Lindsay Mitchell

Mar 18, 2016  |  Today's News


Your association understands that farm profitability is your number one concern.  That’s exactly the message we shared with every Illinois Congressman and Senator this week.

Farm profitability is impacted by growing markets and increasing demand.  We believe there are two important issues being discussed right now that can impact your demand: trade and ethanol.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a free trade agreement with 12 other countries that will significantly increase the export of U.S. meat products, increasing livestock production in the U.S. and the price of corn.  Livestock receipts with implementation are $5.8 billion higher with approval then without.  Net farm income would also increase $4.4 billion.

For more information about TPP, check out these articles.

Ethanol is also a very important market poised for growth with the proper policies and procedures in place.  Of course IL Corn is always interested in defending the Renewable Fuel Standard, but we also asked U.S. House members to co-sponsor a piece of legislation that would address the requested Reid Vapor Pressure waiver.

It’s a complicated, obscure EPA regulation that limits the amount of evaporative emissions from vehicle fuel at 9 pounds per square inch (psi).  Even though pure ethanol meets this criteria, when combined with gasoline at low levels, the pressure of fuel exceeds 9 psi.  To accommodate ethanol blends, Congress issued a waiver for E10, but now with no waiver for E15, we have another barrier to higher blends.

Read more about this issue here.

And, always related to farm profitability, we asked Congress to preserve crop insurance at all costs.

Crop insurance has been vital to helping farmers stay in business during disastrous times.  But crop insurance payments have been high in recent years – doing exactly what they are designed to do and helping you during really dry and extremely wet years – but also making the program a target for Congressmen hoping to balance the budget.

Your leaders made it very clear this week that crop insurance is a valuable tool on Illinois farms, one that we are willing to fight for in order to keep.

And if all this talk of policies and advocating for agriculture interests you, call your Senators Kirk and Durbin today and ask the Senate to pass a voluntary GMO labeling law that would preempt state by state labeling laws like the Vermont law going into effect on July 1.  It’s important if you want food manufacturers to continue using GMO corn and soybeans in their formulations.