READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Tuesday, January 19th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Mark Poeschl resigns as CEO of National FFA Organization and National FFA Foundation

The National FFA Board of Directors and National FFA Board of Trustees announced the resignation of as CEO of the National FFA Organization and National FFA Foundation, effective January 15. In a statement, Poeschl said, “I know there have been challenges we have faced during my tenure, but my intentions have been for the best interests of FFA and our student members.” He adds, “I’m proud of what we have accomplished together, but now it’s time for the next CEO of FFA to step in and make their mark.”  Dr. James Woodard, National FFA Advisor and Board Chair, says, “Mark informed us Thursday that he has decided to end his role as National FFA CEO. The board wishes Mark well, and we acknowledge the impact he has made in the last four and a half years as National FFA leader.” Poeschl began his tenure leading FFA in 2016, from Cargill Animal Nutrition.

************************************************************************************
EPA Won’t Decide on RFS Waiver Requests

The Environmental Protection Agency said last week it proposes to extend refiner deadlines to prove compliance with biofuel laws. Reuters says the agency is signaling that it won’t decide on many of the pending waiver requests submitted by the industry. It’s mixed news for refiners who’ve been hit hard by the slump in energy demand during COVID-19 and are looking to decrease regulatory costs associated with the U.S. biofuel blending policy. It’s also one of the final actions the EPA will take before President Trump leaves office on January 20. The agency will propose to extend the compliance deadline for 2019 biofuel blending obligations to November 30, 2021. The EPA will move the 2020 deadlines to January 31, 2022, and June 1, 2022. Refiners must turn in their credits to the EPA every year to prove they’ve complied with the annual biofuel blending obligations for the previous calendar year. The EPA also says it won’t take a position on the availability of 2019 small refinery waivers, which can exempt oil refiners from their obligations to blend biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply. The decision is related to the pending litigation on the waiver program.

************************************************************************************

Corn and Soybean Export Sales Jump Higher

Corn export sales almost doubled week-to-week while soybean sales also jumped higher. The USDA says corn sales to overseas buyers jumped 92 percent week-to-week to 1.44 million metric tons. That’s up 34 percent over the prior four-week average. Japan was the biggest buyer at more than 401,000 metric tons. An unnamed buyer purchased 334,000 tons, and Columbia bought almost 126,000 metric tons. China was in for another 88,500 tons, while El Salvador canceled a shipment of 24,000 tons. Exports totaled 1.46 million metric tons last week, 43 percent higher than the previous week, and 41 percent from the average. Soybean sales totaled 908,000 metric tons, significantly higher last week’s marketing year low of almost 37,000 tons and the highest number since November 12. China was the biggest buyer again, purchasing 758,300 metric tons. Other significant buyers included Spain, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Pakistan. Last week’s export total was 2.04 million metric tons, up 10 percent from the previous week but down 12 percent from the average. Wheat sales through January 7 totaled almost 222,000 metric tons, down 19 percent week-to-week and 49 percent from the four-week average.

**********************************************************************************************  

NCFC Unhappy with IRS Rule on “Grain Glitch”

The Internal Revenue Service released its final rule on how farm income from cooperatives will be handled for tax purposes. The Hagstrom Report says the regulation has been a source of dispute since Congress passed the 2017 Tax and Jobs Act. The IRS says Section 199A of the law provides taxpayers a deduction of up to 20 percent of income from a domestic business operated as a sole proprietorship or through a partnership, S corporation, trust, or estate. The IRS says that “Section 199A(b)(7) requires patrons of Specified Cooperatives to reduce their Section 199A(a) deduction if those patrons receive certain payments from Specified Cooperatives.” Farm leaders say that interpretation doesn’t follow congressional intent and called it the “grain glitch” in the law. However, the IRS issued the rule which will be published on Tuesday, the day before Donald Trump leaves office. “We find it deeply troubling that in the final days of the administration, the IRS ignored what Congress wanted and issued final regulations implementing Section 199A that will raise taxes on farmers across the country,” says Chuck Conner, president of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives. “The Treasury Department is siding with large multinational grain companies and Wall Street at the expense of hardworking farmers and rural communities.”

***********************************************************************************************

USDA Offering Additional Assistance Through CFAP

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the USDA will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The agency will be expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities and updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied to the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact the USDA’s Farm Service Agency between January 19 and February 26. “The coronavirus has left a deep impact on the farm economy, and we are utilizing the tools and monies available to ease some of the financial burdens on American producers to ensure our agricultural economy remains strong, independent, and a global leader in production,” Perdue says. Among some of the changes, contract producers of swine, broilers, laying hens, chicken eggs, and turkeys who suffered a drop in revenue in 2020 compared to 2019 because of COVID-19 are now eligible for assistance. Also, producers of pullets and turfgrass sod are now eligible for CFAP payments. Those commodities weren’t explicitly included in the initial CFAP 2 rules. Producers can learn about the other changes at www.farmers.gov/cfap.

**********************************************************************************************

Drought Conditions Slowly Improving in South America

Argentina received much-welcomed rains in areas like La Pampa and many Buenos Aires locations into central Cordoba, San Luis, and southern Santa Fe late last week. Moisture totals varied from .2 to .88 inches of rain, with local totals of one inch to more than three inches in southern Santa Fe and southeastern Cordoba. The moisture combined with the rain falling earlier last week, as well as the rain expected over the past weekend, should help South American crops coast into this week’s dry and warmer weather without a lot of concern over drought stress. Timely rain is going to be extremely important over the last week of January and into early February. However, current conditions are improving. A Bower Trading report says Brazil’s rainfall has been erratic recently, but enough rain is falling in the most important production areas. Two days’ worth of scattered showers and thunderstorms fell in the northern and western parts of the country’s crop-growing regions. The weather outlook in Brazil shows rain ahead for most of the key grain, oilseed, and cotton areas in South America. Drier weather is forecast in certain areas, but it will have a bigger impact on unirrigated coffee, cocoa, and small sugarcane fields, more so than it will on the coarse grains and oilseeds.

**********************************************************************************************  

Environmental Groups Sue Trump Administration Over Gray Wolf

A coalition of environmental and wildlife advocacy groups filed suit against the Trump administration over the decision to remove the gray wolf from Endangered Species Protections. Back in October, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lifted protection for the wolves in the continental U.S. The only exception is a small population of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and Mexico. The decision brought 45 years of protections to an end for the wolves. The agency determined that the species was no longer endangered. The Hill Dot Com says protecting the species is now up to individual states, many of which will likely allow gray wolf hunting. Last Thursday, six environmental groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, filed a lawsuit challenging the delisting, arguing that the delisting is premature as the species hasn’t fully recovered in a big part of its former range across the United States. “We hope this lawsuit finally sets the wolf on a path to true recovery,” says Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Restoring federal protection would allow further recovery in places like California, which is now home to just a single pack of wolves.” More than 6,000 gray wolves live in the continental U.S., including over 4,000 in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

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.