Braley Calls for Investigation of EPA’s RFS Rule PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Friday, 06 June 2014 14:34

Congressman: ‘I’m troubled by reports indicating that inappropriate deals may have been struck’

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today echoed a request made by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that the EPA’s independent inspector general investigate if any inappropriate lobbying efforts were conducted in order to convince the EPA to roll back the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“If anyone lobbied behind the scenes in an inappropriate way to roll back the RFS we deserve to know,” Braley said. “Biofuels have meant tens of thousands of Iowa jobs, pumped billions into the Iowa economy, and moved the whole country closer to energy independence—but it has deep-pocketed opponents and it’s important to know if any of them acted inappropriately.”

A recent report by Reuters detailed lobbying efforts by Delta Airlines and the Carlyle Group, a Washington-based investment firm, to oppose the current RFS standard. In the wake of that report, CREW wrote to EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins to request a formal probe concerning whether inappropriate or illegal lobbying efforts had been conducted.

“I am troubled by reports indicating that inappropriate deals may have been struck to craft this proposal,” Braley’s letter reads.

Braley has led the Congressional effort opposing the proposed EPA changes since they were first reported on in October. Late last year he joined to deliver over 110,000 signatures to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protesting proposed changes. In November, Braley wrote a letter to President Obama expressing his anger and frustration with the proposed EPA changes. In December, he joined Governor Branstad to testify at an EPA hearing stressing the benefits of the current levels and the positive impact the RFS has on Iowa.

Braley’s letter to the EPA Inspector General can be found HERE.


Loebsack Applauds USDA Steps to Combat PEDv, Assist Pork Producers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Friday, 06 June 2014 10:54

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today applauded the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of the steps they are taking to help pork producers combat the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV). The USDA announced today that they released $26.2 million in funding to combat PEDv, which has killed an estimated 7 million piglets in the last year. According to the USDA, these viruses do not pose any risk to human health or food safety.

“Today’s announcement by the USDA is welcomed news for both producers and consumers. Over the last year, consumers have seen the price of pork rise by almost 10 percent and producers have lost nearly 7 million piglets because of PEDv. I am glad the USDA is taking steps to help combat this virus and I will continue to work to ensure the necessary steps are taken to lessen the impact on producers and consumers.”

Click here for additional information from USDA.


USDA Announces Funding, Issues Federal Order to Combat PEDv PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Friday, 06 June 2014 09:14

Washington, D.C., June 5, 2014 – In response to the significant impact porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) are having on U.S. pork producers, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $26.2 million in funding to combat these diseases. Additionally, USDA issued a Federal Order requiring the reporting of new detections of these viruses to its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or State animal health officials.

These viruses do not pose any risk to human health or food safety, and they are commonly detected in countries around the world.

"In the last year, industry has estimated PEDv has killed some 7 million piglets and caused tremendous hardship for many American pork producers," said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. "The number of market-ready hogs this summer could fall by more than 10 percent relative to 2013 because of PEDv. Together with industry and our State partners, the steps we will take through the Federal Order will strengthen the response to PEDv and these other viruses and help us lessen the impact to producers, which ultimately benefit the consumers who have seen store pork prices rise by almost 10 percent in the past year."

The $26.2 million will be used for a variety of activities to support producers and combat these diseases, including:

  • $3.9 million to be used by USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to support the development of vaccines
  • $2.4 million to cooperative agreement funding for States to support management and control activities
  • $500,000 to herd veterinarians to help with development and monitoring of herd management plans and sample collection
  • $11.1 million in cost-share funding for producers of infected herds to support biosecurity practices.
  • $2.4 million for diagnostic testing
  • $1.5 million to National Animal Health Laboratory Network diagnostic laboratories for genomic sequencing for newly positive herds

APHIS' Federal Order requires producers, veterinarians, and diagnostic laboratories to report all cases of PEDv and other new swine enteric coronavirus diseases to USDA and State animal health officials. The industry is already seeing herds previously impacted by the virus become re-infected, and routine and standard disease reporting will help identify the magnitude of the disease in the United States and can help determine whether additional actions are needed.

The Federal Order also requires that operations reporting these viruses work with their veterinarian or USDA or State animal health officials to develop and implement a reasonable management plan to address the detected virus and prevent its spread. Plans will be based on industry-recommended best practices, and include disease monitoring through testing and biosecurity measures. These steps will help to reduce virus shed in affected animals, prevent further spread of the disease, and enable continued movement of animals for production and processing.

The international animal health governing body, the OIE, believes that cases of PEDv and these other swine enteric coronavirus diseases shouldn't be the basis for countries to restrict exports of pork and pork products from the U.S.

For full details of the Federal Order and program requirements, along with a Q&A on this topic, visit the APHIS website at:


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


New Farm Program Meeting in Muscatine on June 23 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 13:46

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Muscatine County and Lee Agency are coordinating a crop marketing strategies and the new farm program meeting in Muscatine, Ia.

The meeting is Monday, June 23 at 9:00 a.m. at Calvary Church - Family Life Center located at 501 US 61, Muscatine, IA 52761, doors open at 8:00 a.m.

“This meeting is designed to help farmers, landowners and other agri-business professionals with current issues related to marketing 2014 crops and pending enrollment decisions in the new farm program,” said Steve Johnson, farm and agriculture business management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Topics include crop market outlook, selling your insurance bushels, ARC and PLC enrollment decision, and base acreage reallocation.

The meeting will last approximately 2 hours. No registration fee is required and the meeting is open to the public.

Please RSVP by Wednesday, June 18 to Lee Agency at 800-225-9252.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to Deliver Remarks at World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 13:43

WASHINGTON, June 4, 2014 – TOMORROW, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver remarks at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA. There will be a media availability with the Secretary following his remarks.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

12:20-1:00 PM/CDT

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a media availability following remarks at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, IA.


WHERE: Iowa State Fairgrounds

Varied Industries Building

Des Moines, IA



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