NEWS STORIES

PRODUCTION

Decreased Ethanol Market Demand May Lead to Higher Ending Stocks for U.S. Corn

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2018)

Keywords: production

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, decreased demand forecasts for U.S. corn from ethanol markets will impact ending stocks, which are projected 45 million bushels higher than the previous month.   Notably, ethanol demand forecasts reflect data showing that corn use during the quarter from September through November fell relative to prior years for the first time since 2012.   The corn price forecast remained at $3.60 per bushel at the midpoint while the range narrowed to between $3.25 and $3.95.   Click here to read the full report.  

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.

Corn Price Projections Fall on Forecast of Near-Record Production

(Posted Wed. Sep 12th, 2018)

Keywords: production

The already record national average yield projections were raised even further this month to 181.3 bushels per acre from 178.4 the month prior which, if realized, would surpass the previous record by 4.7 bushels per acre according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Given record yield projections, U.S. total corn production is now projected to reach 14.8 billion bushels for 2018/19, nearing the record of 15.1 billion bushels set in 2016. Given increased demand projections, corn price projections were lowered 10 cents at the midpoint to reflect the anticipated size of the supply.   Yield projections are also forecast to set records in many states including: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. The overall increase to projected yield, if realized, led to the 241 million bushel per acre increase to production estimates.    Feed and residual use and export demand projections were raised by...

USDA: Farmers Planting Fewer Corn Acres in 2018

(Posted Thu. Mar 29th, 2018)

Keywords: Production

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the Prospective Plantings report, indicating that farmers will plant 88-million acres, 2.14 million fewer acres of corn, a 2 percent decrease from 2017. If realized, this will be the lowest total corn planted acreage in the United States since 2015.   “U.S. farmers continue to produce more bushels per acre as new technologies are brought to the marketplace,” said National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes. “American corn supplies remain ample as we have a large carryover crop from 2017. U.S. farmers can react nimbly to market conditions and make decisions that make the most sense for their operation.”   Ohio is expected to increase corn acreage from last year, with record high acreage in Nevada and Oregon. In 33 of the 48 corn producing states, planted acreage is expected to be down or unchanged. According to the report, compared to 2017, decreases of 300,000 acres or more are expected in Kansas, Minnesota and...

NCGA Yield Contest’s Top Growers Offer Yield-Increasing Insights

(Posted Tue. Mar 6th, 2018)

Keywords: production

The National Corn Growers Association released a video last week offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in Anaheim honoring the state winners of the 2017 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   “The contest not only affords an opportunity for farmers to test their skill against their peers, it also provides NCGA with a significant amount of information about cutting-edge production practices that all farmers might find useful,” said NCGA Stewardship Action Team Chair Roger Zylstra. “NCGA has always looked for new and innovative ways to use this data, sharing the lessons learned with corn farmers. The video provides a quick, simple way for interested farmers to...

(Posted Thu. Oct 12th, 2017)

Keywords: production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s WASDE report released today has corn production forecasted at 14.280 billion bushels, up 96 million from last month. Corn supply remains unchanged despite yield again being raised by almost a bushel to 171.8. The yield increase was offset by an adjustment in acreage planted and lower stocks. Lower planted acres likely reflects more accurate accounting of spring weather difficulties.  Corn price projections also remain unchanged from last month’s report, with the average projected range at $2.80 to $3.60 per bushel.   From a global perspective, corn stocks are down 1.5 million from last month, with foreign corn ending stocks for 2017/18 down, due to declines from China and Mexico.     Ethanol use rebounded from its projected drop last month, with numbers back at August levels of 5.5 billion bushels. Price remains unchanged, thus reflecting the need for new markets and new uses to be developed.   On the soybean side of the ledger, it looks...

(Posted Tue. Nov 29th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

In a win for farmers’ rights to use proven-safe technology, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled last week that additional regulation of treated seeds would unnecessarily duplicate the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing science-based regulatory review.   The decision protects farmers’ ability to continue using seed treatment technology and maintains the EPA’s currently regulatory approach for treated seeds.   National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas, applauded the Court’s decision.   “Farmers care deeply about preserving and protecting our land, water and air for the next generation. At NCGA, we support regulations that are reasonable and based on sound science. These crop protection tools have already undergone a thorough regulatory review as required by law and have been established as safe and effective. Creating additional regulatory hoops for agriculture to jump through is...

(Posted Wed. Oct 12th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Corn production is forecast at 15.057 billion bushels, down 36 million from last month, according to the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates Report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn supplies for 2016/17 are lowered from last month, but are still forecast at a record 16.845 billion bushels.   “We must pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year. The farm economy continues to struggle so anything we can do to encourage and grow exports is critical,” said Wesley Spurlock, President of National Corn Growers Association. “That’s why NCGA continues to encourage our elected officials to build trade access starting with TPP.”   USDA reduced the average U.S. corn yield by 1 bushel per acre to 173.4. If realized, these figures would still represent record yield and production numbers. The average price was increased by 5 cents to $3.25 per bushel.   “Although the production report remained largely unchanged, the export numbers offer some good news in...

(Posted Mon. Sep 12th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Corn production is forecast at 15.093 billion bushels, down 61 million from last month, according to the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates Report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn supplies for 2016/17 are lowered from last month, but are still forecast at a record 16.859 billion bushels.   USDA also reduced the average U.S. corn yield by 0.7 bushels per acre to 174.4. If realized, these figures would still represent record yield and production numbers. The average price was increased by 5 cents to $3.20 per bushel.   Chip Bowling, President of National Corn Growers Association, said the report is further evidence of the challenges family farmers are facing.   “The farm economy is in peril. If this trend continues, it means fewer family farms, fewer jobs, and fewer dollars being invested back into rural communities,” said Bowling, who farms corn, soybeans, and sorghum in Newburg, Maryland. “Farmers, industry, and government all have a...

(Posted Tue. Aug 2nd, 2016)

Keywords: Production

A recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft report on atrazine ignores a large body of scientific evidence affirming the herbicide’s safety, setting a dangerous precedent for all crop protection tools, says Brent Hostetler, a farmer from Plain City, Ohio, and chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Production and Stewardship Action Team.   “Federal law requires the EPA to base its decisions on science. And the science on this is pretty clear,” said Hostetler. “Atrazine is one of the safest and most effective crop management tools farmers have. It’s also one of the most studied pesticides in history—and more than 50 years’ worth of data show it is safe.”   EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine in June 2016. All pesticides sold or distributed in the U.S. must be registered by EPA and re-registered every 15 years. Ecological risk assessments are one step of that registration process. EPA is accepting public comments on the ecological...

(Posted Fri. Jun 24th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency signaled this week that they intend to extend until October 4 the public comment period on the preliminary Ecological Risk Assessment for the herbicide atrazine. The National Corn Growers Association was among several organizations requesting extension of the comment period.   If EPA’s draft recommendation stands, atrazine use would likely be banned in most U.S. farming areas. NCGA urged farmers to submit their comments as soon as possible, which they can do online at www.ncga.com/atz.   “Atrazine is a safe and effective crop management tool, and taking away this option will set farming practices back decades. That’s why we need farmers to be engaged on this issue. EPA needs to hear from all of us,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling.   In a letter to the EPA requesting an extension, Bowling called atrazine “a key component in weed management and modern conservation practices.” Losing access to this herbicide would have a...

(Posted Thu. Jun 2nd, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its ecological risk assessment on the pesticide atrazine. The following is a statement from Maryland farmer Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association.   “No one cares more about the safety of agricultural pesticides than farmers. Farmers make use of pesticides on their farms to ensure an abundant, affordable food supply of foods for consumers all over the world. We care about keeping land, rivers, and ponds safe for our families, our neighbors, and our communities.   “Atrazine is a safe and effective crop management tool for farmers. It is widely used because it is among the most reliable herbicides available, and it plays a critical role in combating the spread of resistant weeds. It reduces soil erosion, increases crop yields, and improves wildlife habits. Over the last 50 years, atrazine has passed some of the most rigorous safety testing in the world. More than 7,000 scientific studies have...

(Posted Thu. Apr 14th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

The National Corn Growers Association and other agriculture organizations on Wednesday called on the Environmental Protection Agency to postpone a meeting scheduled for next week related to the pesticide chlorpyrifos.   In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, NCGA and 41 other organizations argue that the Science Advisory Panel meeting, scheduled for April 19-21, was “hastily called” and is an attempt by EPA to “fundamentally alter its process for evaluating potential risk and regulation of pesticides.”   For the full letter, click here.   NCGA supports transparent, science-based oversight of pesticides. NCGA and other groups argue that the EPA is not basing its decisions on science, while also trying to change its longtime review processes. In January, NCGA submitted comments to the EPA reiterating support for chlorpyrifos.   Notably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also expressed deep concerns over this process and EPA’s departure from decades of...

(Posted Fri. Oct 9th, 2015)

Keywords: Production Conservation

Today the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stayed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule nationwide, pending further review by the court.   Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, issued the following statement:   “Today’s decision is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers. WOTUS was supposed to make things clearer for farmers about their responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. This rule is anything but clear. We are confident that the courts will eventually strike down EPA’s WOTUS rule altogether. The Army Corps of Engineers has already said the rule is not based on science or law and is unlikely to withstand a legal challenge.   “But court battles take months, if not years – and come at a considerable cost. There has to be a better way for us to work together on a rule that is successful and lawful. That’s why we are asking the Senate to step up...

(Posted Tue. Sep 8th, 2015)

Keywords: Conservation Production

The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota ruled last Friday that the preliminary injunction against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to postpone implementation of the “Waters of the U.S.” rule applies only in the 13 states involved in this specific court case. Those states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.    Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Md., issued the following statement:   “We are disappointed with the North Dakota court decision. WOTUS is a national rule with national ramifications, and the injunction should be applied nationwide. In the initial ruling, the judge stated the rule was likely to cause ‘irreparable harm.’ We believe this would be true in all 50 states, not just the 13 states that filed this request.   “Regardless of whether the injunction...

(Posted Fri. Aug 28th, 2015)

Keywords: Production Conservation

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, postponing implementation of the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule.   Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, issued the following statement:   “We support the judge’s decision in North Dakota, which should give the courts and the public more time to figure out how to proceed with WOTUS. The Army Corps of Engineers has stated this rule is not based on science or law and is unlikely to withstand a legal challenge. When even the federal agencies responsible for this rule can’t agree on its constitutionality, it’s time for EPA to withdraw the rule and start this process over.   “It is EPA’s view that this injunction only applies to the 13 states that filed the request. We believe EPA is incorrect. It certainly wouldn’t be the...

(Posted Tue. Jun 2nd, 2015)

Keywords: Biotechnology Production

National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling and American Soybean Association Chairman Ray Gaesser issued the following statement in anticipation of a second finding by the International Agency for Research on Cancer that would classify another safe, important pesticide as a probable carcinogen:   “Like anyone who creates something, farmers need tools to produce a safe and healthy crop.  Today, many consumers have questions and concerns about how food is produced.  That’s why it is important to us to share information with consumers so they have a better understanding of why and how we use the different seeds and crop protection chemicals. We are concerned, however, that a pending announcement from the U.N. World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer will only lead to more confusion and concern about two widely-used herbicides that have been mainstays for farmers for decades. These two substances play an especially important role in corn...

(Posted Fri. Nov 7th, 2014)

Keywords: Conservation Production

The National Corn Growers Association urges all farmers to contact EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy advocating for a revision of the proposed Waters of the U.S. rulemaking by the deadline of Friday, November 14.   As proposed, this rule would significantly expand the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act and would only further muddy the waters for farmers seeking clarity as to what is and what is not subject to federal regulation. NCGA has many serious concerns regarding the impact the proposed rule could have on U.S. farmers.  NCGA's concerns fall into four main areas:    Farmers will face tremendous uncertainty because of the way the rule defines what is a tributary and what is an adjacent water subject to the Clean Water Act.  The proposed rule represents a significant expansion of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction relative to anything that has ever been covered in a previous rulemaking and contradicts two U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The vast numbers of ditches that...

(Posted Tue. Mar 25th, 2014)

Keywords: Water Production

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly released a proposed rule that seeks to clarify stream and wetland protections covered under the Clean Water Act. At this time, the National Corn Growers Association is reviewing the 370-page draft and plans to submit official comments to Federal Register during the 90-day public comment period.   NCGA will examine the rule to ensure that it provides greater certainty for farmers as to which waters fall under Clean Water Act jurisdiction while honoring all existing protections for farming practices.   In communications accompanying the release, the EPA directly addressed the relevance of the proposed rule to agriculture. “The proposed rule preserves the Clean Water Act exemptions and exclusions for agriculture,” the release stated. “Additionally, EPA and the Army Corps have coordinated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop an interpretive rule to ensure that 53 specific...

(Posted Tue. Sep 3rd, 2013)

Keywords: Production

Sept. 3: The U.S. corn crop made steady progress toward maturity last week while remaining in good condition, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today. The percentage of the corn crop denting increased by 19 points last week, while the percentage of corn doughing further narrowed its lag behind the five year-average to only five points.  Reports also indicate that the crop condition remains almost unchanged from the previous week with 56 percent of the crop forecast to be in good-to-excellent condition. Last year at this time, only 22 percent of the crop still fared as well.   “While the crop condition remains strong, farmers understand how weather can play an important role at any point during season,” said National Corn Growers Association Chairman Garry Niemeyer, a grower in Auburn, Ill. “Planters across the country persevered a late, wet season. Now, some face dry conditions that may also impact corn growth. It is important to remember though that,...

(Posted Mon. Aug 12th, 2013)

Keywords: Crop Progress Production

Aug. 12: Despite slight decreases in the forecasts for overall production and national yield, U.S. farmers are still on track to produce a record corn crop, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates released today. The projected harvest of 13.8 billion bushels of corn fell 187 million bushels from the forecast a month prior as the first survey-based yield forecast fell to 154.4 bushels per acre. If this forecasts is realized, U.S. corn farmers would far exceed the production record set in 2009 of 13.09 billion bushels.   “Despite planting delays and somewhat cool, wet conditions across much of the Corn Belt, farmers have worked diligently to grow the best crop possible,” said National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Ill. “We are pleased to see that this work is coming to fruition in many of the fields surveyed by the USDA in order to produce this forecast. Farmers merge cutting-edge technology and ever-improving...

(Posted Mon. Apr 15th, 2013)

Keywords: Planting Progress Production

Apr. 15: A cool, wet spring has delayed planting progress across much of the country according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With only two percent of total corn acres planted by April 14, progress lags far behind this time last year, when 16 percent of U.S. corn acres were already in the ground and trails the five-year average for this point by a full five percentage points. “Planting is running somewhat behind normal in most areas, but slow progress this early in the season should not be seen as a cause for alarm,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson. “Last year, planting flew by quickly, but the severe drought that plagued much of the country damaged the overall crop. With many areas getting much needed rain, a slight delay at this point could still produce an excellent crop which will be buoyed by the near-record acreage farmers intend to plant to corn.” Progress lagged behind the five-year average in all of the top...

(Posted Mon. Mar 25th, 2013)

Keywords: Production

Mar. 25:  A new guide to seed treatment stewardship has been developed by the American Seed Trade Association and CropLife America to promote the safe handling and management of treated seed by farmers and others, a service appreciated by the National Corn Growers Association. “This guide will be an invaluable resource for our members,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson and Iowa corn grower. “We’re encouraging all corn growers to refer to it before, during and after the corn planting season.” Endorsed by NCGA, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association, The Guide to Seed Treatment Stewardship provides farmers and seed companies with critical information and up-to-date guidelines for managing treated seed effectively to further minimize the risk of exposure to non-target organisms. ASTA and CLA began aggregating seed treatment research and safety information from universities, seed companies, international seed associations and others in early 2012 in...

(Posted Tue. Feb 12th, 2013)

Keywords: Production

Feb 12: Farmers participating in the National Corn Growers Association 2012 National Corn Yield Contest set a new record by submitting 75 entries that surpassed the 300 bushels-per-acre mark. Bucking trends and overcoming severe drought conditions, these entrants showed the incredible achievements that are possible in farming using advanced practices and state-of-the-art technology.“NCGA’s corn yield contest continues to enjoy such popularity because it showcases what is possible for our industry moving forward,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Dean Taylor. “I applaud the level of achievement that this record number of entrants attained this year and thank them for their contribution to agriculture. Through knowledge acquired from entrants we learn practical techniques that can be applied on other farms thus enhancing our ability to continually improve as farmers.”Despite higher average yields nationally among all farmers in 2011, only 10 entries achieved the...

(Posted Fri. Feb 8th, 2013)

Keywords: Production Corn Supply

Feb 8: More U.S. corn will be available than previously forecast, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released earlier today. Revising corn ending stock projections upward by 30 million bushels, the report also indicates that a 20 million bushel rise in corn use projections for sweeteners and starch.“As the picture of the current corn supply continues to become more clear, we are seeing the markets are adjusting,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson. “U.S. farmers faced a tough drought but, due to biotechnology and enhanced production practices, we brought in a crop unimaginable under similar circumstances only decades ago.”Projected demand for corn from the ethanol sector held steady, while export projections were lowered by 50 million bushels. These factors, along with reports of forward sales made at prices below prevailing cash market bids, caused the projected range for the season-average farm price for corn to lower 20 cents at the...

(Posted Tue. Dec 4th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Dec. 4: Last week, the National Corn Growers Association’s Mycotoxin Task Force met in Houston, Texas to discuss questions concerning mycotoxin mitigation, testing methods and the task force structure moving forward. During these meetings, the task force moved to jointly fund a new project studying fumonisin research and to further explore the possibility of expanding consolidated aflatoxin testing methods currently used in Texas to other areas of the country.  “This year, growers across the country faced problems with mycotoxin previously common only to corn producing states in the South,” said MTF Chair Don Glenn, a farmer from Alabama. “The spread of these issues further emphasizes the importance of working to mitigate detrimental mold and fungus. NCGA has stepped forth, taking a leading role in this arena, to ensure that farmers across the nation have access to the best tools.”  The team began by exploring aflatoxin testing procedures currently used in Texas. United...

(Posted Fri. Nov 9th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Nov. 9: More U.S. corn will be available in 2012 and 2013 than previously anticipated, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released this morning.  Raising total production by 19 million bushels with a three-tenths of a bushel increase in the corn yield to 122.3 bushels per acre, forecasts now project higher ending stocks of 647 million bushels, an increase of 28 million bushels since last month’s report. The increased production came as USDA revised upwards yields in Illinois, North Dakota, Michigan, Ohio and the far eastern Corn Belt.  These increases were tempered by slight reductions in Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Texas.  “The estimates released today illustrate how, even under such adverse conditions, U.S. corn farmers can produce a crop,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, a farmer from Floyd, Iowa.  “Additionally, the increased overall supply further shows what our members have understood all along, that you cannot count the...

(Posted Wed. Oct 31st, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Oct. 31: Revenge tillage may sound strange, overtly emotion or possibly even satisfying depending on one’s circumstance, but agronomists urge farmers to take a calculated look at the long-term situation on their own farm before hitting the fields.  In a recent article published by Purdue Agriculture News, Purdue Extension Agronomist Tony Vyn lays out guidelines that can help farmers determine if tillage would actually benefit their land or if the urge to do so would only prove emotionally satisfying in the short-term.  "I don't want farmers to overestimate the need for fall tillage just because of the 2012 drought and poor crops," he said. "It's important to adopt a tillage system that leaves topsoil uniformly in place to build up a whole field's resiliency in root-zone water retention over time."  The drought actually decreased two major justifications for tillage. Deep cracking and loosening of soil due to the drought have already rearranged the soil aggregates thus improving...

(Posted Tue. Oct 16th, 2012)

Keywords: Conservation Production

Oct. 16: The U.S Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service launched an initiative highlighting the benefits of improving and maintaining healthy soil last week. The “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil” looks at successes and identifies lessons learned in communities already examining how soil health can benefit their operations. This information will be shared with farmers in other areas which might also benefit from implementing similar practices.  “Managing soil health provides both economic and ecological benefits,” said Brent Hostetler NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team member. “Precious little rain made its way across central Ohio this past growing season. However, good soil management practices helped the fields retain additional moisture and minimize crop damage from the drought.”  The program focuses primarily on the importance of and ways to increase organic matter in soil. Maximizing soil health involves four basic principles; keeping the...

(Posted Tue. Oct 9th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Oct 9: Farmers again picked up the pace, pushing corn harvest closer to completion and further ahead of schedule. Currently, 69 percent of harvested acres have already been brought in, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today. A full 41 points ahead of the five-year average and 15 points ahead of just the prior week, farmers across the country are working diligently to bring the crop in from the fields and get it into the U.S. corn supply.  “Farmers understand how important of a role weather plays in determining the success of a crop,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson. “While this summer’s drought certainly took its toll, corn farmers are working tirelessly to get the crop out of field and into bins. Their commitment to maximizing the crop drives them forward, often late into the night, harvesting now to make sure they provide the most abundant, highest quality corn possible.”  With much of the crop already harvested, USDA...

(Posted Fri. Sep 28th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Sept. 28:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this morning that, as of Sept. 1, there were 988 million bushels of corn held over from 2011. This reflects a decrease of 193 million bushels from the USDA’s Sept. 12 supply-and-demand report, and represents a 12 percent drop from the same time last year, the National Corn Growers Association noted.  “While we were not expecting a decrease such as this, it still reflects something we always want to remind the public about – the marketplace works to make sure all needs are covered,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “In such a challenging year with a broad and persistent drought, our resilient growers have worked hard to bring a crop that will still be one of the largest on record.”  In its stocks report, which excludes new corn harvested before Sept. 1, the USDA also noted that corn use (or “disappearance”) for the last quarter of the marketing year (June-August 2012) was 15 percent lower than the same period last year,...

(Posted Fri. Aug 31st, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Aug 31: This week, Iowa farmer and NCGA Production & Stewardship Action Team member Jay Lynch participated in a briefing for EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs regarding the benefits of seed treatments.  Neonicotinoids, a seed treatment used on the vast majority of corn in the U.S., have come under increased activist pressure in recent months due to concerns that the products are contributing to Colony Collapse Disorder in honey bees.   “Seed treatments are critically important to growers because they protect the seed from disease and pests after planting and through the germination period,” Lynch said during his briefing.  “Unpredictable weather patterns mean that the seed could remain in the ground for an extended period of time. Without these neonicotinoid products, yields would be reduced and entire fields may need to be replanted.  Farmers work diligently to minimize dust from planters and often establish relationships with nearby beekeepers to minimize exposure to...

(Posted Tue. Aug 14th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Aug. 14: This week, the U.S. Grains Council, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, released an in-depth analysis of recent U.S. Department of Agriculture reports which revised corn production and market forecasts. Looking closely at the broader, international implications, the Council examines how natural market forces will stabilize corn markets and push corn users to find innovative ways to maximize efficiency and improve marketing and risk management strategies.  The Council report begins acknowledging that in its monthly agricultural supply/demand update the U.S. Department of Agriculture on August 10 again lowered the outlook for U.S. corn production, reflecting the continued deterioration of this year's crop due to the once-in-a-lifetime drought that affects most of the U.S. Corn Belt.  The latest USDA projection lowers both world and U.S. corn production forecasts to levels below those achieved in 2011/2012, but notes world production...

(Posted Mon. Aug 13th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Aug. 13:  In its weekly crop progress update today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture rated 23% percent of the nation’s corn crop as good or excellent – the same rating as last week and an indication that corn quality has leveled off for the time being. Despite the challenges, the National Corn Growers Association reports, farmers have already begun harvesting crops in some areas. Expected production will still come in at more than 10 billion bushels, the eighth highest on record.  “We recognize the severity of the drought and we also recognize the need for patience and perspective as the season continues,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, a grower in Illinois.  Due in great part to an earlier planting, corn crop progress is ahead of schedule in many areas, Niemeyer noted. USDA tracks crop progress according to various stages of corn development, with 42 percent of the crop now in the dent stage, compared to an average of 16 percent at this time. Ten percent of the crop has...

(Posted Thu. Jul 19th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol Production

July 19:  National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer released the following statement in response to media coverage and Capitol briefings on the drought, food prices and the Renewable Fuel Standard.  “This is a time when farmers and ranchers are suffering the nation’s worst drought in years, covering nearly two-thirds of our country’s land mass. Like any crisis, it has led to numerous inaccuracies and exaggerations, especially when it comes to the impact on food supply and retail food prices.  “Yesterday at the White House, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack noted that farmers only receive a fraction – about 14 cents – of every dollar spent on food at the grocery store. Look at corn, for example, which even at its current price is an inexpensive food ingredient. The corn in a box of Corn Flakes only costs about a dime, and there’s just over a quarter’s worth of corn in a pound of beef.  “When it comes to the Renewable Fuel Standard for ethanol and other biofuels,...

(Posted Wed. Jul 11th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

July 11: The efforts of American farmers to increase the corn supply have ensured that, despite extremely difficult growing conditions, they will be able to meet the nation’s corn needs according to U.S. Department of Agriculture report released earlier today.  Although estimates were revised to reflect the toll extreme heat and drought conditions have taken on much of the crop, the 4.5 million additional acres planted this year will still help farmers build our nation’s corn surplus to nearly 1.2 billion bushels.  “It is of the utmost importance that we remain calm at this point and recognize that falling temperatures and well-timed rain could still improve crop condition,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer.  “Our staff, as well as farmers across the country, continually monitor weather and field information.  We know that markets will adjust, as the reports indicate, but also urge a calm, measured reaction.  No one truly knows how this crop will...

(Posted Wed. Jul 11th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

July 11: The National Corn Growers Association appreciates Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s announced improvements to natural disaster programs that will deliver faster and more flexible assistance to farmers. Vilsack announced three significant improvements today to the outdated USDA programs.  Improvements include finalizing a final rule that will allow for a faster process of declaring a Secretarial disaster area, reducing the emergency loan rate and reducing the cost of Conservation Reserve Program lands for emergency haying and grazing.  Previous to these changes, the current programs had been in place for more than two decades and regulations had not been significantly revised since 1988.  “It is no secret this has been a challenging growing season for our nation’s farmers and we are pleased to see Secretary Vilsack has taken a proactive stance in providing the appropriate assistance,” NCGA President Garry Niemeyer said.  “The announced changes improve the...

(Posted Fri. Jul 6th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

July 6: The National Corn Growers Association continues the second 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.  As much of the Corn Belt continues to experience dry, hot conditions, Field Notes checked in with Missouri farmer Billy Thiel.  Thiel noted that, despite significant drought damage, farmers will still produce a corn crop this year.  Always positive, he also noted that input costs should decrease next year as plants take advantage of residual fertilizer.  For the audio interview, click here.  Next, Field Notes caught up with North Dakota farmer James Aarsvold.  Earlier in the day, Aarsvold's fields benefited from six-tenths of an inch of badly needed rain.  This moisture, although minimal,...

(Posted Wed. May 23rd, 2012)

Keywords: Production

May 23: Today, the National Corn Growers Association opened online entry for the 2012 National Corn Yield Contest.  This format allows farmers to quickly and easily submit all necessary entry forms while taking advantage of the special early entry discount available until June 15.  With fees reduced to $80 until that time, NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer.  “The online entry option makes taking advantage of the early entry discount easier than ever,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Dean Taylor. “We have seen many consecutive years of significant contest growth.  With favorable conditions across much of the country, I encourage members to take advantage of the discount, use the easy online form and become a part of the contest.  Also, I encourage non-members to explore the many benefits that NCGA members enjoy and consider joining both the association and entering the contest.”  The online entry...

(Posted Mon. May 21st, 2012)

Keywords: Production

May 21: The 2012 planting season is almost over, with 96 percent of U.S. corn acres already planted, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today.  In addition, the report indicated that the crop appears to be progressing well with 76 percent of corn acres emerged and 77 percent of the crop in good to excellent condition.   “This year, it seems that every week that passes brings additional indicators that, if the corn crop stays on course, we will see an unparalleled harvest this fall,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer.  “Farmers persevered through difficult weather conditions for two years.  This year, we hope that the weather will provide us with the opportunity to provide an abundance of corn for food, feed, fuel and fiber that will exceed even the growing global demand.”  Planting progressed quickly this year, currently exceeding the five-year average by 15 points. Only three states, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania,...

(Posted Mon. May 14th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

May 14:  In its weekly crop progress report released today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 87 percent of the nation’s corn is now planted. Based on the prospective plantings report of 95.9  million acres total, this means that 83.4 million acres planted, the National Corn Growers Association said, with all states currently ahead of their five-year average for planting.  “It’s been a great spring for planting, and our farmers are excited about the potential of the 2012 crop,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, a corn grower near Auburn, Ill. “We’re especially happy to see the breadth of this planting progress against the entire corn-growing region and what this means for a successful harvest in the fall.”  With regard to the states surpassing their 2007-2011 average, North Dakota and Indiana are the farthest ahead of trend, at 42 and 40 points ahead, respectively.     Wisconsin and Michigan are the closet to their five-year trends, up 4 and 6 points,...

(Posted Fri. May 11th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Mar. 11: The National Corn Growers Association joined the American Farm Bureau Federation, The Fertilizer Institute, National Pork Producers Council and other farm groups this week to file a motion to intervene in the Gulf Restoration Network v. EPA lawsuit.  More than a dozen environmental groups are seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency to establish strict water quality standards for nutrient runoff for all states in the Mississippi River Basin. With the amount of corn produced throughout the massive watershed, the outcome of this court case could have a profound impact on many of NCGA’s members.   “For the past two years, NCGA has warned that a regulatory framework similar to the Chesapeake Bay would be devastating to agricultural production in the Midwest,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer.   “We are one court case away from that becoming a reality, which is why our organization decided to intervene.”   The Gulf Restoration Network lawsuit alleges that the...

(Posted Mon. May 7th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

May 7: Corn planting is progressing well ahead of the five-year average across the vast majority of corn producing areas, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today.  As a whole, the report indicates that a full 71 percent of the nation’s corn crop had already been planted as of May 6,  24 points ahead of the five-year average at that time.  “What growers optimistically viewed as a potentially optimal planting season has become a reality in many areas,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer.  “With nearly three-quarters of the nation’s corn acres already in the ground, farmers have reason to look toward the 2012 harvest with greater hopes than in recent years.  Conditions could still change, but either way, farmers will meet the challenge and produce an affordable, abundant supply of corn.”  Tennessee, the state leading in corn planting progress again this week, had an estimated 98 percent of total corn acres planted as of...

(Posted Tue. Apr 10th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Apr. 10:  Corn stocks and demand in the United States remain stable according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today.  While potential for change in the May report was noted, the agency found that, at present, the previous estimates require no revision.   This news follows reports issued by USDA late yesterday indicating that seven percent of the U.S. corn crop had already been planted as of Sunday.  This indicates progress significantly ahead of the five-year average as only two percent of the crop would normally be planted at that time.   Much of the early planting is occurring in the south and central Corn Belt with Tennessee and Kentucky leading the push with planting 31 and 25 points over the average respectively.  Missouri and Illinois also have planted earlier than normal to a large degree.  While all major corn production states with only the exceptions of North Dakota and Wisconsin have documented planting already, the data clearly suggests...

(Posted Fri. Apr 6th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Apr. 6: With planting across much of the Midwest set to begin within the next week, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to take time to review proper safety procedures.   “Part of maintaining and increasing opportunities for corn farmers includes helping ensure that everyone in our community remembers the importance of safety, especially during the extremely active planting and harvest seasons,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “While a good part of planting safety is based in common sense, it is imperative to ensuring that farmers have a successful, secure season.”  First, farmers should remember to check safety equipment and ensure it is in proper working order.  Devices such as fire extinguishers should be thoroughly inspected prior to any active period, such as planting or harvest.  By maintaining safety equipment, farmers can best make certain that, should an emergency occur, they are fully prepared.  Next, it is essential that farmers utilize...

(Posted Fri. Mar 30th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Mar. 30:  American farmers expect to plant nearly four million more acres of corn in 2012, a four percent increase from 2011, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report released today.   If realized, it will be the highest corn planting in the United States since 1937, when 97.2 million acres were planted.  In recent years, the record corn planting was in the spring of 2007 when U.S. growers planted 93.527 million acres.     “Even after a difficult growing season last year, farmers harvested a bountiful crop to meet all needs, and it seems that they are on track to break records in 2012,” National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer said.  “This report shows that the innovative American farmer understands the increasing global demands of corn for food, feed, fuel and fiber and that they see the importance of meeting those needs.”  The USDA’s estimate for 2012 is for 95.9 million acres to be planted in field corn.  Assuming the...

(Posted Wed. Mar 21st, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Mar. 21: The release of U.S. Department of Agriculture reports on crop production plays an increasingly large role in the movement of volatile commodity markets according to its own data.  In a report released earlier this month through the department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service titled “Price Reactions after USDA Crop Reports”, the impact of data on corn prices has magnified since 2006, with monthly and annual production data releases, and particularly with quarterly grain stocks reports, now resulting in market price changes of ten or more cents in a majority of cases.  “When examined, the data clearly demonstrates a marked increase in commodities market volatility,” said National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels, an agricultural economist by training. “While many factors certainly impact cash markets on a given day, the correlation is too strong to ignore.  Evidence shows a trend toward significant, market...

(Posted Fri. Mar 16th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology Production Trade

Mar. 16: Farmers looking for information about the approval status of U.S.-grown corn hybrids in certain export markets now have access to the most current data through the National Corn Growers Association’s Know Before Your Grow program.  Recently updated, Know Before Your Grow, featured on the association’s website, provides a comprehensive look at this vital information in an easily accessible format.  To learn more about this program, Off the Cob sat down with NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman, a farmer from Rosendale, Wisc.  In his explanation of the program, Zimmerman stressed the simplicity and importance of making informed planting decisions that factor the nuances of the final market into decisions.  “The Know Before You Grow program offers a website, which is open to anyone interested, listing the approval status of the biotech traits currently available,” he explained. “This is incredibly important because farmers who are...

(Posted Thu. Mar 8th, 2012)

Keywords: Production Trade

Mar. 8: U.S. corn farmers harvested a high-quality crop in 2011, according to a report released by the U.S. Grains Council. With good test weights, low damage and relatively high protein concentrations, the crop will require little drying and store well.  The first report of this kind issued by the Council, this initial edition sets a baseline for subsequent annual updates while establishing credible criteria and processes through which to assess the crop.  “The global corn market is increasingly competitive, and the Council believes that the availability of accurate, consistent, and comparable information is in the long-term interests of all concerned,” said USGC Chairman Wendell Shauman. “Improved information will facilitate increased trade – and when trade works, the world wins.”  This report, created to answer buyers’ questions about the quality of the current U.S. crop and assist in making well-informed decisions, adds to the insight offered by the National Corn Growers...

(Posted Mon. Mar 5th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology Production

Mar. 5:  As a preview to National Agriculture Day events in Washington this week, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance is holding a panel discussion on Capitol Hill that will be streamed live online, and is inviting questions from the public. While he is not a panelist, National Corn Growers Association Chairman Bart Schott, a North Dakota corn farmer, will be present in his role as Vice Chair of USFRA.  “We’re proud to be one of the founding organizations of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance,” Schott said. “Not only has this organization united farmers and ranchers together as never before, but it is helping jumpstart a real conversation about our commitment to continuous improvement to provide healthy choices for all when it comes to the food they eat. This panel will help bring that conversation to our nation’s capital.”  The discussion, before an audience of more than 200, will center on technology, and how, for most industries, it is seen as a catalyst for...

(Posted Thu. Feb 16th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

  Feb. 16:  The National Corn Growers Association released its 2011 National Corn Yield Contest Guide online, providing a sneak preview of the winner profiles and sustainability information that will hit many farmers’ mailboxes in the mid February issue of Farm Journal.  With a personal message from NCGA President Garry Niemeyer and informative and entertaining information, such as a look at the nation’s oldest corn club, this edition of the annual publication provides the detailed contest information, insightful articles and exciting updates upon which farmers have come to rely.  Click here to view the full guide, which was co-sponsored by BASF, John Deere and Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont Business.  In his letter, Niemeyer praises the ability of America’s corn farmers to resiliently press ahead, achieving a bountiful harvest despite difficult weather conditions across the country.  He notes that this optimism is reflected in the contest as well.  “Farmers demonstrated...

(Posted Thu. Jan 26th, 2012)

Keywords: Conservation Production

Jan. 26: The National Corn Growers Association’s Production and Stewardship Action Team traveled to Fresno, Calif., this week to tackle issues related to sustainability, water quality and other conservation and environmental concerns.  At the meeting, Gary Edwards and Ken McCauley, who serve as NCGA organizational appointees on two sustainability initiatives, spoke to growers about sustainability efforts in the agricultural industry.  McCauley, an NCGA past president who farms in eastern Kansas, discussed the importance of corn farmers playing an active role in the development of farm management systems that will help producers to achieve verifiable sustainability outcomes that satisfy performance expectations of manufacturing supply chains and still maintain farm productivity.  Such is the mission of the National Institute of Sustainable Agriculture, McCauley noted, which expects to implement model systems developed through producer leadership and participation in...

(Posted Thu. Jan 12th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Jan 12: In its annual report on crop production released this morning, the U.S. Department of Agricultural slightly increased its previous estimates of corn production and average yield, now reporting a crop of 12.4 billion bushels harvested on 84 million acres, for a yield of 147.2 bushels per acre. This demonstrates the resilience of corn and corn growers despite significant weather challenges throughout the growing season, the National Corn Growers Association said.  “Despite lost acres and a 2011 yield that’s 5.6 bushels below the 2010 average, the corn crop itself is only one percentage point below last year’s number,” NCGA President Garry Niemeyer said. “A lot of people, including the grain market, expected a much different report, and that explains the price drop on corn futures, but we see this as a positive sign and even further reason to expect that we will continue to meet all needs into the foreseeable future.”  In the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates...

(Posted Fri. Dec 16th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Dec. 16: The National Corn Growers Association launched the next-generation of its Insect Resistance Management refuge calculator online today to help growers as they begin planning for the 2012 growing season. The product of a collaboration between agribusiness and NCGA, under the leadership of the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team, the calculator allows users to easily clarify refuge options and develop a plan, even for the latest products available on a web-based framework while providing the added convenience of smartphone and desktop application accessibility.  “This new version of the IRM calculator provides an ease of access unavailable in other versions by allowing users to work online and on their smartphone. Like the previous desktop application, which has been updated as well, this tool helps farmers navigate the broad and complex variety of refuge requirements presented by the wide array of new technologies available,” said NCGA Trade Policy and...

(Posted Mon. Dec 12th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Dec. 12: While U.S. corn production this past year was impacted by several major weather-related events that cut acres and yield, taking a broader look shows how grain demands can be met by taking into account overseas production. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is reporting record global corn, wheat and rice production.  “We always hold that, no matter the challenge we face, the global marketplace will respond to make sure all needs are covered,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “When our production is reduced, we appreciate that other options are available for some of our end users. We live in a diverse and global marketplace and it’s important to support and expand trade, whether through pushing for beneficial trade agreements or improving outdated transportation infrastructure.”  In its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report issued Friday, USDA notes that global corn production this year is projected at a...

(Posted Mon. Dec 5th, 2011)

Keywords: Biotechnology Production

Dec. 5: High-yield technologies like those used in the United States will have to be effectively adapted for use world-wide in order to meet growing global food demand, according to the findings of a study released by University of Minnesota Professor David Tilman and colleagues in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  Estimating that global food demand will double by the year 2050, the scientists project that, in order to meet that demand without causing serious environmental damage, less developed nations must significantly improve yields by the adoption of nitrogen-efficient “intensive” farming practices that allow farmers to grow more crop on less land using fewer inputs more strategically.  Reporting on the findings, Science Daily noted Tilman stressed the importance of modern U.S. agricultural practices in preserving the environment while feeding a growing population.  “Agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions could double by 2050 if current trends in global...

(Posted Wed. Nov 9th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Nov. 9: Despite slightly lower corn harvest estimates for 2011, growers are still pulling in the fourth-largest U.S. corn crop ever to meet all needs for food, feed and fuel, the National Corn Growers Association said Wednesday upon release of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly report on supply and demand.  “Even in light of slightly lowered estimates, U.S. corn farmers remain on track to produce an abundant crop that will be more than enough to meet all demand,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “Recently, we have become accustomed to setting new yield and production records every year, but 2011 reminds us that the weather still plays a major role in growing a successful crop.”  Estimated U.S. corn production fell by one percent, roughly 123 million bushels, from October projections as national average yield forecasts were revised down by 1.4 bushels per acre according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. With yield...

(Posted Thu. Nov 3rd, 2011)

Keywords: Farm Policy Production

Nov. 3: The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers and their allies to submit comments opposing a petition filed with the Environmental Protection Agency that would ban atrazine use and production before the public comment period closes on November 14. The petition, originally submitted this spring by an activist organization named Save the Frogs, asks for both further review of this proven herbicide and regulatory changes. The EPA posted this petition on its website for public comment, remaining consistent with its goal of openness and transparency in the regulatory and scientific processes.  “Growers must speak out right now in support of the current policies regulating atrazine use,” said Dean Taylor, chair of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “This herbicide has played a vital role in farming for more than five decades, both increasing corn productivity and allowing for the use of practices that protect our environment.”  The information submitted by...

(Posted Tue. Oct 25th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Oct. 25: Harvest is progressing quickly this year with 65 percent of acres already complete, a full 14 points over the five-year trend, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Monday afternoon.  Corn condition overall remains stable as the season nears an end, with 54 percent of the crop rated good or excellent.   “Farmers relied on a strong, deeply engrained work ethic this season that allowed them to grow an abundant crop despite difficult conditions across much of the Corn Belt,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer.  “Now, they are reaping the benefits of their labors as harvest moves along quickly in most areas.  Farmers should take pride in their accomplishments and the greater public, as beneficiaries of their work, should examine the importance of the technologies and practices that made this achievement possible.”  These accomplishments come in spite of areas which, due to adverse weather conditions, continue to lag in...

(Posted Thu. Oct 13th, 2011)

Keywords: Production Trade

Oct. 13: National Corn Growers Association Corn Board member Mike Geske answered questions on what farmers will need to maximize productivity and profitability over the next five to ten years at the World Food Prize’s Truth About Trade and Technology 2011 Global Farm Roundtable, held this week in Des Moines.  Responding to inquires from an international panel, Geske stressed the myriad of benefits that biotech crops provide growers, the need for a streamlined approval process for new traits and the importance of trade associations to American farmers.  He noted that participants found information on NCGA efforts to educate farmers on the uses and applications of social media especially interesting.  “While there are certainly challenges specific to farming different crops in many geographical areas, events such as this clearly show that we face many common challenges as growers,” said Geske, a corn grower in Missouri. “While sharing our common experiences is inspiring, working...

(Posted Wed. Oct 12th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Oct. 12: U.S. corn supplies have eased with larger projected ending stocks for both the 2010 and 2011 marketing years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported today. Ending stocks for 2010, reported on Sept. 30, remain at more than 1.1 billion bushels, up more than 200 million bushels since the Sept. 12 WASDE estimate, and ending stocks for 2011 were increased nearly 200 million bushels to 866 million bushels.  While 2011 acres planted and harvested were decreased slightly, a consistent yield projection has brought 2011 production down 1 percent to 12.4 billion bushels.  “The hard work and dedication of U.S farmers yet again provides an abundant corn crop in 2011 even in the face of some of the worst growing conditions in recent memory,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “As always, U.S. farmers are ready and able to meet all demands for food, feed, fiber and fuel proving media reports of shortages inaccurate and providing for our neighbors, be...

(Posted Fri. Sep 30th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Sept. 30: Corn supplies for the coming year are higher than previously estimated, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Stocks report released today. With the total carry-out estimate revised to include an additional 200 million bushels more than the Sept. 12 estimate, this new data indicates that carry-out stocks, coupled with an estimated 12.497 billion bushels of production in 2011, will provide more than 13.6 billion bushels of U.S. corn this year.  “Corn farmers have remained resilient throughout a difficult growing season, working tirelessly to grow an abundant crop,” said National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott. “With the additional corn carry-over incorporated into previous estimates, it is becoming increasingly evident that, while this may not be a record-breaking year for total production, we are still able to provide a reliable, affordable crop capable of supplying corn to meet an ever-growing demand.”  At month’s beginning, estimates...

(Posted Mon. Sep 26th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Sept. 26: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday afternoon that the 2011 corn harvest is 15 percent complete, one percentage point below the five-year average but lower than last year’s harvest by 11 points. At the same time, the corn condition is rated at 80 percent fair-to-excellent.  “This is such an important and busy time for our growers,” said NCGA President Bart Schott, who farms near Kulm, N.D. “I know a lot of us are looking to make the most of what has been a very challenging year, and we’re proud to be on track to bring home what the USDA estimates to be the third-largest crop ever produced.”  Schott noted some of the many challenges growers experienced, from floods to drought. While the Southern states have nearly finished their harvests, some of them – notably, Texas – were especially hard-hit this year. At the same time, Schott himself reports one of the best crops he has had in a long time. In North Dakota, 60 percent of the crops are rated good or...

(Posted Tue. Sep 20th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

This piece is an installment of series launched this spring featuring interviews with executives from organizations representing corn growers at the state level on the specific issues affecting their growers.  Sept. 20: Today, Off the Cob speaks with Texas Corn Producers Board Executive Director David Gibson about the devastating drought that has severely impacted corn growers across his state this growing season. As water pumping restrictions on the high plains continue to decrease farmers’ ability to irrigate, Gibson looks at how a lack of water will impact corn production and necessitate the import of feed grains from out-of-state in order to supply the thriving livestock industry.  Even in a summer plagued by record heat waves, hurricanes and flooding, the severe drought conditions in Texas have grabbed media headlines repeatedly. Now, agricultural economists forecast that agriculture as a whole in the state will lose a record $5.2 billion in 2011.  “Currently, and all...

(Posted Mon. Sep 12th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Sept. 12: The United States is still on track to produce the third-largest corn crop on record, estimated to total 12.5 billion bushels of corn, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released this morning. Despite U.S. corn farmers facing several major weather events that negatively impacted much of the production acreage, causing national average yield estimates to drop to 148.1 bushels per acre, the world corn stocks projection has increased, more than offsetting the reduction projected for the country.  “We have heard from many of our peers across the country about what’s going on in their fields and their expectations come harvest, and we have seen first-hand some of the problems of a very difficult year in important areas of the Corn Belt,” said National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott, a grower from Kulm, N.D. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost all or some of their crops this year. Even as many farmers struggle to rebuild, we...

(Posted Tue. Sep 6th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

Sept. 6:  As growers gear up for this year’s corn harvest, Hurricane Irene was the latest in a number of weather-related challenges that have affected acreage, yield and corn condition across the nation’s corn fields. 2011 has definitely been a year to test the resilience of the American farmer, the National Corn Growers Association reports.  “We had delayed planting and flooding in the upper Midwest, we lost acreage to floods along the Mississippi River and we saw our crops fade in scorching drought in Texas well before the hurricane came along,” said NCGA First Vice President Garry Niemeyer of Illinois. “Last week at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur I heard from many of my peers across the Corn Belt about what’s going on in their fields and their expectations come harvest, and we saw first-hand some of the problems of a very hot year in important areas of the Corn Belt. Our heart goes out to those who lost all or some of their crops this year.”  The U.S. Department of...

(Posted Thu. Aug 11th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

U.S. corn farmers are still on track to produce the third largest crop on record despite difficult growing conditions that have plagued much of the Corn Belt since planting according to USDA reports released today. Projected at 12.9 billion bushels, the total 2011 U.S. corn crop will only be 1.3 percent, or 177 million bushels, below the record set in 2009.  “This report confirms again that U.S. farmers continue to work hard to produce the most abundant, affordable crop possible,” said National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott. “While many of us have faced extreme drought or severe flooding, we have persevered and, through the use of improved technologies and practices, we will nearly reach the crop record set under more favorable conditions. It is important that the 98.5 percent of the population totally removed from agriculture understand that farmers, due to the triumphs of modern agriculture, can and will meet all demands for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”  The...

(Posted Tue. Jul 26th, 2011)

Keywords: Production

July 26:  The maturity of the U.S. corn crop is still on track in most areas according to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture crop progress report. Additionally, with only spotty exception, the majority of the crop is of comparable condition as that of 2009, when U.S. corn growers set the current production record.  “While its doubtful yields will set records this year, corn growers are still projected to produce a record crop with slightly higher acreage” said National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott. “Farmers are at the mercy of the weather but advances in biotechnology and production techniques allow us to better withstand difficult conditions and cultivate enough corn to meet all demands.”  Based on conditions as of July 24, 62 percent of the crop was rated in good to excellent. Corn is also maturing nearly on schedule with 65 percent of the crop reportedly already in the silking stage, only four points behind the 5-year average at the same time....

(Posted Tue. Jul 19th, 2011)

Keywords: Production Trade

July 19: The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has added a new product to their portfolio. Contracts for urea, urea ammonium nitrate (UAN), and di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) began trading last week on the New York trading floor and are cleared through CME ClearPort.  These new fertilizer contracts provide opportunities for fertilizer companies and farmers to manage their risk. Ideally, the option to manage risk will make contracts between fertilizer retailers and farmers less risky and impacts to farmer margins will be minimized.  “For more than 150 years, agricultural producers and agribusinesses have relied on our benchmark grain futures and options contracts to manage their commodity price risk,” said Tim Andriesen, Managing Director, Agricultural Commodities and Alternative Investments, CME Group. “The fertilizer products we’re introducing allow market participants to manage fertilizer prices, one of the key and most volatile price inputs into grain production, further allowing a...