AgriTalk: Dairy, Diesel, and the Economy

May 10, 2018 08:45 AM

Fresh off a trip to Washington D.C., U.S. Farm Report host Tyne Morgan joined AgriTalk on Tuesday to dive deeper into interviews she had with lawmakers. Mike Opperman, editor of Farm Journal’s Milk, also joined host Chip Flory for the program.

Morgan covered interviews with special assistant to the president Ray Starling, Randy Russell of the Russel Group, and Pro Farmer analyst Jim Wiesemeyer.

NAFTA was a hot topic for the week as officials have said an agreement could be coming soon. Opperman said that the dairy industry is still pushing for changes in NAFTA that would open them up to more competitive trade opportunities. Morgan was told by Russell that if a fix for dairy doesn’t come with NAFTA renegotiations, it likely won’t happen at all.

Minnesota Biodiesel

Minnesota biodiesel advocates are excited after the state started offering B20 diesel at the start of May.

Kaleb Little, communications director for the National Biodiesel Board, said the move is the first of its kind.

“There are some other states that have use standards, but there are other states doing things to drive biodiesel growth…Minnesota is absolutely a leader in setting the baseline standard for diesel fuel to include high blends of biodiesel,” said Little.

Mike Youngerberg, with Minnesota Soybean, spearheaded the efforts to get B20 on the market. He said that the response has been largely positive, especially from farmers.

Little says that B20 appeals to consumers on a lot of different levels, and has proven to be a much healthier alternative to standard diesel.

As it stands, B20 diesel isn’t available year round, but B2 is standard in the state for the whole year.

Is Low Unemployment a Bad Thing?

Tanner Ehmke of Cobank said that low unemployment isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but wage inflation hasn’t been where it should and that is having a negative effect on the economy.

To hear more from his conversation with Flory, click on the video above.


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