U.S. senators ask EPA not to boost refinery biofuel obligations in 2021

U.S. senators ask EPA not to boost refinery biofuel obligations in 2021

Reading Time: < 1 minute Reuters – A group of U.S. Republican senators asked the Environmental Protection Agency to consider a general waiver that would prevent an increase in biofuel blending obligations next year for oil refiners hit by a collapse in fuel demand because of the coronavirus pandemic. Senators including Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Ted Cruz […] Read more

Some corn hybrids were among the first genetically modified crops to reach the market.

Some GM crops could hit market without review

Traits that could have been achieved through traditional breeding might not require approval

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters – The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced a rule that will simplify or waive agency reviews of certain biotech farm products, including plants and seeds that have been genetically modified or engineered. As a result, some products could be sold to farmers without a USDA review — a move that comes despite concerns […] Read more

(BeyondImages/iStock/Getty Images)

U.S. EPA proposes hike in 2020 biofuel mandate

Reading Time: 3 minutes Washington | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday proposed refiners increase the volume of biofuels blended into their annual fuel output but did not reallocate the waived amounts under the hardship program, drawing ire from powerful corn and biofuel groups as well as Republican senators. The EPA is charged with setting […] Read more

A bumblebee on a strawberry flower.

Bee-based disease prevention

Inoculating flowering plants with insect-delivered fungus can help limit disease

Reading Time: 4 minutes Fungi that can inoculate crops against disease can be applied using insects — bumblebees, to be specific. According to Bee Vectoring Technology (BVT) — a Canadian company with offices in the United States and Europe, and in the process of commercializing such a service — Bombus-delivered inoculants offer fruit farmers another way to augment their […] Read more

The chemicals found on Stone’s farm likely came from biosolids, or nutrient-rich sewage from municipal utilities.

The curious case of tainted milk from a Maine dairy farm

The farm’s cow’s manure and their milk showed high levels of perfluoroalkyl substances

Reading Time: 4 minutes Reuters – For Maine dairy farmer Fred Stone, the discovery in 2016 that his cows were producing tainted milk has since brought financial ruin and threatened to shut down a century-old family business. Now state regulators and health experts are investigating whether the contamination could reflect a much broader problem for farms that used similar […] Read more


(Photo courtesy Water Management Research Unit, ARS/USDA)

U.S. EPA wins new chance to argue against pesticide ban

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — The Trump administration has persuaded a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its recent decision ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to ban the widely-used pesticide chlorpyrifos, which critics say can harm children and farmers. In an order on Wednesday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it will again review former EPA administrator […] Read more

U.S. appeals court orders EPA to ban pesticide said to harm children

Reading Time: 2 minutes New York | Reuters – A divided federal appeals court on Thursday ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ban a widely-used pesticide that critics say can endanger children and farmers. The 2-1 decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle overturned former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s March 2017 denial of a petition by […] Read more

The Big River Resources ethanol plant at West Burlington, Iowa, about 120 km southwest of Davenport. (Steven Vaughn photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

U.S. EPA abandons changes to biofuel program

Reading Time: 3 minutes New York | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has backed off a series of proposed changes to the nation’s biofuels policy after a massive backlash from corn-state lawmakers worried the moves would undercut ethanol demand, according to a letter from the agency to lawmakers seen by Reuters. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in […] Read more


BASF’s dicamba production facility in Beaumont, Tex. (BASF.com)

U.S. EPA aims to allow dicamba use, with safeguards

Reading Time: 2 minutes Washington | Reuters — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is aiming to allow farmers to spray the controversial herbicide dicamba next year, but with additional rules for its use, an official with the agency said on Tuesday. Reuben Baris, acting chief of the herbicide branch of the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs, said the agency […] Read more