ETHANOL BILL PASSES

Minnesota was the first State in the Nation to require a 10 percent ethanol blend in its gasoline, and Minnesota will now be the first State to require that 20 percent of its gasoline be from ethanol. The compromise version of the so-called “E-20 Bill” (S.F. 4) passed the Minnesota Senate by a 57-8 margin, and the Minnesota House by a 100-32 margin, and will be signed into law on May 10 by Governor Tim Pawlenty. The new E-20 legislation will change the current 10 percent ethanol requirement in gasoline to 20 percent, effective on August 30, 2013. This assumes that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approves the E-20 ethanol blend as an acceptable fuel blend, similar to E-10 and E-85. By December 31, 2010, if it is deemed that 20 percent of all the gasoline sold in Minnesota is already from ethanol, or the E-20 approval has not been granted by EPA, then the 20 percent ethanol blend requirement would not be enacted. Passage of this Ethanol legislation is a “Win-Win-Win-Win” situation for Minnesota agriculture, consumers, the environment, and our dependence on imported petroleum sources. There was strong bi-partisan support for the E-20 legislation in both the Minnesota House and Senate, and most rural State Legislators supported the Bill. Be sure to thank your local Legislators for their support!

FSA DEADLINES
There are a few deadlines coming up at County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Offices that farm operators, and especially landowners in share-rent contracts, should be aware of :

  • June 1, 2005 is the final date to sign-up for the 2005 DCP Program, which is required in order to receive direct and counter-cyclical payments for the 2005 crop year.
  • May 31, 2005 is the final date to apply for CCC loans or to collect a LDP on the 2004 corn and soybean crop. After May 31st, the PCP may still be used to release grain under loan.
  • July 15, 2005 is the final date to file 2005 crop acreage reports at the FSA Office.
Check with local FSA Offices for details on all these deadlines and requirements.

Editors note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.