05-08-18 Statement from the U.S. Grains Council on Renewable Fuel Standard and Reallocating RINs

Statement from the U.S. Grains Council on Renewable Fuel Standard and Reallocating RINs

Washington, D.C. – President Donald Trump, today, agreed to allow ethanol exports to receive credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard and he reaffirmed he will approve year-round sales of 15-percent ethanol fuels without a Renewable Identification Number (RIN) cap. However, he left a third item undefined and has asked Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to work out the details: Reallocating RINs from exempted small refinery gallons to ethanol exports.

“We appreciate the Trump Administration’s strong support of the Renewable Fuel Standard, but the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is concerned any move that would relate RINs to exporting ethanol could be severely detrimental to the competitiveness of ethanol exports and would harm the U.S. grains industry,” said Tom Sleight, USGC president and CEO. “We believe RINs for exported ethanol could be perceived as an export subsidy, against our World Trade Organization obligations. They could put a target on our back globally.” Continue reading



NAFB / GROWTH ENERGY – MAY 8, 2018 – Growth Energy says word that the Trump administration will deliver on its promise for year-round E15 sales is a win for agriculture. Further, the idea of capping Renewable Identification Credits, or RIN prices, is dead, according to those at a White House meeting Tuesday. Following the meeting, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says that all parties agreed to move forward with year-round E15 sales…


Audio provided as a service to farm broadcasters by Growth Energy & the NAFB Continue reading

05-08-18 As Farm Bill Heats Up, NAWG Officers Hold Annual Fly-In

As Farm Bill Heats Up, NAWG Officers Hold Annual Fly-In

Washington, D.C. (May 08, 2018) – This week, NAWG officers are traveling to Washington D.C. for their annual Fly-in to meet with Members of Congress and their staff to discuss the importance of passing a Farm Bill this year. A few NAWG state associations are also hitting the Hill including the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, Texas Wheat Producers Association, and Washington Association of Wheat Growers.

“With it looking like the Farm Bill could hit the House floor soon and anticipated action in the Senate Agriculture Committee this month, we knew it was critical to get in to see Members and their staff to talk about the importance of completing a strong Farm Bill reauthorization before it expires,” said Jimmie Musick, Sentinel, Oklahoma farmer and NAWG President. “According to USDA’s Economic Research Service, net cash farm income of wheat farmers is expected to decline over 21 percent this year from last.  Along with low prices and a suffering ag economy, our farmers have also had to deal with extreme weather conditions and disease and pest problems affecting their crops. Strong Farm Bill programs are key to enabling growers to continue farming.”  Continue reading

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, May 8th

NAFTA Talks Continue This Week

The Renegotiation effort of the North American Free Trade Agreement continues this week with all sides eager to finish the talks. Representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico are pushing to finalize an updated agreement this week. However, as Bloomberg reports, several contentious issues remain unresolved as the talks have stretched over more than eight months, including dairy. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has previously said he hopes to finish the talks by mid-May, as to pave the way to get a revised NAFTA through the U.S. Congress by the end of this year. The U.S. is also eager to turn full attention to China, after making little progress last week on the trade dispute between the two nations. U.S. lawmakers are also putting pressure on negotiators, as a few weeks ago more than 60 members of Congress encouraged Lighthizer to eliminate Canada’s tariffs on U.S. dairy exports and its protectionist pricing policies through the negotiations.

Food Price Index up 2.7 Percent

The Global Food Price Index has increased two percent since this time last year. Released last week, the monthly record of global food prices by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations averaged 173.5 points, up 2.7 percent from April 2017. While the prices of most cereal grains and dairy products continued to increase in April, sugar prices fell further. Vegetable oil and meat markets also remained under pressure. Cereal grain prices have increased 15.4 percent since April of last year, following an upward trend for the fourth consecutive month, with prices of wheat, coarse grains and rice all gaining momentum in recent months. Dairy prices were 3.4 percent higher than March, and up 11 percent over the past 12 months. Meanwhile, meat prices fell .9 percent for the month, roughly equal to its year-ago level. Finally, sugar prices were down 4.8 percent for the month, and down 24 percent from April 2017.

Farm Credit Loan Volume up One Percent

Combined net income for the Farm Credit System increased 1.8 percent to $1.27 billion for the first quarter of 2018, as compared with $1.24 billion for the same period last year. President and CEO of the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation Tracey McCabe says the system remains “well-positioned” to support farmers as they face challenges this year. Net interest income was $2 billion for the first quarter of 2018, as compared with $1.9 billion for the first quarter of 2017. The increase in net interest income primarily resulted from a higher level of average earning assets, driven largely by increased loan volume and, to a lesser extent, growth in the liquidity investment portfolio. Meanwhile, the Farm Credit System reported loan losses of $69 million for the first quarter of 2018, as compared with $37 million during the first quarter of 2017.

Canada Closes TB Investigation

Canada has closed it’s bovine tuberculosis investigation as officials say no further cases found have been found since discovered nearly two years ago. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency Monday reported receiving the last of the lab culture test results on about 30,000 animals tested during its probe. The investigation started in 2016 after finding six cases of bovine tuberculosis in cattle, which was first discovered in a U.S. slaughterhouse. The agency expects to publish a summary report online in June. The AgCanada Network reports that animals across 79 “trace-out” herds and 71 “trace-in” herds were tested. From those, about 11,500 cattle were ordered destroyed, but no further cases were discovered, and no source of infection has been identified for the six TB-positive cattle found in the investigation. Cattle producers have received about $39 million in compensation for the destroyed animals. The successful investigation allows Canada to keep its bovine tuberculosis-free status regarding global trade.

Monsanto Leadership Out of Bayer Takeover

Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant and Chief Technology Officer Rob Fraley will leave the company following the Bayer takeover. Monsanto announced Monday that Fraley and Grant will not be a part of the merged Bayer-Monsanto, once the deal is complete. The two are joined by six others from Monsanto’s leadership team that will depart the company. In a separate announcement, Bayer announced the combined company will be led by Liam Condon, who serves as a member of Bayer’s Board of Management and as President of the Bayer Crop Science Division. The merged company leadership team includes a mixture of Bayer and Monsanto employees. Bayer notes that the appointments will only become effective with the closing of Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto, which depends on required regulatory approvals. Until that date, both companies will continue to operate as competitors under their current structures.   

Growth Energy Pressing Trump on Biofuels

An open letter to President Trump in Monday’s editions of the New York Times, New York Post, and Wall Street Journal urges the president to “unleash rural growth by cutting the red tape holding back homegrown energy.” The letter by Growth Energy also condemned Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s actions that the organization says are “destroying demand for biofuels and crops during the worst farm crisis since the 1980s.” The full-page ads were placed by Growth Energy ahead of an expected meeting with farm-state leaders and petroleum backers at the White House this week. The letter was signed by 94 of Growth Energy’s member plants from 18 states. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the president needs “to act quickly on his pledge” to lift outdated regulations on E15, which she says would send “a clear and final signal” that the White House will “no longer tolerate oil-backed schemes to derail the rural recovery.”
SOURCE: NAFB News Service