READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, September 18th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, September 18th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Oil Refinery Help Could Come From USDA

The Trump Administration is considering the possibility of at least $300 million in cash aid for U.S. oil refiners, who’ve been denied exemptions under the Renewable Fuels Standard. Two sources told Reuters that while the administration hasn’t yet ruled on 2019 waiver requests, officials have estimated the amount of money it would provide in aid based on the number of facilities that applied for the exemptions but might now be ineligible because of a recent court ruling. The Environmental Protection Agency, which has the final say on RFS waivers, didn’t immediately comment on the announcement. Several sources say that financial relief could come from funds within the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation but didn’t know exactly when the aid would be distributed. A spokesman for the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers’ Association says the industry doesn’t support the idea of aid. “If the administration truly wants to make things right with refiners, they need to prioritize making the RFS less expensive so it’s not a threat to good manufacturing jobs,” the spokesman adds. The administration had recently quadrupled exemptions for refiners, angering biofuel producers and farmers who say the waivers dent demand for their products.

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NCBA Pleased with Attempts to Modernize Endangered Species Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council are pleased with the introduction of legislation attempting to modernize the Endangered Species Act. It’s the first attempt to update the act in almost 30 years. Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, Chair of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, introduced the legislation. He says the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2020 will improve the existing law by strengthening state and local partnerships, as well as incentivize voluntary conservation efforts undertaken by ranchers and other landowners. It will also defend the ESA’s delisting process for animals that have successfully recovered and no longer need protection. Through these changes and with targeted increases for specific areas of the ESA, the bill will improve species conservation and address key failures in the Act. “The legislation is about improving an outdated law so that it meets current needs,” says NCBA President Marty Smith. “It’s about helping every American cattle producer that has lost a calf to a federally-protected bear or wolf, and for landowners who face stringent regulation that doesn’t meet the habitat needs on the ground.”

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Iowa Senators Want Investigation into Post-Derecho Price Gouging

Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley and fellow Iowa Senator Joni Ernst are asking the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate price gouging in the state. The Hagstrom Report says the senators accuse some companies of overcharging for the equipment and materials Iowans for them to make repairs after the derecho storm system. Grassley and Ernst co-authored letters to both agencies that say, “We have heard concerns about possible price gouging of necessary goods and services, as well as scams targeting victims of the derecho.” They say Iowans, especially farmers, have told them they face prohibitive costs in acquiring the materials and equipment they need to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. “The costs for farmers to remove, repair, or replace grain bins alone will total hundreds of millions of dollars,” the letter says. “We will not let scammers and price gougers use this tragedy to raise prices to sky-high levels and thwart Iowa’s population from repairing and rebuilding their homes, businesses, and communities.” Grassley and Ernst tell both agencies that it’s imperative that they investigate allegations of wrongdoing, fraud, and price gouging related to the Iowa derecho, and aggressively pursue the individuals who engage in these illegal activities.

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NCBA Lists Available Disaster Relief Help for Cattle Producers

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association put together a list of federal programs that are available to help cattle producers across the country who are being impacted by wildfires and hurricanes. The association also put together a list of ways those who aren’t affected by the challenges can help those producers directly hit by natural disasters. “The wildfire and hurricanes that have plagued the country these last few weeks are significant disasters that are hurting cattle producers in multiple ways,” says NCBA CEO Colin Woodall. “From flooded operations, burning rangeland, smoke inhalation, and many more challenges, this is a trying time for producers. Everyone needs to take a close look at the resources available to help give relief to producers, their families, and their animals.” Woodall adds that their biggest concern is for the well-being of everyone in the path of these disasters. “Know your evacuation routes and exercise extreme caution when dealing with these deadly forces of nature.” Ranchers and farmers are urged to utilize the Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (WHIP) if it applies to them. NCBA has set up a web page that aggregates all disaster relief information in one place, which also includes donation information for those who wish to help.

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Roberts Says Farm Bill Future Depends on CCC

Senate Ag Committee Chair Pat Roberts took part in a discussion on the Senate floor this week about the replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation. The Kansas Republican points out that failure to do so would not only hurt already-struggling farmers, ranchers, and growers, it would jeopardize the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill programs. Senators from North and South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Mississippi took part in the discussion. “The 2018 Farm Bill provides essential programs to producers that allow them to mitigate some of the risks that are outside of their control,” Roberts says. “Many of the programs are implemented through the authority and the annual funding Congress provided to the CCC.” Roberts stresses to his colleagues that now is not the time for political gamesmanship. “If Congress doesn’t replenish the CCC, it could significantly harm or even halt these important programs,” Roberts adds. “Farmers, ranchers, and others in farm country are counting on us to do our job.” The senator added that even during COVID-19, U.S. farmers and ranchers continue to hold up their end of the bargain by producing crops for the world’s safest and most affordable food supply.

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Vegan Food Company Sues Oklahoma Over Product Label Law

Oklahoma has a new law governing labeling for some vegan products. A vegan company doesn’t like that and has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of western Oklahoma. The suit was filed by Upton’s Naturals Company, an Illinois-based business that sells plant-based foods, and the Plant-Based Foods Association, a group with 170 members. The Tulsa World says the suit seeks a preliminary injunction preventing House Bill 3806 from taking effect, a permanent injunction, as well as attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses. The suit specifically alleges that Oklahoma lawmakers passed the measure to protect the state’s meat-industry groups from the competition brought by plant-based food makers. The law was supported by the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association. It does permit companies to use words like meat, beef, and bacon on their labels. However, they also need to include a disclaimer that the products were derived from plant-based sources “in type that’s the same size and prominence to the name of the product.” Plaintiffs say prohibiting the use of meat-based terms without the disclaimer creates confusion among consumers, and that the law would “fail any level of First Amendment scrutiny.”

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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09-17-20 CDA: Fruit Growers in Three Colorado Counties Granted Pest-free Status by Arizona

CDA: Fruit Growers in Three Colorado Counties Granted Pest-free Status by Arizona

Broomfield, Colo. – The Colorado Western Slope counties of Montrose, Delta and Mesa have been given Pest-free status by the Arizona Department of Agriculture, allowing fruit growers to ship commercially grown deciduous fruit to the state without a cold-storage quarantine requirement that has been in place for a number of years.

A five-year cooperative pest trapping program between the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) Phytosanitary program, Cooperative Agriculture Pest Survey, CSU Mesa County Extension, and Black Bear Orchard and Taylor Farms provided new research and data that proved the counties are free of Apple Maggot and Plum Curculio pests.

“Thanks to the expertise, tenacity and collaboration of many committed partners, a new market has been opened to Western Slope fruit growers that had been closed for many years,” said Cheryl Smith, CDA Export Certification Specialist.

Continue reading

09-17-20 USDA Announces Contracts for Round 3 of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program

USDA Announces Contracts for Round 3 of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program 

(Washington, D.C., September 17, 2020) – Following President Donald Trump’s approval to include up to an additional $1 billion in the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved up to $1 billion in contracts to support American producers and communities in need through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. Earlier this week, USDA reached a milestone of having distributed more than 90 million food boxes in support of American farmers and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These contract awards will go to vendors who submitted the strongest proposals in support of American agriculture and the American people. The high level of interest and quality of proposals are a testament that the program is accomplishing what we intended – supporting U.S. farmers and distributors and getting food to those who need it most. It’s a real trifecta, which is why we call it a win-win-win,” said Secretary Perdue. “Thanks to President Trump and his commitment to the program with the announcement of an additional $1 billion in funding, more farmers will be supported, and more families will receive the nutritious food they need during these difficult times.”

“With over 90 million Farmers to Families food boxes delivered, we continue to leverage and support our great American farmers and food distributors to feed those most vulnerable. Thanks to the President’s commitment of $1 billion in additional funding, I’m proud to see that we are well on our way to the third round of USDA Farmers to Families food box program purchases which focus on boxes containing fresh and nutritious fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy,” said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump.

These contract awards are a result of the third round of Farmers to Families Food Box program announced on July 24, 2020, and President Trump’s announcement on August 24 that up to an additional $1 billion was being made available for deliveries through October 31, 2020. A full list of approved suppliers will be posted on the Farmers to Families Food Box Program webpage after 5 p.m. ET, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020.

09-17-20 Weld County Clerk & Recorder: November General Election What you need to know!

Weld County Clerk & Recorder: November General Election – What you need to know!

Active registered Colorado voters are automatically sent ballots in the mail. With the
ongoing pandemic, voting at home is the safest way to vote in the November 3 General
Election (Vote Centers available for those that need or want to vote in-person). Take
action now to ensure you receive a mail ballot: register to vote or check/update your
ballot mailing address at www.GoVoteColorado.gov.

Ballots for the Nov 3 General Election are mailed beginning October 9. Here are some
important things to keep in mind:

  • Ballot Information will be available beginning mid-September. Do your research early and be ready to vote.
  • Sign up at https://weldvotes.ballottrax.net/voter/ for BallotTrax to be notified when your ballot is mailed to you and when it has been received and accepted for counting.
  • October 26 is the last day to register and still be mailed a ballot. It is also the last day to request a replacement mail ballot be sent to you. After this date, you can still register andnvote or request a replacement ballot, but it must be done in-person at a Vote Center or through our Ballot-to-Go service. There is no registration deadline.
  • October 26 is also the last recommended day to return your ballot by mail. Otherwise, simply use a ballot drop box to return your ballot.
  • All mail ballots are due by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.

For more election information, ballot content, mail ballot security, and more visit
www.weldvotes.com, call 970-304-6525, or email elections@weldgov.com. You can
also follow our Clerk and Recorder Carly Koppes on Facebook or Twitter for election
news and updates! Continue reading

09-17-20 USDA Invests $50 million in Innovative, Partner-Driven Conservation Projects

USDA Invests $50 million in Innovative, Partner-Driven Conservation Projects

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2020 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced a $50 million investment in 10 conservation projects across 16 states through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA). Through these projects, partners will contribute more than $65 million to amplify the conservation work that can be performed on agricultural land and privately owned forests across the nation.

“Through these projects, partners are able to take the lead and leverage the flexibilities that make RCPP so effective,” said Acting NRCS Chief Kevin Norton. “Partners are delivering conservation in new and innovative ways, and by working together, we can harness our collective resources to produce greater results for conservation and agriculture.”

Partners are given the liberty to manage an RCPP project and the associated relationships with participating producers and landowners. They identify those producers and landowners, contract with them, and carry out the technical assistance. In addition, through the AFA provision, NRCS has the authority to pursue innovative conservation approaches, such as pay-for-performance, that are not possible under RCPP Classic.

Projects include: Continue reading

09-17-20 Colorado Farm Bureau: Are You Registered to Vote? Want More Info on Candidates in Your Area? Look no Further…

Colorado Farm Bureau: Are You Registered to Vote? Want More Info on Candidates in Your Area? Look no Further…

The November election is coming quickly. COVID-19 highlighted the importance of a strong supply chain and the necessity of agriculture to our state and our country’s infrastructure. Your vote counts and it matters. If you’ve recently moved, changed parties or want to check your voting status, we’ve got resources for you!

iFarmiVote is a one stop shop to ensure you’re voting information is updates and you have all of the information about local candidates so you can make the best voting decision.

Click here to update your voting information and find more information about your local candidates and where they stand on the issues.

09-17-20 Colorado Farm Bureau Opposes Bill Aimed at Eliminating Chemical use on Crops

Colorado Farm Bureau Opposes Bill Aimed at Eliminating Chemical use on Crops

CFB has joined industry groups in opposing Congressman Neguse’s legislation H.R.7940 – Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act. CFB has long supported the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as a means for the EPA and federal government to provide oversight of chemical applications.

FIFRA has been amended by Congress on several occasions to strengthen the regulatory standard for safety – most recently by the Food Quality Protection Act where specific protections for infants and children were added. It is the position of CFB that the changes included in this bill are less about the ability to manage for proper chemical application and instead aimed at eliminating the use of chemicals in farming practices.

09-17-20 Colorado Farm Bureau: Coloradans Will Vote on 11 Ballot Measures in November

Colorado Farm Bureau: Coloradans Will Vote on 11 Ballot Measures in November

COVID-19 drastically changed our lives in 2020, and its impact on the November election is no different. While not nearly as many ballot measures made it to the finish line as originally thought, Coloradans will still be voting on eleven this year. Here are a few issues that CFB is engaging in:

  • National Popular Vote – OPPOSE
  • Reintroduction of Gray Wolves – OPPOSE
  • Gallagher Amendment Repeal – SUPPORT
  • State Income Tax Rate Reduction – SUPPORT
  • Voter Approval Requirement for Creation of Fee-Based Enterprises – SUPPORT
  • Paid Family and Medical Leave – OPPOSE

Stay tuned for more information and updates about CFB’s position on these measures in the coming weeks. For more detailed information on each initiative, click here to access the Secretary of State’s website.

USDA – FAS Weekly Export Sales Report for September 17th

USDA FAS - Foreign Agricultural Service header

Weekly Export Sales for September 17th

09-17-20 CSU Agronomy Agents Corner #7 – “Farm Safety” by Todd Ballard, Agronomy and Weed Management Agent, Golden Plains Area Extension

CSU Agronomy Agents Corner #6 – “Farm Safety” by Todd Ballard, Agronomy and Weed Management Agent, Golden Plains Area Extension

SEDGWICK COUNTY, CO – September 17, 2020 – Safety is always a major concern on farms. In high school, my power mechanics teacher asked the class one day “what is the most dangerous profession in the U.S?” His answer was farming. I don’t know if he had data to back up his statement, but the intent of the question was to point out how many hats farmers wear. The reasoning was farmers are distracted from focusing on safety from having many other career tasks. Farmers are heavy equipment operators, hazardous material handlers, biologists, mechanics, and business people. Continue reading

09-17-20 CSU Agronomy Agents Corner #6 – “Development of Integrated Crops” by Todd Ballard, Agronomy and Weed Management Agent, Golden Plains Area Extension

CSU Agronomy Agents Corner #6 – “Development of Integrated Crops” by Todd Ballard, Agronomy and Weed Management Agent, Golden Plains Area Extension

SEDGWICK COUNTY, CO – September 17, 2020 – Alternative crops bring both benefits and challenges that are not present in the major crops of our region. Growing an uncommon crop means pest pressure will likely be lower. It also means finding a market can be unreliable. Several alternative crops have potential in our region. They also come with a higher risk of crop failure. Being a cutting-edge producer can bring pride and joy. But, producing crops that are not common in the region means having to search harder for answers to challenges. Continue reading

09-17-20 Family Farm Alliance: Reclamation projects Colorado River drought operations for the next 5 years

Family Farm Alliance: Reclamation projects Colorado River drought operations for the next 5 years

Modeling results for the Colorado River Basin operations released today by the Bureau of Reclamation indicate continued drought and an increased chance of potential water shortages by 2025. The Colorado River Basin is in its 21st year of an extended drought. As reservoir levels decline, Lake Powell and Lake Mead operations are potentially impacted. The Colorado River Simulation System modeling results, released at least three times per year, provide water managers with information needed to plan accordingly for the future.

“Reclamation’s technical experts provide leading-edge scientific modeling which helps Colorado River water managers make their operational decisions,” said Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman. “That science helps us protect the water resources in the Basin, ensuring sustainable, reliable water and hydropower for the 40 million people who depend on this river.”

Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 17th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 17th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

USDA Streamlining Whole Farm Revenue Protection

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced changes to streamline the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection program. The modifications, USDA says, will decrease paperwork and recordkeeping burdens for direct marketers beginning with the 2021 crop year. Risk Management Agency  Administrator Martin Barbre says, “These changes will allow more direct marketers who previously could not meet reporting requirements a way to participate in the Whole-Farm program.” RMA held several stakeholder meetings with agents, growers and grower groups to solicit feedback on ways to increase the effectiveness of the program, as required by the 2018 farm bill. Stakeholders recommended RMA decrease the requirements for reporting yield and revenues for each commodity, which is especially difficult for direct marketers who may sell several commodities through a roadside stand. The newly implemented modifications allow growers to report two or more direct-marketed commodities as a combined single commodity code with a combined expected revenue for all commodities. Additionally, the combined direct-marketed commodities will count as two commodities in calculating the diversification premium discount.

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House Expected to Pass Peterson Led SRE Provisions

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce this week released legislation containing provisions to provide transparency into the Environmental Protection Agency’s granting of small refinery exemptions. The provisions stem from legislation by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, a Minnesota Democrat. The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act would set an annual deadline for refiners to request exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard and require EPA to publicly release the name of refiners requesting a waiver, the number of gallons requested to be waived and the number of gallons of biofuel that will not be blended as a result of the waiver. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the National Farmers Union this week that she expects the House to pass the legislation, possibly next week. The National Corn Growers Association says providing more transparency to EPA’s waiver process will give farmers, biofuel producers and the public a clearer understanding of EPA’s justification for approving these harmful waivers.

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AFBF Supports Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act

The American Farm Bureau Federation wants Congress to give federal land management agencies additional tools and resources to prevent and recover from catastrophic wildfires. AFBF and 13 state Farm Bureaus sent a letter Wednesday to Senate leadership supporting the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act of 2020. AFBF says the bipartisan legislation will expedite forest management, accelerate post-fire restoration and reforestation, and remove dead and dangerous wood from national forests. AFBF says the importance of the legislation is demonstrated by the six million acres of forest land currently burning in the western United States. Since the beginning of 2020, in California alone, wildfires have burned more than three million acres and destroyed 4,200 structures. The letter states, “Backlogs in adequate management coupled with drier, hotter conditions, have resulted in unhealthy, overly dense forests.” While the legislation will help mitigate future fires, Farm Bureau says it will not address the immediate needs of farmers and ranchers suffering devastating losses from fires burning right now.

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China, EU Sign Agreement Protecting Geographic Indicators

The European Union and China this week signed a bilateral agreement to protect Geographical Indications. The agreement protects 100 EU geographical indicators, along with 100 Chinese indicators. The agreement, first concluded in November 2019, should bring reciprocal trade benefits as well as introducing consumers to guaranteed, quality products on both sides, according to the EU. An EU agriculture official says, “European Geographical Indications products are renowned for their quality and diversity,” adding, “it is important to protect them.” Following the signature of the agreement and the European Parliament’s consent, it will officially be adopted. The agreement is expected to enter into force at the beginning of 2021. Within four years after its entry into force, the scope of the agreement will expand to cover additional 175 Geographic Indicator names from both sides. EU-China cooperation on the matter started in 2006 and resulted in the protection of ten Geographical Indication names on both sides in 2012.

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Farm Futures Releases 2021 Planting Intentions Survey

An August 2020 survey conducted by Farm Futures found farmers across the country are eager to plant more soybeans in 2021. Survey respondents reported a slight decline in corn acreage in favor of soybeans for next year’s crop as a recent uptick in soybean demand sparked a rally. Farm Futures respondents indicated planting 0.3 percent fewer corn acres in 2021/22 after demand destruction eroded 440 million bushels from the 2019/20 demand pipeline. While 2020/21 corn planting progress was largely underway when the pandemic caused corn demand to evaporate, farmers now have over six months of pandemic experience under their belts. The recent run-up in soybean prices has made U.S. soy acreage a hot prospect in the commodity markets. Farm Futures respondents projected planting nearly 4.1 million more acres of soybeans in 2021 compared to 2020, totaling 87.9 million acres. If realized, 2021 soybean acreage will be the third-highest planted soy acreage on record.

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2021 World Ag Expo Cancelled

Organizers of the 2021 World Ag Expo announced the cancelation of the event earlier this week. Jerry Sinift, International Agri-Center CEO, says, “it has become evident that given health and safety restrictions from the State of California, holding a live, international event is not responsible in February.” Organizers say the decision follows months of research and evaluation of future trends and known constraints. The decision was finalized earlier than the initial November deadline to provide exhibitors, attendees and local businesses time to adjust their farm show plans. The cancellation of World Ag Expo comes as another negative effect of COVID-19 for the International Agri-Center, exhibitors, non-profit food vendors, attendees, area hotels, restaurants, and other associated businesses. The International Agri-Center is home to World Ag Expo in Tulare (Too-larry), California. An estimated annual average of 100,000 individuals from 65 countries attend World Ag Expo each year. The 2022 World Ag Expo is scheduled for February 8-10 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, California.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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09-16-20 USDA Assists Farmers, Ranchers, and Communities Affected by Western Wildfires

USDA Assists Farmers, Ranchers, and Communities Affected by Western Wildfires

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2020 –  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of assistance for residents and agricultural producers affected by recent wildfires.
As of today, wildfires have burned nearly 6.9 million acres across 11 states. More than 31,000 personnel from the local, state and federal levels are working to contain 61 large fires. The USDA Forest Service has more than 7,800 personnel committed to firefighting efforts along with airtankers, helicopters, and other air and ground firefighting resources.
Food waivers and flexibilities

Continue reading

09-16-20 More than 45 Colorado Business and Industry Leaders Announce New Coalition Calling for Immediate Federal Immigration Solutions

More than 45 Colorado Business and Industry Leaders Announce New Coalition Calling for Immediate Federal Immigration Solutions

Research from New American Economy finds that immigrants contribute $1.5 billion in Colorado state and local taxes, and play a sizeable role in key industries from STEM to construction

Denver, CO— Today, a diverse coalition of business and industry leaders from across the state formally launched the Colorado Business Coalition for Immigration Solutions (CBCIS). The coalition, whose mission is to advance the principles of the Colorado Compact within the state and in Washington DC, was announced with an open letter to the Colorado congressional delegation articulating that modernizing the country’s immigration system must be a priority for elected officials, and that solutions are achievable now.

“As our state, and the nation, continue to grapple with the economic ramifications of the response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, what binds CBCIS firmly together is our tangible understanding of the role that our immigrant and refugee communities have played on the frontlines of this pandemic —as healthcare workers, educators, small business owners, and as critical workers in our food supply pipeline — and will continue to play as our economy recovers. Now, more than ever, the economic imperative of addressing this country’s broken immigration system is clear. Our businesses navigate this flawed system daily, and directly feel the impact of a system that lacks the capacity to reliably provide individuals a pathway into our workforce; an immediate challenge as we begin the long and hard work of recovery,” the letter stated.

The coalition represents more than 45 diverse organizations across Colorado’s industries and regions, including the Colorado Association of Home Builders, the Colorado Dairy Farmers, the Colorado Technology Association, the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, and Club 20, among others.

Read about the Coalition and see its full list of members here. Continue reading

09-16-20 USDA Announces Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Program Improvements

USDA Announces Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Program Improvements

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced modifications to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) program to decrease paperwork and recordkeeping burdens for direct marketers beginning with the 2021 crop year.

“These changes will allow more direct marketers who previously could not meet reporting requirements a way to participate in the Whole-Farm program and provide better and more affordable coverage to these diversified growers,” RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said.

Continue reading

09-16-20 Inside The BARN with USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce…

Inside The BARN with USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce

CRP Emergency Haying and Grazing, Wildfire Disaster Assistance, Sep 30th Deadline to Update Safety-Net Program Crop Yields, FSA’s new Toll Free Helpline & Much More

The BARN – BRIGGSDALE, CO – September 16, 2020 – United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce joined the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to discuss numerous programs including:

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For more info about the USDA’s Farm Service Agency visit https://www.fsa.usda.gov/

For more info regarding any of the USDA Programs mentioned visit https://www.farmers.gov/

09-16-20 CCA: Rally for Rural Colorado – Don’t Miss Out – LAST STOP: GREELEY, CO TODAY!

CCA: Rally for Rural Colorado – Don’t Miss Out – LAST STOP: GREELEY, CO TODAY!

Are you tired of Zoom or virtual meetings? This is your chance to reconnect and re-engage with your friends and neighbors during CCA’s Rally for Rural Colorado tour. At these events, attendees will have the opportunity to hear more about issues we are facing and how we can overcome these challenges together. Additionally, CCA will be unveiling the We Are All Colorado Proclamation and Pledge. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 16th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 16th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

WTO Rules Against U.S. Sanctions on China

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was unhappy with a World Trade Organization report that says U.S. actions to combat China’s widespread theft of American technology were inconsistent with WTO rules. Lighthizer says the WTO panel report confirms what the Trump Administration has been saying all along. “The WTO is completely inadequate to stop China’s harmful technology practices,” Lighthizer says. “Although the panel did not dispute the extensive evidence submitted by the U.S. regarding intellectual property theft by China, its decision shows that the WTO provides no remedy for such misconduct.” He says the U.S. must be allowed to defend itself against unfair trade practices, and the administration won’t let China use the WTO to take advantage of American workers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers. The Ambassador adds that it’s important to note that the WTO report doesn’t have an effect on the Phase One Agreement between the U.S. and China, which includes enforceable commitments by China to prevent the theft of American technology. The report covers the $34 billion tariffs announced in June 2018, and the $200 billion trade action announced in September 2018.

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Asian Countries Ban German Pork; the U.S. to Benefit

Japan, South Korea, and China have suspended imports of pork and live pigs from Germany, which reported its first case of African Swine Fever in a wild boar. The Pig Site Dot Com says the import bans will be a major economic hit to German producers and will also push pork prices to new highs around the world. That price increase will also hurt China, where meat supplies continue to tighten. China is the world’s largest meat buyer and Germany is its third-largest supplier. The supply interruption comes as China is grappling with its unprecedented pork shortage after its ASF outbreak. The Asian bans on German pork are expected to benefit other major exporters like the U.S., Spain, and Brazil. Joe Schuele (SHEE-lee), a spokesman for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, says the U.S. is “well-positioned” to ship more pork to China. Spain’s International Director of Trade says the country’s white pig sector is fully prepared to continue its growth trend in sales of safe and quality pork products to the Chinese market. Unlike other European countries, Spain hasn’t had to shut down any of its pork processing plants recently due to coronavirus outbreaks.

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CBB Approves 2021 Checkoff Plan

The Cattlemen’s Beef Board will invest approximately $39,380,000 into programs designed for beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing, and producer communications during the Fiscal Year 2021. At the end of its September meeting, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee approved checkoff funding for a total of 13 “Authorization Requests,” also known as grant proposals, brought by nine contractors. Those nine contractors brought a total of more than $47,700,000 worth of funding requests to the BPOC, almost $8 million more than what’s available in the budget. “Producers drive all the decisions that the BPOC makes during these meetings,” says CBB and BPOC Chair Jared Brackett. “Cattlemen and women from across the country and importers carefully consider every proposal to determine where we should send these checkoff dollars.” With every decision they make, Brackett says the members’ main goal is to increase beef demand. The committee consists of ten producers from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 10 producers from the Federation of State Beef Councils.

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Pork Industry Makes Gains in Sustainability

A new study released by the National Pork Board shows that despite the challenges of 2020, America’s pig farmers continue to make strides in overall sustainability. The report looked at sow, nursery, finish, and wean-to-finish data over three years. The results reconfirmed long-term trends of increasing efficiency, which has the additional benefit of reducing production costs, especially good news after the economic challenges of 2020 have taken a toll. “One of the greatest benefits of this Pork Checkoff-funded study is the benchmarking ability it offers producers who always want to improve their efficiencies,” says Chris Hostetler, Animal Science Director for the National Pork Board. “It’s also a great way to show today’s consumers that America’s pig farms are getting more efficient all the time and that pork is a sustainable choice when it comes to choosing a protein.” Hostetler also says the goal of the study’s production analysis is to aid the pork industry in improving profitability, which has to be a part of the sustainability equation. “We hope producers will dig into the specific parts of the study and use it to help improve their own farm businesses,” he adds. “It’s all about getting a little better every day.”

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USDA Encouraging Ag Producers to Prepare for Hurricane Sally

The USDA wants to remind communities, farmers, ranchers, families, and small businesses in the path of Hurricane Sally that they have programs standing by to help in the aftermath. USDA staff in regional, state, and county offices are ready to help deal with any destruction in the wake of the hurricane. The USDA partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other disaster-relief organizations to create the Disaster Resource Center. The website and web tool now provide an easy access point to find USDA disaster relief information and assistance. USDA also developed a disaster assistance discovery tool specifically targeted to rural and agricultural issues. The tool walks producers through five questions that generate personalized results identifying which USDA disaster assistance programs can help them recover from a natural disaster. Livestock owners and contract growers who experience above normal livestock deaths due to specific weather events, as well as disease or animal attacks, may qualify for help under the USDA’s Livestock Indemnity Program. In the event of land damage, farmers and ranchers needing to help rehabilitate their farmland can apply for help through the Emergency Conservation Program.

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USB CEO to Discuss Challenges, Positives to Women in Agribusiness Summit

United Soybean Board CEO Polly Ruhland (ROO-land) will be one of several future-focused keynote speakers during the Women in Agribusiness Summit taking place virtually this week on September 16-18. She says there is no “sugarcoating” the first three quarters of 2020. “These past few months have been exhausting, confusing, heartbreaking, and frightening,” Ruhland says. “At the same time, when I look to the future of U.S. soy, the broader agriculture industry, and the society it supports, I find substantial reasons for optimism.” At the center of many upcoming opportunities for agriculture are the women in agribusiness playing key roles in shaping the future of the industry. “Women play an increasingly important role leading the growth and development of U.S. agriculture, and we should continue to be front and center in our efforts to strengthen farmers’ bonds with the general population,” Ruhland adds. “I’m incredibly proud to speak with the many women who will attend the WIA Summit who have stepped up to lead our industry to cultivate inclusivity and innovation.”

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Requirement to Remove Livestock Prior to First Freeze Date for CRP Emergency Haying and Grazing has been Waived

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Colorado announced that producers no longer have to remove livestock 30 days prior to the first freeze date on acres approved for emergency haying or grazing. This requirement has been waived for the 2020 program year in response to the critical need due to extreme drought.  Producers approved to hay or graze their CRP acres may continue to do so according to their approved conservation plan with no requirement to implement a 30-day rest period on the cover.    

Conditions in Colorado have been progressively dry with deteriorating rangeland and wildfires plaguing millions of acres. As a result, producers have been faced with difficult decisions about how to manage their livestock in these tumultuous times. The requirement for producers to remove livestock for 30 days would impose an extreme hardship.  Emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres has been a tool used by farmers and ranchers to provide relief. As drought conditions persist, emergency haying and grazing on CRP acres provides an option to graze and feed their livestock to avoid marketing their herd prematurely. 

All other policies regarding emergency haying and grazing remain in place. It is important for producers approved for emergency haying and grazing to understand the requirements and to follow their conservation plan to ensure long-term damage to the cover is avoided and minimum stubble height to ensure plant thermal cover is adequate.

Questions regarding this waiver and any other issues pertaining to CRP emergency haying and grazing, should be directed to your local FSA office. 

Questions? Please contact your local FSA Office.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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09-15-20 BREAKING AG NEWS: Requirement to Remove Livestock Prior to First Freeze Date for CRP Emergency Haying and Grazing has been Waived

BREAKING AG NEWS: Requirement to Remove Livestock Prior to First Freeze Date for CRP Emergency Haying and Grazing has been Waived

WASHINGTON, September 15, 2020 — The Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Colorado announced that producers no longer have to remove livestock 30 days prior to the first freeze date on acres approved for emergency haying or grazing. This requirement has been waived for the 2020 program year in response to the critical need due to extreme drought.  Producers approved to hay or graze their CRP acres may continue to do so according to their approved conservation plan with no requirement to implement a 30-day rest period on the cover.

Conditions in Colorado have been progressively dry with deteriorating rangeland and wildfires plaguing millions of acres. As a result, producers have been faced with difficult decisions about how to manage their livestock in these tumultuous times. The requirement for producers to remove livestock for 30 days would impose an extreme hardship.  Emergency haying and grazing of CRP acres has been a tool used by farmers and ranchers to provide relief. As drought conditions persist, emergency haying and grazing on CRP acres provides an option to graze and feed their livestock to avoid marketing their herd prematurely.

All other policies regarding emergency haying and grazing remain in place. It is important for producers approved for emergency haying and grazing to understand the requirements and to follow their conservation plan to ensure long-term damage to the cover is avoided and minimum stubble height to ensure plant thermal cover is adequate.

Questions regarding this waiver and any other issues pertaining to CRP emergency haying and grazing, should be directed to your local FSA office.


Questions?
Please contact your local FSA Office.