Friday, October 6, 2017

Thursday October 5 Ag News


Immigrants have shaped Nebraska's society for the past 150-plus years and are critical to its continued development, according to Lourdes Gouveia, professor emerita of sociology and co-founder of the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Gouveia provided a retrospective look at the impact immigrants have had on the state Oct. 3 at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center during the first Heuermann Lecture of the 2017-18 season.

"Immigrants are, and will always be, an intricate scaffold for continuing to build Nebraska's society, economy, politics and culture," Gouveia said, noting their role in the state's agricultural development and the meat-packing industry.

Gouveia has authored and co-authored a number of articles aimed at documenting the profound sociodemographic changes and processes of immigrant incorporation occurring in new destination states such as Nebraska. As OLLAS director, she produced a number of policy-relevant reports, which have been offered as key evidence by Nebraska state senators opposing bills seeking to restrict immigrant rights. Her current work focuses on the growing exodus of middle-class, highly educated Venezuelans.

During the lecture, Gouveia detailed several waves of migration to and from Nebraska over the years. The initial wave consisted of poor European peasants and craftsmen, displaced by industrialization, drawn to the region by the allure of inexpensive land and the demand for labor. By the end of the 19th century, this group turned Nebraska into the nation's fourth-largest producer of corn and a major supplier of cattle and sugar. At this time, Americans and their legislators welcomed those from around the world with little restriction. Gouveia said this has led to today's view of citizenship.

"The myth that citizenship can be had if you just get in line, wait your turn and speak English, which has developed so profoundly today, comes from these earlier memories, which happened in a very different context," she said.

The early wave of immigrants began to stall in the early 1900s when laws were passed prohibiting the use of foreign languages. This initiated the divide that continues today over the benefits and challenges of welcoming new citizens. Over the past century, Nebraska and the rest of the United States have followed a similar pattern of welcoming immigrants until various factors lead to restricted immigration policies.

Immigration in Nebraska follows the theme for the seventh season of Heuermann Lectures, "Thinking Globally, Acting Locally." According to Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources Harlan Vice Chancellor Mike Boehm, the lecture season will focus on global challenges and their impact on Nebraska's past, present and future.

"As uncomfortable as some of these discussions may be, they are worth having now so that we can be proactive in our own communities and advance Nebraska," Boehm said.

Heuermann Lectures are funded by a gift from B. Keith and Norma Heuermann of Phillips. The Heuermanns are longtime university supporters with a strong commitment to Nebraska's production agriculture, natural resources, rural areas and people.

Lectures are streamed live at and air live on campus channel 4. They are archived after the event and later air on NET2 World.

Cuming County FSA Reminds Producers of Nov. 15 Acreage Reporting Deadline for Pastures, Fall-Seeded Crops

Cuming County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Sarah Beck announced today that producers who file accurate and timely acreage reports for all crops and land uses, including pastures, can prevent the potential loss of FSA program benefits.

“In order to comply with FSA program eligibility requirements, all producers are encouraged to visit the Cuming County FSA office to file an accurate crop certification report by the applicable deadline,” said Beck.

The next acreage reporting deadline for Cuming County producers is Nov. 15, 2017, for coverage in 2018 for fall-seeded crops and perennial forage crops such as pastures and hay.

The following exceptions apply to the above acreage reporting date:

·    If the crop has not been planted by the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed.

·    If a producer acquires additional acreage after the above acreage reporting date, then the acreage must be reported no later than 30 calendar days after purchase or acquiring the lease. Appropriate documentation must be provided to the county office.

·    If a perennial forage crop is reported with the intended use of “cover only,” “green manure,” “left standing,” or “seed,” then the acreage must be reported by July 15.

According to Beck, Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) policy holders should note the acreage reporting date for NAP covered crops is the earlier of the date listed above or 15 calendar days before grazing or harvesting of the crop begins.

“Filing acreage certifications now, by the deadline, establishes producer eligibility for a variety of FSA risk management programs, and it positions our office to expedite service to our producers next year, should a disaster occur,” said Beck.

For questions regarding crop certification and crop loss reports, please contact the Cuming County FSA office at (402) 372-2451.

Ricketts Applauds Investment from Ontario-Based Agri-Plastics in Sidney

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts applauded plans from Ontario-based Agri-Plastics to invest in Sidney and hire Nebraskans. Corporate leaders expect the company’s first American production facility to begin operations by early 2018, which will enhance production efforts at Agri-Plastics’ two full-capacity plants in Canada. Established in 1995, the company manufactures calf hutches and plastic products to support North America’s dairy industry. Agri-Plastics plans to hire more than 20 employees next month in the Sidney location for manufacturing and production jobs. 

“Building Nebraska’s international profile is helping grow our state by attracting new investments in key industries like agriculture and manufacturing,” said Governor Ricketts. “During my discussion with Agri-Plastics’ CEO and President Darren VanBuuren in Canada, I had a unique opportunity to promote Nebraska’s skilled workforce, prime interstate access, and viable infrastructure as an ideal place to support their continued growth. We are excited the company chose Sidney for its first-ever production facility in the United States.”

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s (DED) recruitment team began building a relationship with the company last fall while attending the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin, which draws nearly 850 companies to its annual trade show. When Agri-Plastics later expressed interest in locations near Interstate 80 within proximity to the growing dairy industry in the mountain states and upper Midwest, DED recruiters partnered with Sidney Economic Development to highlight available sites and buildings in the community. Western Nebraska’s dry, arid climate was also appealing to the company as a conducive environment for plastics production.

In June, company officials toured Sidney’s Commscope Building currently owned by Lukjan Metal Products. Members of both companies worked to facilitate a deal to sell Agri-Plastics a portion of the building for their new facility. A $4.5 million investment in the project will include the purchase of 159,000 SF of the 359,000 SF building, as well as new equipment for Agri-Plastics’ Sidney plant.

Recent efforts to facilitate new and ongoing investments between Nebraska and Canada provided an additional opportunity to promote Nebraska’s business climate. In August, Governor Pete Ricketts met with Agri-Plastics’ corporate leaders during Nebraska’s first-ever trade mission to Canada. Canada serves as Nebraska’s largest export market and is the state’s 4th largest agriculture export market.

Agri-Plastics is currently working with DED officials to complete a Site and Building Development Fund application for acquisition of the Sidney location, and is also applying for the state’s economic incentives program, Nebraska Advantage. In addition, city officials are working with the company to assist in project development through Sidney’s LB840 fund, which collects local taxes for economic growth.

“Support from state and local economic development officials facilitated Agri-Plastics’ vision to expand near the gateway to emerging dairy markets in the southwest and mountain states,” VanBuuren said. “While we considered growing our company in these other states, accessibility to Nebraska’s strong economic development programs and opportunities to build our workforce in Sidney are in line with our company’s goals for growth.”  

“Fostering Nebraska’s relationships with our largest trading partner remains a top priority to grow our economy,” said DED Director Courtney Dentlinger. “This project is one example of the many successful partnerships built by our recruitment team to bring businesses and jobs to our communities. We appreciate Agri-Plastics’ commitment to offer new career opportunities in Sidney. Partnerships like this are essential in building Nebraska’s workforce. ”    

Sidney’s Agri-Plastics production facility will specialize in products to expand the company’s calf-housing line. Agri-Plastics’ 200,000 square foot facilities in its Grassie and Stoney Creek, Ontario, manufacturing plants are currently at full capacity. Both facilities specialize in starter pens, indoor calf pens, calf hutches, poly-farm equipment, custom rotomolding, and additional products. 

Urban Air Initiative-led Coalition Calls on EPA to Recognize the Role of High Octane Ethanol Blends in Fuel Economy Regulations

 In comments submitted to the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week, a coalition of stakeholders led by the Urban Air Initiative (UAI) said ethanol is a price-competitive, safe and efficient high-octane fuel additive that can help meet efficiency and CO2 reduction goals if given access to the market.

The comments were filed in response to EPA’s “Request for Comment on the Reconsideration of the Final Determination of the Mid Term Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Model Year 2022-2025.”

The Urban Air Initiative-led effort included the Clean Fuels Development Coalition; the Nebraska Ethanol Board,  Glacial Lakes Energy, LLC; Siouxland Ethanol, LLC;  ICM, Inc.; Nebraska Ethanol Industry Coalition; Little Sioux Corn Processors, Prarie Horizons Agri-Energy, Nebraska Farmers Union; and South Dakota Farmers Union.

“We commend EPA for giving this important issue of fuel economy and carbon reductions the thorough and complete evaluation it requires, and correcting the serious errors in the technical assessment issued last November,” said UAI President Dave VanderGriend.

According to VanderGriend, the evaluation that was to have taken a year to review was rushed through in a matter of weeks.

“We believe a more comprehensive review , including a  thorough cost benefit analysis, will show high octane fuels can increase efficiency in not just cars of the future but in the cars on the road today,” he said.

UAI notes that compared to other octane boosting compounds, ethanol has superior octane and low carbon properties. Specific recommendations included the following actions the agency can take and has the authority to do so.

·         EPS should repeal certification fuel rules that prevent auto manufacturers from building vehicles that are more efficient.

·         EPA should repeal its erroneous and outdated interpretation of the sub-sim law as capping ethanol use in existing vehicles.

·         EPA should repeal unnecessary Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) regulations that limit the viability of E15 and mid-level ethanol blends.

·         EPA should repeal and replace its inaccurate fuel economy formula.

·         EPA should repeal and replace its rule requiring states to use incorrect emissions estimates in pollution reduction planning.

“These counterproductive regulatory barriers have prevented ethanol’s superior automotive and environmental values from driving its continued growth in the U.S. fuel market as a source of clean octane for today’s motor vehicles, and the highly efficient vehicles that increased ethanol blending would enable in the near future,” VanderGriend said.

For more information, visit

“Vote NO 369” Coalition Partners Urge Southeast Community College Board to Listen to Taxpayers, Reconsider Property Tax Hike

A coalition of taxpayer interests that united last fall to oppose a $369 million Southeast Community College (SCC) Bond measure is calling on SCC’s Board of Governors to listen to taxpayers and reconsider recent board action to raise property taxes. The SCC board voted unanimously Sept. 19, to raise SCC’s tax levy to two-cents per $100 of valuation for building construction. The adjustment is estimated to increase SCC’s property tax collections by 26 percent for the 2017-18 school year.

“Last fall, taxpayers across the 15-county SCC area overwhelmingly voted down SCC’s $369 million bond proposal. In the process, they sent a strong message that now was not the time for major property tax increases. Despite the fact the bond measure failed by two-thirds majority vote, SCC’s Board of Governors have chosen to increase SCC’s building construction levy to the maximum allowed by state law. The decision to take the maximum levy at a time when taxpayers are asking for relief shows a lack of regard for the will of the people and the vote taken last fall,” said Roy Christensen, Lincoln City Council member.

In a letter to the SCC Board of Governors, partners who formed the Vote No 369 coalition urged action to immediately reconvene and reconsider the proposed tax increase. The SCC board has the ability to reconsider the vote through Oct.13.

“Our partners have received numerous calls and complaints from taxpayers across the SCC area. Rightfully, they are questioning how the SCC board could ignore the wishes of taxpayers who clearly indicated they wanted SCC to demonstrate restraint when it comes to tax collections in the face of the overwhelming defeat of the bond measure,” said Steve Nelson, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.

The coalition warned voters last fall of the risk of passing the $369 million bond, noting that SCC could still increase property taxes even more than the increases presented by the bond, by increasing to the maximum levy for building construction.

“Clearly our coalition’s concerns about additional exposure for taxpayers was warranted. While we understand and appreciate the important role of community colleges, we respectfully request the SCC board consider the will of the voters and the increased tax burden the board’s action will place on those who bear the costs of funding SCC by rolling back this levy increase,” said State Senator Dan Watermeier of Syracuse.

The letter to the SCC board was signed by former Governor Dave Heineman, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson, Nebraska Cattlemen President Troy Stowater, Dennis Fujan of the Nebraska Soybean Association, Lincoln Independent Business Association President Coby Mach, State Sen. Curt Friesen of Henderson, State Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse, State Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete, former State Sen. Jerry Johnson of Wahoo, and Lincoln City Council member Roy Christensen. 

Secretary Perdue Statement on Ibach & Northey Senate Committee Hearing

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today commended Greg Ibach and Bill Northey, two nominees for key posts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), for their joint appearance before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.  President Donald J. Trump nominated Ibach to serve as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) and selected Northey for Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC).  The two await committee action and approval of the entire U.S. Senate.

The Under Secretary for MRP oversees three critical USDA agencies: the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service; the Agricultural Marketing Service; and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration.  The Under Secretary for FPAC oversees three critical USDA agencies: the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency.

Perdue issued the following statement:
“These two nominees will bring experience and integrity to USDA the moment they walk in the door.  Greg Ibach’s work as Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture has prepared him to address the needs of American agriculture, particularly regarding the cattle industry.  Bill Northey, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, will give us a fourth generation corn and soybean farmer who knows the issues facing producers across the nation.  I look forward to their speedy passage through the committee and floor votes, and urge the Senate to act on other nominees awaiting approval as well.”

Pork Extends the Taste of Now Campaign Sharing Pork’s Story of Incredible Flavor

The National Pork Board (NPB) has engaged three industry-leading chefs to demonstrate how pork can work for both commercial kitchens and for consumers. The chefs will highlight the Taste of Now campaign that will run from October, which is National Pork Month, through December.

The campaign will feature pork cuts that deliver great flavor and value. “The bone-in pork loin brings big flavor to the table and is an affordable, appetizing way to hook consumers,” said Steve Rommereim, a farmer from Alcester, South Dakota and vice president of the National Pork Board. “Its boneless counterpart offers delicious, quick-cooking versatility. The pork shoulder lends itself to multiple flavor applications and cooking styles, while ham, really does it all. From crave-worthy sandwiches to center-of-plate entrées, its smoky flavor makes it a must-have.”

The three chefs are:
-    Chef Matt Abdoo (New York, NY) is known for his smoke-centric culinary destination, Pig Bleecker and award-winning barbecue at Pig Beach.
-    Chef Adam Sappington (Portland, OR) is an established cookbook author, James Beard finalist and owner and head chef of The Country Cat, a cozy restaurant that blends Midwest and Northwestern cuisines.
-    Chef José Mendín (Miami Beach and Puerto Rico) is a five-time James Beard semi-finalist, founding partner and chef at Pubbelly Restaurant Group, including, Pubbelly Noodle Bar, an Asian-inspired gastropub.

The chefs will create the pork dishes, demonstrate the techniques behind them and show how pork inspires their creativity in the kitchen – in their restaurant and at home. The chefs will be photographed and videotaped for the Checkoff’s UNCUT series, which was developed for foodservice profoessionals in 2014. The chefs received extensive training that included Pork 101, media training, and a sow farm and packer/processor tour.

The Taste of Now campaign targets foodservice professionals, retailers and general market and Hispanic consumers to create a coordinated effort that reaches all audiences. The campaign is designed to communicate the opportunity pork presents for incredible flavor, profitability/value and versatility!

Video Series

UNCUT showcases how today’s hottest chefs are reinventing menus with pork. Make It Like This: Chef Edition targets the consumer audience and showcases how the chefs like to cook and eat pork at home.

The chefs have provided two recipe types for the consumer audience – advanced and quick-and-easy. The foodservice videos will live on; the consumer videos will be hosted on and and shared on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

Additionally, these chef advocates will be featured at two public relations events this fall. The chefs will also participate in public relations outreach, including two media tours – Chef Abdoo with general market media this month in New York, and Chef Mendín with Hispanic media this November in Miami.

James Beard House Foundation Event: Pork-A-Palooza

The James Beard Foundation and the Pork Checkoff have teamed up again to host Pork-A-Palooza at the historic Beard House on Tuesday, Oct. 10 in New York. The dinner will celebrate all things pork, with a five-course meal prepared by Chefs Abdoo, Sappington and Mendín, in addition to the Checkoff’s Stephen Gerike and Pastry Chef Jackie Sappington, co-owner of the Country Cat. Invitees include industry media, consumer influencers and multicultural media.

8th Annual Pork Crawl in New York City

Also this year, the 8th Pork Crawl will be held in New York from Nov. 7-9 hosted by Chef Abdoo. Chefs Mendín and Sappington will be on hand as support. The Crawl is an exclusive two-day culinary event where guests will see New York City through the eyes of a chef by exploring the city’s premier pork dishes from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn. Guests, including trade media, consumer and multicultural editors, will also receive an educational experience on the pork loin from end-to-end, featuring the pork loin nomenclature in each dish.

2016 National Beef Quality Audit Shows Continued Progress in Animal Health Practices of Beef and Dairy Industries

The U.S. beef industry, of which dairy cows comprise a significant portion, continues to improve the quality of its management practices, according to the 2016 National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) commissioned by the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. BQA and the National Dairy FARM Program shared the results at a news conference today at the 51st World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisc.

“As dairy cows continue to grow as an integral part of the U.S. beef supply, these results demonstrate that producers are dedicated not only to producing a safe, wholesome, high-quality milk product but also to showing that same dedication to the meat produced by the dairy sector,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “The FARM Program’s partnership with BQA has produced valuable resources that help nurture an environment of continuous improvement for beef and dairy cattle.”

Any dairy farm participating in FARM Animal Care Version 3.0 will receive BQA certification equivalency. The two programs work collaboratively through their partnership to provide a collection of resources for producers. One example is a dairy stockmanship training video released earlier this year.

For 25 years, the beef checkoff-funded National Beef Quality Audit has delivered a set of guidelines and measurements to help cattle producers determine quality conformance of the U.S. beef supply. Today, dairy cows represent 20 percent of the U.S. beef supply, a sharp increase from 5.5 percent in 2011.

The NBQA results through the years have helped improve cattle and beef production and now also capture insights on beef quality and information related to food safety, sustainability, animal well-being and consumer preferences.

According to the 2016 results, the cattle industry continues to make progress in reducing defects that negatively impact beef quality. For example, lameness in cull cattle has improved significantly: Today, 76 percent of cull cattle are identified as sound. Body condition scores of cull cattle have also improved: Only 9.3 percent of cattle were identified as “too thin,” compared to 22 percent in 2007. Additionally, the number of blemishes, condemnations and other attributes that detract from value remain minimal.

One improvement the audit revealed is that the industry can more effectively communicate beef ’s benefits to consumers. “The research proved the cattle industry has a great story to tell, but also suggests we aren’t getting that story to as many people as we should,” said Josh White, executive director of producer education for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “Utilizing the Beef Quality Assurance and the FARM programs and the shared principles more uniformly throughout the beef and dairy industries can not only enhance industry commitment to better beef, but would help increase consumer confidence and encourage greater beef demand. This research suggests that carrying the BQA and FARM message throughout the industry will benefit every beef audience.”

Animal Agriculture Alliance highlights industry’s commitment to continuous improvement

Today, the Animal Agriculture Alliance released its 2017 Advances in Animal Ag report highlighting the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement in animal care, responsible antibiotic use, environmental sustainability and food safety. The report explains efforts every sector of the industry is making to meet and exceed consumer expectations in each area.

“The animal agriculture industry is broad and diverse, and it can be hard to stay on top of all the progress being made,” said Kay Johnson Smith, Alliance president and CEO. “Our Advances in Animal Ag report helps key influencers – such as the media, restaurant/retail/foodservice brand leaders, legislators, dietitians and others – learn about animal agriculture’s commitment to innovation and advancement.”

Key messages from the report include:
-    The health of broiler chickens in the U.S. continues to improve with scientific advancements in genetics, management and nutrition. As a result of these industry-adopted developments, quarterly mortality rates remain at historic lows. According to 2016 statistics, today’s mortality rate is 4.8 percent compared to 18 percent in 1925.

-    Hens under the United Egg Producers Certified program now account for 95 percent of all the nations laying hens and are independently audited annually based on guidelines recommended by a committee of world-renowned scientists in areas of food safety and animal behavior.

-    In turkeys, the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service reported Salmonella continued to decline to 1.7 percent in its most recent analysis updated in 2015. The turkey industry has continued to aggressively drive down the occurrence of Salmonella, to achieve the lowest count possible among raw poultry products.

-    The pork industry’s flagship education program for farmers and employees is the National Pork Board’s Pork Quality Assurance Plus. As of March 2017, more than 63,000 farmers and farm employees were PQA Plus certified.

-    More than 80 percent of research funded by America’s beef producers is used throughout the beef supply chain on a daily basis to enhance the safety of beef and beef products.

-    The U.S. dairy industry conducts almost four million tests each year on all milk entering dairy plants. In 2017, only 0.011 percent of all milk tanker samples tested positive for residues of animal medications, indicating that efforts at detecting and deterring harmful drug residues in milk are effective.

In addition to the 36-page report, an updated third-party expert contact list is available upon request.

“There is a lot of misinformation being shared about food and agriculture – often by people generations removed from agriculture, furthering the communication gap between farm and fork,” said Johnson Smith. “Our report explains how the industry shares the same values as today’s consumer with its never-ending commitment to animal care, food safety, sustainability and responsible antibiotic use.”

2016/2017 Feed Grains In All Forms Exports Break Record

Based on figures provided Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and analyzed by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), the United States exported 114.1  million metric tons of feed grains in all forms (GIAF) from September 2016 to August 2017, a 12 increase from the prior year and a new record for the category.

U.S. corn exports realized substantial gains with the most exports since 2007/2008, as 58.1 million tons (2.29 billion bushels) of U.S. corn were exported in the marketing year. The 21 percent increase year-over-year was driven by purchases by long-term trading partners including Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan as well as increased exports to markets like Saudi Arabia, Colombia and Peru.

Record-setting U.S. ethanol exports surged even higher with  1.37 billion gallons (488 million bushels in corn equivalent) exported, a 34 percent increase year-over-year driven by increased exports to Brazil and India.

The corn equivalent of beef, pork and poultry meat exports also hit a double-digit jump compared to the previous marketing year with an export total of 22.9 million tons (901.5 million bushels) of corn equivalent exported in the form of meat.

Additionally, the quantity of U.S. exports of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) stayed steady with the previous marketing year with 12.9 million tons in exports. The global market for U.S. DDGS diversified significantly with increased purchasing by numerous customers including Mexico, Turkey, South Korea, Canada and even New Zealand. The increases offset a substantial decrease by the top two traditional buyers - China and Vietnam - which faced policy challenges.

In contrast, U.S. exports of both sorghum and barley declined in the 2016/2017 marketing year, primarily due to a decrease in exportable supply. Due to continued purchases by Mexico, China and other buyers, U.S. sorghum exports totaled 6.04 million tons (238 million bushels), a 30 percent drop year-over-year but still greater than the prior five-year average of 5.3 million tons (209 million bushels).

U.S. barley exports totaled nearly 114,000 tons (5.22 million bushels) with important purchases by the Japanese food barley market as well as brewers in Mexico.

As the books officially close on the 2016/2017 marketing year, the Council is continuing its work to support U.S. agricultural producers by identifying short-term market opportunities and building long-term demand for the bushels of grain they harvest as well as co-products like DDGS and ethanol.

US Ethanol Exports Down 12% in August

U.S. ethanol exports totaled 103.1 million gallons in August, down 12% from July shipments, according to government data released Thursday morning and analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association.

Canada and Brazil were again the top destinations for U.S. exports, combining to receive more than half of total exports in August.

Year-to-date, U.S. ethanol exports to all destinations stood at 906.5 mg, indicating an annualized export total of 1.36 billion gallons.

Top-importer Canada received 38.7 mg of ethanol while Brazil recorded 27.0 mg in August, down 20% from July.

Through the first eight months of 2017, Brazil was the top market for U.S. ethanol exports, accounting for a third -- 337.0 mg or 37% -- of all export demand. Canada has been the No. 2 market year-to-date, receiving 218 mg or 24% of total exports, while India is quickly catching up to the leaders by receiving 103.6 mg or 11%.

EPA Action would Break President’s Promises on Protecting the RFS

Efforts underway from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to scale back the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) would break repeated promises by President Donald Trump to protect the RFS. As part of a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) published by the agency on Oct. 4, EPA signaled that it is contemplating reducing proposed RFS volumes, including volumes that were finalized a year ago.

“If realized, this action would be a betrayal of farmers by EPA, and would break the promises made by the President on the RFS on the campaign trail,” said American Soybean Association (ASA) President Ron Moore, who farms in Roseville, Ill. “Scaling back the RFS endangers the livelihood of the 64,000 American workers who rely on biodiesel and the rural communities where soybeans and biodiesel are produced, not to mention farmers nationwide for whom biodiesel and other renewable fuels present a vital market for their products.”

Total U.S. production of biodiesel was approximately 1.9 billion gallons in 2016 with ample feedstock and production capacity to produce more. Another 1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel was imported in 2016. EPA proposed volumes of 2.1 billion gallons (including imports) of biomass-based diesel for 2019—well below the actual capacity of the biodiesel industry to produce fuels here in the United States. In comments submitted to EPA on the proposed volumes, ASA advocated for a level of at least 2.5 billion gallons for 2019. The subsequent NODA contemplates rolling back biomass-based diesel levels below the already insufficient 2.1 billion gallon level.

Moore points to the tenuous nature of the farm economy as a key reason the RFS should be protected. “The RFS has boosted the agriculture economy, increased commodity values, personal earnings, local and state tax revenues, and economic activities in rural communities across the country,” Moore said.

“President Trump explicitly promised farmers as a candidate that he would support investments in biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard,” added Moore. The commitments by President Trump and the degree to which EPA’s actions undermine those commitments are clear and are captured concisely in this video produced by partner organization the National Biodiesel Board. The video includes footage of President Trump’s promises to protect the RFS and a recent floor speech by Sen. Chuck Grassley expressing his strong concerns over the recent actions by EPA that contemplate potential rollbacks of federal biofuels policy.

“The President should direct Administrator Pruitt to withdraw the NODA and raise biodiesel volumes in the RFS. EPA's focus should remain on growing this successful program. Reducing volumes of biodiesel will harm communities across rural America who depend on the thousands of good-paying jobs supported by the industry.”

ASA will submit formal comments to EPA in response to the NODA by the Oct. 19 deadline. In the meantime, ASA is urging farmers to engage their elected officials on the issue by sending emails and tweets to lawmakers via ASA’s Soy Action Center.

Growth Energy Submits Comments to EPA for Reconsideration of Final Determination of GHG Standards

Growth Energy has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of the use of higher biofuel blends in the Final Determination of the Mid-Term Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emission (GHG) Standard for Model Years 2022-2025 Light-Duty Vehicles.

“Vehicles and fuels operate as a system, so it’s not only logical, but truly essential to explore the benefits of high-octane fuels, like ethanol, when considering the potential achievements of future fuel economy standards. Ethanol significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, demonstrably supports automakers in achieving future fuel economy standards, and helps to reduce consumer costs,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.

“Additionally, biofuels ensure that consumers have access to fuels that are renewable, support our nation’s energy security, and invest in rural America, all while providing savings at the pump. We sincerely hope the agency will take these important facts into account as it reconsiders the standards for 2022 and beyond.”

Growth Energy’s comments highlight the tremendous environmental benefits of higher ethanol blends, like the 43 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (according to the USDA), significant reduction in particulate matter emissions, and the potential fuel efficiency gains through ethanol’s high-octane value.

Growth Energy has led the effort for approval of high-octane, midlevel ethanol blends, first submitting the concept of a high-octane, E30 certification fuel to EPA in 2012 when the vehicle standards were being developed. Growth Energy also provided significant comments to the agency’s examination of the 2022-2025 standards last year. Chris Bliley, Growth Energy’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, previously provided testimony in support of the use of high-octane biofuel blends as a means toward achieving any future CAFE and GHG vehicle standards during the September 6 EPA hearing.

USDA Dairy Products August 2017 Production Highlights

Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 1.03 billion pounds, 2.3 percent above August 2016 but 0.7 percent below July 2017.   Italian type cheese production totaled 436 million pounds, 2.5 percent above August 2016 but 3.5 percent below July 2017.  American type cheese production totaled 399 million pounds, 1.5 percent above August 2016 but 0.5 percent below July 2017.  Butter production was 131 million pounds, 6.2 percent above August 2016 but 3.4 percent below July 2017.

Dry milk powders (comparisons with August 2016)
Nonfat dry milk, human - 136 million pounds, up 15.9 percent.
Skim milk powders - 45.6 million pounds, down 1.8 percent.

Whey products (comparisons with August 2016)
Dry whey, total - 95.8 million pounds, up 24.5 percent.
Lactose, human and animal - 97.8 million pounds, up 5.6 percent.
Whey protein concentrate, total - 37.9 million pounds, up 6.3 percent.

Frozen products (comparisons with August 2016)
Ice cream, regular (hard) - 74.2 million gallons, up 1.5 percent.
Ice cream, lowfat (total) - 41.8 million gallons, down 4.3 percent.
Sherbet (hard) - 3.43 million gallons, up 10.4 percent.
Frozen yogurt (total) - 5.69 million gallons, up 0.2 percent.


In honor of Hunger Action Month, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) members and employees celebrated the company’s core value of community by raising nearly $15,000 to benefit Feeding America’s Hurricane relief efforts. Additionally, several DFA brands are providing donations, totaling more than $50,000 worth of dairy products, to help support hurricane victims in Miami and Houston.

Money was raised through member and employee monetary donations to the DFA Cares Foundation online giving site. The DFA Cares Foundation also made a dollar-for-dollar match for every contribution, up to $5,000.

Several DFA brands and members also are making donations to benefit hurricane victims, including:

·         More than 4,300 cases of Sportsman Shake, a dairy-based protein shake, was sent to Convoy of Hope, an international, humanitarian-relief organization based in Springfield, Mo., to assist in hurricane relief efforts;

·         La Vaquita, the top-selling brand of Hispanic cheese in Houston, is donating 6,000, eight-ounce packages of queso fresco cheese to a local food bank in the Houston, Texas, area;

·         Plugrá butter donated 1,600 pounds of butter to the French Pastry School in Chicago, Ill., which then baked 60,000 cookies to support hurricane victims in Miami and Houston;

·         Sugar Branch Farms, a DFA family farm in Pennsylvania, collected two trailers and a semi-truck load of donations from their local community and carried the load to Houston to help hurricane victims.

“Hunger is a serious issue today and as a Cooperative, we value our ability to help feed those in need,” said Ron Shelton, Chairman, DFA Cares Foundation and DFA Board Member. “With farmer members in Texas and Florida, we are committed to helping give back in these local communities and support relief efforts.”

The DFA Cares Foundation was established in 2005 as a nonprofit charitable organization. Through the DFA Cares Foundation, DFA provides disaster relief via product and monetary donations, invests in the future of the industry with scholarships to students pursuing careers in dairy and contributes dairy food and products for those in need.

No comments:

Post a Comment