In this file:

 

·         Farmers Are Bracing Themselves for More Losses Amid Trump Shutdown

·         Government shutdown looms over farmers as they face tough decisions

·         Farmers fear another hit in Trump shutdown

 

 

Farmers Are Bracing Themselves for More Losses Amid Trump Shutdown

 

Bloomberg/Fortune

via Yahoo! Finance - January 4, 2019

 

Bruce Buchanan was so elated with Donald Trump’s October vow to allow higher sales of corn-based ethanol that he carved a 60-acre thank you note in his Indiana cornfield.

 

Now, though, the president’s actions have him worried. The government shutdown that Trump says could last “a long time” without funding for a border wall may hurt farmers by delaying the administration’s ability to steer through the approval for year-round sales of a 15% ethanol blend for gasoline before the summer begins. That’s up from 10% allowed now.

 

The increased sales would certainly be helpful. Farm income has dropped in five out of the last six years. And this season, growers have been been hamstrung in selling their crops by an ongoing trade war with China. While Buchanan supports Trump on border security, the shutdown is troubling for a farming community that’s clearly struggling, he said.

 

“It’s not all fun and games out here,” said Buchanan, a third-generation farmer from Fowler, Indiana, in a telephone interview. “It’s a daily challenge.”

 

The schedule for getting approval of the higher ethanol blend was already ambitious prior to the shutdown. The Environmental Protection Agency had promised to present a final rule in May, just four weeks before existing restrictions on 15% ethanol become binding. Now, though, the agency is largely inoperative.

 

The government shutdown is now 14 days old. “If you start getting in beyond these two weeks, here, then it does begin to ramp up the pressure because there won’t be people there to work on this stuff,” said Paul Argyropoulos, president of Policy Nexus Advisors in Damascus, Maryland, and a former senior policy adviser in the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

 

Steep Tariffs

 

Ethanol could use a boost. Like soybeans and pork, it’s faced steep tariffs from Beijing in the tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China.

 

Companies including Green Plains Inc. and Pacific Ethanol Inc. have shed jobs and curtailed production. On Thursday, Cargill Inc., the largest privately-held U.S. company, cited “historically low ethanol prices” as one of the reasons one of its segments posted lower quarterly earnings from a year ago.

 

“From the outset, the EPA gave itself very little wiggle room to complete the year-round E15 rule making before summer, so the shutdown is making a tight time line even tighter,” said Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association.

 

The proposed change has been controversial. Agricultural and oil-refinery interests have battled over whether the EPA has the authority to grant the higher blends for the summer months. Once the EPA issues the ruling, it will be legally challenged, Argyropoulos said.

 

Under current rules, sale of the so-called E15 fuel is blocked from June 1 to Sept. 15 in areas like California, where smog is a problem in hot weather. Only about 1,675 of the nation’s 122,000 or so stations offer it.

 

Payment Delays ...

 

‘Fend for Themselves’ ...

 

more, including links 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/farmers-bracing-themselves-more-losses-130021271.html

 

 

Government shutdown looms over farmers as they face tough decisions

 

Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)

Jan. 4, 2019

 

The federal government shutdown could wreak havoc on U.S. agriculture, and the rural economy, as farmers wait on subsidy payments, loans and data they need now to make plans for the spring.

 

The timing could hardly be worse, according to some farmers, as they've already been hit with fallen commodity prices and the loss of foreign markets in President Donald Trump's trade wars.

 

Now as a result of the shutdown, farmers say, applications are on hold for a $12 billion emergency aid package Trump and the Department of Agriculture announced for farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs from China and other nations. The deadline to apply for that program was supposed to be Jan. 15 but may have to be extended.

 

One round of payments was made in November, but it's uncertain whether a second round was processed before thousands of USDA employees were furloughed.

 

“Farmers are waiting on that second payment because they need to start buying their seed, fertilizer and chemicals for 2019,” said Michael Slattery, a Manitowoc County grain farmer and economist for Wisconsin Farmers Union.

 

“The earlier in the year you buy seed, the bigger the discount you get,” Slattery said.

 

USDA Farm Service Agency offices, which process farm loans and gather data farmers need to make decisions, are closed.

 

"Everything just grinds to a halt," said Mike Ballweg, a University of Wisconsin Extension agent in Sheboygan County.

 

Some home buyers will wait for mortgages. The USDA provides — through private lenders — mortgages with no down payment requirements and low interest rates and fees to rural and suburban home buyers. It’s a small program, nationwide helping just over 140,000 people to buy a home in 2017, but is considered one of the best options around if you’re eligible.

 

“A lot of paperwork is probably just setting on a desk somewhere in Washington, and it's not going to move until the government opens again. By then it might be too late for some people applying for loans,” said Jim Goodman, a board member of the Wisconsin-based group Family Farm Defenders.

 

Tough times for farmers ...

 

more

https://www.jsonline.com/story/money/2019/01/04/government-shutdown-makes-already-rough-farm-markets-even-rougher/2475446002/

 

 

Farmers fear another hit in Trump shutdown

 

Mario Parker, Bloomberg News

via The Detroit News (MI) - Jan. 4, 2019

 

Bruce Buchanan was so elated with Donald Trump’s October vow to allow higher sales of corn-based ethanol that he carved a 60-acre thank you note in his Indiana cornfield.

 

Now, though, the president’s actions have him worried. The government shutdown that Trump says could last “a long time” without funding for a border wall may hurt farmers by delaying the administration’s ability to steer through the approval for year-round sales of a 15 percent ethanol blend for gasoline before the summer begins. That’s up from 10 percent allowed now.

 

The increased sales would certainly be helpful. Farm income has dropped in five out of the last six years. And this season, growers have been been hamstrung in selling their crops by an ongoing trade war with China. While Buchanan supports Trump on border security, the shutdown is troubling for a farming community that’s clearly struggling, he said.

 

“It’s not all fun and games out here,” said Buchanan, a third-generation farmer from Fowler, Indiana, in a telephone interview. “It’s a daily challenge.”

 

The schedule for getting approval of the higher ethanol blend was already ambitious prior to the shutdown. The Environmental Protection Agency had promised to present a final rule in May, just four weeks before existing restrictions on 15 percent ethanol become binding. Now, though, the agency is largely inoperative.

 

“If you start getting in beyond these two weeks, here, then it does begin to ramp up the pressure because there won’t be people there to work on this stuff,” said Paul Argyropoulos, president of Policy Nexus Advisors in Damascus, Maryland, and a former senior policy adviser in the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

 

Ethanol could use a boost. Like soybeans and pork, it’s faced steep tariffs from Beijing in the tit-for-tat trade war between the U.S. and China.

 

Companies including Green Plains Inc. and Pacific Ethanol Inc. have shed jobs and curtailed production. On Thursday, Cargill Inc., the largest privately-held U.S. company, cited “historically low ethanol prices” as one of the reasons one of its segments posted lower quarterly earnings from a year ago.

 

“From the outset, the EPA gave itself very little wiggle room to complete the year-round E15 rule making before summer, so the shutdown is making a tight time line even tighter,” said Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association.

 

The proposed change has been controversial...

 

more

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/2019/01/04/farmers-fear-another-hit-government-shutdown/38845555/