likely. That’s as the Plant Board will reconsider banning dicamba-based herbicides for 120 days. The revote was planned for (this) Friday morning after confusion led to the first vote failing. The Plant Board voted eight to six Tuesday, but thought a vote of nine in favor of the ban was needed. The majority of drift complaints are from the Northeast portion of the state, and Arkansas is investigating all of the complaints that are filed by growers. If approved Friday morning, the temporary ban on dicamba-based herbicides must also be approved by the state’s governor.

Eastern Canada Dairy Producers Get Quota Increase

Canada’s dairy producers in the nation’s eastern provinces will receive a five percent quota increase July first. Five provinces in eastern Canada have approved the increase. The move follows a series of smaller increases that began last year. Dairy Farmers of Ontario says the increase is needed because there still isn’t enough milk produced to fill the market for butter. Online publication AgCanada reports that as butter demand has increased, there’s been an increasing amount of skim milk left, after the butterfat has been removed to make butter and other products. Canada is mulling a nation-wide milk class that lowers the price of milk to make milk protein isolates to compete with U.S. products. However, that plan is being scrutinized by the United States. Canada’s supply management system for dairy is harming U.S. producers, as U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently stated “the supply has to be managed,” adding that Canada has “created a glut on the market.”

EU, Japan, Within Reach of Trade Agreement

The European Union and Japan are inching closer to a free trade agreement after years of negotiations. A Ministry official from Japan Told Reuters that “both share understanding that a broad agreement is within reach.” The European Union says the deal will allow for easier access for EU products into Japan, and that its agri-food industry, along with pharmaceuticals, stands to benefit the most from the agreement. Signing the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU is a priority for Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s (sheen-zoh ah-bay) stimulus programs and growth strategy. Reuters says the EU-Japan deal has taken on greater importance since U.S. President Donald Trump took the United States out of the multi-member Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, leaving the remaining 11 members including Tokyo to figure out what to do without the group’s biggest economy. The European Union currently accounts for roughly 10 percent of Japan’s total foreign trade.

GoFundMe for Mika Exceeds Goal

The GoFundMe page for food industry lobbyist Matt Mika who was injured in last week’s shooting at a congressional baseball game practice has exceeded it’s $50,000 goal. Mika was shot multiple times during last Wednesday’s shooting at a Republican party practice the day before the traditional congressional baseball game. Mika was volunteering as a coach for the GOP team during practice last week. He is expected to make a long, but full recovery. The GoFundMe campaign reached over $50,000 in just five days, after reaching an initial goal of $20,000 in less than 24 hours. Mika is Tyson Foods director of government relations in Washington, D.C., and a former senior director of legislative affairs for the American Meat Institute.


SOURCE: NAFB News Service


06-22-17 AAW Members Talk with EPA About Their Environmental Stewardship

AAW Members Talk with EPA About Their Environmental Stewardship 

AAW member Krystal Doolittle from Iowa during her interview with the EPA

Washington, D.C. (AgPR) June 22, 2017  At the American Agri-Women (AAW) D.C. Fly-In earlier this month, AAW had an exciting opportunity. Shortly before the visit with the EPA, AAW was asked by the EPA if they had anyone who would “step aside and answer a few questions with our videographer. We are recording a short documentary film on how farmers and agribusiness leaders are some of the best stewards of the environment. They can just speak to what the environment means to them.” Continue reading

06-22-17 Secretary Perdue: USDA Halting Import of Fresh Brazilian Beef

Secretary Perdue: USDA Halting Import of Fresh Brazilian Beef

(Washington, DC, June 22, 2017) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the suspension of all imports of fresh beef from Brazil because of recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market.  The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which the USDA finds satisfactory.

Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been inspecting 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil.  FSIS has refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products.   That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world.  Since implementation of the increased inspection, FSIS has refused entry to 106 lots (approximately 1.9 million pounds) of Brazilian beef products due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and animal health issues. It is important to note that none of the rejected lots made it into the U.S. market.

The Brazilian government had pledged to address those concerns, including by self-suspending five facilities from shipping beef to the United States.  Today’s action to suspend all fresh beef shipments from Brazil supersedes the self-suspension.

Secretary Perdue issued the following statement: Continue reading

06-22-17 NFU Applauds Decision to Suspend Importation of Fresh Brazilian Beef

NFU Applauds Decision to Suspend Importation of Fresh Brazilian Beef

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the suspension of all imports of fresh beef from Brazil due to food safety and animal health concerns. The announcement came on the heels of a scandal in which Brazil’s largest food-processing giants JBS and BRF were raided by government authorities for allowing rotten meat to be distributed in Brazil and exported to Europe. In response to the decision, NFU President Roger Johnson issued the following statement: Continue reading

06-22-17 CFB News: Ranchers See Relief in New Water Rights Legislation

Ranchers See Relief in New Water Rights Legislation

Centennial, Colo. — June 22, 2017 — This week, Colorado U.S. Representative Scott Tipton reintroduced the Water Rights Protection Act (WRPA) offering ranchers hope that they won’t have to choose between their privately held water rights and feeding their livestock.  Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB) supports this important bill that will prevent federal land managers from offering ranchers an ultimatum: turn over your water rights or leave.

“Without water, ranchers in Colorado and throughout the West lose their ability to care for their livestock and for the land,” said Don Shawcroft, president of Colorado Farm Bureau. “We are thankful to our policymakers who are fighting not only for the rights of our ranchers but for the success of the agriculture community as a whole. No citizen should be forced to relinquish private property in exchange for the ability to access public lands.” Continue reading

06-22-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

Grain Elevator

06-22-17 Colorado Farm Bureau Welcomes New Staff

Colorado Farm Bureau Welcomes New Staff

Centennial, Colo. — June 21, 2017Colorado Farm Bureau (CFB) welcomes two new additions to the organization’s core team. Zach Riley and Taylor Lobato will support the organization’s public policy goals as directors of federal affairs and policy communications, respectively. Continue reading

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for June 22nd

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales

06-21-17 ASI SheepCast: Farm Bill and Predator Control

ASI SheepCast: Farm Bill and Predator Control

The American Sheep Industry Association discusses the efforts this week on behalf of the nation’s 88,000 sheep producers. Top of mind is maintaining support for agricultural research in the upcoming farm bill and continued work toward ensuring producers have access to effective predator control through USDA Wildlife Services.


06-21-17 NAWG Responds to Senate Finance Hearing Examining the Administration’s Top Trade Priorities

NAWG - wheat_logoNAWG Responds to Senate Finance Hearing Examining the Administration’s Top Trade Priorities

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2017) – Today, the Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing to discuss the Administration’s trade agenda and its FY18 Budget Request for the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Members heard testimony from USTR Robert Lighthizer who spoke on the Administration’s top trade priorities and defended the Administration’s FY18 Budget Request.

NAWG President David Schemm submitted written testimony for the record and made the following statement:

“With the United States exporting around 50% of its wheat, trade is a top priority for U.S. wheat farmers. In fact, U.S. 2017/18 wheat exports are expected to reach 27.2 MMT, down 1% from 2016/17 but still 9% above the five-year average. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, June 21st

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, June 21st

NAFTA Ag Officials Pledge Open Markets

Agriculture officials from the U.S., Canada and Mexico in a joint statement Tuesday announced a shared commitment to keeping markets open and transparent. The trio of U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Mexico’s Agriculture Secretary and Canada’s Agriculture Minister, released the statement after meeting Tuesday in Georgia. The officials met to talk trade issues ahead of the U.S. led renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The statement said that the meeting “fostered the mutual understanding and personal relationships that will help North American agriculture thrive.” There was no offer on specific topics, but Bloomberg speculated earlier in the week that dairy and sugar trade issues were sure to be topping the list for Perdue. Canada remains committed to its supply management system for dairy, of which Perdue previously said “the supply has to be managed,” adding that Canada has “created a glut on the market.” Canada does not seem willing though to make changes to its system through NAFTA renegotiations.

U.S., U.K to Explore Trade Agreement

The United States and the United Kingdom are set to explore a potential trade deal following a meeting of trade officials. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with his British counterpart this week to discuss the groundwork for a potential bilateral trade agreement between the U.S. and the U.K., according to Politico. However, any deal with the U.K. cannot be negotiated until Britain completes its exit from the European Union in early to mid-2019. But, working groups from the two can lay groundwork for a potential agreement before the exit. U.S. Commence Secretary Wilber Ross has said that the United States has made clear it is prepared to launch talks as soon as the U.K. is readyIN 2014, the U.K. was reported to rely on the EU for 27 percent of its food imports. Just four percent of food items in the U.K. originated from North America, and 54 percent of food consumed in the U.K., originated in the U.K., according to the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Farmers File Lawsuit Against USDA over COOL

R-CALF this week filed a lawsuit with the Cattle Producers of Washington against the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding Country-of-Origin labeling, or COOL, for beef and pork. The suit alleges that USDA regulations that allow beef and pork to be classified as “domestic products,” even when those meat products are imported from other countries, confuse consumers and harm American farmers. U.S. COOL laws for meat were overturned by Congress in 2015 after the World Trade Organization granted retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. from Mexico and Canada. Under current USDA rules, however, multinational companies can sell meat raised and slaughtered abroad with a “Product of USA” label alongside domestic products raised by U.S. ranchers, according to the lawsuit. An attorney for the groups’ says “consumers understandably want to know where their food comes from,” adding that COOL would help consumers make informed choices, and be a boon for U.S. cattle ranchers.

Arkansas Farmers Suing Monsanto, BASF over Dicamba

A group of Arkansas farmers are suing Monsanto and BASF over dicamba-based herbicide spray drift that kill neighboring crops not tolerant to dicamba. The lawsuit comes as Arkansas is considering a temporary ban on dicamba use in the state. The lawsuit filed last week claims Monsanto and BASF implemented and controlled the dicamba crop system, releasing seed technology without a corresponding, safe, and approved herbicide. The farmers allege that Monsanto and BASF sold the dicamba crop system while knowing it could wipe out crops, fruits and trees that are not dicamba tolerant. The farmers claim that those who do not plant dicamba tolerant crops are left with no protection from the herbicide. Arkansas is investigating more than 100 dicamba drift complaints this year.

Swedberg Named to Farm Foundation Board

Retired Hormel Foods executive Joe Swedberg will lead the Farm Foundation board of directors. Swedberg was reelected earlier this month to serve on Farm Foundation’s board of directors and chair the organization’s board of trustees. Farm Foundation is an agricultural policy institute founded in 1933. The Foundation works to bring stakeholders together to discuss evolving issues, explore options to address those issues and understand the potential consequences of all options. The board of trustees includes other retired and current industry executives from companies such as Dupont, BASF and Deere & Company. Swedberg retired from Hormel Foods in 2015 after serving as the Hormel’s vice president of legislative affairs.

Brazil Suing Former JBS Chairman

Brazil’s President is suing the former JBS board chairman and majority shareholder. President Michel Temer (Mee’-shell Tuh-mehr’) filed two lawsuits this week against Joesley Batista for slander and moral damages, after Batista was quoted in an interview saying Temer is “the head of the most dangerous criminal organization in Brazil.” Batista gave details in a magazine interview of the bribery scheme with Brazilian politicians, in which he said Temer would request money for campaigns and allied politicians, according to meat industry publication Meatingplace. However, President Temer says “his lies will be proven.” J&F, the company controlling JBS and owned by the Batista family, closed a plea bargain deal with Brazilian prosecutors to settle corruption charges earlier this month. 

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


06-20-17 NFUF Launching Needs Assessment Survey to Inform Food Safety

NFUF Launching Needs Assessment Survey to Inform Food Safety

WASHINGTON (June 20, 2017) – The Local Food Safety Collaborative, a collaboration between National Farmers Union Foundation (NFUF) and the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA), today launched a nationwide food safety survey. The results will help the organization address the needs of small producers and processors with regards to food safety and compliance with applicable Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations. Continue reading