Ag Notebook: Help on the way to flood-impacted farmers and ranchers
Colorado Snowpack and Reservoir Levels
Basin Jan. 1 Snowpack (percent of historic avg.) Jan. 1 Reservoir Storage (percent of historic avg.)
South Platte 99 105
Colorado 102 98
Gunnison 107 80
Yampa, White, & North Platte 111 118
Arkansas 106 67
Rio Grande 99 64
San Miguel, Dolores, Animas & San Juan 100 69
Statewide 103 87
For additional information about Colorado’s water supply conditions, go to www.co.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/.
Source: Colorado Natural Resources Conservation Service
Colo. Farm Bureau distributes disaster funds to flood-impacted producers
With the support of local community members and businesses, the Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation distributed $192,000 to 74 ranchers and farmers whom were impacted by the floodwaters in September.
“The communities in northern Colorado have remained resilient despite the devastating impact of this historic flood,” said Don Shawcroft, president of Colorado Farm Bureau. “The Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation is grateful for the unbelievable support from individuals and businesses. Disaster recovery for these farmers and ranchers continues to look better each day.”
Six Midwestern Governors Urge Obama to Reconsider RFS Proposals
Six Midwestern state governors have written President Obama contending that an EPA proposal that would reduce the nation’s biofuel blending requirements would have a harmful impact on the national economy, starting in America’s rural areas.
The proposal would require refiners to blend 15.21 billion gallons of renewable fuels into petroleum-based gasoline and diesel next year, a reduction of 2.94 billion gallons from the target set by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) and less than the total required in 2013.
Signing the letter were Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, all Republicans; and Democrat Mark Dayton, governor of Minnesota. All represent states with significant biofuel industries.
The governors note that renewable fuels are produced with “American-grown corn, soybeans, wood chips and other important biomass resources that are processed through biofuels facilities that employ thousands, all while injecting millions into agribusiness and local economies.”
They say more than 400,000 Americans “depend on renewable fuels for good-paying jobs that support rewarding careers in our states.”
The governors call on Obama to “encourage the EPA to increase the biodiesel volume to reflect current production levels, modify the cellulosic target to match production expectations, and reinstate the statutory conventional renewable fuel target since there is clearly no domestic supply shortage.”
EPA is taking public comments on the proposal through Jan. 28.
Hickenlooper appointments Kit Carson producer to Board of Governors of CSU
Gov. John Hickenlooper announced appointments to the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System this month.
The Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System is the governing board for CSU in Fort Collins, CSU-Pueblo and the online CSU-Global Campus.
The board selects the presidents of these schools and generally oversees the schools, including determination of salaries and tuition, conferring degrees and carrying out other legal functions. The appointments must be confirmed by the Colorado Senate. The members appointed for a term expiring Dec. 31, 2017:
• Scott C. Johnson of Kit Carson, to serve as a member who has substantial experience in the production of agriculture, and as a Republican, reappointed.
• Nancy R. Tuor of Parker, to serve as a Democrat.
COOL Arguments Heard in Court
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson issued the following statement following the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hearing arguments in the ongoing Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) lawsuit in which NFU is an intervener:
“Today’s argument presents to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit the question of whether the U.S. District Court’s denial of the preliminary injunction on the implementation of the May 2013 revised regulations on COOL on meat products should be upheld. The May decision was a victory for supporters of COOL. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new COOL rules brought the United States into compliance with the World Trade Organization.
“We are hopeful that the D.C. Circuit’s decision will uphold the district court’s denial of the preliminary injunction.”
Farmers, ranchers urged to vote in county committee elections
USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Juan Garcia announced that the deadline to return ballots for the FSA County Committee Elections is Jan. 17.
Producers have been instructed to destroy the FSA County Committee Election ballots (FSA-669s) mailed on Nov. 4. Corrected ballots were mailed out Dec. 20.
The new ballots mailed to producers will have the word “corrected” printed on the outside of the mailing, the ballot itself and the return envelope. Producers must complete and return the corrected FSA-669 to have their vote counted.
Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the coming week can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center.
Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office Feb. 18.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program.
For more information on county committees, go to the FSA website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/electionsor at a local USDA Service Center.