2008 Colorado Farm Show Exhibitors and Booth Numbers | TheFencePost.com

2008 Colorado Farm Show Exhibitors and Booth Numbers

Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 163 1031 Exchange Specialists E 65 A Dbl R Well Services E 115 A-M Valve Co, LLC. E 123-124 ABC Seamless E 55-56 ABI Irrigation E 25-29 Abilene Machine Inc. FEA E Ackerman Distributing 4-H 230 Ag Journal EC 580-582 Agland, Incorporated FEA 344-345 Agri King E 144 Agri-Enterprises E 121-122 Agri-Inject EC 613-614 AgSolutions, LLC FEA 366 AgXplore International EC 587 All Truck Sales EC 571 Allison Transmissions E 9 American Nat’l Insurance Co. EC 530 American Pride Co-op EC 594 Anderson Alfalfa Co E 138 Archer Petroleum E 70 Area Diesel Service, Inc. E 37-38 Arkansas Valley Seed 4-H B A Terrific Mechanic, Inc. FEA A & C B & G Equipment, Inc. EC 513 Bank of Colorado 4-H 216 Banner Health-North Colorado Medical Center 4-H 214-215 B-A-R Distribution Co. Inc. FEA G2 Beaver Valley Supply FEA 319-320 Bekaert Corporation E 109 Betaseed, Inc. E 77-79 Big R of Greeley EC 467-468 Bill’s Volume Sales West FEA 367-368 Blu-Jet by Thurston Mfg. Co. FEA 331-333 Bobcat of the Rockies 354-356 Bobcat of the Rockies EC 547-549, Brothers Equipment, Inc. 573-575 Brothers Equipment, Inc. 4-H 206 Buckboard Bean, Inc. E 105-107 Buckeye Welding Supply FEA G 1 Burrows Enterprises & Fisher Pumps, Inc FEA 337-339 Bush Hog FEA 322 Bushel 300, Inc. E 97 Cache Valley Select Sires FEA 327-330 Carson Trailer 357-360 Carson Trailer EC 568-569 Centennial Ag Supply FEA 376-377 Central City Scale, Inc. EC 596 Central Colo. Water Conservancy EC 566-567 Central, Inc. Booth No. Exhibitor Name EC 495-497, 521-523 Champion Dodge FEA 371-372 Clarks Ag Supply E 76 Cleanfix Reversible Fans OS Cochran Farm Supply 4-H 221 Collins Communications 4-H 232 Colorado 4-H Foundation E 42 Colorado Bean Company EC 532 Colorado Beef Council E 5 Colo. Conservation Tillage Assoc. EC 620 Colorado Corn E 66-67 Colorado Dairy Service, LLC 4-H 208 Colorado Department of Ag E 101 Colo. Division of Water Resources 4-H 218-220, 225-227 Colorado Division of Wildlife EC 562-563 Colorado East Bank & Trust EC 589-591 Colorado Equipment E 14-16 Colorado Equipment E 88-89 Colorado Farm Bureau E 1 Colorado FFA Foundation E 2 Colorado Foundation For Ag E 64 Colorado Hay & Forage Assoc. FEA 303 CHFA E 127 Colorado Land Investments E 90 Colorado Seed Growers Assoc. E 94 Colorado Soy, LLC E 8 Colo. Wheat Admin Committee E 133 Colorado Young Farmers EC 621 Cox Oil Co. 4H 222 Crop Quest, Inc. EC 583 Crossroads Insurance Agency E 135-136 Crow Valley Panels E 33 Crows Hybrid Corn Co. E 71 Custom Marketing Co., Inc. E 142 D & D Commodities Ltd E 10-12 Dairy Specialists E 63 Dairyland Laboratories E 72-74 Dixon ZTR Mowers E 128 Diversity D, Inc. 4-H C-D Double “O” Farms E 22 DTN E 160-162 Eastern Colo. Seeds/BarenbrugUSA 4-H 224 Ecoquest Independent Dlr. EC 593 Edward Jones Investments EC 2 Ehrlich Toyota E 57 Empire Irrigation, Inc. E 154 Energy Panel Structures EC 510 Evans Excavating 4-H 231 Fairbanks Equipment FEA 343 Farm Credit Leasing FEA 323 Farm Plus Financial EC 592 Farm Works Software Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 13 Farmco/High Plains Livestock EC 553 Fastline Publications E 137 Feldt Sales EC 616 Fence Post E 6 First FarmBank FEA 340 Flat Iron Steel EC 550-551,576-577 Flat River Agri, Inc EC 615 Flood & Peterson Insurance EC 558-559 Fontanelle Hybrids E 103-104 Frontier Glove Co. EC E G&M Implement, Inc. EC 607 Garnsey & Wheeler Ford E 145-150 Garnsey & Wheeler Ford EC 557 Garst Seed Co. E 155-158 General Air FEA 334 Genesis Soil Rite Calcium/ Midstates Consulting E 68 Genex Cooperative FEA 361-363 GFC EC 552 Giant Rubber Water Tanks FEA 301-302 Golden Harvest/JC Robinson Seed Company 4-H 210-211 Grand Valley Hybrids E 115 Great Plains Meters FEA B1 Great Plains Mfg., Inc. OS Great West Trailer & Truck Sales E 111 Greeley Independence Stampede EC 608 Guaranty Bank and Trust FEA 309-310 H2O Power Equipment Inc E 53 Hagie Mfg. Company FEA L 1 Harsh International, Inc. EC 595, E 17 High Plains Journal E 143 Hill Petroleum EC 512 Hilleshog/Syngenta Seed EC 556 Hitchcock, Inc. E 117 Hotsy Equip of No. Colo. 4-H 234 Hydropedes E 151-153 Hydroscreen EC 579 Interstate Energy Inc. 4-H 223 J&T Country Feeds FEA B2 JJ Equipment/Brillion/Rhino EC D John Deere E 130 Johnstown Clothing& Embroidery 4-H A Kaput Products-Ridarodent FEA 335-336, 351-352 KD Loaders FEA B1 KP Sales and Marketing Inc EC 619 Kreps Wiedeman E 164 KSIR Radio EC 555 Kugler Company EC 3 Kuhn-Knight Mfg. EC 525-526 Larson Metal Inc. EC 528-529 Lawson Products Inc EC 586 Lefever Building Systems 4-H 203 Legacy Land Trust E 125-126 Lewton Ag Services/Nitro Sprayers E 93 LG Seeds Booth No. Exhibitor Name FEA 311 Loveland Distribution FEA L2 Luther Equipment FEA D MacDon, Inc. E 86-87 Magnum Manufacturing/ Woodys Pivot Service FEA 369-370 Maize Corp/Kearney Equip EC 508 Maxey Companies, Inc. EC 564 Mel Brown Farm Supply EC 578 Metrogro EC 599-602 MHC Kenworth E 32 Mid West Truck Parts EC 537 Midwest Seed Genetics 4-H 233 Miracle Ear FEA 373 Moly Mfg, Inc./Silencer EC 534-536 Monosem E 112-113 Monsanto FEA 315-316 Moreta Company, Inc. E 84 Morgan CC-Agri & Bus Mgmt. FEA 307-308 Mortec Industries, Inc. EC 527 Morton Buildings, Inc. EC 539 Mountain Plains Farm Credit EC 531 NAPA Parts E 95 Nat’l. Farmers Union Insurance E 75 Nations Pipe & Steel E 54 Navigator E 59 NC+ Hybrids E 92 Neb. College of Technical Ag E 129 Netafim USA EC 617-618 New Frontier Bank EC 511 NK Brand Seed of Syngenta E 102 No-Bull Enterprises E 7 Northeastern Jr. College FEA 317 Northern Colo. Driveline Service EC 506-507 No. Colo. Water Conservancy EC 478-480, 492-494 Orthman Mfg. EC 517-518, 543-544 Outback Guidance 4-H 201 Paradise Landscaping FEA 326 Paul’s Custom Grinding Svc. E 30-31 Pawnee Buttes Seed, Inc. 4-H 205 P-Diamond Irrigation Sales, Svc. E 91 Petersen Mfg Co. Inc EC 498 PGS Hybrids, Inc. FEA 306 Pickett Equipment E 118-120 Pioneer, A Dupont Co. E 21 Pivots Plus 4-H 223 Pletcher Enterprises E 99-100 Poudre Valley Co-Op Seed Div. FEA 324-225 Poudre Valley Co-Op/ Hutchison Western FEA 336 Poudre Valley REA EC 561 Poulsen Ace Hardware FEA G3 Power Equipment Co. 4-H Prairie Dog Man E 52 Producer’s Choice Seed/PGI FEA 318 Pure Ag Products Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 43-45 Quality Well & Pump EC 588 Rabo AgriFinance EC 502-503 Ranch-Way Feeds 4-H 207 Red Wing Shoes E 39 Regent Broadcasting K99 (KUAD-FM) E 18-19 Reinke Manufacturing EC 524 Reliance Industrial Products E 49 Reliv, International EC 603-605 Renewable Fiber FEA B2 Rhino-Brillion EC 471-473, 485-487 RHS/Bestway E 98 Ritchey Mfg E 41 Robinson Hay Company EC 584-585 Rky. Mtn. Cleaning Systems EC 538 Rky. Mtn. Water Environ Assoc. FEA 313 Rodenator EC 572 Rodman & Company, Inc. EC 554 Roggen Farmers Elevator Assn. EC C Ron’s Equipment Co. Inc. 4-H 212 Rural Community Ins. Svcs. EC 514-516, 540-542 Schaben Industries 4-H 209 Schaeffer Oil & Grease Co. EC 469-471, 483-484 Schlagel Mfg. E 96 Schmidt’s Bakery & Deli E 46 Schroeder’s Tire E 159 SFR HiTech Lubricants E 80-81 Sharp Bros. Seed EC 499-501 Shield Ag Equipment FEA 312 Shur-Co E 47 Silveus Insurance Group E 34-36 Simplot Soilbuilders 4-H 204 Soil Savers E 62 Soybest EC 607, E 145-150 Spradley-Barr OS Stampede Steel FEA 314 Starco Mfg EC 570 Stewart & Stevenson FEA 375 Stinger Ltd. EC 509 Stockton Roofing E 131 Strategic Financial Mgmt. EC 519-520, 545-546 Sutherland Lumber Co. EC 505 Synthetic Resources, Inc. FEA 346-350 T&B Welding & Trailers, LLC EC 597 Tarps Unlimited EC 481-482 Tidenberg Welding & Repair EC 565 Tire Pro FEA 304-305 Tool & Anchor Supply E 134 Toro Micro-Irrigation EC 504 TractorHouse EC 1 Transwest Trailers Booth No. Exhibitor Name FEA 378-380 Triple C, Inc. Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 69 Triumph Seed FEA 364-365 Tru Blu, LLC E 82-83 Twin Peaks Powersports EC 598 U.S.D.A. Colo. Ag Statistics E 85 USDA Farm Service Agency E 50-51 USDA National Appeals Div. E 114 UNI Design E 139-141 Valley Irrigation of Greeley EC 560 Vander Wal Dairy S & S E 3-4 Viaero Wireless EC B Wagner Ag/Wagner Rents E 23-24 Walco Animal Health E 110 Warren Analytical Laboratory FEA 342 Water Colorado, LLC E 60-61 WDPA/ Northern Colo. Dairyettes FEA G4 & G5 Weiss Master Mfg. 4-H 217 Weld County Drug Task Force E 48 Weld County Fair EC 606 Weld County Garage 4-H 202 Weld County Public Works Dept/Weed & Pest 4-H 228 Weld County Sheriff’s Office E 108 West Greeley Conservation District E 132 West Plains Grain EC 609-610 Western Irrigation EC 611-612 Western Material Handling E 20 Whatwire Broadband EC A Wickham Tractor Co./Krone E 40 Wild West Motorsport E 58 Wilson Trailer Sales 4-H 229 Wingfoot Commercial Tire systems EC 533 WW Auctions & Real Estate EC 474-477, 488-491 Wylie Sprayers FEA 374 Xpect Solutions, Inc. Legend e exhibition building fea farm equipment area 4-H 4-h building ec event center os outside

2008 Colorado Farm Show Exhibitors and Booth Numbers

Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 163 1031 Exchange Specialists E 65 A Dbl R Well Services E 115 A-M Valve Co, LLC. E 123-124 ABC Seamless E 55-56 ABI Irrigation E 25-29 Abilene Machine Inc. FEA E Ackerman Distributing 4-H 230 Ag Journal EC 580-582 Agland, Incorporated FEA 344-345 Agri King E 144 Agri-Enterprises E 121-122 Agri-Inject EC 613-614 AgSolutions, LLC FEA 366 AgXplore International EC 587 All Truck Sales EC 571 Allison Transmissions E 9 American Nat’l Insurance Co. EC 530 American Pride Co-op EC 594 Anderson Alfalfa Co E 138 Archer Petroleum E 70 Area Diesel Service, Inc. E 37-38 Arkansas Valley Seed 4-H B A Terrific Mechanic, Inc. FEA A & C B & G Equipment, Inc. EC 513 Bank of Colorado 4-H 216 Banner Health-North Colorado Medical Center 4-H 214-215 B-A-R Distribution Co. Inc. FEA G2 Beaver Valley Supply FEA 319-320 Bekaert Corporation E 109 Betaseed, Inc. E 77-79 Big R of Greeley EC 467-468 Bill’s Volume Sales West FEA 367-368 Blu-Jet by Thurston Mfg. Co. FEA 331-333 Bobcat of the Rockies 354-356 Bobcat of the Rockies EC 547-549, Brothers Equipment, Inc. 573-575 Brothers Equipment, Inc. 4-H 206 Buckboard Bean, Inc. E 105-107 Buckeye Welding Supply FEA G 1 Burrows Enterprises & Fisher Pumps, Inc FEA 337-339 Bush Hog FEA 322 Bushel 300, Inc. E 97 Cache Valley Select Sires FEA 327-330 Carson Trailer 357-360 Carson Trailer EC 568-569 Centennial Ag Supply FEA 376-377 Central City Scale, Inc. EC 596 Central Colo. Water Conservancy EC 566-567 Central, Inc. Booth No. Exhibitor Name EC 495-497, 521-523 Champion Dodge FEA 371-372 Clarks Ag Supply E 76 Cleanfix Reversible Fans OS Cochran Farm Supply 4-H 221 Collins Communications 4-H 232 Colorado 4-H Foundation E 42 Colorado Bean Company EC 532 Colorado Beef Council E 5 Colo. Conservation Tillage Assoc. EC 620 Colorado Corn E 66-67 Colorado Dairy Service, LLC 4-H 208 Colorado Department of Ag E 101 Colo. Division of Water Resources 4-H 218-220, 225-227 Colorado Division of Wildlife EC 562-563 Colorado East Bank & Trust EC 589-591 Colorado Equipment E 14-16 Colorado Equipment E 88-89 Colorado Farm Bureau E 1 Colorado FFA Foundation E 2 Colorado Foundation For Ag E 64 Colorado Hay & Forage Assoc. FEA 303 CHFA E 127 Colorado Land Investments E 90 Colorado Seed Growers Assoc. E 94 Colorado Soy, LLC E 8 Colo. Wheat Admin Committee E 133 Colorado Young Farmers EC 621 Cox Oil Co. 4H 222 Crop Quest, Inc. EC 583 Crossroads Insurance Agency E 135-136 Crow Valley Panels E 33 Crows Hybrid Corn Co. E 71 Custom Marketing Co., Inc. E 142 D & D Commodities Ltd E 10-12 Dairy Specialists E 63 Dairyland Laboratories E 72-74 Dixon ZTR Mowers E 128 Diversity D, Inc. 4-H C-D Double “O” Farms E 22 DTN E 160-162 Eastern Colo. Seeds/BarenbrugUSA 4-H 224 Ecoquest Independent Dlr. EC 593 Edward Jones Investments EC 2 Ehrlich Toyota E 57 Empire Irrigation, Inc. E 154 Energy Panel Structures EC 510 Evans Excavating 4-H 231 Fairbanks Equipment FEA 343 Farm Credit Leasing FEA 323 Farm Plus Financial EC 592 Farm Works Software Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 13 Farmco/High Plains Livestock EC 553 Fastline Publications E 137 Feldt Sales EC 616 Fence Post E 6 First FarmBank FEA 340 Flat Iron Steel EC 550-551,576-577 Flat River Agri, Inc EC 615 Flood & Peterson Insurance EC 558-559 Fontanelle Hybrids E 103-104 Frontier Glove Co. EC E G&M Implement, Inc. EC 607 Garnsey & Wheeler Ford E 145-150 Garnsey & Wheeler Ford EC 557 Garst Seed Co. E 155-158 General Air FEA 334 Genesis Soil Rite Calcium/ Midstates Consulting E 68 Genex Cooperative FEA 361-363 GFC EC 552 Giant Rubber Water Tanks FEA 301-302 Golden Harvest/JC Robinson Seed Company 4-H 210-211 Grand Valley Hybrids E 115 Great Plains Meters FEA B1 Great Plains Mfg., Inc. OS Great West Trailer & Truck Sales E 111 Greeley Independence Stampede EC 608 Guaranty Bank and Trust FEA 309-310 H2O Power Equipment Inc E 53 Hagie Mfg. Company FEA L 1 Harsh International, Inc. EC 595, E 17 High Plains Journal E 143 Hill Petroleum EC 512 Hilleshog/Syngenta Seed EC 556 Hitchcock, Inc. E 117 Hotsy Equip of No. Colo. 4-H 234 Hydropedes E 151-153 Hydroscreen EC 579 Interstate Energy Inc. 4-H 223 J&T Country Feeds FEA B2 JJ Equipment/Brillion/Rhino EC D John Deere E 130 Johnstown Clothing& Embroidery 4-H A Kaput Products-Ridarodent FEA 335-336, 351-352 KD Loaders FEA B1 KP Sales and Marketing Inc EC 619 Kreps Wiedeman E 164 KSIR Radio EC 555 Kugler Company EC 3 Kuhn-Knight Mfg. EC 525-526 Larson Metal Inc. EC 528-529 Lawson Products Inc EC 586 Lefever Building Systems 4-H 203 Legacy Land Trust E 125-126 Lewton Ag Services/Nitro Sprayers E 93 LG Seeds Booth No. Exhibitor Name FEA 311 Loveland Distribution FEA L2 Luther Equipment FEA D MacDon, Inc. E 86-87 Magnum Manufacturing/ Woodys Pivot Service FEA 369-370 Maize Corp/Kearney Equip EC 508 Maxey Companies, Inc. EC 564 Mel Brown Farm Supply EC 578 Metrogro EC 599-602 MHC Kenworth E 32 Mid West Truck Parts EC 537 Midwest Seed Genetics 4-H 233 Miracle Ear FEA 373 Moly Mfg, Inc./Silencer EC 534-536 Monosem E 112-113 Monsanto FEA 315-316 Moreta Company, Inc. E 84 Morgan CC-Agri & Bus Mgmt. FEA 307-308 Mortec Industries, Inc. EC 527 Morton Buildings, Inc. EC 539 Mountain Plains Farm Credit EC 531 NAPA Parts E 95 Nat’l. Farmers Union Insurance E 75 Nations Pipe & Steel E 54 Navigator E 59 NC+ Hybrids E 92 Neb. College of Technical Ag E 129 Netafim USA EC 617-618 New Frontier Bank EC 511 NK Brand Seed of Syngenta E 102 No-Bull Enterprises E 7 Northeastern Jr. College FEA 317 Northern Colo. Driveline Service EC 506-507 No. Colo. Water Conservancy EC 478-480, 492-494 Orthman Mfg. EC 517-518, 543-544 Outback Guidance 4-H 201 Paradise Landscaping FEA 326 Paul’s Custom Grinding Svc. E 30-31 Pawnee Buttes Seed, Inc. 4-H 205 P-Diamond Irrigation Sales, Svc. E 91 Petersen Mfg Co. Inc EC 498 PGS Hybrids, Inc. FEA 306 Pickett Equipment E 118-120 Pioneer, A Dupont Co. E 21 Pivots Plus 4-H 223 Pletcher Enterprises E 99-100 Poudre Valley Co-Op Seed Div. FEA 324-225 Poudre Valley Co-Op/ Hutchison Western FEA 336 Poudre Valley REA EC 561 Poulsen Ace Hardware FEA G3 Power Equipment Co. 4-H Prairie Dog Man E 52 Producer’s Choice Seed/PGI FEA 318 Pure Ag Products Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 43-45 Quality Well & Pump EC 588 Rabo AgriFinance EC 502-503 Ranch-Way Feeds 4-H 207 Red Wing Shoes E 39 Regent Broadcasting K99 (KUAD-FM) E 18-19 Reinke Manufacturing EC 524 Reliance Industrial Products E 49 Reliv, International EC 603-605 Renewable Fiber FEA B2 Rhino-Brillion EC 471-473, 485-487 RHS/Bestway E 98 Ritchey Mfg E 41 Robinson Hay Company EC 584-585 Rky. Mtn. Cleaning Systems EC 538 Rky. Mtn. Water Environ Assoc. FEA 313 Rodenator EC 572 Rodman & Company, Inc. EC 554 Roggen Farmers Elevator Assn. EC C Ron’s Equipment Co. Inc. 4-H 212 Rural Community Ins. Svcs. EC 514-516, 540-542 Schaben Industries 4-H 209 Schaeffer Oil & Grease Co. EC 469-471, 483-484 Schlagel Mfg. E 96 Schmidt’s Bakery & Deli E 46 Schroeder’s Tire E 159 SFR HiTech Lubricants E 80-81 Sharp Bros. Seed EC 499-501 Shield Ag Equipment FEA 312 Shur-Co E 47 Silveus Insurance Group E 34-36 Simplot Soilbuilders 4-H 204 Soil Savers E 62 Soybest EC 607, E 145-150 Spradley-Barr OS Stampede Steel FEA 314 Starco Mfg EC 570 Stewart & Stevenson FEA 375 Stinger Ltd. EC 509 Stockton Roofing E 131 Strategic Financial Mgmt. EC 519-520, 545-546 Sutherland Lumber Co. EC 505 Synthetic Resources, Inc. FEA 346-350 T&B Welding & Trailers, LLC EC 597 Tarps Unlimited EC 481-482 Tidenberg Welding & Repair EC 565 Tire Pro FEA 304-305 Tool & Anchor Supply E 134 Toro Micro-Irrigation EC 504 TractorHouse EC 1 Transwest Trailers Booth No. Exhibitor Name FEA 378-380 Triple C, Inc. Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 69 Triumph Seed FEA 364-365 Tru Blu, LLC E 82-83 Twin Peaks Powersports EC 598 U.S.D.A. Colo. Ag Statistics E 85 USDA Farm Service Agency E 50-51 USDA National Appeals Div. E 114 UNI Design E 139-141 Valley Irrigation of Greeley EC 560 Vander Wal Dairy S & S E 3-4 Viaero Wireless EC B Wagner Ag/Wagner Rents E 23-24 Walco Animal Health E 110 Warren Analytical Laboratory FEA 342 Water Colorado, LLC E 60-61 WDPA/ Northern Colo. Dairyettes FEA G4 & G5 Weiss Master Mfg. 4-H 217 Weld County Drug Task Force E 48 Weld County Fair EC 606 Weld County Garage 4-H 202 Weld County Public Works Dept/Weed & Pest 4-H 228 Weld County Sheriff’s Office E 108 West Greeley Conservation District E 132 West Plains Grain EC 609-610 Western Irrigation EC 611-612 Western Material Handling E 20 Whatwire Broadband EC A Wickham Tractor Co./Krone E 40 Wild West Motorsport E 58 Wilson Trailer Sales 4-H 229 Wingfoot Commercial Tire systems EC 533 WW Auctions & Real Estate EC 474-477, 488-491 Wylie Sprayers FEA 374 Xpect Solutions, Inc. Legend e exhibition building fea farm equipment area 4-H 4-h building ec event center os outside

USDA expands insurance options for farmers transitioning to certified organic agriculture

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Feb. 18 a new step to support farmers transitioning to certified organic production, by expanding a crop insurance option to allow producers to purchase insurance coverage that better reflects their product's actual value. The expanded coverage is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) continued commitment to provide farmers with resources and tools to meet the growing demand for certified organic products. The Secretary made the announcement at the White House during remarks to participants at the USDA Market Summit. "Consumer demand for organic products continues to increase and the industry has experienced remarkable growth, representing more than $39 billion in U.S. retail sales," said Vilsack. "This growth creates opportunities for farmers and businesses across the country. Expanding the safety net for farmers wanting to enter the organic market ensures they have the tools and resources they need to meet this growing demand while protecting their operation." The organic sector is growing, and certified organic products often return higher profits for farmers. It can take producers three years, however, to transition from conventional to certified organic production. Previously, producers of transitional crops were only able to insure them at the same price as a conventional producer. But today's announcement enables producers to insure transitional crops to their contract price (within approved limits). Producers transitioning to certified organic production can now use the Contract Price Addendum to cover their crops at a higher price than traditional crops. The Contract Price Addendum allows farmers transitioning to organic production to insure certain crops at their contract price rather than the published U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) price election. RMA has also expanded organic premium price elections to 57 crops, up from four in 2011, providing organic producers the option to protect their 2016 crops closer to the market value. Barley, rice and wheat are among the crops for which organic price elections have been added. New additions for 2017 will include grapefruit, lemons and oranges. For example, under the Contract Price Addendum, a producer in Nebraska can use a contract price for millet up to a maximum of $7.34 per bushel (for transitional) or $8.44 (for certified organic production), as opposed to using the existing RMA price elections of $3.67 (for transitional) or $4.22 (for certified organic production). A Contract Price Addendum fact sheet is available online at http://go.usa.gov/cyFGR. Since 2009, USDA has strengthened programs that support organic producers as they grow, thrive and respond to increasing consumer demand for organic products. Last year, USDA reported that U.S. certified and exempt organic farms sold a total of $5.5 billion in organic products in 2014, up 72 percent since 2008. The U.S. retail market for organic products is valued at more than $39 billion, and in 2014 there were 19,474 certified USDA organic operations in the United States, representing nearly a 250 percent increase since 2002. Worldwide, in 2014 there were nearly 28,000 certified organic operations in more than 120 different countries. More information about USDA's support under this Administration for organic producers and businesses can be found at http://www.usda.gov/results. Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. Contact a local crop insurance agent for more information about the program. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or online at http://www.rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html. The sales closing date is the last day to buy a new policy or change an existing policy's coverage level. Producers can find sales closing dates for the crops in their states by referring to RMA's regional office state directory. Current policyholders also have until the sales closing date to make any changes to their existing contracts. A list of commodities eligible for the Contract Price addendum is available online at http://www.rma.usda.gov/news/currentissues/organics/cpa_eligibility.html. More information on risk management tools available for organic farmers can be found on the RMA organic crops website. Visit http://www.usda.gov/organic to learn more about USDA's resources for organic agriculture.

Ag Notebook: COOL lawsuit intervention, soybean breakthroughs

U.S. Cattlemen's Association to Lead Intervention In COOL Lawsuit Leo McDonnell, director emeritus of the United States Cattlemen's Association, has announced that USCA will lead COOL supporters in intervention in the lawsuit filed on July 8 by plaintiffs seeking an injunction to vacate the Department of Agriculture's Final Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) Rule and asking the court to halt the implementation and enforcement of the revised COOL regulations. McDonnell issued the following statement on behalf of the USCA board of directors: "The USCA board has consulted with legal counsel in order to understand what the industry's best options are to assist with the defense of COOL in this case. Based on those discussions, the USCA board has unanimously chosen to intervene in this case and will lead a national effort to coordinate and network other key industry groups and associations into the process. This is an extremely important move and it must happen rapidly. It is our responsibility to intervene in this lawsuit to ensure that the court hears from the U.S. cattle industry and receives facts and arguments that will have a more meaningful impact coming from the industry itself." — Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText ColorU.S. Cattlemen's Association Feedstock Flexibility Program Final Rule Published The Farm Service Agency announced the final Feedstock Flexibility Program rule went on public display last week and will be published in the Federal Register on July 29. Congress created the FFP in the 2008 Farm Bill, allowing for the purchase of excess sugar to produce bioenergy in order to avoid forfeiture of sugar pledged as collateral by processors when securing short-term commodity loans from USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation. Federal law allows sugar processors to obtain loans from the CCC with maturities of up to nine months when the sugarcane or sugar beet harvest begins. Upon loan maturity, the sugar processor may repay the loan in full or forfeit the collateral (sugar) to the government to satisfy the loan. The last time sugar forfeitures occurred was in 2004 but atypical market conditions have necessitated USDA to take a number of actions this crop year to manage the sugar supply at the least cost to the federal government. If needed, FFP is an additional tool to manage the domestic sugar surplus. As part of continuing efforts to manage the surplus, USDA is currently operating a purchase of sugar from domestic sugarcane processors under the Cost Reduction Options of the Food Security Act of 1985, and simultaneously will exchange this sugar for credits offered by refiners holding licenses under the Refined Sugar Re-export Program. For further background on FFP and other sugar programs administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency, go online to http://www.fsa.usda.gov/. — Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText ColorU.S. Department of Agriculture NFU Reaction to Hearings on the 'Future of the CFTC' National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement regarding the two hearings held this week by the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management on the future of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission: "Farmers and ranchers — and the cooperatives and other business that serve them — are end-users of commodities. Markets should be functional, stable, transparent and competitive, so that our members can use them to manage risk and price their products. "NFU agrees with the members of the subcommittee: well-functioning markets are essential to grow the economy. But we strongly disagree with some of the members' arguments that in order to help markets work better, the Dodd-Frank Act and many other market regulations should be repealed. Instead, Dodd-Frank must be fine-tuned and perfected, and regulators like the CFTC be provided the resources needed to do the job. "I find it difficult to understand why the House Agriculture Appropriations Committee would reduce funding for CFTC for Fiscal Year 2014 if they truly believe we need a marketplace that serves the interests of end-users." — Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText ColorNational Farmers Union Soybean breakthroughs coming on strong The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts the nation's farmers will deliver a record 3.42 billion bushels of soybeans this year. The USDA is also forecasting that this year for the first time Brazil will overtake the United States as the world's leading producer of soybeans. That means the pressure is on American soybean farmers. In the past several decades, there's been gradual improvement in soybean yields. In 2012, American farmers brought in 39.6 bushels of soybeans per acre, according to the USDA, compared to 31.5 bushels per acre in 1982. But increased demand from China along with competition from Brazil are keeping scientists and farmers focused on how to maximize their yields. And a recent breakthrough in soybean science may provide some much-needed answers. "It's amazing to see the explosion that's gone on in the plant world," said Jeremy Schmutz, a plant genomicist at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute in California and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Alabama. In 2010, his team completed the soybean genome sequence, which is a roadmap that shows every piece of soybean DNA. The soybean genome sequence was completed about a decade after the sequence of the human genome. Corn has also been sequenced, as have the potato, tomato and apple, among other food crops. Schmutz said the soybean genome sequence was shared with scientists across the country, which created something of an explosion in soybean science. Seed companies, including Monsanto, have new soybean cyst nematode resistant varieties in the pipeline. Syngenta plans on putting a new soybean cyst nematode resistant variety on the market in 2015. — Harvest Public Media

USDA delays GIPSA rule, draws mixed reaction from ag groups

The Agriculture Department's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration announced April 11 that it is delaying the effective date of the Scope of Sections 202(a) and (b) of the Packers and Stockyards Act interim final rule that the Obama administration called the Farmer Fair Practices Rules for 180 days until Oct. 19. In a separate action, USDA announced that it is also asking the public to comment on four possible actions USDA should take in regards to the disposition of the interim final rule. The comment due date is June 12, 2017. "The extension allows ample time for stakeholders to review the effects of the Scope Interim Final Rule on their operations, and ensures maximum opportunity for dialogue across every segment of the livestock, meat and poultry industries," said GIPSA Acting Administrator Randall Jones. The announcements are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on April 18. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., praised the decision, as did pork, chicken and beef producers. But two groups called the move against the interest of farmers, and called on agriculture secretary nominee Sonny Perdue to work to finalize the rule once he is confirmed, as expected, and in office. "The Obama administration made the imprudent decision to finalize this rule on their way out the door," Roberts said. "I hope the Trump administration's USDA will finally heed the concerns of farmers and ranchers and the Congress to get rid of this unneeded and unwanted rule." The National Chicken Council, the National Pork Producers Council and National Cattlemen's Beef Association also praised the decision. "With this extension notice, it is clear the administration has recognized this is a complicated and controversial issue with deep economic consequences for American poultry and livestock producers," said NCC President Mike Brown. "The comments filed have obviously had an impact, and we thank the department for postponing the effective date to allow for a more thorough and meaningful review," Brown said. "We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to resolve this issue during this 'timeout period' of further review." "We're extremely pleased that the Trump administration has extended the time it has to review this regulation and the public comments on it, which will show the devastating effects this rule would have on America's pork producers," said NPPC President Ken Maschhoff, a pork producer from Carlyle, Ill. "The regulation likely would restrict the buying and selling of livestock, lead to consolidation of the livestock industry — putting farmers out of business — and increase consumer prices for meat," Maschhoff said. "This is another step toward commonsense and away from counterproductive government intrusion in the free market," said National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Craig Uden. "That said, while a delay is welcome, ultimately this rule should be killed and American cattle producers should be free to market our beef without the threat of government-sanctioned frivolous lawsuits." WELCOME COMMENTS The American Farm Bureau Federation issued a more measured response. Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said, "It is clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to the Agriculture Department's Farmer Fair Practices Rules does not work across the board for all livestock sectors. The announced delay in the rules' effective date until October will give farmers and ranchers additional time to comment on this important issue." "We support preserving the contract and marketing arrangements that are working for the beef and pork sectors, and we will reinforce that point during the comment period. There is still vast room for improvement, however, in efforts to ensure a level playing field for poultry farmers. We will continue to emphasize the need to seek additional safeguards in the poultry sector to better protect individual farmers from discriminatory treatment, without disrupting the business practices that are working in the beef and pork sectors." But Ferd Hoefner of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition said, "Make no mistake, the delay in implementation of this important rule is anti-farmer." "The rule will help level the playing field for family farmers and ensure they have some recourse when their rights under the law are violated," Hoefner said. "We hope and expect that when Sonny Perdue is confirmed as the next secretary of agriculture he and President Trump will support farmers and finalize the rule." Sally Lee, program director at Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, said, "We are shocked to hear that the USDA is delaying the implementation of rules that are meant to provide basic rights and protections to farmers and agricultural communities." "This decision poses a real threat to independent livestock and poultry businesses in the U.S.," Lee said. "It also ignores the voices of American farmers, who risked retaliation to show their clear and strong support for these rules." "The USDA's hasty step backwards — made without the input of a confirmed secretary of Agriculture — undermines President Trump's pledge to look out for American farmers and rural voters.This delay indicates that the administration is putting lobbyists and special interests first. "When Sonny Perdue is confirmed as secretary of Agriculture, we hope he will see this delay as the mistake that it is and work with President Trump to make good on his promises to the American people."

New definition could bring broader competition for USDA’s ‘rural’ dollars

As lawmakers debate the farm bill in Washington, millions of dollars are at stake for small businesses across the country. Rural development grants go out to everything from home loans to water projects to small co-ops. With budget cuts likely, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is adjusting how these funds are used, and proposing changes to the word "rural." But there's concern that a tighter belt at the federal level means farmers and ranchers in small towns will be left behind. In the small town of San Luis, Colo., the state's oldest established community, the effects of a changing philosophy within the USDA are already apparent. The town of fewer than 1,000 residents just north of the New Mexico border is the economic center for ranchers and farmers in the Culebra Creek drainage, a water source that supplies this valley with much-needed irrigation water. Six years ago, a group of farmers and ranchers Rio Culebra Agricultural Cooperative applied for a rural development grant from the USDA. That year and every year since, they were awarded a Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant, meant to provide minority owned cooperatives with help on technical issues. In total, the co-op has used roughly $800,000 from the USDA's Rural Development Program to market products like grass-fed beef and heirloom white corn. The co-op also built a website to handle new customers and help ranchers sell directly to the consumer. "With the grants we've received, we've been able to develop labels, and packaging and processing of product and purchasing product from people," said Bernadette Lucero, Rio Culebra's director. But in the latest round of USDA grants, the money Rio Culebra relied on went to other groups, including the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a larger group that focuses on regional projects across several states in the West. In the past, the two groups weren't in competition for the same dollars. But the USDA opened up the grant process last year to more regional applicants, making it a lot more competitive. "I can see where some of the small co-ops could've been outcompeted," said Dan Hobbs, a cooperative specialist with the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. "I'm sure there are some sore feelings out there about that. But I believe it was probably a responsible move on the USDA's part to widen that pool," Widening the pool could soon be a regular exercise at the USDA, and not just for these small producer grants, but across the board within rural development. A report released in February detailed a USDA proposal to change the definition of the word "rural." Communities of up to 50,000 people could still be considered a rural area and apply for money. Critics have said if the population threshold is raised farmers in very small, remote communities, like San Luis, will get less. But U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said that's not the case. "I think actually it will encourage small communities not only to understand what the rules are but also to perhaps collaborate with their neighbors to focus on regional efforts which we're trying to encourage, so that we actually move the dial more effectively and more efficiently," Vilsack said. Lucero, with the Rio Culebra Cooperative, scoffed at the idea that they're not getting less. She said it's clear that a shift is happening within rural development, to move away from small producers and toward more regional enterprises. Lucero said the co-op plays a major role in San Luis. The area is poor and remote. If farmers share their resources and skills eventually Rio Culebra could become self-sustaining, she said. "(Farmers) don't have time to go to farmer's markets," Lucero said. "They don't have time to be able and call and say, 'Hey, would you like my grass-fed beef.' So we're providing a service that is so necessary for this community." But that mission is in jeopardy without the USDA funds. Rio Culebra projects will likely be more modest in scope, according to Eugene Jacquez, a farmer who has been selling his family's beige-colored bolita beans through the co-op. "There's not going to be a market now," said Jacquez, noting that many of his neighbors will be reluctant to grow and sell to the co-op now. Still, while the rural development dollars allowed the co-op to grow quickly in just a few short years, the money's absence won't shut down the group's operations. Administrators say they'll stay on as volunteers, and look for additional grant monies from private donors. $ID/ornm49• Luke Runyon, based at KUNC in Greeley, Colo., reports for Harvest Public Media, a reporting collaboration of KUNC and other public media stations in the Midwest. Harvest covers issues related to food and food production. For more information, go to harvestpublicmedia.org. ❖

APHIS holds meetings to gain input on animal identification plan

At least one ag group says the U.S. Department of Agriclture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's nationwide discussions on animal identification go against the president's regulation-slashing objective. The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association told its members that there are signs of the agency pushing intrastate — not just interstate — identification requirements and also electronic identification requirements of cattle and other livestock. In an early April letter to USDA, the Stockgrowers, R-CALF USA, The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance and the Western Organization of Resource Councils said USDA's road tour will be a waste of time and waste of tax dollars, and runs contrary to the presidential directive that agencies reduce both their own expenses and the regulatory burden they impose on U.S. industries. But USDA APHIS presses on. The agency is just shy of half way through its public meetings on "Animal Disease Traceability" (ADT) or in layman's terms, animal identification. USDA issued the ADT rule in 2012 following a long and heated debate about animal identification. The original National Animal Identification System was strongly opposed by a number of industry groups including R-CALF USA, the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association and others. Prior to 2012, sexually intact (breeding) cattle and bison 24 months of age and younger were required to bear individual identification if moving interstate. With implementation of ADT, that age was lowered to 18 months of age. USDA estimated this would add 20 million head of cattle to those already being tracked. Now under "phase two," USDA seeks input on their ultimate goal: to track all cattle including feeder cattle that move interstate. The Stockgrowers fear that USDA's underlying goal is to eventually require electronic identification for both interstate and intrastate movement of livestock. "The industry supports the need to have complete and successful disease tracing and wants to phase in feeder cattle when the program has a solid, functional base," the 2011 USDA ADT plan stated. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association supported the original NAIS plans — first a mandatory program, then later a voluntary one — that eventually were discarded and replaced with the ADT plan. Errol Rice, the Montana Stockgrowers Association executive director said he will represent his organization at the Billings meeting in May. BEING AT THE TABLE His group believes they need to stay engaged with the USDA discussion, he said. While his organization hopes for a voluntary approach, the bigger concern is developing a system that works. They hope to build on private sector progams already in place. "The whole mandatory-voluntary debate we kind of feel like that's under the bridge. We'd prefer voluntary but we'll take it a step further and discuss what we want it to look like. We want to be at the table to figure out what this needs to look like," he said. "It's complicated. If it was easier, we'd have figured it out a long time ago. The industry is going to have to come to the table and work with USDA to see what this should look like for the feeder cattle component." In the 2011 ADT plan, USDA had this to say: Overall, we want stakeholders to help us find and use the traceability approaches that work best for them. These approaches: • will apply only to animals moving interstate; • will be owned, led, and administered by the states and tribal nations, with federal support focused entirely on disease traceability; and • will ensure animal disease traceability data is owned and maintained at the discretion of the states and tribal nations. United States Cattlemen Association Policy and Communications Coordinator Lia Biondo attended the second of the 2017 meetings, in Riverdale, Md. She said the day-long meeting included a lot of review of the current system — the utilization of bangs tags and tattoos to track the movement of female cattle across state lines. "The consensus in the room was that if USDA is going to move this program forward, we need it to work and we need it to work the first time," Biondo said. There was a lot of discussion from livestock market owners about the challenges of having both high- and-low frequency readers and tags, she said. "The technology needs to be more cost effective; vendors that will see this demand will produce tags to fit the need," she said. "I think the key take-home message is that there is a technology gap for advancing more modernized animal ID, and that cost effectiveness needs to be considered," she said, recalling the comments made during the meeting. "USDA APHIS needs to identify and address weaknesses in the current system," USCA spokesperson Jess Peterson said. "We can't do a one-size fits-all approach. USDA APHIS is reaching out to producers to gather their input on next steps and I encourage folks to attend these meetings and relay what works and what doesn't on their own operation." Peterson said animal ID is an everyday part of ranchers' lives. "We utilize traceability every day, from branding calves to pairing out cattle to put on summer grass. This all leads up to the fall roundup and gather, during which brand inspection and shipping takes place. We need to build on these successes and find ways to address any perceived gaps on the movement of cattle between state lines." OPEN-DOOR POLICY Peterson believes the current administration is focused on working with producers in a reasonable manner. "I don't see this White House pushing an aggressive animal ID agenda. There continues to be a very open-door policy for producers at USDA on this issue." Oklahoman Kathy Moore believed there was an effort by USDA officials to promote additional animal ID at the April 11, 2017, Oklahoma City, Okla., meeting. Moore, who formerly raised bison and cattle and marketed meat said she maintains individual identification on all of her animals but she doesn't believe the government should require it. She said the underlying tone of the meeting seemed to be that U.S. producers should adopt additional animal ID requirements in an effort to gain access to China's market. Moore said most commenters, spoke in favor of a mandatory system and uniform equipment. She said some attendees commented that the "country traders" as they called small cattle owners are the source of disease problems and that if they refused to comply and were forced out of business, that the industry would be better for it. Moore believed she was the only "independent producer" who commented publicly. She commented that the fickle export market is not reason enough to implement a new and more expensive and labor-intensive identification program, but that local demand could be built with no expensive identification needed. Several who testified in support of mandatory identification claimed membership to Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, NCBA and the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, she said. "The export market only benefits a few industrial producers, not the average rancher, and there are many untapped markets for grass-fed livestock and small cooperatives which already have traceability because of their systems and customer relations," Moore said during her testimony. "For such producers, RFID isn't economical or appropriate, and a NAIS-type system would be too expensive from a paperwork, equipment and labor perspective." Moore pointed out that it may be suitable to have a "tiered" system so that the producers who want to export beef could opt into RFID, while independent ranchers would be exempt. One livestock market owner expressed concern that older producers could be driven out of business under a mandatory program. At the Oklahoma meeting, one USDA official repeatedly reminded everyone that the purpose of the meeting was to identify gaps and obtain input or help from the industry related to Phase I only. His reminders appeared to ignored, Moore said. MAKE SURE YOU ARE HEARD She urges producers to attend meetings and submit comments in order to be sure their voices are heard. The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, after first signing on to a group letter asking the agency to put a halt to the 2017 meetings that they called a waste of tax dollars, now urges its members to ask for a comment deadline extension. The Stockgrowers urge their members to ask for an extension to July 31 because of the busy spring season and short notice of the comment period and meetings. The group's executive director Silvia Christen said USDA documents indicate that "the underlying agenda is to begin pushing intrastate requirements and electronic forms of identification again — in other words, a NAIS-type system." Christen said her members don't support mandatory identification of cattle for several reasons. "It's too expensive, it doesn't address animal disease and it's about money," she said in a member alert. "The real focus needs to be on prevention," she said. Her group urges producers to attend a meeting if possible, but also to submit comments. — Reach Stadheim at cstadheim@tsln-fre.com.

Lee Mielke: Monthly Dairy Prices 10-8-12

News reports of drought have quieted down but not the consequences. Dairy Profit Weekly's (DPW) Dave Natzke talked about it in Friday's DairyLine, reporting that higher feed and fuel prices pushed U.S. dairy farmer average milk production costs to another record high in August. USDA economists said total production costs per hundredweight of milk sold were up about 4 percent from July and up 17 percent from August a year ago, with feed prices making up a bulk of the increase. Through the first eight months of 2012, average costs are up about 9 percent from the same period last year. "The higher costs are impacting dairy cow culling, but the numbers are a bit deceiving," Natzke warned. "USDA announced more than 2 million cows had been sent to slaughter through the first eight months of 2012, or about 128,000 more than a year earlier. However, during the same period, the U.S. milking herd declined by just 22,000 cows, an indication a large number of replacement heifers became milk producers." Dairy farmers who were forced to sell cattle due to drought are getting a break from the Internal Revenue Service, he said. The IRS announced it will extend the period in which producers forced to sell cattle due to the drought can defer taxes on those sales in counties listed as suffering from extreme or severe drought by the National Drought Mitigation Center. "While dairy farmers are keenly aware of the impact of higher feed prices," Natzke concluded, "Consumers will feel it in 2013." Researchers with Rabobank, the world's largest bank, warn that skyrocketing agricultural commodity prices are causing the world to re-enter a period of "agflation," with food prices forecast to reach record highs well into 2013, rise as much as 15 percent by next June. Rabobank also published a new report looking at the global dairy industry in the third quarter of 2012, predicting "renewed supply scarcity" in the next year. USDA's latest milk-feed price ratio confirms that margins are improving, reports the September 27 Daily Dairy Report (DDR). USDA estimates September 2012s milk-feed price ratio at 1.46, up from August's near record low of 1.36. The milk-feed price ratio represents the pounds of 16 percent mixed dairy feed equal in value to 1 pound of milk at test. In general, a milk-feed ratio less than 2.0 indicates financial stress for dairy farms. The last time the ratio exceeded 2.0 was in March 2011, according to the DDR. The preliminary September all-milk price was $19.10 per hundredweight, up $1 from last month but $2 below a year ago. The September national average corn price of $7.35 per bushel was down from $7.63 in August but up from $6.38 a year ago. The preliminary September average price for soybeans is $16.30 per bushel, up from $16.20 in August and $12.20 a year ago. Baled alfalfa averaged $205 per ton, up from $203 in August and $198 a year ago. Checking the cupboard, the Agriculture Department's latest Cold Storage report show dairy product stocks are dropping seasonally but at a faster-than-average rate. August butter stocks totaled 204.5 million pounds, according to preliminary data, down 13 percent from July, but were 23 percent more than August 2011. American cheese, at 615.1 million pounds, was down 3 percent from July and 5 percent below a year ago. The total cheese inventory came to just over 1 billion pounds, down 4 percent from July and 6 percent below those year ago. The DDR's Mary Ledman said in her website's Daily Dairy Discussion that the Cold Storage data and the latest Livestock Slaughter report were "fairly favorable" for the dairy markets, in particular cheese. August saw the strongest cheese drawdown since 2006, according to Ledman, who reminded us these stocks are expected to be held more than 30 days so none of the 615 million pounds is eligible to be sold on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. "It's still an indicator of supply and demand and is bullish or at least supportive to the current cheese market," she said, but added, "If people really thought this market was tight they wouldn't have brought as much product to the market." Butter is a different situation, she said, and saw a stronger drawdown than last year by 7.8 million pounds but butter stocks are at the highest August level since 2009 and the market at that time was trading at about $1.20. The following year we hit $2 a pound, she said, so she thinks end users learned their lesson, "when the butter market gets low they buy in and I think that's been supportive of the market although today's butter market at $1.89 is a fairly stout price level given the stocks situation." It closed September 28 at $1.95. Commenting on the slaughter data, Ledman said the report shows culling remains strong but much of the increased culling is occurring in the western states like California, New Mexico and Texas. Contrast that to regions like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio where slaughter numbers were actually down 44,000 from a year ago. She believes that will change as inventories dwindle and feed costs continue to rise. Cheese prices ended September at $2.0750 per pound for the blocks, up 7-1/2-cents on the week and 35-1/2-cents above a year ago. The barrels finished at $2.0350, also up 7-1/2-cents on the week and 39-1/2-cents above a year ago. Fourteen cars of block traded hands on the week and only one of barrel. The AMS-surveyed U.S. average block price slipped another 0.3 cent, to $1.8484, while the barrels averaged $1.8271, up 0.8 cent. Jerry Dryer wrote in his September 21 Dairy and Food Market Analyst that his long-range forecast has cash cheese "at or above current levels through April of next year." He reported that "Higher weekly average prices have customers placing orders today and this makes current cheese just that much tighter. Longer term, Mother Nature has already done her handiwork to assure tight supplies." Cheese production schedules are constrained by tight milk supplies and higher costs for many milk solids, according to Dairy Market News (DMN). Demand for cheese increased as additional buyers looked to fill holiday needs before any anticipated price increases. Retail and food service sales are good. Sales are being assisted by the Cooperatives Working Together program (CWT) which accepted 13 requests for export assistance this week to sell 5.88 million pounds of cheese and 687,842 pounds of butter, to customers in Asia, Central America, Europe and the Middle East. The product will be delivered through March and raised CWT's 2012 cheese sales to 91.6 million pounds plus 58.1 million of butter and 123,459 pounds of anhydrous milk fat to 34 countries. Cash butter added 6 cents this week, closing Friday and September at $1.95, up 19 cents from a year ago and 9 cents on the month. Eight cars were sold on the week. AMS butter averaged $1.8436, down 1.3 cents. Churning schedules are seasonally active. Cream supplies are generally more available as Class II needs have eased and standardized cream volumes increase. Current retail orders are seasonally strong and good orders are being placed. The Foreign Agricultural Service reports that quota imports of butter January to August totaled 4.90 million pounds, down 1.3 percent from the same period in 2011. These imports accounted for 31.9 percent of the total quota for 2012. Cash Grade A nonfat dry milk lost 3 cents this week, closing at $1.66, while Extra Grade held all week at $1.6350. AMS powder averaged $1.3943, up 1.3 cents, and dry whey averaged 59.3 cents per pound, up 0.8 cent. Meanwhile, milk production is "transitional across the country," according to USDA. Southern and Southwestern areas note milk production has crossed the threshold into a new production season. Production in other areas is drawing close to the seasonal low point. Fluid demand moved higher the week of September 17. A few handlers indicated spot loads were difficult to find. Supplies of manufacturing milk are light thus plants across the country indicate they are operating well below capacity. U.S. fluid milk sales in July were estimated at 4.1 billion pounds, down 1.4 percent from July 2011, according to USDA, and after adjusting for calendar composition, sales were down 1.8 percent. Looking "back to the futures," the last half 2012 Federal order Class III milk prices were averaging $16.53 on June 8, $17.49 on July 6, and $18.80 on August 3. Looking at the announced Class IIIs plus the remaining four months of 2012, it averaged $18.69 on September 7, $18.98 on September 14, $19.13 on September 21, and was trading around $19.15 late morning September 28. Dairy Profit Weekly reports that President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney recently spelled out their positions on agriculture issues for the American Farm Bureau Federation. In a questionnaire, both candidates went into detail about their positions on energy, environmental regulations, farm labor and more and both supported a strong U.S. renewable energy program and maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard. USDA recently added business continuity as an objective of emergency preparedness planning, in cooperation with Dairy Management Incorporated (DMI). A press release this week warned; "Should the U.S. ever face an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, government and industry coordination will be critical to keeping milk moving and dairy cases stocked. With respect to dairy, the goal of business continuity is to ensure milk can continue to move from farm to market, even as we work to contain and eradicate the disease." The so-called "Secure Milk Supply Project" works toward those goals, according to DMI, and involves multiple stakeholders, including state and federal animal health officials, academic institutions, dairy producers and food companies, and industry organizations. Details are posted at http://www.DairyResponse.com/index.cfm. Finally, on a lighter note, the Alliance of Western Milk Producer's Bill Van Dam closed his September 21 newsletter with what he termed the "Reader Corn Con Slogan of the Week: You cannot drive your corn and eat it too." ❖

Obama administration touts GIPSA rule; others hope Trump overturns it

The Agriculture Department released new rules to enforce the Packers and Stockyards Act that resulted in predictable comments from the producers, companies and politicians involved in the issue, although in somewhat more colorful language that probably reflects a push to convince the incoming Trump administration to overturn the rules. USDA released an interim final rule and two proposed rules ­—known collectively as the Farmer Fair Practices Rules — that Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said would protect poultry growers in particular from "damaging unfair and deceptive practices." The National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the U.S. Cattlemen's Association praised it, while the National Chicken Council, the National Pork Producers Council and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association denounced it. The White House also weighed in with a blog post in which Charlie Anderson, a senior adviser to the director of the National Economic Council, said, "These three rules are another step forward in response to the president's Competition Initiative announced in April, which has the goal of enhancing competition to help consumers, workers, and small businesses get a fair shake in the economy." In a call to reporters, Vilsack said that the interim final rule would give USDA the same powers of enforcement against live poultry dealers that it has against beef packers and swine contractors when they engage in practices that are unfair to producers. Without the rules, Vilsack said, the courts have ruled that USDA's Grain, Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration did not have enforcement powers. An important element in the rule, Vilsack said, is that poultry growers would no longer have to prove that an action against one grower hurt competitiveness in the industry. While the rules are focused on poultry producers, some cattle and pork groups have said it would interfere with contracting for those animal species as well. But Vilsack said that the rule was substantially rewritten from a 2010 proposal and that the groups had overreacted to that older proposal. "All too often, processors and packers wield the power, and farmers carry the risk. Today, USDA is taking a big step toward providing the protections that farmers deserve and need," Vilsack said. USDA added, "The four largest processors in the poultry sector in this country control 51 percent of the broiler market and 57 percent of the turkey market. In part due to this concentration, poultry growers often have limited options for processors available in their local communities to contract with. Fifty-two percent of growers have only one or two processors in their state or region to whom they can provide grower services. That means processors can often wield market power over the growers, treating them unfairly, suppressing how much they are paid or pitting them against each other." TRUMP'S DECISION The timing of the rules means that final decisions will be up to the Trump administration. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson and Mike Weaver, president of the Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias, noted that President-elect Donald Trump garnered a lot of votes in rural America, and said they hoped he would allow the rules to be finalized. "American family farmers came out of the woodwork to support Trump, and we need some consideration," Weaver said. "Producers said they were Trump supporters because they believed Trump would stand up for the little guy." said Johnson, a Democrat and former agriculture commissioner in North Dakota, The National Pork Producers Council said that the rules were "an apparent attack on rural America for its role in helping elect Donald Trump as president" and the council "will work with the Trump administration and the new Congress to repeal the unnecessary, destructive and illegitimate midnight rule." Asked on the call to respond to NPPC, Vilsack said, "That is absurd. It is unfortunate they would use such rhetoric." The rules, he said, are designed to finish the work of the 2008 farm bill passed during the Bush administration, but stopped for several years by congressional appropriations riders. "This has nothing to do with the election of 2016; it has to do with what is fair to producers," he said. Vilsack said that, if Congress had not interfered, the rule would have been in place several years ago. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, both criticized USDA's actions. Roberts said that USDA "has chosen to ignore my persistent appeals over the last six years — along with the appeals of livestock producers — by finalizing rules that will limit the economic freedom of America's farmers and ranchers. I will take a hard look at the rule, but I have strong concerns based on the previous direction taken by USDA. The so-called GIPSA rule has been wrought with controversy since originally proposed in 2010 and will have a devastating impact on America's farmers and ranchers and how they buy and sell cattle, hogs and poultry. I'm deeply disappointed Secretary Vilsack and the Obama administration are taking such action towards rural America as their terms come to an end and during the holidays." Conway said, "I'm disappointed that the generally productive and nonpartisan relationship I've developed with USDA over the past two years has culminated in a last-minute effort to push through a partisan trio of rules — even despite assurances that they would be tabled for more thorough and appropriate consideration by the incoming administration. It is particularly troubling given Congressional disapproval with the overreach of these costly rules dating back to their original proposal in 2010." PRAISE AND CRITICISM The National Chicken Council said the rules will "strangle" the industry. "The vast majority of chicken farmers in rural America are happy and prosper raising chickens in partnership with companies, and they don't want the government meddling on their farms and telling them how they should run their businesses," said National Chicken Council President Mike Brown. "Business under the current contract structure has given thousands and thousands of farm families the opportunity to live in rural America and operate profitable businesses that allowed them to build nice homes, expand other aspects of their farm enterprises and put their children through college. "These rules, however, could lead to rigid, one-size-fits-all requirements on chicken growing contracts that would stifle innovation, lead to higher costs for consumers and cost jobs by forcing the best farmers out of the chicken business," he added. "The interim final rule on competitive injury would open the floodgates to frivolous lawsuits." National Pork Producers Council CEO Neil Dierks said, "I can't imagine a more devastating regulation on an industry. The rule, which creates legal uncertainty, will destroy opportunities for many in the U.S. pork industry, with no positive effect on competition, the regulation's supposed goal. National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Tracy Brunner said, "The GIPSA rules are especially troubling to the cattle industry. As we have consistently stated, if adopted, this rulemaking will drastically limit the way our producers can market cattle and open the floodgates to baseless litigation " The American Farm Bureau Federation joined the National Farmers Union in praising the release of the rules. "Farm Bureau has long advocated for changes in the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration's rules," President Zippy Duvall said. "We have asked for changes to stop harmful business practices and protect chicken farmers. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work here, and that's why we have also worked to preserve the contract arrangements and marketing practices that make the beef and pork industries competitive." ❖

USDA releases organic checkoff rule

The Agriculture Department announced Jan.18 it is seeking public comments on a proposal for a nationwide research and promotion checkoff program for the organic industry. The Organic Trade Association praised the decision to publish the industry's proposal for a checkoff in the Federal Register, but the proposal has been controversial with organic groups. In a news release, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, which oversees all checkoffs, pointed out: Producers and handlers with gross organic sales greater than $250,000 for the prior marketing year would pay one-tenth of 1 percent of net organic sales; Importers of organic products declaring a transaction value greater than $250,000 for the prior marketing year would pay one-tenth of 1 percent of the declared transaction value of organic products imported into the U.S. AMS also said the program would provide exemptions for: Producers and handlers with gross organic sales of $250,000 or less during the prior marketing year; Importers with $250,000 or less in transaction value of imported organic products during the prior marketing year; Organic products produced domestically and exported from the U.S. A 17-member board would be appointed by the secretary of agriculture to administer the program. "We applaud USDA moving forward on this proposal that was authorized in the 2014 farm bill with strong bipartisan support," said Laura Batcha, the OTA's CEO and executive director. "OTA led the drive for this checkoff because the organic industry is at a critical point," Batcha said. "This organic checkoff will provide research and key tools to encourage more farmers to go organic and help all organic farmers be more successful. It will educate consumers in a positive way about what that organic seal really means. For the benefit of all of us, this proactive program will further the success of organic agriculture for the long term." Batcha said the the organic checkoff, known as the GRO Organic (Generic Research and Promotion Order for Organic), could raise over $30 million a year to spend on research, technical services and consumer education and promotion. OTA officially submitted an application to USDA in May 2015 on behalf of the organic industry to consider implementing the program after gathering information over three years throughout the country in town hall meetings, panel discussions, surveys and phone calls, Batcha said. OTA submitted a revised application a year later to reflect alternatives presented to USDA from organic certificate holders, she added. "It's time for organic stakeholders to invest back in our movement — to fund research to help organic farmers, to create and initiate projects to nurture new organic farmers," said Melissa Hughes, president of OTA's board of directors and director of government affairs for Organic Valley, the nation's oldest organic dairy cooperative. "An organic checkoff will allow us to speak to the American consumer in a strong and unified voice." Some smaller organic groups told Civil Eats they do not support the government-connected checkoff. The No Organic Checkoff coalition, which is made up of over 27 not-for-profit organic farmer-member organizations and organic businesses, said it would oppose the checkoff, because it "could unfairly promote large organic processors' needs over those of family farmers." But Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook announced today that the group will support it. "While EWG will continue to call on Congress to make serious investments in organic in the next farm bill, there is a lot that can be accomplished in the interim if the organic community pools its resources, and approves an organic research and promotions program," Cook wrote. USDA established a 60-day public comment period for interested parties to weigh in on the proposal. Comments are due March 20. The final step will be a referendum on the proposed checkoff, with all certified organic stakeholders paying into the program eligible to vote. Approval by a majority of the organic stakeholders voting is required for implementation. ❖