Category: Policy

Proposed Renewable Volume Obligations disappoint corn farmers

As part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) last week. While the proposed rule maintains 15 billion gallons for conventional ethanol, it did not reallocate or account for the billions of gallons of renewable fuels lost due to refinery exemptions.

The minimum amount of renewable fuels that must be supplied to the market in 2020 was 20.04 billion gallons. Conventional biofuels will remain at 15 billion gallons of that total next year.

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MCGA to advocate for federal priorities in Washington

Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) directors will travel to Washington, D.C., next week to meet with fellow corn farmer leaders from other states during National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Congress. During the meeting, corn farmer leaders will gather to debate grassroots resolutions that will determine federal positions on policy impacting corn famers.

Minnesota Corn directors will also spend time on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation, agriculture committee leadership,

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Groundwater Protection Rule now official

The final Groundwater Protection Rule was published Monday, June 24th in the State Register, finalizing a rule regulating nitrogen application in vulnerable groundwater areas. While the rule is now effective, farmers will have some time before regulatory action will occur.

For a refresher on the Groundwater Protection Rule: The rule contains two parts. Farmers may be subject to one part of the rule, both, or none at all, depending on your geographic location:

  • Part 1: Fall application of nitrogen is restricted if you farm is located in 1 ) an vulnerable groundwater area (click here for a map) where at least 50 percent or more of a quarter section is designated as vulnerable or 2) protection areas around a public well,
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Legislative Update: Remaining bills impacting corn farmers

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

Although a couple of weeks have passed since the conclusion of the regular and first special session for the 91st legislature, we wanted to update our readers with some information on policy and program initiatives included in transportation, environment and health and human services budget bills. You can read previous updates on the agriculture finance bill here and the tax bill here.

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Year-round E15 sales is a major win for farmers and consumers

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association is pleased to see the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a rule that will finally allow for year-round sales of E15. Announced today, the rule removes an outdated barrier that prevented retailers from selling E15 to non-Flex Fuel Vehicles during the summer months.

Today’s announcement follows a promise from the Trump Administration last October that consumers would soon have access to year-round E15. MCGA commends President Trump for making this rule a reality for corn farmers and drivers who now have another option at the pump.

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Special session tax bill produces positive outcomes for farmers

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

Following the constitutional adjournment deadline of May 20th, state legislators needed a special session to finish passing major budget bills and finalize a new two-year state budget.

The special session of the 91st legislature convened on May 24th and over the next 21 hours the legislature passed eight budget bills, a tax bill, a bill for housing infrastructure bonds and approved appropriations for constitutionally dedicated legacy funds (plus a technical corrections bill and state pension bill).

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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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