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Commodity Communicator Weekly

November 15, 2013


AGMARK MEETING AT FARM BUREAU CENTER ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18
Matt Willard from the Funding Farm will be hosting a meeting for producers interested in learning about new market opportunity for their corn.  The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and run through lunch.  The group is seeking to put together 5 million bushels of corn to market for producers from their bins to the end user.  This should allow producers to capture additional premiums in the market.


HERD REBUILDING NOT YET BEGUN
Meating Place
Glynn Tonsor, assistant professor and ag economist for Kansas State University, says the beef industry is in a period of structural change. “We will look back and see where (beef industry) expansion occurred," according to Tonsor, who made his observations as part of the fourth Beef Cattle Economics webinar of 2013; this macroeconomic series is in its second year, sponsored by Merck Animal Health with partners Kansas State, Beef , Drovers and Meating Place. With MCOOL enforcement looming and high prices sending consumers running to other proteins, such as chicken, the beef industry is watching the trends in the herd size and their effects on available supply and capacity use.


FSA REMINDS OF 7.2% SEQUESTER CUT FOR FY 2014
USDA's Farm Service Agency this week reminded farmers and ranchers who take part in FSA programs to plan accordingly relative to the automatic spending reductions (sequester) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The Budget Control Act of 2011 mandates federal agencies mandate implement automatic, annual reductions to discretionary and mandatory spending limits. Mandatory programs will be subject to a 7.2% cut in FY 2014. This includes the following programs:

•Dairy Indemnity Payment Program; Marketing Assistance Loans
•Loan Deficiency Payments
•Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
•2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payments
•2013 Average Crop Revenue Election Program
•2011 and 2012 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program
•Storage, handling; and Economic Adjustment Assistance for Upland Cotton
 
FSA also noted that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments are specifically exempt by statute from sequestration, thus these payments will not be reduced.

For information about FSA programs, visit your county USDA Service Center or go to www.fsa.usda.gov.



EPA REDUCES RFS VOLUME OBLIGATIONS BELOW STATUTE
The Environmental Protection Agency  issued its proposed rule for the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume obligation. The renewable volume obligations (RVOs) are calculated by the EPA and set the annual targets for the utilization of cellulosic, biodiesel, advanced and total renewable fuel within our transportation fuels.
 
EPA’s proposed RVOs for 2014 are:
•Overall Renewable Fuels    15.21 billion gallons
•Advanced Biofuel                        2.2 billion gallons
•Cellulosic biofuel                    17.0 million gallons
•Biomass-based biodiesel     1.28 billion gallons
 
The proposed rule caps corn-based (or conventional) ethanol at 13.01 billion gallons.
 
These proposed volume obligations are a drastic reduction from the mandated RVOs in statute. Today’s proposed rule decreases 1.4 billion gallons from the conventional ethanol cap that was set at 14.4 billion gallons.
 
EPA’s proposed rule provides a 60 day public comment period. After the comment period closes, EPA reviews all comments before issuing a final rule. The final rule was mandated to be filed by November 30 but this deadline will not be met.


IMMIGRATION
. . . . .Assuming a farm bill is passed by the end of the year, the next legislative priority for the dairy industry will be immigration reform.  A top official at the National Milk Producers Federation is optimistic that reform will occur. “I believe that by 2014 we are going to have comprehensive immigration reform,” says Jamie Castaneda, senior vice president of strategic initiatives and trade policy at NMPF. Although it may be a challenge to win over conservative Republicans, Castaneda says the Republican Party also sees immigration reform as an important element for success in the 2016 elections. “When they’re going to do it, I can’t tell you whether it will be the first six months (of 2014) or a lame-duck session” after the November congressional elections, Castaneda said. A worker visa program, allowing workers to stay on a dairy for upwards of six years, may be part of the reform measure.  If the focus does shift to immigration reform by the early part of 2014, Castaneda says it will be important for dairy producers to speak up and let their elected representatives know where they stand. 



FARM BUREAU VEHICLE PURCHASE PROGRAM
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Members now have a better way to buy a new or used vehicle through this easy to use program.  Benefits include in-depth price reports, target prices, estimated values and certified dealers.  The $500 GM incentive for members is already built into the system for qualifying vehicles.  Complete details at www.FBVerify.com/Drive

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