Ag Notebook: Canceled farm reports, producers speak out against 51st state |

Ag Notebook: Canceled farm reports, producers speak out against 51st state

USDA announces cancellation, postponement of reports impacted by lapse in funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that the National Agricultural Statistics Service and World Agricultural Outlook Board have cancelled or postponed publication of selected USDA statistical reports impacted by the lapse in federal funding.

Additionally, NASS’s Crop Progress reports scheduled for Oct. 7 and 15 are cancelled.

NASS’s Cattle on Feed and Peanut Prices reports scheduled for Oct. 18 are postponed.

NASS is assessing its data collection plans and evaluating the timing of upcoming reports.

Weld Farmers Union speaks out against 51st state

Agriculture is one of the industries Weld County, Colo., commissioners say they’re standing up for in their push to secede from Colorado, but some members of the industry recently spoke out against the commission’s ongoing secession efforts.

“We recognize there is a disconnect between rural and urban communities, but we also agree secession is not a solution,” states a special resolution adopted by Weld County Farmers Union members attending the organization’s recent annual meeting.

“We all appreciate that rural communities, along with farmers and ranchers, seem to have less of a voice each year,” said Ray Peterson, president of Weld County Farmers Union. “Action to withdraw into a 51st state does not solve the larger problems. All this will do is isolate us even more. Maybe we need to do some serious analyzing as to why our rural message is not getting though.”

However, Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway said he and other commissioners are hearing from many others in the Ag community that they are fed up with disconnect between rural Colorado and urban lawmakers, and still support the secession movement.

Farmers tied to listeria outbreak sue auditor

The Associated Press reported that the two Colorado farmers whose cantaloupes were tainted with listeria have filed a lawsuit, blaming a food-safety auditor that didn’t identify safety problems and gave the farm a “superior” rating just a month before the nation’s deadliest case of foodborne illness in a quarter century.

Eric and Ryan Jensen owned Jensen Farms, which sold melons connected to a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people.

The Jensens were charged last month with introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce and are expected to plead guilty Oct. 22 under a deal with federal prosecutors.

The Jensens, who have since filed for bankruptcy, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against PrimusLabs, a Santa Maria, Calif., food safety auditor that checked Jensen Farms in July of 2011.

Shutdown ends, President Obama gives nod to need for farm bill

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson recently issued the following statement, after the end of the U.S. federal government shutdown:

“Last night’s action by Congress ended a shutdown of our government and will return agencies back to normal operating status. This is good news for family farmers, ranchers and rural residents who were left without critical services for far too long.

“It was promising to hear President Obama mention specifically the unfinished business that is the farm bill in his address to the nation last night. Now that conferees have been named, it is time for the committee to get down to business and take action to bring certainty to our family farmers, ranchers, fishermen, rural residents and hungry neighbors.

Backyard chickens could soon debut in Another Colo. Town

This city could become the latest community in Boulder County to open wide its wings to the burgeoning backyard chicken movement that has been cockily strutting across the Front Range over the last several years.

Louisville City Council voted 6-1 this month to pass on first reading an ordinance permitting residents to keep up to six hens — no roosters please — per household.

Councilman Ron Sackett cast the lone no vote and there was no discussion about the ordinance. The council will make a final decision on the issue at its next meeting on Nov. 4.

The backyard chicken phenomenon has slowly but steadily been making its way across the Denver metro area as concepts like eat local and farm-to-table dining take root. It bubbled up in Louisville again earlier this year.