Thursday, May 19, 2022

Wednesday May 18 Ag News

 Nebraska Rural Radio Association to host annual meeting June 14th in Lexington

The Nebraska Rural Radio Association (NRRA) is set to host its annual meeting June 14th at 11:00 am at Kirk’s Restaurant in Lexington.

The NRRA is the only farmer and rancher owned radio group in the United States and has been serving agriculture since 1948.

“The annual meeting is an opportunity for the Nebraska Rural Radio Association to inform its members about the important things happening within our company,” said Tim Marshall, NRRA CEO. “We will come together to reflect on our company’s history and look ahead to another successful year.”

At the meeting, members will elect three individuals to the Board of Directors. The annual report and financial information will be presented. Members will also receive updates from the Association’s 14 stations across the state of Nebraska.

NRRA members are encouraged to attend to stay informed on current NRRA happenings and to help build for the future.

Lunch is free but RSVPs are requested by June 6, 2022.

Register below OR online at You may also email with your name, number of guests, phone number, mailing address, and email address.

Tallgrass to Capture and Sequester CO2 Emissions From ADM Corn Processing Complex in Nebraska

Tallgrass announced it has entered into an agreement with ADM that would pave the way for Tallgrass to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from ADM’s corn-processing complex in Columbus, Neb., and transport it to Tallgrass’ Eastern Wyoming Sequestration Hub for permanent underground storage. By utilizing a converted natural gas pipeline for CO2 transportation, Tallgrass minimizes the need for new pipeline infrastructure while enabling ADM, a global leader in sustainable products, to further decarbonize its global operations and strengthen Nebraska’s agriculture industry.

Tallgrass is advancing a project to convert its Trailblazer natural gas pipeline to CO2 transportation service and establish an approximately 400-mile CO2 pipeline to serve as the backbone of a regional CO2 transportation system. The pipeline, which runs through Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska, will be capable of transporting more than 10 million tons of CO2 per year for permanent sequestration and is ideally situated to transport CO2 from ADM’s plant and other commercial and industrial sources to a sequestration hub in eastern Wyoming. In preparation for this initiative, Tallgrass recently announced plans to develop a commercial-scale CO2 sequestration hub in eastern Wyoming expected to be in service in 2024.

“We are excited to work on this project with ADM, a company that’s already demonstrated it is on the cutting edge of carbon capture,” said Kyle Quackenbush, segment president at Tallgrass. “We’re able to repurpose existing infrastructure to create significant CO2 transportation capacity without impacting natural gas service in that region. At the same time, we are enabling customers to meet their decarbonization goals, as well as minimizing environmental and landowner impact. Our CO2 pipeline will be capable of transporting significant additional CO2 volumes to accommodate the capture, transportation, and sequestration of many other emissions sources in the region.”

“Nebraska Farm Bureau’s farm and ranch member families have long supported pipeline projects for use as part of our nation’s important energy and carbon capture infrastructure,” said Mark McHargue, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. “As those who rely upon our nation’s natural resources to produce the world’s food, fiber, and fuel, Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers are also dedicated to ensuring their future use for generations. Projects like these provide agricultural producers with options that add value and support key industries like ethanol production, while continuing to steward the land and climate families rely upon.”

“ADM is meeting growing customer demand, advancing our strategy and living up to our purpose by continuing to lead in the decarbonization of our industry,” said Chris Cuddy, president of ADM’s Carbohydrate Solutions business. “Earlier this year, we announced an agreement that would allow us to sequester carbon from two of our biggest processing facilities in the U.S., and now we’re looking forward to working with Tallgrass to continue our work towards meeting our decarbonization goals. Carbon sequestration is a key way in which we’re evolving our Carbohydrate Solutions business, one that has already allowed us to deliver the industry’s first net zero emission wheat milling footprint and will continue to enable us to advance our strategy and scale up our work to meet ever-expanding needs and make a positive impact for global populations.”

Green Plains Announces Aquafeed Partnership with Riverence

Green Plains Inc. today announced a partnership with the Riverence Group to form a joint venture to expand aquafeed production in Idaho. The venture will produce trout and salmon feeds for the Riverence Group, utilizing wholesome, sustainable ingredients including the 60%+ fermented protein product recently announced after the success of the development trial at Green Plains Wood River.

“This partnership is yet another validation of our transformational path, creating a portfolio of innovative ingredients tailored to meet specific customer needs,” said Todd Becker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Green Plains. “The Riverence Group is a highly respected aquaculture producer and we are eager to realize the value this collaboration brings to both partners. Using our low-carbon ingredients in Riverence’s feeds can help them achieve their goal of using sustainable, domestically produced plant-based ingredients.”

As part of the joint venture, Green Plains contributed capital and supplied key ingredient services, while the Riverence Group contributed existing assets and a feed offtake agreement to support its own production, helping to meet the rapidly growing consumer demand from aquaculture in North America. The joint venture is anticipated to become operational in 2023.

“The Riverence Group has a simple, actionable definition of sustainability—to do more with less,” said Rob Young, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Riverence Group. “To provide healthy seafood for a hungry world, we need feeds and feed ingredients that nourish our fish as much as our commitment to sustainability.  In Green Plains, we have found a partner that is committed to growing domestic aquaculture and stocking the industry’s ‘pantry’ with quality ingredients.”

“This unique partnership will allow for end-to-end innovation, bringing ingredient production and fish farming together to create better feeds and better fish,” said Leslie van der Meulen, Executive Vice President, Product Marketing and Innovation of Green Plains. “Historically, aquaculture ingredients have been developed without direct input from customers. Our collaboration allows us to disrupt that trend, and hone in on opportunities to optimize our ingredients. With the recent breakthrough to produce 60%+ protein concentrations at scale, we believe our unique, innovative aquafeed solutions will become disruptive and we are seeing interest in our ingredient solutions globally.”

Green Plains will use its biorefinery platform and innovation center network to continuously improve the sustainable ingredients it creates through fermentation, focusing on the removal of anti-nutritional elements and continuously improving the biological utilization of unique plant-based proteins and yeasts.

April Milk Production in the United States down 1.0 Percent

Milk production in the United States during April totaled 19.2 billion pounds, down 1.0 percent from April 2021. Production per cow in the United States averaged 2,037 pounds for April, unchanged from April 2021. The number of milk cows on farms in the United States was 9.40 million head, 98,000 head less than April 2021, but unchanged from March 2022.

IOWA: Milk production in Iowa during April 2022 totaled 469 million pounds, up 1 percent from the previous April according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Milk Production report. The average number of milk cows during April, at 229,000 head, was unchanged from last month but up 1,000 from April 2021. Monthly production per cow averaged 2,050 pounds, up 10 pounds from last April.

Greener Cattle Initiative Opens Call for Enteric Methane Emission Research

Enteric methane, which animals release into the atmosphere by belching or exhaling, is a significant source of direct greenhouse gas emissions. The Greener Cattle Initiative, an industry collaborative created by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) and Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, is issuing a request for applications to advance enteric methane reduction research. The initiative specifically seeks research to develop scalable technologies that reduce enteric methane emissions and enhance sustainable production of beef and dairy.
“Mitigating enteric methane emissions from cattle is critical for addressing the carbon footprint of beef and dairy production,” said FFAR’s Scientific Program Director Dr. Tim Kurt. “We are eager to invest in impactful, socially responsible research that will ultimately benefit livestock, producers and the environment.”
This initial request for proposals seeks preliminary research that can serve as the basis for future breakthroughs and scalable solutions. The Greener Cattle Initiative welcomes research that mitigates enteric methane emissions in one or more of the following areas: nutrition and management strategies; genetic approaches and phenotyping strategies; rumen microbiome research; or sensing and data technology.
Projects should have the potential to transform the field of enteric methane research and agricultural sustainability. Additionally, research must be commercially viable, economically feasible and socially responsible without negatively impacting animal health and welfare, productivity, product quality and consumer and environmental safety.
The Greener Cattle Initiative anticipates awarding up to $4.67 million under this call for projects with applicants able to request up to that amount or a portion of the funds available. Visit the Greener Cattle Initiative Request for Applications webpage for additional information including details on how to apply. Pre-applications are due on June 22, 2022.
The Greener Cattle Initiative welcomes applications from all domestic and international higher education institutions, non-profit and for-profit organizations and government-affiliated research agencies.
FFAR is hosting an informational webinar on May 24 at 1 p.m. ET about this opportunity. Visit the GCI webinar event webpage for details on how to join. Additionally, FFAR invites interested individuals to submit questions in advance of the webinar to
Formed in 2021, the Greener Cattle Initiative funds research that provides beef and cattle producers with solutions for enteric methane emission mitigation to curb the escalating climate crisis. Members of the consortium include FFAR, the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, ADM, the Council on Dairy Cattle Breeding, Elanco, Genus PLC, JBS USA, the National Dairy Herd Information Association, Nestlé and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.

NCBA Blasts Overreaching, Political Special Investigator Bill

Today, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) condemned the unfunded and duplicative Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022, which was marked up this morning by the House Agriculture Committee.

“Cattle producers strongly support effective oversight of the meatpacking sector, but the special investigator bill does nothing to accomplish that goal. Rather than focusing on adequate staffing and funding for the woefully under-resourced Packers and Stockyards Division at USDA, this hasty proposal was rushed through the legislative process without consideration of the confusing bureaucratic mess it would create. Arming USDA with unchecked subpoena and prosecutorial power while significantly undercutting the Department of Justice’s role in the process is poor practice,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane.

The special investigator bill would create a new position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with immense prosecutorial and subpoena power. To comply with this legislation, USDA would be forced to divert resources from other mission-critical areas of the Agricultural Marketing Service, stealing resources from the essential programs cattle producers rely on every day.

“The vote on this bill comes at a time when producers are facing record inflation, soaring input costs, labor shortages, and ongoing supply chain vulnerabilities. Congress should be working to address these pressing issues that are cutting into producers’ profitability,” said Lane.

NCBA expressed their opposition to the bill in a letter to the leadership of the House Agriculture Committee.

North American Meat Institute: Special Investigator Redundant, Wasteful, Costly

The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today released the following statement after the House Agriculture Committee favorably reported the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act:

“We are disappointed in the Committee’s vote to approve this bill despite opposition from the Meat Institute and the nation’s largest livestock producer organizations,” said Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the Meat Institute.

“USDA and the Department of Justice already have the authorities this bill would grant making this expansion of government bureaucracy with its required staff and offices duplicative and wasteful.

“Of particular concern is the creation of a special investigator empowered to enforce the new changes to the Packers and Stockyards Act regulations soon to be announced by the Biden Administration. These rules – like those previously proposed by USDA under then Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2010 – are likely to have far reaching, unintended adverse consequences. The special investigator (and staff) would feel emboldened and obligated to bring as many cases as possible, warranted or not, to test and expand the legal limits of the new rules. The resulting legal uncertainty and market chaos will accelerate unpredictable changes in livestock and poultry marketing that will add costs to both producers and consumers at a time of high inflation.

“The President’s budget request includes increased funding for the Packers and Stockyards program. If there is a problem that must be addressed, Congress should address it through the appropriations process within the context of the existing programmatic office, not by expanding the government with new, redundant offices and authorities.”  

The Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act establishes an Office of the Special Investigator within USDA to investigate and prosecute Packers and Stockyards Act claims. The office also would have the authority to bring civil actions, a responsibility currently under the Department of Justice’s authority.  The bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

Additional Background:
In June 2021, USDA announced plans to propose rules to “strengthen enforcement” of the Packers and Stockyards Act. The expected proposed regulations would be problematic for several reasons, including their impact on livestock producers’ options to market their cattle and hogs as they choose.

The concepts expressed in USDA’s announcement about the planned Packers and Stockyards rules are not new and were considered, and rejected, in the past. When proposed, they will conflict with legal precedent in no less than eight federal appellate circuits, and will hurt livestock producers, packers, and consumers.

The Administration’s fiscal year 2023 budget request specifically ties increased funding for the Packers and Stockyards program to the forthcoming proposed rules: “Increased funding is requested to fund new statutory requirements, to strengthen oversight of livestock and poultry markets and minimalize IT security vulnerabilities.” (p. 82)

NFU Hails Approval of the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act by the House Ag Committee

Today, the House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 7606, the Meat and Poultry Special Investigator Act of 2022. The bill would increase enforcement of competition laws and boost USDA’s resources to investigate abusive market practices.  

"Passage of this bill is a priority for National Farmers Union (NFU) and our 'Fairness for Farmers' campaign," said NFU President Rob Larew. "Laws intended to protect markets from monopolies and anti-competitive practices in agriculture are not being adequately enforced. Greater enforcement of competition laws by USDA will better ensure America’s independent family farmers and ranchers have a chance to succeed in today's marketplace, now dominated by monopolies," added Larew. "While there are many more measures needed to ensure a fair marketplace, the action during this week’s House Agriculture Committee markup  is a big step forward."

"I would like to thank Chairman David Scott for his leadership and the House cosponsors of the bill, in particular Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, for their outspoken advocacy on behalf of family farmers and ranchers," said Larew. "NFU members traveled to Washington, D.C. in late April to advocate for this and other priorities, and it is especially encouraging to see the bill make its way further through the legislative process."

NFU’s "Fairness for Farmers" campaign has brought the devastating impact of monopolies on family agriculture into the national spotlight. Campaign priorities include addressing issues such as increased enforcement of competition laws that can combat excessive costs for fertilizer, supply chain vulnerabilities, and increased farm equipment costs.  

Among other actions taken by the House Agriculture Committee was the approval of H.R. 7675, which would establish an Agricultural and Food System Supply Chain Resilience and Crisis Response Task Force. The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Angie Craig of Minnesota, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Ashley Hinson of Iowa, Cynthia Axne of Iowa, and Randy Feenstra of Iowa.

"Family farmers and ranchers know the importance of having a resilient food supply chain, and this bill will help to make sure that we can overcome the weaknesses of the current system," said Larew. "The task force will help identify answers so that we’re better prepared for future challenges and a stronger system in general."

Weekly Ethanol Production for 5/13/2022

According to EIA data analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association for the week ending May 13, ethanol production remained even at 991,000 b/d (technically 1,000 b/d lower), equivalent to 41.62 million gallons daily. Production was 4.0% less than the same week last year but 3.1% above the five-year average for the week. The four-week average ethanol production volume increased 1.1% to 978,000 b/d, equivalent to an annualized rate of 14.99 billion gallons (bg).

Ethanol stocks thinned 1.4% to 23.8 million barrels. However, stocks were 22.4% higher than a year ago and 6.9% above the five-year average. Inventories declined across all regions except the Gulf Coast (PADD 3) and West Coast (PADD 5); notably, stocks in the Midwest declined to their lowest level this year.
The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, a measure of implied demand, expanded 3.7% to 9.03 million b/d (138.38 bg annualized). Demand was 2.1% less than a year ago but 0.7% above the five-year average.

Refiner/blender net inputs of ethanol rose 0.8% to a 29-week high of 911,000 b/d, equivalent to 13.97 bg annualized. Net inputs were 1.3% less than a year ago but 2.4% above the five-year average.

Imports of ethanol arriving into the West Coast were 36,000 b/d, or 10.58 million gallons for the week. This marks the first imports since January and only the second week in seven months when ethanol was imported. (Weekly export data for ethanol is not reported simultaneously; the latest export data is as of March 2022.)

Retail Fertilizer Prices Remain Mostly Higher

Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the second week of May 2022 continue to show mostly higher nutrient prices. But for the first time in many weeks, two different fertilizers were slightly lower. The price of six fertilizers were more expensive, but none were up a substantial amount. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more.

DAP had an average price of $1,059 per ton (all-time high), MAP $1,083/ton (all-time high), potash $881/ton, 10-34-0 $906/ton, UAN28 $634/ton (all-time high) and UAN32 $730/ton (all-time high).

Two fertilizers were slightly lower compared to last month, but neither hit the 5% threshold of significance. Urea was slightly less expensive compared to last month and had an average price of $1,000/ton, while anhydrous was at $1,529/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $1.09/lb.N, anhydrous $0.93/lb.N, UAN28 $1.13/lb.N and UAN32 $1.14/lb.N.

Most fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in prices than one year earlier. 10-34-0 is 46% more expensive, MAP is 54% higher, DAP is 68% more expensive, UAN28 is 76% higher, UAN32 is 80% more expensive, urea is 94% is higher, potash is 102% higher and anhydrous is 114% more expensive compared to last year.

Study: Public-Private Ag Market Development Adds $9.6 Billion In Export Value Annually

Programs to help U.S. farmers build markets overseas boosted agricultural exports by an average of $9.6 billion annually from 1977 to 2019, an annual lift of 13.7% in export revenues and returning $24.5 for every dollar invested.

Those are the key conclusions from a new study prepared to evaluate the impact of programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA's FAS), including the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program.

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the organization that builds markets overseas for feed grains and ethanol, led the study’s preparation on behalf of FAS and the cooperator community.

"We were glad to participate in this effort to demonstrate the long-term impact of the programs that help our members expand markets and our customers build their operations and further serve their local consumers," said Ryan LeGrand, USGC president and CEO. "We know from our history that our work helps, as our mission says, improve lives. This study helps us put numbers to those outcomes for our organization and our whole sector within the agriculture industry."

Developed by IHS Markit in cooperation with Dr. Gary Williams and Dr. Oral Capps at Texas A&M University, both experts on evaluating the economic performance of trade promotion programs, the study updated a 2016 edition also evaluating MAP and FMD, which are currently authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. The new study also took a first look at the impact of investments through the Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) program.

The study’s results supported the conclusions of prior studies of USDA export market development programs, finding they are “highly effective at generating an extremely high return on investment and account for a high percentage of the level of U.S. agricultural exports.”

It reported that market development programs effectively leveraged cooperator and industry contributions, averaging between 70-77 percent of expenditures from 2013 to 2019, valued at an estimated annual average of $567 million.

Using econometric models to examine the impact of market development programs on bulk/intermediate and high-value commodity exports - including seafood, forest products and ethanol for the first time - the research generated results that were then used to assess the impact on the general economy.

Though not strictly comparable, reported results were similar and consistent to prior studies conducted since 2006 that suggested the program investments are highly effective.

The study found that from 2002 to 2019, market development investment:
● Increased farm cash receipts by $12.2 billion (3.4 percent).
● Benefited the overall economy with an additional $45 billion annually in economic output and $22.3 billion annually in gross domestic product.
● Created an estimated 225,800 jobs across the entire economy.

The ATP program offered $300 million to cooperating organizations, to which they added $90 million in contributions of cash and goods and services, primarily from farmer organizations. Between 2019 and 2026, these cumulative investments are projected to generate:
● $11.1 billion in additional agricultural export revenue, about $1.4 billion annually.
● $6.44 billion in farm cash receipts, about $810 million annually.
● $11.2 billion added to the U.S. GDP, about $1.4 billion annually.

“The results of this work support the conclusions of previous studies showing USDA export market development programs, into which both taxpayers and the ag industry invest, are highly effective at generating an extremely high return on investment and account for a high percentage of the level of U.S. agricultural exports despite the different analytical methods used, different time periods of the studies, and different data sets used in the various studies over the years,” Williams said.

MAP, FMD and ATP are Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs administered by USDA’s FAS, which is required to evaluate programs for effectiveness.

State agriculture officials underline findings of report on impact Market Access Program funds

Today, state departments of agriculture underscored the importance of Market Access Program funds for consumers, farmers and food processors alike through a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives citing new data on the impact of the program.
“NASDA supports increasing MAP funding to better promote America’s food and agricultural products in demand across the globe. For every $1 invested in export market development programs, $24.50 is returned in export revenue. This means significant positive effects for farmers and ranchers like increased income and creates more American jobs in the farm and food sector,” NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said.
NASDA is a member of the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports and supports their ask to the U.S. House and Senate agricultural appropriations subcommittee leadership to maintain funding of at least $200 million for the Market Access Program (MAP) and $34.5 million for the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program in FY2023.
The commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture in all 50 states and four territories are responsible for marketing their state’s products for export. NASDA has played a leading role in securing opportunities for its members to reach new markets through Agricultural Trade Missions around the world.

Nutrien Plans World's Largest Clean Ammonia Production Facility

Nutrien Ltd. said May 18 that it is evaluating Geismar, La., as the site to build the world’s largest clean ammonia facility. It would produce 1.2 million mt/y. The project will proceed to the front-end engineering design (FEED) phase, with a final investment decision expected to follow in 2023. If approved, construction of the approximately US$2 billion facility would begin in 2024 with full production expected by 2027.

 Cargill to build new soybean processing facility in Southeast Missouri

Cargill has unveiled plans to build a new soybean processing facility located in Pemiscot County, Mo. near Hayti and Caruthersville to support growing domestic and global demand for oilseeds driven by food, feed and fuel markets. The facility will be the first of its kind for Southeast Missouri with an annual production capacity of 62 million bushels of soybeans. Cargill anticipates breaking ground on the project early next year with plans to be operational in 2026. The new facility will add approximately 45 full-time positions to the region when complete.

“Cargill’s new facility, with its location on the Mississippi river, will operate year-round and provide farmers opportunity to take advantage of increased domestic demand versus relying solely on seasonal exports,” said Tim Coppage, Regional Commercial Lead, Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain North America. “Access to both river and rail will provide more flexibility and market access for farmers.”

“Missouri currently ranks sixth in the United States for soybean production,” said Missouri Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe. “The location of the new facility will expand the $94 billion economic impact of Missouri agriculture, our state’s top industry, accelerate economic development and enhance workforce opportunities in the Bootheel.”

“Missouri Soybeans is very pleased with the new build of a soybean crush facility in Pemiscot County and the direct impact it will bring to our farmers in Southeast Missouri,” said Gary Wheeler, Missouri Soybeans CEO and Executive Director. “In an effort to increase opportunities for our growers, Missouri Soybeans has been working collaboratively with several partners for more than two years to achieve this lofty goal and create a needed market for their soybeans. Born and raised in the Bootheel, I know first-hand this is a great opportunity for our soybean farmers and local community.”

The new location expands Cargill’s efforts to modernize and increase capacity across its North American oilseeds network. Last year, Cargill announced a series of projects across North America including significant improvements to its soybean crush facility in Sidney, Ohio and construction of a new canola processing facility in Regina, Sask.

Keynote Speakers Announced for 2022 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo

Ethanol Producer Magazine announced this week the keynote speakers for the 2022 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW) taking place, June 13-15, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“This is a truly dynamic time for renewable fuels,” said Tim Portz, program director for the FEW. “There’s an incredible opportunity before us as the country drives towards low-carbon energy production and use—and this year’s FEW will capture that excitement. We’re looking forward to hearing from association leadership, along with two of the industry’s top CEOs, to better understand what’s being done to ensure that ethanol remains a significant contributor to our country’s low-carbon, clean energy economy ambitions.”

The 38th annual FEW Policy Keynote Address will be given by Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. Skor is expected to discuss the industry’s focus on permanently restoring year-round access to E15, among many other industry priorities.

Following Skor’s address, a panel of industry association leaders will unpack the industry’s top policy and regulatory achievements, challenges and objectives. This year’s policy roundtable includes: Chris Bliley, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Growth Energy; Troy Bredenkamp, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, Renewable Fuels Association; and Brian Jennings, CEO, American Coalition for Ethanol.

For the first time at the FEW, a Producer Keynote Address will be given by Todd Becker, President, CEO and Director of Green Plains Inc. Under Becker’s leadership, Green Plains is transforming its fleet of ethanol plants into more diversified biorefineries. The company has embraced its role as a disruptor in what Becker sees as a renaissance of ethanol production brought on by new, high-value production derivatives—protein, oil, clean sugar, high-purity alcohol and more. Recently, Green Plains announced that ongoing product and technology innovation has led to the unprecedented production of greater than 60 percent protein concentrations at its Wood River, Nebraska, biorefinery. Becker is expected to discuss this and other exciting developments within Green Plains.

Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group, will close out the general session with a highly anticipated update on the planned Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline, which will capture and permanently store up to 20 million tons per year of carbon dioxide from dozens of Upper Midwest ethanol plants. Earlier this month, Summit completed its equity fundraising, which resulted in more than $1 billion in total equity commitments.

“The General Session at the FEW has become one of the most important annual moments for ethanol producers, where attendees can hear about the current state of the industry, how it’s changing, and where it’s going,” says John Nelson, vice president of operations, sales and marketing at BBI International. “Perhaps the hottest topic being discussed this year is the ethanol industry’s role in lowering the carbon intensity of transportation fuels—not just ethanol itself, but fuels that can be made from it such as sustainable aviation fuel. We are thrilled to have some of the biggest names in the industry with us, in person, to talk about that, and so much more.”

Nutrien Ag Solutions, Syngenta, the Zoetis Foundation, and Others Commit More Than $2 Million in Funds to TSC and NFWF to Scale Resilient Agriculture on U.S. Farms

Today, The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), announced the launch of a new initiative - the Resilient Agriculture Accelerator Fund (RAAF) - to strategically scale voluntary regenerative conservation agriculture on farms in the U.S. The RAAF seeks to:
    provide technical and other assistance to ranchers
    reduce financial barriers for producers
    support more resilient supply chains in the future
    address the effects of climate change.

The fund, established by TSC, is managed in cooperation with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). Nutrien Ag Solutions, Syngenta, the Zoetis Foundation, and others have jointly pledged or contributed $1 million dollars to help create and improve resilient and regenerative supply chains to help increase food security, enhance agricultural conservation, and support thriving farm communities. This million-dollar pledge will be matched at a minimum of 1:1 scale with federal, state and other private funding to directly support growers and producers, creating at least $2 million in total funding.

The RAAF will leverage federal, state, and private foundation funds to amplify investments and help scale up resilient agriculture. Funding will be prioritized for the following farm needs:
    Technical assistance such as agronomic advice, digitizing farm data, and conservation practice implementation
    Financial assistance such as co-funding for on-farm conservation practices that sequester carbon, improve wildlife habitats, and/or protect water resource

The fund also seeks to mitigate some of the up-front costs that are necessary to implement regenerative practices for dairy and row-crop farmers. In addition, the RAAF provides the opportunity to help create long-term returns for recipients who may choose to participate in emerging carbon and nutrient markets. The initiative is led by TSC CEO, Dr. Christy Slay.

Dr. Slay states, “TSC is excited to launch this opportunity to improve farmer livelihoods and climate resilience by protecting soil, water, and wildlife. Cost is the biggest barrier for a farmer when considering practice changes and farm data digitization. Our goal is to create new opportunities to scale U.S. farmers’ efforts to adopt more resilient and regenerative practices.”

TSC and NFWF created a new partnership in 2021 to engage corporations to help scale up the support available to farmers who want to implement sustainable practices. Both organizations will build on existing partnerships with farmers, ranchers, TSC members, and other agricultural and conservation organizations. Together, they will work with grant recipients to apply science-based metrics aimed at improving such things as water quality and quantity, carbon, soil health, as well as productivity and profitability.

“This new collaboration between TSC and NFWF will bring vital financial and technical resources to farmers and farming communities as they work to adopt cost-effective conservation practices,” said Jeff Trandahl, Executive Director and CEO of NFWF. “Public-private partnerships are the key to helping agricultural producers voluntarily improve their operations while also enhancing natural resources.”

Nutrien Ag Solutions, Syngenta, the Zoetis Foundation, and others have committed funds to support dairy and row crop farmers as they transition to support more resilient agriculture practices. In addition, companies and foundations investing in the program will be able to share sourcing regions and priorities and use the impacts from the fund to track progress against sustainability goals.

“Building on our purpose to nurture the world and humankind by advancing care for animals, we are committed to supporting livestock farmers as they achieve their sustainability goals,” said Jeannette Ferran Astorga, Executive Vice President, Communications, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Zoetis and President of the Zoetis Foundation. “Through our grant to the Resilient Agriculture Accelerator Fund, the Zoetis Foundation will help farmers develop more sustainable businesses through tools to drive economic viability, thrive in increasingly dynamic marketplaces, and help protect family legacies.”

“We’re excited about the future of regenerative agriculture and are proud to join this initiative,” said Steven Wall, Development Manager of Sustainable and Responsible Business for Syngenta in North America. “Helping to ensure growers have the tools, and in this instance the technical and financial resources, to adopt and use climate smart, regenerative growing practices fits perfectly with our culture and goals.”

“Each grower who chooses to implement regenerative practices on their farm is on a very personal and unique sustainability journey,” said David Elser, Senior Vice President, North America Retail, for Nutrien Ag Solutions. “Sustainability for many of these growers means recognizing a leading role in feeding a growing world and working the land responsibly so that their children, and their grandchildren, can continue the legacy that past generations began. We are honored to have the opportunity to support the RAAF recipients.”

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