Category: Policy

Farm Bill: We're getting close (for real this time…probably)

House and Senate negotiators reached a deal on a new five-year farm bill late Monday night that ends direct payments, strengthens crop insurance and trims nutrition programs (food stamps) by about 1 percent.

Under the new farm bill, growers would have the choice between traditional price supports or insurance-like protection against a drop in revenue. For more details, click here.

The House is expected to vote on the new farm bill,

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Ethanol is not subsidized by taxpayers

“The only problem I have with ethanol is that it’s subsidized by the government!”

“Why take the people’s tax money and hand it to a few corporate faremers (sic) & refiners?” 

“Let’ look at the damage caused by subsidizing ethanol.”

These are actual reader comments on recent newspaper stories that focus on ethanol. If the topic of ethanol comes up among friends or family members,

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Congressman Tim Walz: "The RFS is working, and the EPA needs to get out of the way"

With damaging cuts to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) looming, Congressman Tim Walz visited POET Biorefining in Lake Crystal on Monday morning to talk about ethanol’s impact on the area’s economy.

POET employs about 44 people in the Lake Crystal area, consumes 20 million bushels of corn and produces 56 million gallons of ethanol annually. Those numbers will shrink if the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the oil industry gets its way and slashes the amount of ethanol blended in gasoline by 1.4 billion gallons in 2014.

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Message to EPA: "Don't Mess with the RFS"

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) heard from renewable fuels supporters — and a few Big Oil mouthpieces — on Thursday during a public hearing on the agency’s proposal to slash the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and cut the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline by 1.4 billion gallons in 2014.

“The EPA is now caving in to the demands of Big Oil, who has always resisted renewable fuels – from the very beginning,”

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10 reasons why you should tell EPA to leave the Renewable Fuel Standard alone

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed slashing the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) and reducing the amount of ethanol we blend with our gasoline by 1.4 billion gallons in 2014. If implemented, this misguided proposal would raise gas prices and seriously damage the rural economy.

Thankfully, there is still time to put a stop to this proposal. Click here to tell the EPA that the RFS is working as it was intended and that there is no need to change it.

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Minnesota Corn Growers extremely disappointed in EPA proposal to cut ethanol blending goals

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is extremely disappointed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to lower ethanol blending goals for 2014 set in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The RFS is reducing our dependence on foreign oil and lowering prices at the pump. In other words, said MCGA President Ryan Buck, it’s working exactly as it was intended and there is no need to change it.

“By calling for a reduction in the amount of ethanol we blend with gasoline,

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Associated Press story plows under the facts about ethanol

Do you enjoy writing filled with hyperbole? How about “reporting” that cites long-dispelled myths as fact and uses professional talking heads as sources? Is lazy journalism that aims to manufacture controversy (think Skip Bayless at ESPN or one of the many loudmouths that pollute the talk radio airwaves) your thing?

Then an upcoming story from the Associated Press (AP) about so-called “dirty” ethanol is right up your alley. The story is embargoed until Nov.

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Helping farmers navigate the latest conservation-related reports, programs, strategies and initiatives

FarmKeeping up with the latest reports, studies, regulations, programs and initiatives related to conservation can sometimes make a farmer’s head spin.

Over the last couple of months, several reports have been released and strategies proposed by various agencies and organizations that aim to improve Minnesota’s water quality and enhance on-farm conservation efforts. These reports total almost 1,000 pages, span dozens of websites, involve multiple organizations and encompass several government programs and non-governmental initiatives.

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MDA wraps up N management plan listening sessions

Plan would create phased response to nitrates in groundwater, with a potential for regulatory action

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Six listening sessions have not turned up any earth-shaking critical comments about the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) proposed Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Plan, according to MDA officials. The comment period continues until Nov. 1, at which point Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson will consider the comments and publish the final version of the plan.

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Government Shutdown: What it Means for Farmers

Like the rest of America, farmers woke up this morning and learned that the federal government is shut down.

How will the shutdown impact American agriculture? Unfortunately, we’re about to find out. For now, here’s what we know:

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has mostly gone dark. With the exception of food and grain inspections, fighting forest fires and monitoring government property, most of the department’s 100,000 employees are furloughed (put on temporary leave) and offices are closed.

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