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NCGA Endorses Thune-Brown ARC Improvement and Innovation Act

(Posted Wed. Apr 25th, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy

The National Corn Growers Association today endorsed legislation introduced by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, to improve the Agriculture Risk Coverage Program.   “The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) Improvement and Innovation Act will make needed improvements to the farm safety net, ensuring ARC can continue to be a reliable risk management program for farmers during times of depressed prices. Based on the recommendation of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) grower-led Risk Management Team, NCGA is pleased to endorse this legislation and looks forward to working with the Senate Agriculture Committee on this measure,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes.   The bill incorporates a number of the NCGA Risk Management Action Team’s (RMAT) recommendations to enhance the ARC program’s effectiveness in a lower price environment. More information on the legislation is available here.

NCGA 2018 Yield Contest Rules Published, Online Entry Opens Soon

(Posted Wed. Apr 25th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to review new rules and clarification to its National Corn Yield Contest rules for 2018 before online entry goes live in early May. The early entry deadline this year will be Friday, June 29, 2018, and the final entry deadline will be Tuesday, July 31, 2018.   Two new rules will be implemented in 2018. First, a recheck of 1.2500 acres or more using the same harvest pattern in the rows next to the complete harvest is required if the first check yields 300.000 bushels per acre or higher. Secondly, all yields of 325.0000 bushels per acre or higher require the supervisor to contact NCGA to report the first yield as well as the recheck yield.   Two clarifications of note will be implemented in 2018. There will be two testing options for obtaining moisture percentage. Contestants may do so through a state-certified moisture tester at a grain handling facility. In this case supervisor(s) must be present when the grain handler runs...

Tell Your Corn Story in Pictures with Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest

(Posted Tue. Apr 24th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association invites photographers to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the fourth annual Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. Through this contest, NCGA captures high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it. While the contest just opened last weekend, interested participants will be able to submit multiple entries until November 30, 2018.   Open to all, the Fields-of-Corn photo contest offers a free opportunity for photographers to share their work while competing for 25 cash prizes. Prizes include cash awards for the top three entries in eight categories including:  Corn, Growing Field Corn, Farm Family Lifestyle, Scenery/Landscape, Farming Challenges, SHP Conservation, one for the most popular as determined by Facebook “likes” and, new this year, True Grit.   The new True Grit category was borne out of the Farm Family Lifestyle cateogy. This new category focuses on the people getting...

NPR Showcases the Benefits of the Burgeoning Soil Health Movement

(Posted Mon. Apr 23rd, 2018)

Keywords: Conservation

Don’t think dirt is beautiful? You don’t know Deb Gangwish. She has a thing for soil and openly espoused her infatuation recently in an interview on National Public Radio (NPR). And Del Ficke, another Nebraska farmer, understands her crush completely.   Gangwish, who serves on the National Corn Growers Association Freedom to Operate Action Team, is part of a growing legion of farmers at the forefront of a swelling soil health movement. And this movement is turning the historic soil management “evolution” into more of a “revolution” because of the momentum and accelerated change.   “For years, talk of "healthy soil" was mostly limited to organic farmers and others on the fringes of mainstream American agriculture. No more. Articles about soil health fill major farm publications. It's the subject of several recent books. Big food companies are on board, and some of them are discussing a new eco-label for food, alongside "organic" and "fair trade," that would reward farmers for...

Collaborative Effort on Climate Change

(Posted Fri. Apr 20th, 2018)

Keywords: Sustainability

If the farming profession had a job description somewhere it would say good problem-solving skills and adaptable to change. New products, new technology, new policies, changing markets, changing weather and now on an even broader stage…climate change.   Nick Goeser, National Corn Growers Association’s vice president of production and sustainability, notes there is significant data indicating some key weather and climate factors have indeed changed in many corn growing states across the United States, and with the shift comes new challenges as well as real opportunities.   Identifying and assessing these challenges and opportunities and crafting appropriate next steps is the driving force behind the Climate Task Force formed by NCGA a year ago. The multidisciplinary group – made up of farmers and representatives of NGOs, input suppliers, processors, food companies, retailers, academia and state corn association staff – recently wrapped up its initial charter of developing...

Corn Farmers Welcome Barbre to RMA

(Posted Thu. Apr 19th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association today congratulated NCGA Past President Martin Barbre on his selection to Administrator of the Risk Management Agency at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   “Martin Barbre has been a long-time advocate for farmers, having dedicated decades of his life to serve his fellow farmers as a volunteer leader. We congratulate him on this well-deserved selection,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “His passion for agriculture is apparent to all who meet him. He will bring the farmers’ perspective to his leadership in this important position.”   Martin Barbre owns and operates Chestin Farms and grows 6,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum, and alfalfa, as well as specialty crops. Throughout his career, he has been a leader in a variety of agricultural groups, including serving as President of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and President and Chairman of the National Corn Growers Association from 2013-16. He graduated from...

 NCGA Statement on Today’s House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill Markup

(Posted Wed. Apr 18th, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on today’s House Agriculture Committee approval of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.   “The House Agriculture Committee’s action today is the first step to enacting a new farm bill. NCGA is pleased the bill restores full funding to the Market Access and Foreign Market Development Programs and makes administrative reforms to the revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage Program (ARC), which are welcome provisions for corn farmers facing uncertain times. NCGA also appreciates the bill’s expansion of grower participation in working lands conservation programs and the research title’s funding for the phenotyping initiative.   “Moving forward, NCGA will remain focused on our growers’ top policy concerns – a robust federal crop insurance program, ensuring the ARC-county program is a viable risk management option, and increased resources for...

Corn’s Sustainability Takes the Spotlight as Earth Day Approaches

(Posted Wed. Apr 18th, 2018)

Monday, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Reputation program took the story of the sustainability of U.S. corn to people across the country through a series of interviews with television and radio stations. Timed to tell the story of corn’s sustainability directly leading up to Earth Day, the tour featured four women, all of whom volunteer with CommonGround Maryland. Offering information on the ways in which corn is both grown and used sustainably, the interviews were complimented by a wrap up Facebook Live event.   The event, which was organized with significant support by the Maryland Small Grain Producers Association, included 30 interviews, both live and taped, which will reach 23 specific media markets and radio listeners nationally. These interviews took place at Seneca Ayr Farms, allowing television audiences to see beyond the farm gate. The women participating included Paula Linthicum, who generously allowed the event to take place on her farm as well as, Linda...

Influx of New Data Defining Farmer Contributions to Water Quality

(Posted Tue. Apr 17th, 2018)

A coordinated effort to assess and improve farmers contributions to better water quality across the nation is now expanding into an information gathering juggernaut. Professional staff members representing 11 Corn Grower Associations met in St. Louis this week to discuss ongoing efforts in their states to improve water quality through changes in farming practices.   "One of the more interesting developments from this process is our contention that farmers were already doing a lot to farm smarter -- this is turning into real-world data," said Rachel Orf, National Corn Growers Association director of stewardship and sustainability. "We are gaining a better understanding of all of the work that is continuing independently in the states, and the resulting collaboration is speeding improvements as well as documenting the significant contributions farmers have already made with the environment in mind."   The series of water quality meetings, dating back to 2015, has been very...

Japan Shifting to Allow the Use of U.S. Ethanol

(Posted Tue. Apr 17th, 2018)

Keywords: Trade

Earlier today, the U.S. Grains Council announced that Japan had finalized a change to the country’s biofuels policy.  As a result of this policy change, Japan will now allow the use of U.S. ethanol to meet its greenhouse gas reduction standard. The National Corn Growers Association is pleased with today’s announcement. “We applaud the Japanese government for recognizing the benefits of U.S. ethanol and its improved lifecycle assessment resulting from farmers’ production efficiency and sustainability,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “We appreciate Japan’s consumers putting their trust in America’s corn farmers and the ethanol industry to be a consistent and reliable supplier of bio-ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) made from U.S. corn-based ethanol.”   To read the full announcement, click here.