NEWS STORIES

OCTOBER 2018

NCGA Statement on Environmental Groups Petition to the EPA on Land Use

(Posted Wed. Oct 31st, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol policy

The following is a statement from Nebraska farmer Lynn Chrisp, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on a petition filed by environmental and conservation groups regarding land use.   “The acreage data is very clear: farmers are planting fewer acres to corn today than we did when the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was expanded,” said Lynn Chrisp, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “And it’s not just corn acres that have fallen. The area planted to principal crops is shrinking nationwide. The reality of what is happening on today’s farms is not accurately portrayed in the petition.”   Farmers planted fewer acres to corn in 2018 (89.1 million) than they did when the RFS was expanded in 2007 (93.5 million). During that same time, ethanol production expanded from 6.5 billion gallons to 15.8 billion gallons. Overall, the area planted to principal crops in the U.S. has fallen from 328.6 million acres in 2000 to 322 million acres in 2018, according...

(Posted Wed. Oct 31st, 2018)

Some of the nation’s leading agriculture experts and well-known personalities will be featured on the Main Stage during the 2019 Commodity Classic held Thursday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, Mar. 2 in Orlando, Fla.   Once again, Commodity Classic and Successful Farming® are partnering to bring Commodity Classic attendees a dynamic list of educational and entertaining Main Stage presentations. The Commodity Classic Main Stage is located right on the trade show floor. Presentations are scheduled during trade show hours.   The Main Stage line-up for 2019 includes:    • Brian and Darren Hefty of Ag PhD presenting on weed control and micronutrients  • Nationally-renowned speaker Jolene Brown talking about farm transition and succession planning  • Marji Guyler-Alanz, president and founder of FarmHer  • Rob Sharkey, known for his podcast The Shark Farmer  • Al Kluis, marketing columnist for Successful Farming®  • A cooking demonstration by Chef Denise Flores Ordoñez  • Plus,...

(Posted Wed. Oct 31st, 2018)

Fall is here and days getting shorter, meaning yardwork is winding down across the country. The time has come to winterize the lawn mower and other outdoor yard power equipment so they’re ready to go in the spring.   There are several online resources available with tips and tricks to get your equipment ready to store, but the best place to find specifics is in your owner’s manual.   Here are a few standard practices to keep in mind:   1 – Drain Fuel: Completely drain the tank and fuel lines.  Gasoline has a short shelf life; old gasoline may not work in the engine and could possibly cause damage. 2 – Change the Oil and Filters: This keeps your engine clean by preventing the build-up of particles and foreign materials. 3 – Check Spark Plugs: Replacing spark plugs at the end of the season is a cheap way to keep your engine running smoothly. 4 – Clean and Inspect: Thoroughly remove any debris accumulation. 5 – Storage: Store in a clean, dry location that offers protection...

(Posted Tue. Oct 30th, 2018)

Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the launch of the second Consider Corn Challenge contest. The goal of this global competition is to find new and innovative uses of field corn. NineSigma is serving as the facilitator of the competition.   In 2017, America’s corn farmers produced 14.6 billion bushels of corn and are on pace to produce the second largest crop ever. One of NCGA’s strategic plan goals is to partner with industry to establish three new uses, for a minimum of 75 million incremental bushels by 2020.   “There are many unexpected uses of corn, and there’s a lot of untapped potential,” said NCGA Feed Food and Industrial Action Team Chair and Nebraska farmer Dan Wesely. “Corn is an economical, abundant and environmentally friendly source which can be converted into a range of high-value uses including plastics, solvents and fibers. Right now, consumers are asking for products that are more environmentally friendly and corn has a role to play...

(Posted Tue. Oct 30th, 2018)

The first confirmed case of Herculex corn rootworm resistance was confirmed this week in a single field in Delaware County, Iowa. The National Corn Growers Association is engaged directly with the technology provider, Corteva, to assure appropriate and aggressive measures are taken to keep the seed technology viable.   “This announcement is significant and troublesome given the potential economic implications for corn farmers, so we are watching it closely,” said Bob Hemesath, Decorah, Chairman of NCGA’s Freedom to Operate Action Team. “With that said, there are protocols in place to deal with resistance. NCGA wants to recognize the extraordinary measures taken by Corteva that are well beyond the steps required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”   Corteva has reported the development to the EPA, which regulates these Bt traits, and Corteva is working with farmers in Delaware County to limit the spread of this resistance.   “These corn rootworm traits are very...

Sarah McKay Named Director of Market Development

(Posted Mon. Oct 29th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association would like to announce that Sarah McKay, manager of market development, has been promoted to the role of director. McKay joined NCGA in August of 2017. She replaces Jim Bauman, who was promoted to the position of vice president of market development.   “Since coming to NCGA, Sarah has made a huge impact on our work and relationship with our animal agriculture industry partners,” said Jim Bauman, vice president of market development. “Sarah has taken the lead on a number of sustainability initiatives for NCGA and has helped shape the Feed, Food and Industrial Action Team into what it is today. Her work and knowledge of issues impacting the livestock industry has been an important asset for NCGA.”   Before coming to NCGA, McKay worked as a part of the procurement / supply chain team supporting dairy operations at General Mills. She interned with both Senator Mark Warner and former Representative Eric Cantor. McKay has a master’s degree in...

NCGA Urges EPA and NHTSA to Recognize Benefits of High-Octane Fuels

(Posted Fri. Oct 26th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol policy

The National Corn Growers Association today emphasized the benefits for fuel economy and emissions reductions from the use of high-octane fuels in comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the proposed SAFE Vehicles Rule.   “As producers of the primary feedstock used for ethanol production, corn farmers have a strong vested interest in the future of transportation fuels,” NCGA President Lynn Chrisp wrote.   The organization’s comments urged regulators to consider fuels and vehicles as a system of high-octane fuel used with optimized engines. NCGA also believes high-octane, low-carbon fuel can help support harmonization between federal and state standards.   “Pairing advanced engines with certain higher-octane fuel improves vehicle performance and efficiency while using less energy and releasing fewer emissions, particularly when the octane source is a midlevel ethanol blend,” wrote...

(Posted Fri. Oct 26th, 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.   Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms in Lawrence, Kansas, earlier this week. With the 2018 corn crop in the bin, he sees the outcome to be about as expected.   “We finished harvesting corn about three weeks ago,” Neitzel explained. “In terms of yields, it was very spotty. Overall, it was an average crop. Some fields were right on-pace for average. Other fields were a bit better than average. Some fields made you wonder what had happened there but, we kind of expected that for this year.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as...

Share State Successes, Apply for Reaching for Excellence Award

(Posted Thu. Oct 25th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association announced that it is accepting applications for the 4th Annual Reaching for Excellence Award. This award recognizes the innovative solutions developed by state corn associations to address a variety of challenges, spotlights new approaches and encourages the broader adoption of successful advances in other states facing similar challenges.   “Any state corn association or state checkoff board program, project, process, procedure or strategy that has significantly advanced the mission of their association is eligible,” said Engaging Members Committee Chair Brandon Hunnicutt, a farmer from Nebraska. “The goal of the program is to not only recognize excellence across states’ programs and training but, also, to provide the details for other states that need help in those same areas.”     While there is not a formal application, state grower associations and/or state checkoff boards interested in applying should supply a two to three-page...

Annual Soil Health Summit Event Opens to Public for First Time

(Posted Wed. Oct 24th, 2018)

As the pursuit of improved soil health as an on-farm business and environmental strategy continues to grow, the Soil Health Partnership  is taking a new step to foster that interest. For the first time, the organization has opened to the public the annual Soil Health Summit, January 15 – 16 in St. Louis, and especially encourages growers and agronomists to attend.    Attendees will benefit from peer-to-peer networking, collaboration, and education on the latest in soil health strategies, including new data and insights from SHP.   The SHP’s long-term data collection effort measures the on-farm economic and environmental impact of practices known to improve soil health and sustainability. Those practices include reducing tillage, growing cover crops and practicing advanced nutrient management. Shefali Mehta, SHP executive director, noted the field team plans to have a more robust data set for 2018.   “This is the first year where we have a statistically significant number of...

(Posted Tue. Oct 23rd, 2018)

With harvest already underway in many parts of the country, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that National Corn Yield Contest entrants must report within two weeks of their final yield check or by Nov. 16, whichever comes first.   The online harvest entry is available to both farmers and seed representatives using the same login process as the initial entry. Login does require submission of the entrant’s NCGA membership number.   To complete, entrants will upload weigh tickets and yield calculations worksheet that details the number of rows harvested and length of each pass. Prior to upload, both documents must be signed by the contest supervisor. A tutorial video is available online.   For access to contest information and a detailed list of the entry and harvest rules, click here.   For half of a century, NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest has provided corn growers the opportunity to compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre,...

NCERC Celebrates 15 Years of Advancing Biofuels

(Posted Mon. Oct 22nd, 2018)

Keywords: Ethanol

The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) is celebrating its 15-year anniversary this month, after opening its doors in 2003. The Illinois Corn Growers Association was instrumental in fostering its development.   The National Corn Growers Associations (NCGA) has worked closely with NCERC since its inception and continues partnering on various projects.  The NCGA and NCERC partnership has underscored the advantages to the corn and ethanol industries since the beginning.   NCERC Executive Director John Caupert said NCERC’s portfolio of services has expanded since opening their doors in the fall of 2003, but their mission has remained the same: creating opportunities for our nation’s farmers.   “The NCERC has directly contributed to the growth of the ethanol industry, helping grow ethanol production in the United States from 2.8 billion gallons annually to the nearly 16 billion gallons of production today,” said Caupert. “NCERC has assisted in advancements in fuel...

(Posted Thu. Oct 18th, 2018)

As harvest has either begun or looms on the horizon, 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: Corn Growing Field Corn Farm Family Lifestyle Scenery/Landscape Farming Challenges SHP Conservation True Grit Most popular as determined by Facebook “likes”   The new True Grit category was borne out of the Farm Family Lifestyle category. This new category focuses...

(Posted Tue. Oct 16th, 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 April Hemmes, who farms in north-central Iowa. Unseasonable conditions have severely hampered her harvest progress thus far.   “We had two inches of wet snow on Sunday,” Hemmes explained. “I haven’t combined corn for 12 days, and I haven’t combined one single soybean. We are wet so that generally tells the story of farming in my area.”   To listen to the full interview, including an explanation of why late, wet harvests impact crops, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families...

NCGA Announces New Leadership in Market Development, Production and Sustainability Departments

(Posted Fri. Oct 12th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association is excited to announce that Jim Bauman, the current Director of Market Development, has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Market Development. Nathan Fields, who previously served as the Vice President of Market Development, will serve as Vice President of Production and Sustainability.   “We are very pleased that both Jim and Nathan accepted our offers,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett. “Both of these exceptional leaders understand fully the challenges facing our industry and are excited to advance opportunities to meet them. Given their proven track records of success, I am confident that they will make significant contributions to advancing our mission of creating and maintain opportunities for U.S. corn farmers as they work to sustainably feed and fuel a growing world.”   Bauman joined NCGA in 2016 as Director of Market Analysis, working in the areas of corn ethanol and livestock, coordinating projects and analysis with the...

Corn Farmers on Track to Produce Second Largest Crop Ever

(Posted Thu. Oct 11th, 2018)

Keywords: production

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, U.S. corn production is projected to reach 14.78 billion bushels for 2018/19. If realized, that would make it the second largest U.S. corn crop ever.   The October forecast for corn production is slightly below what some analysts expected to see in today’s report. Meanwhile, ending stocks for corn came in at 1.8 billion bushels, which was also below average trade estimates. As a result, corn prices increased moderately following release of the report.   Click here to read the full report.

NCGA Welcomes Year-Round E15

(Posted Tue. Oct 9th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol policy

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today praised an announcement from President Trump, setting the necessary regulatory steps in motion to allow for year-round sales of E15.   “Corn farmers across the country have been advocating for year-round sales of higher ethanol blends like E15 to help grow demand, provide consumers with more options at the pump and improve economic conditions across rural America,” said Chrisp. “We thank President Trump for following through on his commitment to America’s farmers.”   Outdated regulations currently require retailers in many areas of the country to stop selling E15, a blend of gasoline and 15 percent ethanol approved for all vehicles 2001 and newer, during the summer months. Updating this regulation will give consumers year-round access to a fuel choice that can save them between three and 10 cents per gallon.   “Earlier this year, the President correctly described this barrier as ‘unnecessary’ and ‘ridiculous’,”...

NCGA Welcomes Keen to St. Louis Team

(Posted Fri. Oct 5th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Lisa Keen, who joins the organization as the marketing and operations administrative assistant in the St. Louis, Mo. office.  Keen recently served as the corporate executive assistant for the CEO, COO and CFO for Post Acute Medical, LLC in Enola, Pa., She will support Vice President of Marketing and Operations Fred Stemme as well as staff projects related to membership, meetings, leadership training, industry relations and grassroots activism.   “We are pleased that Lisa is joining our team, and we have already seen the depth of skill and enthusiasm she brings to her work over the past few days,” said Stemme.  “Lisa has extensive experience in contract and project management as well as administrative support in a fast-paced environment. Her proven skill have allowed her to hit the ground running, already adding to the team in a positive, productive way that will benefit our efforts to maintain and create opportunities for U.S. corn...

Spurlock Reflects on Leadership, Calls Farmers to Service

(Posted Fri. Oct 5th, 2018)

As NCGA entered Fiscal Year 2019 and the new Corn Board was seated on Monday, Wesley Spurlock completed his term as chairman, passing the role over to Kevin Skunes, who was previously president.   The Off the Cob podcast series caught up with Spurlock to discuss what he found most rewarding during his term, explore his thoughts on the future and discuss his views on the importance of grassroots leadership.   Joking that he got into leadership “so that he could see eight years go by in a flash,” Spurlock found working with his fellow farmers and grower-leaders across the country to be a blessing. Truly dedicated, he will work for corn for the rest of his life. This viewpoint is reflected in his description of what he found most rewarding.   “What you have to be proud about in leadership isn’t any individual thing but how we continually support U.S. corn farmers, about 300,000 of them, and NCGA’s approximately 40,000 members. We spend every day trying to work for them, working...

Welcome Brittany Wilson to NCGA Washington, DC Team

(Posted Fri. Oct 5th, 2018)

Brittany Wilson joined the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Association of Corn Growers (NCGA) on Sept. 28 as the receptionist/administrative assistant in the organizations’ co-located offices in Washington, D.C.   In addition to various administrative duties, Wilson will represent the Council and NCGA by serving as the first point of contact for callers and visitors. Wilson spent time working in her current role as a temporary employee before officially assuming her new position.   “We are impressed with Brittany’s organizational skills and her outstanding approach to teamwork,” said Helen Elmore, USGC director of finance and administration. “Her upbeat attitude greets every visitor and every caller to our and NCGA’s offices. In her short time here, Brittany has already proven herself to be of great value in maintaining smooth office operations.”   Prior to the Council, Wilson worked as a regional director and a North Carolina state chair for Young Americans for...

(Posted Wed. Oct 3rd, 2018)

Keywords: Research

The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on six priority areas, were designed by southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.   “The National Corn Growers Association, working with southern state grower associations including Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina, developed AMCOE to bring a unified approach to aflatoxin research that will yield results in a timely and more efficient manner,” said NCGA Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team Chair Charles Ring, a corn grower in Texas. “Working together, we can improve the tools available for aflatoxin control and get real results that farmers can see in their fields.”   Projects funded for 2019 should focus on...

Crappie Masters National Championship Winners: 'Never Hesitate' When Filling Up with Ethanol

(Posted Tue. Oct 2nd, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol Crappie Masters

The 2018 Crappie Masters Tournament Trail concluded last week with the National Championship at Truman Lake in Clinton, Mo. Two, 21-year-old Missouri natives were the winners of the final tournament, which was held Sept. 26 – 29.   For the second consecutive year, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) sponsored the national fishing tournament, which highlights the use of 10 percent ethanol (E10) in our nation’s waterways. Regular gasoline, which is blended with E10, produces less greenhouse gas emissions, keeps the air, and water cleaner.   The team, Matthew Rogers and Baylor Mead, won the 2018 championship with 21.19 pounds using E10 in their boat.   “We never hesitate when filling up our boat with E10,” Rogers said. “There are many benefits of using ethanol. We want to keep our waterways clean and the fish population healthy.”   “Our boat runs great on E10,” said Mead. “I am very pleased with the performance and mileage we...

(Posted Tue. Oct 2nd, 2018)

When the National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year Monday, Iowa farmer Kevin Ross assumed the role of first vice president.  Off the Cob spoke with the new officer to explore the challenges he sees as most important to corn farmers in the next year and discuss his thoughts on leadership.    Ross began with the positive things that he sees on the horizon in his year as First Vice President.   “At NCGA, I am looking forward to strengthening the organization from within. I think that there are things that we can continue to improve upon internally as well as externally in some of the relationships with livestock groups and ethanol industry partners. There are many things that we can continue to move forward in the industry right now.   “I am also looking forward to working with our new CEO, Jon Doggett, and seeing his leadership at work.   “Lastly, I am really excited about the folks that we have sitting on our board right now. I think they are an exceptional...

(Posted Mon. Oct 1st, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year today and seated the 2019 Corn Board with Lynn Chrisp of Hastings, Nebraska assuming the presidency.  Off the Cob spoke with the new president to discuss his thoughts on the previous year, explore his views on what lies ahead for corn farmers in 2019 and his goals for his term.   Looking at what NCGA has done and will continue to do, Chrisp sees trade, the farm bill and ethanol as ongoing priorities for the association.   “We have a table full of work sitting here in front of us. It is a little bit more of the same because, unfortunately, we haven’t been able to wrap up some of the things that we have been working on to our satisfaction. We will continue to open doors and have conversations where ever we can on trade. We will carry the message of exactly how important trade is to us. It is more important by the day, as we face another big harvest here, and we see December corn prices sliding. We will continue to...

(Posted Mon. Oct 1st, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Following a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees urging them to pass a new farm bill, Kevin Skunes spent his last week as NCGA President delivering that message directly to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Skunes discussed these meetings on a number of radio programs, including KFGO’s News and Views, AgriTalk, and Adams on Agriculture, among other media interviews.   While members recognized the need to act, they were unable to meet their September 30 deadline. Agriculture Committee leaders have indicated they will continue their negotiations in hopes of securing an agreement that can be considered when Congress returns after the midterm elections. Skunes urged corn growers to seek out their representatives during local events and urge they work to find compromise on a new farm bill that can be considered during the lame-duck session.

(Posted Mon. Oct 1st, 2018)

Keywords: Trade

The National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today released the following statement after an announcement that the United States, Canada, and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), renamed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).    “Farmers across the country have been closely following NAFTA negotiations and reminding the administration of its promise to ‘do no harm’ to agriculture.”   “NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture, opening markets that since enactment have become vitally important to U.S. corn farmers, and providing certainty to farmers and the rural economy. We applaud USTR for reaching a new agreement and look forward to thoroughly evaluating it to determine if it continues to benefit American agriculture.”   Last year the United States exported $3.2 billion of corn and corn products to Mexico and Canada, supporting 25,000 rural jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce...