National Ag News for May 1, 2023

Biden Administration Allowing Summertime Sales of E15

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it will use existing authority to prevent drivers from losing access to lower-cost and lower-emission E15, a higher ethanol blend often marketed as Unleaded 88. “We appreciate Administrator Regan’s timely action to prevent a disruption in E15 availability,” says National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag (Hayg). “EPA’s action will help address the fuel supply constraints and ensure drivers continue to have access to a lower-cost fuel choice that cuts emissions.” The fuel conditions that warranted EPA taking the same successful step last year are continuing today. Haag says the nation’s corn growers are proud to contribute to an energy and environmental solution that saves consumers money at the pump. Continued access to E15 during the summer months will help relieve ongoing energy supply pressures. When EPA took a similar action last year, drivers saved nearly a dollar per gallon in some locations.

U.S. Agriculture Reacts to EPA E15 Emergency Waiver

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency fuel waiver to allow E15 fuel to be sold during the summer driving season. Reaction from some of America’s leading ag and renewable fuel organizations has been positive. “U.S. gas inventories are even tighter than they were last year, and the war in Ukraine continues wreaking havoc on global fuel supplies,” says Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “We thank the EPA for taking this step.” Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, says, “This is a win for drivers across the nation, who can rest easier knowing they’ll have access to savings on lower-carbon E15 this summer.” Rob Larew, president of the National Farmers Union, says, “Today’s announcement from EPA is good news for farmers and consumers heading into the summer travel season. Drivers will see increased choice and competition while farmers will see more opportunities for their bottom line.”

U.S. Trade Consultation Request “Violates Mexican Law”

The United States requested trade consultations in March on Mexico’s plan to limit the use of genetically modified corn. Reuters says a top Mexican official called the request an “unacceptable violation” of Mexican law that feeds the interest of giant seed companies. The U.S. is Mexico’s main trading partner and requested the consultations under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which calls for science-based regulations. Mexico’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Victor Suarez says, “The United States’ request to Mexico follows the interests of seed, agrochemical, and other foodproducing oligopolies.” He also points out that seed makers like Bayer, Corteva, ChemChina’s Syngenta, and BASF are winning under U.S. agriculture and trade policies. However, Suarez feels those companies don’t represent all U.S. farmers. The consultations are a first step toward a trade panel that could ultimately mean a ruling calling for placing punitive tariffs on Mexico. Suarez says Mexico’s policy won’t affect U.S. corn farmers at all.

Applications Open for NCGA Women and Mentors Program

Applications are now open for the third class of the National Corn Growers Association’s Women and Mentors Program on June 22-23 in St. Louis. The program helps women looking to find the next steps of their leadership journey to partner with a mentor who has traveled that path. Mentors help foster leaders of tomorrow and learn how to share the wealth of knowledge and understanding accumulated through years of service. Class members learn how to quiet their inner critic, explore what they can learn from another woman’s leadership journey, and develop an action plan for their own mentorship journey. Each participant also gains a supportive group of peers committed to their success. NCGA officials say everyone leaves the retreat with a concrete action plan and a mentorship pairing to help each other reach their goals. The last day to apply for the program is May 19. For more information, go to

U.S. Pork Growing in the Japanese Market

National Pork Board representatives recently met with two of Japan’s largest importers of U.S. pork and one of the country’s top retailers. NPB says the meetings were a sign of stronger partnerships and trust established in the market. One of Japan’s largest retailers committed to increasing their purchases of U.S. pork, replacing Canadian pork in the meat case. Also, Japanese authorities are lifting COVID-19 restrictions next month, which is expected to boost the country’s economy. The Japanese market has consistently been proven valuable for U.S. pork exports. In 2022, Japan imported over 534,000 metric tons of American pork, amounting to $1.5 billion, and ended the year as the second-largest value market. The growth of the market can be attributed to its demand for chilled pork and loin products. Japan’s pork demand consists of 62 percent imported products, with the U.S. holding a 24 percent market share in chilled and frozen pork.

Fetterman Opposes IRA Funds for Farm Bill Conservation Efforts

Late last week, Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman sent a letter to Senate Ag Committee leadership detailing his opposition to Inflation Reduction Act funding for farm bill conservation efforts. “I strongly oppose any measures that would essentially cannibalize IRA conservation funding in order to pay for the farm bill’s conservation efforts,” Fetterman said in the letter. “The bottom line is that to both support our nation’s agricultural producers and mitigate climate change, we must maintain the Inflation Reduction Act programs and include separate robust agriculture conservation funding in the upcoming farm bill.” Fetterman also says the country can and must do both. The letter was supported by multiple Pennsylvania-based environmental and farming-focused groups. Senator Fetterman says he’ll continue to oppose any effort to move Inflation Reduction Act funding away from its original purpose to get used for farm bill conservation efforts. Farmers in Pennsylvania continue to support funding for voluntary conservation programs.


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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