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June 28, 2019 Corn Insider

On the Hill

Iowa Corn Presses Concerns with EPA at WHO Tractor Ride
Curt Mether, President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, and his wife, Anita, took the opportunity during the WHO Radio Tractor Ride to thank Secretary Perdue for his hard work on ethanol issues and tell him that the unjustified small refinery waivers at EPA need to stop.  While in attendance, Curt also had the chance to engage with Governor Reynolds, Secretary Naig, and Bill Northey, the current Undersecretary of Farm Production and Conservation at USDA, and a former Iowa Corn President. Iowa Corn’s flag was proudly displayed by Kevin Ross who participated in the ride.  Many thanks to all our members and farmers that attended the event to continue carrying our concerns with our government officials!









Members of Iowa Corn Set the Stage for Policy Development

ICGA staff has been across Iowa to hear from you, the members, to establish policy for the organization in 2020.  Roundtables have been held in Clarion, Mt. Pleasant, Templeton, Donahue, Galva, Mason City, Red Oak, Ottumwa, and Arlington to date.  More than 90 farmers have attended a roundtable to express concerns, discuss current issues, and make motions on policy to advance Iowa Corn.  Some issues discussed are trade, locks and dams, secondary roads, and much more.  There are additional roundtables scheduled in Creston, Central City, and Ames in the coming weeks.  Click here if you haven’t attended a roundtable yet to find dates, times, and the registration link for the events.

President Trump to Meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping Over Trade Deals

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet for the first time since trade talks between the U.S. and China came to a halt. The meeting is scheduled for this Saturday, June 29, as the G-20 Summit comes to an end.  This is also after President Trump accused Beijing of backtracking on previous commitments and China blaming the U.S. for the breakdown. Trump could delay plans to impose a 25 percent duty on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods in favor of a renewed effort by both sides to negotiate a trade agreement as an outcome of the meeting. However, President Trump has already hit $250 billion worth of Chinese goods with a 25 percent import duty.  Iowa Corn will continue to monitor U.S. and China trade discussions.  ICGA would support an agreement between the countries that will end tariffs and bring relief to the Iowa agriculture community.

Congresswoman Finkenauer Leads Bipartisan Letter to Secretary Perdue

Monday, June 24, Congresswoman Finkenauer shared her support of Iowa farmers by leading a bipartisan letter sent to Secretary Perdue urging the Administration to improve its Market Facilitation Program. The letter discussed the hardships faced by many Iowan’s while the trade war continues with China, as well as, the need for fair and adequate trade assistance.  Iowa Representative Cindy Axne also signed the letter to show her support for farmers.  You may read the full press release and find the letter here.

Senator Grassley Expects Movement on Trade Deal with Japan in Late Summer

Senator Grassley said he does not expect any significant movement on trade negotiations coming out of the bilateral meeting being held with President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G-20 meeting later this week. However, he believes the United States and Japan could announce some sort of agreement in bilateral trade talks shortly after Tokyo's elections in July. "With Japan, yes, there will be something soon after the elections to announce," Grassley stated as he discussed the potential of a deal with reporters in D.C.

Other Happenings:

  • US Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the department would grant trade-aid payments for farmers who grow cover crops on acres which would have otherwise been planted.
  • Senator Grassley will be holding town meetings in Winnebago County on July 1, Jones County on July 2 and Pocahontas County on July 3 as a part of his annual 99 county meetings. You can find more information here.
  • The World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement body is set to meet a next week to settle the deadline for China to properly implement the tariff rate quotas for wheat rice and corn as it promised to do 18 years ago when the country joined the World Trade Organization. The WTO ruled in April that China has failed to live up to pledges to buy billions of dollars of wheat, rice and corn through TRQs, handing the U.S. another international victory.
  • Have questions regarding prevented planting and cover crops in 2019?  You can find answers on RMA’s FAQ website here.


In the News

ICGA Curt Mether along with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig were featured by KCCI close up discussing the 2019 planting season, USMCA and tariffs. Click here to watch the story.

Mitchell County Corn Growers and Sukup Manufacturing Co Expand Little Farm Hands with a Safe T Home ®

The Mitchell County Corn Growers Association partnered with Sukup Manufacturing Co. to help fund a Safe T Home® built at the Mitchell County Fairgrounds yesterday. The Safe T Home® is a new addition to the Little Farm Hands project, an interactive, educational experience related to life on an Iowa farm. Little Farm Hands was created in 2013 by the Mitchell County Corn and Soybean Associations. Last year, over 600 kids toured the barn for a hands-on learning experience about Iowa agriculture. The Safe T Home® expands the display allowing the youngest fairgoers an ongoing educational opportunity.


Upcoming Events

Pest Resistance Project Field Day Near Logan

The Harrison County Pest Resistance Pilot Project is hosting a field day near Logan on Tuesday, July 9 from 10 am to 1 pm.  Come learn about the project, herbicide trials, and frog-eye leaf spot.  Lunch is provided by the local Cattlemen’s association.  Click here for more information.

Cover Crop Field Day Near Corning

Iowa Corn and several partners are hosting a field day on Tuesday, July 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Ray and Elaine Gaesser’s farm near Corning.  The field day will feature Ray and Chris Gaesser sharing their experiences with cover crops and providing tips for successfully adding them to your operation.  Jacob Ness, Soil Health Partnership Iowa Field Manager, will share soil health measurement results from the Gaesser’s cover crop research plots and provide information on how to get a trial started on your farm.  Click here for more information.



Ethanol Series Part 1: Plant-Based Power Rooted In Performance

From energy security to air quality improvements to economic benefits, there’s a multitude of advantages to using homegrown, plant-based fuels like ethanol in our nation’s fuel supply. Like the corn plant, sometimes we get too focused on what you see above the surface, when sometimes its really what’s going on below the surface that has the biggest impact. Similarly, when you dig deeper on corn-based ethanol, you quickly find out one perk that isn’t highlighted enough is how this plant-based fuel is rooted in performance.

Ethanol has been an important low carbon, domestic energy source for a long time. It’s healthier for your wallet, the economy and your lungs, too, but possibly the most valuable attribute of ethanol is its role as a clean, affordable source of fuel octane for your engine.

At its most basic level, the octane rating of fuel tells you how much the air and fuel mixture can be compressed before it will ignite within the engine. Quite simply, the higher the octane number, the more compression the fuel can withstand before igniting. This is especially important in gasoline engines because they rely on the ignition of the air and fuel mixture compressed together within the engine cylinder to efficiently move your vehicle down the road. Premature or delayed ignition can result in “engine knocking” and undue stress and inefficiencies in the engine. (shown in image on the right).

Now, simply increasing the octane level of the fuel alone doesn’t automatically result in greater engine efficiencies. However, when you pair engine designs that increase compression ratios in the engine cylinder with fuels that can withstand higher rates of compression before igniting (i.e. fuels with a higher octane rating), engine efficiency greatly improves—something auto manufacturers are constantly looking for due to increasing fuel economy standards.

With a blending octane rating of 113, this fact is a big ray of sunshine for ethanol. When you match a smaller, higher compression engine with mid-level ethanol blends in the range of E20-E30, you not only get the sizeable efficiency boost that the octane provides, you also get the renewable, cleaner-burning and economic benefits that come along with it.

As you can see, ethanol isn’t here just because it burns cleaner and has a feel-good story. It’s a key part of our fueling system because adding just a little bit more of that plant-based power has the potential to provide a serious boost in performance.

Next week, we’ll dive deeper into how this low carbon octane benefit can be utilized in today’s transportation sector to provide the best benefits to farmers, automakers and society.

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