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Senator discusses ag priorities

Meets with Farm Bureau, Illinois Corn Growers

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., (left) meets with members of the Illinois Corn Growers Association.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., (left) meets with members of the Illinois Corn Growers Association.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, met recently with Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Corn Growers Association to discuss agriculture priorities in Illinois.

Durbin and ICGA talked about crop conditions, trade, lock and dam infrastructure, ethanol and biofuels and refinery waivers.

“Corn growers are an integral part of Illinois’ agriculture economy, and we need to ensure they have certainty from the federal government as we head into the 2020 planting season,” Durbin said.

“Additionally, the small refinery waivers being issued by the Trump administration have hurt the biofuel market many of the corn growers depend on. It’s time for the president to support our biofuels industry and stop giving a break to large oil companies.”

Durbin has introduced a bipartisan bill with Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., and Deb Fischer, R-Neb., that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide transparency with small refinery hardship waivers.

Farm Bureau expressed concerns with the Trump administration’s uncertain trade approach with China and the Trump administration’s abuse of small oil refinery waivers that have hurt the biofuels market.

“The decision by the Trump administration to effectively shut down the biofuels industry has hurt farmers. When you add that to the uncertain approach the president has taken with China, Illinois farmers are taking a serious hit,” Durbin said.

“It’s time to get our agriculture economy back on track — and that starts with fulfilling the promises the Trump administration made to farmers on trade aid, biofuels and much more.”

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