Recent News Kernels
EPA has proposed cutting annual production of clean-burning fuels from renewable resources, including ethanol made from corn, from 18.15 billion gallons to 15.21 billion gallons per year, a 16 percent reduction that would have to be replaced by increased imports of oil from foreign countries.
The national standard for production of clean-burning renewable fuels was enacted in 2007 to reduce foreign oil imports and reduce air pollution from auto exhausts. It also had the effect of spurring American agricultural production and halting a long decline in rural communities across the nation.
“This reduction poses a tremendous risk to corn markets at a time when Texas farmers are beginning to plan for next year’s crops,” David Gibson, executive director for Texas Corn Producers, said. “Over the past 14 months, corn prices have fallen nearly 50 percent and this proposal threatens to further plunge prices below what it costs many farmers to grow corn.”
“Our national policies on agriculture, energy, foreign trade and environmental pollution are like complex machines with many moving parts. When you make a drastic change in one part, it throws all the other parts out of balance,” Gibson said. “If Texas farmers can’t make a profit from growing corn, they likely will switch to growing other crops like cotton or sorghum, increasing the supply and depressing the prices of those other commodities. It creates a downward spiral in income for American farmers while enriching the profits of foreign oil producers.”
The EPA has yet to announce the comment period for the proposed changes that have the potential to impact far more than just the corn industry.
“Farmers and a strong agricultural industry greatly impact rural communities’ economies,” Gibson said. “When farmers struggle to break even, they in turn bring in less money to the region’s economy. Ultimately, the EPA’s proposal would depress rural Texas economies, while taking a momentous backward step away from the environmental advantages of clean-burning, American-produced fuel,” Gibson said.
TCPB announces biennial elections for five seats
The Texas Corn Producers Board will hold elections in two of its five voting regions to elect five board members where current members' seats are expiring. The nomination period to be on the ballot starts Nov. 23 and closes Dec. 23. The TCPB election is conducted by voting regions and will be held from Jan. 9, 2014, until Jan. 23, 2014.
There are four seats open for election in Voting Region One, which consists of Carson, Dallam, Gray, Hansford, Hartley, Hemphill, Hutchinson, Lipscomb, Moore, Ochiltree, Oldham, Potter, Roberts, Sherman and Wheeler counties.
There is one seat open for election in Voting Region Four, which consists of Aransas, Austin, Bastrop, Bee, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Chambers, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Harris, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Karnes, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, Refugio, San Jacinto, San Patricio, Tyler, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton and Wilson counties.
Corn producers eligible to vote in the elections are persons, including the owner of a farm on which corn is produced or the owner’s tenant or sharecropper, engaged in the business of producing corn or causing corn to be produced for commercial purposes for at least one production period during the three years preceding the date of this election (Jan. 23, 2014). The producer must reside within one of the counties stated above to vote in the respective voting region.
Any person qualified to vote is also qualified to seek nomination for election to the board as a director. Qualified persons must reside within the TCPB voting region wherein they seek nomination. Nomination applications must be submitted to the TCPB signed by the applicant and 10 other eligible voters in this election. Applications are available at each county’s Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in the counties listed above in the two voting regions where elections will occur, or they can be requested by mail directly from TCPB, 4205 N. I-27, Lubbock, Texas 79403. If you request a nomination form by mail from TCPB, please include your county of residence.
Nomination forms will be publicly available Nov. 23, 2013, and must be filed no later than Dec. 23, 2013, in order to be valid. Nomination applicants must reside in a county within a TCPB voting region where they seek nomination. Nominations can be mailed to TCPB at 4205 N. I-27, Lubbock, Texas 79403.
What did the AP story get right on ethanol?
Americans are left in a quandary after reading this article released by the AP today, which offers a biased, one-sided "investigation" of renewable fuel's impact on the environment. The piece is loaded with misinformation, inaccuracies, and half-truths.
Texas Corn Producers is submitting this Letter to the Editor to Texas media running this piece.
Texas Commodity Symposium program announced
The thirteenth annual Texas Commodity Symposium will be held Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Amarillo in conjunction with the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show in the Grand Plaza Room at the Amarillo Civic Center. The free event will begin at 9:30 a.m.
The symposium, which is hosted by the Corn Producers Association of Texas, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Texas Grain Sorghum Association, Texas Peanut Producers Board and Texas Wheat Producers Association, will conclude with the annual Ag Appreciation Luncheon, presented by the symposium and the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce Ag Council.
“The program again brings pertinent information to those in the agricultural industry, as well as the local community,” TGSA Executive Vice President Wayne Cleveland said.
“Agricultural production plays an important role to the area’s economy, as it brings in more than $12.2 billion to the High Plains,” CPAT Executive Vice President David Gibson said. “Events such as this symposium are a great way for us to provide pertinent information to farmers and ranchers, as well as the communities they support.”
Wyman Meinzer, the official photographer for the state of Texas, will present the symposium’s keynote address during the Ag Appreciation Luncheon. Meinzer’s photography is renowned, and in his more than 33 years as a photographer he has photographed and/or written 24 large format books and his work has been featured on the cover of more than 250 magazines.
“Meinzer’s work is nothing short of breathtaking, and his eclectic experience across the state brings a unique perspective and interesting tale,” TPPB Executive Director Shelly Nutt said.
Additionally, the symposium will examine a variety of issues that impact producers and the agribusiness sector. Featured topics this year include the farm bill and agricultural policy, estate planning, market and weather outlook, and program updates from NRCS and FSA.
The event is made free of charge for attendees because of the generous support of the symposium’s sponsors, including ArmTech Insurance Services, Bayer CropScience, DuPont Pioneer, High Plains Journal, Monsanto, and National Peanut Board.
For sponsorship opportunities or more information, please call 800.647.CORN (2676) or email email@example.com.
Texas corn farmers support Prop. 6
Passage of Proposition 6 on the November 5 statewide ballot is vital to provide water for the state’s future population growth, according to the Corn Producers Association of Texas.
Proposition 6 is a constitutional amendment, approved by the Texas legislature earlier this year, that will use $2 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to provide low-interest loans to help finance projects in the State Water Plan for the next 50 years.
“I can’t think of a better use for a portion of the money sitting in the state’s savings account than to put it to work implementing the State Water Plan,” CPAT President Jimmy Wedel said. “It will not increase taxes and the loans will be repaid to the state.”
If voters approve the constitutional amendment, the $2 billion will be placed in a revolving loan account administered by the state and loaned out to cities, river authorities, groundwater districts and other entities to finance water projects and conservation projects. To be eligible for funding, the projects must be listed in the State Water Plan, which is updated every five years. Examples of projects in the State Water Plan include water treatment plants, construction of above- and below-ground reservoirs, desalination plants, water reuse projects, and agricultural irrigation conservation projects.
“This revolving loan program will be especially beneficial to smaller cities and rural areas,” Wedel said. “Large cities already have the ability to finance their water projects by issuing bonds at very low interest rates. Small towns and rural areas have a greater need for this kind of help from the state.”
The early voting period for the constitutional amendment election extends from Monday, Oct. 21 to Friday, Nov. 1.