The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), in response to the hold on Bill Northey being lifted. Skunes gave these remarks during a news conference at Commodity Classic.
“After a needless four-month delay, farmers across the country will be well-served with Bill Northey finally on the job at USDA,” Skunes said.
Skunes also addressed the Tuesday morning meeting at the White House in his remarks.
“Farmers are so grateful to Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley for representing farmers at the White House with integrity and steadfast support,” Skunes added. “We could not ask for better representatives.
“Today in Washington President Trump, officials from USDA and EPA, and Senators met to discuss issues affecting the RFS. There was no deal cut at this meeting. While no deal was made at this meeting, some participants tried to sell a deal.
“Our farmers cannot afford any deal that undermines demand for ethanol. We continue to believe the elusive win-win solution involves regulatory parity for E15 and higher blends of ethanol, essentially allowing year-round sales of E15, and improved transparency in the RIN marketplace.
Parity for higher blends would increase the supply of RINs and lower RIN values, allowing the RFS to work as it is intended. Farmers understand how supply affects price.
“A cap on RIN values hurts farmers because it reduces ethanol consumption below current levels. This reduction in corn use will push already low corn prices even lower.”
“Just last November, the EPA concluded RIN values are not causing economic harm to refiners. The failings of one company should not be used to destroy a successful energy policy that serves not only millions of farmers who rely on strong market demand created by the RFS, but also the hundreds of ethanol and biodiesel plants and tens of thousands of plant workers.”
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.