04-16-15 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

Greeley, CO    Thu Apr 16, 2015    USDA-CO Dept of Ag Market News

Colorado Hay Report

Compared to last week, little to no hay movement.  Snowpack levels continue
to drop in the mountains.  According to the NRCS, regional snowpack levels are
being reported in Yampa and White River Basins at 57 percent, Upper Colorado
River Basin at 62 percent, Laramie and North Platte River Basins at 66 percent,
South Platte River Basin at 79 percent, Arkansas River Basin at 61 percent,
Upper Rio Grande River Basin at 36 percent, Gunnison River Basin at 46 percent,
and San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, San Juan River Basins at 39 percent.  According
to the U.S. Drought Monitor, there is little to no change in the drought
severity across the state.  However, rain and snow mix is scattered across the
state today and forecast to do so over the weekend.  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

04-16-15 Inside the BARN with Colorado Ag Commissioner Don Brown…


CDA NEW main logo 051414

Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown

CO Ag Commissioner Don Brown

(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 16, 2015 – Joining the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Don Brown, the newly appointed & confirmed Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. Commissioner Brown discusses several topics including:

  • Drought Update
  • CO’s News Deputy Ag Commissioner Chris Wiseman
  • Pesticide Applicator Sunset Review
  • CO Potato Exports to Mexico Update
  • CO Animal Health Update
  • NWSS Improvement Update
  • CO Water Plan Update
  • & MORE

To listen to the interview with Colorado Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown, click below…


The mission of the Department of Agriculture is to strengthen and advance Colorado agriculture; promote a safe, high quality, and sustainable food supply; and protect consumers, the environment, and natural resources. The vision of the Department of Agriculture is that Colorado agriculture be strong and vibrant, a key driver of the state’s economy, and recognized worldwide for its safe, affordable, and abundant supply of high quality food and agricultural products.

If you would like to learn more about the Colorado Department of Agriculture stop by their offices @ 305 Interlocken Parkway in Broomfield, CO, give them a call @ 303-869-9000 or visit the CDA online @ www.colorado.gov/ag



04-16-15 CMU Op-Ed: why Western Coloradans should pay attention to the CA drought….

CMU - Water Center HeaderWritten by: Hannah Holm, Coordinator, Water Center at Colorado Mesa University

The California drought is bad enough that it’s getting attention in unusual corners.  Dramatic drought headlines are being shared on social media by people who’ve never posted anything about water before.  Lots of people now know that it takes about a gallon of water to produce a single almond, although fewer realize that many other foods have an even bigger water footprint.

The reality just about matches the hype. California entered April with its lowest-recorded snowpack (just about gone), causing the California Department of Water Resources to declare that the state’s drought is now “firmly rooted in its fourth consecutive year.” The New York Times reported that groundwater pumping to compensate for lower streamflows and depleted reservoirs has dropped groundwater levels up to 50 feet in some places. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, April 16th…

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

“House Committee Passes Legislation to End WOTUS”

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee voted 36 to 22 Wednesday to pass the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 – which requires the EPA and Army Corps to withdraw its proposed Waters of the U.S. rule within 30-days. The bill also directs the agencies to develop a new proposed rule that must consider all of the comments received and reach consensus with state and local governments on defining Waters of the United States. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council applaud the passage of this legislation. Both organizations urge Congress to act on this legislation without delay.


“House Ag Committee Looks at Relationship Between SNAP, Charitable Organizations”

The House Ag Committee held a hearing on the role the charitable sector plays in feeding vulnerable Americans Wednesday as part of its ongoing review of the Past, Present and Future of SNAP. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway says addressing the nutritional needs of Americans is not solely the responsibility of the government through SNAP. Conaway says recipients benefit from a strong partnership between the government and the charitable sector. Churches, food banks and other local organizations are deeply rooted in their communities and have more flexibility to meet individual and family needs – he says. By understanding the complementary relationship between SNAP and these other organizations – Conaway says the goal of improving the lives of those in need to move up the economic ladder will be achieved. House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson says he is supportive of the work charitable organizations do across the country – but they do not have the funding, capacity or flexibility to fully replace SNAP – as some might suggest. Peterson is interested in making more produce available at food banks and thinks a partnership between food banks and farmers could help.


“Rural Development Grants Announced for Projects in 17 States & D.C.”

Under Secretary of Agriculture Lisa Mensah announced the selection of 31 community-based organizations in 17 states and the District of Columbia for 6.3-million dollars in grants through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Community Development Initiative Wednesday. Mensah says these grants bring increased economic opportunities to rural residents and communities by strengthening the capacity of the regional organizations that serve them. She says RCDI grants are an important part of USDA’s ongoing efforts to address rural poverty. Grant funds may be used to develop child care facilities, provide education, conduct strategic planning, provide technical assistance and more. Visit RD dot USDA dot gov (www.rd.usda.gov) for more information.


“Number of Certified Organic Operations Increasing Across U.S., World”

USDA announced yesterday (Wednesday) the organic industry now has a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world – with 19,474 in the United States. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program data shows the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by more than five-percent in the past year. As demand for organic products continues to soar – Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says more producers are entering the organic market. Vilsack says USDA tools and resources have created opportunities for organic farmers and more options for organic consumers. Visit APPS dot AMS dot USDA dot gov slash NOP (http://apps.ams.usda.gov/nop) for a list of certified organic operations. For additional information – visit USDA dot gov slash organic (www.usda.gov/organic).


“Changes Announced for National Corn Yield Contest Rules”

The National Corn Growers Association has announced important rule changes for the 2015 National Corn Yield Contest. This year – each NCGA membership used to register for the contest must have an individual’s name on it – and each individual may have only one membership number. Each membership number may be used on as many entries as desired – however each number will only be awarded official placement for one state and one national level entry. NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn says NCGA hopes this rule change will allow NCGA to showcase more of the breadth of talent and innovation seen across the contest while also garnering additional interest and inspiration among potential participants. For more information – visit NCGA dot com (www.ncga.com).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


04-15-15 NRCS-Led Wildlife Partnership Launches New Website…

NRCS-CO website header

The Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative (LPCI)…A Win/Win Conservation Ethic

Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative logoLesser Prairie CHicken NRCS and Producer Truck picDENVER, April 15, 2015 – The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) launched the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative (LPCI) in 2011 in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).  The goal is to increase the bird’s abundance, distribution and habitat while promoting the overall health of grazing lands and the long-term sustainability of ranching operations.   Since its launch, more than 25 agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, and private businesses have joined forces to support the multi-state effort, and the most recent accomplishment within the Initiative is the introduction of its website www.lpcinitiative.org.

“We’re excited about the site going live,” shares Clint Evans, NRCS State Conservationist in Colorado.  “This provides yet another avenue for natural resource partners to find information about the initiative, as well as how we’re going about implementing the win-win conservation ethic.”

Lesser prairie-chicken populations have declined dramatically during the past several decades; due to loss of native prairie, habitat fragmentation, and degradation of habitat on both private and public lands. There are only five states that host the species habitat including Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas and 95% of that habitat is on privately-owned lands. Continue reading

04-15-15 NCBA News: House Committee Calls for Repeal of WOTUS…

NCBA News Rlease HeaderWASHINGTON (April 15, 2015) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for sending a clear message to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers that the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule is an expansion of federal jurisdiction that strips rights from private property owners.

Passing the full Committee today by a vote of 36 to 22, H.R. 1732 Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 requires the EPA and Army Corps to withdraw the WOTUS proposal within 30 days. NCBA President Philip Ellis said cattlemen and women appreciate the Committee’s efforts for moving legislation forward that addresses the problematic proposed rule.

“The subjective and ambiguous language of the proposed rule would significantly broaden the federal government’s power to regulate waters and adjacent lands that convey water,” said Ellis. “We also appreciate the legislation requiring the federal government to work with state and local governments, further protecting states’ rights.” Continue reading

04-15-15 USDA Awards Grants to Help Rural Communities Create Jobs and Strengthen Economic Development Capacity, includes CO…

USDA Press ReleaseIn Colorado, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe is receiving a $250,000 grant to provide economic development and training to Tribal members living on the reservation. 

KINGSPORT, Tenn., April 15, 2015 – Agriculture Under Secretary Lisa Mensah today announced the selection of 31 community-based organizations in 17 states and the District of Columbia for grants to help small rural communities create jobs and boost economic development. The grants are being made available through USDA Rural Development’sRural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program.

“These grants bring increased economic opportunities to rural residents and communities by strengthening the capacity of the regional organizations that serve them,” Mensah said during a visit today to Kingsport, Tenn. “They help organizations that are experienced in economic development create more job opportunities for rural residents. RCDI grants are an important part of USDA’s ongoing efforts to address rural poverty. They help boost growth in our most economically vulnerable rural communities, including towns in Appalachia and Native American reservations.” Continue reading

04-15-15 Congressional Western Caucus: US Forest Service Drops Groundwater Directive…

CWC-Congressional Western Caucus LogoWashington, D.C. (April 15, 2015) –Yesterday during a Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans hearing, U.S. Forest Service Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon announced the decision to halt work on the controversial Proposed Directive on Groundwater Management released last year by the Forest Service.

In response, Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large), Vice Chairmen Mark Amodei (NV-02) and Paul Gosar (AZ-04), and Chairman Emeritus Steve Pearce (NM-02) issued the following statements: Continue reading

04-15-15 USDA Announces Record Number of Organic Producers in U.S.

USDA seal logoWASHINGTON, April 15, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that the organic industry continues to show remarkable growth domestically and globally, with 19,474 certified organic operations in the United States and a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world.

According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the number of domestic certified organic operations increased by more than 5 percent over the last year. Since the count began in 2002, the number of domestic organic operations has increased by over 250 percent. The certified operations list is available atapps.ams.usda.gov/nop.

“As demand for organic products continues to soar, more and more producers are entering the organic market,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “USDA tools and resources have created opportunities for organic farmers and more options for organic consumers. Growing demand for organic goods can be especially helpful to smaller family operations. The more diverse type of operations and the more growing market sectors we have in American agriculture, the better off our country’s rural economy will be.”

USDA is committed to connecting organic farmers and businesses with resources to ensure the continued growth of the organic industry. Along with programs to support conservation, provide access to loans and grants, fund organic research and education, and integrated pest management, USDA administers organic certification cost share programs to offset the costs of organic certification for U.S. producers and handlers nationwide. Continue reading

04-14-15 Make plans to attend the 21st Arkansas River Basin Water Forum in Pueblo April 22-23…

2015 Arkansas River Basin Water Forum logo


Paul_Fanning_APR(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 15, 2015 – The 2015 Arkansas River Basin Water Forum is coming up April 22-23 at Pueblo Community College in Pueblo, CO and inside the BARN on the CO Ag News Network to discuss this event in more detail is Paul Fanning, Public Relations & the Legislation Administrator with the Board of Water Works of Pueblo. Listen to the interview above or CLICK HERE.


READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, April 15th: TAX DAY…

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

“EPA’s McCarthy Says Clean Water Rule Will be Finalized”

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chairs introduced legislation this week to stop EPA from finalizing the clean water rule it sent to the Office of Management and Budget last week – according to The Hagstrom Report. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway is an original sponsor of the bill. Conaway says the U.S. Supreme Court rebuked EPA twice for overstepping its bounds – but the Administration’s response was to double down. House Ag Ranking Member Collin Peterson says EPA’s proposed rule has the potential to regulate farmers and ranchers out of business – putting the entire rural economy in jeopardy. Peterson says this new legislation is needed because EPA does not seem to grasp the real-world impact the rule would have on farmers and local communities. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy – however – says the agency will get the rule over the finish line – and the final rule will provide the clarity people want – ensuring not to overextend into agriculture.


“House Ag Committee CFTC Hearing Series Complete”

The House Ag Committee completed its series of four hearings regarding reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Tuesday. Commissioners Sharon Bowen, Christopher Giancarlo and Mark Wetjen shared their priorities, issues and challenges in overseeing the commodity markets during the final hearing on Tuesday. Commodity Exchanges Subcommittee Chair Austin Scott says their input is vital for lawmakers to have a better understanding of how to improve the CFTC. House Ag Chair Michael Conaway says hearing the commissioners’ views on current rulemakings, issues that warrant the committee’s attention and priorities to consider during reauthorization is an important step before the committee drafts its legislation. As the reauthorization process moves forward – Conaway says Scott and Ag Committee members will incorporate what they learned from this hearing series into the legislation. The overarching goal – according to Conaway – is to ensure derivatives markets can meet the needs of hedgers and don’t become overly or needlessly regulated to the detriment of all market participants.


“Strong Dollar Holds a Lot of Meaning”

As the U.S. dollar strengthens – the National Corn Growers Association says the importance of the impact of favorable trade policies on sales gains further importance. Over the past year – NCGA says the U.S. dollar has strengthened against most currencies. U.S. Grains Council Vice President Erick Erickson says the most important implication of a strong dollar will be for U.S. market share as competitor countries will be able to export corn at lower prices than the U.S.  With expanded production in South America and Ukraine – Erickson says U.S. competitiveness in major corn markets may be reduced up to the capacity of these major competitors. He says it’s important to keep a long-term perspective – as many factors that influence exports are beyond U.S. control.

NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair John Linder says NCGA is actively promoting the prompt passage of Trade Promotion Authority. NCGA understands TPA plays a key role in successful negotiations – and free trade agreements are key to opening markets for U.S. ag products. As the dollar strengthens – Linder says the importance of FTAs will further increase. The Trans Pacific Partnership and Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership hold great promise for expanding trade opportunities for U.S. agriculture – according to Erickson. While the ag industry can’t control the weather or value of the dollar – he says finalizing these agreements can unlock some important doors.


“Growth Energy Applauds RVP Extension Legislative Effort”

Congressman Adrian Smith introduced legislation this week to extend the Reid Vapor Pressure volatility waiver to E-15 – which would allow E-15 retailers to provide greater consumer choice for motorists without restriction. Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis says Growth Energy applauds this effort to remove a major hurdle preventing consumers the opportunity to purchase higher blends of ethanol. Growth Energy is hopeful the legislative effort is successful in granting this much needed waiver to overcome the single largest regulatory hurdle to ensuring consumers have access to higher ethanol blends.


“National Animal Disease Traceability Program Rules in Effect”

The National Animal Disease Traceability Program went into effect in March 2013 – but USDA established a two-year grace period for producers to use the old 900 or USA tags until March 11th of this year – according to the High Plains Journal. University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Program livestock specialist David Fernandez says producers who were using the old tags now should only be using the new 840 tags. However – those tagged before March 11th don’t need to be tagged with the new 840 tag – as the old tag will be officially recognized for the life of the animal. Fernandez also says animals already enrolled in a national health program don’t need an additional tag. Unless feeder calves are temporarily being used as rodeo stock – the identification system does not apply – according to Fernandez. He says feeder calf rules are being developed and will be released for public comment before going into effect. The Traceability program rules only apply to animals moving across state or tribal boundaries – he says. Visit APHIS dot USDA dot gov (www.aphis.usda.gov) for more information on the Traceability Program.


“Companies Partner to Fight Hunger with HATCH Project”

Elanco has partnered with other companies to develop HATCH – an innovative community project to provide eggs to undernourished people of all ages. Elanco President Jeff Simmons says fighting hunger and undernourishment through sustainable, local partnerships is a priority for the company. Undernourishment is a problem around the world – but in the U.S. – one in five people don’t have access to enough protein and other nutrients to meet their body’s needs. Kroger Central Division President Jeff Burt says HATCH takes the fight against hunger to the next level. Elanco believes HATCH will become a model for how communities can come together to create food security. The first pilot project involves 66 Central Indiana Kroger stores and will provide one egg to a local food bank for each dozen of medium Kroger-brand eggs purchased through June 20th. One egg provides six-grams of high-quality protein – according to Amanda Jackson of Rose Acre Farms – a HATCH partner. Rose Acre Farms and Kroger are collectively donating the equivalent of 2,880 dozen eggs to kickoff the first project. Visit HATCH for Hunger dot com (www.HATCHforHunger.com) for more information. Follow and join the HATCH conversation with the hashtag HATCH for Hunger (#HATCHforHunger).

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


04-14-15 CO Governor Hickenlooper orders flags lowered Wednesday to observe a Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln


DENVER — Tuesday, April 14, 2015 Gov. John Hickenlooper today ordered flags to be lowered to half-staff on all public buildings statewide on Wednesday, April 15 in recognition of a Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln, and as proclaimed by President Barack Obama. Flags should be lowered from sunrise to sunset

The full text of the president’s proclamation:


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 14, 2015





President Barack Obama issued a proclamation declaring April 15, 2015 a national Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln, saying: Continue reading

04-14-15 NFU Disappointed by Cuts to Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency…

NFU - National Farmers Union logo5WASHINGTON (April 14, 2015) – NFU President Roger Johnson said today that he was disappointed in the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Water spending subcommittee’s reduction of funds for renewable energy and energy efficiency from last year.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency are key to building climate resilience, and many of our rural communities experience much-needed reinvestment from renewable energy development.” Johnson said. “Congress should increase, not cut, funds for renewable energy.”

Johnson noted that America’s family farmers and ranchers are already impacted by increased weather volatility related to the changing climate, including fewer workable days, increased potential for soil erosion, and increased crop insurance claims, and without support for renewables, they may have to brace for additional negative consequences. Continue reading

04-14-15 Inside the NACD with 1st VP Brent Van Dyke…



NACD_Logo_200(BARN Media – Briggsdale, CO) April 14, 2015 – Joining me on the Colorado Ag News Network inside the BARN is Brent Van Dyke, First Vice-President of the National Association of Conservation Districts discussing several topics including:

  • Van Dyke’s background in Ag Education and with USAID & NACD
  • Peters NEW NACD CEO Named
  • US Congress Back in session
  • NACD Summer Meeting in Spokane, WA JULY 11-13
  • & More

Brent Van Dyke 1st VP NACD 2015-16BIOGRAPHY: Brent Van Dyke, First Vice President, is a retired Agriculture Education teacher and FFA advisor from Hobbs, New Mexico. He has worked for the U.S. State Department/ U.S.A.I.D. for more than 15 years as a contract advisor for agriculture projects in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

Van Dyke has served as Vice President of New Mexico Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts since 2006; prior to that, he served as Chairman of Lea County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors. Van Dyke was elected as NACD Southwest Region Executive Board Representative in 2011.

A life-long resident of New Mexico, Van Dyke and his wife Kim farm irrigated alfalfa and coastal Bermuda hay in Lea County, New Mexico, and cotton in Plains, Texas. They also run a commercial and registered cattle operation in Southeastern New Mexico.

Continue reading

04-14-15 CDA News: April 28th Workshop Helps Local Food Businesses Get Started in Aurora…

CDA NEW main logo 051414BROOMFIELD, Colo.– The Colorado Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Aurora Small Business Development Center, has developed a new workshop entitled Fundamentals for Food Product Success. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 28 from 8am to 4pm at the Community College of Aurora, 16000 E. Centretech Pkwy., Aurora, Colo.
This one-day workshop is perfect for start-up businesses and individuals considering a path into the food product industry. This workshop is organized to be fast paced and packed with vital information needed to establish steps to begin a food business. The workshop will include topics such as resources available for start-up businesses, building your brand, working with retailers, and other key topics such as labeling and beginning production factors.

Continue reading

04-14-15 NJC wind tech students seeing multiple job opportunities

NJC Logo

njc wind tech training 1

Students in the wind technology program at Northeastern Junior College become very tech smart about electrical troubleshooting. The skill set they learn is making them very employable in industries other than wind energy. (Courtesy photo)

Electrical training giving students employment options

It is no secret that the Northeastern Junior College (NJC) Wind Technology program has become one of the top training programs in the country. The students that graduate are quickly gobbled up by wind companies, especially the local ones. The new technicians, once hired, are performing at extraordinary levels and quickly advancing within their respective companies. Upon graduating these students are achieving extremely competitive starting salaries ranging from $50,000-$60,000 for their first year on the job.

The wind technology students go through a two-year, low cost, very specific, hands-on training program and become some of the industry’s top technicians. The program’s success is proven each year with the majority of the students having wind technician jobs lined up before graduation. These are high paying technician jobs across the country. In the past, there have been one or two students that go into industries other than wind, utilizing the same skill set acquired in the program.

This year Jim Lenzen, one of the two wind program instructors, noticed that there was a shift in the job placement pattern. “Only two out of the class of eight pursued wind careers and both easily landed in the industry,” Lenzen said. “The remaining six students are heading into other industries as industrial electricians, oil field electricians and factory technicians. Each of these jobs utilize the same skill set as that required of a wind technician and these students will be making a similar or higher starting wage.”

What makes all of these industries unique is the fact that they do not require a college degree. However, these jobs require specific technical experience such as electrical troubleshooting, schematic reading and Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) experience. Each skill-set is taught in the NJC wind program. According toForbes Magazine and many other sources there is a growing need for skilled technicians in the industrial settings, factories, bottling companies, and the oil field to name a few. A sought after and preferred skill for these jobs is experience working with PLCs that control nearly every aspect of industrial settings. “Electrical schematic reading is another highly sought after skill,” Lenzen explains, “And, the ability to utilize schematics in correlation with the PLC is an asset that many companies cannot pass on. Because our graduating NJC wind students have received specific hands-on training in these areas, they fit the needs of these other industries well.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, April 14th…

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

“H5N2 Outbreak Continues, Reaches Chicken Farm”

The Associated Press reported this weekend that four more turkey farms in the Midwest have confirmed cases of H5N2 avian influenza – which means 24 farms have been infected and more than 1.2-million birds have been killed by the disease or authorities trying to contain the disease. The latest cases are in Kandiyohi County Minnesota, McCook and McPherson Counties in South Dakota and Jefferson County Wisconsin. The most recent outbreak in Wisconsin has impacted a commercial flock of 200,000 chickens – the first confirmed case in a commercial chicken farm in the region. The risk to public health is low and there is no danger to the food supply.


“USDA FSIS Begins Pork Pathogen Sampling”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service is implementing exploratory sampling of raw pork products for pathogens of public health concern – according to Meatingplace. USDA issued a notice Monday outlining sampling protocols for salmonella as part of this exploratory sampling project announced earlier this year. The notice includes instructions for inspectors on how to update the establishment profile to include additional product groups so that all eligible pork products will likely be subject to sampling eventually. Products not eligible for sampling are ones that will receive full lethality treatment at a federally inspected establishment – as long as the establishment’s hazard analysis and flow chart show the product is intended for such a use. Ineligible products include carcasses, primals, subprimals, edible offal, head meat, cheek meat and pork trimmings.


“Pork Checkoff Awards 2015 Pork Industry Scholarships”

The Pork Checkoff awarded 21 scholarships to college students from 15 states and 15 universities across the U.S. as part of its strategy to develop the pork industry’s human capital for the future. National Pork Board President Dale Norton says developing the next generation of leaders in the pork industry is one of the top issues that the checkoff has identified as being critical for the industry’s future. Norton says the goal is to help ensure there is a sustainable source of new leaders ready to take on the industry’s charge of producing a safe, wholesome food product in a socially responsible way. The 21 recipients are Kaylen Baker of Oklahoma; Matthew Romoser of Iowa; Morgan Cox of Indiana; Hayden Williams of Iowa; Annie Clark of Kansas; Danika Miller of Indiana; Taylor Owens of Texas; KaLynn Harlow of Virginia; Darby Dillard of Mississippi; Allison Knox of Illinois; Nicole Gross of Wisconsin; Grant Price of Ohio; Benjamin Smith of Missouri; Abigail Wehrbein of Nebraska; Morgan Pittz of Wisconsin; Garrit Sproull of Ohio; Adam Krause of South Dakota; Kaleb Sargent of North Carolina; Sarah Marketon of Minnesota; Ellen Nieuwoudt of Kansas; and Cody Milbrath of Minnesota.


“USCA Pleased With Increased Market Access to Mexico”

The United States Cattlemen’s Association applauds and congratulates USDA on its efforts to secure market access for U.S. cattle producers. USCA President Danni Beer says USDA’s announcement last week about allowing greater access of U.S. beef and pork products to Mexico and Peru marks the first time in more than a decade that U.S. beef producers will be allowed to export older cattle to Mexico. Beer says Mexico is an important market for U.S. cattle producers – and one to keep growing.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


04-13-15 USDA Small Grains Genotyping Labs Help Breeders Develop & Release Improved Cultivars Faster…

US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative Header

April 13, 2015 – Ask most people what a “genotyping lab” is and why its work is important, and you’ll be rewarded with a blank stare.  Ask a wheat or barley breeder the same question, and you’ll receive a succinct reply — and one delivered with conviction.

 The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) operates four regional small grains genotyping laboratories.  Though their work is highly technical, the core mission of these labs boils down to four focus areas: developing new molecular marker technologies; implementing effective strategies for their application in the breeding of small grains; providing breeders with access to state-of-the-art molecular technologies; and finally, helping to maximize the efficiency of small grain breeding programs by speeding up the process of new cultivar release. Continue reading

04-13-15 USDA-NASS-CO News: Colorado Crop Progress…


AGRICULTURAL SUMMARY: Soil moisture supplies were reduced following high winds and dry conditions, maintained from the previous week. Fieldwork continued while precipitation events were generally isolated within the northeastern part of the State. Calving and lambing progressed well without notable concerns. As of April 8, mountain snowpack statewide was 65 percent of average. The Southwest and San Luis Valley were 49 and 51 percent of average, respectively. Stored feed supplies were rated 2 percent very short, 6 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus. Sheep death loss was 68 percent average and 32 percent light. Cattle death loss was 1 percent heavy, 84 percent average, and 15 percent light.

To view the complete NASS-CO Crop Progress Report – CLICK HERE

To view the entire USDA NASS Crop Progress Report from APril 13th, 2015 – LOOK BELOW Continue reading

04-13-15 WSGA News: Nominations sought for the Kurt Bucholz Award…

Kurt Bucholz AwardWSGA Trust logoKurt_Bucholz_PortraitThe Stock Growers Land Trust is seeking nominations for the Kurt Bucholz Award, which honors an individual who exemplifies the core beliefs held by Dr. Bucholz during his lifetime of dedicated public service and commitment to conservation.

The award was created in memory of Kurt Bucholz, DVM, a legislator and rancher from Saratoga, Wyoming. His wife, Laura Bucholz, and the Stock Growers Land Trust Board of Directors established the award in Dr. Bucholz’s name in 2008. The award is presented each year to an individual who represents his conservation values, especially the conservation of working ranches.

“The Bucholz Award emphasizes the role of private enterprise and initiative in the conservation of Wyoming’s working landscapes,” Dr. John Lunt, former Stock Growers Land Trust board member and 2009 award recipient, said. “This sets it apart from other such recognitions.” Continue reading