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3 Big Things Today, November 29

1. EPA Renewable Fuel Standard Rallies Soybean Prices

Soybean futures and soybean oil prices have been on an upswing since mid-October. The price of soybean futures has increased 8.4%, while soybean oil prices rallied even more with a 9.4% increase.

The EPA brought more good news to the soybean market last week when the government agency announced higher targets for 2017 renewable fuel use. With this decision, it is likely that domestic biodiesel production and, therefore, feedstock consumption will increase. Depending on the mix of feedstocks used, there could be an increase in the consumption of soybean oil. University of Illinois Professor Darrel Good believes soybean oil will take up a larger share of the feedstock increase because there is more supply available.

Get more details on how the EPA announcement could affect soybean oil consumption.


2. Battle Lines Harden on Immigration Reform

President-elect Trump has softened his stance on immigration since his bold campaign announcement to deport all undocumented workers. His new plan is to deport 2 to 3 million undocumented workers, primarily those with criminal records. 

Despite his new position, farm groups are still anxious and want to work with the next administration to develop a better guest-worker program. 

“The reality of our farm labor force is that most are foreign-born and more than half are undocumented,” says Kristi Boswell, director of congressional relations at the American Farm Bureau. 

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau, adds that an enforcement-only approach would cost the U.S. $60 billion in ag production.

See what solutions farm groups are presenting in this in-depth article.


3. Winter storm warning North Dakota; Storm moves across southeastern U.S.

A winter storm warning is in place for western and central North Dakota through Wednesday evening, according to the National Weather Service. Snow amounts will range from 8 to 16 inches in central North Dakota. The southwest and northwest corners will receive anywhere from 5 to 8 inches. The winter storm will go through the camps where activists are protesting the North Dakota Access Pipeline.

The wintery mix will also bring a mixture of rain and snow to South Dakota, with snow totals closer to 1 to 3 inches.

The rest of the Midwest will remain dry Tuesday. Temperatures will drop a bit from Monday with highs in the 30s in the Dakotas and in the 30s to 40s from Nebraska northeast through Illinois. A warm band will stretch northeast from Texas through Michigan, bringing 50° F. and 60° F. weather.

Severe storms are also possible across the lower Mississippi Valley through the East Coast. Thunderstorms could include damaging wind gusts, severe hail, and the risk for a few tornadoes. 

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