05-19-16 AFBF ACTION ALERT: Legislation Introduced to Extend and Reform the Biodiesel Tax Incentive Through 2019…

AFBF Action Alert HEader

ACTION ALERT: Legislation Introduced to Extend and Reform the Biodiesel Tax Incentive Through 2019

There is a way to save U.S. taxpayers $90 million and create a diverse domestic energy supply, which will provide energy security, and bolster our rural economies. 

It is H.R. 5240, the Biodiesel Tax Incentive Reform and Extension Act of 2016.  This legislation would extend the $1-per-gallon tax credit for biodiesel through the end of 2019 and reform the credit from a blender’s credit to a producer’s credit for fuel using U.S. commodities.

However, without congressional action the credit will expire at the end of this year.

The current structure of the biodiesel tax incentive as a blender’s credit increasingly allows foreign producers to access the credit if their fuel is blended in the U.S. Subsidizing foreign commodities is not the intent of Congress.

This reform will support domestic production and ensure that economic benefits will pass through to our nation’s soybean, canola and livestock producers.

Your support is needed to extend the tax credit and help close this loophole. It will ensure energy security and strengthen our rural communities.

 Take Action NOW  

Don’t want to send an email? Make a phone call by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. Ask to be connected to your representative.

05-19-16 NCGA – New Study: Trans-Pacific Partnership a Win for U.S. Agriculture

NCGA News Release logoNew Study: Trans-Pacific Partnership a Win for U.S. Agriculture

Yesterday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released its report on the economic benefit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the U.S. economy. Maryland farmer Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, said this report underscores the importance of TPP for America’s farmers and ranchers and called on Congress to pass the agreement this year. Continue reading

05-19-16 USWA: An Alternative Take on ITC’s Mixed Score for Wheat under TPP


USWA - US Wheat Associates Logo

An Alternative Take on ITC’s Mixed Score for Wheat under TPP

Following is a Joint Statement from U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers.

WASHINGTON, DCOn Wednesday, the International Trade Commission (ITC) released its highly anticipated report on the economic impacts expected to accrue from the adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For the entire agriculture and food sector, the report forecasts a $7.2 billion increase in exports or a growth of about 2.6 percent by 2032 compared to the same time frame without TPP.
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05-19-16 USDA Announces $3.8M in Grants and Additional $7M Available for Critical Research to Prevent Childhood Obesity…

USDA Press ReleaseUSDA Announces $3.8 Million in Grants and Additional $7 Million Available for Critical Research to Prevent Childhood Obesity

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2016 — Six universities have been awarded nearly $4 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help fight obesity and improve the health of our nation’s children, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today. Secretary Vilsack also announced that USDA is accepting applications for up to $7 million for additional projects next year. This funding is available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

“Decades of research supports the fact that children who are hungry don’t do well in the classroom and suffer from related health issues like obesity, diabetes and other serious chronic diseases. USDA has invested and will continue to invest in our children so that all of them, no matter where they are born or what their parents’ income levels are, have a shot at a healthy and productive future,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Since implementation of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, kids are now eating 16 percent more vegetables and 23 percent more fruit at lunch, more low-income children are benefiting from breakfast and lunch programs, and nearly four million children have access to healthy food in the summer when school is out and meals are scarce. Data show some signs of progress on childhood obesity, particularly among our youngest children, and the projects these researchers are undertaking will ensure we have evidence-based tools to continue moving the dial.”

Established by the 2008 Farm Bill and re-authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, AFRI is the nation’s premier competitive, peer-reviewed grants program for fundamental and applied agricultural sciences. In the seven years since AFRI was established, the program has led to true innovations and ground-breaking discoveries in agriculture to combat childhood obesity, improve and sustain rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, find new sources of energy, mitigate the impacts of climate variability and enhance resiliency of our food systems, and ensure food safety.

This round of funding is offered through the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area, which supports research to reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents ages 2–19 years. Since 2011, NIFA has awarded more than $165.6 million to the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area.

Fiscal year 2015 awards include:

  • University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky., $746,827
  • University of New England, Biddeford, Maine, $797,995
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, Md., $943,287
  • University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., $998,484
  • University of Montana, Missoula, Mont., $150,000
  • University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, $150,000

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05-19-16 Colorado Weekly Hay Report…


05-19-16 NFU Pleased by Absence of GIPSA and Organic Livestock Riders in Senate Appropriations Bill, Disappointed by More Conservation Cuts

NFU logo 3NFU Pleased by Absence of GIPSA and Organic Livestock Riders in Senate Appropriations Bill, Disappointed by More Conservation Cuts

WASHINGTON (May 19, 2016) – The Senate Appropriations Committee today marked up the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill, and National Farmers Union (NFU) was pleased to see controversial provisions excluded from the bill. Continue reading

05-19-16 USDA: Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Organic Trade Association Report…

USDA Press ReleaseStatement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Organic Trade Association Report

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2016 U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released a statement on the Organic Trade Association’s report that the organic sector posted its largest-ever dollar gain in 2015, with total organic product sales growing by $4.2 billion, reaching $43.3 billion.

“America’s organic industry is booming, creating important opportunities for farmers and ranchers and adding to the vibrancy of rural America. Under the Obama Administration, we’ve made transformative investments to help the organic sector thrive by making certification more attainable, providing more support for organic operations, and expanding international markets. As consumer demand continues to grow, USDA is here to support producers and help them access the hunger for American-grown organic products.”

To support producers and growth of the organic sector, we’ve: Continue reading

05-19-16 NPPC: Report Confirms Benefits To U.S. Of TPP Deal…

NPPC logo

Report Confirms Benefits To U.S. Of TPP Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 19, 2016 – A government report on the impact to the U.S. economy of an Asia-Pacific free trade deal confirms what the National Pork Producers Council and other agricultural and business groups have known: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will be good for U.S. agriculture, U.S. businesses and the U.S. economy. Continue reading

05-19-16 CDA News: Hay Producers Needed for Annual Publication

CDA NEW main logo 051414

Hay Producers Needed for Annual Publication

BROOMFIELD, Colo.-The Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting listings for the 2016 Colorado Hay Directory. The annual publication, celebrating its 30th anniversary, markets Colorado hay to buyers.
“For 30 years the Colorado Hay Directory has been a vital tool for hay producers and buyers,” said Wendy White, marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. “We continue to get calls from hay buyers around the state and nation requesting copies of this popular publication.”

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05-19-16 NFU: Senate Ag Hearing on Farm Credit Lends Discussion on Critical Issue…

NFU logo 3Senate Ag Hearing on Farm Credit Lends Discussion on Critical Issue

WASHINGTON (May 19, 2016) – The Senate Agriculture Committee today examined the current state of affairs at a hearing about the Farm Credit System (FCS) and the farm sector’s credit outlook. Continue reading

05-19-16 ASTA: U.S. Senate Holds Hearing on Plant Genetic Resources Treaty…

ASTA - American Seed Trade Association logo

U.S. Senate Holds Hearing on Plant Genetic Resources Treaty

Alexandria, Va.—May 19, 2016—Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is holding a long-awaited hearing on the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Treaty).  American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) Executive Committee member and Past Chair John Schoenecker will testify on behalf of the seed industry.   Continue reading

05-19-16 Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association announces new intern…

CICGA-CO Independent Cattle Growers Association logoMorgan Young
Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association announces new intern
The Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association (CICA) is pleased to announce Morgan Young of Loma, Colorado as the 2016 recipient of the the Joel Franz Memorial Internship.  Ms.  Young will receive $1,000 for her internship and invaluable experience and insight into the cattle industry.   Continue reading

05-19-16 USDEC, NMPF Respond to International Trade Commission’s economic impact analysis of TPP…

NMPF - US Dairy Export Council joint logo

USDEC, NMPF Respond to International Trade Commission’s economic impact analysis of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Joint statement from Tom Suber, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, and Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation

ARLINGTON, VA  – “The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a historic pact. If properly implemented and enforced, on balance the agreement will represent a step forward for the U.S. dairy industry based on its improvements to the rules of the road governing trade among the 12 signatories. In addition, although the market access portion of the agreement fell short of the export opportunities our industry sought to secure, our economic analysis concluded that overall the TPP dairy market access provisions will be neutral to slightly positive. Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, May 19th…

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY's BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer...

CLICK HERE to listen to TODAY’s BARN Morning Ag News with Brian Allmer…

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EPA Proposes Increase in Renewable Fuel Levels

The Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal Wednesday to increase renewable fuel volume requirements across all types of biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard. While agriculture and farm groups applaud the increase, industry groups say the increase is not enough. The proposal would increase total renewable fuel volumes by nearly 700 million gallons between 2016 and 2017. The conventional biofuel amount of 14.8 billion gallons is an increase from 14.5 billion gallons in 2016. The EPA says the increase will achieve 99 percent of the Congressional target of 15 billion gallons. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor argues the ethanol industry is “fully capable” of meeting the 15 billion gallon target set by Congress. For biodiesel, the EPA proposal would establish a 2.1 billion gallon Biomass-based Diesel requirement in 2018, up from the 2.0 billion gallon requirement for 2017. However Ann Steckel of the National Biodiesel Board says the industry has “plenty of feedstock and production capacity to exceed 2.5 billion gallons today, and can certainly do so in 2018.” The EPA will accept comments on the proposal for 60 days.

Oil Industry Group Calls on EPA to Protect Consumers

Following the proposal to increase biofuel mandates by the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Petroleum Institute called on the EPA to protect consumers from fuels unsafe for their vehicles. A spokesperson for API says “consumers’ interest should come ahead of ethanol interests,” adding “EPA is pushing consumers to use high ethanol blends they don’t want.” API claims higher blends of ethanol, such as E15, are not compatible with most cars on the road today and can damage engines and fuel systems. The Institute wants the EPA to set the final ethanol mandate at no more than 9.7 percent of gasoline. Further, API says the EPA proposal shows the only solution is for Congress to repeal or significantly reform the Renewable Fuel Standard.


Weaker Farm Economy Could Squeeze Agriculture Lenders

Leading agriculture lenders could feel the squeeze of a weaker farm economy thanks to heavy portfolios in farmland. Fitch Ratings said this week in a report that farm lenders may see some assets deteriorate, but the relative strength of the Farm Credit System and a less volatile interest rate should ease the impact. Fitch does not expect the weaker farm economy to affect the ratings of the Farm Credit System or the individual banks in the system, according to Reuters. Fitch expects smaller banks with agricultural loan portfolios larger than five percent will begin increasing their loan provisioning in the coming months to help manage the agricultural slowdown, just as banks with larger exposure to the energy sector have done. Fitch also expects agricultural banks and lenders’ loan portfolios to grow in the near to medium term, as farmers scramble to stay afloat.

Monsanto to Suspend Future Soybean Technologies in Argentina

Monsanto announced this week the company will suspend launching future soybean technologies in Argentina, as Monsanto has been unable to find any common ground with the Argentine government regarding inspections of genetically modified soybeans. Pro Farmer’s First Thing Today reports that Monsanto is taking steps to “protect its current assets,” according to company officials. Monsanto had previously asked Argentine exporters to inspect bean shipments to make sure farmers are paying royalties for use of its seed. Argentina responded with a decree that said the government must first approve any such inspections.


Syngenta Offer Deadline Extended

Syngenta shareholders have more time to mull over the $43 billion takeover bid from state-owned ChemChina, allowing time for outstanding regulatory approvals. The deadline to accept the bid was extended this week, as Syngenta says the offer will now run from May 24th to July 18th. A Syngenta spokesperson told Reuters “we don’t have all the regulatory approvals yet,” adding the company still expects the deal to close by the end of the year. ChemChina has previously said that the offer period, which initially would have expired on May 23rd, could be renewed several times, if needed. Earlier this week, USDA was reportedly allowed to join a review of the deal by the U.S. Treasury Department. U.S. lawmakers requested USDA be part of the review to better assess the impact of the transaction on domestic food security.


USDA Announces Bioeconomy Research and Development Funding

USDA Wednesday announced $21 million in funding to support the development of regional systems in sustainable bioenergy and biobased products. The funding also seeks education and training for the next generation of scientists that will expand the availability of renewable, sustainable goods and energy, according to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. The Secretary says the investment by USDA “will have a direct impact on local economies.” The funding is available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. For fiscal year 2016, USDA is soliciting applications that focus on Regional Bioenergy Coordinated Agricultural Projects. Those projects support the production and delivery of sustainable biomass feedstocks for bioenergy and bioproducts. The funding will also focus on educating students, faculty, and a workforce for opportunities within the bioeconomy.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service