Category: Policy

Grassroots efforts demand action in response to EPA waivers

The power of grassroots efforts came through last week when Minnesota’s corn farmers submitted more than 700 comments, over 300 to both President Trump and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), demanding actions are taken to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

The passionate response from the ag community followed news in late July that the EPA would approve 31 small refinery waivers, removing an additional 1.43 billion gallons of U.S. biofuels from the nation’s supply.

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MCGA Director Harold Wolle stresses trade in Farmfest forum

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

A panel of national farm leaders at Farmfest last week spoke with unanimity about farmers’ need to take an aggressive, and ultimately optimistic approach to trade in order to survive the body blow of trade disputes with China.

“Corn growers’ number one priority is increasing the demand for corn,” said Harold Wolle, a farmer in St. James, Minnesota. “We need to keep after trade.”

Wolle is a board member of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and also serves on the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.

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Minnesota Corn returns to Farmfest, where trade took center stage

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association returned to Gilfillan Estate last week for Farmfest 2019. The annual event was another great opportunity for MCGA staff, directors and corn grower members to meet with Minnesota farmers, elected officials and more.

Thousands of farmers came to the Minnesota Corn tent to learn the many ways “MN Corn Grows MN” and try some sweet corn ice cream. In addition to catching up on the latest in research,

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USDA announces second round of trade support for farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released county payment rates for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) today. Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Brian Thalmann released the following statement:

“The state’s corn farmers appreciate the quick rollout of the MFP program and USDA’s efforts to better reflect the impact of ongoing trade disputes. While we look forward to learning more about the program, Minnesota’s corn farmers continue to prioritize long-term solutions supporting corn farmers,

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Minnesota Corn advocates for top priorities in Washington

(Chief Agricultural Negotiator Greg Doud met with Minnesota Corn directors)

Minnesota Corn farmer leaders spent last week in Washington D.C. meeting with fellow directors from other state organizations and spending time on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegations, agriculture committee leaders and key federal agencies to advocate for policy priorities important to all Minnesota corn famers.

While in Washington, farmer leaders participated in Corn Congress sessions with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).

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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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