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05-27-15 President Obama and CO Governor Hickenlooper orders flags lowered Monday to observe Memorial Day…

US_flag_half_mastGov. Hickenlooper orders flags lowered to observe Memorial Day

DENVER — Friday, May 27, 2016 CO Gov. John Hickenlooper today ordered flags be lowered to half-staff on all public buildings statewide on Monday, May 30, as a mark of respect for Memorial Day and as proclaimed by President Barack Obama. Flags should be lowered from sunrise to noon.

The full text of the president’s proclamation: Continue reading

05-27-16 BLM-CO: BLM Releases Draft Management Plan for Land and Mineral Estate Managed by Uncompahgre Field Office in SW CO…

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BLM Releases Draft Management Plan for Land and Mineral Estate Managed by Uncompahgre Field Office in Southwest Colorado

MONTROSE, Colo. –The Bureau of Land Management’s Uncompahgre Field Office today announced the release of a draft plan for managing BLM-administered surface land and mineral estate in southwestern Colorado. The Draft Resource Management Plan Revision (RMP) features a wide range of alternatives reflecting different visions for administering these lands and seeks public review and comment to help refine the draft into a final plan to guide the overall management of these resources for the next two decades.  The 90-day comment period on the draft will begin on June 3, 2016, with the publication of a Notice of Availability by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We have worked with partners in 25 communities to develop the range of alternatives in this draft plan, including a community vision for the North Fork Valley,” said Dana Wilson, Acting BLM Uncompahgre Field Manager. “These are some of the public’s most spectacular landscapes, from canyon country to the foothills of the West Elk Mountains and Grand Mesa, providing recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, forage for grazing and energy resources.” Continue reading

05-27-16 FSA Administrator Encouraged by CRP…

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Administrator Encouraged by CRP

Farm Service Agency Administrator Val Dolcini has been putting in the miles as he travels to several states, meeting with employees and touring the nation’s diverse agricultural landscape. At several of his farm and ranch visits, he witnessed the broad reach of the Conservation Reserve Program. He comments about what he is seeing and why the program is important.

05-27-16 USDA Announces More Than $8 Million in Payments to Support the Production of Advanced Biofuel

USDA Press Release

USDA Announces More Than $8 Million in Payments to Support the Production of Advanced Biofuel

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $8.8 million to boost the production of advanced biofuels and sustain jobs at renewable energy facilities in 39 states. USDA continues to lead the way in promotion of advanced biofuel production, from implementing the revised Farm Bill bio-refinery program to the launching of the Green Fleet with the Department of the Navy and developing the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap, which outlines voluntary strategies to overcome barriers to expansion and development of a robust biogas industry within the United States. Continue reading

05-27-16 American Wool Council Unveils New American Wool Logo…

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American Wool Council Unveils New American Wool Logo

DENVER, Colo. – As American consumers embrace the natural magic of homegrown wool, the American Wool Council has adopted a new look that brings the industry’s image up to par with the products being created everyday with this innovative, sustainable fiber.
ASI Sheep Logo 1A division of the American Sheep Industry Association, the American Wool Council developed a new logo after months of consultation with the Sterling-Rice Group of Boulder, Colo. American wool is vigorous enough to support the U.S. military on the frontlines of battle, yet elegant enough to grace red carpets and magazine covers.
From the most comfortable socks imaginable to outdoor apparel capable of standing up to the toughest conditions, modern-day American wool is an all-natural product that can even be worn next to the skin. It was imperative to develop a logo that captured such strength and refinement in one recognizable mark.

Continue reading

05-27-16 USDA Extends Deadline for Recording Farm Structure

USDA Press Release

USDA Extends Deadline for Recording Farm Structure

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2016 –Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a one-time, 30-day extension to the June 1 deadline for recording farm organization structures related to Actively Engaged in Farming determinations. This date is used to determine the level of interest an individual holds in a legal entity for the applicable program year. Farming operations will now have until July 1 to complete their restructuring or finalize any operational change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued the extension in response to farmers and ranchers who requested more time to comply, and to assure that everyone has enough time to provide their information under the new rules. Continue reading

05-27-16 USDA Blog: Northern Plains Regional Climate Hub Extension and Outreach Team Develop Regional Efforts…

USDA Blog

USDA NPRCH Extension and Outreach team at the June 2015 retreat. Photo from Pam Freeman, USDA, Rangeland Research Resource Unit

USDA NPRCH Extension and Outreach team at the June 2015 retreat. Photo from Pam Freeman, USDA, Rangeland Research Resource Unit

Northern Plains Regional Climate Hub Extension and Outreach Team Develop Regional Efforts

Written & posted by Windy K. Kelley, University of Wyoming Extension and Justin D. Derner, ARS, on May 27, 2016

All this month the USDA will be taking a look at what a changing climate means to Agriculture. The ten regional USDA Climate Hubs were established to synthesize and translate climate science and research into easily understood products and tools that land managers can use to make climate-informed decisions. The Hubs work at the regional level with an extensive network of trusted USDA agency partners, technical service providers, University collaborators, and private sector advisers to ensure they have the information they need to respond to producers that are dealing with the effects of a variable climate. USDA’s Climate Hubs are part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate.

The USDA Northern Plains Regional Climate Hub (NPRCH) partnered with the 1914 Cooperative Extension programs in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North and South Dakota, and Nebraska to develop and deliver science-based, region specific information and technologies to agricultural and natural resource managers to enable them to make climate-informed decisions.  The team has met monthly since June 2015, and through their efforts and partnership with the NPRCH they reached out to Extension colleagues to develop relevant projects that meet stakeholder needs in the region. Continue reading

05-27-16 NBA News: U.S. Bison Sales Hit $340 Million, Growth Limited by Supply…

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U.S. Bison Sales Hit $340 Million, Growth Limited by Supply

Growing Demand Creates New Opportunities in Bison Ranching

Westminster, CO (May 26, 2016) The U.S. bison business has grown into a $340 million category at the retail and food-service level, with continued growth primarily constrained by the limited supply of market-ready animals, according to information compiled by the National Bison Association this week. Continue reading

05-27-16 CFVGA President Robert Sakata, Emphasizes Care Taken by Farmers in Address to Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference…

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Robert Sakata CFVGA PresidentCFVGA President Robert Sakata, Emphasizes Care Taken  by Farmers in Address  to Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference

DENVER, COLO.--Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) President Robert Sakata, Brighton, Colo., yesterday outlined the food safety measures farmers take to ensure produce is kept safe from farm to market. His comments were part of his address to the annual Rocky Mountain Food Safety Conference, held here May 24-25, at Johnson & Wales University. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, May 27th…

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

US Soybean Exports to Vietnam Will Slow

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says U.S. soybean exports to Vietnam are projected to slow to 550,000 Metric Tons in 2016. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today says that’s a drop of 110,000 from the previous year. USDA noted that Brazil passed up the United States as the top soybean exporter to Vietnam in 2014-2015. Vietnam’s soybean meal imports are expected to climb to 4.6 million metric tons this year, and 4.7 million in 2017. The Vietnam food sector is continuing to grow, as are the aquaculture and livestock sectors in the country. 

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Oklahoma Wheat Harvest Waits

Oklahoma wheat and canola farmers are waiting for fields to dry out enough for harvest after recent rains. Farmers’ stress levels are on the rise as they wait for the crops to dry out enough in the fields to allow combines to get rolling. Oklahoma’s Farm News Update reports storms on Wednesday night hit several north central Oklahoma counties. A tornado in Carver County knocked out power in several locations and a Burlington Northern-Santa Fe train may have derailed because of the twister. A lot of western Oklahoma had 90-degree weather on Wednesday, and if they can stay dry, the crops should dry out and be ready for harvest quickly. However, chances of rain continue this week so the best wheat harvest prospects are in areas that get missed by the rain.

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National Farmers Union Defends Farmers at Hearing

The Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing this week to discuss challenges and opportunities in the poultry and livestock sectors. The National Farmers Union defended much-needed market relief efforts because of the current low prices and a consolidated market facing farm families. Producers faced a drop in beef prices last year despite forecasts of higher than average prices. USDA forecasts show lower prices and higher beef production into 2017, and NFU President Roger Johnson said that will make it tough for producers to recover financial losses from the recent decline. The situation is more troubling because of a sharp decline in the number of family farmers and ranchers over the last decade due to a heavily concentrated cattle market. That makes it tougher for independent producers competing against packers. Roger Johnson said at the hearing that “the marketplace is tipped disproportionately against the family producer.” He said four packers currently account for 70 percent of the value of all livestock purchased for slaughter.

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USDA Officials Speak at Organic Farming Conference

USDA officials told the Organic Trade Association’s policy meeting that the group should expect a series of organic regulations to be finalized before the end of the year. Politico says five rules are listed on the Department’s 2016 regulatory agenda. The rules include proposed standards to address a dairy cow’s transition to organic; aquaculture; beekeeping products; pet food; and the humane handling of livestock and poultry. The list doesn’t include an organic checkoff proposal that the Trade Association submitted earlier this year. The Association’s Executive Director hopes the Ag Department will release a checkoff program this summer.    

*********************************************************************************************Tyson Investigates Alleged Animal Abuse

Tyson Foods, the largest chicken processor in the United States, is investigating allegations of animal abuse at a contract farm in Tennessee. A Bloomberg News report says the group Mercy for Animals claims an undercover video shows birds are suffering in windowless sheds and suffering from injuries. Mercy for Animals also claims the chickens are bred to grow too fast and are being weighed down by their own body weight. The group said most of the video comes from a contract farm in Lewisburg, Tennessee, with the rest of the video coming from other farms in different locations. In October of 2015, Tyson fired two Mississippi workers after a video from Mercy for Animals showed bird mistreatment. A Tyson spokesman said “it’s disturbing to us to see sick or injured birds,” adding that if the  investigation uncovers any wrongdoing, Tyson Foods work quickly to address the problems.

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Study Finds Gap on GMO Food Knowledge

A new study from the University of Florida finds that consumers are aware of genetically modified crops and food, but their knowledge level is limited and often doesn’t match up with the facts. Brandon McFadden published the study showing that scientific fact often does not change consumer impressions on GMO foods. The study came about because consumer polls are often cited in the GMO debate, especially as it relates to labeling. Florida researchers used an online poll with over 1,000 respondents answering questions. The questions were on consumers’ knowledge of genetically modified organisms as well as what they believe about GMO’s. The results led McFadden to find that consumers don’t know as much about genetically modified crops and foods as they may think they do. For example, 84 percent of the respondents support mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. However, 80 percent of respondents also support a mandatory label for all foods containing DNA. That would result in the labeling of almost all foods available for consumer consumption. The study was published in the American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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05-26-16 Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to Make First Official Visit to Puerto Rico…

USDA Press ReleaseAgriculture Secretary Vilsack to Make First Official Visit to Puerto Rico

Will Highlight Ongoing and New USDA Efforts to Address Food Security and Rural Opportunity

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will make his first official visit to Puerto Rico where he will highlight the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ongoing commitment to addressing food security and rural opportunity in the Commonwealth. While in Puerto Rico, Secretary Vilsack will meet with various officials from the Commonwealth; visit a National Forest research station; engage local farmers and ranchers; convene a group of financial leaders focused on finding opportunities for rural investment; and make several important announcements to address food security and rural development. Continue reading

05-26-16 ‘GIPSA’ Rule Would Wipe Out TPP Benefits, Says NPPC…

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‘GIPSA’ Rule Would Wipe Out TPP Benefits, Says NPPC

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 26, 2016 – The significant benefits that would accrue to the U.S. pork industry from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement would be wiped out if the Obama administration implements pending rules related to the buying and selling of livestock, the National Pork Producers told the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry. Continue reading

05-26-16 CSU News: NPR water event packs the Lory Student Center Theater…

NPR water event packs CSU Lory Student Center TheaterNPR water event packs the Lory Student Center Theater

Water: it’s always in demand, and lately, it’s under threat. With drought the new normal, and disputes raging about the control and distribution of precious water resources, the future of water will depend on society’s ability to resolve these conflicts. Continue reading

05-26-16 USMEF Board Meeting Gets Underway in St. Louis, MO…

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USMEF Board Meeting Gets Underway in St. Louis

Richard Fordyce, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, discusses the importance of exports to his state’s ag economy

Richard Fordyce, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, discusses the importance of exports to his state’s ag economy

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Board of Directors Meeting and Product Showcase kicked off Wednesday in St. Louis, Missouri. Attendees were welcomed to the event by Richard Fordyce, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture. Fordyce discussed the important role exports have played in making agriculture Missouri’s largest industry, and outlined several initiatives designed to promote agricultural development in the state – including programs designed to attract and retain young farmers and ranchers.

“If agriculture is going to maintain that No. 1 ranking in Missouri, we’re going to have to grow that new crop of leaders,” Fordyce said. “We need to work with young people to continue to ignite the passion they have for agriculture, continue to cultivate that interest, and move them forward in their agricultural careers.” Continue reading

05-26-16 USCA Testimony Highlights Market Volatility, Opportunities for Success…

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USCA Testimony Highlights Market Volatility, Opportunities for Success

WASHINGTON (May 26, 2016) The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) testified today during the Senate hearing, “A Review of the U.S. Livestock and Poultry Sectors: Marketplace Opportunities and Challenges”. Joe Goggins (Billings, Montana), Vice President Vermilion Ranch Co., Public Auction Yards, Billings Livestock Commission Co., Western Livestock Auction and Northern Livestock Video Auction, testified on behalf of USCA. Continue reading