As summer begins, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to register early for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 29, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer.

To enter today using the online form, click hereContinue reading

06-26-18 NCGA Statement: EPA Proposed Biofuel Requirements

NCGA Statement: EPA Proposed Biofuel Requirements

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on EPA’s Proposed Biofuel Requirements for 2019.

“For corn farmers, what’s not included in EPA’s proposed rule says more than what’s included.

“It is encouraging that EPA is following Congressional intent and proposing some growth in the RFS volumes and continuing to propose an implied 15-billion-gallon volume for conventional ethanol. However, by continuing to allow retroactive exemptions to refineries, EPA will undercut the volumes in this rule, rendering the proposed blending levels meaningless. Furthermore, the proposed rule states that EPA will not consider comments on how small refinery exemptions are accounted for.  Continue reading

06-26-18 NFU: Proposed RFS RVO’s are Promising, but Not Enough 

Proposed Volume Obligations are Promising, but Not Enough 
More Must Be Done to Address Lost Demand for Renewable Fuels

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed increasing the renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by 3 percent in 2019, from 19.29 billion gallons to 19.88 billion gallons.  The proposal would maintain the current 15-million-gallon target for corn ethanol and increase cellulosic and advanced biofuel requirements by 100 million gallons and 600 million gallons, respectively.

Rob Larew, National Farmers Union (NFU) Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications, was encouraged by the volume increase but expressed concern about the fact that it does not address the misappropriation of “hardship waivers,” which has reduced the volume of renewable fuels in the transportation sector by as much as 1.6 billion gallons.

Larew issued the following statement in response to the proposal: Continue reading

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 26th

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…

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, June 26th

Perdue: Trump Will Protect Farmers

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says President Donald Trump will protect U.S. farmers from trade retaliations. In a USA Today editorial, Perdue says if China does not soon mend its ways, “we will quickly begin fulfilling our promise to support producers.” Perdue says Trump knows U.S. farmers feed, fuel and clothe the world, and that he will “not allow U.S. agriculture to bear the brunt” of China’s retaliations. China is retaliating against the Trump trade war by targeting U.S. agricultural products, such as soybeans, and many others. The Department of Agriculture has yet to release its plan to support farmers through a trade war. Perdue says it’s a simple case of ‘not releasing your plan when the opposing team is watching.’ However, agriculture is eager to see what’s in store as trade tensions rise. Meanwhile, Perdue says, if Trump is successful, “farmers will reap the benefits.”

EU, China, Working to Strengthen Trade Ties

The European Union is working to strengthen trade ties with China as the U.S. and China are embattled in a trade war. Repercussions of the trade war are being felt throughout U.S. agriculture, as the retaliatory tariffs from China will soon go into effect. Meanwhile, the EU is taking full advantage of the situation, and engaging with China to further develop trade. A European Commission news release says both sides agreed to exchange market access offers at an upcoming summit to give political motivation to an ambitious EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. China and the EU say the U.S. unilateral approach comes at the risk of a global recession and vowed for a multilateral approach to counteract the U.S. trade agenda, and to uphold a rules-based trading system through the World Trade Organization.

Uncertainty Brewing from RFS Target Announcement Delay

Uncertainty remains amid the Renewable Fuel Standard as the Trump Administration backed away from a planned announcement last week. The proposed volume obligation requirements, or biofuels targets, are still expected any day, though oil industry opposition apparently led the Trump administration to temporarily abandon the proposal, according to Bloomberg News. The proposal is estimated to require 19.88 billion gallons of biofuels to be used in 2019, a 3.1 percent increase over 2018 requirements. With a quota for 4.88 billion gallons of advanced biofuels, that would mean the EPA is proposing to require 15 billion gallons of conventional renewable fuels, including corn-based ethanol, the same as required in 2018 and the maximum that can be compelled under federal law. American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers President Chet Thompson called the proposal a “back-room deal,” in a statement opposing the alleged proposal. The EPA apparently was planning to make up volumes lost through hardship waivers granted to refiners under the RFS. The oil industry is vowing to fight the proposal if it moves forward.     

USDA Assisting Cotton Growers with Safety Net Changes

The Department of Agriculture is helping cotton farmers prepare for new safety net coverage. The Farm Service Agency is sending acreage history and yield reports to agricultural producers with generic base acres covered by the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs. USDA says the data will help producers decide the best options for how to allocate generic base acres, given the addition of seed cotton as a covered commodity in the programs. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 amended the 2014 Farm Bill, adding seed cotton as a covered commodity under the ARC and PLC programs. This week, FSA will start sending producers information on current generic base acres, yields and 2008-2012 planting history. FSA administrator Richard Fordyce says the data will help farmers “make critical decisions” about the USDA programs. All producers electing to participate in either the ARC or PLC program will be required to make a one-time, unanimous and irrevocable election, choosing between ARC and PLC for the 2018 crop year for seed cotton only.

Tyson, Merck Fund Poultry Research Facility

Merck Animal Health and Tyson Foods are providing funding to Texas A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Poultry Science department to build a new research facility. Meat industry publication Meatingplace reports the two companies have provided a $500,000 gift for the laboratory where scientists will focus on solving intestinal health issues in poultry. A University spokesperson says the gift will help serve the need for research and evaluation to increase bird health and welfare. Dr. Patrick Stover, vice chancellor for the agriculture and life sciences department at the University, says the laboratory will “facilitate scientific discovery with direct industry application in support of student education.” The University noted that U.S. consumers spend roughly $85 billion a year on poultry.

Canada Reopens Penitentiary Farming Operations

Canada will reopen its penitentiary farms in Kingston, Ontario. The Canadian government announced the farm operation will include both dairy cows and dairy goats. A phased approach, slated to begin in Fiscal Year 2018-19, will be adopted to implement new models for penitentiary farm operations at two locations, with full implementation expected over the course of the next five years. Canada says the reopening of the farms represents a renewal of the penitentiary farms model that includes additional technical skills certifications and community partnerships. A Correctional Service official says the plan will “further develop meaningful employment opportunities to help offenders successfully reintegrate into society.” Offenders will be involved in building and renovating necessary infrastructure as well as working to repair and rebuild farmland in the coming months to prepare for crops.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service