NEWS STORIES

AUGUST 2018

Corn Farmers Need a Break

(Posted Fri. Aug 31st, 2018)

In The Hill Friday, NCGA President and North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes shared the challenges facing corn farmers this year and the frustration following USDA’s announcement of just one cent per bushel in trade relief for corn farmers.   “It is insulting that USDA’s plan sells corn farmers so short. As history has shown, once you lose a market it is very difficult to get it back. Our global competitors are aggressively pursuing every opportunity we miss and our margin for error is shrinking. Corn farmers direly need a win,” Skunes wrote.   The op-ed cites NCGA-commissioned analysis, provided to both USDA and OMB, estimating trade disputes to have lowered corn prices by 44 cents per bushel for crop produced in 2018. This amounts to $6.3 billion in lost value on the 81.8 million acres projected to be harvested in 2018.   LINK: http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/404516-pitiful-subsidy-to-corn-farmers-adds-insult-to-trump-tariff-injuries

Trade, RFS Lead Conversations at Farm Progress Show

(Posted Fri. Aug 31st, 2018)

  National Corn Growers Association farmer leaders and staff attended this week’s Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa to let attendees know the importance of trade, the RFS and Farm Bill. Chairman Wesley Spurlock, President Kevin Skunes and First-Vice President-elect Kevin Ross attended the show.    President Skunes participated in a pro-RFS rally and a Farmers for Free Trade news conference. After the RFS rally, Skunes had the opportunity to talk with Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue one-on-one.   “I wanted to let the Secretary know that farmers appreciate his support in Washington D.C. and thank him for carrying our message with the administration,” Skunes said. “However, I was very direct and let the Secretary know that there are steps that can be taken now to help farmers and the rural economy and that’s getting RVP (allowing year-round E15 ethanol sales) done now. I also voiced our displeasure with the one-cent per bushel for corn in the trade mitigation package is...

Delegation from Pakistan Explores Production, Economic Conditions for Farmers during Visit to NCGA

(Posted Thu. Aug 30th, 2018)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association hosted a team of journalists and agriculturalists from Pakistan organized by Bayer for discussions on agricultural productivity, the farm economy, market development activities and policy advocacy. With participants who work in agriculture, government and media. These dignitaries brought insightful questions and a deep appreciation for the opportunity to the discussion.   NCGA Director of Market Development Jim Bauman walked the group through subject matter while fielding questions on many related topics. Team members expressed interest in the difficult economic situations facing corn farmers, NCGA’s work to grow additional corn markets and the ability of farmers globally to grow supplies in the future that maintain pace with the world’s incredible projected population growth.   “Interacting with teams such as this one benefits America’s farmers in many ways,” explained Bauman. “By having open, honest dialogue about important...

Field Notes Gets Early Harvest Reports from Kansas Farmer Lowell Neitzel

(Posted Thu. Aug 30th, 2018)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms just outside of Lawrence, Kan. One week into harvest, the corn crop he has seen has been quite varied.   “Our corn yield will be dramatically less than it was last year,” Neitzel explained. “We will be going from what was one of the best crops we have ever had to something that, while it won’t be as bad as it was in 2012, but it is hard to put an estimate on it.   “We chopped some silage and had it appraised. It was pretty low, but the corn that we picked right next to it was 30 bushels better. You really don’t know what is out...

Farmers Thank Secretary Perdue for Biofuels Support; Ask for Continued Advocacy

(Posted Wed. Aug 29th, 2018)

Today, farmers and members of the renewable fuels industry came together at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa to welcome and thank Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue for his support of America’s farmers. The rally was held to ask Perdue to keep fighting for ethanol and RVP parity for higher ethanol blends with the administration.     “Farmers are looking for solutions that allow the marketplace to drive demand,” said NCGA President and North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes. “We ask Secretary Purdue to continue to advocate for solutions that come from demand growth. We know a trade assistance package can’t make farmers whole or substitute for lost export markets. But we also know the Administration could take other meaningful, no-cost actions that enable more demand growth. The time for those actions is now.”     Skunes went on to tell the crowd that “RVP parity for blends greater than 10 percent, such as E15, expands a domestic market for farmers. Action from the Administration enables...

(Posted Wed. Aug 29th, 2018)

As farmers prepare for harvest and look forward to an exciting season of outdoor activities at its close, the National Corn Growers Association reminds it members that they can save when purchasing the supplies that make their fall activities, from camping to hiking to hunting, possible. By using the benefits NCGA offers, members can purchase Cabela’s gift cards at a 15 percent discount.   “We always look for benefits that match the interests of our growers, and this partnership is perfect for their active outdoor lifestyle,” said John Linder, chairman of NCGA’s Engaging Members Action Team. “For many of us, these benefits hold even more value because our love for the outdoors extends far beyond our chosen profession. Using the Cabela’s partnership can help members save while purchasing the gear and supplies that help make recreation time after a long harvest possible.”   Gift cards valued at $25, $50 and $100 are available. NCGA members may purchase cards by calling the...

(Posted Tue. Aug 28th, 2018)

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, which works to earn consumer trust in food and agriculture, shared a training on using the engAGe app with the National Corn Growers Association Consumer Engagement Action Team. Now, NCGA encourages members and ag supporters to download the app and help advocate for ag on social media. By downloading the app, users can start more consumer conversations about how today’s food is grown and raised.    What is engAGe? engAGe allows users to easily stay abreast of current news in agriculture and amplify relevant content with a simple click. The app presents users with a news feed where users can publish stories and posts to their own social media networks with the swipe of a thumb.   Why engAGe? With engAGe, users can easily share content on a higher level. engAGe integrates with the most popular social media platforms and distributes content to your followers with a simple click. It doesn’t matter if a user is behind a computer, walking down a...

(Posted Tue. Aug 28th, 2018)

Keywords: Ethanol

All Farm Progress Show attendees who support ethanol are invited to a pro-Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) rally on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, at 11:15 am at the Sukup Grain Bin. This event, which is being coordinated by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) and Iowa Corn Growers Association, will help the Show welcome U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and remind him how important the RFS and E15 are to the rural economy – and to the farmers who depend upon this key market.   The Sukup Grain Bin, Booth 1024, is quite large and will not be difficult to locate. So, please, take a moment and join NCGA President, Kevin Skunes to show rural America’s support for the fuel that fuels our families.   You can follow along on the NCGA Facebook and Twitter pages for updates should there be any schedule changes.

(Posted Tue. Aug 28th, 2018)

Keywords: Trade Biotechnology

Last week, the National Corn Growers Association hosted a Chinese agricultural delegation for an informative presentation and discussions about the U.S. corn crop, the association’s programs and an overview of the U.S. agricultural environment in relation to biotechnology, advanced breeding techniques and market opportunities. The group, organized by Bayer, included this year’s Chinese Academy of Sciences Fellows, who specialize in areas from functional genomics to characterizing novel circadian components in plants.   “While NCGA hosts a number of teams interested in biotechnology and the corn crop outlook, this breadth of topics in which this team showed interest was somewhat unique,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Jim Bauman. “Working together, our staff was able to provide them with insight into a number of sectors which influence U.S. corn production and markets.”   Following an in-depth examination of NCGA’s history, mission and structure, the team had an...

(Posted Mon. Aug 27th, 2018)

Keywords: Trade

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today said plans unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide aid to farmers negatively impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty would be insufficient to even begin to address the serious damage done to the corn market as a result of the Administration’s actions.   The organization reiterated its call for the Administration to rescind tariffs, secure trade agreements and allow for year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol; no-cost actions that would allow for the marketplace to drive demand.   “NCGA members had a spirited debate on the prospect of trade aid during last month’s Corn Congress meeting,” said NCGA President and North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes. “While most members prefer trade over aid, they support relief if it helps some farmers provide assurances to their local bankers and get through another planting season. Unfortunately, this plan provides virtually no relief to corn...

Washington Office Welcomes New Legislative Assistant

(Posted Mon. Aug 27th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Peter Laudeman, who joins the organization as the legislative assistant for the Washington office. Laudeman brings experience in public policy at the state, national and international levels.   “We are excited to welcome Peter our team,” said Interim CEO Jon Doggett. “His background on the Hill, in his home state of Illinois and abroad will bring a well-rounded perspective to his work here.”   Laudeman joins NCGA after previously serving as an intern in the Washington office of Congressman Darin LaHood. Prior to that, he interned with the Illinois Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center.   Laudeman graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving a bachelor’s degree in agricultural and consumer economics with a concentration in public policy and law.

(Posted Mon. Aug 27th, 2018)

Keywords: Trade

The National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes today released the following statement after an announcement that the United States and Mexico reached a trade agreement and that President Trump intends to replace NAFTA with the new agreement.   “NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture, dramatically expanding market access for all parties, integrating supply chains and providing economic opportunity to farmers and rural communities. Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. corn farmers and we are pleased the United States and Mexico are reaffirming mutual commitment to this important relationship.   “Farmers across the country have been closely following NAFTA negotiations and NCGA welcomes the opportunity to evaluate the details of this agreement with Mexico. However, the trilateral relationship is important, and we urge President Trump not to terminate the underlying agreement until full trilateral negotiations have been concluded...

(Posted Fri. Aug 24th, 2018)

Water management and water quality are the key focus this week for State and National Corn Growers Association staff attending a one of a kind meeting on Put-In-Bay South Bass Island in Lake Erie.   The goal of the Summer Water Quality Meeting is to better understand how algal blooms on the lake became a national story and more importantly how agriculture and its allies are responding, said Tadd Nicholson, Executive Director of the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association.   The heart of the two-day meeting was a tour of Stone Lab, Ohio State University’s research center which is supported and operated by the University in partnership with Ohio Sea Grant program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.   The Stone Lab allows researchers to identify plankton, measure chlorophyll content and cyanobacteria toxins which can result from blooms of blue green algae. They also test for nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen which enter the lake from multiple sources...

(Posted Thu. Aug 23rd, 2018)

This week, a group of the leaders who will shape the future of the National Corn Growers Association met at the St. Louis office for an orientation that allowed them to deepen their understanding of the association’s programs and procedures. These new members of the Fiscal Year 2019 Corn Board and Nominating Committee tackled a full schedule, providing the background that will enable them to hit the ground running on October 1.   “Every year, a new crop of farmer leaders steps forward, dedicating their time, talents and efforts, to help create a better future for all of America’s corn farmers through service on NCGA’s Corn Board, Action Teams and Committees,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes, who led the orientation. “The energy and enthusiasm the future board and nominating committee members brought to this week’s meetings inspires great faith in the impact that they will have in shaping the industry going forward.”   In addition to exploring the practical elements of board...

(Posted Wed. Aug 22nd, 2018)

When was the last time you dreamt of getting away for a few days? Whether those dreams include visiting a child at college or taking a trip to see our great country, members of the National Corn Growers Association can save on travel expenses by using discounts available exclusively to association members. Through partnerships with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the NCGA Worldwide Hotel Discount Program, NCGA offers members valuable savings on car rentals and hotel bookings to locations across the country and even many locations around the world.   “NCGA works hard to increase opportunities for farmers in the marketplace, and we also strive to offer a wide array of benefits to our members,” said NCGA Engaging Members Committee Chair John Linder. “While farmers benefit from our work to grow the market for corn and maintain their freedom to operate, we also provide special opportunities for them that reward their support of our organization. Sometimes, even in these stressful economic...

(Posted Tue. Aug 21st, 2018)

On Monday, a broad coalition of agriculture organizations, including the National Corn Growers Association, asked a federal district court in South Carolina to stay its order striking a rule that delayed implementation of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule. Absent a stay, the court order puts the 2015 rule in effect in the 26 states where courts have not already stayed its implementation.   The coalition warned of the “patchwork regulatory regime” created by allowing implementation of the WOTUS rule in about half the nation.   “Enormously consequential national regula­tions like the WOTUS rule—which subject commonplace activities involved in building, farming, and pest management to a complex and burdensome federal permitting and enforcement scheme—should not apply differently depending on whether the activity happens to be located on one side of a state line or the other,” the organizations wrote in their filing with the court.

(Posted Tue. Aug 21st, 2018)

Keywords: Ethanol

The American Coalition for Ethanol’s annual conference focused on issues impacting the ethanol industry including an update from ACE leadership, discussions on untapped opportunities in the industry, future demand for liquid fuels and fuel quality standards.   “I knew 2018 was going to be like none other,” Jennings said. “Where do we go from here? How do we shape a positive outcome moving forward? For starters, we capitalize on the clout of American farmers and rural America as we lead to the mid-term election. We must keep grassroots pressure on the White House and EPA to make good on the President’s promise to maintain 15 billion gallons in the RFS, including reallocation of the small refinery waivers, and to finally approve RVP relief of E-15 and higher blends.”   National Corn Growers Association Interim CEO Jon Doggett participated in the event as a speaker on a panel on trade and tariffs. “Corn farmers and the ethanol industry need market access,” Doggett said. “Farmers...

(Posted Mon. Aug 20th, 2018)

National Corn Growers Association officers, senior staff and high-level representatives from agribusiness stakeholder groups gathered last week in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. for the biannual NCGA Agri-Industry Council meeting. Over three days, the representatives of 11 leading agribusinesses discussed vital issues facing agriculture, shared information on their companies and sectors, heard from recognized speakers and learned about NCGA’s current initiatives.  Established in 2007, the Agri-Industry Council facilitates dialogue between agribusinesses and NCGA to collectively address issues of mutual concern.   “U.S. agri-businesses, such as those who joined us during this meeting, improve farming by providing growers with innovative seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, equipment and offering competitive financing to make it all possible,” said NCGA Chairman Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas. “NCGA’s AIC plays a vital role in bringing key leaders from across the value chain...

(Posted Mon. Aug 20th, 2018)

With all the technologies available today, some would argue that the old-fashioned, face-to-face meeting is obsolete.  While texting or FaceTiming on an iPhone may be convenient, when it comes to communicating with your legislators, nothing beats a face-to-face discussion. An election year is the perfect time to have those discussions as the representative and senators who represent you return to their districts to campaign.     It is easy to feel jaded and feel like the voice of the average person gets lost or drowned out in all the D.C. noise. However, as a constituent, you convey an authentic and powerful voice to your elected officials and their staff. Those legislators truly do want to hear your concerns and how the decisions they make affect your farm, your family, your community and your livelihood.  Plus, as a voter in an election year, those legislators need your vote.   Make it a point to seek out your members of Congress when they are back home.  Here are some tips...

(Posted Fri. Aug 17th, 2018)

Keywords: Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed rule for the 2019 volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The rule proposes an implied 15 billion-gallon volume for conventional ethanol but fails to account for, nor consider comments on, retroactive exemptions granted to refineries.   “To uphold the full clean air, cost-savings, energy independence and rural economic benefits consumers and farmers receive from the RFS, EPA must also use the 2019 volume rule to make and keep the RFS whole,” NCGA President and North Dakota Farmer Kevin Skunes said.   In the proposed rule, EPA disclosed the agency granted retroactive exemptions to 48 refineries for 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations, amounting to 2.25 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons. Through this proposed rule, EPA has the tools to ensure retroactive exemptions do not further reduce volumes. However, EPA stated the agency is not...

Dr. Shefali Mehta Tapped as New Leader of Soil Health Partnership

(Posted Thu. Aug 16th, 2018)

Shefali Mehta had a fascination with plants from early in her childhood. From her time growing up in New England, through her education and work in agriculture in the U.S. and around the world, she followed her passion, launching a notable career as an agricultural and environmental economist.   Mehta has been tapped as the new executive director of the Soil Health Partnership, a long-term data project that measures and quantifies the impact of farm management practices known to promote healthy soils.     “Everything we have literally starts with the soil, which is intimately connected to our very survival and ability to take care of current and future generations,” Mehta said.   Soil health is taking on elevated importance in agriculture as a means to protect topsoil, helping farmers manage extreme weather, increase profitability, protect water quality and sequester carbon. Practices that improve soil health include growing cover crops, reducing tillage and taking a...

(Posted Wed. Aug 15th, 2018)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Yesterday, Field Notes caught up with April Hemmes, who farms in northern Iowa. While recent reports have indicated national average yields for corn may set a new record this year, she does not think that the yields she, or other farmers near her, will see at harvest have record-setting potential.   “We aren’t seeing the record yields in our fields here, but I am on the edge of the part of the state that was very wet this year,” Hemmes explained. “I know that the farmers in northwest Iowa and along the Iowa and Minnesota border definitely will not see record yields either.   “It looks...

(Posted Wed. Aug 15th, 2018)

The confidential crop survey from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be arriving in the mailboxes of Southern farmers soon, and it is very important that recipients take the time to complete it.   The number of farmers completing the confidential NASS crop survey has been declining in recent years—and that’s bad news for farmers. This is bad news for farmers as results of the confidential NASS crop survey play a key role in determining the implementation of farm payments and programs, including the Agriculture Risk Coverage Program (county option), Price Loss Coverage Program and even farm appraisals.   If NASS does not receive an adequate number of farmer-completed surveys from a certain county, it must use other less reliable sources of data to calculate actual production in that county. The downward trend in farmer-completed surveys has led to the inability of NASS to publish reliable data in numerous counties across the country. If this continues, NASS...

(Posted Tue. Aug 14th, 2018)

Right now, farm families across the country are preparing for the upcoming school year. That is why the National Corn Growers Association reminds members that they can save on their school supply needs through the association’s partnership with Office Depot. Online and in-store, NCGA members are eligible for special discounts on the products necessary to help their families prepare for another successful school year.   “As fathers, mothers and even, in some cases, grandparents, we understand how the back to school season brings expenses that add up quickly,” said NCGA Engaging Members Committee Chair John Linder, a farmer from Ohio. “At NCGA we help look out for our members’ pocketbooks through our partnership with Office Depot. Every day, we search for ways to make life easier for our members, be it through opening markets, representing their interests to the federal government or taking their message straight to the public. Offering ways to save on the products necessary for...

(Posted Fri. Aug 10th, 2018)

U.S. total corn production was projected to reach 14.6 billion bushels for 2018/19 with a national average yields forecast to reach 178.4 bushels per acre, a new record, according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This is the first report of the year based on actual survey results rather than the previous 174.0 bushels trend yield used in earlier WASDE projections.   Yield projections were forecast to surpass those from the previous year in Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota and South Dakota. While yields in Iowa are forecast to remain approximately the same as the previous year, lower yields are projected in Missouri, Minnesota and Kansas.   Based on the new yield estimates, American farmers are projected to produce a total corn crop of 14.58 billion bushels in 2018, the third-highest production number on record if achieved.   Feed and residual use and export demand were higher than those...

(Posted Fri. Aug 10th, 2018)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   This week, Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois. As the crop hits mid-season, unfavorable weather conditions are adversely impacting his corn.   “We were very wet in Gallatin County all the way through the planting season,” Raben explained. “We pretty much mudded everything in, including the side dressing.”   “Where are we now? We need a rain. The crops are deteriorating every day. I have come across forecasts saying that this will be our worst crop since 2012.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

(Posted Fri. Aug 10th, 2018)

Growers gathered in Raleigh, N.C. earlier this week for the first session of the NCGA Leadership Academy, co-sponsored by Syngenta. This year’s class includes 21 aspiring leaders, one of the largest classes on record. Upon completion of the program in January, the participants will join more than 600 colleagues who have graduated from this program in the past 30 years.   This year’s class represents a new approach to collaboration for the program, including up-and-coming leaders both from the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association.   At the meeting, participants got an up-close look at NCGA from President Kevin Skunes, a Leadership Academy alumnus. Skunes also provided an insightful examination of the main issues facing the association, and the nation’s corn farmers, today.   The farmers attending took part in media training on a wide variety of topics including: the impacts of trade policies and tariffs on U.S. agriculture; GMO safety and...

(Posted Thu. Aug 9th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association reminds photographers, both amateur and professional, they are invited to help share our story of farming field corn in America through the fifth 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. 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 category. This new category focuses on the people getting...

Biofuel and Farm Leaders Mark 13th Anniversary  of the RFS

(Posted Wed. Aug 8th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol

Thirteen years ago this Wednesday, August 8, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was signed into law, sparking a new era of U.S. biofuel leadership that continues to support rural jobs, increase energy security, and deliver clean, affordable options at the fuel pump. The nation’s leading farm and biofuel advocates marked the occasion by calling on Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to quickly deliver on the president’s pledge to uphold the RFS and expand the market for ethanol blends, including E15. “For 13 years, the RFS has been a driving force for economic opportunity across the heartland,” said Kevin Skunes, president of National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and a North Dakota farmer. “Today, biofuels are more important than ever. Farm income has fallen to a 12-year low, and the EPA’s refinery waivers have left more and more families facing an uncertain future. The EPA can address this uncertainty and take action now by approving...

(Posted Tue. Aug 7th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association reminds members that it is seeking applications from members interested in working on an NCGA action team in the 2019 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, but, to be considered, they will need to act soon.   For the Action Team Application, click here. Deadline for receipt of applications in the state corn association offices, where applicable, is August 10. State offices will then coordinate applications and submit directly to NCGA by August 17.   Action team and committee service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.   “NCGA’s action teams and committees offer unique, specific opportunities to participate in all of the areas the organization touches. As a grassroots organization, we rely on members to take an active role in shaping the course of our activities, programs and policies to unify and lead our industry...

(Posted Mon. Aug 6th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association, through the assistance of funds provided by sponsor FMC Corporation, awarded four seed grants to encourage innovative programs in state organizations this week. These grants, which are an offshoot of the association’s Reaching for Excellence award are provided to state corn associations who implement or enhance a program that was nominated for the award.   The state corn grower organizations of Missouri, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Texas have been awarded Reaching for Excellence seed grants to fund innovative programs in 2019.  Highlights of the winning programs are:   Colorado Corn Cultivators program is a membership recruitment plan that has the twin goal of increasing comradery among directors while increasing membership by ten percent.   Texas Corn Producers will increase student membership through a new Agricultural Science Educator Scholarship program and the high school students they teach.   Missouri Corn will bring...

(Posted Fri. Aug 3rd, 2018)

NCGA joined a diverse group of agriculture leaders and elected officials at a Friday morning roundtable in Raleigh, N.C. to discuss the growing threat nuisance lawsuits across the nation are having on American agriculture.   Representatives from across the country and a wide range of commodity groups took part in the hour-long roundtable where they discussed the dangerous precedent that nuisance lawsuits could set for those in agriculture, including increased legal risks that could discourage the next generation from entering farming.   Concerns over the economic implications of shutting down these agriculture operations and state statutes that protect farmers were also topics of conversation. Many attendees urged those in agriculture to continue their efforts to educate consumers about farming and the steps needed to get food from the field to grocery store shelves.   North Carolina Farm Bureau provided live coverage of the roundtable and post-event press conference on their...

(Posted Thu. Aug 2nd, 2018)

Keywords: Ethanol

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation (DOT) today recognized the benefits of high octane fuels, such as mid-level ethanol blend, in their proposed SAFE Vehicles rule. The agencies specifically requested comments on how EPA, “could support the production and use of higher octane gasoline” to support compliance with vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards.   As corn growers know, ethanol is a high octane fuel that provides a cost effective means for automakers to reduce GHG emissions and improve fuel economy when used with optimized engines. Analyzing fuels and vehicles as a system provides automakers with more flexibility and options to meet vehicle standards.    As an active member of the High Octane Low Carbon Alliance (HOLC), NCGA has advocated for the benefits of high octane fuels. The agencies’ proposed rule today acknowledges HOLC and information we provided on high octane fuels as this proposed rule was...

(Posted Thu. Aug 2nd, 2018)

With harvest already underway in parts of the country, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that online harvest entry for the 2018 National Corn Yield Contest is available for those who entered the contest. While the harvest deadline may seem distant, entrants must report within two weeks of their final yield check or by Nov. 16, whichever comes first.   “While harvest is only just kicking off, or is even still well in the future, for many, it is important to keep contest rules regarding harvest form submissions in mind. We ask contest applicants to submit harvest forms within two weeks of their final yield check to allow NCGA staff adequate time to thoroughly review each form,” said Stewardship Action Team Chair Roger Zylstra. “The National Corn Yield Contest plays a significant role in recognizing excellence and finding new, more productive techniques. We hope that growers continue to support the contest by seeing their entry through and submitting their...

(Posted Thu. Aug 2nd, 2018)

Visit Brian Corkill’s Twitter page, and you’ll learn that he’s a farmer, husband, father, Illini and coach, with a passion for “Ag, technology, learning and preserving what we have for future generations.”   The 48-year-old Corkill, who owns and runs BA Farms in Galva, Illinois, is among the growing number of farmers engaging in social media to enhance farm business, learn, and connect with his industry. The Soil Health Partnership has launched a new campaign to reach more farmers like Corkill on social media and help them get “soil smart.”   “It’s pretty clear to me that social media isn’t just a fad, and if we want to help other farmers learn the value soil health can bring to their operation, we can reach them through social channels,” Corkill said.    Corkill, an enrolled farmer in the Soil Health Partnership, serves on a committee that helped shape the  new #SoilSmart campaign, which launched Aug. 1 and will run through the fall. Funded by a grant from the Walton Family...

August is Member Recruiter Month

(Posted Wed. Aug 1st, 2018)

Keywords: grassroots membership

This month, the National Corn Growers Association is holding a membership drive campaign, encouraging farmers who aren’t members to consider joining their state and national organizations.   “Becoming a member of my state organization and NCGA gave me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills and become more active in the association,” says John Linder, Ohio farmer and Chair of the Engaging Members Committee. “Our goal is for more corn farmers to become involved in the state and national organizations to help promote issues important to corn growers, develop new leaders and increase membership engagement and diversity.”                                                                   Top 10 Benefits of Becoming a Member:   Grassroots Advocacy – Make your voice heard in your state capital and Washington on important issues like market access, farm bill and ethanol—membership dollars, not checkoff dollars, drive advocacy. Scholarships –Apply for college...