Category: Policy

U.S. House members introduce bill addressing RFS waivers

Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) proposed legislation today that would set a deadline for small refinery exemption (SRE) waivers and increase transparency in the SRE process. Titled the “Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019,” the bill would bring necessary changes to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions that have removed billions of ethanol gallons from the nation’s fuel supply.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) applauds the legislation, which establishes an annual June 1 deadline for refineries to submit SRE petitions.

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MN House 2017

Legislative Update: Session ends with much to be decided for corn farmers

By Amanda Bilek, senior public policy director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

The Minnesota legislature adjourned at midnight on May 20th to meet its constitutional adjournment deadline, but most of the work to finalize a two-year state budget was left unfinished. After nearly a week of private negotiations among Governor Tim Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, the leaders announced a broad global agreement for a two-year state budget at a little over $48 billion.

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NCGA provides USDA with trade aid recommendations

The National Corn Growers Association provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommendations for short and long-term actions that would provide assistance to farmers facing losses due, in part, to the most recent tariff increases and prolonged trade dispute with China.

The recommendations were in response to a statement from the White House last week that a second round of trade assistance would be issued as China trade negotiations continue.

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Minnesota Harvest

Corn farmers: Contact the White House today to stress need for adequate trade assistance

Friday’s announcement that the Trump Administration is increasing the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China’s retaliatory tariffs, could not have come at a worse time for corn farmers, bringing more uncertainty to markets and impacting commodity prices.

In an effort to ease this impact, the Administration is now pursuing a second round of trade assistance for agriculture with the intent of making an announcement in the next few days.

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Trump calls for trade aid payments in response to China negotiations

In a tweet earlier today, President Trump announced he would be working with his administration to deliver aid to U.S. farmers who have been impacted by ongoing trade negotiations with China.

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association is working closely with the National Corn Growers Association to ensure corn farmers receive the necessary amount of aid to offset the negative impact of trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty.

Trade disruptions and ongoing tariff escalation have combined with wet weather and a stagnant farm economy to create a perfect storm for Minnesota corn farmers.

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Legislative Update: Omnibus bills with ag implications reach committees

By Amanda Bilek, senior public policy director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

The 10 major omnibus spending bills, including a tax bill, have each been passed off the floor of the House or the Senate and conference committees have been appointed to work out the differences between the House and Senate positions. Additionally, House and Senate legislative leadership and Governor Walz have been meeting to reach agreement on joint spending targets for the major omnibus spending bills and the tax bill.

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Legislative Update: Final debates around ag policy begin to take shape

By Amanda Bilek, senior public policy director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Last week the Minnesota Legislature reconvened in St. Paul following an Easter/Passover break and was busy in long floor sessions debating, amending and passing omnibus budget bills for various agencies and state government functions.

The House and Senate will finish passing major budget bills and have committed to appointing conference committees by May 1. At the beginning of session,

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MCGA, corn farmers submit comments calling for year-round E15 sales

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule allowing year-round sales of E15. The rule would finally remove an outdated barrier requiring retailers to stop selling E15 during the summer months.

MCGA comments stressed the importance of treating E15 the same as standard 10-percent ethanol blends by no longer interrupting sales between June and September. The rule would finally give consumers access to another option at the pump during the busy summer travel season,

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MCGA represents state’s ag sector at President Trump roundtable

MCGA directors Bryan Biegler, Les Anderson, Kirby Hettver, Tim Waibel and Brian Thalmann attended the roundtable

President Donald Trump was in Burnsville on Monday for a Tax Day roundtable, and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) was invited to be part of the event representing the state’s ag sector.

While not able to speak directly with President Trump, the roundtable was a great opportunity for MCGA directors to discuss the importance of trade,

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Flurry of action before bills move to floor debates

By Amanda Bilek, senior public policy director for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association

Committee deadlines, revised budget recommendations from Governor Walz and budget targets from House and Senate leadership have made for a busy couple of weeks in St. Paul.

Before the legislature takes a break next week, various committees in each body have been putting together and passing two-year budget bills to fund various agencies and other state government functions.

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