NCGA Welcomes Trade Aid, Continues Call for Equitable Relief and Market  Opportunities for Corn Farmers

(Posted Thu. May 23rd, 2019)

Keywords: Trade Public Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed the Trump Administration’s announcement of up to $16 billion in assistance to help farmers to make up for potential agriculture losses due, in part, to the most recent tariff increases and prolonged trade dispute with China.   “Farmers across the country are struggling. Wet spring weather, trade disputes and tariffs and demand destruction in the ethanol market are forcing farmers to make difficult decisions. We appreciate the Administration’s recognition of these challenges and support for America’s farmers,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp who joined President Trump for the White House announcement.   Following President Trump’s announcement that the Administration would be pursuing a second round of trade aid, NCGA put forward recommendations that would provide both short-term assistance and support market access for farmers.   NCGA called on USDA to update the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to factor market...

(Posted Thu. May 23rd, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today applauded legislation introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Representative Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. The Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 would set a deadline for refineries to apply for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers and bring much-needed transparency to the waiver process.   Within the past year, EPA has granted 54 exemptions to refineries, waiving 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel blending under the RFS. EPA has another 39 waiver petitions pending, with decisions from EPA expected in the coming weeks.   Currently, most refineries do not apply for a waiver until after EPA sets the RFS volumes for the coming year. This new legislation would set a June deadline for refineries to apply for RFS exemptions, allowing ample time for the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine exemptions before the annual...

Take Action Resources a Great Tool as Farmers Realign Pest Management Plan Due to Weather

(Posted Thu. May 23rd, 2019)

Keywords: Production

Farmers have a love-hate relationship with the weather because of how quickly and dramatically it can affect planting, plant development, pest management and harvesting. Droughts can be devastating but too much water can also be a huge problem as witnessed this spring.   Planting delays across farm country due to rain have been getting a lot of headlines but for crops already in the ground issues also abound. Wet weather is an important factor to consider when making herbicide applications related to timeliness of applications as well as getting the best product performance.   Fortunately, there are ways you can manage your herbicide use while factoring in the impact of weather on herbicide efficacy and NCGA is encouraging farmers to use the resources available on the Take Action website.   Wet conditions also mean higher risks of diseases in corn so careful management of fungicides to make sure they are effective is another priority.   You can learn more are the Take...

Efforts to Help Struggling Honey Bee Population Gaining Momentum

(Posted Wed. May 22nd, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainabillity Conservation

Corn is wind pollinated and does not benefit from insect pollination so why the heck do corn farmers care about bees?   Well, few farmers grow only one crop and bees play a critical role in 80 percent of flowering crops. Even bigger picture, bees are a critical part of thriving ecosystems, including those found across the Corn Belt.   That’s why more and more farmers are keeping pollinators in mind as they manage their fields each year and make longer term plans for their operation, according to Nicole Hasheider, NCGA’s director of biotechnology and crop inputs. NCGA is doing its part to help by partnering with the Honey Bee Health Coalition and through the introduction of a new resource on pollinator protection.   Bees can cover up to 3,200 acres as they travel looking for nectar and pollen, which means the odds are high they are eventually going to end up hanging out in a cornfield. Corn pollen, while of low nutritional value to honey bees, can still be an important component...

NCGA Remembers Farm Credit Chairman Dallas Tonsager

(Posted Wed. May 22nd, 2019)

Farm Credit Administration Chairman Dallas Tonsager passed away Tuesday after a battle with lymphoma. Tonsager was a long-time champion of agriculture and rural America.   “Dallas was a good and honest man who worked hard on behalf of farmers and ranchers,” NCGA CEO Jon Doggett said. “He never lost touch with his rural roots and used his leadership positions to advocate for rural communities.”   Tonsager served as undersecretary for rural development at USDA from 2009 to 2013, overseeing an expansion of rural broadband development and increased funding for first- and second-generation biofuels, among other initiatives.   Tonsager grew up on a South Dakota dairy farm and served as South Dakota Farmers Union President and USDA state director for rural development. He was also a founding member of Rural Americans for Obama, served on the board of National Farmers Union Insurance, was a member of the CFTC advisory board, and executive director of the South Dakota Value-Added...

Trade Tuesday: Tariff Lift Clear Barrier for USMCA

(Posted Tue. May 21st, 2019)

Keywords: Trade policy

NCGA continues to celebrate World Trade Month and Friday’s announcement that the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada had been lifted was a major positive step for passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Lawmakers on Capitol Hill frequently cited this tariff as a roadblock for the bill.   USMCA would update the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to further solidify the U.S. trading relationship with Canada and Mexico, two of the largest markets for U.S. corn. Passing this agreement would help farmers in the frontlines of the economy. Exports to Mexico and Canada produced $4.1 billion in economic activity, supporting 25,000 jobs and 300,000 farms in 2016.   U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue stated on Friday: “Today’s announcement is a big win for American agriculture and the economy as a whole. I thank President Trump for negotiating a great deal and for negotiating the removal of these tariffs. Canada and Mexico are...

Enter National Yield Contest Early and Save!

(Posted Mon. May 20th, 2019)

Keywords: production

As the spring moves along, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to register early for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 30, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small-time investment now saves money later this summer.   To enter today using the online form, click here.    Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through July 31. All harvest forms will be due by November 15. Contest winners will be announced on December 16.   Click here for more information on the NCGA National Corn Yield Contest.

NCGA Provides Trade Aid Recommendations to USDA

(Posted Fri. May 17th, 2019)

Keywords: Trade Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with recommendations outlining both short and long-term actions that would provide assistance to farmers facing losses due, in part, to the most recent tariff increases and prolonged trade dispute with China.   NCGA analysis, capturing corn market impacts from May 2018 to April 2019, showed an average price loss of $0.20/bushel. In March and April of 2019, as trade talks with China lagged on, that loss widened again to closer to $0.40/bushel.   Given these losses, NCGA is urging USDA to improve upon last year’s Market Facilitation Program (MFP) which set the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel, to make sure that assistance more equitably compensates farmers for market losses. Beyond USDA, NCGA is also urging the Administration to address demand destruction caused by the EPA’s small refinery exemptions to oil refiners, among other actions.   NCGA members have...

USMCA Roadblock Cleared

(Posted Fri. May 17th, 2019)

Keywords: Trade USMCA Policy

Leaders from the United States, Mexico and Canada today announced that a deal has been reached to lift the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.   Lawmakers on Capitol Hill frequently cited the tariffs as a roadblock to passage of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley leading the charge. NCGA appreciates lawmakers’ support for USMCA, along with the Administration’s willingness to hear from agriculture and work to resolve the industry’s concerns.   Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market. In 2016 alone, more than 17.3 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $3.2 billion.   USMCA secures and builds upon this important partnership, which is why ratifying USMCA is NCGA’s top legislative priority for 2019.   Tell Congress to Pass USMCA!

(Posted Fri. May 17th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth 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.   Earlier this week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. Cold, wet weather has hampered planting progress and could potentially impact the crop he will harvest this fall.   “We are about 300 acres away from completing corn planting. Usually, by this time, we would be done and pretty heavily into soybean planting,” said Neitzel. “We have gotten two rounds of rain that both lasted multiple days, and everything is saturated almost beyond belief. And, we were already way behind.   “We didn’t get started planting until the 15th or 16th of April. Mother...