White House Reorganization Plans Would Change USDA

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During an open media cabinet meeting Thursday, which was mostly dominated by President Trump commenting on the immigration issue, Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Mick Mulvaney gave an entertaining summary of the administration’s plans to reorganize the government. “It’s been almost a hundred years since anybody really reorganized the government,” said Mulvaney, before providing a couple of examples …

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USDA’s Northey Kicks Off Alltech ONE18

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After the opening entertainment, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey was first to take the stage Monday morning at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was just discussing the issue of agricultural trade with China when President Trump tweeted “China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best …

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USDA Predicts Higher Corn for Ethanol Use

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA released its May World Agricultural Supply Demand Estimates (WASDE) report last week with an initial assessment of U.S. and world crop supply and demand prospects and U.S. prices for 2018/19. For corn, the report projects lower production with both lower acreage and yields forecast as compared with the previous year. The corn crop is projected at 14 billion bushels, …

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Ag Secretary Says RFS Waivers Create Demand Destruction

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had the opportunity to give his opinion about the EPA granting numerous Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to refiners during a Senate Agricultural Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. While the purpose of the hearing was to review USDA’s FY2019 budget request, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) brought up the RFS waiver issue and pointed out that he …

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Sec. Perdue Comments on RFS and RINS

Cindy Zimmerman

Not much was said publicly during National Ag Day on Tuesday about the continuing RFS/RIN price dispute which is still being discussed at the very highest levels of government. But Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue did give an update during his remarks at the National Press Club Ag Day event. “We’ve been in fairly intense discussions about the solution,” said Perdue. …

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Ethanol Production Going Strong

Cindy Zimmerman

For the first month of 2018, the amount of corn used to make ethanol in the U.S. was down two percent from December 2017 but up one percent from January 2017, according to the latest USDA Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report. Corn use for fuel alcohol totaled 476 million bushels in January 2018 with dry milling fuel production and …

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Northey Takes Oath of USDA Office

cindy zimmerman

It was a long time coming, but finally Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue administered the oath of office to Bill Northey to serve as the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS) at USDA. Northey has served as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, and is a former president of the National Corn Growers Association. “After months of waiting, I’m …

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Perdue Answers RINs Question During Town Hall

Cindy Zimmerman

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue held a town hall on the main stage in the Commodity Classic Trade Show Thursday and answered some questions from a few of the hundreds of farmers who gathered to watch and listen. Former National Corn Growers Association president Pam Johnson of Iowa wanted to know specifically if the secretary supported a cap on …

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Perdue Pledges “Unequivocal” Support for RFS

Cindy Zimmerman

A lot of drama and speculation preceded the appearance of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue at Commodity Classic, thanks to some reports questioning his support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), so he wasted no time in stating his “unequivocal” support for the law. “I have not and will not support any policies in this country that diminish the demand, undermine …

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Perdue Discusses State of Rural Economy

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue briefed members of the House Agriculture Committee Tuesday on the current state of the rural economy and USDA’s farm bill priorities. “We’re in a very different situation than when you last contemplated a farm bill,” said Perdue in his opening remarks. “The state of the rural economy is fragile.” Secretary Perdue was asked about a number …

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