A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

In the United States, biofuel production targets have been raised for 2017

November 28, 2016

While the European Commission has just confirmed its wish to drastically reduce aid for biofuel production from 20211, the United States, despite opposition from the oil lobby, is continuing to support this sector, particularly useful during periods of agricultural overproduction. On 23rd November, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would raise production targets for 2017 to 19.28 billion gallons (about 73 billion litres) compared with 18.11 billion gallons in 2016 (about 68 billion litres), an increase of 6%2.

The EPA is in charge of managing the Renewable Fuels Standard program adopted in 2005 and validated in 2007, which anticipates a growth in production of 9 billion to 36 billion gallons between 2008 and 2022. More specifically, production targets are allocated depending on the raw material and its environmental performance, and the EPA adjusts depending on the real development prospects of each sub-sector. Therefore, if conventional biofuels produced mainly from corn reach their development target in 2017 with 15 billion gallons, the progression in “advanced” biofuel production will remain more modest and will only reach 4.28 billion by 2017, nothing like the 9 billion projected in 2007. Notably, so-called 2nd generation (cellulosic) biofuels only account for 0.311 billion gallons of “advanced” biofuels, while in 2007 5.5 billion were projected for 2017 and more importantly, 16 billion for 2022.

Though the limits to 2nd generation development might be exceeded, but it should be noted that while conventional biofuels have reached their 15 billion gallon ceiling, it is still possible to develop first generation production under the quotas for “advanced” biofuels when a minimum level of environmental performance is achieved. Moreover, with the significant growth in E15 vehicles (a mixture of 15% ethanol), which represents 80% of new vehicle registrations in the United States , the blend wall, the other limit to the sector’s development is less significant.

The increase determined by the EPA was particularly well received by the agricultural sector, as it was slightly higher than that expressed by Congress in the spring . The low corn prices and Trump’s support are obviously well known. The debate on biofuels seems to be more rational in the United States than in Europe: across the Atlantic, this policy is more widely considered as an agricultural policy for the disposal of surpluses. The flexibility with RIN mechanisms and the possibility of exemption from objectives in the event of tension is much greater . At the European level, it is clear that it will be necessary to integrate the post-2020 biofuel policy issue into a broader discussion on the regulation of agricultural market crises, failing which the European Union will continue to be, yet again, upstream of other agricultural powers.

1 http://www.lafranceagricole.fr/actualites/biocarburants-revirement-de-la-politique-europeenne-sur-la-premiere-(...)
2 https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-finalizes-increase-renewable-fuel-volumes
3 http://ethanolrfa.org/policy/regulations/renewable-fuel-standard/

4 http://ethanolrfa.org/2016/11/rfa-analysis-automakers-approve-e15-in-more-than-80-of-new-2017-vehicles/
5 http://www.ncga.com/news-and-resources/news-stories/article/2016/11/(...)
6 http://www.terre-net.fr/actualite-agricole/politique-syndicalisme/article/avec-l-arrivee-de-trump-l-agriculture-(...).html
7 http://www.agreste.agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/nese150439A6.pdf

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