The president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association came to California just before 2010 Commodity Classic began in Anaheim to meet with the California Air Resources Board, or CARB. Tim Lenz tells Brownfield about those meetings and why it’s so important to educate that board. He says the future of Midwest corn ethanol is at stake.
The U.S. Senate voted to end debate on the tax extenders bill today and the American Soybean Association is urging quick passage by the full Senate to restore vital jobs lost in the biodiesel industry. ASA is urging the Senate to find agreement with the House on a final bill that can be passed and signed into law as quickly as possible.
ASA President Rob Joslin of Ohio says the extension is desperately needed to save the 23-thousand jobs in the biodiesel industry because layoffs have already begun and most biodiesel plants are at a standstill since the credit was allowed to expire at the end of last year, “The major ones, the ones that actually contribute and produce a lot of biodiesel, virtually, I’m pretty sure, about all of them have shut down. So, the vast majority of the production capability has shut down and idled.”
ASA communications director Bob Callanan says remaining biodiesel production varies a lot by state, “You know, some states where there’s a mandate, they still have to produce the fuel to meet their in-state mandate so there’s still SOME production going on.”
Joslin told reporters that restoring the biodiesel tax credit retroactively is the number-one issue among many issues for the ASA. Joslin and Callanan made their comments at the ASA news conference at Commodity Classic in California last Friday.
The United Sorghum Checkoff Program is now a year old and USCP chairman Bill Greving tells Brownfield how important the program is to sorghum growers. Greving, a Kansas grower, also tells Brownfield how important it is for the national sorghum check-off to be a part of Commodity Classic.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says it’s partly the former administration’s fault for the difficulty his administration is having in getting Japan to lift its partial ban on U.S. beef. Last Friday, Republican U.S. Senator and previous Ag Secretary Mike Johanns, told AgriTalk that the current administration has not done enough, as the Bush administration had, in trying to reopen those markets. At a news conference hours later at Commodity Classic in California, Vilsack was asked about Johanns’ remark and reacted with mock surprise, “Really? He said that? Nah, he didn’t really say that, did he? Nah, he couldn’t possibly have said that.”
Vilsack said Johanns surely is aware that Vilsack will be going to Japan in April, and, “He would obviously know that we’ve had ongoing discussions with the Japanese. He would obviously know that we were dealing with the previous administration’s approach to Japan which was a non-starter which was that they had to reopen the entire market. And, it’s very apparent they’re not willing to do that.”
Vilsack says the Bush administration agreed with the Koreans that the U.S. would not offer any better deal to any other country in order to reopen markets, “Not only do we have to take a different approach than the previous administration under Secretary Johanns, in terms of Japanese beef, but we also have to think about how it relates to the Korean beef agreement which complicates things very, very much. So, I just can’t believe Senator Johanns would say that because if he knew all that he wouldn’t have said it.”
Johanns’ comment followed his remarks last week at a Senate committee hearing that it might be time to tell the Japanese to drop their beef restrictions or expect to have Japanese-produced Toyotas treated the same way.
U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the administration is changing its strategy on trade.
In his address at the 2010 Commodity Classic in Anaheim last week, Vilsack told producers that the administration recognizes that not every market is the same, “This market strategy reflects the understanding of the sophistication that now takes place in trade – one size does not fit all. And, it’s important for us to tailor our approach in trade to the individual market conditions that we find and we’re prepared to do that.”
And Vilsack celebrated the success of USDA technical teams in Russia, “And, I’m pleased to announce that as the result of the conversations with Russians we’ve finally reopened the pork industry in Russia, reopened the pork opportunities for American pork.”
Vilsack says USDA will continue to send technical teams to other places such as China that often put sanitary or phytosanitary barriers in place that aren’t supported by science, continuing the process of breaking down those barriers.
I met John in the AMVAC exhibit at the 2010 Commodity Classic Trade Show, where he told me AMVAC has helped him be successful and profitable.
With corn rootworm pressure, Obery said they always use insecticide on most of their corn. For the past couple of years, he said they have been using a lot of insecticide on triple stack corn and have been getting a good response.
“Using Counter in our area is probably something to consider to keep ahead of the cyst nematode damage that can arise and could be pretty devastating which it has been this past season.” Obery said. ”In one of my neighbor’s fields the population was threshold or above and he was faced with over 100 bushel decrease in spots according to his yield monitor; and that is pretty significant. In a field that soil didn’t vary much and it should have been a pretty consistent yield. That’s not representative of what that field should have done.”
When asked what exactly he means by a good response from insecticide use, Obery replied, “We make money. When we get more corn, more dollars of corn than we spend, that is a good investment.”
“Impact herbicide is a broad leaf and grass herbicide, post emergence only in corn. It controls about 39 broad leaf weeds and 14 grasses” said Porter. “Recently we received a supplemental label for use up to one ounce. That allows us to control some additional grass species. We are very excited about impact this year.”
Porter said there is very strong interest in Impact.
National Corn Growers Association President Darrin Ihnen acknowledges that maintaining demand for corn is a high priority for the organization. However he urges growers to defend agriculture and specifically livestock producers, corn growers’ biggest customers, from attacks by activists and critics. Ihnen’s pledge during Commodity Classic is to strengthen that defense of agriculture.
Among the issues Don Elsbernd has on his mind during Commodity Classic, EPA’s land use consideration relating to ethanol tops his list. The Iowa Corn Growers President is well satisfied with the way the agency’s lifecycle study positioned the renewable fuel, but he’s vexed that ethanol and petroleum-based gasoline are considered differently in their implications over land use.
To Mike Hogan, marketing mistakes are analogous to a golf swing; most of what can go wrong goes wrong before the ball is hit. And similar to golf, Hogan says marketing decisions require discipline. Hogan, a Stewart-Peterson market advisor, was part of a Commodity Classic panel discussion with his client Bret Davis and Davis’s lender Kent Kramer, talking about the importance of that link among the producer, the lender and the market advisor.