Rural Infrastructure and Foreign Buyers of U.S. Commodities
**"Rural infrastructure" was the hot topic last week when the Farm Foundation gathered a panel of speakers from the Ag, transportation and equipment sectors.
According to Agri-Pulse, Farm Credit Council vice president, Robbie Boone listed priorities for insuring a healthy infrastructure for rural America, including new investments in roads and bridges, nationwide broadband access, rural health care, water supply systems, and finance for rural and agricultural growth.
Plus, he says there is about $8.4 billion in deferred maintenance of the nation's Ag research facilities.
**Renewable fuels advocates are questioning the Trump Administration's commitment to biofuels in light of recent proposals from the EPA that include reducing the RFS blend requirement for biodiesel and having U.S. biofuel export volumes count towards compliance with the RFS.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley tells Brownfield he told President Trump of his concerns during a recent phone conversation.
As a result, Grassley and several Senate colleagues will meet with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt next week.
**A foreign buyer likes American value-added feed products but says there is a trade obstacle to overcome.
Wael Gaama from the United Arab Emirates and Mohamad Gad from Saudi Arabia were in Wisconsin to find suppliers for specialty feed products like milk replacers and amino acid supplements for dairy cows.
Gaama tells Brownfield the American products are competitively priced compared to European suppliers, but transportation costs from the U.S. eat away at margins.