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June 14, 2019 Corn Insider

On the Hill

Iowa Corn Attends Trump’s Ethanol Plant Visit in Council Bluffs

President Trump visited Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs, IA on Tuesday to address farmers about E15, trade, WOTUS, and the Farm Bill.  ICGA had a delegation of 70 corn farmers and staff from Iowa Corn and NCGA in attendance to thank the president for his work fighting for the corn industry, ethanol, and an E15 rule.  Trump remarked that “now ethanol is playing a bigger and bigger part so congratulations.  We are securing America’s future through energy independence.”  ICGA delegates also had a mission to educate White House staff and administration officials at the event that continuing to allow small refinery exemptions has a devastating impact on the corn industry.  Iowa farmer, Kevin Ross, had the opportunity to address President Trump directly and all in attendance with his remarks asking the President for help ending small refinery waivers and the need for better transportation infrastructure.  President Trump ended his time in Council Bluffs by reminding us all that “America’s farmers are not just the keepers of America’s legacy; you are the guardian of a great way of life [and] we will never stop fighting for our farmers.”

Submit ICGA Member Survey by June 24th

We sent an email last week with additional details about our policy process and a link to this year’s member survey. As a member your voice is critical, so please take a few minutes to complete the survey. If you can’t find the email, you can click here to access the survey.  Thank you to all who have submitted survey responses already!

Secretary Perdue Releases Statement on Disaster and Trade Assistance

The Secretary released a statement containing more information relating to disaster and trade assistance being sent to farmers, hopefully, in the next few months.  The press release answers some common questions that farmers and agriculture groups have been asking for some time.  USDA encourages producers to plant as they would any other year without any USDA assistance.  If you were unable to plant anything, you will not qualify for MFP payments, and you are encouraged to talk with a crop insurance agent.  For a much more detail, click here.

United States and Mexico Have Reached an Agreement

This past Friday, the United States and Mexico came to an agreement which halted the onset of a 5% tariff on all Mexico’s exports. Through a series of tweets by President Trump it was made known that the tariffs scheduled to be implemented on Monday, June 10, had been indefinitely suspended. Although there is still speculation on if this agreement includes Mexico importing more ag-related commodities, we do know that it does rely heavily on Mexico’s ability to decrease immigration to the United States.

Grassley to Move Forward with Bill to Rein in Tariffs

Earlier this week Senator Grassley announced he is focusing on moving forward with his bill to put a check on the president’s trade power, specifically Trump’s use of tariffs.  Grassley said, “Congress has delegated too much authority to the president of the United States” and that power has made a “dictator” out of the presidency.  This bill is focusing on the president’s authority under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.  The senator is working hard to find a solution with his legislation in order to secure a strong vote in the Senate for his bill. ICGA policy currently opposes tariffs and embargos as a means to change trade policy and supports working with other countries for free trade. Click here for more.

Other Happenings:

  • Trump signed an executive order to direct federal agencies to streamline regulations for agricultural biotechnology. Click here for more.
  • USDA’s second trade aid package is now under OMB review. 
  • U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer is scheduled to testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, June 19 at 9:30 Eastern.  The testimony will center on USMCA, WTO, and regulations with China, Japan, the European Union, and the United Kingdom.

 

In the News

NCGA Vice President and Iowa Farmer Speaks to President Trump on Local Visit

Kevin Ross, a Minden farmer who was one of three people to speak during Trump’s rally, told the president: “There’s still work to do” following his comments on securing year-round E15. Ross also stated the small refinery waivers threaten to undo the president’s good works. Click here to read more from The Des Moines Register.

 

Upcoming Events

Tile Inlet Protection Field Day on June 19 near Eldora

The Southfork Watershed Alliance is hosting a tile inlet protection field day on June 19 from 10 am to 1 pm near Eldora.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is the keynote speaker.  Attendees will be able to view a blind inlet, field sock, and saturated buffer. Click here for more information.

One-Stop Cover Crop Shop on June 19 in Lenox

The Taylor Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring a cover crop shop on June 19 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Lenox community center.  Come at any time during the shop to talk to local vendors about how to get started with cover crops including seed, grazing, planting, and cost share.  Lunch will be provided from 11 am to 1 pm.  Iowa Corn is a proud supporter of the Taylor County Water Quality Initiative Project. Click here for more information about the event.

Attend Field Days for National Pollinator Week June 17-23

Iowa Corn is partnering with Pheasants Forever, Iowa State University Extension, and other partners to offer a variety of opportunities to learn about pollinators and their habitats.  Pollinators provide important services and can be affected by crop protection products.  Assistance is available to improve habitat on non-crop areas. Click here for more information. 

  • June 17 at 9 am in Waukon
  • June 18 at 9 am in Elkader
  • June 19 at 9 am in West Union
  • June 19 at 10 am near Clarksville
  • June 20 at 9 am in Independence
  • June 20 at 10 am near Rockford
  • June 20 at 2 pm near Ionia
  • June 21 at 10 am near Orchard
  • June 22 at 10 am in Ames

 

Spotlight

Bremer County Ag School Opening Farms and Minds

Whether it’s calculating the most useful crop insurance or figuring out the latest and greatest GPS technologies, farmers are learning something new every single day. However, if farmers are still learning, what are consumers learning about modern Iowa agriculture? The Bremer County Corn Growers are tackling just that question through their new “Ag School” program.

After losing their test plot ground following the 2017 harvest, the county corn growers had to look for another location for the plot or replace their long-time event. The group chose to replace the event with Ag School, created by one of their own farmer members, Marc Mummelthei.

“I really came across the idea for Ag School after the Waverly Police Department held a similar educational session, ‘Citizen’s Academy’,” said Mummelthei. “It was a ‘get to know you law enforcement’ school that included an array of classes on how police departments and officers work every day.”

Ag School was established to address the growing challenge facing farmers: consumer perception. The objective is to share their Iowa farms firsthand with non-farming consumer adults who also call Bremer County home.

“The Bremer County Ag School is the first class of its type offered by any commodity organization in Iowa and may be the first in the country,” said Mark Mueller, Iowa corn farmer leader and Iowa Corn Growers Association District 3 Director. “During the growing season, ‘students’ meet monthly at the farms of various members of the association to discuss how and why farmers do what they do. They examine machinery and ride along during planting and harvest with farmers.”

Monthly sessions vary throughout the year spanning topics of genetics, marketing, the environment, trade, biotechnology and other issues farmers consider on their operations.

To read more on this story, look for the June issue of Roots inserted in Iowa Farmer Today in your mailbox this weekend! In addition, you’ll find how Iowa Corn is working together with other partnerships including how a health study on ethanol is impacting cities of millions and how strong partnerships are creating stronger Iowa farmers.

© 2019 Iowa Corn Promotion Board/Iowa Corn Growers Association. All rights reserved.