November 21, 2014

U.S. EPA Delays 2014 RFS Rule Making

Scott Irwin, University of Illinois Ag Economist specializing in the Renewable Fuels Standard, discusses the U.S. EPA announcement to delay an RFS decision until 2015.

U.S. EPA’s Janet McCabe - she’s an Acting Assistant Administrator - today signed a document and submitted it for publication in the Federal Register… that’s the document of record in Washington, D.C. The document says U.S. EPA will not finalize rule making for the 2014 RFS before the end of the calendar year. The agency was supposed to wrap that up at the beginning of the calendar year, but became mired in policy and technical issues related to changes proposed about a year ago. 

It now says the 2014 rules will be made before or in conjunction with the 2015 announcement. 

Logistically there are some log jams that will need to be dealt with related to RINs certificates from 2012. Those expire after two years. EPA says it will extend the expiration, but that the certificates will be in limbo until a new way to move them can be developed. 

So, again the big news in at the ag world today is related to ethanol. U.S. EPA has decided it will not make an RFS announcement for compliance and usage numbers until sometime in 2015. 


November 13, 2014

Transportation is the Opportunity & the Problem

Agricultural commodity prices in the United States have been moved more than usual over the past couple of years by transportation issues. University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good says the railroad is pushing basis prices sharply lower and sharply higher. It may provide marketing opportunities.


November 10, 2014

USDA Reports Provide Some Surprises, Particularly for Corn

Based on the worn adage that “big crops get bigger”, analysts generally expected the USDA’s November Crop Production report to contain larger forecasts for the size of the current U.S. corn and soybean harvest. The soybean production forecast was larger, but the corn forecast was smaller than the October forecast.

The U.S. soybean crop is now forecast at 3.958 billion bushels, 31 million bushels larger than the October forecast. The U.S. average yield is forecast at 47.5 bushels, 0.4 bushel larger than the October forecast. Yield forecasts changed by a bushel or two for the majority of states, with smaller forecasts in six of the 29 states. Production forecasts were not changed for the rest of the world.  In the November WASDE report


October 31, 2014

by Todd E. Gleason

U.S. EPA has released a document critical of soybean seed treatments used in the United States. It suggests farmers have been spending money and getting very little benefit in return.


October 29, 2014

Harvest Sunrise

Sometimes you just have to stop & watch the sunrise. This beauty came up October 29th. The Andersons grain elevator in Champaign is in the foreground.


October 29, 2014

Ag Census Mapping Tool Makes Data Visual

Every five years the United States Department of Agriculture takes a census. USDA NASS collects all kinds of data about farm production in the U.S.A. The agency has developed a tool to map this data. It is a way to visualize agricultural production, income, wealth distribution, management type, and the demographics of farmers. These three maps show the primary growing regions for corn, soybean, and wheat. The darkest green areas represent acres where the cropland is at least 45 percent sown to the crop listed. The corn belt is easy to see, and not that much of a surprise. However, the primary soybean growing regions of the nation are bit more diverse than you might expect and seem to follow the Mississippi Valley watershed from New Orleans to St. Louis, along the Ohio River Valley and the mighty Missouri River.
 


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