NEWS STORIES

AUGUST 2019

American Coalition for Ethanol Conference Focuses on Growing Markets

(Posted Mon. Aug 19th, 2019)

Keywords: ethanol

The American Coalition for Ethanol Annual Conference What It Takes looked at ways the industry can grow the ethanol market internationally and domestically. This was the 32nd annual ACE conference, which was held this year in Omaha, Nebraska.   ACE CEO Brian Jennings emphasized the need for “a vision of how to increase demand for ethanol and break free from the status quo.”   Jennings went on to talk about the positives of E15 being available year-round but told the crowd we have to keep fighting the EPA’s abuse of the RFS. “At ACE, we’ve come to the conclusion we can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing and hope the results get better, playing defense on the RFS and hoping trade wars subside isn’t a growth strategy. We need to turn the page, to go on offense.”   Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and U.S. Grains Council CEO & President Ryan LeGrand were featured speakers among the group. Some of the high-level trends and topics included improving carbon intensity scores of...

Following Pesticide Labels Remains Critical Through Entire Growing Season

(Posted Thu. Aug 15th, 2019)

Keywords: production

With harvest beginning in some states and right around the corner in others, National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that following pesticide labels is critical right through the end of the season.   In particular, it’s important to pay close attention to preharvest interval requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that any potential traces of the product left behind are at levels that will not cause disruptions in trade.   Every pesticide has a maximum residue level (MRL) specific to each crop for which it is labeled. MRLs are a measurement of acceptable pesticide residues, set far below toxicological safety limits, for every product treated with pesticides.   They provide a standard to help ensure that food treated with pesticides is safe for consumption and ultimately verify that farmers have used crop protection products correctly. Especially in international markets, if shipments are tested and the MRL for one or more pesticides is exceeded that...

#ICYMI: Waterways Council Launches Educational Video Series

(Posted Wed. Aug 14th, 2019)

Keywords: transportation

The Waterways Council, Inc. recently produced a series of videos, aimed at educating various audiences on inland waterways. The five videos focus on agriculture, labor, shippers, communities and the Army Corps of Engineers. In the agriculture video, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue kicks it off by saying “I don’t think anything is more important to agriculture than logistics and transportation. That’s ultimately how we get that product to the ultimate end customer and our waterways have been absolutely critical in that effort.”   To watch the agriculture video, click here. To learn more about and watch the other four videos, click here. In September, NCGA staff will be participating in a Mississippi Riverboat trip with the Army Corps of Engineers from Hannibal to St. Louis, to learn more about river transportation, lock and dam infrastructure and various projects the Corps is working on.   Fast Facts on River Transportation:   Corn, soybeans and wheat account...

The National Corn Yield Contest Deadline August 15

(Posted Tue. Aug 13th, 2019)

Keywords: ncyc

The National Corn Yield Contest entry deadline is Thursday, August 15, 2019. To participate and receive recognition for your yield, enter online.   All harvest entries will be due by November 15. Contest winners will be announced on December 16. For access to additional contest information and a detailed list of the entry and harvest rules, click here.   Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. The winners will be honored during Commodity Classic 2020 in San Antonio, Texas.   Contact the direct call line at 636-733-5512 or email ncyc@ncga.com with any questions.

(Posted Mon. Aug 12th, 2019)

Keywords: production

American farmers planted two percent fewer corn acres than forecast in June estimate but still exceeded 2018 acres planted by one percent, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. The report indicates a 1.7 million-acre net decrease from the Acreage report released in June. At the same time, today’s reports show a 3.5 bushel per acre increase to national average yield projections from last month, with 169.5 bushels per acre now forecast. With increased yield projections more than offsetting decreased planted acres, total production for 2019/20 is now projected to reach 13.9 billion bushels.   Yield projections, notably, reflect the season’s first survey-based yield forecast.   Ending stocks are forecast up by 171 million bushels to 2.2 billion given reductions to the projected demand for corn from the ethanol and export sectors, along with increased production projections. The season-average corn price received by producers lowered by 10 cents to...

NCGA Statement: EPA Waivers Undermine RFS

(Posted Fri. Aug 9th, 2019)

Keywords: policy ethanol

NCGA President Lynn Chrisp made the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved 31 refinery exemptions. Since early 2018, EPA has undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and granted 53 RFS waivers to big oil companies, totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel.   “Waivers reduce demand for ethanol, lower the value of our crop and undermine the President’s support for America’s farmers. Waivers benefit big oil at the expense of corn farmers who, between losing export markets abroad and ethanol markets at home, are losing patience.   “Mr. President, you proudly stand with farmers, but your EPA isn’t following through. You can step up for farmers today by reining in RFS waivers. Farmers expect the RFS to be kept whole by accounting for waived gallons and bringing more transparency to EPA’s secret process.   “Farmers are facing a sixth consecutive year of depressed income and commodity prices, with farm income for...

Leaders Come Together to Develop Skills, Share Insights

(Posted Fri. Aug 9th, 2019)

Keywords: Leadership Academy

Fifteen growers from nine states - Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, South Dakota and Wisconsin took part in NCGA’s Leadership Academy program in St. Louis this week.   The NCGA Leadership Academy is designed to prepare state corn leaders to lead their respective state grower associations and checkoff boards.  This year’s program included training on the following: transformational leadership, consensus building, forecasting and anticipating future challenges, parliamentary procedure, and building trust with consumers through traditional and social media. The group visited the NCGA office to meet and build a relationship with staff who lead national programs.  NCGA’s CEO, Jon Doggett, Board President, Lynn Chrisp and in-coming First Vice-President John Linder were on hand to interact with the participants.   Leading the conversation on building trust was the Center for Food Integrity (CFI). CFI is a not-for-profit organization whose members and partners...

Joint NCGA-ASA Op-Ed Urges President to Support Renewable Fuel Standard

(Posted Thu. Aug 8th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp and American Soybean Association (ASA) President Davie Stephens have written the below opinion piece urging President Trump to uphold his commitment to America’s farmers and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   President Trump, Uphold Your Commitment to the RFS American farmers have a strong history of innovation. Whether that be the seeds that we plant or the tractors that we drive, we are always looking for ways to do better and increase market opportunities for our products.   Home-grown renewable fuels, like ethanol and biodiesel, are far and away our biggest success story. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has reduced our dependence on foreign oil, lowered fuel prices at the pump, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and added value by increasing demand for the corn and soybeans our farmers produce.   Recently, President Trump took a significant step forward for renewable fuels, instructing the Environmental...

(Posted Thu. Aug 8th, 2019)

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.   Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. Further along in terms of crop development than her counterparts further north, she has already begun harvesting this year’s crop.   “Harvest is coming along quite nicely. Fortunately or unfortunately, we had had quite a bit of dry weather. So, we have made quite a bit of progress,” said Bowers. “We are about 95 percent complete on harvesting milo and about 65 percent complete on harvesting corn.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

Farmers Come First: Reflections on an Amazing Summer at NCGA

(Posted Wed. Aug 7th, 2019)

Keywords: Misclellaneous Intern

Written by Emily Keiser     After traveling to six different states, visiting D.C. twice, and learning the true meaning of “farmers come first,” I could not be more grateful for my time with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Soil Health Partnership (SHP). Throughout the summer, I have learned the mission of NCGA, the dedication it takes to continue to move the needle through the tough times, and the importance of continuing to spread the positive message of agriculture.   With over 40,000 farmers served by NCGA nationwide, it becomes a big task to have each region represented. During my time in the national office, I have seen the true dedication to provide the voice for farmers, no matter what their geography. Learning how an issue that starts in a farmer’s field gets to Washington is a process that I have truly enjoyed getting to learn more about.   This year has not been the year most farmers would hang their hat on, with the continued trade challenges...

Save on Back to School Shopping with NCGA-Office Depot Membership Benefit

(Posted Tue. Aug 6th, 2019)

Keywords: Membership

The coming school year is facing families on farms and in cities alike. Members of the National Corn Growers Association can save on the supplies they need for a successful school year through the association’s partnership with Office Depot. Online and in-store, NCGA members are eligible for special discounts on the products necessary to help their families prepare for another successful school year.   The benefit offers members discounts on already low Office Depot prices and provides the flexibility to shop online and at any of their retail locations with a Store Purchasing Card. Online savings include up to 55 percent off a 260 item “best buy” list of their most popular items and 5 percent off every online item. Members can also save 10 percent off everything in Office Depot & OfficeMax retail stores with their store card.   Register by clicking here to either shop online or receive a discount card for in-store shopping.

(Posted Mon. Aug 5th, 2019)

Keywords: Biotechnology

The National Corn Growers Association today submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the Proposed Rule regarding Movement of Certain Genetically Engineered Organisms. The submission voiced support for the proposed rule while also offering several suggestions that would strengthen the final rule. The proposed rule marks the first comprehensive revision of USDA’s regulations since they were established in 1987.   Corn farmers have a strong interest in the availability of new technologies to enhance the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture. Agriculture biotechnology and next generation breeding techniques allow growers to increase yields while decreasing inputs. Meeting demand, improving processes and minimizing environmental impacts are what make modern corn production a dynamic industry. The proposed rule, in large part, demonstrates an underlying agreement with the basis of NCGA’s stance and strives to create a more efficient...

Congressional Recess Presents Opportunity for Corn Farmers

(Posted Fri. Aug 2nd, 2019)

Keywords: Policy

Members of the U.S. House and Senate are returning home after adjourning for the annual August recess. This district work period provides ample opportunity for NCGA’s farmer members to engage with their representatives on issues of importance to corn farmers.   NCGA continues to advocate for passage of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and lawmakers are hoping to consider the new pact when they reconvene this fall. USMCA will solidify a $4.56 billion export market and provide some much-needed certainty for farmers. Ratifying USMCA will also instill confidence in other nations that the U.S. is a reliable partner and supplier, ensuring U.S. agriculture remains competitive for generations to come.   Townhall meetings, county fairs and local festivals are all opportunities for farmers to share their stories with lawmakers. Farmers can learn more about upcoming events in their area by contacting their state corn grower association.   Farmers can also send a message to...

(Posted Fri. Aug 2nd, 2019)

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.   Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois, this morning. Like many farmers, a wet planting season continues to impact the quality and size of his crop.   “Our crop definitely doesn’t look as good as it has in years past, but we have some corn that looks halfway decent,” said Raben. “We also have other corn, that was planted later, that looks very uneven and very stressed. It will still make some sort of corn – we hope.”   To listen to the full interview, including his observations about the use of prevent plant in his area, click here.   Stay tuned over the...

Soil Health Partnership Celebrates 5 Years of Growth and Collaboration

(Posted Thu. Aug 1st, 2019)

Keywords: SHP; Soil Health Partnership

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) has been fostering transformation in agriculture through improved soil health since 2014. This year, SHP celebrates its fifth anniversary and the foundational collaborations that developed the program.   SHP was founded by a diverse group of organizations with a shared vision of developing a farmer-led research network to measure the impacts of implementing soil health practices on working farms. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Bayer, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), alongside the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), came together to see this vision through. This program was based upon work supported by the National Resources Conservation Service, U.S Department of Agriculture.   “We are proud of the collaboration led to SHP’s establishment. That collaboration has continued to grow and evolve with many partners, bringing dynamic perspectives to the table. We would not be where we are today without our founding partners sharing the...