READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, November 21st

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FERC Announces Alternative Dispute Resolution Process for Midwest Propane Situation

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission this week announced an alternative dispute resolution process with propane distributors regarding issues in the Midwest. The effort includes pipeline companies, shippers and their representatives to explore actions the commission and the industry can take to alleviate propane pipeline constraints in the region. Farmers, dealing with a soggy harvest, are facing trouble finding propane to dry wet grain in select states. In the announcement, the commission stated the action was a direct result of conversations and letters from Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and lawmakers in Congress. Additionally, the commission issued an order accepting a proposal by Enterprise TE Products Pipeline Company LLC, providing emergency transportation service of propane to the Midwest region for a 30-day period. Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee says, “the commission takes this issue seriously,” adding “by bringing the pipelines and shippers to the table, we are building on these efforts and establishing a dialogue focused on exploring concrete solutions.”

GREEN Act Would Extend Renewable Energy Tax Incentives

A renewable energy bill includes biodiesel tax extenders, although the legislation’s future is uncertain. This week, California Democrat Mike Thompson introduced the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now, or GREEN Act, in the House of Representatives. Thompson says the bill will “build on existing tax incentives that promote renewable energy and increase efficiency.” The bill would extend the currently expired biodiesel tax credits through a multiyear extension. The legislation would keep the credit at its current rate of $1.00 per gallon for 2018 through 2021 but gradually reduce it to $0.33 per gallon by 2024. The National Biodiesel Board supports the legislation, as the industry seeks certainty. Since the start of the year, ten biodiesel plants have been forced to cut production or close and lay off workers due to policy uncertainty. However, the fate of the bill is unclear, as Democrats and Republicans clash over so-called “green” legislation and climate issues. Among other things, the bill would promote green energy technologies, increase energy efficiency, and support use of zero-emission transportation and infrastructure.

Growth Energy Celebrates New York’s Move to E15

Growth Energy calls New York’s move to E15 a “major regulatory victory” that will open the nation’s fourth-largest fuel market to E15 Under a rule finalized Wednesday by the New York Department of Agriculture. New York will become the newest state to allow the sale of E15, which is approved for all vehicles model year 2001 and newer. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says the organization “looks forward to working with retailers across the state to quickly get E15 into the market.” Over the last five years, Growth Energy has worked together with community leaders, retailers, farm advocates, and biofuel supporters across New York to push for an update to the state’s fuel regulations. Western New York Energy President and CEO Timothy Winters says the update “will allow more New York motorists to make their own decisions about purchasing renewable fuel blends.” Last month, American drivers topped 11 billion miles on E15, and adoption rates continue to rise following recent regulatory changes by the EPA to permit year-round sales of the fuel.

Farmers Receive 12 Cents of the Thanksgiving Food Dollar

Farmers and ranchers take home just 12.1 cents from every dollar that consumers spend on their Thanksgiving dinner meals, according to the National Farmers Union. NFU’s annual Farmer’s Share publication compares the retail food price of traditional holiday dinner items to the amount the farmer receives for each item they grow or raise. On average, farmers receive 14.6 cents of every food dollar consumers spend throughout the year, more than the recent study finds. NFU President Roger Johnson says, “We’re in the midst of the worst farm economic downturn in generations, and we’re hopeful the Farmer’s Share can help illustrate that fact to the general public.” Wheat farmers averaged a meager $0.03 on 12 dinner rolls that retail for $2.69. Dairy producers received only $1.66 from a $4.59 gallon of milk. And turkey growers, who raise the staple Thanksgiving dish, received just $0.06 per pound retailing at $1.49. Johnson says that $0.06 figure—while striking on its own—is particularly shocking when considering the fact that poultry integrators received $0.62 per pound.

Plant Response Biotech, Koch Biological Solutions Merge

Plant Response Biotech and Koch Biological Solutions, LLC. have combined operations to form Plant Response Biotech, Inc. The new venture will leverage both companies’ complementary capabilities, assets and product offerings. Plant Response Biotech is a plant biotechnology company specializing in plant innate immunity, plant physiology and nutrient use efficiency. It has developed several product candidates which are approaching commercial launch status in the areas of drought tolerance and plant health. Koch Biological Solutions focuses on developing science-based, live microbial and biologically derived chemistries that improve plant performance at every stage of growth. Through various modes of action, their biological solutions perform directly on the plant or its environment to improve crop efficiency and nutrient uptake, maximizing yield potential. Tom Warner, chairman of the board for the new Plant Response Biotech, says of the move, “These companies are naturally complementary, and it made tremendous sense to bring the two together.” The new company will be headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, with operations in California and Spain.


USDA Invests in the Expansion of Rural Education and Health Care Access

The Department of Agriculture Wednesday announced a $42.5 million investment for education and telemedicine projects in parts of rural America. The effort will fund 133 projects in 37 states and two U.S. territories through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program, benefiting 5.4 million rural residents. DJ LaVoy, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, says the program helps “rural residents to take advantage of economic, health care and educational opportunities without having to travel long distances.” The funded projects include $488,000 for Mississippi State University to update video conferencing equipment in 93 counties. USDA’s investment will enable participants in extension offices and experiment stations to deliver educational programming to interactive audiences. In Ohio, the Lisbon Exempted Village School District is receiving a $323,000 grant to create a distance learning network at eight sites within one county. The district will offer classes and behavioral health services to 850 students. Information on additional projects funded by the effort is online at

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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