Tag Archives: agriculture

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) – member of U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies – today applauded the Senate Appropriations Committee’s approval of the FY2020 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. Included in this legislation is language from Sen. Moran that fully-funds the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan and provides the necessary resources for the USDA’s planned relocation of the Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to Kansas City.

“From farmers and ranchers to researchers and veterinarians, this appropriations bill includes a number of measures to support agriculture across our state during an extremely tough time for the ag community,” said Sen. Moran. “I’m proud to have many Kansas priorities included in this legislation on issues relating to NBAF, USDA’s relocation of agencies to Kansas City, rural broadband and veterans in agriculture. I appreciate the Senate coming together in a bipartisan fashion to show our care, appreciation and support for our nation’s producers and all those who support this noble work.”

This appropriations bill supports NBAF, the USDA’s relocation of ERS and NIFA, 2018 Farm Bill implementation, rural broadband deployment, agricultural research, conservation programs and food and drug safety. It also creates incentives for military veterans to enter careers in agriculture.

Included in this legislation are several Sen. Moran-supported provisions:

NBAF – Champions the completion of and fully-funds the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan and supports the workforce needs of this state-of-the-art facility with the inclusion of $3 million for workforce development, training and education.

Relocation of ERS & NIFA – Provides the necessary resources for USDA’s planned relocation of the ERS and NIFA to the Kansas City region, a move that was announced in June.

Agricultural Research – Increases investments in key agricultural research priorities important to Kansas farmers and ranchers, including research focused on wheat, sorghum and alfalfa.

Farmer Mental Health – Includes funds for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network to provide grants to extension services and nonprofit organizations that offer mental health and stress assistance programs to farmers, ranchers and others involved in agriculture.

 

Rural Broadband – Continues investments in broadband to support deployment of this critical digital infrastructure across rural and underserved areas. Includes measures to ensure the coordination between the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in their work to expand broadband and prevent overbuilding. This bill also requires USDA to review the administration of its new pilot ReConnect broadband loan and grant program to ensure these significant federal investments are maximized and put to use in rural communities that need it most.

International Food Assistance – Maintains the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, erected by former U.S. Senators Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and George McGovern (D-S.D.). This legislation also prioritizes Food for Peace initiatives which support the delivery of American-grown food to foreign countries experiencing chronic hunger crises.

Veterans in Agriculture – Includes $5 million for a grant program established by Sen. Moran to help veterans transition into farming, ranching and other careers in agriculture.

 

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has funds available for the national Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP). Through this program, farms, ranches and businesses that produce, process or package certified organic agricultural products may be reimbursed for eligible expenses.

The purpose of the OCCSP is to defray the costs of receiving and maintaining organic certification under the National Organic Program. The program allows state agencies to provide reimbursement to certified organic operators for up to 75% of the operation’s total allowable certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope. Scopes include the areas of crops, livestock, wild crops and handling (i.e., processing).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency administers two organic certification cost share programs, and awards the OCCSP funds to eligible state agencies that serve as administering entities who work directly with organic operations to reimburse organic certification costs. The current period of qualification for organic operations seeking reimbursements is from Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019, and applications will be accepted through December 15, 2019, or until all funds are expended, whichever comes first.

KDA is committed to serving all Kansas farmers, including lending support to those who wish to market and sell their products as certified organic. For more information, go to the KDA website at agriculture.ks.gov/organic or contact KDA economist Peter Oppelt at peter.oppelt@ks.gov or 785-564-6726.

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia–The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released 2017 Census of Agriculture data tabulated by zip code. The zip code tabulations are available through Quick Stats, NASS’ online data query tool.

 

“Used by producers, community leaders, researchers, and many others in support of agriculture, the zip code tabulation provides yet another entry point to the vast amount of Census data,” said Agricultural Statistics Board Chair Joseph Parsons.

 

Data summaries are also available at the national, state, county, congressional district, watershed, and American Indian reservation level at www.nass.usda.gov/AgCensus. Still to be released are the Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Profiles on October 1.

 

Other products to expect this summer and fall include state-specific Census blogs showcased on www.usda.gov and additional Census Highlights publications found on the NASS website. Notifications of when these products are available are announced @USDA__NASS on Twitter. In addition to these products, special tabulations of data may be requested on the NASS website, if needed.

 

Already preparing for the 2022 Census of Agriculture, NASS is asking for content change suggestions and for new producers who did not receive a 2017 Census of Agriculture form last year to sign up to be counted in future censuses and surveys. Both forms can be found at www.nass.usda.gov.

The White House has notified Congress it will sign a trade agreement with Japan. President Donald Trump notified lawmakers he will enter an agreement on tariffs and digital trade with Japan, as the two sides wrap up the talks still this month.

Trump told lawmakers he is “pleased to report that my administration has reached an initial trade agreement.” The agreement is expected to be signed along the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month. The agreement does not need approval from Congress and can go into effect immediately.

The agreement will mostly lower tariffs on U.S. ag products, to levels granted to other exporters to Japan in the Comprehensive and Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. The lower tariffs allow U.S. farmers to better compete in the Japanese market. Top U.S. agricultural exports to Japan currently include beef, corn, pork, soybeans and wheat, totally $13 billion last year.

WASHINGTON -On Wednesday, U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall will help kick off Taiwan’s 2019 Agriculture Trade Goodwill Mission across the U.S., an 11-state journey across the country to meet with state government officials, farmers, exporters, and related industries to explore business opportunities and cooperation. The tour will include a stop in Kansas to meet with representative of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

“Taiwan is one of the top purchasers of U.S. and Kansas agriculture products annually,” Rep. Marshall said. “I am always excited for the opportunity to show off Kansas agriculture and am eager to welcome representatives of Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture to Washington and help them kick off their travels across the United States.”

Each year, Taiwan buys more than more $4 billion in U.S. agriculture goods, making it one of the top consumers of U.S. products when broken down by per-capita consumption. The U.S. agriculture industry’s relationship with Taiwan is a long and productive one and represents a growing market for Kansas and U.S. products. Wednesday’s ceremony will signify the continuation of this important trade relationship.

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Soybean Commission (KSC) is requesting research and education proposals for its fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1, 2020. Proposals are due Oct. 15, and an individual may be listed as the principal investigator or educator on only one. The commissioners will review ideas for breeding, production and environmental programs; animal- and human-nutrition or food-safety studies; commercially significant, value-added projects that will use large quantities of soybeans; and domestic or international marketing and transportation programs.

More information about KSC’s priorities, complete instructions and application forms are available at https://KansasSoybeans.org/forms on the web or by calling the Kansas Soybean office at 877-KS-SOYBEAN (877-577-6923). Proposers who gain preliminary approval from the commissioners will make formal presentations Dec. 5-7 in Topeka or via teleconferencing.

The three-day funding meeting will begin at 8 a.m. each day. The commissioners also will discuss current projects, market-development activities, educational programs and administrative items. To obtain a complete agenda or to suggest additional topics for deliberation, contact KSC Administrator Kenlon Johannes at johannes@kansassoybeans.org or at the office.

The National FFA Organization announced this week a record-high student membership of 700,170, up from nearly 670,000 in 2018. National FFA Organization CEO Mark Poeschl  says the membership growth “reflects continued enthusiasm for agriculture as well as agricultural education.”

The top six student membership states are Texas, California, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio and Missouri. Interest in FFA and agricultural education continues to grow as membership continues to increase.

This year, the organization has more than 100,000 Latino members, 45 percent of the membership is female with 52 percent of the membership being male. Females hold more than 50 percent of the leadership positions. FFA chapters can be found in 24 of the 25 largest U.S. cities.

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to student members who belong to one of the more than 8,600 local FFA chapters. The organization is also supported by more than eight million alumni and supporters.

The Organic Trade Association this week announced the development of three online training courses to bolster its Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program. The training courses are designed for organic businesses, accredited certifiers and organic inspectors, with one of the courses a pre-requisite for businesses pre-enrolled in the program.

The Organic Fraud Prevention Solutions program was launched by the Organic Trade Association earlier this year, and almost four dozen organic businesses have joined. The new anti-fraud courses will analyze where opportunities for crime in the organic supply chain most commonly occur, and offers education on the Organic Fraud Prevention Plan and how to put it into real on-the-job practice.

A spokesperson for the Organic Trade Association says the effort “will strengthen our ability to protect against fraud and maintain the integrity of organic.” The three online courses will be available in late 2019 and early 2020. Enrollment and program information is available on the association’s website, OTA.com.

MILWAUKEE – August 2019 saw increases in U.S. sales of self-propelled combines and 4-wheel-drive tractors as well as total U.S. 2-wheel-drive tractor sales compared to August of last year, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

U.S. 4-wheel-drive tractor sales increased 19.3 percent in August compared to last year and U.S. August self-propelled combine sales increased 11.5 percent.

Total U.S. sales of 2-wheel-drive tractors in August increased 1.9 percent compared to August last year: under 40 HP 2-wheel-drive tractors increased 2.1 percent, while sales of 40-100 HP tractors decreased 1.4 percent, and sales of 100-plus HP tractors increased 13.6 percent.

For Canada, August 4-wheel-drive tractor sales were flat and self-propelled combine sales decreased 45.4 percent. August 2-wheel-drive tractor Canadian sales were mixed (9.1 percent increase for under 40 HP, 4.2 percent decrease for 40-100 HP, and .5 percent decrease for 100-plus HP).

“Although the numbers are flat to positive for the year, we and the industry remain cautious about the overall Ag economy,” said Curt Blades, senior vice president of Ag Services at the Association of Equipment manufacturers.

The full reports can be found in the Market Data section of the AEM website under Ag Tractor and Combine Reports.

U.S.: https://www.aem.org/market-data/statistics/us-ag-tractor-and-combine-reports/

Canada: https://www.aem.org/market-data/statistics/canadian-ag-tractor-combine-reports/

LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Steve Wellman issued statements following news that radical anti-agriculture groups had called for a moratorium on livestock production in Nebraska.

“Let’s be clear: The out-of-state environmental lobbying groups rallying opposition against our family farmers in Nebraska are anti-agriculture,” said Governor Ricketts.  “Left unchecked, they would destroy our way of life.  This attempt to stop livestock development in Nebraska is a part of the ‘meat is murder’ movement led by radical groups who want to end livestock production around the globe.  I urge Nebraskans in our local communities to rise up and protect family farms and stand with our livestock producers across our state.”

“Agriculture is the backbone of Nebraska’s economy, and it is extremely disheartening to learn that there are groups of citizens in our own state that are working to essentially eliminate the livestock industry,” said NDA Director Wellman.  “As the director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, I strongly support all aspects of Nebraska agriculture and the farmers and ranchers that work tirelessly contributing to Nebraska’s economic well-being through livestock production.  CAFO’s are well thought out and planned operations across Nebraska with plans that work to address environmental impacts, nutrient management and animal health to efficiently deliver a high quality, safe food supply.”