NEWS STORIES

NOVEMBER 2019

Senators Speak in Opposition to Small Refinery Waivers

(Posted Fri. Nov 15th, 2019)

U.S. Senators Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Tina Smith, D-Minn., on Tuesday, submitted statements for the record highlighting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) abuse of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) or waivers. The Senators’ comments follow EPA’s proposed rule that would fail to meet parameters of a deal announced by President Trump to accurately account for the impact of SREs.   Durbin, whose efforts 14 years ago helped to enact the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) urged his Senate colleagues to, “support rural America by ending EPA’s efforts to issue these waivers without any transparency or economic impact.” Stabenow said, “The Administration’s continued abuse of refinery waivers undermine the integrity of the RFS program and hurt our farmers, biofuel producers, and rural communities in Michigan and across the country.”   Smith said, “Small refinery waivers from the EPA are wreaking havoc on our nation’s rural...

Waterways Symposium Moves to Pittsburgh for 2019

(Posted Thu. Nov 14th, 2019)

The annual Waterways Symposium and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) annual meeting was held last week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Michael Granché, manager of market development, along with Corn Board member and Illinois farmer, Kenny Hartman, attended the conference. While there, the two toured the United Associations Training Center and also had the opportunity to engage with WCI staff and other industry members discussing the opportunities and challenges along the inland waterways.   When asked about the relationship between corn and the inland waterways, Hartman said, “Corn farmers continue to work closely with the Waterways Council because we understand the competitive advantage a reliable and efficiently operated waterways system means to our industry.  However, to maintain our ability to compete globally, additional investments must be made to accelerate the modernization of the U.S. inland waterways. The inland waterways represent the safest, most environmentally...

Talking Trade at USMEF

(Posted Thu. Nov 14th, 2019)

Last week, November 6-8, was the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Strategic Planning Meeting. NCGA’s Director of Market Development Sarah McKay attended the conference, along with growers and staff from various state corn associations. Trade dynamics, market trends, and sustainability were some of the main topics of discussion.   Purdue University Professor of Ag Economics, Dr. Allan Gray, kicked off the meeting with a presentation on U.S. agriculture’s great sustainability story and the need to highlight statistics such as a 203 percent increase in outputs with only 2 percent increase in major inputs since 1940.   On Thursday, attendees received a session on alternative proteins and their increasing popularity worldwide with commentary from South Korea, Russia, Eastern Europe, and the CIS region regarding current challenges in the space such as barriers to entry and adoption in their respective markets. Speakers at the meeting emphasized that the global demand for protein will...

NCGA Engages with the Next Generation of Leaders

(Posted Wed. Nov 13th, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) had the opportunity to participate in the  Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference (AFALC) in Kansas City, Missouri. AFALC offers four different and distinct tracks for college students to assist them in developing both personally and professionally. The tracks vary based on where students are within their college journey.   “These are the future leaders of our industry and it is great to represent America’s corn farmers to talk about opportunities with NCGA and the industry,” said NCGA Manager of Market Development Michael Granché.   Granché helped staff a booth where he engaged with students about NCGA and student opportunities within the association. Granché also served on a roundtable, where he discussed his career path with students and answered their questions about association work as well as offering advice for navigating academia and career.   While there, Michael was reunited with NCGA former intern, Emily...

NCGA Thanks Senate Leaders for Weighing in on EPA Waiver Proposal

(Posted Fri. Nov 8th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol; RFS

U.S. Senators representing many corn states yesterday took action to press EPA to follow the law and adhere to the deal President Trump made with farmers and the EPA to address RFS waivers.   Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), each submitted comments to the Federal Register regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In individual letters to EPA Administrator Wheeler, the Senators expressed concerns about the way the agency plans to calculate the reallocation of biofuel gallons lost due to exemptions for oil refineries and asked EPA to fix the problem in the final rule.   NCGA greatly appreciates the Senators’ calls for EPA to provide more accuracy and certainty in the final rule and standing up for RFS integrity. Farmers are grateful for their continued support and advocacy.   Farmers...

(Posted Thu. Nov 7th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

The Ag-Auto-Ethanol Work Group Annual Forum, held in Detroit, Michigan, took a deep dive into environmental issues, future engine technologies and the potential cost-benefit of high-octane low-carbon fuels at the pump. Representatives from state and national corn growers’ associations, government entities, automakers, the ethanol industry, and researchers were all in attendance.   “NCGA and state corn grower associations continue to educate members of Congress and their staffs on the fuel-efficiency benefits of high-octane fuel, along with the benefits of higher blends of ethanol,” NCGA Renewable Fuels Public Policy Director Kathy Bergren told attendees. “Higher blends of ethanol lower carbon emissions, reduce aromatic emissions and improve air quality and support rural economies.”   “This forum is an opportunity to bring together a cross-section of groups which span the entire value chain to talk about the future and provide updates on current research and initiatives,” said...

Commodity Classic Registration & Housing Opens Wednesday, November 13 at 10:00 a.m. Central

(Posted Thu. Nov 7th, 2019)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Registration and housing for America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience officially opens at 10:00 a.m. Central on Wednesday, November 13.   The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas. To register, reserve hotel rooms, and sign up for email updates, visit CommodityClassic.com.   Early discounts on registration end January 9, 2020.   Established in 1996, Commodity Classic features a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers, unique optional tours and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.   “Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event because every experience, every educational session, and every speaker at Commodity Classic is selected by farmers, for farmers,” said Bob Bowman, an Iowa farmer and co-chair...

Tell Congress to Pass USMCA

(Posted Tue. Nov 5th, 2019)

Keywords: Trade; USMCA

Passing USMCA remains a top priority for farmers across the country and NCGA. With the end of the year fast approaching, and a very limited number of Congressional workdays remaining, urging your representatives to support this important trade deal is more important than ever.   Waiting until 2020, when election-year politics will likely derail its passage, is not an option. Ratifying USMCA this year is our best chance of securing this agreement.   USMCA preserves and builds upon the corn industry’s successful relationship with Mexico and Canada.  In 2018, 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $4.56 billion. These exports generated $5.79 billion in economic activity, supported 36,480 jobs and 300,000 farms.   Passage would provide some certainty to farmers facing challenging times and instill confidence in other important trading partners that the United States is open for business. Members of Congress need to hear...

Deadline Extended! There’s Still Time to Enter your Corn Yield Contest Harvest Results

(Posted Tue. Nov 5th, 2019)

Keywords: NCYC

The weather has posed a challenge for farmers in many states this year, prompting the National Corn Growers Association to extend the harvest deadline for the National Corn Yield Contest. The new deadline will be Saturday, November 30, 2019, at 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.   Entrants need to upload weigh tickets and the yield calculation worksheet that outlines the number of rows harvested and the length of each pass. Both documents must be signed by the contest supervisor. For detailed contest information and harvest rules, click here. If you have specific questions, call the direct call line at 636-733-5518 or email ncyc@ncga.com.   The deadline extension is not expected to impact the announcement of winners on Monday, December 16. Winners will be recognized at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. This is the 55th year of the National Corn Yield Contest.

NCGA Joins Effort Calling on President to Support Farmers, RFS

(Posted Mon. Nov 4th, 2019)

NCGA today joined a unified biofuel and agriculture group letter to President Trump urging him to uphold his commitment to accurately account for refinery waivers and support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   The letter is in response to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that would account for waivers based on Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommendations, rather than the actual gallons waived by EPA. The proposal is half of what the President committed to in an October 4 deal with farmers.   “Mr. President, we share a common vision regarding the RFS. We want to reopen biofuel plants and restore demand for America’s farm products. We are asking for SRE accountability based on a rolling average of the actual volumes exempted by the EPA during the three most recently completed compliance years. This simple fix will provide the market and regulatory certainty necessary to bring back rural jobs and restore demand. The proposal – as written – will not provide the...

(Posted Fri. Nov 1st, 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.   Earlier this week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. Still in his combine, he remains hopeful despite a harvest that is running long.   “If you look at a calendar, we are a little bit behind schedule compared with the last few years, but harvest is coming along pretty well,” said Neitzel. “Quality has been good. Yields have been all over the place.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true...

Harvest Time and NCGA’s Annual Photo Contest are Coming to a Close

(Posted Fri. Nov 1st, 2019)

Each year growing season kicks off the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) annual online photo contest Fields-of-Corn.com. The entry period is coming to an end at the stroke of midnight CST on November 30, 2019.   Photographers compete for 21 cash prizes across 7 categories this year and two individuals will receive $500 grand prizes.   Voting continues through December 31. The winners will be announced in January.   You can learn more about the contest, review the rules and submit your photos today at Fields-of-Corn.com.   NCGA invites amateur and professional photographers alike to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. NCGA seeks high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it.