Energy Department Recommends Granting Partial Retroactive Waivers

IARN — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made its recommendations to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding retroactive blending waiver requests. Two sources say the DOE recommended to the EPA that “a number” of those requests be partially granted. However, those anonymous sources couldn’t provide further details. The EPA is in charge of granting those exemptions, but the Department of Energy has to review the applications first and then make its recommendations. Read more

Grassley & Tester Highlight Beef Price Disparity On Senate Floor

IARN — There have been many question marks surrounding the cattle markets in the past few years. Many producers are lamenting low prices while packers have consolidated to a point that there are only four players controlling eighty percent of the slaughter capacity. Those “Big 4” are Tyson, Cargill, National Beef, and JBS USA. Questions first were raised after a fire at a Tyson plant in Holcomb, Kansas slowed processing. Then with the COVID-19 outbreak, these questions came to light again. Producers and lawmakers are asking how, in a time of decreased capacity, are farmers going under and consumers paying record prices, while the “Big 4” enjoy increased profits. Read more

How Long Will Packers Be Playing Catch-Up?

IARN — We have been talking, at length, about the situation being faced by packers and the pork industry. Large supplies of hogs are waiting to be slaughtered while packers are trying to get back to running at their pre-COVID capacities as soon as possible. There are many hog producers who started switching diets in attempts to get their hogs to quit gaining weight, and thus stave off the need for euthanizing the animals. However, that backlog of animals has not gone away. As the hogs are still waiting for their turn, more hogs are coming up behind them. Read more