The Crop Insurance Debate
For and AgainstIn mid-March many U.S. farmers face an important deadline. They must decide by 15 March whether or not to sign up for crop insurance for their corn, soybean and/or spring wheat crops. The mix of relatively high crop prices, memories of last year's drought and concern about this year's growing season make this a key decision for many farmers. Farmers must decide if they want to insure crop yields or crop revenues and what level of coverage they want.
The GMO Revolution
Wheat's Loss to Corn and SoybeansThe ability of scientists to introduce genetic traits from outside sources into common agricultural crops (GMO crops) has caused more controversy during the last two decades than any other factor related to agriculture. One notable exception to the GMO revolution in crop production has been wheat.
EPA Denies RFS Waiver Request
Insufficient Evidence of Economic HarmThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today denied requests from several governors and the livestock industry to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). EPA received more than 30,000 comments on the waiver request. WPI predicted that EPA would deny the waiver based on the structure of the Agency's request for comments, which evaluated the following:
(a) Whether compliance with the RFS would severely harm the economy of Arkansas, North Carolina, other states, a region, or the United States;
(b) whether the relief requested will remedy the harm;
(c) to what extent, if any, a waiver would change demand for ethanol and affect prices of corn, other feedstocks, feed, and food;
(d) the amount of ethanol that is likely to be consumed in the U.S. during the relevant time period, based on its value to refiners for octane and other characteristics and other market conditions in the absence of the RFS volume requirements; and
(e) if a waiver were appropriate, the amount of required renewable fuel volume appropriate to waive, the date on which any waiver should commence and end, and to which compliance years it would apply.