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Commodity Communicator Weekly

August 9, 2013


AUGUST SUPPLY/DEMAND REPORT WEBINAR
. . . . .Monday, August 12 at 12:30 p.m.
The USDA will release its new U.S. and Global Agriculture Situation and Outlook on Monday.  Join Matt King, Farm Bureau Economist and Scott Stiles, UAEX Economist will break down the report and give insight into how the report will affect the markets.  

You have Three Ways to Participate:

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Enter Meeting Number: 578 628 665
    
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Conference Call
Call: 408-792-6300
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NRCS ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR EDGE OF FIELD MONITORING IN ARKANSAS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced the availability of more than to $2.3 million for farmers and landowners in Arkansas to receive financial assistance for a new project to monitor edge of field water quality on agricultural lands in targeted watersheds throughout the state.  Funding for these projects comes from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for voluntarily monitoring practices in 12-digit priority watersheds which have been targeted for funding.

For more information, click on the following link: NRCS - Edge-of-Field WQ Monitoring.


CONSERVATION GROUPS SUE USDA, SBA OVER HOG FARM NEAR BUFFALO RIVER
Conservationists filed a complaint Tuesday in federal court claiming the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency and the U.S. Small Business Administration guaranteed loans to C&H Hog Farms in Newton County without an adequate review of the farm’s potential environmental impact to the Buffalo National River. (Excerpt from Springfield News-Leader, by Frank Wallis)

To read the article, click on the following link:  Springfield News Leader - FSA Lawsuit.


BUFFALO RIVER NPS WWTP PERMITS AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC COMMENT
The Buffalo River National Parks Service (NPS) has two wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that discharge into the Buffalo River, one directly and the other via Panther Creek. These permits were published for public on Thursday, July 18, for 30-days in the Flippin newspaper, The Mountaineer Echo. For those wanting to review these permits and submit comments, the deadline is 4 p.m. on Monday, August 19, 2013.

To view the permits, click on the following links:

Permit AR0034941 – ADEQ - BR NPS WWTP NPDES Permit AR0034941.

Permit AR0034959 – ADEQ - BR NPS WWTP NPDES Permit AR0034959.


The permits can also be viewed by copying and pasting the following web addresses into your browser:

Permit AR0034941 – http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/ftproot/Pub/WebDatabases/PermitsOnline/NPDES/Permits/AR0034941.pdf

Permit AR0034959 – http://www.adeq.state.ar.us/ftproot/Pub/WebDatabases/PermitsOnline/NPDES/Permits/AR0034959.pdf



BRAZIL'S GROWING PAINS

One of the United States' largest competitors in global grain sales, Brazil, has continuing storage limitations that reduce its flexibility in international marketing. This past year, Brazil exported an estimated 21 million metric tons (827 million bushels) of corn alone, benefiting from the U.S. drought that drove up cost of U.S. corn in the global market. Brazil has a current storage capacity at an estimated 145 million tons with an expected harvest of 188 million tons of grains The Food and Agriculture Organization recommends an adequate storage capacity at 120 percent of production volume, which means Brazil is lacking 80 million tons of grain storage. Even though Brazil has set aside $30 billion to build warehouses over the next six years, there will still be a shortage of space in the short run. Full article


WILL LACK OF FARM BILL IGNITE A TRADE WAR?

Without a new farm bill, the 2010 cotton-related deal struck between the United States and Brazil could unravel and reignite a trade war. The deal – which calls for the United States to pay $150 million annually to Brazilian cotton-farming interests – became necessary after the South American nation filed a 2002 complaint with the World Trade Organization alleging U.S. cotton subsidies were illegal. In 2004, the WTO agreed with Brazil, forcing the United States to the negotiating table.Why did the United State agree to pay the $150 million annual penalty? Because the WTO ruled Brazil was able to “cross-retaliate” with $830 million of tariffs a year on all manner of U.S. goods. With that backdrop, on Wednesday (August 7), USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, in the midst of a trip to Brazil, ratcheted up pressure on Congress to pass a new farm bill quickly. Congress, currently on August recess, will be back in session in early September with only a few days to pass new legislation before current law expires. Also in the mix: the automatic sequester cuts mandated by Congress that took effect earlier this year. Barring action by Congress on the sequester cuts or a new farm bill, Vilsack claimed he is powerless to continue monthly payments to Brazil. A $6 million September payment – half the normal amount -- will be the last made without movement by Congress.


EPA RELEASES RFS STANDARDS
This week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the 2013 percentage standards for the four fuel categories that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) established the RFS program and the annual renewable fuel volume targets, which steadily increase to an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. To achieve these volumes, EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year. Based on the standard, each refiner and importer determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel. The final 2013 overall volumes and standards require 16.55 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply (a 9.74 percent blend). This standard specifically requires:

•    Biomass-based diesel (1.28 billion gallons; 1.13 percent)
•    Advanced biofuels (2.75 billion gallons; 1.62 percent)
•    Cellulosic biofuels (6.00 million gallons; 0.004 percent)

These standards reflect EPA’s updated production projections. During the rulemaking, EPA received comments from a number of stakeholders concerning the “E10 blend wall.” Projected to occur in 2014, the “E10 blend wall” refers to the difficulty in incorporating ethanol into the fuel supply at volumes exceeding those achieved by the sale of nearly all gasoline as E10. Most gasoline sold in the U.S. today is E10.

In the rule, EPA is announcing that it will propose to use flexibilities in the RFS statute to reduce both the advanced biofuel and total renewable volumes in the forthcoming 2014 RFS volume requirement proposal. EPA also extended the deadline to comply with the 2013 standards by four months, to June 30, 2014.


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