02-17-17 Managing in Tough Times Part 4: Current Financial Situation Unfolding in Colorado’s Production Agriculture

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Managing in Tough Times Part 4: Current Financial Situation Unfolding in Colorado’s Production Agriculture
(NOTE: Guest article by Dr. Norm Dalsted, Professor and Extension Farm/Ranch Management Economist.  Dr. Dalsted works out of the Peaks to Plains Regional office in Pueblo and may be contacted at: (719) 545-1845.)

The current agricultural economy is facing difficult times with low commodity prices and the drought conditions facing much of the state’s agricultural lands.  For the majority of farmers and ranchers the ability to breakeven this year is not possible even with record wheat and corn yields.  At this time wheat prices are $2.70 to $3.05 depending on the region of the state while corn prices also vary but are in the $2.60 to $3.10 range.  For many producers the breakeven price is well above the current and harvest prices they have or could have received. This will create a significant shortfall in their ability to cover this past year’s costs of production and certainly jeopardize their ability to acquire operating capital for the upcoming crop year.  Some may need to offer existing equity in their operation to offset the inability to pay off their line of credit (operating monies). Continue reading

02-17-17 CSU’s Golden Plains Extension: Retirement Plans for Self-Employed and Small Business

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Retirement Plans for Self-Employed and Small Business

Saving for retirement is one of the major goals of personal and family savings efforts emphasized by America Saves Week www.americasaves.org. This has been much easier for people working for an employer that offers retirement benefits.  However; retirement planning for the entrepreneur has been primarily growing net worth through the years. Then, someday selling out and retiring on the proceeds of the sale. However, if you want to pass down some wealth to your children or grandchildren, this selling out option creates a large debt burden on your family. What other options are there?  Continue reading

02-17-17 CSU’s Golden Plains Extension: Commercial Pesticide License Credits Available

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Commercial Pesticide License Credits Available

(Burlington, CO) – Commercial Pesticide licenses are needed for pesticide applicators charging a fee for pesticide services.  Commercial applicator credits are a different category than Private applicator credits.  Applicators licensed in Commercial catagories have an opportunity to collect credits at a program being held at the Akron Extension office (181 Birch st.) on Tuesday February 28th.  The program begins at 8 am and concludes at noon.  Catagories and speakers offered will be: 103 – Agricultural Weed control – Curtis Hildebrandt, 109 – Right of Way Weed Control – Rick Roehm, 206 – Turf Pest Control – Alison O’Conner, and 207- Ornamental Pest Control – Alison O’Conner. Cost for this program is $50 for the session.

Pre-registration is required and can be accomplished by registering on-line at http://goldenplains.colostate.edu/ or by contacting the Colorado State University Extension office in Burlington at 719-346-5571. Deadline to register is February 23rd.  To ensure adequate space for everyone, pre-registration at this location is required.

 

Submitted to Barn Media by: Continue reading

02-17-17 CSU Ext News: “Walking Dust Specks”

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“Walking Dust Specks”

By Linda Langelo, Golden Plains Extension Horticulture Program Associate; 

Phone: (970) 854-3616; Email: Linda.Langelo@colostate.edu

According to CSU Entomologist, Whitney Cranshaw you may have these “walking dust specks” in your home.  How did they gain access?  First by climbing on a south-facing wall to a window or doorway with a slight crack on warm days fall or spring.  They are commonly known as clover mites.

Adult Description of Mites: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 17th

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Friday, February 17th

EU To Begin Trade Talks with China

The European Union is getting set to talk trade with China in April or May. European officials told Reuters the goal is to promote free trade and international cooperation in the face of what may be a more protectionist Washington D.C. A European trade official says the summit is meant to send a “message to the U.S. that China has friends in Europe.” The EU is hoping to get China’s vocal support for international institutions like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. President Donald Trump has criticized the U.N. in the past, while Russia completely bypassed the U.N. in securing a cease-fire in Syria. China and the European Union hold a summit every year and while a specific date hasn’t been chosen yet, Beijing requested it to take place as soon as possible. The EU believes China wants to use the summit to re-emphasize its defense of open trade and global ties that China put forth at the World Economic Forum in January.

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House Ag Committee Passes Two Measures on Pesticides

The House Ag Committee passed two measures this week that deal with pesticide regulations. H.R. Bill 953, called the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, would clarify Congressional intent regarding pesticide applications around the waters of the U.S. A 2009 Court of Appeals decision mistakenly applied provisions of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permitting process under the Clean Water Act to pesticide applications that were already fully regulated by federal law. The result was two different permitting processes, which Ag Committee Chair Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican, said was never the intent of Congress. H.R. Bill 1029, titled the Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act, reauthorizes the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act. PRIA (Pree’-ah) was intended to make the evaluation process more predictable and effective for affected pesticide decisions. It couples the collection of fees with a specific review period and it shortens the review period for reduced-risk pesticides. Committee Chair Conaway says, “For over a decade, PRIA has provided predictability and certainty to the Ag and public health communities while bringing transparency to the pesticide registration process.”

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EPA Defends RFS Implementation

A group of plaintiffs recently filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency challenging how the Renewable Fuels Standard has recently been implemented. Attorneys for the EPA filed a court brief this week saying it followed the law. A DTN report says oral arguments are scheduled for April 24 in the D.C. Court of Appeals. The 165-page brief goes through the reasons why the EPA denied a petition to change the point of obligation under the RFS, how it set the biofuel requirements for 2017-2018, and a number of other issues raised by agriculture, biofuels, and petroleum groups. The EPA rejected a petition from petroleum interests to change the point of obligation under the RFS from refiners and petroleum importers to blenders. Petroleum interests say it would spread the cost of compliance throughout the industry, but the EPA said it would take the number of companies that need to be in compliance from hundreds to thousands. The EPA has also taken heat for missing multiple statutory deadlines and for how it went about setting biofuels volumes for the next year.

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New Venture for the National Farm Machinery Show

Dennis Slater, President of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and Jason Rittenberry, CEO of the Kentucky State Fair, made a joint announcement at this week’s National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Kentucky, regarding a collaboration between the groups. Beginning with next year’s show, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers will assist with managing and co-producing the show, as well as having an equity position in the show’s future growth. Rittenberry said, “Every year, potential exhibitors are put on a waiting list for America’s largest farm show. This partnership will bring new opportunities for current and future exhibitors, as well as the people who attend the show every year.” The Show brings together manufacturers and customers. The face-to-face interaction includes a chance to talk about issues that affect the overall industry. Slater noted this partnership will eventually allow different sectors of the Ag industry to work together to advance and strengthen agriculture for the benefit of all. Show organizers expect 30,000 people to come through the doors this week at the 2017 Show in Louisville.

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11 Dollar Soybeans Possible

An Ag Web Dot Com article says gains in other commodities have convinced at least one analyst that $11 soybeans are possible, even with an average 2017 crop. John Payne of Daniels Trading says other markets like copper, cotton, and oats to a certain extent, have risen. “Corn has come up a little, as has the stock market,” Payne said. He says farmers who have the capital to do so, might want to hold off on deciding final crop mixes for 2017 “until the market shows its hand,” Payne said. “Soybeans are going to give you an opportunity at some point.” At the same time, Payne says there is a significant downside possible for prices if bean yields hit near 53 bushels per acre. Corn does remain a strong contender based on data showing that farmers historically like to plant the crop. Payne expects corn acreage to be 91-92 million acres this year. “I understand the arguments against it,” says Payne, “prices certainly don’t reflect it. Given the yield that farmers had last year, if they’re up for rotation, I highly doubt they’re going to switch out.”  

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KIND CEO Pledges $25 Million for Nutrition Group

Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of a rapidly growing granola and nut bar company called KIND LLC, says he’s giving $25 million to back a new non-profit group called Feed the Truth. It’s a group that wants to counteract what they say is the food industry’s influence on nutrition policy. The move comes as nutrition groups come to grips with a change in the White House after eight years of an administration that generally supported their goals. Lubetzky told Politico’s Morning Agriculture Report that he’ll have no influence or control over the operation. The group could find that almonds, a key ingredient in KIND bars, are not healthy, and he said (half-jokingly) that he would have to consider their findings. “The goal is for this group to represent the nutrition interests of the public.” Lubetzky founded his New York-based company in 2004 after growing frustrated with a lack of readily available healthy snack options.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-16-17 NACD: CONGRESS REINTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO CUT RED TAPE FOR CONSERVATIONISTS

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NACD: CONGRESS REINTRODUCES LEGISLATION TO CUT RED TAPE FOR CONSERVATIONISTS

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2017 – The National Association of Conservation Districts is pleased to support legislation introduced this week in both the Senate and House to exempt America’s conservationists from unnecessary and burdensome reporting requirements.

“Farm bill and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs help American producers provide our nation with clean water and healthy soils; and yet they are made to jump through hoops to use them,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “Farmers have enough to worry about taking care of their operations without having to complete arbitrary requirements that were never meant for them in the first place.” Continue reading

02-16-17 NFU Continues Excellence in Cooperative Education at College Conference on Cooperatives

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NFU Continues Excellence in Cooperative Education at College Conference on Cooperatives

MINNEAPOLIS (February 16, 2017) – Drawing on nearly 115 years of leadership in cooperative leadership and education, National Farmers Union (NFU) will host 100 students from 20 colleges and universities here this weekend for its annual College Conference on Cooperatives (CCOC). The three-day conference will provide an interactive learning experience for American agriculture’s next generation on the importance, structure and operations of various types of cooperative groups.

“Cooperatives play an important role in strengthening rural and urban economies and communities across the country. NFU’s CCOC engages tomorrow’s agricultural leaders in applying cooperative business principles and learning about opportunities available to them through the cooperative model,” said NFU President Roger Johnson.  Continue reading

02-16-17 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…

Farming Evolution 2017 in Holyoke, CO Feb 14-15 WEBCAST ARCHIVES

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CLICK HERE to watch LIVE or the archives webcasts of Farming Evolution 2017 from Holyoke, CO Feb 15-16

CLICK HERE to watch LIVE or the archives webcasts of Farming Evolution 2017 from Holyoke, CO Feb 15-16

Are you a crop or livestock producer or property owner interested in the changing landscape of no-till and grazing management? If so, pull out your 2017 calendar and mark February 15 & 16 for the Farming Evolution. The event will be at the Phillips County Fair Grounds Event Center in Holyoke, CO. Continue reading

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

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

Japan Open to Bilateral Trade Agreement with U.S.

Japan’s Prime Minister told the nation’s parliament this week he is open to a bilateral trade agreement with the United States. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (sheen-zoh ah-bay) says he is “not afraid” of a free trade agreement with the U.S. if it benefits Japan, according to online newspaper Japan Today. Abe made the comments following a visit to the United States to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump. The two leaders agreed to launch high-level economic dialogue, including possibly discussing bilateral trade framework. U.S. President Trump prefers bilateral trade deals over multilateral deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership he withdrew the U.S. from last month. However, analysts in Japan predict that compared to trade negotiations involving multiple nations, Japan may find itself facing harsher demands from the United States in bilateral talks.

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Kansas Senator Says Wheat, Sorghum Also Key Farm Bill Debate Commodities

Kansas Republican U.S. Senator Jerry Moran(more-ran) says wheat and sorghum need attention in the next farm bill, along with other key commodities including cotton and dairy. Legislators and agriculture groups have largely focused on cotton and dairy products so far during the early stages of farm bill discussions. In a recent editorial, Moran says lawmakers should “not forget the farm crisis in the High Plains.” Moran notes hard red winter wheat acres in Kansas are at the second lowest level in the past 100 years, reflecting the “economic reality currently facing wheat producers.” Meanwhile, Moran says the threat of sugarcane aphids to sorghum is making it harder to make a profit on the traditionally low-input crop, meaning sugarcane acres may fall by another 30 percent this year. Moran says that if farmers from across the nation – cotton, livestock, wheat and rice producers included – stand together during the next farm bill, he is “confident we can work together to address the critical issues facing growers of every commodity.”

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Immigration Crackdown Making Farm Labor Nervous

Recent government raids targeting undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are causing distress through the agriculture labor sector. Agriculture is heavily dependent on foreign workers and recent arrests made in at least six states over the past week has left undocumented workers afraid to travel and farmers pondering whether they can risk hiring the workers, according to report by Bloomberg News. The American Farm Bureau Federation says more than half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented, and farmers are already coping with a decreasing labor supply in the Western U.S. due to increased border security. An executive order by President Donald Trump sparked the raids and could have the potential to strip farms and meat-processing plants of labor. The immigration crackdown may also mean rising grocery costs for consumers. A recent Farm Bureau study shows enforcement-only immigration policy without reforms that benefit farm labor could increase food prices by as much as six percent.

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European Union Lawmakers Back Canada Trade Deal

The European Union Parliament backed a measure Wednesday approving the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada. The vote means large parts of the EU-Canada deal, notably tariff reduction, may finally enter into force some eight years after negotiations began, according to Reuters. Backers of the agreement say CETA will increase trade between Canada and the EU by 20 percent. The move marks a success for open market policy supporters following protests over CETA and opposition to multilateral trade deals by U.S. President Donald Trump. Under the trade agreement between Canada and the EU Canada will eliminate duties for 90.9 percent of all its agricultural tariff lines. EU member countries must approve other parts of the trade agreement, a process that may take several years.

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High Fructose Corn Syrup Use Declining in U.S.

Domestic use of high fructose corn syrup continues to fall, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A recent report by the USDA Economic Research Service says use of the sweetener has generally been in decline since 2006, despite a recent leveling off over the past few years. High fructose corn syrup is marketed in two primary compositions: HFCS-55 and HFCS-42. USDA says HFCS-55 contains 55 percent fructose and is used primarily in soft drinks, while HFCS-42, which contains 42 percent fructose, is used in a broader range of goods, including baked foods. The long-term decline in consumption has primarily been the result of a reduction of HFCS-42 use. USDA says the decline has been driven by consumer demand for healthier alternatives, rising exports, and greater availability of substitutes.

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Study Shows Fewer Grain Dust Explosions in 2016

The number of grain dust explosions in the United States fell to a 10-year low in 2016, but two of the incidents resulted in the first reported fatalities since 2013, according to a recent report by Purdue University. The report shows there were five grain dust explosions in 2016, compared to eight in 2015 and a 10-year average of 9.2 per year. Reported causes of ignition last year included sparks, possibly generated by static electricity or friction between machine parts, and overheated bearings, such as those on conveyor belts and elevators. One of the explosions occurred in a feed mill, two in grain mills and two in grain elevators. Grain dust was confirmed as the main source of fuel in three of the incidents, but could not be confirmed in two of the others. Two of the three fatalities in 2016 were from Indiana, and the third was from Georgia. Eight people were injured nationwide.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-15-17 CSFS: 800 Million Standing Dead Trees in Colorado

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2015-08-06-22-18-45CSFS: 800 Million Standing Dead Trees in Colorado

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 15th…

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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 15th…

Trump Tells Canada to Expect Only “Tweaking” of NAFTA

During his visit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (true-doh), U.S. President Donald Trump said there would only be “tweaking” needed to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump called the trading relationship between the U.S. and Canada “outstanding,” but has yet to outline what kind of tweaks he has in mind for NAFTA. During a press conference with Trudeau, Trump said he is more concerned with the U.S. trade relationship with Mexico under NAFTA. Politico speculates Trump may be considering separate bilateral deals with both Canada and Mexico, breaking away from the decades-old three-nation trade pact. Trudeau said he expects the U.S. and Canada to remain each other’s most essential trading partners. Trudeau says changes to NAFTA are “a real concern for many Canadians” because how dependent Canada’s economy is on the nation’s relationship with the United States. Canada sends roughly 75 percent of its exports to the U.S.

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Trudeau Talks Dairy Trade with House Speaker Ryan

House Speaker Paul Ryan says he asked Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (True-doh) regarding Canadian market access for U.S. dairy producers. The Wisconsin Republican met with Trudeau Monday as part of Trudeau’s visit to Washington, DC this week. Speaker Ryan said the two had a “productive discussion” which included the “importance of breaking down trade barriers and improving market access for America’s dairy farmers,” among other topics. Trudeau met with President Donald Trump focusing on trade and security, but did not touch on the dairy issue, according to the Hagstrom Report. Dairy groups and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture had asked Trump to raise the issue with Trudeau. The U.S. dairy groups say Canada’s dairy pricing structure is “expressly intended to slash milk imports from the United States.”

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Rising Demand for Organic and Non-GMO Grains Outpaces U.S. Production

Rising demand for organic and non-GMO foods led to a sharp rise in organic grain imports last year. A new report by CoBank says U.S. production of non-GMO crops has risen, but domestic production for organic corn and soybeans remains well short of current U.S. demand. Food manufacturers are currently exploring new incentives for U.S. growers to transition to organic production, but the transition takes years, a roadblock one CoBank researcher says is “likely holding some U.S. growers back from taking advantage of the market opportunity.” CoBank says demand for both non-GMO and organic crops will continue to grow and, ultimately, monetary incentives will determine whether U.S. growers choose to close the supply deficit. Imports of organic grains from countries such as India, Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey surged in 2016 to meet U.S. demand for organic food products. Organic corn imports more than doubled from 2015 to 2016, and the domestic shortfall for organic soybeans was even greater, with roughly 80 percent of soybeans supplying the U.S. organic market imported in 2016.

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House Agriculture Committee Holding Farm Bill Hearing Wednesday

A hearing by the House Agriculture Committee today (Wednesday) focuses on setting the stage for the next farm bill. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway says farmers and ranchers are enduring challenging times. The Texas Republican referred to a recent Department of Agriculture report that shows net farm income fell 45 percent from 2013 to 2016, the largest three-year percentage drop since the Great Depression. The hearing, Rural Economic Outlook: Setting the Stage for the Next Farm Bill, features a panel of economists discussing the challenges farmers and ranchers are facing and providing context for the needs of rural America in the next farm bill. The House Agriculture Committee will also hold a hearing Thursday to consider the Pesticide Registration Enhancement Act and the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act. The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a farm bill field hearing next week in Manhattan, Kansas.

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Roberts Joins Bipartisan Bill to Relieve Farmers of Redundant Regulation

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts announced his support Tuesday for a bill that would eliminate redundant federal permitting requirements for pesticide applications. The Sensible Environmental Protection Act amends the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act to clarify Congressional intent regarding pesticide use in or near navigable waters. The bill was introduced by Idaho Republican Senator Mike Crapo (Cray-poh) and Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill. Roberts, a Kansas Republican, says this is the fifth consecutive session of Congress he has joined an effort to stop the redundant permitting process, and that he is hopeful “this is the last time.” Roberts says: “Farmers and ranchers work too hard to be forced to comply with regulations that are redundant and provide absolutely zero environmental protection or benefits.”

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Seneca Valley Virus Disease Reports Increasing

The Seneca Valley virus disease is on a slow upswing in the United States, and a University of Missouri Extension veterinarian says pork producers need to be prepared if the disease strikes their operation.  Veterinarian Corinne Bromfield (BROM-field) says the Swine Health Information Center reported that diagnostics labs had seen more than 60 cases of the virus from January to June 2016. They reported only 20 cases in the previous 30 years. The virus is in the same family as foot-and-mouth disease and causes vesicular lesions in pigs. Bromfield says producers who suspect the virus in their operation should contact their veterinarian and state agriculture department immediately, as visual diagnosis is not possible. Further, if suspected, producers should quarantine animals and halt movement of anyone who has been near the hogs.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-14-17 CFB Member Wins National Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet

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CFB Member Wins National Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet

cfb-member-ryan-oreilly-of-csuCentennial, Colo. –  Feb. 14, 2017 Colorado Farm Bureau is proud to announce that the winner of the American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet is CFB member Ryan O’Reilly. O’Reilly, a senior at Colorado State University, is studying environmental and natural resource economics. The final discussion centered on ensuring that farmers and ranchers, not government agencies, drive the management of natural resources.

“Ryan put 110 percent into this competition and did an amazing job representing Colorado State University and Colorado Farm Bureau,” said Lori Kester, Associate Director of Leadership Development for Colorado Farm Bureau. “This is the first time a CFB member has won the national competition, and we could not be happier.” Continue reading

02-14-17 COLORADO COMPANIES EARN BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE AWARDS, PUT COLORADO IN LIMELIGHT


Colorado_Beef_Council_LogoCOLORADO COMPANIES EARN BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE AWARDS, PUT COLORADO IN LIMELIGHT

BQA logoFort Collins, Colo., Feb. 9, 2017 – Two Colorado companies earned recognition for their outstanding efforts in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) on Feb. 3 in Nashville, Tenn. at the 2017 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and NCBA Trade Show. Magnum Feedyard Co., LLC, owned by Steve Gabel of Wiggins, Colo., was honored as the recipient of the 2017 National BQA Feedyard award, while IMI Global, owned by John and Leann Saunders of Castle Rock, Colo., was presented the 2017 National BQA Marketer award. Continue reading

02-14-17 CDA News: Bovine Trichomoniasis Update…

CDA State Veterinarian Dr Keith Roehr

CDA: Bovine Trichomoniasis Update

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has seen a steady decrease in Bovine Trichomoniasis cases in the last three years.  Bovine Trichomoniasis, commonly referred to as “trich,” is an infectious sexually transmitted disease in cattle, resulting in abortions and infertility.
“Ranchers who co-mingle their herds have a state requirement to test their bulls for trichomoniasis because there is a higher risk of transferring the disease. Testing and monitoring herds for ‘trich’ is the best method of controlling this infection. Cattle owners should talk to their veterinarian to determine the best management practices for their herd,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.
Positive Trich Locations
Number of Colorado Counties
2016
3
3 (Costilla, Otero & Routt Counties)
2015
9
6
2014
19
9
2013
7
6
2012
12
8
2011
13
8
2010
9
9
2009
16
9

02-14-17 U.S. Grains Council, Panama Canal Authority Sign MOU Before Canal Tour

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U.S. Grains Council, Panama Canal Authority Sign MOU Before Canal Tour

Panama City, Panama – More than 350 attendees had a firsthand look at the new Panama Canal expansion on Monday to kick off events at the U.S. Grains Council 14th International Marketing Conference & 57th Annual Membership Meeting in Panama City, Panama.

The tour of the Agua Clara locks in Colon, Panama, was a unique opportunity to see trade in action, and an important reminder of the dynamic global trade environment for those who last visited the Canal shortly after construction on the new locks began.

“When USGC last met in Panama, the canal expansion was only a construction site,” said Chip Councell, USGC chairman and a grain farmer in Maryland. “Visiting the new locks reflects the long-term commitment of the Council and its members to enabling more and expanded trade opportunities for American agriculture.” Continue reading

02-14-17 NMPF: New FARM Program Environmental Stewardship Module Helps Measure Improvements in Dairy Sustainability

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NMPF: New FARM Program Environmental Stewardship Module Helps Measure Improvements in Dairy Sustainability

 

nmpf-new-logo-021417ARLINGTON, VA – In its continued effort to share the compelling story of continuous improvement on America’s dairy farms, the National Dairy Farmers Assuring Responsible Management (FARM) Program has opened participation in its third component, FARM Environmental Stewardship (ES).

The Environmental Stewardship module joins the FARM Program’s two other pillars, FARM Animal Care and FARM Antibiotic Stewardship. The voluntary FARM Environmental Stewardship program helps dairy producers augment their environmental management efforts by identifying ways to improve their on-farm sustainability.

“America’s dairy farmers have long been active stewards of the environment,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “Farmers should be proud that, today, producing a gallon of milk uses 65 percent less water, requires 90 percent less land and has a 63 percent smaller carbon footprint than it did 70 years ago. The FARM Environmental Stewardship program captures more detailed data on these great advances, while at the same time presenting farmers with useful information that can help them improve their farms efficiency and use fewer natural resources, all while saving money.” Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, February 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

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, February 14th…

Trump Assigns Japan Trade Talks to Pence

President Donald Trump has assigned Vice President Mike Pence to lead economic dialogue with Japan following meetings with Japan’s Prime Minister. Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Sheen-zoh-ah bay) made no decision regarding bilateral trade negotiations while meeting over the weekend in Florida. Vice President Pence will lead any trade talks with Japan, while Japan appointed its Deputy Prime Minister to lead talks with Pence. The talks will address fiscal and monetary policies, along with infrastructure and trade, according to Reuters. A top economist at Nikko (knee-coh) Securities in Tokyo said Pence “may be easier to work with” and “probably more logical” than Trump regarding trade policy negotiations. Trump has publicly opposed Japan, on both the campaign trail and in office, for its trade and economic policies.

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China, New Zealand to Hold Free Trade Talks

China and New Zealand will hold a series of meetings to promote free trade amid growing concerns over U.S. trade protectionism. The Strait Times, a Singapore-based newspaper, reports officials from both China and New Zealand have confirmed the meetings will take place. China’s Foreign Minister last week met with New Zealand officials. The two reportedly discussed the upgrade of the nations’ bilateral free trade agreement, China’s possible involvement in what remains of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and New Zealand’s role in China’s One Belt, One Road economic strategy. China and New Zealand officials both agreed the consideration of China joining the TPP needs to be discussed further now that the United States withdrew from the trade agreement. New Zealand and Australia have said that they hope to salvage the TPP by encouraging China and other Asian countries to join the trade pact.

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Senate Ag Committee Facing 18 Confirmation Hearings

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hold 18 confirmation hearings in the coming months for positions in the Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies. While yet to be scheduled, a confirmation hearing for Agriculture Secretary Nominee Sonny Perdue will be one of 14 for USDA positions, alone. The committee must also confirm replacements for three vacancies at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and one for the Farm Credit Administration board. Senate aides told The Hagstrom Report that considering nominees for confirmation is a primary responsibility of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and will take priority over work on the next farm bill. The committee must confirm the USDA Secretary, Deputy Secretary and a group of Assistant Secretary and Undersecretary positions. Sources close to the transition efforts expect Sonny Perdue’s confirmation to come in early March.

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Groups Urge New U.S. Attorney General to Block Major Ag Mergers

More than 300 groups signed a letter calling on newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to block the three major seed and chemical mergers being reviewed by the Department of Justice. The groups consisting of consumer, food, farm and anti-pesticide organizations say the mergers would increase both food and farming costs, threaten global food security, curtail innovation and limit farmer choices, according to DTN. The mergers involved include Dow Chemical and DuPont, Bayer AG and Monsanto and ChemChina and Syngenta. Regarding the mergers, the letter states: “Conglomerates of such massive scale…pose a real risk to our economy.” The letter argues the mergers would translate into fewer options for farmers and raise input prices. DTN points out that many groups signing the letter have been longtime opponents of biotechnology and pesticides.

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Cotton Acres Forecasted to Increase 10 Percent

The Annual Planting Intentions survey by the National Cotton Council estimates U.S. cotton acres will expand near 10 percent in 2017, compared to 2016. The survey projects 11.0 million acres of cotton will be planted in the U.S. this year. An analyst with the National Cotton Council says the increase in acreage is “largely the result of weaker prices of competing crops and improved expectations for water.” Meanwhile, world cotton mill use is expected to exceed world production in 2017, and global cotton stocks are projected to decline by 7.7 million bales. The majority of the global stocks decline is due to China’s reduced inventories. While China’s increased consumption of reserve stocks has bolstered mill use in 2016, it also has curbed China’s demand for imported cotton, leaving global market price implications unclear.

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Farm Bureau Program Donates More than 28 Million Pounds of Food in 2016

American Farm Bureau Federation members raised more than $1.1 million and donated a record of more than 28.9 million pounds of food to assist hungry Americans in 2016. The donations were part of Farm Bureau’s Harvest for All program. Combined, the monetary and food donations also reached a record level of the equivalent of more than 31 million meals. In addition to raising food and funds for the initiative, farmers and ranchers tallied more than 9,000 volunteer hours assisting local hunger groups in 2016. Now in its 15th year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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02-13-17 NASS-CO: COLORADO WINTER WHEAT VARIETIES 2017 CROP

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COLORADO WINTER WHEAT VARIETIES 2017 CROP

This report provides the results of the Winter Wheat Seedings by Variety Survey, 2017 Crop, conducted by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office. The survey was funded by the Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee. Continue reading

02-13-17 Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture deadline for early registration extended to February 15th

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Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture deadline for early registration extended to February 15th

Those wanting to attend the Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture at a reduced rate are still in luck, as you have a little more time left to save on registration costs. Rather than registration increasing from $150 to $200 after Feb. 10, event organizers are pushing the early-registration deadline back to Wednesday, Feb. 15. 
There’s no ultimate registration deadline for this year’s Governor’s Forum on Colorado Agriculture, but those who register soon can save. 
The 2017 Forum, titled “Label It: Agriculture,” will focus on how collaboration and cooperation have made agriculture in Colorado the state’s second-largest driver of our economy, and how similar efforts will be critical moving forward. 
Presenters and panelists at this year’s Forum — taking place on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel — will include: 

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