Category: Policy

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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Energy Economist: RFS saves consumers as much as $1.50 per gallon

There’s been plenty of political rhetoric and attacks using Big Oil talking points on the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) recently. Unfortunately, it appears that the same people making attacks have chosen to ignore a study released last week by energy economist Philip K. Verleger that concludes ethanol and the RFS have lowered gas prices by as much as $1.50 per gallon.

Verleger writes:

Had Congress not raised the renewable fuels requirement,

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Corn Links: Farm Bill, Chipotle and the Chesapeake Bay

The farm bill is still going nowhere, Chipotle gets called out by Funny or Die and a judge upholds a ruling on the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load issue. More details below in this Friday’s Corn Links:

Farm bill still stuck
If congress fails to pass a farm bill by Oct. 1, conservation programs will take a hit. According to Andrew McElwaine of the American Farmland Trust, conservation compliance has saved more than 295 million tons of soil annually and protected more than 3 million acres of wetlands.

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Minnesota Farmers are top users of USDA Conservation Program

More farmers in Minnesota than any other state have used a voluntary USDA program that aims to improve, maintain and expand on-farm conservation practices.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is administered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and encourages farmers to take measurable steps to improve soil, water quality, wildlife habitat and other conservation efforts.

Since the CSP program began in 2009, nearly 2 million acres of Minnesota farmland has been enrolled.

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