Soybean growers have had a mixed bag of emotions the last couple of months: happy over the passage of the much-anticipated Farm Bill … but not so happy over the government’s proposed cut to the amount of biodiesel, which is mostly made from soybeans, to be blended into the Nation’s fuel supply.
At a news conference at the recent Commodity Classic in San Antonio, American Soybean Association (ASA) president Ray Gaesser, a farmer from Iowa, said after three long years of debate, it was great to see the Farm Bill become law.
“It was a compromise bill, and the final product strengthens risk management, streamlines conservation programs, reinforces the safety net, and invests in key programs in the areas of trade promotion, research and renewables,” he said, adding a big win for ASA in the new law is that planting decisions remain separated and decoupled from income safety net programs. “This helps to ensure that farmers plant for the market and not for government programs.” ASA News Conference at Commodity Classic
Meanwhile, ASA Chairman Danny Murphy, a grower from Mississippi, said their first priority is to get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reverse its biodiesel proposal.
“These proposed regulations would reduce the production over the next year or two and really stifle the growth in a really valuable market for soybean farmers,” he said.
The hundreds of comments his members sent into the EPA might be having an effect as he told Cindy in a separate interview that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy might be having second thoughts about her agency’s proposal. “So we hope that means they’ll make some changes and allow this biodiesel industry to grow.”
During that interview, Danny also talked about trade agreements, biotechnology, and how good demand and good prices are really helping soybean farmers do well.
“It’s an exciting time to be a soybean farmer,” Danny said.
Listen to all of Cindy’s interview with Danny here: ASA Chairman Danny Murphy
2014 Commodity Classic Photos