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Articles from 2017 In July


GRAIN MARKETS: Mild weather weighs on crop markets

Credit: FeelPic/iStock/Thinkstock Stock market
Stock market background design

Forecasts for mild weather in key crop areas next week had crops start lower for the week. The corn and soybean markets were able to trim losses from earlier in the session.

In the corn market, the mild weather offset support from a big export sale of new-crop supplies to Colombia. The other export news was uneventful, with weekly export inspections about as expected for corn and wheat and below expectations for soybeans.

The latest 6- to 10-day (Aug. 6-10) and 8- to 14-day (Aug. 8-14) outlooks released today are cool and wet for much of the country, which could aid corn and soybeans moving through seed development phases. The northern Plains should be dry.

The dollar was lower Monday afternoon and set a new 13-month low. Equities were higher, with the Dow Jones industrials up about 50 points when the crops closed.

Gold was up about 40 cents/oz. Crude oil was higher again and above $50 a barrel for the first time in two months.

Exports (U.S. Department of Agriculture and Reuters data):

-       Weekly export inspections, million bu. (estimate, previous week): corn 38.9 (33-41, 38.7), soybeans 17.5 (12-20, 23.6) and wheat 21.3 (13-21, 18.5).

-       Colombia bought 5.9 million bu. of 2017-18 corn.

-       Iraq tendered to buy 50,000 metric tons of wheat from the U.S., Canada or Australia. The tender closes on July 31, with offers remaining valid until Aug. 6.

Corn closed a few cents lower in light trading to end recent gains. September and December both stayed well under key moving averages.

Crop condition ratings are due later on Monday, with Farm Futures expecting a slight improvement to 63% good/excellent, while a trade poll average favors unchanged ratings at 62%.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) estimated volume for Monday at 217,589. Friday’s actual volume was 165,993 Open interest in Friday’s flat market increased by 11,153, with September’s up 1,457 and December’s up 5,269.

September corn settled 3-1/2 cents lower at $3.70-3/4, and new-crop December slipped 3-1/4 cents to at $3.84-3/4.

What to Look For: Corn harvest has begun in the South and should soon gain traction in eastern Texas.

Soybeans had good gains and have recovered much of what they lost early in the week. New-crop November remained lower for the week but is now above key moving averages with an RSI near 57.8.

Farm Futures expects the soybean rating at about 59% good/excellent, while a Reuters poll average has it unchanged at 57%.

Other oilseed markets were lower. Winnipeg, Man., canola for November was lower after recent gains, and Europe’s rapeseed was lower after last week’s two-week high.

CBOT’s estimated volume for Monday was 154,597. Friday’s actual volume was 190,218 and it open interest in the higher market decreased by 716, with August’s down 9,645 and November’s up 6,465.

August closed down 6-1/4 cents at $9.94-1/4, and new-crop November dropped 5-3/4 cents to $10.07-1/4.

What to Look For: The cool weather headed for the Midwest should aid soybeans as they enter seed production.

The wheat markets finished lower as they reclaimed some last week’s late gain. The spring wheat harvest will be starting soon to put fresh supplies on the market.

Farm Futures expects about 7% of the spring wheat may be harvested in this afternoon’s crop progress report. A year ago, 10% was cut.

Forecasts put scattered showers in the northern Plains the next few days and cool and dry weather there next week.

CBOT’s estimated Monday’s volume at 85,548. Friday’s actual volume was 88,324. Open interest in Friday’s firm soft red winter wheat market increased by 2,297, with September’s down 811 and December’s up 3,347. Kansas City, Mo., hard red winter wheat’s actual volume on Friday increased by about 11,000 to 44,292, with open interest up 2,022.

Chicago, Ill., September soft red winter wheat closed down 6-1/2 cents at $4.74-1/2. Kansas City September hard red winter wheat dropped 6-1/4 cents to $4.74-3/4. Spring wheat for September dropped 9-1/4 cents to $7.31-1/4.

What to Look For: Weather will be key as spring wheat heads into harvest. The cool, dry forecasts should aid the wheat in the time leading up to harvest.

Wholesale turkey prices remain lower than past years

turkey barn
KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Whole turkey prices in 2017 fell relative to 2016 and have remained strikingly flat since January, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s July “Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook.”

“Typically, wholesale turkey prices have a seasonal trend, with prices climbing from their bottom level in the beginning of the year to a peak near Thanksgiving,” the report noted.

USDA

Between 2013 and 2015, June whole turkey prices averaged 8% higher than in January, but the average price for a whole frozen hen in June this year was actually slightly below January’s price. Prices for breast meat are also below 2016 levels, indicating that demand may not be keeping up with current supply levels, USDA said.

“Sustained low prices are often a signal to producers to slow the pace of growth, but production in 2017 has remained above 2016 levels through the first half of the year. It is unclear whether the declines in the wholesale market will translate to reduced retail prices leading up to Thanksgiving,” USDA reported.

Arkansas district judge dismisses Tyson shareholder lawsuit

Credit: buhanovskiy/iStock/Thinkstock. broiler chickens

A U.S. district court judge in Arkansas has dismissed a lawsuit in which several Tyson Foods shareholders alleged that Tyson Foods was involved in fixing broiler prices and suppressing the chicken supply. The allegations stemmed from events that ultimately led to the discontinuance of the Georgia Dock price index.

The Georgia Dock was one of four major indices used to track broiler prices. The dock was owned and operated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA), but it also had an advisory board comprised of chicken industry personnel. Two Tyson employees were on the board when it was halted. Weekly prices for the index were determined by weighing self-reported prices from the top nine or 10 broiler producers in Georgia.

In mid-2014, the Georgia Dock price began to diverge significantly upwards from at least two of the three other chicken indices, causing scrutiny. The issue was investigated, but ultimately the Georgia Dock was cancelled after the companies that formerly reported prices shied away from it.

From Oct. 17, 2016, through Dec. 2, 2016, proposed classes of Tyson shareholders initiated four lawsuits against the company and certain of its executives. Cases filed in the Central District of California, Southern District of New York and Southern District of Ohio were subsequently transferred to the Arkansas court, where the fourth case was filed. On Jan. 25, 2017, the court issued an opinion and order consolidating the cases.

Tyson filed a motion to dismiss on May 3, 2017, contending that the lead plaintiffs’ complaint fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted. The lead plaintiffs’ response and defendants’ reply were filed in turn, and the court heard oral argument on June 30, 2017.

“Having considered the parties’ exceptional briefings and their skilled presentations at oral argument, the court now grants defendants’ motion to dismiss,” the ruling stated.

In the ruling, Judge Timothy Brooks said the complaint “fails to plausibly allege that Tyson entered into an agreement with its industry competitors to suppress the domestic supply of chicken in order to increase prices.”

The case was dismissed without prejudice, however, which means another similar lawsuit could be filed in the future.

Tyson spokesperson Gary Mickelson said in a statement, “We are pleased with the court’s ruling. The judge found the plaintiffs’ allegations against Tyson Foods regarding a price-fixing conspiracy are not plausible. We have steadfastly denied those allegations of wrongdoing since the first lawsuit was filed.”

He added, “We look forward to continuing to defend our company in the remaining cases."

Cargill to modernize Virginia hatchery

Modernization work totaling $7 million has commenced at Cargill Protein’s Harrisonburg, Va., turkey hatchery, with a focus on improving turkey health, biosecurity and worker safety. Construction work is being performed by Nielsen Builders Inc. of Harrisonburg, with installation of new cutting-edge equipment technology expected to take 24 months.

“We are replacing equipment that has served us well for more than 30 years,” said Connie Isenhart, hatchery manager who oversees the incubation and hatching of more than 23 million turkey eggs annually. “The new technology reduces stress on the hatchlings due to advancements in environmental control technology, which improves the survivability of day-old turkey poults. Healthy poults convert feed more efficiently and result in the best bird possible for Cargill turkey farmers and consumers.”

The new incubator/hatcher system is also easier to clean and sanitize between uses, enhancing biosecurity by reducing the potential for cross-contamination from bacteria that could pose health risks to turkeys or people. Additionally, with all controls easily accessible, workers will no longer need to climb onto the equipment, thus reducing the potential for injuries while improving workplace safety.

“When our new system is operating at capacity, we will be setting more than 112,000 eggs daily to meet the needs of our turkey business,” Isenhart said. “As always, our goal is to hatch, then place with farmers, high-quality, healthy, turkeys that produce the great protein products our customers and consumers have come to expect from our Honeysuckle White, Shady Brook Farms and Honest Turkey brands. By investing in our business for future growth, we will be better positioned to help deliver on our promises to meet customer and consumer expectations.”

Cargill operates a feed mill, turkey hatchery, turkey processing facility, cooked meats facility and distribution center in the Harrisonburg area, employing more than 1,800 people.

Farm first level of defense for food safety

DarcyMaulsby/iStock/Thinkstock. Cattle in Nebraska feedlot
CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS: Expanding beef processing capacity today may be fixing yesterday's problem as cattle cycle turns to lower production.

Contaminated meat and poultry products are responsible for an estimated 2 million illnesses in the U.S. each year and amount to more than 40% of all bacterial foodborne diseases. By incorporating farm- and feedlot-based interventions into the foodborne illness prevention strategy, companies can minimize contamination before animals reach slaughter.

The annual cost of illnesses — for instance, direct medical costs, lost income and productivity — attributable to consumption of these foods has been estimated at about $2.5 billion for poultry, $1.9 billion for pork and $1.4 billion for beef.

Cattle, poultry and swine can harbor harmful bacteria and bring them to the slaughterhouse, where the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food safety inspectors get their first look. Contaminated animals may show no signs of infection, as pathogens that sicken humans do not necessarily harm these species. Therefore, it can be very difficult to detect animals that harbor dangerous bacteria. By reducing animals’ exposure to pathogens on the farms and feedlots where they are bred and raised, the nation can better prevent foodborne illnesses and improve public health.

A new report by The Pew Charitable Trusts, “Food Safety From Farm to Fork,” explores a variety of measures that research has shown can reduce the risk that bacteria harmful to humans will be present on food animals at slaughter. These measures can range from ensuring that water and feed are clean to administering vaccines and other preventive treatments.

While certain interventions and management practices during and after harvest can reduce contamination risks, many food safety experts suggest that to better protect public health, the U.S. needs a comprehensive approach to meat and poultry safety that begins at the farm level.

It’s important to remember that no single intervention will be entirely successful in combating all pathogens in all species; however, Pew’s report identified several key characteristics of effective pre-harvest programs. They combine multiple tactics to reduce the ability of the pathogen to develop ways to evade one particular intervention. Additionally, it is most helpful, in many instances, to start the interventions early, with the swine breeding herds and broiler chicken breeder flocks, and to rely on a variety of approaches such as feed safety, biosecurity and surveillance for pathogens as well as vaccines and other products.

Several countries have successful, comprehensive food safety control programs that include a strong pre-harvest component, often partnerships between government and the livestock industry, initiated using government appropriations and sustained with industry dollars. These programs are science- and risk-based and periodically evaluated for efficacy and cost-effectiveness; they demonstrate that success requires substantial time and resource commitments, as well as teamwork and continuing buy-in from all stakeholders. They also show that success is possible and that the public health benefit can be substantial.

Pew identified the following key characteristics shared by effective pre-harvest programs. They:

  • Typically begin with the breeding herds or flocks from which the production animals are derived.
  • Rely on feed safety, biosecurity, and pathogen surveillance as well as specific pre-harvest interventions.
  • Combine multiple interventions, which improves the efficacy of the programs, makes use of potential synergisms between interventions, and reduces the ability of the pathogen to evolve mechanisms to circumvent an intervention.
  • Target interventions to the animal species and production system, allowing implementation when and where they work best and are successful, feasible and cost-effective. With the exception of biosecurity (measures to prevent introduction of infectious agents, such as quarantine, access restrictions and vermin control), which is widely accepted as a prerequisite for animal production, no single intervention is entirely successful in combating all pathogens in all species.

The report also said industry should emphasize the use of individual pre-harvest interventions as one part of a herd health management program in the context in which they will be used (for example, animal species, age group or production system), along with potential synergisms or antagonisms between interventions. Evaluate whether ancillary benefits may be achieved, such as improvements in overall animal health that may reduce treatment costs and animal losses.

The report suggested federal agencies could improve collaboration and communication among all stakeholders (farmers, meat producers, consumers, regulatory agencies, academic researchers, the pharmaceutical industry, etc.) to increase the availability and use of promising interventions. In particular, inter-agency collaborations should be strengthened to leverage technical expertise across and within organizations and closely align animal health and food safety responsibilities, even if they rest in different entities, such as USDA’s Food Safety & Inspection Service and Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service.

Public/private partnerships may be the most feasible approach to closing some of the data gaps that currently hinder the development and use of pre-harvest interventions, the report noted. This will require overcoming legal and logistical challenges, such as privacy and transparency concerns and information technology infrastructure compatibility.

Ag scientists call for new global crop alliance

A global group of leading crop scientists, including the principal and chief executive of Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), has called for a worldwide crop network to systematically tackle threats to global food security.

The July 28 edition of the journal Science outlines the recommendation for a Global Crop Improvement Network (GCIN) to take a worldwide approach to crop research.

Encompassing most staple food crops, GCIN would "revolutionize" the ability to understand crop performance in different environments and speed up the adoption of vital technologies, the crop scientists said. It would achieve this by providing access to well-controlled "field laboratories" that are essential for translating scientific breakthroughs to improved crop yields, by harmonizing international research practices and by sharing data.

GCIN would work with existing national crop research systems and could be supported through public/private partnerships.

According to SRUC, the proposed model for GCIN is based on the successful International Wheat Improvement Network (IWIN). Established in the 1960s, IWIN is part of the CGIAR-affiliated group of agricultural researchers.

SRUC principal and chief executive Wayne Powell is a past chief scientist with CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research) and a co-author of the GCIN model.

Powell said, "Through the international research collaboration and data sharing that underpins IWIN and the recommended GCIN, we have a huge opportunity to tackle in new ways the big global challenges of food and nutrition security while delivering new knowledge efficiently and providing value for money for those investing in research."

Costs mounting for delayed approval of GE crops in Africa

Alida Vanni/iStock/Thinkstock preparing food inside African house

Uncertainty and confusion on genetic engineering of Africa's main food crops have delayed the acceptance and application of these crops by smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Model calculations by a team of researchers from the universities of Wageningen (Netherlands), Munich (Germany), Cape Town (South Africa) and Berkeley (California) reveal that the costs of a one-year delay in approving the pod borer-resistant cowpea in Nigeria will cost the country $33-46 million and, more disastrously, will theoretically take 100-3,000 lives, the team reported in Plos ONE.

Scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders have raised concerns that the approval process for new crops causes delays that are often scientifically unjustified. These delays are costly not only via the foregone economic benefits, but they are also taking lives via foregone calorie supplies for malnourished children, the researchers said.

In the Plos ONE study, the research team calculated these effects for the genetically engineered crops cooking banana (matoke), cowpea and corn (maize) for five countries in Africa. They found that in Kenya, the benefits from reduced malnutrition can be larger than the total economic surplus. The benefits can be up to about $1.150 billion for bananas in Uganda and about $795 million for corn in Kenya.

Kenya, Uganda and many other African countries had the chance to follow South Africa’s example of adopting genetically engineered (GE) crops, also called biotech crops. The researchers reported that if Kenya had adopted GE corn in 2006 — which, according to an earlier project, was possible — between 440 and 4,000 lives could theoretically have been saved. Similarly, Uganda had the possibility in 2007 to introduce the black sigatoka-resistant banana, thereby potentially saving between 500 and 5,500 lives over the past decade.

The introduction of Bt cowpea is expected in 2017 in Benin, Niger and Nigeria. The African Agricultural Technology Foundation, an African non-governmental organization developing the technology, has already indirectly expressed concerns about reaching this goal by explicitly mentioning the phrase: "Depending on approvals." A one-year delay in approval would especially harm Nigeria, as malnourishment is widespread there.

The results reported might have underestimated the cost of delay, especially in evaluating the benefit of adopting insect-resistant cowpea, as they only consider the energy content of this crop, the research team said. Further, environmental and health benefits from reduced pesticide use for pest and disease control are not explicitly included.

The calculation model the researchers used includes economic benefits for producers and consumers as well as the benefits of reduced malnutrition among subsistence farm households often not explicitly considered in previous studies.

The team also considered the uncertainty policy-makers face caused by contradicting statements from lobby groups and calculated the implicit costs attached. In general, uncertainty about future costs weighs higher than uncertainty about future benefits. One unit of costs needs about 1.5 units of benefits for compensation under uncertainty and explains why policy-makers are more responsive to statements about the costs than the benefits of GE crops.

“This explains why those opposing genetically engineered crops have it easier to convince policy-makers,” explained Justus Wesseler, professor of agricultural economics and rural policy at Wageningen University and lead author of the study.

“Time is money — and lives," Wesseler concluded. “Reducing the approval time of genetically modified crops results in generating economic gains, potentially contributing to reducing malnutrition and saving lives, and can be an inexpensive strategy for reaching the U.N. Sustainable Development Goal of eradicating malnutrition by 2030, but this might also be important for Europe as it reduces migration."

Organic farmers think of milk fever in cows in different ways

Photo: Linda S. Sørensen. dairy cows grazing

Milk fever in dairy cattle is a well-known disease that primarily occurs in older cows in connection with calving. The disease is characterized when the cow is cold, rolling and possibly paralyzed.

The disease is often combined with lower milk yields, and the cows have an increased risk of developing mastitis, metritis and ketosis — diseases that all significantly influence the animals’ welfare and the farm economy.

The occurrence of milk fever at organic farms may be higher than at the conventional farms, according to researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark. Previous studies have even found considerable differences in the occurrence of milk fever at the herd level within a group of organic farms, but without being able to explain why.

A new study from Aarhus found that the farmers assess the problem in very different ways and that the occurrence of milk fever is very dependent on access to summer pasture.

The study also found that many organic farmers are critical of legislation in Denmark that prevents them from treating milk fever with calcium directly into the cow’s vein, and organic farmers are working with different strategies when it comes to prevention, Aarhus said.

In this study, 56 organic farmers with herds of more than 100 cows were interviewed over the phone about their understanding of milk fever, their practical procedures regarding prevention and how they deal with milk fever. The answers were analyzed and compared to data from herds in the Danish Cattle Database.

Of the 56 farmers, 38 said they did not think that they had a problem with milk fever. One farmer explained that even though a veterinarian thought there was a problem, she chose to accept that milk fever was inevitable, especially in old (fourth lactation or older) and slightly fat cows. Others accepted the problem but also tried to reduce it to, for instance, a condition that happens only periodically, according to Aarhus. Furthermore, the problem was related to certain seasons, to the cows' age and to human handling.

Twenty-six farmers answered that they found milk fever to be a very problematic condition because of secondary complications, such as retained placenta, mastitis, ketosis, reduced yield and displaced abomasum.

Twenty-five farmers said they had a hard time understanding why they were not allowed to treat the cows with calcium in the blood, as the rules of the organic regulations state, the university said. Several pointed to the fact that, while they do understand that only vets are allowed to treat with antibiotics, they do not understand why the vet must also administer the calcium.

Several of the farmers added that the method they are allowed to use -- giving the cow the calcium orally -- is a method they do not find scientifically good enough, because organic calcium products that are considered to have a sufficient effect do not exist.

Comprehension, prevention

Regarding a question about preventing milk fever via feeding, almost all farmers focused primarily on good feeding of dry cows -- for instance, by using a separate dry-cow blend and dry-cow minerals, Aarhus said. Their method of choice for drying off varied a lot, with some using an abrupt withdrawal (the cow is fed straw and water for a period to stop milk production) while others supplied their cows with hay, silage, wrap or a dry-cow blend.

The farmers also differed on how they feed dry cows during summer and winter. For instance, the feeding was almost the same during winter and summer for some, while others said they supplement the grass with dry-cow minerals and allocate feed according to needs, Aarhus noted.

Comparing to milk fever data

All interviewed farmers gave the researchers their permission to collect the farm’s data for 2016 from the cattle database on registered calving, and all occurrences of milk fever were listed. The number of percentages of milk fever in cows of third parity or more in 2016 in the 56 herds varied from 0% to 14.9%.

The 10 herds with the fewest registered occurrences were those where owners mentioned good dry-cow feeding as the most important preventing initiative, whereas the group with the most registered occurrences of milk fever to a higher degree mentioned minerals and calcium products as means of prevention, Aarhus said.

In the group with the fewest occurrences of milk fever, seven out of 10 producers fed their dry cows in the same way when grazing during summer and winter. In the group with the most occurrences of milk fever, only two out of 10 producers supplied another feed besides the grazing.

So far, the Aarhus researchers concluded that correct summer feeding of dry cows is very essential in preventing milk fever. Previous studies have shown that grazing cows are at higher risk of developing milk fever, and this study confirms this statement. This study also shows that there is a difference in the occurrence of milk fever at summer feeding (primarily grass) compared to cows fed almost the same way all year-round.

On the other hand, this study could not confirm anything about the significance of the different types of winter feeding. This may be because the farmers have different descriptions of how dry-cow feeding is allocated. The next phase of this study will go more in depth into this matter.

West Coast longshore workers vote to extend contract

Port of Los Angeles port of los angeles

In an effort to avoid another catastrophic West Coast port slowdown, both the Pacific Maritime Assn. (PMA) and International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) continue to work proactively to ensure stability. West Coast longshore workers at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington completed voting last week on whether to extend their collective bargaining agreement with PMA for three years.

Early reporting from local unions indicates that the contract extension will pass by 67%. The union’s Coast Balloting Committee will announce the official results on Aug. 4. If ratified, as expected, the extended ILWU-PMA agreement, which was scheduled to expire on July 1, 2019, will instead expire on July 1, 2022.

Members of ILWU voted on the employer’s unprecedented contract extension proposal after a year-long debate and democratic process in which every registered longshore worker from Bellingham, Wash., to San Diego, Cal., had a vote. The contract extension will raise wages, maintain health benefits and increase pensions.

“The ILWU was founded on principles of democracy, and the rank and file always have the last word on their contracts,” ILWU International president Robert McEllrath said. “There was no shortage of differing views in the year-long debate leading up to this vote, and members didn’t take this step lightly. In the end, the rank and file made the final decision to extend the contract for three years.”

PMA president James McKenna welcomed the news, saying it would ensure labor stability through 2022.

“This historic agreement will be great news for the maritime industry as well as our customers, workers, port communities and the U.S. economy,” he said. “With this contract extension, the West Coast waterfront has a tremendous opportunity to attract more market share and demonstrate that our ports and our workforce are truly world-class. We are fully committed to delivering the highest standards of reliability and productivity for years to come.”

McKenna concluded that he looks forward to working with McEllrath "in the months ahead to ensure that the West Coast sets the standard for service and efficiency and is the destination of choice for cargo entering and exiting the United States.”

The 2014-15 disruption on the West Coast lasted more than nine months and cost U.S. agricultural product exporters $1.75 billion per month. The North American Meat Institute and the National Pork Producers Council estimated that the delays cost each of their industries $40 million per week. It took approximately three months to clear the backlog caused by the slowdown.

Grain elevator regulatory changes on hold

USDA photo by Anson Eaglin grain elevator Mississippi River
Grain elevators on the Mississippi River near the port of New Orleans, LA

The New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for grain elevators amendment has been moved to inactive status on the Trump Administration’s regulatory agenda.

The NSPS for grain elevators was initially proposed in 1977 and promulgated in 1978. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed amendments to the NSPS in 2014. In these actions, EPA identified particulate matter (PM) as the criteria air pollutant emitted in the largest quantities from grain elevators. PM is emitted when grain is transferred from one area to another.

The proposed amendments sought to clarify the definition of grain loading and unloading stations, as well as requirements of certain unloading operations.

Jess McCluer, National Grain & Feed Assn. (NGFA) director of safety and regulatory affairs, said NGFA is pleased to see that the NSPS has been added to the new list of Inactive rules, which likely means that the rule will not be addressed within the next year.

In formal comments that an NGFA-led coalition submitted in response to the agency’s request for comment on evaluating existing regulations, the coalition encouraged EPA to not finalize the proposed amendments to the NSPS and to formally rescind the amendments proposed July 9, 2014, to NSPS Subpart DD.

“Furthermore, we encourage EPA to look to the possibility of rescinding this NSPS prospectively and/or modifying it as part of a larger regulatory reform effort,” McCluer said.

There are a number of significant issues in the EPA proposal that raised red flags for the industry. One issue included a new percentage-based formula EPA proposed under which about one-third of the capacity of temporary storage space would be included when calculating whether an air permit is required.

EPA also proposed to clarify definitions and provisions in its existing requirements, as well as add a new section to the rule that would apply to grain elevators where construction, modification or reconstruction begins after the July 9, 2014 date when this proposal was published in the Federal Register. The new section includes new emissions limits for certain elevators as well as additional testing, monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements.