• Rod Swoboda

    Iowans Fight Big Oil's Effort To Dismantle RFS

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on March 31, 2014

    A group of Iowans went to Washington D.C. last week to speak with members of Congress about the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard or RFS. Lobbying for ethanol and biodiesel, the Iowa group also met with top officials at EPA and USDA and visited other offices in the nation's capital. "We hit a home run in D.C.," says Bill Couser, a Story County farmer, cattle feeder and board member of Lincolnway Energy. Lincolnway has a corn ethanol plant at Nevada, Iowa, not far from the…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Ethanol Industry Set To Fight EPA On Blend Rule

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on February 7, 2014

    The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association's annual meeting last week at Altoona was sharply focused on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to reduce the volume requirements in the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA wants to reduce the amount of ethanol and biodiesel required to be blended into the nation's gasoline and diesel fuel supply.  The RFS, a federal law passed by Congress in 2007, sets annual volume requirements for biofuels. Congress enacted the RFS to increase…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    2014 Will Be A Year Of Change In Iowa Politics

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on December 27, 2013

    Two of the top political stories in Iowa in 2013 have implications for agriculture. They also signal the importance of the 2014 elections come fall, despite the new year being an "off year" for the political process—no Iowa caucuses, no presidential election. The top two political stories are: Tom Harkin is retiring from the U.S. Senate and Tom Latham is retiring from the U.S. House. These two open seats will cause a ripple effect. First, long-time U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, a…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Iowa Defends Renewable Fuel Standard

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on November 26, 2013

    Ethanol and biodiesel supporters have come out swinging to defend their industry. They are mounting an all-out effort to try to persuade the Obama Administration to reverse its proposal to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it wants to reduce the amount of corn-based ethanol required to be mixed into the nation's gasoline supply in 2014. Iowa, the leading state in production of biofuels, has a lot at stake. Iowa farm…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Attacks On Corn Ethanol Continue

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on November 21, 2013

    First it was that widely circulated Associated Press article last week that blamed ethanol for soil erosion and other environmental problems. Then the federal Environmental Protection Agency released its proposal to reduce the required use of corn-based ethanol in 2014 in the nation's gasoline supply. The attacks on corn ethanol keep coming. Late last week the Environmental Protection Agency released its 2014 Renewable Volume Obligations or RVOs under the Renewable Fuel Standard. RVOs are…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Why Iowa Needs A Farm Bill Now

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on November 11, 2013

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was in Des Moines last week. The former Iowa governor says he's hopeful Congress will pass a new farm bill by the end of 2013. He cites several reasons for bipartisan support, why Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate should iron-out their differences. First, consumers will pay substantially higher prices for milk and other dairy products if a farm bill isn't passed and signed into law. USDA will be forced to revert to the enabling…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    How Government Shutdown Affects Farmers

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on October 2, 2013

    The Farm Bill expired Oct. 1, same day the federal government shut down. Congress can't agree on a budget. A main point of contention is funding for the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. How is this federal government shutdown affecting Iowa farmers so far? What do they have to say? Merlin Komarek of Protivin in northeast Iowa says: "There are times I'd like to boot each Congressman out of office and the president too. If anyone else performed…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    State Officials Defend Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on July 31, 2013

    Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and other state officials defended the new Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy when they spoke at a soil and water conservation field day recently in Madison County. The conservation tour was held on the farm of Frederick and Helen Martens near Winterset. The statewide strategy takes a voluntary, farmer-led approach to reducing the amount of nitrate and phosphorus leaving Iowa farm fields. The strategy recommends best management practices and its goal is to…

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  • Rod Swoboda

    Farm Bill And Fireworks On 4th of July

    Iowa Farm Scene

     by Rod Swoboda
     on July 4, 2013

    On July 3 Iowa Corn Growers Association representatives gathered in front of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines for the Iowa Governor's annual sweet corn feed. It's a Fourth of July celebration and an event to mark the beginning of Iowa's sweet corn harvest—which is running a little late this year due to a cooler and wetter than normal spring and delayed planting. The sweet corn served July 3 was rumored to be imported from Missouri. Anyone who shows up at this event…

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