10-07-19 Inside the BARN: A Closer Look at the EPA and USDA ‘Biofuel Waiver Fix’…

Inside the BARN: A Closer Look at the EPA and USDA ‘Biofuel Waiver Fix’…

An interview with: Dan Sanders, Growth Energy Vice-Chair and Front Range Energy Vice President  along with Kim Reddin, Communications Director at Colorado Corn

The BARN, Briggsdale, CO – October 7, 2019 – On Friday, October 4th, United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler, agreed on a plan to boost renewable fuel production and improve the Renewable Fuels Standard.

 “This forward-looking agreement makes improvements to the RFS program that will better harness the production of our farmers and ensure America remains energy dominant.” – USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue

Joining the Colorado Ag News Network and FarmCast Radio to delve deeper into this recently announced EPA & USDA ‘biofuel waiver fix’ from the ethanol and corn industry side of the situation is Kim Reddin, Communications Director at Colorado Corn and Dan Sanders, Growth Energy Vice Chair & Vice President of Front Range Energy, an ethanol production facility in Windsor, Colorado


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10-07-19 USWA-NAWG Joint Statement: U.S.-Japan Tariff Agreement Confirms Equal Access for U.S. Wheat

U.S.-Japan Tariff Agreement Confirms Equal Access for U.S. Wheat

Washington, D.C. (October 7, 2019) – The text of the U.S.-Japan tariff agreement signed today in Washington, D.C., confirms that the agreement will provide imported U.S. wheat the same preferential advantage that is now given to Canadian and Australian wheat under the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Japan’s Diet must approve the agreement before it is implemented.

“As we hoped, the text confirms that the agreement will put U.S. wheat back on equal footing with wheat from Canada and Australia when it is implemented,” said U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) President Vince Peterson, who attended the event at the White House. “In addition, Japan has agreed to open country specific quotas for U.S. wheat and wheat product imports. The Trump Administration and negotiators for both countries clearly understood what was at stake for U.S. wheat farmers and made sure to have our backs in this agreement.”

“NAWG is thrilled to be present during the signing of the U.S.-Japan tariff agreement, a major milestone for wheat growers,” said National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President and Lavon, Tex., farmer Ben Scholz. “We would like to thank staff and leaders at USTR, USDA, and the Administration for working with the wheat industry as this agreement nears the finish line.”

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10-07-19 U.S. Grains Council Statement On Signing Of U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

U.S. Grains Council Statement On Signing Of U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

Washington, D.C. – A statement from U.S. Grains Council Chairman Darren Armstrong, a corn farmer from Hyde County, North Carolina, on the signing of the U.S.-Japan trade agreement:

“I was very pleased to join President Trump and other U.S. agriculture leaders at the White House today for the signing of the agreement recently negotiated to solidify our country’s trade relationship with Japan.

“This agreement provides certainty and stability in our second largest corn market, brings sorghum imports to a zero tariff level immediately and reduces the import markup on barley. We anticipate additional market access measures related to ethanol to be addressed in the next round of negotiations with Japan coming soon.

“We truly appreciate the deep ties we have built with our Japanese customers through decades of mutual work, and we appreciate the efforts of both governments to take this step forward into the future together.”

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10-07-19 CO Farm Bureau Statement on the U.S.- Japan Trade Agreement

CO Farm Bureau Statement on the U.S.- Japan Trade Agreementon New ESA Rules

Denver, Colo. — Today President Trump signed the U.S.- Japan Trade Agreement, a key step to growing Colorado’s fourth-largest agriculture export market. The following statement can be attributed to Don Shawcroft, President of Colorado Farm Bureau.

“The signing of the U.S.- Japan Trade Agreement today is a positive sign for agriculture producers in Colorado. The agreement will mean sharply lower tariffs on many agricultural products and will allow American producers to compete on a level playing field with other foreign competitors.

“We hope this momentum can be carried into talks with Chinese leaders later this week, and that leaders on Capitol Hill will take note and work to quickly come to an agreement on the pending USMCA deal.” Continue reading

10-07-19 USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Dairy Margin Coverage Program

USDA Opens 2020 Enrollment for Dairy Margin Coverage Program

Enrollment Ends Dec. 13, 2019

WASHINGTON, October 7, 2019 – Dairy producers can now enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) for calendar year 2020. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened signup today for the program that helps producers manage economic risk brought on by milk price and feed cost disparities.

“We know it’s tough out there for American farmers, including our dairy producers,” said Bill Northey, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “As Secretary Perdue said, farmers are pretty good at managing through tough times, and we know that more dairy farmers will be able to survive with this 2018 Farm Bill and its risk mitigation measures, like the Dairy Margin Coverage program.”

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10-07-19 CDA: State seeks public input on industrial hemp at CSU Pueblo meeting

CDA: State seeks public input on industrial hemp at CSU Pueblo meeting

Broomfield, CO – Leaders of the Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan (CHAMP) have scheduled a third public meeting on regulatory and economic issues surrounding industrial hemp. The meeting will take place Thursday, October 24, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Occhiato Student Center Ballroom South at Colorado State University Pueblo, 2200 Bonforte Blvd. in Pueblo.
“Partnering with our state’s leading academic institutions, including CSU Pueblo, is an important piece of the CHAMP initiative,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “We’re grateful for their guidance, expertise and ability to enhance our outreach to the regions and communities they serve.”

10-07-19 USDA Announces $16.2 Million to Support Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

USDA Announces $16.2 Million to Support Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers

WASHINGTON, October 7, 2019 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will issue $16.2 million in grants (PDF, 325 KB) to provide training, outreach, and technical assistance to underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers. This funding is available through the USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501 Program), managed by the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).

“All farmers and ranchers deserve equal access to USDA programs and services,” said Mike Beatty, director of the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “2501 grants go a long way in fulfilling our mission to reach historically underserved communities and ensure their equitable participation in our programs.”

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10-07-19 ABI: Congress Must Compel FDA to Enforce Butter Law, American Butter Institute Say

ABI: Congress Must Compel FDA to Enforce Butter Law, American Butter Institute Say

TUCSON, AZ – Noting that the Butter Act of 1923 gives the Food and Drug Administration no leeway in enforcing a congressional statute that defines the food as a dairy product, the American Butter Institute sent letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, urging them to compel FDA to enforce federal law against plant-based imposters that illegally misuse the term “butter” as a marketing trick.
“When it comes to violations of the Butter Act specifically, Congress did not give the Food and Drug Administration any enforcement discretion on the matter,” Tom Balmer, executive director of the American Butter Institute, said in the Oct. 4 letter. “Congress stated very precisely the ingredients from which butter is to be made and its final composition. FDA’s non-action in enforcing what Congress has mandated represents, in essence, a federal agency’s rewriting of a Congressional act and usurping Congressional authority.” 

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10-07-19 Culver’s Thank You Farmers® Project Donations Reach $2.5M

Culver’s Thank You Farmers® Project Donations Reach $2.5M

Restaurant chain’s leadership joins efforts of national organization 

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis.—Oct. 7, 2019— Culver’s and its Thank You Farmers Project has raised $2.5 million to support agricultural education since its inception six years ago. So far in 2019, over $400,000 has been raised. By 2050, the global population is expected to reach 9.8 billion, meaning we’ll have to produce 80% more food than we do today to feed everyone. Money raised through Culver’s supports programs such as FFA and others that are educating our country’s future agricultural leaders.

“We’re facing a turning point in agriculture, and the responsibility to feed a growing population falls on all of us, not just farmers,” said Joe Koss, president and CEO at Culver’s. “Our guests understand this, and that’s why they’ve helped us to raise money every year to support the future of agriculture.”

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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, October 7th

READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, October 7th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

EPA, USDA Agree on RFS “Fix”

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, agreed on a plan to boost renewable fuel production and improve the Renewable Fuels Standard. Perdue says this agreement builds on the success of the year-round E15 rule. “This forward-looking agreement makes improvements to the RFS program that will better harness the production of our farmers and ensure America remains energy dominant,” Perdue says. Both agencies will take a series of steps to help boost biofuels. The EPA will propose and request public comment on expanding biofuel requirements beginning in 2020. EPA will seek comment on its actions to ensure that more than 15 billion gallons of conventional ethanol will be blended into the nation’s fuel supply beginning next year. They also will ensure that the volume obligation for biomass-based diesel will be met. EPA will also include accounting for relief expected to be provided for small refineries through RFS waivers. Building on year-round E15, EPA will initiate a rulemaking process to streamline labeling and remove other barriers to the sale of E15. EPA will also evaluate options for RIN market transparency and reform. USDA will look for opportunities for infrastructure projects to help facilitate higher biofuel blends. The administration will continue to work to address ethanol and biodiesel trade issues.


Ag Groups Respond to Biofuel Announcement

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor was pleased with the White House announcement that President Trump will uphold the integrity of the Renewable Fuels Standard. “It’s been a long process,” she said, “but when the chips were down, the president delivered for farm families and biofuels producers.” The National Corn Growers Association says the announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency will reopen the rulemaking for the 2020 RFS volumes and propose to account for waivers in volume requirements allows the EPA to follow the law and restore integrity to the RFS. NCGA President Kevin Ross says the announcement, “Gets the RFS back on track.” The National Biodiesel Board says nine producers from across the country closed their doors or reduced operations and laid off more than 200 employees. The NBB says this announcement is the first step in reversing the loss of production and restoring those jobs. NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik says, “The biodiesel industry relies on the RFS program to support continued growth and market development. While the proposal addresses the lost gallons from future RFS exemptions, it doesn’t provide for additional volumes of biomass-based diesel in 2021.”


U.S. Trade Deficit Narrow with China

The United States’ trade deficit with China is as small as it’s been in recent months. U.S. exports hit a five-month high, which Bloomberg says is a possible sign of goodwill from China as the two nations continue to try and resolve their trade war. According to data released late last week by the Commerce Department, the trade gap shrank to a seasonally adjusted $28.9 billion. Exports increased by $10 billion while imports dropped slightly to $38.9 billion. Even with the new numbers, imports and exports with China have declined significantly since the trade war began in 2018. China is now the third-largest U.S. trading partner this year, behind Mexico and Canada, after it was number one in 2018. So far this year, the U.S. merchandise deficit with China narrowed to a seasonally adjusted $238.4 billion over the first eight months of this year, compared to $270.1 billion through the same period in 2018. Since the end of August, the trade war has continued to escalate as additional duties went into effect on September 1. Others are set to rise or take effect on October 15 and December 15. Chinese officials are scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., for more trade talks this week.


THC Testing Still a Challenge for Hemp Farmers

The hype over hemp sparked a rush of enthusiasm from farmers looking to add it to their crop rotations after it was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill. Stuck in a declining farm economy, Politico says hemp offers a new source of income for farmers who’ve been hit from all sides by a trade war with China, a stretched-out cycle of low commodity prices, as well as a series of natural disasters. The potential of an economic payday is calling a lot of farmers to try to grow the crop for the first time. However, legalizing hemp has been far from a smooth ride. Farmers have had a series of challenges as they continue to figure out the hemp process from growing to harvesting to selling the crop. One of the biggest complications involves the THC levels, which growers have to keep a close eye on to make sure it doesn’t climb above .3 percent. That’s the legal threshold that technically classifies the crop as marijuana, a cannabis cousin of hemp. Measuring THC is a patchwork procedure between states. USDA is under pressure to overwrite that patchwork with a national standard on THC testing.


European Union Reacts to New Trump Tariffs

European leaders and businesspeople slammed the Trump Administration’s plans to impose large tariffs on a wide array of European goods. The tariffs are going in place after the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of the U.S. in a longstanding dispute over subsidies given to Airbus, a European aircraft manufacturer. The administration is set to impose tariffs on roughly $7.5 billion in European goods, pending WTO approval. The Washington Post says goods facing a higher duty include Italian cheeses and one of Trump’s favorite targets, French wine. The tariffs will be as high as 25 percent on agricultural and industrial products and could take effect as soon as October 18. The director of Europe’s largest wine and spirits lobby says the retaliatory U.S. tariffs will hit industries that aren’t related to the core of the dispute, which is airline subsidies. The EU’s top trade official, Cecilia Malmstrom, says regardless of the WTO ruling, she opposes retaliatory U.S. countermeasures. “We say that the U.S. opting for applying countermeasures now would be shortsighted and counterproductive.”


New York City Bans Processed Meats in School Lunches

Kids are notorious for their love of hot dogs but they won’t get them in New York City schools this year for lunch. A Fox 5 New York Dot Com article says the Board of Education will no longer allow processed meats in public school cafeterias following a resolution passed by the New York City Council. Councilman Fernando Cabrera is a Bronx Democrat who sponsored the resolution. “We’re talking about hot dogs, we’re talking about cold cuts, and we’re talking about any processed meats,” he says. Salami and cheese sandwiches are no longer on the menu, as well as bologna and cheese sandwiches, cheese and turkey ham sandwiches, and pre-sliced Canadian turkey bacon and turkey ham. The Board of Education says it banned the meats that are defined by the World Health Organization as “processed.” The city has already stopped serving any meat products on Mondays, which Mayor Bill de Blasio says is a way to help reduce greenhouse gasses.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service