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READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, March 14th

U.S., EU Reach Tentative Beef Agreement

The United States and the European Union have reached an “agreement in principle” to allow U.S. farmers a share of the EU’s annual 45,000-ton quota for hormone-free beef imports. Politico reports the agreement has been sent to EU member nations for approval. The import quota was set in 2009 by the EU after the bloc lost a World Trade Organization dispute over its ban on hormone-treated beef. However, other nations have largely served to meet the quota, crowding out U.S. beef producers. Negotiations to include the U.S. in the EU beef market started in September of last year, as the Trump administration is seeking a trade agreement with the European Union. Those talks have been slow going as the European Union has been reluctant to include agriculture in trade negotiations with the United States. Still, both sides are trying to move forward in the initial negotiation.

Peterson Warns RIN Market Reform Could Bog Down E15 Rule

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson warns the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts in connecting E15 with RIN market reform may “bog down moving forward on both.” The EPA regulates the Reid vapor pressure of gasoline sold at retail stations between June 1 and September 15. During that timeframe, gasoline blends with 15 percent ethanol are not allowed to be sold at retail stations. Now, the EPA is proposing to grant a Reid vapor pressure wavier for E15 fuels, allowing year-round sales, while also reforming the RIN market in the same proposal. Peterson calls the E15 proposal “long overdue,” but added he encourages the administration to find a “more efficient pathway process at EPA.” Further, Peterson contends the proposal “doesn’t lessen the damage caused by the Administration’s misuse of the small refinery exemption.” The waivers allow refineries to avoid their blending requirements under the RFS. Before major changes are proposed to the RIN marketplace, Peterson says the EPA should address the overuse of these waivers.

API Calls EPA E15 Proposal a “Bad Deal” for Consumers

The American Petroleum Institute calls the year-round E15 proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency a “bad deal” for consumers. A critic of the Renewable Fuel Standard, API called on the Trump administration to “scrap this anti-consumer policy.” Additionally, API says the proposed RIN market changes included in the rule released this week for public comment “could increase costs for fuel producers and lead to higher prices for consumers.” API charges that the proposal “only helps the ethanol industry.” The ethanol industry and the National Corn Growers contend the opposite, calling the rule a win for farmers and consumers. NCGA President Lynn Chrisp says the rule “grows a domestic market for farmers,” and “gives consumers more choice at the pump.” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says that after years of declining farm income, “opening up markets to additional fuel choices will help create new demand that farmers desperately need.” The rule is open for public comment and the EPA is seeking to implement the proposal before the summer driving season, which begins June first.

USDA Seeks Nominations for the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics

The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is seeking nominations to the Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics. The committee serves as an advisor to the Agriculture Secretary on the scope, timing and content of periodic agricultural censuses, surveys of agriculture and other related industries. The committee also makes recommendations on the content of agriculture reports and represents the views and data needs of suppliers and users of agricultural statistics. NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer says the panel “helps keep USDA current with data needs in the rapidly changing agricultural environment.” The committee, appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, consists of 22 members representing agricultural producers, farm organizations, agricultural economists, and others from rural America. Members serve a staggered two-year term and can serve up to three terms for a total of six consecutive years. To submit a nomination, visit the USDA NASS website, Nominations must be sent to USDA by March 29th.

Washington State House Passes Clean Fuels Standard

Legislation in Washington state would launch a low carbon fuel standard beginning in 2021. Applauded by the National Biodiesel Board, the legislation passed the Washington House this week. The Clean Fuels Standard is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels ten percent below 2017 levels by 2028 and 20 percent below those same levels by 2035. Supporters say the program will play a significant role in meeting the state’s overall greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. NBB Director of State Governmental Affairs Shelby Neal calls the legislation “a great step forward for the environment, consumers, and green industry in Washington State.” While the bill text fails to mention ethanol or biodiesel, NBB says to meet state greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, Washington State will need to increase use of fuel alternatives such as biodiesel and renewable diesel. Historically, biodiesel consumption in Washington state has been relatively low compared to the rest of the nation. The legislation has yet to be introduced in the Washington State Senate.

AFBF’s Duvall Named Ag Association Leader of the Year

The National Agri-Marketing Association has named Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation, as the 2019 Ag Association Leader of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding achievement and excellence among senior executives who have made significant contributions to the agriculture industry in their roles with association or commodity organizations. Duvall will be honored during the 2019 Agri-Marketing Conference, April 10-12, in Kansas City, Missouri. Duvall has been President of the American Farm Bureau Federation since January 2016. Prior to being elected AFBF president, Duvall served for nine years as president of the Georgia Farm Bureau. Duvall’s leadership history in his home state includes service on the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers Committee and Georgia Farm Bureau board of directors.  Duvall has also been recognized with several state appointments, including then-Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue’s Agricultural Advisory Committee and the Georgia Development Authority. His many state honors include Georgia Dairy Family of the Year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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