National Biodiesel Board

Biodiesel industry disappointed by Renewable Fuel Standard volumes

EPA misses opportunity to grow American-made energy, jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on Thursday the required volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and failed to grow the biomass-based diesel volumes. Since the July proposal was released, NBB has relentlessly called for growth in the volumes of advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel.

“EPA Administrator Pruitt has disappointed the biodiesel industry for failing to respond to our repeated calls for growth. These flat volumes will harm Americans across several job-creating sectors — be they farmers, grease collectors, crushers, biodiesel producers or truckers — as well as consumers. Nevertheless, we can’t thank our members and our biodiesel champions at the state and federal levels enough for their tireless advocacy and education efforts. We’ll continue to work with the administration to right this wrong for future volumes,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board. Read more

Rep. Tim Walz

Biodiesel industry rallies around tax incentive

MN leaders join national leaders to push Congress on biodiesel

The biodiesel industry rallied around the biodiesel tax incentive Wednesday as supporters took to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to let Congress know the industry needs certainty to continue to grow.

The Hill visits were part of a larger meeting as the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) held its governing board elections at its November meetings.

Representing Minnesota at the meeting was Brewster, Minn., farmer Chris Hill, who is a Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) director and Appleton, Minn., farmer and MSGA director Ed Hegland. Read more

Technology company touts B100

Optimus Technologies, a Pittsburg-based biodiesel conversion company that allows trucks to run on B100 (100 percent biodiesel), gave a detailed presentation at MSGA’s board meeting Wednesday in Mankato, Minn. 

“This approach offers fleets an easy way to reduce fuel costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions and address renewable fuel targets,” says MSGA President Mike Petefish. “This is impressive technology.”

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USDA Sec. Perdue appoints Fairmont farmer to national board

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday the appointment of 19 members and 3 alternate members to serve on the United Soybean Board (USB), one of which hails from Minnesota.

Longtime Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) Director Lawrence Sukalski, of Fairmont, Minn., has been named to serve a three-year term for USB. Sukalski also spent nine years serving on the American Soybean Association board of directors, where he termed off this year. 

Lawrence Sukalski

“It’s going to be an honor to serve our farmers and work on the research and promotion side of soybeans,” Sukalski said. “We’re all humbled by this great checkoff machine we have going, and I am proud to be a part of an organization where we can continue to open new markets, explore new technologies and find new uses for soybeans.”

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Drift Task Force recommends changes to MN dicamba label

Group determines additional protections needed for MN soybean farmers

The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Drift Task Force issued its first findings in the form of a letter to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The Drift Task Force, comprised of soybean farmers, acknowledged to MDA Commissioner Dave Frederickson that dicamba isn’t a solution without risks. In order to manage those risks, the Drift Task Force recommends MDA:

  • Adapt a new EPA label for Minnesota
  • Determine a cutoff date for application with collaboration from industry, the University of Minnesota and MDA, and implement the cutoff date immediately
    • Adaptation would include the temperature cutoff statement: Do not apply if predicted or actual temperature high is 85 degree Fahrenheit or above.
  • Initiate educational opportunities for proper use and stewardship of these products immediately

The Drift Task Force’s findings come on the heels of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) tightening of dicamba labels, which addresses the physical/particle drift of the product.

MSGA Secretary Bob Worth, who chairs the Drift Task Force, said the EPA’s label for physical drift works on a national setting, but the task force found that after reviewing all the scientific literature and working with extension and weed specialists across the nation, the EPA’s label doesn’t adequately address vapor drift.

“Vapor drift is concerning because once dicamba vaporizes, we can’t predict where it’ll go,” he said. “In order to protect Minnesota soybean producers, our recommendation to the Department of Ag addresses vapor drift. We feel this needs to be addressed at the state level.”

The Drift Task Force is comprised of MSGA and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) directors. University of Minnesota extension specialists, MDA, agricultural chemical companies, Minnesota pesticide applicators, ag retailers and other concerned parties have worked with the board as consultants.

Read the full text of the letter here: MSGA Drift Task Force letter to MDA

 

Minnesota farmer named ASA DuPont Young Leader

The American Soybean Association (ASA) and Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) are pleased to announce Adam Guetter, a Wabasso, Minn., farmer, has been named a 2018 ASA DuPont Young Leader.

Guetter was selected to represent Minnesota in a program that includes soybean producer participants from 19 states and Canada. Guetter will also serve as the ASA DuPont Young Leader on MSGA’s board of directors.

“When I got the call that I’d been selected, I didn’t think I would be the one selected. I was speechless,” says Guetter, a corn and soybean farmer from Redwood County, Minn. “It’s really an honor to be a DuPont Young Leader, and I’m excited to be on a leadership board for the first time with MSGA.”

Adam and his wife, Melanie, have a young son, Max. The youngest of seven children, Adam lives on land that’s been in his family for multiple generation and farms full time with help from his father, Louis, and brother, Karl.

“My wife is a tremendous help, but she’s transitioned from farm wife to farm mom,” Guetter says. “Her tractor driving days got cut back when little Max came along, but she still helps out on the family farm at every opportunity.”

For more than 30 years, the ASA DuPont Young Leader program has identified and cultivated farmer leaders that shape not only the U.S. soybean industry, but also all of agriculture. Through training, young leaders strengthen their natural leadership skills while building a strong peer network.

This year’s class of Young Leaders will participate in a challenging and educational two-part training program, which will focus on communications, soybean/agriculture issues and leadership skills. The first phase of training will take place at DuPont Pioneer’s headquarters in Johnston, Iowa, Nov. 28 to Dec. 1, 2017. Training will continue Feb. 25 to March 1, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif., with training held in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic Convention and Trade Show. Melanie Guetter will also participate with Adam in the training in Anaheim.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity that being an ASA DuPont Young leader brings,” Adam Guetter says.

paul anderson

MnDOT hosts Mowing & Haying Listening Sessions throughout state

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is hosting a series of Mowing Haying in State Right of Way listening sessions this month throughout the state. 

The permit enforcement, which has technically been in place since the 1980s, became a hot topic during the 2017 legislative session and was delayed until April 2018. It is likely to be another contested issue this session. Read more

Fear can never feed the world

This story first appeared in the Huffington Post and was written by Dr. Robert Fraley, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Monsanto

In 1934, a college student in Minnesota was studying for finals when his throat started to hurt. Then he developed a high fever. When it became hard to even swallow, he went to the hospital and received a devastating diagnosis: strep throat.

At that time, there was no treatment. The hospital intern was so sure the boy would die that he asked if he could cut out his lymph nodes for a research project – in front of the patient! Read more

In final decision, Commerce Dept. confirms unfair subsidies of biodiesel imports

The Commerce Department issued a final determination Thursday in a case brought by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Fair Trade Coalition regarding subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. Earlier this year, the Commerce Department made a preliminary finding that Argentina and Indonesia provide subsidies to their biodiesel producers in violation of international trade rules. Today’s decision cements that earlier finding, and the cash deposit rates required of importers of biodiesel will be updated to reflect this final determination.

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Walz introduces bill supporting next generation of farmers

U.S. Representatives Tim Walz (D-MN) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) introduced the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act (BFROA) of 2017 last Wednesday in the U.S. House of Representatives. Their bipartisan legislation is aimed at recruiting and supporting the next generation of American farmers.

“It is among our top priorities as a nation to ensure our next generation of farmers is able to provide the U.S. and the world with a safe, abundant food supply,” said Rep. Walz. “To accomplish this goal, we must provide young Americans with the training and tools they need to take up and keep up farms of their own. By promoting access to land, making credit readily available, and funding world class research and education programs, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act works to do just that.”

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