Higher blends and exports to carry ethanol out of pandemic
U.S. ethanol production plunged 13 percent last year due to the pandemic, costing the industry around $4 billion in sales. But it may recover fully by 2023, on the strength of larger exports and rising domestic use of higher blends of ethanol into gasoline, said the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.
House to begin work on immigration reform, piece by piece
The House will vote on two popular proposals for immigration reform this week, offering a pathway to citizenship for so-called Dreamers and offering legal status to undocumented farmworkers, said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. The ag labor bill would also streamline the H-2A visa for guestworkers.
Today’s Quick Hits
Political meddling on dicamba: In 2018, senior EPA pesticide regulators told employees to ignore pertinent data when deciding to register dicamba; this “political interference” led a U.S. appeals court to void the registration, according to a newly appointed EPA official. (DTN/Progressive Farmer)
OSHA to set coronavirus rules: The Labor Department’s work-safety agency is expected to issue a six-month emergency temporary standard to reduce exposure to the coronavirus in the workplace, possibly conflicting with state plans to loosen restrictions on businesses. (Politico)
Eating at home: Americans are spending far more money at grocery stores than at restaurants — $64 billion vs. $55 billion in January — in a pandemic-driven turning of the tables. (Axios)
Renewals for CSP: Producers with expiring Conservation Stewardship Program contracts can apply through March 31 to renew for five additional years. (USDA)
What about ‘legacy’ carbon?: With carbon credits back in vogue, companies are “offsetting” greenhouse-gas emissions today by purchasing credits generated years ago at wind or solar farms that went into operation with no thought of climate mitigation. (Yale Environment 360)
On The Calendar
Senate votes on nomination of Rep. Debra Haaland for Interior secretary, 5:30 p.m. ET. Senators are expected to vote later in the week on the nomination of Katherine Tai for U.S. trade representative.
USDA releases monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, noon ET.
Deadline for enrollment in USDA’s Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage subsidies for 2021 crops.
USDA releases North American Grain and Oilseed Crushings report, 3 p.m. ET.
Farm Foundation holds online forum, “Emerging carbon markets in agriculture: Issues and opportunities,” 9 a.m. ET. Speakers are Aldyen Donnelly of Nori, Lisa Streck of Bayer Crop Science, Matt Schmitt of Cargill, Cristine Morgan of Soil Health Institute and Ken McCarty of MVP Dairy.
House Rules Committee votes on debate rules for HR 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, 11 a.m. ET.
FRAC holds annual National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference online, through Thursday. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to speak on Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing “to examine advancing effective US policy for strategic competition with China in the 21st Century,” 10 a.m. ET, 106 Dirksen.
Senate Agriculture chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Sen. John Boozman, the senior Republican on the committee, speak at the National Anti-Hunger Conference on reauthorization of child nutrition programs, 1 p.m. ET.
House may begin debate as early as today on HR 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. The bill would grant legal status to undocumented farmworkers and streamline the H-2A visa for agricultural guestworkers.
USDA releases annual Honey report, 3 p.m. ET.
USDA releases monthly Cattle on Feed report, 3 p.m. ET.
First day of spring in the northern hemisphere, also called the vernal equinox. “With the equinox, enjoy the increasing sunlight hours, with earlier dawns and later sunsets,” says the Old Farmers Almanac. Summer begins June 30.