National Ag News for June 9, 2023

Clean Fuels, RFS Stakeholders Send Letter to President Biden on RFS BBD Volumes

Clean Fuels Alliance America and 75 industry stakeholders delivered a letter to President Joe Biden on Thursday. The letter urges the president to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency substantially increases the biomass-based diesel and advanced biofuels volumes in the Renewable Fuel Standards for 2023, 2024 and 2025. The letter points out that EPA’s proposed volumes fall far below the industry’s current production and, if finalized, would undermine investments in the industry’s expansion. EPA is expected to finalize the RFS volumes by June 14. The letter states, “The low volumes threaten the ability of new market sectors, like marine and aviation, to decarbonize in the near term.” Clean Fuels was joined in the letter by several national industry associations and their members, including American Soybean Association, 22 state soybean associations, Diesel Technology Forum, National Energy and Fuels Institute, National Oilseed Processors Association, North American Renderers Association, and U.S. Canola Association.

Study Shows Emissions-Reducing Benefits of E15

A new study from the University of California – Riverside shows that the E15 ethanol blend provides notable emissions reductions compared to California’s regular reformulated gasoline. The Renewable Fuels Association hailed the report as proof of the value of E15 for The Golden State, which has yet to allow the E15 blend to be used. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper says, “This new study shows what we’ve been arguing all along–that E15 offers emissions benefits that would help meet environmental goals in California.” According to the study, emissions of total hydrocarbons, non-methane hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide all showed either marginally or statistically significant reductions for E15 compared to regular California gasoline. In addition, particulate matter and solid particle number emissions dropped substantially with E15, and E15 showed lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions savings when compared to E10. Nitrogen oxide emissions when using E15 showed marginal reductions in many cases, but the changes in Nitrogen oxide emissions were not statistically significant.

NMPF Board of Directors Approves Comprehensive Farm Bill Recommendations

The National Milk Producers Federation this week approved a suite of farm bill policy priorities covering the commodities, conservation, trade, and nutrition titles. In the Commodities title, NMPF seeks to build on its successes in the last farm bill to strengthen the dairy safety net and provide producers with access to a range of risk management tools. NMPF’s board voted to support continuing the Dairy Margin Coverage safety net while updating the program’s production history calculation. NMPF seeks farm bill language to direct USDA to conduct mandatory plant cost studies every two years to provide better data to inform future make allowance reviews. This would complement the near-term make allowance update NMPF is pursuing through its Federal Milk Marketing Order initiative via the USDA hearing process announced last week. Similarly, the board also pursues restoring the previous “higher of” Class I mover in the most expeditious manner possible, either administratively via the FMMO process or legislatively through the farm bill, in which the mover was last changed in 2018.

R-CALF Opposes Paraguayan Beef Import Proposal

In comments submitted to the Department of Agriculture, R-CALF USA requested the agency immediately withdraw its proposal to allow the importation of fresh beef from Paraguay. Historically, the United States has not engaged in trade of beef from Paraguay because APHIS has considered Paraguay to be a country affected with foot-and-mouth disease. The government of Paraguay has requested that the U.S. allow fresh Paraguayan beef to be imported into the United States. In response to this request, APHIS conducted a risk analysis, with the most recent on-site visit to Paraguay being nearly ten years ago, in 2014. The USDA has proposed a rule seeking to allow the importation of fresh beef from Paraguay. In its comments, R-CALF USA urged APHIS to withdraw its proposed rule on the grounds that it will cause an unnecessary and avoidable risk of introducing FMD into the United States, and subject U.S. consumers to beef from cattle that were not raised in compliance with United States’ more stringent production standards.

Nebraska Farm Bureau Working with SpaceX to Expand Broadband

Nebraska Farm Bureau is working with SpaceX’s Starlink to expand broadband access in the state. Mark McHargue, Nebraska Farm Bureau president, says, “We are excited to work with Starlink to deliver high speed broadband to rural areas in Nebraska that are underserved.” Starlink is engineered and operated by SpaceX. Starlink delivers high-speed, low-latency broadband internet capable of streaming, online gaming, video calls, and more to users worldwide. While the carriers, providers, and telecoms continue to grapple with federal and state monies to get quality broadband to rural areas of the country, Starlink and NEFB thought it was important to take this broadband service issue into our own hands and deliver the connectivity to our farm, ranch, and rural members in a way that avoids the regulatory hoops and the high cost of getting fiber to the “last mile.” Nebraska Farm Bureau members can take advantage of this new member benefit by visiting the Nebraska Farm Bureau website at

United States Serves up Large Chunks of Cheese to Top Destinations

In 2022, the United States exported more than 450,000 metric tons of cheese, valued at approximately $2.3 billion. USDA’s Economic Research Service reports that top export markets include Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Canada. U.S. cheese is a mainstay among imported cheeses in these countries. In 2022, U.S. cheese accounted for nearly one-fifth of cheese imported by Canada and Japan by value and nearly one-fourth of cheese imported by Australia. More than 43 percent of cheese shipped to South Korea originated from the United States. U.S. cheese dominates the import market in Mexico, with 87 percent of Mexico’s cheese imports coming from the United States in 2022. Altogether, these five countries have accounted for nearly two-thirds of U.S. cheese exports since 2019, and U.S. cheese constitutes about a third of the value of all cheese imported by these five markets combined. Free trade agreements have partially supported U.S. cheese exports to each of these markets, including the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.


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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