EPA Regulations and Planting Progress - Monday, 19 May 2014

The EPA has been very busy working on new rules and regulations that will directly affect farmers all across our nation.  A decision regarding the RFS (Renewable Fuels Standard) has been under consideration for several months now and is expected before the end of June.  The oil industry has been attacking the RFS for several months now and is using their wealth and influence to manipulate certain members of congress to support their interests and vote to limit the RFS.  They already were able to eliminate blender pump incentives from the new Farm Bill that had been present in the previous Farm Bill. 


Many false claims have been made by adversaries of the RFS which have confused many in the public: It’s bad for engines-Car manufactures of Flex Fuel vehicles encourage buyers of those vehicles to use E85; NASCAR even uses a 15% blend!  Another false but familiar heading Food-vs.- Fuel insinuates that by choosing to use corn for ethanol production, producers and consumers alike are opting to starve the world in exchange for fuel.  While in reality informed supporters could tell you that starch is the only portion of the kernel that is used in ethanol production while all of the protein and feed values are used for animal feed in the U.S. and around the world.




The EPA is working to make another significant change that could critically alter the waters of the United States.  If their efforts to assume more control over U.S. “waterways” the volume, the duration of flow or the frequency will have nothing to do with whether a water source is considered a navigable waterway or not anymore and will fit under their jurisdiction.  This could bring the full force of the Clean Water Act to areas that were not originally intended to be included and give the EPA power to determine how land surrounding those areas can be used.  We all agree that clean water is a necessity but if you have questions or concerns regarding the actions of the EPA contact your state representatives, a final decision is due July 21, 2014.


Weather conditions have improved from the past few weeks and the two-week outlook continues to look favorable,  Rainfall over the next week should not persist in any one area long enough to cause lasting interruptions to planting and many areas will see several days of mostly dry conditions at a time.  Due to more favorable weather planting progress moved higher over the past week, the bigger story may now be the quality and slow emergence compared to normal.  This week 34% of the corn and 9% of the soybeans have emerged compared to the 5 year average for corn of 42% and 11% for soybean, meaning that some producers are about 2-3 weeks behind normal.

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