READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, September 23rd

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Biden Campaign Blames Trump for Ethanol Crisis

During a virtual press conference Tuesday, the Joe Biden campaign utilized farmers blaming President Donald Trump for the ongoing ethanol industry crisis. The farmers noted how the administration has given oil companies dozens of waivers, reducing demand for ethanol and forcing the closure of refineries across the country. Jim Nichols, owner of a 500-acre corn and soybean farm in Minnesota, stated, “Corn farmers are in terrible shape due to President Trump’s betrayal,” adding, “we need change now.” Chris Gibbs, a farmer from West-central Ohio and president of the Rural America 2020 board of directors, stated, “Rather than supporting corn farmers and making E15 ‘America’s Fuel,’ Trump has consistently undercut this industry and hurt our farmers. Rural America 2020 is a nonprofit that advocates for policies that benefit agriculture and rural America, supporting Joe Biden for president. Last week, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency announced it would deny petitions for small refinery exemptions for past compliance years, the so-called “gap-filling” petitions for the 2011-18 compliance years.

CORRECTION:  Rural America 2020 is not associated with the Biden campaign in any capacity. Rural America 2020 is a non-partisan group comprised of volunteer members who are focused on the growing ag economic crisis and advocating for their fellow rural Americans.

AFBF: Congress Must Leave Farmers and Ranchers Out of Political Fight

Election year politics are putting ad-hoc farm safety net tools in jeopardy. The continuing resolution in the House of Representatives this week does not include a replenishment of the Commodity Credit Corporation. The $30 billion CCC fund is used, in part, to aid farmers and ranchers in times of economic emergencies. In a statement, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall says, “We’re disappointed that Congress has not reached an agreement on replenishing the Commodity Credit Corporation.” Duvall adds, “We strongly encourage members of Congress to put their differences aside in order to address the needs of rural America.” AFBF notes the impact of the CCC is far-reaching, adding that without immediate CCC replenishment, programs laid out in the farm bill, including conservation and rural development, as well as supplemental funding for nutrition programs, are all at risk. Duvall says a fully funded CCC is as important as ever as farmers are suffering through a pandemic, trade imbalances and severe weather.

NCGA Exploring Short Term Demand Growth

The National Corn Growers Association is actively working to rebuild demand by exploring new incremental opportunities for America’s corn farmers. In partnership with AimPoint Research and primary customer segments, NCGA is developing a short-term demand growth plan that sets the table for long-term success. NCGA President Kevin Ross says, “I don’t have to tell you, this year is unlike any other I’ve experienced in my career, which is why we have to think outside the box and deliver quick wins for corn farmers.” The process of evaluating potential market opportunities started with an intelligence briefing and level setting exercise. In the coming weeks, committees will do a deep dive to develop potential solution sets with analysis for each potential market for corn. By December, a full marketing plan by segment will be unveiled. The primary areas of growth potential are ethanol usage domestically and internationally, expanded export markets for corn and co-products, and industrial segments such as biobased plastics.

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Launches Nationwide Grower Recruitment Campaign

American cotton growers now can join the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, a new standard for verifying the sustainability progress of U.S. cotton. As consumers continue to demand eco-friendly products, enrolling in the Trust Protocol will help growers ensure markets for their cotton by verifiably demonstrating the sustainability record of American cotton in the global market. Protocol President Gary Adams says, “growers will now be able to better document their current sustainability programs using a quantifiable, digital platform and that data is assessed and verified by a third-party audit.” The Protocol helps U.S. growers document and showcase their land management and environmental stewardship practices while helping them achieve continuous improvement related to environmental sustainability measurements. Each participating grower commits to documenting and tracking their progress toward improving soil carbon health while seeking year over year reductions in soil erosion, overall land use, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. By 2025, the Trust Protocol seeks to have more than 50 percent of all U.S. cotton registered as Trust Protocol Cotton.

Army Corps Repairing Missouri River Navigation Channel

Multiple issues along the Lower Missouri River’s navigation channel are under repair by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps’ Kansas City District is addressing priority areas of concern and the damages to river structures that have accumulated during nearly three years of high water. An extended period of high water on the Lower Missouri River, including devastating flooding in 2019, damaged 50-75 percent of the 7,000 river training structures that make up the Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project. The damage caused navigation restrictions as the river returned to normal levels this summer. A District official says USACE is addressing the restrictions and restoring the channel to its nine-foot depth. However, officials say there is insufficient funding to repair all the structures damaged by the 2019 flood. Lack of funding is impacting the ability to make the repairs, and officials say time will be necessary for the structures to fully scour the channel to return it to its authorized nine-foot by 300-foot condition.

U.N. Launches Green Cities Initiative to End Hunger

A plan by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization seeks to transform agri-food systems, end hunger and improve nutrition in and around cities in a post-COVID-19 era. The Green Cities Initiative and Action Plan announced this week aims to improve the livelihoods and well-being of populations in at least 100 cities around the world in the next three years, looking to have 1,000 cities join by 2030. In particular, the initiative is focused on improving the urban environment, strengthening urban-rural linkages and the resilience of urban systems, services and populations to external shocks. Ensuring access to a healthy environment and healthy diets from sustainable food systems, it will also contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainable resource management. The new initiative also includes the creation of a “Green Cities Network”, where cities of all sizes – from large to medium to small – will exchange experiences on best practices, successes and lessons, as well as build city-to-city cooperation opportunities.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service


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.