Winterizing Your Lawn Equipment: It Doesn’t have to be a Spooky Process

(Posted Thu. Oct 17th, 2019)

The days are shorter, and it’s finally getting cooler outside, which means yard work is winding down across the country. That’s the signal that it is time to think about winterizing your lawnmower and other outdoor yard power equipment so you’re ready to go in the spring.   There are several online resources available with tips and tricks to get your equipment ready to store, but the best place to find specifics is in your owner’s manual.   Here are a few standard practices to keep in mind:   Drain Fuel: Completely drain the tank and fuel lines. Gasoline has a short shelf-life; old gasoline may not work in the engine and could possibly cause damage. Change the Oil and Filters: This keeps your engine clean by preventing the build-up of particles and foreign materials. Check Spark Plugs: Replacing spark plugs at the end of the season is a cheap way to keep your engine running smoothly. Clean and Inspect: Thoroughly remove any debris accumulation. Storage: Store in a clean,...

Corn Growers Search for Solutions to Aflatoxin Continues

(Posted Wed. Oct 16th, 2019)

Keywords: Research

NCGA continues to move forward with its long-term initiative to manage and ultimately solve aflatoxin issues for farmers with the announcement of a new round of research grants.   The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues for farmers. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on six priority areas, were designed by southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.   “The National Corn Growers Association, working with southern state grower associations including Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina, developed AMCOE to bring a unified approach to aflatoxin research that will yield results in a timely and more efficient manner,” said NCGA Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team Chair Charles Ring, a...

EPA Plan to Address RFS Waivers Falls Short

(Posted Tue. Oct 15th, 2019)

Keywords: ethanol RFS waivers

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today made the below statement following the release of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking. The proposed rule follows an announcement from President Trump last week directing the EPA to follow the letter of the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole.   “While corn farmers appreciate the EPA’s intent to follow Department of Energy recommendations on waivers going forward, the proposed rule fails to provide the assurance needed that EPA’s practices for granting waivers will change going forward. Farmers have long been skeptical of the EPA’s administration of the RFS. This proposal doesn’t provide farmers confidence in EPA’s ability to follow through and make this right. President Trump made a commitment to farmers and instructed the EPA to follow the law, but this proposal appears to come up short...

Researching the Next Generation of Biobased Materials

(Posted Thu. Oct 10th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO) recently held a workshop on Leveraging First Generation Bioethanol Production Facilities. The National Corn Growers Association participated in the event, which was held in Ames, Iowa at the Ames Laboratory, a national laboratory operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Iowa State University.   The workshop focused on how to leverage existing infrastructure and available feedstocks to create biobased materials and chemicals. Suggestions and proposals from the workshop may be used to inform future DOE Bioenergy Technology Office funding announcements. NCGA’s Director of Market Development, Sarah McKay, presented a Rapid-Fire Talk during the workshop. McKay discussed NCGA’s priorities and approach for increasing corn demand and driving the bioeconomy.   “NCGA has a three-pillar approach toward increasing corn demand and driving the bio-economy,” said McKay. “This approach creates new opportunities, improves...

Corn Growers Making Significant Contribution to Bee Health Cause

(Posted Thu. Oct 10th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

  NCGA constantly works to ensure corn growers’ voices are represented in wide-ranging conversations on sustainability issues like the long-term health and viability of honeybees. Most recently, NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs, Nicole Hasheider, participated in the annual meeting of the Honeybee Health Coalition.   As an active member of the coalition for several years, NCGA ensures The Coalition includes representation across a spectrum of stakeholders, including grower groups like NCGA, commercial beekeepers, input providers, specialty crop growers and more.   Even though corn production does not require pollination from bees, NCGA still engages with groups like the Honeybee Health Coalition to create dialogue and foster a better understanding of the similarities and differences in crop production around the country. During the meeting, NCGA staff had the opportunity to lead a discussion on crop selection and grower decision making, which gave other...

Linder Looks Toward Building on Strengths in FY20

(Posted Wed. Oct 9th, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year on October 1 and seated the 2020 Corn Board with John Linder of Edison, Ohio assuming the position of first vice president.  Off the Cob spoke with him to delve into his views on what lies ahead for farmers in the upcoming years and his thoughts on the important role farmers play in NCGA as a grassroots organization.   Looking at the year ahead, Linder looks forward to working with the talented team already in place, in both the states and nationally, to maximize these human assets and tap into both the board and membership to maximize NCGA’s impact.   “It’s going to be a great year to explore the opportunity because that is what we are really out here looking for – opportunities for corn farmers,” said Linder. “I’m really looking forward to making the membership feel like they really have a place in our organization. With all of us together, we should be positioning for success.”   Over the coming years, he sees...

NCGA Urges Farmers to Harvest Safely this Fall

(Posted Tue. Oct 8th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers of the importance of proper grain bin safety procedures this harvest. With farmers across the country preparing to hit the fields in their combines, NCGA offers both a list of safety reminders and a video on the important topic of grain bin safety.   Safety Tips   1.  Road Safety   Reduce vehicle width as much as possible and ensure adequate warning lighting.   Use “Slow Moving Vehicle” signs on all slow-moving equipment.   2.   Equipment Safety   Be incredibly careful when approaching harvesting equipment.  Approach from the front and gain eye contact with the operator before approaching.   Ensure the harvesting equipment is fully stopped and disengaged before climbing onto a vehicle.   Do not place yourself near any unguarded or otherwise running machinery.   Avoid pinch points between equipment – such as tractors with grain wagons. Visibility can be limited, and serious injury can occur.   Watch for trucks...

NCGA Joins President Trump for U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Signing

(Posted Mon. Oct 7th, 2019)

Keywords: Trade

NCGA President Kevin Ross today joined leaders of other farm and commodity groups at the White House to commemorate the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement secures the second-largest export market for corn farmers. Ross made the following statement.   “Japan is the number two buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than $2 billion in the most recent marketing year. This is a high-value market for our livestock industry, therefore, also a major purchaser of U.S. corn through exported meats. NCGA has been a long-time supporter of trade with Japan. With many farmers struggling amid some challenging times, this is some much-needed good news. This agreement reaffirms and builds on our trading relationship with Japan and NCGA looks forward to continued work for a successful Phase 2 of these important negotiations.”

NCGA: Farmers Thank Trump Administration for Listening and Upholding the RFS

(Posted Fri. Oct 4th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol; RFS

The National Corn Growers Association today welcomed an announcement from President Trump directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the letter of the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole.    The RFS and corn farmers have repeatedly come under attack from big oil and the EPA, including the most recent approval of 31 additional RFS exemptions for oil companies, reducing corn demand for ethanol and increasing total waived biofuels demand to 4.04 billion gallons under the Trump Administration. Today’s announcement that EPA will reopen the rulemaking for the 2020 RFS volumes and propose to account for waivers in the volume requirements allows EPA to follow the law and restore integrity to the RFS.   “We’re very grateful the President listened to our concerns and is upholding his commitments to put the RFS back on track,” NCGA President Kevin Ross said. “Corn farmers weren’t shy in telling the President that the impact of these waivers would lead...

Photo Contest in Final Stretch with Harvest

(Posted Wed. Oct 2nd, 2019)

The 2019 photo contest of National Corn Growers Association, continues collecting entries through the harvest season.   First ($300), Second ($200), and Third ($100) place prizes will be awarded for each of seven categories. Judges will select a single Grand Prize winner to be awarded $500 and the single, most popular photo with Facebook “likes” will also be awarded a $500 prize.   Stricter resolution requirements are in place this year, so photographers should use their equipment’s highest resolution settings, and allow extra time for uploads.   You can enter as often as you like at Fields-of-Corn. Pro tip: Once your entry is approved, go to to share for more Facebook likes. The “Likes” obtained on the post will automatically tally to your entry.   Open to all, entries will be accepted through Nov. 30 and will be available to accumulate Facebook “likes” through December. Winners will be announced in January of...

Ethanol Again Fuels Winners of Crappie Masters National Tournament

(Posted Wed. Oct 2nd, 2019)

Keywords: ethanol

For the fifth consecutive year, the winning team of the Crappie Masters National Championship powered their boat with clean, renewable ethanol. The 2019 season concluded last week with Robert Carlile and Craig Nichols coming out on top with a two-day weight of 31.97 pounds at Grenada Lake in Grenada, Mississippi.    The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) were co-title sponsors of the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail for the third consecutive year.   “We’ve had a dream season,” said Carlile. “When we are filling up our boat before coming to the tournaments, we never think twice about filling up with E10. We will continue to put ethanol in our boat.”    “We are proud to use E10 in our boat and be a part of the group of winning teams who use ethanol,” said Nichols. “Our engine runs great when using ethanol-blended fuel. We see the benefits of running ethanol in our engine first-hand.”   The team received a $2,000 bonus from the...

Ross Reflects on Leadership with an Eye on the Future Entering FY 2020

(Posted Tue. Oct 1st, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year today and seated the 2020 Corn Board with Kevin Ross of Minden, Iowa assuming the presidency.  Off the Cob spoke with the new president to explore his views on what lies ahead for corn farmers in 2020 and his goals for his term.   Looking at the year ahead, Ross is grateful for the chance to serve and to create opportunities to fully utilize the talents of his fellow grower leaders.   “I am looking forward to having the opportunity to facilitate the growth amongst our board and to lead the organization in which I have spent so much time,” said Ross. “It is such a privilege to be able to step into this role. In doing so, I hope to represent fellow neighbors and farmers across the country well.”   Over the year ahead, he sees many opportunities to build markets and impact change for farmers. A true believer in the power of grassroots action, he sees the power of NCGA coming directly from the farmers who join, act...