Read the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 5th…

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

FAO Food Price Index Starts the New Year with Another Decline

World food prices begin 2016 with a decline, according to the latest Food Price Index by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The index released Thursday for January shows a near two percent decline from December and a 16 percent decline from this time last year. The index averaged 150.4 points overall for January; that’s roughly three points lower than the December average. The prices of all commodities tracked by the Index fell, with sugar and dairy products registering the steepest declines. The Dairy Price Index fell three percent while the Sugar Price Index fell four percent, compared to December. Most prices fell on ample global supplies and weak export markets, according to the latest report.

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ChemChina, Syngenta Deal Likely to Face Regulatory Review by the U.S.

The $43 billion takeover deal by ChemChina to purchase Syngenta will likely face a regulatory review from the United States. Bloomberg reports a U.S. national security watchdog is likely to look closely at the merger on two fronts—whether such a deal would compromise American food security and whether the combined company’s locations would be too close to U.S. military bases—that according to several lawyers who deal with security reviews for similar transactions. Syngenta has several U.S. research and production facilities, which could draw interest from the Committee on Foreign Investment, led by the Treasury Department. The committee reviews acquisitions of U.S. businesses by foreign investors and can recommend the president block transactions it deems compromising to national security. However, one lawyer familiar with similar deals suggests a Chinese takeover of Syngenta probably wouldn’t raise national security concerns that are severe enough to scuttle the deal.

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Japan Allows More Mexican Pork Imports

Japan now recognizes Mexico as free of classical swine fever, allowing Mexico to export more pork to Japan. The Mexican meat industry is set to expand exports to Japan, which already exceeds 70,000 tons year. Before the announcement, The Pig Site reports Japan only recognized imports from certain Mexican states, but now allows imports from the entire country. The World Animal Health Organization certified Mexico as being free of classical swine fever last June. However, Japan only recently opened its doors to all Mexican pork imports.

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ADM Considering Sale of Ethanol Plants

Archer Daniels Midland, or ADM, is reportedly considering a sale of the company’s ethanol facilities. Reuter’s reports the plants are now seen as more of a headache for the Chicago-based company, which opened two large ethanol plants six years ago in Nebraska and Iowa. ADM’s chief executive said this week he would consider a sale of the two facilities along with another ADM plant in Peoria, Illinois. The three dry-mill ethanol plants, some of the largest in the country, represent just under half of ADM’s 1.8-billion-gallon-per-year U.S. ethanol capacity. Ethanol margins remain under pressure on lower gasoline and overall energy prices. The company is not alone as Abengoa seeks a buyer for some of its biofuels assets as well. Smaller rivals CHS Inc. and Green Plains Inc. have scooped up smaller, struggling plants in Illinois, Texas and Virginia in the past eight months. However, one industry executive estimated the Iowa and Nebraska ADM plants together could be worth as much as half a billion dollars.

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Panama Canal Improvements Delayed Again

The opening of larger locks at the Panama Canal faces another delay. Canal officials say the opening of the larger locks is not expected until the second quarter of this year after already being postponed several times by construction delays. The Panama Canal Authority says the larger locks should open for commercial use early in the second quarter though a certain date remains to be set. Work is currently estimated at 96 percent complete, and the new locks are operational. However the Authority wants to make sure the locks are working perfectly before opening them. The new locks will nearly triple the capacity of the canal’s existing infrastructure, allowing for much larger container ships to pass through.

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USDA Investing $150 Million to Improve Working Land

USDA announced Thursday the availability of $150 million in funding to help producers voluntarily improve the health and productivity of private and tribal working lands. The Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to add 10 million acres to the Conservation Stewardship Program this year through the funding. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the program “results in real change “and enables producers to “achieve higher levels of conservation.” USDA suggests producers interested in the program should submit applications by the end of March. Funding is available for more than 100 kinds of enhancements nationwide, including improving soil quality through the use of cover crops, improving water quality and restoring habitat for wildlife. More information is online at NRCS dot USDA dot gov (www.nrcs.usda.gov).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-04-16 ASI Announces Award Winners During Annual Convention…

ASI President Burton Pfliger, N.D.; Jw Nuckolls, Wyo., Distinguished Producer Award; Cindy Siddoway, Idaho, McClure Silver Ram Award; David Bossman, Fla., Camptender Award

ASI President Burton Pfliger, N.D.; Jw Nuckolls, Wyo., Distinguished Producer Award; Cindy Siddoway, Idaho, McClure Silver Ram Award; David Bossman, Fla., Camptender Award

DENVER, Colo. – The American Sheep Industry Association recognized the efforts of three individuals during the association’s annual convention the last week of January in sunny Scottsdale, Ariz. Two longtime sheep producers and a relative newcomer to the industry walked away with the hardware at the industry awards luncheon on Jan. 29.

“All three of these individuals have contributed to the success of the American sheep industry in some form,” said ASI President Burton Pfliger of North Dakota. Pfliger presented engraved plaques to each recipient after providing a brief rundown of the ways they’d worked within the industry. “I think it’s worth noting that we have three individuals who have contributed in many different ways to the industry, but each is certainly worthy of the awards they received.” Continue reading

02-04-16 ASI News: United Voice Evident at Sheep Industry Convention…

DENVER, Colo. – The Arizona sun spotlighted the issues brought by the large gathering of sheep producers from across the country that met for the 2016 American Sheep Industry Association Convention in Scottsdale Ariz., Jan. 28-30. Under the motto The Strength of a United Voice, it was fitting that announcements such as another year of increased sheep inventory, the launch of Working Dog Liability Insurance and mandatory country of origin labeling for lamb were revealed.
“The focus of our meeting this year was current events and current issues,” said ASI President Burton Pfliger (N.D.). “Agriculture and the sheep industry in particular are facing the new veterinary feed directive, protecting ourselves from liability claims associated with working dogs and keeping our markets transparent. All of these topics – plus many more – were given center stage at our meetings in Scottsdale.”

Continue reading

02-04-16 Ports-to-Plains, LEDA host Energy and Ag Summit March 30-31 in Lubbock, TX

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Port-to-Palins Mission Statement logo

Highlighting the issues affecting the region’s key economic drivers will be the focus of the 2016 Port-to-Plains Energy and Ag Summit co-hosted by the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance March 30 – 31 at the Arbor Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock, Texas.

“This is quite a volatile time for energy and agriculture, which are the industries that are critical to the economies throughout the Ports-to-Plains Corridor region.  That is why we think it is so important for business and community leaders to learn as much as possible about the key issues we are facing so that we can overcome challenges, identify opportunities and thrive economically,” said Ports-to-Plains President Michael Reeves. Continue reading

02-04-16 History CO News: Make Plans to Attend a State Historical Fund Roundtable…

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ATTEND AN SHF COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE IN YOUR AREA

STATE HISTORICAL FUND ROUNDTABLES

Grant season is upon us! Attend a State Historical Fund Community Roundtable to meet with grant staff and strengthen your grant project. Competitive applications are now ONLINE ONLY!
February 10: Cortez – Cortez City Hall
February 12: Sterling – Logan County Courthouse
February 18: Pueblo – El Pueblo History Museum
February 23: Greeley – Greeley Masonic Temple
February 25: Steamboat Springs – Centennial Hall
March 1: Saguache – Saguache Town Hall
March 2: Hugo – Hugo Town Hall
TBD: Breckenridge – BGV Community Center
TBD: Springfield – Baca County Courthouse
TBD: Ouray – Wright Opera House

Can’t make it to a roundtable? Join us online via Adobe Connect on March 4 at 10am
Don’t forget: SHF staff will review your draft grant application before the April 1deadline! We recommend that first-time applicants submit drafts by February 16and repeat applicants submit drafts by March 1.
For information and to register for a roundtable, contact Kristi Roberts.kristi.roberts@state.co.us 303/866-3493

The Denver Cash Grain Bids…

02-04-16 NCBA and PLC Accepting Applications for Two Summer Positions…

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Open Positions Include Public Policy Intern and Summer Law Clerk

WASHINGTON (Feb. 4, 2016) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., is accepting applications for a 2016 summer  public policy intern as well as a summer law clerk. The deadline to submit an application for either position is Feb. 24, 2016. Continue reading

02-04-16 Meet CALP’s New Executive Director Durango’s Cathy Calderwood…

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CALP...

CLICK HERE to learn more about the CALP…

CALP Exec Dir Cathy Calderwood

The Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP) announced on Feb 3rd that Cathy Calderwood will be the Executive Director. 

Joining the BARN on the Colorado Ag News Network at this time is Cathy Calderwood of Durango…listen to the interview below to learn more about her background, her vision and more about the 25th Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture taking place Feb 18th @ the Renaissance Hotel in Denver…

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If you would like to learn more about the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program, please visit www.coloagleaders.org and if you are interested in learning more about the 2016 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture and to view a complete agenda, please visit www.governorsagforum.com Pre-registration has been extended until Feb 11th.

READ THE ORIGINAL CALP PRESS RELEASE

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02-04-16 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

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Greeley, CO    Thu Feb 04 2016    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to the last week, hay movement light with prices steady.  Snow
storms leaving up to 12 inches in areas across the state started on Saturday and
continued through Tuesday, making it difficult to move hay within the state.
Demand was moderate on Dairy quality alfalfa with the bulk of activity in the
San Luis Valley on trades going to dairies in Texas.  Grass hay trades were
mostly on small squares.  The NRCS SNOTEL reports the basin index percentages
for the Gunnison River Basin at 114 percent, the Upper Colorado river Basin at
105 percent, the South Platte River Basin at 112 percent, the Laramie and North
Platte River Basins at 101 percent, the Yampa and White River Basins at 96
percent, the Arkansas River Basins at 109 percent, the Upper Rio Grande Basin at
110 percent, and the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, and San Juan River Basins at
127 percent.  All prices reported are FOB at the stack or barn unless otherwise
noted.  Prices reflect load lots of hay.

If you have hay for sale or need hay, use the services of the Colorado
Department of Agriculture website: http://www.coloradoagriculture.com.

Northeast Colorado Areas Continue reading

02-04-16 ACE 2016 Washington DC Fly-in April 13-14…

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Sioux Falls, SD (February 4, 2016) – The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) is announcing the date for their annual grassroots lobbying effort in Washington, DC this year. The 8th annual ACE fly-in will be held on April 13-14, with the Washington Court on Capitol Hill serving as the host hotel for the event.

“The most persuasive and effective spokespeople for our industry are real people, whose everyday life experiences and authenticity illustrate how the decisions made in Washington, DC impact their businesses and communities.  Given how much is at stake for biofuels in 2016 between the election, RFS implementation challenges, and regulatory hurdles impacting consumer access to E15, flex fuels, and the clean octane in ethanol, we encourage supporters to join us for this important event,” said ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings. Continue reading

02-04-16 USWA News: Wheat Grower Organizations Welcome TPP Signing, Look for Rapid Congressional Review…

USWA - US Wheat Associates Logo

The signing of the 12 nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) today in New Zealand marks another step toward putting the world’s largest free trade agreement into action. National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) and U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) welcome this step and now call for rapid consideration and eventual ratification of TPP by Congress.

“Wheat growers are “all-in” regarding the promise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” said NAWG President Brett Blankenship, a wheat farmer from Washtucna, Wa. “Expanding sales and market share are important pillars to help revitalize the wheat industry. Now the ball is in Congress’ court and NAWG urges Congress to act quickly.” Continue reading

02-04-16 CattleFax Elects Officers for 2016…

 

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JeffSparrowkAllenTodd5756CattleFax Elects Officers for 2016

CENTENNIAL, COLO. (February 4, 2016) – New CattleFax officers for 2016 were elected at the organization’s annual business meeting Jan. 28, 2016, in San Diego Calif. Jeff Sparrowk, a cow/calf and stocker operator from Clements, Calif., was elected President. He has been actively involved in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and has served as a past Chairman of that organization’s Marketing Committee. He is also a past President of California Cattlemen’s Marketing Committee.

President Elect is Todd Allen of Newton, Kan. Re-elected as Executive Vice President was Randy Blach of Centennial, Colo.  Jerry Adams of Broken Bow, Neb., was elected to replace Jerry Kuenning of Imperial, Neb., representing the North Plains. Dale Smith of Amarillo, Texas, was re-elected to a four-year term representing the Southwest region Continue reading

02-04-16 Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium in Hugo Feb 16th…

8th Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium 021616 headerDon’t miss the eighth annual producer education symposium put on by the Colorado Livestock Association! Exciting and informative speakers at this year’s event will include a market outlook from CattleFax, livestock risk protection methods, and more! This is a free event open to one and all, we just ask that you register for lunch!

Marshall Frasier Beef Symposium

February 16, 2016 from 9:00-3:00pm

Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Hugo, CO

33747 County Rd 2W, Hugo, CO 80821

2016 Program

Continue reading

02-04-16 Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers meeting in Rocky Ford on Feb 11th…

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Jim Gibb - GeneSeekSpeaker: Why DNA profile replacement heifers?

A GeneSeek official will discuss using DNA to select replacement heifers during a Bent-Prowers Cattle & Horse Growers meeting on Thursday night, Feb.11 in Rocky Ford.

Featured speaker, Jim Gibb, is a technical sales manager for GeneSeek, a Neogen Agrigenomics company. He will focus on how DNA profiling replacement heifers can lead to a more herd productivity, efficiency and profit.

Gibb received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Colorado State University. He joined the University of Illinois faculty in 1979 as Assistant Professor of Beef Cattle Management. Continue reading

02-04-16 Early registration deadline for Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture pushed back to Feb. 11th

2016 GFCA-25th Annual Governors Forum on Colorado Agriculture logo

Those interested in attending of the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture are in luck, as they have another week to save on registration costs.

Rather than registration going up from $150 to $200 after Feb. 4, event organizers are pushing that back a week, to Thursday, Feb. 11

There’s no registration deadline for this year’s Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, and in addition to saving by registering early, there are also discounted rates for students and alumni of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Program (CALP).

The 2016 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture – titled “Next Generation Agriculture” – is set for 8 a.m. on Feb. 18, taking place at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel (3801 Quebec St). The event is open to the public and media. Anyone interested in attending can learn more and register at www.governorsagforum.com.

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, February 4th…

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

TPP Vote Not Likely Until After November Election

Senate Agriculture Chair Pat Roberts says a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not expected until after the November Elections. Roberts delivered that message to the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Wednesday. The trade deal was formally signed this week but still needs approval from the member countries.Roberts, along with House Agriculture Ranking Democrat Collin Peterson, said the trade deal does not seem likely to be considered before the lame-duck session. Roberts did say members of Congress “are going through 5,000 pages and finding reasons they are not for it,” according to the Hagstrom Report. Roberts says approval of the deal depends on the election results while Peterson says the trade deal would likely fail if considered in the House today. Peterson, who has opposed most trade agreements, said he is still examining the agreement.

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Syngenta, ChemChina, Agree to $43 Billion Takeover

Syngenta and ChemChina have come to terms with a $43 billion deal that will transfer Syngenta to the state-owned Chinese company. The deal is the largest-ever purchase by a Chinese firm and was officially announced by both companies Wednesday. China is using the deal as a bid to improve the countries domestic food production. A source close to the deal says Chinese farmland is only 10 percent efficient, according to Reuters. Years of intensive farming combined with overuse of chemicals has degraded land and poisoned water supplies, leaving China vulnerable to crop shortages. China is the world’s largest agricultural market and with slow growth, the country is looking outside its borders to find deals that can boost business. Syngenta’s chairman said he did not see any regulatory hurdles for the deal and hinted that ChemChina may be looking for more deals in the near future.

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USDA Cannot Declare Cotton as an Oilseed

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA cannot declare cotton as an oilseed. Vilsack said Wednesday that USDA lawyers had determined USDA does not have the authority to do so. However, Lawyers for Texas Republican and House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway say USDA does have the authority to make the declaration. The cotton industry requested that USDA make the declaration to allow cottonseed eligibility for farm subsidies. Vilsack claims Congress did not grant the authority in the 2014 Farm Bill and through appropriations has forbidden USDA to use the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide the assistance to farmers or cotton gins, according to the Hagstrom Report. Further, Vilsack said Congress would need to find $1 billion over 10 years for the subsidies to fund the cottonseed as an oilseed request. Vilsack did say USDA wants to help cotton producers, but cannot right now due to the barriers in place.

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Cotton Council Disappointed in Vilsack’s Comments on Oilseed Designation

The National Cotton Council responded Wednesday expressing disappointment with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s comments that USDA cannot designate cottonseed as an oilseed, allowing cotton to fall under farm safety net programs. The National Cotton Council contends that USDA “clearly has this authority as described in the current farm bill.” However, the Council did express appreciation for Vilsack’s recognition of the industry’s growing need for assistance given the current economic circumstances. The Council says the U.S. Cotton Industry is facing the lowest cotton acreage in more than 30 years and the smallest exports in 15 years while cotton prices are at their lowest level since 2009. The National Farmers Union and the American Farm Bureau Federation also expressed disappointment upon hearing Vilsack’s comments that USDA does not have the authority to designate cottonseed as an oilseed. All groups pledged to work with Congress to find a legislative fix.

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Egyptian Ag Ministry Changes Stance on Ergot, Again

Egypt’s agriculture ministry says it will permit wheat imports with up to 0.05% percent of the fungus ergot, in an about-face of its recent zero-tolerance stance. An Egyptian Ag Ministry Spokesperson told Reuters “We go by the Egyptian standards, so that means we accept up to 0.05 percent.” Pro Farmers First Thing Today reports the comments come in contrast to Egypt’s actions. The country recently rejected three shipments of wheat that contained ergot levels falling within that parameter. The change reportedly stemmed from a meeting between the country’s supply minister and ag minister. Exporters, who have been boycotting the country, say they will not be convinced something has changed until they see something official that indicates the policy change.

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USDA Awards Grants for Food Safety and Plant Health Improvements

More than $30 million in grants will fund research projects to improve food safety, reduce antibiotic resistance, and increase the resilience of plants. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the grants for 80 research projects through USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Vilsack also announced that the President’s 2017 budget $700 million for AFRI, the fully authorized funding level established by Congress in the 2008 Farm Bill. USDA says AFRI has led to innovations and discoveries in childhood obesity, rural economics, and food production and safety. Vilsack said, “funding in research to respond to these challenges should be considered as an investment in our nation’s future.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-03-16 NFU: U.S. Farmers Urge Congress to Stop TPP…

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WASHINGTON (February 3, 2016) – The U.S. Trade Representative today signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and a national organization representing farmers and ranchers from coast to coast is calling on Congress to block the giant trade pact.

“TPP is modeled after the failed deals of the past, and it is destined to fail,” explained Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union.  “Those past deals worsened America’s trade deficit, did nothing to stop our foreign competitors from cheating the system, and failed to live up to a long list of promises.” Continue reading