READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Thursday, September 10th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Report: Trump to Deny RFS Gap Waivers

Ethanol and corn producers applaud a report by Reuters that President Donald Trump will deny pending retroactive biofuel waivers. The National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels Association, National Farmers Union and American Coalition for Ethanol jointly welcomed the news report. A joint statement reads, “it is our hope that EPA swiftly acts upon the President’s directive and closes the door once and for all on the refiners’ brazen attempt to rewrite history.” The report comes the same week an effort led by Growth Energy, including more than 90 stakeholders, urged the president to deny the so-called gap waivers. Ethanol industry supporters say the gap year waivers are intended to circumvent a Tenth Circuit Court’s decision against three granted waivers.  Meanwhile, the groups denounced CVR Refining and HollyFrontier Corporation’s last-minute request, filed on September 4, for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit Court’s ruling. NCGA, RFA, NFU and ACE were the four petitioners in the successful Tenth Circuit Court case.

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Biden, Trump Respond to AFBF Questionnaire

A new questionnaire reveals the priorities for rural America of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The American Farm Bureau Federation asked the Republican and Democratic candidates to respond with their stances on several topics directly affecting rural America. President Trump’s responses focus largely on his first-term accomplishments. He pledges a science-based approach to regulation going forward. He commits to addressing the “rural/urban divide” and emphasizes support for voluntary conservation programs.  Former Vice President Biden’s responses focus heavily on environmental sustainability and improving prosperity in rural communities. He, too, pledges to rely on experts and scientists when it comes to policies and regulation. He commits to “rebuilding the middle class” and working with farmers to achieve net-zero emissions. The answers are presented as they were received, unedited, to give farmers an unfiltered look at each candidate’s platform. AFBF has invited candidates from both parties to respond to election questionnaires for more than 40 years. The survey is available at FB.org/election2020.

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USDA Announces Egg Product Inspection Modernization Effort

The Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says it is modernizing egg product inspections. This is the first effort to update the inspection methods since Congress passed the egg Products inspection Act in 1970. FSIS says the Egg Products Inspection Regulations final rule aligns the egg products regulations to be consistent with current requirements in the meat and poultry products inspection regulations. Under the new rule, federally inspected egg product plants are required to develop and implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points systems and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures. FSIS will continue to test for Salmonella and Listeria in egg products. FSIS requires that plants produce egg products that meet food safety standards and are edible without additional preparation. Under the system, plants will be able to tailor a food safety system that best fits their facility and equipment. In addition, FSIS will be assuming regulatory authority over egg substitutes and freeze-dried egg products, which pose the same risk as egg products and will be inspected in the same manner.

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Produce Group Says Trade Investigation to Undermine USMCA

Not all produce groups are pleased the Trump Administration is taking action regarding fresh produce imports. Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer outlined a plan that includes investigations of imports of blueberries and potentially strawberries and bell peppers. The plan also outlines actions that would impact U.S. companies distributing imported produce. The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas says, “This politically motivated action directly undermines the new U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, positioning the U.S. as an unreliable trading partner.” The association says using the rarely invoked trade law cited would impose costly tariffs on seasonal produce, raise consumer prices, and would launch numerous and unending “tit for tat” trade wars. The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas is a nonprofit trade association headquartered in Arizona that represents over 120 U.S. member companies involved in importing and marketing fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Mexico and distributed across North America and the world. 

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USDA Supports U.S. Seafood Industry Impacted by Retaliatory Tariffs

The Department of Agriculture will provide approximately $530 million to support the U.S. seafood industry and fishermen impacted by retaliatory tariffs from foreign governments. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the support Wednesday. Perdue says, “Many nations have not played by the rules for a long time,” adding, “President Trump is the first President to stand up to them and send a clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate unfair trade practices.” The Seafood Trade Relief Program ensures fishermen and other U.S. producers, according to Perdue,  “will not stand alone in facing unjustified retaliatory tariffs while President Trump continues working to solidify better and stronger trade deals around the globe.” The funding will be provided through the Seafood Trade Relief Program and funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation. The Seafood Trade Relief Program funding will support roughly 20 fish and crab species, including flounder, salmon, and tuna. Fishermen can sign-up for relief through the program from September 14, 2020, to December 14, 2020.

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NCBA, PLC: Time to Delist Grizzly Bears from Endangered Species Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council say, “it’s time the grizzly bears are delisted,” from the Endangered Species Act. During a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing Wednesday, lawmakers discussed the Grizzly Bear State Management Act. Introduced last year by Senator Mike Enzi, a Republican from Wyoming, the bill directs the Department of the Interior to re-issue its delisting decision and prohibits further judicial review of this decision. Public Lands Council Executive Director Kaitlynn Glover says, “the Committee heard what ranchers across the West have known for years: grizzly bear populations are flourishing, which means the species no longer needs protection.” Senator Enzi says the authority to manage the species needs to be turned over to the states. In 2017, the Fish and Wildlife Service removed the grizzly bear from the endangered species list, citing a significant increase in bear populations. In September 2018, a federal judge in Montana ruled to put the grizzly bear back on the endangered species list.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian 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.