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POLICY WATCH

Action Alert: Next COVID-Aid Bill Should Help Farmers, Ranchers

The federal response to COVID-19 will require ongoing action to adequately address the needs of millions of Americans in crisis. Farmers and ranchers must not be left out. Right now, the Senate is working on what may prove to be the final piece of legislation related to the pandemic. Farm Bureau is thoroughly engaged to make sure that this proposal helps America’s farmers and ranchers. Your senators are hearing from other constituents and affected interests. Make sure they hear from you. Act today and let them know agriculture should not be left out!

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Nebraska Farm Bureau to Serve on AFBF Cattle Market Committee

Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) President Steve Nelson and NEFB Director of National Affairs Jordan Dux have been appointed to serve on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) new Cattle Market Committee. The committee will be tasked with reviewing recent market activity; reviewing all factors and variables that led to the current disruption in markets and price disparity; as well as consider AFBF’s role in improving the current situation for producers. Nelson and Dux will be joined by leadership and staff from South Dakota, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New York, and Texas Farm Bureaus. The committee was formed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the increasing volatility in cattle and beef markets.

EPA Responds to Dicamba Ruling

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued orders this week providing greater clarity for farmers following the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ June 3, 2020 vacatur of three dicamba registrations. The EPA’s order addresses sale, distribution, and use of existing stocks of the three affected dicamba products – XtendiMax with vapor grip technology, Engenia, and FeXapan. Under the order, distribution or sale by any person is generally prohibited except for ensuring proper disposal or return to the registrant. Growers and commercial applicators may use existing stocks that were in their possession on June 3, 2020, the effective date of the Court decision. Such use must be consistent with the product’s previously approved label and may not continue after July 31, 2020. Since the EPA announcement, the agency has further clarified to the American Farm Bureau Federation that “it is permissible for a certified applicator (including a farmer who is a certified applicator) personally to retrieve or pick up Xtendimax, Engenia, or FeXapan that is temporarily stored by a retailer, distributor, or cooperative for use consistent with the requirements of the label, if the certified applicator (including a farmer who is a certified applicator) purchased the product on or before June 3.” The EPA has not yet provided a definition of “purchases”. Farm Bureau is continuing to seek clarifications on the order.

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