Category: Policy

Legislative Update: Section 179 gets early traction

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

The legislative session is underway in St. Paul. Although the first week was relatively quiet when it came to committee meetings, there was plenty of activity in meeting and connecting with lawmakers to discuss MCGA policy priorities for this session. You can read about our priorities in last week’s update here.

The House Taxes committee had their first meeting of session last week and first up was HF 3023,

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What to consider prior to Mar. 15 ARC/PLC deadline

The below includes contributions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture

All farm producers with interest in the cropland must make a unanimous election in 2019 of either ARC-CO or PLC on a crop-by-crop basis; or ARC-IC for all covered commodity base acres on a farm. This election will apply to the farm for 2019 through 2023. Program election changes are permitted in crop years 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Failure to make a valid election in 2019 will result in a continuation of the program elected for 2014 through 2018 crop years for all covered commodities with base acres on the farm;

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MN Capitol

Biofuels, tax policy headline 2020 legislative priorities

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

Today the second session of the 91st Minnesota Legislature convened. In the second year of a biennium, the legislative session usually has a focus on capital investment or public works projects and policy initiatives.

Last year, the Legislature adopted a two-year budget for the state but after the February forecast, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan are expected to submit a supplemental budget request.

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USMCA signed by President, China trade agreement reached

UPDATE (1/29/20): President Donald Trump officially signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) during a ceremony at the White House earlier today. Minnesota Corn Growers Association President Les Anderson was in attendance representing Minnesota’s 24,000 corn farmers. He was joined by National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross.

The nation’s corn farmers received positive trade news this week, as President Trump signed a phase one deal with China and the U.S. Senate passed the U.S.

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Low-interest financing available for on-site propane storage

Farmers interested in purchasing a liquefied petroleum tank to aid with grain drying during the winter months have access to low-interest financing through the Farm Service Agency.

The Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) Program provides low-interest financing to farmers interested in upgrading storage facilities for their grain. Petroleum tanks are covered through the program for eligible commodities, which include grains.

Producers can receive a loan up to $50,000, secured by a promissory note/security agreement,

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USMCA agreement reached between Congress, White House

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) applauds today’s announcement that the White House and Congress are moving forward with the necessary legislative steps to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

MCGA President Les Anderson released the following statement in response:

“The news that the White House and Congress are moving toward passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is a very positive step for Minnesota’s corn growers. Mexico and Canada represent the largest export market for American corn farmers today,

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MCGA submits comments calling for EPA to follow the law

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) recently submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking biofuel gallons waived through small refinery exemptions are accurately accounted for under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Submitted in response to the EPA’s supplemental proposed rule for 2020 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO), the comments focused on the proposed methodology to account for waived biofuel gallons.

Currently, the proposed rule would use a three-year average of Department of Energy (DOE) recommended waivers.

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MCGA’s Thalmann named to Governor’s Biofuels Council

(The executive order establishing the Governor’s Biofuels Council was signed on the Thalmann farm in September)

Minnesota Corn Growers Association board member Brian Thalmann was named to the Governor’s Biofuels Council by Gov. Tim Walz on Friday. In the role, Thalmann will represent Minnesota’s corn farmers in the shared mission to expand the use of biofuels in our state.

Thalmann is a corn and soybean farmer from Plato,

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Mexico, Canada trade continues to grow, despite uncertainty

(Granjas Carroll, the second-largest pork producer in Mexico, was one of a number of Mexican trade delegations that recently visited Minnesota)

Despite uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), trade between Canada and Mexico flourished during the 2018/2019 marketing year. Both countries set new records for purchases of grain from American suppliers, according to the U.S. Grains Council.

Trade continues to grow with both countries thanks in large part to the market access provided by the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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Resolutions deadline approaches

County corn organization directors will come together on Dec. 4 in Willmar for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association pre-resolutions session. The annual event is a great demonstration of grassroots engagement as county organizations come together to address the issues impacting corn farmers.

Pre-resolutions packets were delivered to directors earlier this month. The names of attending county delegates and proposed resolutions are due Friday, Nov. 22. Resolutions will also be accepted on the day of the event.

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