2023 Fall Farm Outlook

Page 2 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 3 Table of Contents 04 | Welcome to the Fall Farm Outlook magazine 06 | Central Illinois Ag celebrates 125 years of service to Logan County agriculture 14 | Three generations, 75 years - Rohlfs Implement Company in Hartsburg stands strong in the community 20 | AHW John Deere - Always Here When 30 | Topflight Grain provides a day at the elevator at Johnston Siding 34 | Will the 2023 Farm Bill support agricultural stability? 36 | WOTUS’ final rule may not be fi nal after all fi 40 | The current “hot button” issue - CO2 pipelines and sequestration

Page 4 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 The time of year has come when harvest is well underway and in fact almost over in many parts of the community, which means it is time for the Lincoln Daily News Fall Farm outlook magazine. This year, we are taking the magazine in a slightly different direction. While still farm focused, the mag is intended to be more entertaining than technical. As is always the case, when planning for the mag, LDN met with John Fulton who has served as our advisor on the publication for the last several years. He brought an interesting perspective to the idea of making a lighter, slightly less intense edition. It was he who suggested that we look at some of our age-related businesses and bring them into the spotlight just a bit. In doing so, we found that we have three family-owned implement dealerships in the county, with one celebrating 125 years this year. Giving those three dealerships a little attention in this edition ended up being very rewarding for us as the publishers, and we are happy that we had the opportunity to get to know those folks just a little bit better. We also did a small piece with one of our local elevators and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the folks at Johnston Siding, a Topflight grain cooperative in northeastern Logan County. We also spoke with Fulton about the hot button issues of the year, and with his suggestions in mind, we narrowed it down to three, two that are always somewhat of a concern, and one that is new to us as an agricultural community. We believe that the magazine this fall will be an easy read for anyone, regardless of their knowledge or experience in farming, and we hope you all enjoy. LDN Fall Farm Outlook Online Magazine Welcome to the

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Page 6 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Central Illinois Ag Central Illinois Ag is celebrating 125 years of involvement in the farm implement business in 2023 as well as 75 years of business for George H. Dunn in Farmer City. The five dealerships that merged to form what today is known as Central Illinois Ag are still locally and family owned and operated with locations across Central Illinois. Richard Schmidt arrived from Germany in 1881 seeking employment. He soon found work as a blacksmith with Demer Rhodes and continued to learn his trade for several years. After marrying Minnie Butler in 1985, Mr. Schmidt purchased the blacksmith shop from Mr. Rhodes. The first story of the building was used for blacksmith work and the second celebrates 125 years of service to Logan County agriculture Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 7 story was a complete wagon and buggy manufacturing facility. In 1915 a gas engine was purchased to run several machines once powered by hand. This was the beginning of automation for the business. Eventually, an electric motor replaced the gas engine further propelling the business into a full-blown factory. Paul Schmidt, son of Richard and Minnie, graduated from High School in Atlanta, and joined his father in the business. After serving a year in the armed forces during WW I, Paul returned to the business to find that Richard had added horse drawn devices to the blacksmithing line, manufactured by the Emerson-Braningham Company. The addition of horse drawn gang plows, sickle mowers, and disk harrows began the family farm implement business that is still thriving today. Paul took over the family business in 1926, following his father’s death. His first act as owner was to sign the first contract with the J.I. Case Company, formerly the EmersonBraningham Company, beginning 97 years of service to the local farm community. Paul and Ruth’s son, Richard E. Scmidt was born in 1927. The great Depression in the 1930’s put a halt to innovation and profitability. Few tractors and machines were sold at this time. The late 1930’s brought rubber tractor tires, Case two row corn pickers, and modern combines that could be pulled by a tractor. WW II saw production of farm equipment halted to produce war equipment. By the end of the war in 1946, Paul Schmidt had added a modern tractor shop, parts room, and an office facility. Paul’s son, Richard E. Schmidt graduated from Atlanta High School in 1946 and attended the University of Illinois for one year before returning to manage the family business. Continued --

Page 8 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Richard E. was drafted into the United States Army in 1950. Upon his return from the war in 1953 Richard married Dema Smith and in 1954 their son Steven Paul Schmidt was born. The late 1950’s was a time of tremendous growth for the business. Case introduced their first automatic tractor transmission in 1958 and the “New Idea” farm equipment line in 1960 increased the customer base tremendously, to a larger farming community and to seed corn producers. Due to the increase, a second building was added at the downtown location and Paul A. Schmidt and son employed five people at the time. Paul A. Schmidt passed in 1969, officially passing the business to the third generation. Richard E. “Dick” Schmidt’s son Steven P. Schmidt joined the family business in 1976 after graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in business administration. An eight-acre parcel of land was purchased on the south edge of Atlanta and an 11,200 square foot building was erected to keep up with the growth of the business. That location, once the northwest corner of the Atlanta fairgrounds is marked with a cornerstone. Steven and his wife welcomed a son, Michael in 1977 and a daughter, Jenni in 1979. Dick was elected as President of the J.I. Case Dealer Council in 1978. Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 9 J. I. Case and International Harvester merged to form Case International in 1985. On November 1, 1987, two Logan County farm equipment dealers merged to form Schmidt -Marcotte International, Inc. This merger saw the closing of Marcotte on Woodlawn Road in Lincoln and the construction of two more buildings and many more employees for Schmidt. William “Bill” Marcotte graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1966 with a degree in agriculture. He worked for International Harvester as a sales rep in their Peoria location and was transferred to Lincoln in 1973 where he briefly served as manager before purchasing the business in 1974. In 1992 Schmidt-Marcotte merged with Evans Implement of Lawndale. Continued --

Page 10 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 David Evans’ family has been in the implement business since 1953. In 1953 his grandfather and uncle John Cox and John R. Cox opened Cox Implement in Lincoln, an Allis-Chalmers dealership. In 1966 they moved the business to Lawndale to accommodate growth and in 1979 David and his father Tom bought the business. The dealership grew to include Allis-Chalmers, Steiger, Kinze, New Holland, and many other short line companies. Tom retired in 1991 and that same year David’s son Tim Evans joined the family business. The closing of the Lawndale location and merger with SchmidtMarcotte in 1992 resulted in tremendous growth of the customer service and parts departments. Michael and Steve Schmidt In 1998 Michael Schmidt graduated from Western Illinois University with an agriculture degree and joined his dad, Steve, in the business. The addition of Michael to the company marked five generations of Schmidt’s in the implement business. Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 11 The year 2001 brought George H. Dunn and Schmidt-Marcotte together to form Central Illinois Ag, Inc. George H. Dunn was an International Harvester dealer in Farmer City and Clinton. He was born in Beardstown and received his education at the University of Illinois. Mr. and Mrs. George Dunn In 1947 he bought the Farmer City machinery business from Robert Cord and the George H. Dunn Implement business began. A second location was opened in Clinton in 1977. Tim Reeser and Mike McCartney, sons-in-law to George both joined the family business. Tim managed the Clinton location and George stepped down to allow Mike to run the Farmer City Location. Continued --

Page 12 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Fire ravaged the Central Illinois Ag building in Atlanta in 2013, burning the main building to the ground. Work continued and trailers were used as make-shift shops during the re-build. The beautiful new building was built at the same location, off I-55 and US 66. Brian Reeser Manager Steve Schmidt, Michael Schmidt, Brian Reeser, and Tim Evans continue to serve Logan County with locations in Atlanta, Clinton, Farmer City, and Mason City, Illinois. [Lesleigh Bennett; Photos Abby Coers] Tim Evans

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Page 14 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Three generations 75 years Rohlfs Implement Company in Hartsburg stands strong in the community

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 15 For more than 75 years, Rohlfs Implement has been serving Hartsburg and surrounding areas in Logan County. The company has been owned by the same family for three generations. The 1996 Hartsburg Quasquicentennial book shared some of the history of the company. The Rohlfs Implement Company started in Hartsburg in 1946 as a partnership with brothers Alvin and Merle Rohlfs as owners. At the time, it was called Rohlfs Brothers Garage. Both men were from the area and had been in the army before starting the business. The building was formerly the “Ado” Schmidt blacksmith shop and Lewis Hellman Garage. In the early years Rohlfs Implement Company sold Willys automobiles, Jeeps, Kaiser Frazer automobiles, Gehl, Kewanee, Minneapolis Moline, and Oliver Machinery. In 1956, Merle sold out to Alvin and Merle went into the insurance business. Alvin Rohlfs then bought the C.L. “Dutch” Kief store, old Allis Chalmers dealership, Town Hall, and tavern buildings. This is where the new buildings were built which now house Rohlfs Implement Company. In 1969 Alvin purchased six acres of ground one-fourth mile north on Rt. 121 from William Allison to be used as a used machinery lot. He then had a large Morton building put up for storage and set up for machinery. The farm business grew as did the size of the machines. White Farm Equipment bought Minneapolis Moline and Oliver, New Idea, and other small companies. This gave the dealership access to sell more machinery. In 1988, Alvin Rohlfs sold the business to three of his sons, Les, Thomas, and Michael who proved to be very well qualified to run the business. Meanwhile, Agco Corporation purchased Allis, Gleaner, White, New Idea, and Massey Ferguson and is now one of the largest farm machinery manufacturers in the world. The three sons later opened a second dealership in Greenview after purchasing an established Allis Chalmers and Gleaner dealership owned by Dave Cramer. Rohlfs Implement now offers a full line of OEM quality parts fine-tuned to the AGCO product lines it carries. Their service department features skilled technicians, factory-trained to service the products they sell. They also stock a large inventory of accessories and parts for the products they carry and have the latest computer technology to quickly find any part you may ever need. Continued --

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2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 17 A multigenerational business Alvin Rohlfs’ sons Les and Mike and grandson Nathan have all been a part of Rohlfs Implement for many years. Les Rohlfs is the general manager Rohlfs Implement and also oversees larger ag equipment sales. Les has been working there for nearly fifty years since he was 22. Some of the biggest changes Les has seen over the years he has worked with the company are the increase in the size of the average farm and the size of equipment. He said technology has also changed significantly. Mike Rohlfs started working at Rohlfs Implement right out of high school in 1986. He went into the business to help his brother Les out and has continued to work there for over 35 years. Mike is in sales but is also the service manager. To Mike, the changes and advancements in the technology of the equipment over the past 30 years have been unreal. Though Mike thinks some of the advancements are beneficial, there are some advancements he does not find as positive. For instance, Mike says he does not think driverless tractors are a good idea because he feels they lose the farming touch. To him, driving a combine is a big part of farming. Something Mike feels has been beneficial is the use of fewer chemicals in farming. Nathan, who is Les Rohlfs’ son, had been an employee of Rohlfs Implement Company since 1997. He said as a young boy he would help around the business by sweeping the floors. Nathan’s main focus is the Kubota line up and larger Massey Ferguson tractors. He says Rohlfs Implement has sold Kubota equipment off and on for many years. The major change Nathan has seen over the years has been in the area of technology as a whole. For instance, self-steering in tractors is one of the major changes. Some of the equipment they sell has also changed. Rohlfs Implement used to sell Massey Ferguson and Gleaner combines. In addition, they sold Kaiser Frazier cars and jeeps. Nathan said the jeeps were then used as tractors. Now there is a third generation of the Rohlfs family working at Rohlfs Implement Company. Mike’s daughter Madison Rohlfs and son Max Rohlfs both help out there as needed. Like many businesses, Rohlfs Implement faced some challenges during the pandemic. Les said Covid created a supply chain issue for equipment and parts. It created a high demand for used equipment until new was finally available. Covid also created a challenge for Nathan when he spent three months in hospitals in 2020 fighting Covid-19. It was a struggle of his life that he nearly lost; but fortunately, after months in the hospital and a long recovery, Nathan was able to return to work. During that time, the family and community rallied around Nathan as small towns tend to do. Continued --

Page 18 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 The company persevered through those challenges and continues to serve the community. Hopefully, Rohlfs Implement Company will continue to serve the area for years to come. [Angela Reiners]

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Page 20 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Living in a community that is full of cornfields, bean fields, tractors, and combines, most Logan County residents do not know what that big building on Route 10, east of New Holland with the initials AHW is. Most may assume it has something to do with the farm or yard because of the multitude of large equipment, lawn tractors, and mowers sitting outside. AHW LLC is much more than that. “Always Here When,” is the slogan that this threefamily organization uses to describe their dedication to the farming community as well AHW John Deere Always Here When as small business owners and individuals needing lawn equipment and is much larger than just a John Deere Dealership. Continued --

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2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 23 The heritage of this company begins with Arends Brothers in 1932. Hogan Implement and Walker Sales were both founded in 1973. All three companies, with family farming backgrounds, merged together to become today’s AHW. AHW has nineteen dealerships that span from southern Wisconsin to western Indiana and Illinois. AHW in New Holland operates in Logan, Menard, Mason, and McLean Counties. Continued --

Page 24 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Harvesting Your Land’s Potential Buy/Sell Land Auction Appraisal Rely on our experts to privately sell or auction your land. We can also assist in purchasing farmland and appraising your current acreage.

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 25 AHW purchased Cross Brothers in Mt. Pulaski and J.R. Heath’s Implement store in Monticello and remodeled stores in Clinton and New Holland. With the remodel and expansion completion in New Holland in February 2021, it gave the front entrance a new facelift, added offices, enlarged, and updated the interior showroom, added a new conference room, and added a larger breakroom for the employees. To cater to those future young farmers of Logan County, they built new public men’s and women’s restrooms with baby changing stations in each one. And for those collectors of toy tractors, trucks, and combines, or John Deere signs, cups, or hats, there is plenty to choose from at the front desk. Continued --

Page 26 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 The main building has a parts department that has two levels, and the old shop area is designated for lawn and garden repairs with a warehouse for receiving parts. Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 27 The newer, larger shop has heated floors and a capacity for up to 13 combines. Behind the main facility is a wash bay with two full-time employees washing, shining up, and doing paint touch-ups on every piece of equipment that comes in. New Holland AHW currently has twenty-three employees. AHW is embracing technology and is sharing that knowledge with the local farmers by way of new product demonstrations by taking new inventory to groups of farmers, demonstrating in their fields, and letting them run that machinery to harvest their own crops. This shows what the future may look like with machine performance, new technology, and cost and time savings. Just last year, three miles from the AHW facility in New Holland, John Deere demonstrated a driverless tractor. Approximately eight John Deere employees monitored this tractor via computers in the same field while sending information to analysts in California. With the difficulty of securing seasonal help, autonomous technology could make a difference on the farm. Technology is ever-changing, and one thing is certain, it is not going away. Autonomous vehicles are a thing of the future, even for the farmers of Logan County. Whether old or young, small farms or big farms, with red or green equipment the changes and advancements of technology need to be embraced, communicated, and taught, so as to not fall behind in this constantly changing concept. Continued --

Page 28 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 In addition to the fun, carefree atmosphere of the office staff at AHW in New Holland, there is a real sense of community support and presence. The AHW staff will give tours of the facility when requested by organizations such as Cub Scouts and 4H students and sponsor FFA chapters during the fairs in all four counties. For kids interested in a career in agriculture mechanics, AHW partners with Lakeland Community College in Mattoon. In this twoyear associate degree program they will have hands-on training and during the winter, spring, and summer breaks, they work with the sponsoring AHW dealership as part of the class curriculum. The hope is that the student returns as a full-time employee after receiving their degree. Upon completion and with the passing of the John Deere certification exam, AHW will pay 100% of the college fees, minus the room and board charges plus five thousand dollars toward the purchase of startup tools for each student. AHW LLC is here for its customers and is here to stay in New Holland. The corporate office is not sitting still and wants to keep growing and expanding and supports ownership and service of large farm and garden equipment. With the investment in the facility, keeping the staff educated with new equipment and technology, the staff in the office, service department, parts area, and sales staff have dedicated themselves to each other, the company, the industry, and the community. [JA Hodgdon]

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Page 30 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Topflight Grain provides a day at the elevator at Johnston Siding

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 31 Johnson Siding elevator, a Logan County Topflight Grain Cooperative location, gives a step-by-step process of a day at a grain elevator. Johnson Siding is in east Logan County. When a semi or grain truck is brought in full of corn or soybeans (also known as commodity), they are weighed, probed, and tested for moisture and other grade factors. The purpose of weighing the truck is so that the weights can be converted into bushels. Sometimes there will be long lines at elevators and there are many factors that play into this. The number of farmers hauling in at the same time; what the grades are; the type of commodity they are hauling; and how many dumb sites or “pits” are at the location. Continued --

Page 32 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 The trucks are then sent to the grain pit to unload. Once unloaded, the corn or beans go to a designated grain bin, where they are kept until it is shipped to the processor. When market conditions allow, they are then sold to different processors. Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 33 Once unloaded, they weigh out and get their ticket. The process repeats all day long all throughout the day during harvest. A special thank you to Topflight Grain Originator Sherry Leever, Topflight Manager Chelsey White and Topflight Superintendent Troy Edwards for their knowledge and expertise. Topflight Grain Cooperative has 15 fulltime locations, four of those being in Logan County. [Heather Gaule]

Page 34 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 The farm bill is a piece of legislature that governs food and agriculture policies in the United States. It connects the food on our plates, the farmers and ranchers who produce it, and the natural resources that make growth possible. Every five years the farm bill expires and a new one is drafted. It goes through an extensive process where it is proposed, drafted, debated, and passed by Congress before it is signed into law by the President. The first farm bill was passed in 1933 and was 24 pages in length. The 2018 farm bill had 529 pages. Each farm bill has a name, the current farm bill is titled the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The bill’s chapters are called titles. The 2018 farm bill has twelve titles: Commodities, Conservation, Trade, Nutrition, Credit, Rural Development, Research, Forestry, Energy, Horticulture, Crop Insurance, and Miscellaneous. Projected funding for the farm bill is in the billions with nutrition taking the largest piece of the pie at 81 percent. The nutrition title covers food subsidy programs; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly referred to as Food Stamps as well as several other small nutrition programs for Will the 2023 Farm Bill support agricultural stability? lower income families. Because of the large portion appropriated for SNAP, it is the hottest topic for debate on the House and Senate floors. The largest point of contention when it comes to SNAP benefits seems to be work requirements. Currently, there are only about thirteen percent of SNAP recipients that have work requirements, and many Republicans would like to see that number increase. Participants that can work and don’t have a dependent are required to work 80 hours a month. According to farmdoc Daily, research has found little to no evidence that work requirements achieve their intended goal of promoting employment and self-sufficiency. At present, unemployment rates are at an all-time low while SNAP participation remains elevated. Questions arise given low unemployment and high poverty levels. Some argue that tightening work restrictions will reduce the amount of SNAP funding while others say that SNAP participation does not seem to impact employment and does not make recipients not want to work. The last two farm bills have all but been derailed over this topic and the 2023 farm bill is expected to be no different. The FRA (Fiscal Responsibility Act) arose during debt ceiling negotiations. The FRA gave way to a few points of key reform to SNAP: the age Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 35 of able-bodied adults without dependents rose from 18-49 to 18-54 and provided new exceptions for the homeless, veterans, and youth aging out of foster care; the FRA reduced the exemptions to the able bodied American work requirement to 8% from 12% in the 2018 farm bill. The FRA also terminated the rights of the states to carryover these exemptions, ensuring that each state meet federal able bodied American work requirements. Chairman GT Thompson and the House Agriculture Committee are crafting a 2023 farm bill with six key components: Strengthening the farm safety net, streamlining the government, ensuring fiscal responsibility, creating opportunities that restore accountability and promote health, revitalizing rural America, and conserving our farms and forests. More than 200 members of Congress have never voted on a farm bill. Chairman Thompson has spent countless hours touring America to hear from producers and consumers alike gathering information for the bill. The farm bill will focus on revitalizing rural America. This year Republicans have the opportunity to produce a bill that invests in the future of agriculture. According to Chairman Thompson their top priority is to produce a bill written by farmers, for farmers. GOP held districts contain 92 percent of all planted acres in the US. No piece of legislature has a better return on investment than the farm bill. The agriculture sector provides more than 46 million jobs, $2.6 trillion in wages, $947 billion in tax revenue, $202 billion in exports, and $8.6 trillion in economic activity for twotenths of one percent of federal spending. Though not in the committee’s direct jurisdiction, Chairman Thompson and Ranking Committee Member David Scott formed the bipartisan Agricultural Labor Working Group to target workforce issues affecting our producers. American farmers increasingly are turning to overseas workers to fill the gap caused by a lack of reliable labor in the US. This committee, chaired by Rep. Rick Crawford of AR and Rep. Don Davis of NC, is expected to produce a final report by the end of the year that will provide a variety of potential solutions to the labor problem. We are all aware that our farmers have faced challenges and the hope for the 2023 farm bill is that Congress will be willing to make difficult, but necessary financial and policy decisions that put our producers first. We need a farm bill that gives American taxpayers and producers alike accountability for as well as transparency into the vital agricultural programs that keep America sustainable. [Lesleigh Bennett] Resources: 2023_august_recess_packet_combined.pdf (house.gov) The 2023 Farm Bill: Legislative Updates for Farmers | AgAmerica 2023-Farm-Bill-Platform.pdf (sustainableagriculture.net) Farm Bill 2023: Questions About the Focus on SNAP Work Requirements - farmdoc daily (illinois.edu)

Page 36 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Waters of the United States. For some people, especially farmers and ranchers, this is a source of much grief and anxiety. Why is this? To answer that question, one must understand that Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, is not only another name for waterways in the United States. WOTUS is another name for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corp of Civil Engineers’ Clean Water Act of 1972. The goal of WOTUS is to keep the waterways in the United States clear of pollution and other contaminants. This idea is a great one, as keeping America’s waterways clean is a noble goal. Why is it then, that some people are against WOTUS? The answer lies within its implementation and guidelines. Critics of WOTUS claim one of their biggest gripes with it is the lack of clear language. The Farm Bureau states, “we have fought for clear rules that farmers and ranchers can follow as they work to care for our natural resources.” A lot of wording in WOTUS tends to be quite vague, leading to the potential for mistakes to be made when interpreting how it is to be implemented in day-to-day situations. Most anything that occurs within a WOTUS requires a permit, and these permits can be very expensive and time consuming to get a hold of. Without these permits, however, farmers can be held liable for breaking the Clean Water Act (CWA). “A simple misjudgment by a farmer in determining whether a low spot is or isn’t WOTUS could trigger huge civil fines and even criminal punishment.” A law with repercussions such as these should have clear language so everyone it applies to can be sure they are not breaking it. WOTUS’ final rule may not be final after all One specific issue regarding WOTUS’s vagueness via language comes from its lack of a definition of the word ‘navigable.’ The new WOTUS rules, effective November 27, 2023, still fail to give this term a definition. According to Iowa PBS, “The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture felt the new rules failed to establish clarity for farmers including what is and is not ‘a navigable water’.” Most dictionaries define the term navigable as a waterway that boats and ships can traverse. This definition may sound specific enough, but without a legal definition for this law specifically, there is no way to truly know how the EPA defines ‘navigable,’ and therefore how they determine a ‘navigable waterway.’ To better understand the tense situation around WOTUS, it is important to understand its history and how it got to where it is today. On October 18, 1972, the Clean Water Act was signed into law. According to the EPA’s website, “the CWA aimed to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.” Among the many standards and mandates that 1972’s CWA put into place, one of them set a goal of removing pollutants from “navigable waters” by 1985. Over the following decades, several pieces of legislation were passed amending the CWA. Some of these pieces of legislation included parts addressing state funding for cleaning waterways and cleaning up the Great Lakes. It was in these decades that the CWA faced many legal challenges as well. One of these Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 37 legal challenges included the Supreme Court case Rapanos v United States. In the ruling of this case, the Supreme Court decided “if a water body had a ‘significant nexus’ to a federally protected waterway… then it was connected and fell under federal jurisdiction.” This mostly applied to wetlands, defined as “a relatively permanent body of water connected to traditional navigable waters.” When determining a ‘significant nexus,’ it must be determined if the WOTUS performs certain physical, chemical, and biological functions, among other qualifications. This became one of the key issues for the opponents of the CWA. The CWA’s controversy has continued into 2023. Back in May, in the case of Sackett v EPA, the Supreme Court decided that only “wetlands with a continuous surface connection to bodies that are waters of the United States” are going to be federally protected. This decision also removes the term ‘significant nexus’ when determining if a WOTUS is federally protected. Proponents of the CWA state this is detrimental in keeping a WOTUS clean. Whether or not these new regulations will make it easier for America’s farmers and ranchers to follow the CWA remains to be seen. From what has been published, however, it seems that many farmer Continued --

Page 38 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 and rancher organizations are not very happy about this ruling either. The ruling is being called the final WOTUS ruling, but people on both sides of the issue seem to still have their problems with it. Judges in both Texas and Idaho have temporarily halted the new WOTUS rule in their states. Some opponents of the new rule state the EPA should rewrite WOTUS to create more clarity for farmers when navigating its regulations. The EPA, on the other hand, made a public statement vowing to continue to fight to provide clean water to the people of the United States. Seeing how much dislike both sides have for this ‘final’ WOTUS rule, it seems highly unlikely that these new regulations will truly be final. [Matt Boutcher] Resources: 1. https://www.fb.org/issue/regulatory-reform/ waters-of-the-united-states 2. https://www.iowapbs.org/shows/mtom/ market-package/clip/8944/wotus-rule-revised 3. https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/ history-clean-water-act#:~:text=The%20 Federal%20Water%20Pollution%20 Control,Clean%20Water%20Act%20(CWA). 4. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/ farmers-ranchers-think-epa-clean-water-rulegoes-far 5. https://eelp.law.harvard.edu/2017/09/ defining-waters-of-the-united-states-cleanwater-rule/#:~:text=Justice%20Alito%20 delivered%20the%20court’s 6. https://wildlife.org/new-wotusrule-leaves-american-wetlandsvulnerable/#:~:text=The%20May%20 2023%20SCOTUS%20decision,are%20to%20 be%20federally%20protected.

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 39

Page 40 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Each year it seems that a topic comes along that quickly turns into a hot button issue on a local level and even on a state level. For more than a year now, that issue in Logan County and indeed in several central Illinois counties has been CO2 Sequestration and a proposed pipeline. While some know a great deal on this topic, others know very little. Therefore, it might be time to try and clean up the muddiness on the topic to the best of our ability. CO2 is a natural occurrence in the atmosphere. It is a biproduct of decay and fermentation and is commonly referred to as a greenhouse gas. It is tied to agriculture in that the decay and fermentation of farm waste is responsible in part for the production of this gas known as Carbon Dioxide. There are other sources for CO2 including industrial waste and fossil fuel incineration or acts of nature such as volcanos. Carbon Dioxide is a useful part of the ecosystem in that it is utilized by growing plants for photosynthesis and expelled back into the atmosphere as life-sustaining oxygen. CO2 also has its uses. It is utilized in welding, as an ingredient in fire extinguishers, and is added to carbonated beverages like seltzer and beer. While none of this sounds terrible there is a The current “hot button” issue - CO2 pipelines and sequestration flip side and that is that the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have increased dramatically in the last 100 years from 280 parts per million or about 0.025% saturation to 421 parts per million or about 0.04% saturation. The increase in these levels is being attributed to increased burning of fossil fuels and overall industrialization. This has led to a number of activities intended to reduce the “carbon footprint” including proposals for carbon reduction in the agricultural sector, a shift to “clean energy” and proper capture and storage of excess carbon via sequestration. What is Carbon Sequestration? Carbon sequestration is the process of storing carbon in a carbon pool. These pools can be natural occurring, but technology is also being used to enhance the physical act of sequestration. Natural occurring sequestration is the process of having carbon dioxide stored in plant life for photosynthesis with the waste product released into the atmosphere being oxygen. Some of the proposals for enhancing this type of sequestration includes asking agricultural producers to utilize less acres for harvestable crops and instead planting those acres to rapidly growing lush greens that will consume greater quantities of the CO2. The less natural way of sequestering carbon dioxide is through injections into the earth’s sub-surface utilizing Saline aquifers or aging oil fields. Then there is the definition that has been of greatest concern locally, as presented by Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 41 the United States Geological Survey, which reads “Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change defines carbon sequestration as “a process in which a relatively pure stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial sources is separated, treated and transported to a longterm storage location.” The last portion of the IPCC definition “transported to a long-term storage location” is what is causing the greatest concern in Logan County because that transport method could be an underground pipeline running through the county from west to east in an area north of Lincoln including the Atlanta area. Should a CO2 pipeline be permitted in Logan County? This is a concern for several Atlanta residents specifically, and many Logan County residents in general. The state of Illinois is going to have the final word as to whether a pipeline is going to be permitted to run through Logan County. But at the same time, county government and other entities do have some viable options for disputing the construction of a pipeline. The state’s “Carbon Dioxide Transportation and Sequestration act (220 ILCS 75/1) offers the following information: Sec. 15. Scope. This Act applies to the application process for the issuance of a certificate of authority by an owner or operator of a pipeline designed, constructed, and operated to transport and to sequester carbon dioxide produced by a clean coal facility, by a clean coal SNG facility, or by any other source that will result in the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from that source. The terms and conditions for getting approval for a pipeline are outlined in Section 20 (b) Section 20 (b): (8) the proposed pipeline is consistent with the public interest, public benefit, and legislative purpose as set forth in this Act. In addition to any other evidence the Commission may consider on this specific finding, the Commission shall consider the following: (A) any evidence of the effect of the pipeline upon the economy, infrastructure, and public safety presented by local governmental units that will be affected by the proposed pipeline route; (B) any evidence of the effect of the pipeline upon property values presented by property owners who will be affected by the proposed pipeline or facility, provided that the Commission need not hear evidence as to the actual valuation of property such as that as would be presented to and determined by the courts under the Eminent Domain Act; (C) any evidence presented by the Department Continued --

Page 42 2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 of Commerce and Economic Opportunity regarding the current and future local, Statewide, or regional economic effect, direct or indirect, of the proposed pipeline or facility including, but not limited to, ability of the State to attract economic growth, meet future energy requirements, and ensure compliance with environmental requirements and goals; (D) any evidence addressing the factors described in items (1) through (8) of this subsection (b) or other relevant factors that is presented by any other State agency, the applicant, a party, or other entity that participates in the proceeding, including evidence presented by the Commission’s staff; and (E) any evidence presented by any State or federal governmental entity as to how the proposed pipeline will affect the security, stability, and reliability of energy. In its written order, the Commission shall address all of the evidence presented, and if the order is contrary to any of the evidence, the Commission shall state the reasons for its determination with regard to that evidence. In Logan County there is a group that is actively campaigning against CO2 pipeline construction in our community. The group is basing their case on several of the abovementioned items. There are concerns that the presence of the pipeline will have a negative impact on land values, on population, and economic development. They have also voiced concerns about pipeline ruptures which do happen. Darren Schempp presented a case against the pipeline publicly referring to an eruption in Mississippi in 2021 and the devastating impact it had on that community. He based his argument on facts that have been documented by various news sources including accounts from people who experienced the event. CO2 in the pipeline is a highly concentrated product that instantly turns into an odorless gas when introduced back into the atmosphere. That gas is heavier than the air we breathe, therefore it does not rise and evaporate, but rather it stays at ground level and spreads. As a result, the oxygen in the air is pushed up and replaced by the gas. The gas is an asphyxiant that will move into the lungs and make it impossible to breathe. At the right levels a person will become unconscious, and death can occur. In addition, the oxygen needed by combustible engines such as in cars, trucks and emergency vehicles is not available, and those vehicles will not run, making it difficult for first responders to reach and assist those who are in the line of the gas stream. Additional concerns have been voiced by the group regarding the act of sequestration. The concern is that the gas that is released into an underground storage could move, and in that movement it could contaminate water supplies. These are valid concerns that the group is asking the county board to act upon. Other concerns that have been raised are Continued --

2023 Fall Farm Outlook Lincoln Daily News Oct 2023 Page 43 regarding the actual pipeline. There is a plan within the plan for emergency shut offs that would stop the free flowing of product at a specific point if a rupture were to occur. This would decrease the amount of gas released into the atmosphere. The concern is about the frequency of those shut offs along the pipeline, and how much gas could potentially be released before the shut off was deployed. At the same time, there are others who are thinking in another direction. At a public meeting, State Representative Bill Hauter said he was still undecided on whether CO2 pipelines should be permitted in his district. He said there are dangers, and he too is concerned about the maintenance of the pipeline and the location of shut offs. He said that right now there are too many vague answers and what he would like is open, honest facts about the benefits and hazards of CO2 pipelines. But at the same time, he noted that whether it be via a pipeline or a semi tanker or rail tanker, the fact is CO2 is going to be transported and sequestered. And there are opportunities for accidents and derailments that could again release toxic gas into the atmosphere at the point of the incident. A disastrous train derailment in Ohio earlier this year was noted as an example of what can happen. In fact, according to an article published in February of this year by Newsweek, there are more than 1,700 train derailments in the United States each year. According to Forbes Advisor in 2021 there were over 500,000 crashes involving semi-trucks on our nation’s highways, and approximately 55 percent occurred on rural roads or two-lane highways. Approximately one percent of those accidents involved hazardous chemicals. An accident in the tiny town of Montrose in Effingham County in September reflects this. Happening on a two-lane highway, the semi involved in the accident was carrying Anhydrous Ammonia which is also quite hazardous to humans when inhaled. There were no deaths reported from the inhalation of the Anhydrous though the town was evacuated for a time, and five people died in the crash. So, what is the answer, should a pipeline be permitted in Logan County? That is not for us to decide, it is reliant on the decisions of government officials from state to county. What is known is that the Logan County Board is keeping Carbon Sequestration on the agenda for the Zoning and Economic Development Committee. Logan County Board Chair Emily Davenport stated at the September meeting of that committee that there will be more discussion on the subject in the future. She also noted that she has been contacted by several county board chairmen and all are keeping in contact about how they are proceeding (in their counties). At the October meeting of the committee the item remained tabled with further discussion still pending. [Nila Smith]

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