07-19-16 Centennial Farms awards event to honor 23 Colorado farming families

History CO Centennial Farms logo 2Centennial Farms awards event to honor 23 Colorado farming families

DENVER (July 19, 2016)—Twenty-three Colorado families who have owned and operated their farm or ranch for 100 years or more will be honored at the 30th Centennial Farms awards ceremony held on August 26 at the Colorado State Fair.

The families will receive a certificate commemorating the event, as well as a sign to display on their farm or ranch. Some elected representatives of the families’ districts will be present. The families will be available for photographs and interviews following the ceremony.

Since 1986, History Colorado, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, and the Colorado State Fair have partnered to administer the Centennial Farms program. The Colorado Tourism Office has been a partner since 2015.

This year’s Centennial Farms:

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, August 26th…

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

China’s Zika Rules Raise Fears for U.S. Exporters

China’s recent move to add the U.S. to a list of Zika-infected countries is worrying U.S. exporters. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today reports U.S. exporters fear they will be required to fumigate all containers destined for China, costing an estimated $100 to $200 per container. Exporters who ship everything from agriculture products and chemicals to engine parts say they fear that conflicting information from Chinese customs officials about the new requirements could result in delays and lost business. Small and medium exporters say they stand to be hurt the most from any supply-chain disruptions. American exporters ship about 5.1 million containers, worth about $255 billion a year to China, according to the Agriculture Transportation Coalition.


Chicago Tribune Editorial: Pacific Trade good for the Midwest

The Chicago Tribune editorial board says “global trade is the reality, and should be promoted.” Published this week, an editorial by the Tribune says failure by Congress to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership would leave farmers in the Midwest vulnerable because trade is a competitive game and market share is always in flux. The editorial calls trade a healthy form of competition. The TPP trade agreement represents 40 percent of global gross domestic product and would mean billions of dollars in added exports and farm income for the United States. President Obama will push for passage of TPP during the lame-duck session of Congress, following the November elections. However, as the Tribune points out, trade has gotten a dirty name this election cycle, blamed for gutting American factories when nearly every American manufacturing job that disappears is “a victim of productivity gains,” not foreign competition.


Sugar Industry Responds to Recommendations for Added Sugars

The sugar industry is fighting back against the American Heart Association’s strict new recommendations for added sugars for kids. The Sugar Association described the guidelines as “baffling” and said the added sugars dialogue “has lost its scientific integrity.” Politico reports that the trade group scolded the American Heart Association for going beyond what the 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend — that consumers should limit calories from added sugars to 10 percent of daily intake. In regards to the recommendations, the Sugar Association asks “where is the science to support this?” The Sugar Association questioned why the Heart Association’s guidance fails to align with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which the association acknowledges that “sweetness can offer an effective tool to promote consumption of nutrient-dense foods and beverages.”

Algeria Returns to U.S. Corn

U.S. corn sales to Algeria are making a strong showing in 2016, doubling 2014-15 marketing year imports. A U.S. Department of Agriculture’ export sales report showed 527,000 metric tons—20.7 million bushels—of U.S. corn being exported to Algeria in the 2015-16 marketing year, more than double the sales from the last marketing year of 238,000 metric tons. The U.S. Grains Council says while Algeria is a relatively small market in terms of total U.S. corn exports, Algeria and its neighbors in North Africa show potential for growth that the Council is seeking to capture through marketeting. Among the Council’s coming programs are procurement courses for Algerian buyers of U.S. corn, and a workshop to continue to provide traders with the latest data on the U.S. corn crop and pricing.


CFTC Approves First Exchange for Hemp Derivatives

Trading hemp derivatives is becoming a reality in the United States. The Wall Street Journal reports the Commodity Futures Trading Commission approved the first exchange for hemp derivatives when it allowed Seed SEF to register a swap execution facility, which is a trading platform. The hemp industry has long sought to distance the crop from marijuana, hemp’s biological cousin. Hemp contains less than .3 percent of THC, the compound that produces a high in marijuana. Hemp is used in an array of products from biofuels to clothing. Since 2014, the federal government has allowed the cultivation of industrial hemp for research and 30 states have passed legislation related to industrial hemp. But the Drug Enforcement Administration still includes industrial hemp in its schedule of controlled substances along with marijuana, presenting legal risks to those who grow and sell it unless they are licensed by their states.

Using Chickens to Repel Mosquitos

Scientists say malaria-transmitting mosquitoes actively avoid feeding on certain animal species such as chickens, using their sense of smell. The new findings show odors emitted by chickens may provide protection for humans at risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases. Researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences says the research indicates that, unlike humans, cattle, goats and sheep, chickens are a non-host species and mosquitoes have developed ways of distinguishing them from host species. The research team collected data on the population of human and domestic animals in three Ethiopian villages. Meatingplace reports the researchers found that significantly fewer mosquitoes were caught in traps baited with chicken compounds than in other traps.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service




Steamboat Springs, Colo. (August 25, 2016) – Yesterday, Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn offered Peabody Energy a written payment plan that would allow Peabody to pay the delinquent personal property taxes that Peabody owes to the county as a result of its recent bankruptcy now, and delay payment of accrued interest and fees until Peabody exists bankruptcy.

“Colorado treasurers can accept partial payments of personal property taxes as part of a written payment plan,” said Horn. “If Peabody agrees, this plan will allow my office to recover nearly half of the taxes that Peabody owes to Routt County as quickly as possible. It’s important to me to work with Peabody to fulfill its longstanding and appreciated commitment to Routt County.” Continue reading

08-25-16 Potatoes USA: U.S. Potato Exports Are Second Highest Level On Record…


U.S. Potato Exports Are Second Highest Level On Record

Total U.S. potato exports for the July 2015 – June 2016 marketing year grew 4% in value to $1,693,395,167, the second highest level on record. The fresh weight equivalent (fwe) volume of exports increased 6% to 3,219,892 metric tons (MT) or 70,985,739 hundredweight (cwt). This growth was led by increases in the volume of exports of frozen potato products up 11%, fresh potatoes up 8%, potato chips up 3% and seed potatoes up 6%. The only category to decline was dehydrated potatoes down 3%. Frozen potato products are still the dominate export item accounting for 52% of the total with dehydrated potatoes second at 27%. Continue reading

08-25-16 CFA News: Game on! Broncos tickets available at auction eBay!

CFA - Connecting Land and People Header 082616

Game on! Broncos tickets available at auction eBay

Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, September 18 | 2:25 pm Kickoff | Section 338, Row 12, Seats 1-4 (Club Level)
Four Club Level Tickets — Auction Starts August 25 on eBay!

Thanks to a donation from the Colorado Beef Council, the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture will be holding an eBay auction to raise money to support agricultural literacy in Colorado. This is your chance to see the world champions play at home on a September afternoon while supporting a great cause — helping our youth understand where their food and fiber comes from.


CLICK HERE to learn more about the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture

08-25-16 WDA: In Remembrance of Lupe Carpio…


Lupe CarpioIn Remembrance: Lupe Carpio

Western Dairy is saddened to hear of the passing of Lupe Carpio. Please join us in sending your thoughts and prayers to the Carpio family. His obituary and information on services is below.

Lupe Carpio

Lupe Carpio, 86, a longtime resident of Gill but most recently of Greeley, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, at the Hospice of Northern Colorado inpatient unit. He was born Feb. 19, 1930, in Greeley to Ezekiel and Julia (Perez) Carpio. Continue reading

08-24-16 Colorado produce growers and lawmakers gather for inaugural legislative round table…

Colorado produce growers and lawmakers gather for inaugural legislative round table

Article written & submitted by: Kayla Young of SLY Media for The BARN & the Video produced by Alvaro Serey of SLY Media for The BARN

The BARN & SLY Media – AUGUST 24, 2016 – Colorado farmers and legislators came together Wednesday morning at Brighton’s Sakata Farms to discuss policy priorities for the state’s produce growers. Immigration reform and water policy dominated the dialogue, in what the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association hoped would the first of many annual meetings to come with state policy makers.

CFVGA Executive Director Marilyn Bay Wentz said the event sought to highlight priorities for the produce sector and open communication channels between growers and policy makers.

Other organizers included Colorado Farm Bureau and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.

“Sometimes it’s just a matter of communication to be able to have an open dialogue about what is and isn’t working, so at a base level, this is an important event,” Wentz said. Continue reading

08-25-16 CDA: Colorado Hay Directory Celebrates 30 Years

CDA NEW main logo 051414Colorado Hay Directory Celebrates 30 Years

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The 2016 Colorado Hay Directory, published by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, is now available.
“For 30 years the Department has helped connect Colorado hay producers with buyers,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “This free directory is a great resource for anyone looking for Colorado hay.”

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08-18-16 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, August 25th…

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

Federal Ag Spending to Increase Through 2018

Spending on farm programs by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projected to increase $1 billion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO this week projected spending on farm programs to rise from $13 billion in 2015 to $14 billion in 2016, and then to $19 billion in 2017 and 2018. CBO projects farm program spending to then go back down to $16 billion in 2019 and down again to $15 billion per year until 2026. At the same time, payments under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamps, would decline continually, then rise slightly, presumably due to population growth, according to the Hagstrom Report. CBO did not say why the office projects agriculture spending would go up, but the increase likely stems from payments triggered by low commodity prices.


Farm, Dairy Groups Praise USDA Surplus Cheese Purchases

Agriculture groups and the dairy industry are praising the Agriculture Department’s announcement to reduce surplus cheese stocks in the U.S., a move requested by the American Farm Bureau and others. USDA this week announced it would purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories and donate the product to food banks and pantries across the nation. The purchase, valued at $20 million, should reduce some downward pressure on dairy markets as dairy producer’s revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says the announcement will “help alleviate the tough realities of the market and keep family farmers in business.” Farm Bureau and the National Milk Producers Federation had asked USDA to spend more than $20 million on the purchases, but USDA cited budget restraints, limiting the purchase amount. Vilsack also further extended the signup period for the dairy industry safety net—the Margin Protection Program—through December 16th.


Environmental Groups Hamper Endangered Species Conservation

Environmental groups are hampering species recovery under the Endangered Species Act, according to the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Tuesday, the Center for Biological Diversity threatened to sue the Department of Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service to force action on 417 proposed listings under the Endangered Species Act. NCBA and the Public Lands Council say the move stems from a massive lawsuit settlement brokered behind closed doors and without stakeholders at the table. The groups, in a joint statement, say “this is precisely why the Endangered Species Act is broken.” The environmental groups, according to PLC executive director Ethan Lane, hamper species recovery by placing arbitrary listing-decision deadlines that leave no time for sound research or science-based decisions. During the nearly 40 years since the ESA was passed, the Act has a recovery rate of less than two percent and has more than 2,000 domestic species listed.


Schneider Electric SE Mulling Sale of DTN

Bloomberg reports power-equipment maker Schneider Electric SE is weighing a sale of agriculture news and data service DTN. The price tag could be an estimated $1.5 billion, according to sources familiar with the matter. Schneider, with a market value of more than $40 billion, is a French multinational corporation specializing in electricity distribution. Schneider, lik many energy-focused companies, is weathering lower demand stemming from decreased oil and gas prices. Sources tell Bloomberg Schneider does not consider DTN a “core operation,” despite being a solid, profitable business. DTN would likely attract interest from both information and technology companies as well as private equity firms, and Schneider could decide whether to auction off the unit as soon as next month, according to the report.

Monsanto Pulls GM Cottonseed Application in India

Monsanto has pulled its application for approval for its next generation of genetically modified cotton seed in India. The St Louis Post-Dispatch calls the move a “major escalation in a long-running dispute” between India and Monsanto. A business partner from India for the St Louis, Missouri-based Monsanto recently sent a letter to India’s government objecting a proposal to force Monsanto to share its technology with local seed companies. The company is also at odds with India over how much it can charge for its genetically modified cotton seed, costing Monsanto tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue every year. Pulling the application could set back Monsanto’s efforts to introduce its new seed, called Bollgard II Roundup Ready Flex technology. It could also hurt India’s cotton farmers as the new seed variety helps fight against weeds.

Canada Testing PEDv Vaccine

Testing is underway in Canada for a vaccine to protect pigs from Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, or PEDv. While U.S. made vaccines are available in Canada, the vaccines are only recommended for use if there is an outbreak. The vaccine being tested in Canada is aimed at preventing the disease altogether, according to the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization. The University’s prototype vaccine, first announced last year, recently moved into field testing. The PED virus is in the coronavirus group, which includes human diseases such as SARS and MERS, and produces mortality rates of up to 100 percent in infected herds of piglets. Over eight million pigs in North America have died from PED since the disease first appeared in the U.S. in 2013 and Canada in 2014.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


08-24-16 CFVGA: Produce Growers Ask for Legislator’s Help at Ag Roundtable…

CFVGA - Growing  Resources Cultivating Success logo

Roundtable participants included (left to right) Colorado Department of Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown, CFVGA President Robert Sakata, Hannah Mullen from Rep. Ed Perlmutter's office, Reps. Mike Coffman and Ken Buck.

Roundtable participants included (left to right) Colorado Department of Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown, CFVGA President Robert Sakata, Hannah Mullen from Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s office, Reps. Mike Coffman and Ken Buck.

Produce Growers Ask for Legislator’s Help at Ag Roundtable

Colorado Produce growers had the opportunity this morning to look across the table and speak to Colorado’s U.S. senatorial and congressional delegation during a roundtable discussion hosted by the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (CFVGA) and U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman. The roundtable, held at Sakata Farms, Brighton, Colo., was followed by tours of Sakata’s processing and packing operation and Petrocco Farms, also of Brighton.

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08-24-16 *CSU Ext News* Ron Meyer: CORN FIELD DAY

CSU Extension Header


(Burlington, Colo.) – Colorado State University is hosting a corn field day on Wednesday, September 7.  The program will begin at 8 a.m.

Directions to the test plot are:  East of Eckley, Colorado to county road V, then 4 miles south of Hwy 34 on county road V, then 0.5 mile east on county road 33.  Then take a trail road north on the east side of the pivot.

Corn hybrids, management, and discussions regarding the new bacterial disease that has been found will be discussed.  Colorado Corn Administrative Committee will be providing refreshments.

Submitted to Barn Media by: Continue reading

08-24-16 Op-Ed: Routt County Must Treat Taxpayers Equally…

Op-Ed: Routt County Must Treat Taxpayers Equally

Every day, fellow community members who face hard times come to the Treasurer’s Office and ask for a break on the interest and fees from non-payment or late payment of taxes. Some don’t have money to buy groceries for their families. The county is not authorized to offer them special relief.

Why should the Treasurer’s Office treat a company differently? That’s exactly what Peabody Energy is asking of Routt County. It’s unlawful and unfair.

Peabody Energy recently declared bankruptcy and did not pay its property tax bill of $1.8 million. Peabody got permission from the bankruptcy court to pay its taxes, but Peabody will pay only if Routt County reduces it by $91,723. Continue reading

08-24-16 Routt County Returns Peabody Tax Payment for Inaccurate Amount

Routt County Returns Peabody Tax Payment for Inaccurate Amount

Peabody Requested Special Treatment, Routt County Treasurer Brita Horn Said No

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (August 18, 2016)– Today, Routt County returned two checks for overdue taxes sent by Peabody Energy because they were written for the incorrect amount. Peabody Energy, which recently declared bankruptcy, sent two checks totaling $1,798,507.38 to Routt County to fulfill an overdue tax bill of $1,890,155.19, including interest and fees. The check was short $91,647.81.

Peabody Energy stipulated, in its letter, that acceptance of these checks would lead to “any pre-petition date claims that Taxing Authority has for the outstanding tax amounts…shall be considered waived, discharged and released upon receipt of the Property Tax Claim Payment.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, August 24th…

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

New Poll Shows Support for TPP

A New poll from Morning Consult shows the majority of voters favor trade. The poll shows 57 percent of registered voters have a favorable view of “fair trade,” and 50 percent said they would be more likely to support TPP if they knew it would provide new markets overseas for U.S. farm products. The American Farm Bureau Federation says the results are something “all candidates should keep in mind as a congressional vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement comes closer to reality.” Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says “the more people know, the more they will support this vitally important agreement.” Other findings include: 52 percent of voters say they would be more likely to support TPP if they knew the deal would increase annual income in the U.S. by $131 billion, and 69 percent of voters support trade policies that will open new markets for U.S. products and U.S. farmers while less than one in 10, or eight percent, oppose.


BPI Dropping Some from “Pink Slime’ Lawsuit

Beef Products Inc. is not dropping its lawsuit filed in 2012 against ABC and journalists Diane Sawyer and Jim Avila, but it has removed a number of defendants from the complaint. The lawsuit was filed over a series of reports BPI alleges were inaccurate and cost the company a significant chunk of its sales of lean finely textured beef. Politico reports BPI dropped ABC’s news division, ABC correspondent David Kerley, two former USDA microbiologists and a former BPI quality control manager who acted as a whistleblower against the company. The lawsuit seeks more than $1.2 billion in damages. It charges ABC with making more than 200 false and disparaging statements about BPI’s product, a form of beef trimmings injected with ammonia to fight pathogens, and helping to fortify the nickname “pink slime.” BPI claims ABC’s “disinformation campaign” caused sales of the product to decline from five million pounds a week to less than two million pounds, forcing BPI to close three facilities and let go of more than 700 employees.


USDA Allowing Meat, Egg Products with “No GMO” Label

The Department of Agriculture will begin allowing meat, poultry and egg producers to use labels such as “contains no GMO” or “derived from beef fed no GMO feed.” The guidance announced last week takes effect immediately and gives food makers information and examples on how to label products as non-GMO, known as a negative claim, according to Reuters. USDA says the nationwide, voluntary GMO labeling law approved by Congress and signed by the President set rules for labeling products as GMO-free, allowing for the change. Previously, USDA only allowed the use of the phrases “GMO” and “genetically modified organism” on livestock or poultry labeling. The new law gives USDA two years to create and finalize rules implementing the law.

Bayer, Monsanto Merger Talks Advancing

Merger talks between Monsanto and Bayer AG are advancing after a series of meetings in which the companies have addresses issues including the purchase price and a termination fee, according to Bloomberg News. Sources close to the talks say a deal could be reached in the next two weeks. Bayer CEO Werner Baumann and Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant have held “constructive meetings” in recent weeks, but Bloomberg said its sources caution that negotiations “could still fall apart or be delayed. Any potential merger between the two would likely face fierce antitrust approval. Any Bayer-Monsanto deal would follow two other billion-dollar acquisitions in the agricultural industry, ChemChina’s $43 billion takeover of Syngenta AG and Dow Chemical merger with DuPont to create the world’s biggest chemical company. St. Louis, Missouri Based Monsanto rejected Bayer’s previous two attempts to acquire Monsanto.

Iowa County Approves Pork Processing Plant

Wright County, Iowa approved an agreement to allow Prestage Farms to build a $240 million pork processing plant near Eagle Grove, Iowa. The decision comes after six weeks of public hearings and last week’s announcement by the Iowa Economic Development Authority that it approved $11.5 million in incentives for Prestage to build in Wright County, according to Meatingplace. The plant brings a $43 million payroll to the county with 900 new full-time jobs. Groundbreaking on the project should begin in spring 2017, and the facility is scheduled to be completed in late 2018. The approval comes two months after officials in Mason City, Iowa rejected a plan for the plant to be built there. Prestage Farms is based in North Carolina and has operations in Iowa, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Oklahoma.

Louisiana Flooding to Cost State’s Agriculture $110 Million

Torrential rains that recently caused historic flooding in south Louisiana will cost the state’s agriculture industry at least $110 million. The Louisiana State University AgCenter says that figure is expected to grow as farmers realize the full extent of flood damage. Further, normal seasonal rains are likely to slow floodwaters receding. Many factors – including crop yield and quality reductions, increased production costs, infrastructure damage and loss of stored commodities – are not immediately clear. LSU officials say the state’s soybean crop will likely take the hardest hit, with about $46 million in yield losses expected. Yield reductions will cost the Louisiana rice industry about $33 million. At least $3 million worth of sugarcane will have to be replanted. Corn-producing areas did not receive heavy flooding damage, although wet field conditions have delayed harvest, which can cause plants to fall over and grains to sprout. Those issues could cost corn farmers $10 million. Finally, the University says it is not yet clear how many livestock deaths the flood caused. However, reduced pasture resources and forage availability will cost livestock producers nearly $2 million.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


08-23-16 NCBA & PLC News: Environmental Groups Hamper Endangered Species Conservation…

NCBA PLC logosEnvironmental Groups Hamper Endangered Species Conservation

WASHINGTON (August 23, 2016) – Today, the Center for Biological Diversity along with other radical environmental groups threatened to sue the Department of Interior and Fish and Wildlife Service to force action on 417 proposed listings under the Endangered Species Act, all stemming from a massive lawsuit settlement brokered behind closed doors and without stakeholders at the table.

Ethan Lane, Executive Director of the Public Lands Council and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Federal Lands, said the behavior of these groups has hampered species recovery by placing arbitrary listing-decision deadlines that leave no time for sound research and science-based decisions. Continue reading

08-23-16 USDA to Purchase Surplus Cheese for Food Banks and Families in Need, Continue to Assist Dairy Producers

USDA Press Release

USDA to Purchase Surplus Cheese for Food Banks and Families in Need, Continue to Assist Dairy Producers

Department Also Will Extend Margin Protection Program for Dairy Enrollment Deadline

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2016 The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced plans to purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories to assist food banks and pantries across the nation, while reducing a cheese surplus that is at its highest level in 30 years. The purchase, valued at $20 million, will be provided to families in need across the country through USDA nutrition assistance programs, while assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.

“We understand that the nation’s dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions and that food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need. USDA will continue to look for ways within its authorities to tackle food insecurity and provide for added stability in the marketplace.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, August 23rd…

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

Vietnam: TPP Not Open for Renegotiation

Trade negotiators from Vietnam say the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is not open to renegotiation, pushing back against calls from select U.S. politicians that say the deal needs amended to their liking. Bloomberg reports a Vietnam trade official said the agreement strikes the best possible balance among the interests of the deal’s 12 members. Amid election-year politics, several lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have said they will note vote for TPP. Further, both candidates for President have taken stabs against the trade deal, putting approval in jeopardy. The Obama Administration is expected to send a bill that would authorize the trade agreement to Congress following the November elections.

Senator Says TPP Will be A ‘Challenge’

One U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee member is not optimistic the Trans-Pacific Partnership will pass Congress. Senate Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is a proponent of trade, but says in regards to TPP “I think it’s going to be a challenge.” Her comments come despite a plan by the Obama Administration to send the agreement to Congress soon. North Dakota farmers stand to benefit from the trade agreement through agricultural exports. However, Politico reports as a result of the campaign-influenced climate in Congress, Heitkamp says “I don’t hold out a lot of hope that we can get TPP done — but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be wrong.”

U.S. Panel Clears Syngenta Takeover by ChemChina

The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has given its approval to the ChemChina takeover of Syngenta. Reuters says the decision removes significant uncertainty over the takeover of the world’s largest pesticides maker after the two companies agreed to a deal in February. However, Syngenta did not disclose whether it had made concessions to secure approval. If completed, the $43 billion takeover would be the largest foreign acquisition ever by a Chinese company. Syngenta reiterated the company expects to finalize the deal by the end of the year. Syngenta says closing the transaction is still subject to “anti-trust review by numerous regulators around the world and other customary closing conditions.”

John Deere Slowing Tractor, Combine Production

Deere & Company said last week production at its Waterloo, Iowa plant will be cut until at least October. The move comes as the world’s largest maker of farm equipment waits for used inventory levels to decrease at many of its dealerships. The Des Moines Register reports work hours at the Waterloo tractor manufacturing facility will drop 20 percent during Deere’s fourth quarter, compared with a year ago. Cuts will be even deeper at its Harvester Works plant in East Moline, Illinois, where the combine facility expects production hours to be down about 60 percent. A Deere spokesperson attributed the move to low commodity prices, weakening farm income and elevated used equipment levels. Overall, agricultural equipment sales are expected to be down 15 to 20 percent this year in the United States and Canada, according to the company. 

Pesticide Resistant Whitefly Poses Threat to U.S. Crops

Fruit and Vegetable growers are raising concerns over an invasive whitefly that is resistant to pesticides and carries crop-devastating viruses. The Q-biotype whitefly was found outdoors within the U.S. for the first time this spring in Florida. Its discovery outdoors comes more than a decade after it was first found in a U.S. retail nursery in Arizona. Since 2005, the whitefly has also been found in about two dozen U.S. states, but only in greenhouses. The Q-biotype whitefly is already considered a major invasive pest worldwide. Researchers say pest poses a serious threat to crops such as tomatoes, beans, squash, cotton and melons. Whiteflies draw fluid out of a plant’s leaves, and excrete a sticky residue that allows fungus to grow, turning the leaves black and making it harder for them to photosynthesize. University of Florida researchers say the whiteflies have been found in more than 40 locations across the state, including residences, wholesale nurseries and retail plant outlets.


U.S. Egg Production up Nine Percent in July

United States egg production totaled 8.5 billion during July, up nine percent from last year. The Department of Agriculture released the monthly U.S. Chicken and Eggs production report Monday. The agency says production included 7.36 billion table eggs, and 1.1 billion hatching eggs, of which one billion were broiler-type and 97 million were egg-type. The total number of layers during July 2016 averaged 358 million, up seven percent from last year. July egg production per 100 layers was 2,378 eggs, up two percent from July of 2015. Egg production in the U.S. has been increasing following the decline high pathogenic avian influenza. HPAI shot egg prices higher in 2015 as the outbreak decreased the table-egg-laying flocks in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest by 11 percent.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service