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FARM POLICY

NCGA Provides Comment on Farm Bill’s Trade Programs

(Posted Wed. Mar 27th, 2019)

Keywords: Farm policy Farm Bill

  NCGA President Lynn Chrisp today submitted comments on the 2018 Farm Bill’s Trade Title (Title III) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help advance the department’s implementation of the new bill. America’s corn farmers derive an estimated 33 percent of their incomes from the export of corn and corn products. Farmers’ ability to benefit from these exports is driven, in part, by the export promotion and market development programs administered by USDA.   NCGA encouraged USDA to consult closely with both Congress and agriculture stakeholders to ensure the positive changes to the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program are implemented as Congress intended. Increased investment for both MAP and FMD were top NCGA farm bill priorities.   MAP and FMD are used by cooperators like the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) who leverage these resources to develop overseas markets for corn.   You can read the complete comments

2018 Farm Bill Signed

(Posted Thu. Dec 20th, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy Farm Bill

President Donald Trump today signed the 2018 Farm Bill (the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) into law with NCGA President Lynn Chrisp and Chairman Kevin Skunes in attendance. Today’s action follows last week’s overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill in both the House and Senate.   “NCGA is very pleased that our farmers will be able to look forward to a new year with the certainty of a new farm bill. Between depressed commodity prices, record low farm incomes and tariffs and trade uncertainty, today’s signing is very welcome news."   NCGA’s members took an active role in the 2018 Farm Bill’s development, ensuring organization priorities like continued support for crop insurance and improvements to the ARC-CO program, were included in the final legislation. Members visited with their representatives and sent emails and made phone calls to Capitol Hill offices stressing the importance of getting a new farm bill signed into law this year.   Chrisp thanked NCGA members...

(Posted Mon. Dec 17th, 2018)

Keywords: Trade Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association today expressed disappointment that corn farmers impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty would receive virtually no relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Facilitation Program (MFP).   NCGA’s comments follow USDA’s announcement of the second round of MFP payments, again setting the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel, despite the fact that corn farmers have suffered an average 44 cent per bushel loss since tariffs were first announced.   “Farmers of all crops have felt the impact of trade tariffs,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “NCGA appreciates the progress the administration has made to advance ethanol, reach a new agreement with Mexico and Canada and move forward on negotiations with Japan, but the benefits of these efforts will take time to materialize and farmers are hurting now.”   “One cent per bushel is woefully inadequate to even begin to cover the losses being felt by...

NCGA Statement on Farm Bill Passage

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy farm bill

December 12, 2018 – National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today made the following statement after Congressional approval of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2). The legislation passed the Senate 87-13 Tuesday and the House 369-47 today. It now goes to President Trump to be signed into law.   “The certainty of a new farm bill is very welcome news for farmers as they begin to look toward the new year. NCGA is pleased to see a return to the bipartisanship that has been a hallmark of past farm bills and we look forward to the President quickly signing the bill into law.   “To put it bluntly, the farm economy stinks. Between depressed commodity prices, record low farm incomes and tariffs and trade uncertainty, farmers are facing difficult decisions. Getting the farm bill passed, and signed into law, is one less thing they need to worry about.   “NCGA is most pleased to see the bill maintains support for a robust crop insurance...

NCGA Welcomes News of Farm Bill Agreement

(Posted Thu. Nov 29th, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Bill farm policy

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today released the following statement after an announcement that farm bill negotiators – Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., have reached an agreement in principle on a new farm bill.   “It’s imperative that farmers and rural communities have a new farm bill this year. NCGA is grateful for today’s announcement that sets the steps in motion to ensure that happens. Our grower members have been making phone calls and sending emails to Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to reach a deal before year’s end. We thank them for heeding this call and look forward to fully reviewing the conference agreement.”

Environmental Defense Fund, National Corn Growers Association Launch First-of-Its-Kind Partnership

(Posted Wed. Nov 14th, 2018)

Keywords: sustainability farm policy

Powerful collaboration will scale conservation through data, policy and farmer outreach   Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today announced a first-of-its-kind partnership between an environmental organization and commodity crop association. The partnership aims to address one of the most pressing challenges for today’s farmers, rural communities and natural resources – how to improve environmental outcomes while optimizing productivity and profitability.   “Many practices that increase soil health and water quality also boost farmers’ bottom lines,” said Suzy Friedman, senior director of agricultural sustainability at EDF. “EDF and NCGA have worked together for many years to align economic incentives and environmental outcomes. Formalizing our partnership was a natural next step to accelerate progress toward our shared goals.”   “The public expects greater stewardship and transparency from farmers, and it’s critical for the...

Tell Congress: Pass a Farm Bill Now

(Posted Tue. Nov 13th, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy

Time is running out for Congress to pass a Farm Bill before major programs lapse at the end of the year. Adjourning for the year without passing a new bill will leave farmers without the safety and stability needed in this time of low prices, falling farm incomes, and trade uncertainty. With only a few joint legislative days left, farmers need Congressional leaders to compromise on a strong, bipartisan, Farm Bill now. Tell Congress to get it done!   To make your voice heard go to: www.votervoice.net/NCGA/campaigns/61616/respond

(Posted Mon. Oct 1st, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Following a letter to leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees urging them to pass a new farm bill, Kevin Skunes spent his last week as NCGA President delivering that message directly to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Skunes discussed these meetings on a number of radio programs, including KFGO’s News and Views, AgriTalk, and Adams on Agriculture, among other media interviews.   While members recognized the need to act, they were unable to meet their September 30 deadline. Agriculture Committee leaders have indicated they will continue their negotiations in hopes of securing an agreement that can be considered when Congress returns after the midterm elections. Skunes urged corn growers to seek out their representatives during local events and urge they work to find compromise on a new farm bill that can be considered during the lame-duck session.

NCGA Calls on Congress to Pass Farm Bill Before Heading Home

(Posted Mon. Sep 24th, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today, called on leaders of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees to put partisan differences aside and find common ground on a farm bill that can be signed into law before the current bill expires September 30.   In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., NCGA President Kevin Skunes said a new farm bill would provide certainty to farmers during increasingly uncertain times for agriculture.   “Members of Congress have just a few days to come together and reach agreement on a bipartisan farm bill. There is no good reason this task can’t be completed,” Skunes said. “Farm income forecasts remain low and farmers have been negatively impacted by trade tariffs and retaliation. A new farm bill would go a long way in providing some certainty during...

(Posted Wed. Sep 5th, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on today’s public meeting of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee.   “With the House and Senate back in session, it is encouraging to see farm bill conferees come together and work toward a new farm bill that can be signed into law by the end of the month.   “With declining farm incomes, trade uncertainty, and ethanol market disruptions, the corn industry is struggling amid continued uncertainty. Delivering a 2018 Farm Bill on time would be welcome news for rural America. NCGA looks forward to continuing our conversations with Conferees to reach this goal.”

(Posted Tue. Aug 21st, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy conservation sustainability

On Monday, a broad coalition of agriculture organizations, including the National Corn Growers Association, asked a federal district court in South Carolina to stay its order striking a rule that delayed implementation of the 2015 Waters of the U.S. rule. Absent a stay, the court order puts the 2015 rule in effect in the 26 states where courts have not already stayed its implementation.   The coalition warned of the “patchwork regulatory regime” created by allowing implementation of the WOTUS rule in about half the nation.   “Enormously consequential national regula­tions like the WOTUS rule—which subject commonplace activities involved in building, farming, and pest management to a complex and burdensome federal permitting and enforcement scheme—should not apply differently depending on whether the activity happens to be located on one side of a state line or the other,” the organizations wrote in their filing with the court.

(Posted Thu. Jun 21st, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on House passage of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2).    “Today’s vote is a big step forward to seeing a new farm bill this year. The House farm bill maintains a robust crop insurance program, ensuring it continues to be a viable risk management tool for farmers across the country.   “Now we will be looking toward the U.S. Senate and possible efforts to further strengthen the farm safety net, making it more equitable for our nation’s corn growers, as they bring the Senate Agriculture Committee’s farm bill to the floor.”

NCGA Statement on RFS White House Meeting

(Posted Tue. May 8th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol farm policy

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on the outcome of today’s White House meeting regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).    “President Trump today reaffirmed his commitment to our nation’s farmers by approving year-round sales of E15 without a RIN cap. This is a positive step because we know a RIN price cap would have been damaging to farmers.   “We have numerous questions, however, about a potential plan now being developed by USDA Secretary Perdue and EPA Administrator Pruitt to address small refiner waivers by potentially offering biofuels credits on ethanol exports, an idea that would harm our ethanol export success.   “NCGA has opposed RIN credits on exports, an idea that EPA stated last fall that it would not pursue. Offering RIN credits, which are supposed to be derived from a domestic renewable fuel use, for ethanol exports would threaten trade markets and impact corn...

Corn Growers Thank Perdue, Urge Continued Advocacy

(Posted Mon. May 7th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol farm policy

On behalf of corn farmers nationwide, NCGA and state corn grower associations sent a letter to USDA Secretary Perdue Monday thanking him for his advocacy within the Trump Administration and his recent statements encouraging the Administration to advance RVP parity. The associations urged Perdue to continue his efforts in support of farmers and rural America. “As you work with President Trump, EPA Administrator Pruitt and Members of Congress, we encourage you to continue to advocate for real solutions, such as RVP parity for higher blends, and to continue to highlight the demand destruction caused by EPA’s refinery exemptions, as well as how EPA’s actions contradict President Trump’s commitments,” the associations wrote.   Click here for full text of Perdue letter

NCGA Calls on President to Allow for Increased Ethanol Blends

(Posted Mon. May 7th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol farm policy

The National Corn Growers Association today urged President Trump to follow through on the necessary steps to implement year-round sales of higher ethanol blends, such as E15, ahead of a planned Tuesday White House meeting regarding biofuels issues.     “Year-round sale of higher ethanol blends, like E15, would replace outdated policy and provide benefits not only for farmers but also for consumers and the environment,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “Corn farmers have made huge strides in increasing productivity but, at the same time, are facing a fifth consecutive year of declining corn crop receipts. A firm commitment to the RFS would help provide the stability farmers need during difficult times.”   NCGA was joined by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union, American Soybean Association and National Association of Wheat Growers in a letter to the President thanking him for his recent comments in support of higher blends and urging that he begin the...

NCGA Urges Support for Crop Insurance During Farm Bill Debate

(Posted Fri. Apr 27th, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

NCGA joined a broad, 65-member, coalition in a letter to members of the House of Representatives Thursday, urging members to protect the crop insurance program during House floor debate on the 2018 Farm Bill.   The groups cited the consistent messages of support for the crop insurance program from the House Agriculture Committee’s farm bill listening sessions and speculation that amendments seeking to significantly weaken the program could be considered during the House debate.    “As you consider the 2018 Farm Bill on the House floor, we urge you to oppose harmful amendments to crop insurance, including those that would 1) reduce or limit participation in crop insurance, 2) make insurance more expensive for farmers during a time of economic downturn in agriculture, or 3) harm private-sector delivery,” the letter stated.   For a copy of the letter, click here.

NCGA Endorses Thune-Brown ARC Improvement and Innovation Act

(Posted Wed. Apr 25th, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy

The National Corn Growers Association today endorsed legislation introduced by Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, to improve the Agriculture Risk Coverage Program.   “The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) Improvement and Innovation Act will make needed improvements to the farm safety net, ensuring ARC can continue to be a reliable risk management program for farmers during times of depressed prices. Based on the recommendation of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) grower-led Risk Management Team, NCGA is pleased to endorse this legislation and looks forward to working with the Senate Agriculture Committee on this measure,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes.   The bill incorporates a number of the NCGA Risk Management Action Team’s (RMAT) recommendations to enhance the ARC program’s effectiveness in a lower price environment. More information on the legislation is available here.

 NCGA Statement on Today’s House Agriculture Committee Farm Bill Markup

(Posted Wed. Apr 18th, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on today’s House Agriculture Committee approval of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018.   “The House Agriculture Committee’s action today is the first step to enacting a new farm bill. NCGA is pleased the bill restores full funding to the Market Access and Foreign Market Development Programs and makes administrative reforms to the revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage Program (ARC), which are welcome provisions for corn farmers facing uncertain times. NCGA also appreciates the bill’s expansion of grower participation in working lands conservation programs and the research title’s funding for the phenotyping initiative.   “Moving forward, NCGA will remain focused on our growers’ top policy concerns – a robust federal crop insurance program, ensuring the ARC-county program is a viable risk management option, and increased resources for...

NCGA Statement to 199A Resolution

(Posted Thu. Mar 15th, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The following is a statement made Tuesday, March 14, from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), in response to the Legislation Amending Section 199A:   “We are pleased with the outcome of the recent negotiations to craft a solution for Section 199A of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This agreement is extremely important for addressing the provision’s unintended consequences and restoring certainty to the marketplace for farmers.  NCGA has supported coalition efforts to replicate the tax benefits of the original Section 199 within the tax reform bill.  We greatly appreciate the work of Senators John Hoeven (R-North Dakota) and John Thune (R-South Dakota) along with the leadership of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to develop this critical legislation.  NCGA urges the Congress to adopt the proposed changes with bipartisan support later this...

NCGA Statement on Bill Northey’s Confirmation as Undersecretary at USDA

(Posted Tue. Feb 27th, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), in response to the hold on Bill Northey being lifted. Skunes gave these remarks during a news conference at Commodity Classic.   “After a needless four-month delay, farmers across the country will be well-served with Bill Northey finally on the job at USDA,” Skunes said.   Skunes also addressed the Tuesday morning meeting at the White House in his remarks.   “Farmers are so grateful to Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley for representing farmers at the White House with integrity and steadfast support,” Skunes added. “We could not ask for better representatives.   “Today in Washington President Trump, officials from USDA and EPA, and Senators met to discuss issues affecting the RFS. There was no deal cut at this meeting. While no deal was made at this meeting, some participants tried to sell a deal. “Our farmers cannot afford any deal that...

(Posted Mon. Feb 12th, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The White House today released its detailed proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2019. The budget proposal includes the following:   Cutting the federal crop insurance program by $22.4 billion over the 2019-2028 period Targeting program subsidies to those producers that have an Adjusted Gross Income of $500,000 or less for a savings of $3 billion over the 2019-2028 period Reducing underwriting subsidies to participating insurance companies by placing a cap on underwriting gains at 12 percent or $3 billion over the 2019-2028 period   The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association:   “The time and place to debate farm bill programs is during the farm bill reauthorization, not the annual budget process. The farm bill represents a 5-year commitment to America’s farmers and ranchers, which Congress made in 2014, and is preparing to reauthorize again this year. We are counting on Congress to honor that commitment, and reject cuts that would be harmful...

(Posted Wed. Jan 31st, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

With only days remaining, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to complete U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2017 Census of Agriculture before the February 5 deadline.   Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development and more.   "The Census of Agriculture is USDA's largest data collection endeavor, providing some of the most widely used statistics in the industry," said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. "Collected in service to American agriculture since 1840, the census gives every producer the opportunity to be represented so that informed decisions can support their efforts to provide...

(Posted Tue. May 23rd, 2017)

Keywords: Farm Policy

  The White House today released its detailed proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget proposal includes the following: Cutting the federal crop insurance program by $28.56 billion over the 2018-2027 period Eliminating funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) ($200 million/year) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program ($34.5 million/year) Reducing conservation program funding by $5.8 billion over the 2018-2027 period   The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association:   “The time and place to debate farm bill programs is during the farm bill reauthorization, not the annual budget process. The farm bill represents a 5-year commitment to America’s farmers and ranchers, which Congress made in 2014. We are counting on Congress to honor that commitment, and reject cuts that would be harmful for rural America. These proposed budget cuts would hurt farmers’ ability to manage risk, grow their revenues, and farm more...

(Posted Tue. May 16th, 2017)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association filed comments yesterday with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on ethanol and the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulations, following President Trump’s executive order, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”   NCGA urged the EPA to use its authority to give drivers year-round access to higher blends of ethanol such as E15. EPA has previously issued a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for 10 percent ethanol blends. Providing E15 with the same waiver would lead to more choices at the pump and cleaner air.   NCGA also encouraged EPA to update its lifecycle analysis for corn-based ethanol. EPA last updated its lifecycle analysis in 2010, projecting that corn-based ethanol would produce 21 percent fewer GHG emissions when compared to gasoline by 2022. Other federal government agencies have issued updated GHG lifecycle analysis for ethanol based on actual corn and ethanol production experience. Most recently, USDA analysis released in 2017...

(Posted Tue. Mar 28th, 2017)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) risk management program and crop insurance have been critical to helping corn farmers during a weak farm economy and should be maintained in the next farm bill, National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock testified today at House Agriculture General Farm Commodities and Risk Management Subcommittee hearing.   “Together, crop insurance and the ARC-County program have helped many farmers weather the storm of a weak farm economy and avoid bankruptcy,” said Spurlock, who raises corn, cotton, wheat, sorghum, and beef cattle in the Texas Panhandle.   Spurlock noted that corn prices have averaged below $4.00 per bushel since 2013, and are projected to average just $3.40 this marketing year.   “At that price, few corn farmers have a positive net income. Meanwhile, we face a lot of uncertainty about federal policy on renewable fuel and trade, and how that will impact our bottom lines,” testified Spurlock. “We must work together to...

(Posted Mon. Mar 13th, 2017)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Private crop insurance company returns have decreased significantly since the 2010 renegotiation of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA) between the insurance companies and the federal government, and are in line with benchmarks established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, according to a new study released today by the National Corn Growers Association.   “The federal crop insurance program is the cornerstone of farm bill risk management programs, and it is more important than ever given the state of the farm economy,” said Steve Ebke, chairman of the NCGA Risk Management Action Team and a farmer from Daykin, Nebraska. “We commissioned an independent analysis of the crop insurance industry’s performance to determine whether criticisms against the insurers’ returns have merit. What we discovered is that the returns private crop insurance companies receive are much smaller than opponents claim, and they are well within the standards set by...

(Posted Thu. Oct 27th, 2016)

Keywords: Farm Policy

National Corn Growers Association’s Risk Management Action Team Chair Steve Ebke, who farms in Daykin, Neb., sat down with Michael Clements of the National Farm Broadcasters to discuss the importance of responding to surveys distributed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Statistics Service. Responses to recent surveys from USDA have reached historical lows, and this can impact farmers’ bottom lines.    “There seem to be county-to-county differences that are unaccounted for and, when you look at it, some counties did not have enough information from responses to the National Agricultural Statistics Service for them to publish data. Farm Service Agency uses that data to calculate ARC payments. So, if NASS does not have the data, they will have to look elsewhere for it.   “This has resulted in a great deal of concern in the countryside. What we are doing at this time is urging everyone to complete their NASS surveys so that each county has a sufficient amount of data...

(Posted Mon. Apr 11th, 2016)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Growers enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage program and whose farms cross county boundaries, or are located in a county other than their Farm Service Agency (FSA) office, have until April 15 to request a recalculation of their 2014 and 2015 benefits based on the farm’s physical location. Eligible farmers must contact their local FSA office to make this change.   FSA approved this one-time exception due to the late passage of the 2014 farm bill and resulting reforms to USDA risk management programs. This provision only applies to a small fraction of farm operators, and those who are affected were contacted by FSA earlier this year.   For 2016 and future years, farmers will continue to have the flexibility to request farm record changes, including moving records to another servicing county office or dividing their farm, through their county FSA office no later than August 1 of each year.

(Posted Fri. Jan 8th, 2016)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Members of the National Corn Growers Association’s Public Policy Action Team met in St. Louis recently to discuss progress in implementing the 2014 farm bill, as well as to hear updates on other federal programs affecting corn farmers. PPAT’s mission is to offer direction to NCGA in developing public policy issues. The action team is comprised of 16 farmers and staff from across the country.   Officials from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and Risk Management Agency briefed team members on how the agencies collect farm production data, which are essential to the delivery of federal commodity and crop insurance programs. Dr. Carl Zulauf, who recently retired from The Ohio State University, also shared his analysis and perspectives on changes in the farm safety net and possible policy changes that corn growers may want to consider in the future. Zuluaf was one of the chief architects of the Agriculture Risk Coverage program adopted in the...

(Posted Wed. Nov 25th, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The Farm Service Agency recently approved a modification allowing growers on a farm with one or more tracts outside the administrative county the option to recalculate Agriculture Risk Coverage-CO benefits based on the farm’s physical location.  This decision follows an extensive of review of the potential impacts of the previous requirement that payments for the Agriculture Risk Coverage program be based on the administrative county where farm records are maintained.   “NCGA worked determinedly to bring this issue to the attention of FSA Administrator Val Dolcini. We greatly appreciate his consideration of our concerns and the decision to act on the information we provided,” said National Corn Growers Association Public Policy Action Team Chair Steve Ebke.   According to the FSA Administrator’s office, the payments for farms enrolled in 2014 and 2015 with payments “would be recalculated in each physical location and summed for the farm using weights according to the number of...

(Posted Wed. Oct 28th, 2015)

Keywords: farm policy

National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling, a corn farmer from Newburg, Maryland, issued the following statement in response to a proposed $3 billion cut in crop insurance support as part of a national budget deal.   “Slashing the federal crop insurance program is bad policy. The 2014 farm bill provides farmers with a critical safety net, the cornerstone of which is the federal crop insurance program. Cuts to the crop insurance program will lead to fewer insurance providers and agents, and that means fewer choices for farmers to manage their risk.   “This deal is yet another attempt to reopen the farm bill, despite major reforms and $23 billion in budget savings. Agriculture remains the only industry that has voluntarily accepted spending reductions. We stand with Chairmen Roberts and Conaway and Ranking Members Stabenow and Peterson in defending the farm bill and calling on Congress to remove these cuts.   “We urge all farmers to contact their elected officials...

(Posted Wed. Sep 2nd, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association today reminded farmers that they have until Sept. 30 to enroll in Farm Service Agency risk management programs for the 2014 and 2015 crop years.   Earlier this year, farmers elected either Agricultural Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage, two new risk management programs created under the 2014 farm bill.   “The 2014 farm bill included major reforms to our risk management tools. Formal enrollment marks the final step farmers must take to enroll in the program,” said Jim Reed, a farmer from Monticello, Ill. and chair of the National Corn Growers Association Public Policy Action Team.   “NCGA strongly encourages farmers to schedule an appointment with their local Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible before the Sept. 30 deadline.”   For more information about the 2014 farm bill, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/farmbill.

(Posted Tue. Jul 7th, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association joined 13 other organizations in filing a lawsuit last Thursday in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking to overturn the “Waters of the U.S.” rule.   Chip Bowling, president of NCGA and a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, issued the following statement:   “Farmers need clarity and certainty about their responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. Unfortunately, the Waters of the U.S. rule does neither. Under the new rule, every farmer and rancher in America now has at least one WOTUS on their farm. That puts far too much power in the hands of the federal government and exposes farmers to considerable liabilities – without actually doing anything to improve water quality.   Clean water is important. Corn farmers remain committed to working with the EPA, the Corps, and other stakeholders to protect America’s water supply.”   Co-plaintiffs in...

(Posted Tue. Jun 16th, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's announcement that the vast majority of corn and soybean growers selected the Agriculture Risk Coverage program under the 2014 farm bill was hailed by the National Corn Growers Association as an endorsement of the organization's hard work to secure the program.   "NCGA was proud to be a leading advocate of the Ag Risk Coverage program," said NCGA President Chip Bowling. "Our grassroots leaders understand the value of a program to better protect growers against losses where revenue crop insurance falls short and that provides assistance when most needed."   Nationwide, USDA announced on Monday, 96 percent of soybean farms, 91 percent of corn farms, and 66 percent of wheat farms elected ARC. 99 percent of long grain rice farms, 99 percent of peanut farms, and 94 percent of medium grain rice farms elected the Price Loss Coverage Program. The announcement came as the USDA noted that eligible producers may now formally enroll in the ARC and PLC...

(Posted Wed. May 27th, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy Conservation

The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to make sure they have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) on file with their local USDA service center by June 1, in order to be eligible for farm bill programs including crop insurance premium support.   USDA notes that most farmers already have an AD-1026 form on file. That’s because it’s required for participation in USDA programs such as marketing assistance loans, farm storage facility loans, and disaster assistance. Under the 2014 farm bill, the form is now required for farmers to receive support on their crop insurance premiums. Also new this year, everyone deemed having a “farming interest,” such as spouses, minor children, owners or other producers on the farm, must have an AD-1026 form on file.   Additionally, farmers who plan to conduct activities that may affect their highly erodible land conservation or wetlands conservation compliance, such as removing...

(Posted Thu. Mar 26th, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy

With less than one week until the sign-up deadline, 77 percent of farmers have made their election into the farm bill risk management program, according to USDA Farm Services Agency officials testifying today at a hearing of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. Ninety-four percent have completed their base acre reallocations. Farmers have until Tuesday, March 31 to update their base acres and choose between Ag Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage at their local FSA office.   At the hearing, FSA officials said county offices will remain flexible during program sign-up. Farmers who are unable to complete the process by the deadline are encouraged to go to their local FSA office as soon as possible (before March 31) to sign a document of their intent to enroll. This will allow the farmer to come back into the FSA office to complete the enrollment process. Producers failing to enroll in either ARC/PLC are by default enrolled in the PLC...

(Posted Wed. Feb 25th, 2015)

Keywords: farm policy

In a letter sent to Congressional leaders this week, the National Corn Growers Association and a broad range of nearly 400 food and farming organizations urged Congress not to reopen and make cuts to the 2014 farm bill.   “The 2014 farm bill required over three years of debate in both chambers of Congress and ultimately ended with the consolidation of over 100 programs and cuts to mandatory spending across many titles, including the elimination of the direct payment program,” the letter states. “This bipartisan legislation was estimated to contribute $23 billion to deficit reduction over 10 years when including sequestration. These difficult cuts were made across the farm safety net, conservation programs, and nutrition programs.”   The letter also noted that the farm bill needs time before it can be fully judged. “The policy changes and reforms associated with these cuts are only now being fully implemented by the United States Department of Agriculture. As such, no additional...

(Posted Thu. Feb 19th, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association is co-sponsoring a free webinar March 12 to help farmers understand their risk management options under the new farm bill, ahead of critical one-time decisions that will affect their operations through at least 2018.   “ARC or PLC: Which Safety Net Fits You?” will include presentations from University of Illinois Economist Gary Schnitkey and Assistant Professor of Law and Policy Jonathan Coppess, and Mississippi State Economist Keith Coble. DTN Executive Editor Marcia Taylor will moderate. These experts will share examples of corn and soybeans from multiple geographies, and help farmers analyze options between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC).   The webinar takes place Thursday, March 12, from 10 to 11 a.m. CDT. Click here to register.   Farmers have until Feb. 27 to reallocate their base acres or update yields with their local FSA office. Farmers have until March 31 to sign up for either ARC or PLC for the...

(Posted Fri. Jan 2nd, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Members of the National Corn Growers Association’s Public Policy Action Team met in St. Louis recently to hear more about implementation of the 2014 farm bill as well as updates on other federal programs and trends affecting corn farmers. PPAT’s mission is to offer direction to NCGA in developing public policy issues. The action team is comprised of 16 growers and staff from across the country.   Highlights of the meeting included several presentations and discussions related to the farm bill’s two risk management programs, Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Farmers have until March 31, 2015 to make a one-time choice between the two programs for the 2014-2018 crop years.   “NCGA pushed for a market-based approach to risk management, and we’re very pleased it was included in the final farm bill in the form of the ARC program,” said PPAT chair Jim Reed of Illinois. “While we think ARC is a better fit for the majority of our members, it’s ultimately their...

(Posted Wed. Oct 29th, 2014)

Keywords: Farm Policy

This Friday, the University of Illinois will host a free webinar to provide information on the web-based tools released by the USDA to help farmers make decisions about the new risk management programs authorized through the 2014 farm bill.   The webinar starts at 8 a.m. CDT and is free, but registration is required and is limited to 1,000 attendees. Click here to register. The webinar will last 90 minutes and can be viewed on desktop computers, laptop computers, and mobile devices.   The presentation will cover the new tools and the Farm Bill Toolbox, which includes 7 steps for making FSA farm decisions. Presenters include University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics Clinical Assistant Professor Jonathan Coppess, Professor Gary Schnitkey and Associate Professor Nick Paulson.   In the coming months, farmers will make a one-time choice between Ag Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage for the 2014-2018 crops. ARC is a market-based program that pays...

(Posted Thu. Oct 2nd, 2014)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Last week, the USDA released web-based tools to help farmers make decisions about the new risk management programs authorized through the 2014 farm bill.   The University of Illinois will host a free webinar this Friday, October 3 at 8 a.m. CDT to review these tools and their Farm Bill Toolbox, which includes 7 steps for making FSA farm decisions.   In the coming months, farmers will make a one-time choice between Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) for the 2014-2018 crops. ARC is a market-based program that pays when there is a revenue shortfall, while PLC is a price-only program similar to past counter-cyclical programs.   Farmers can use the web-based decision tools to run through various scenarios, including how markets might perform over the next five years. NCGA encourages growers to take full advantage of these tools, so that they can make an informed decision about the right program for them.   The webinar is free, but registration is required...

(Posted Fri. Sep 26th, 2014)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association today thanked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for rolling out regulations related to the new revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage program and other risk management options designed to help growers facing sharp declines in commodity prices or significant production losses.   “Many farmers are facing a difficult harvest this year – a lot of corn coming in, but at a very low price,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “The end goal of our work on farm policy is to make sure growers get the help they need – when they need it. This key objective defined our leadership role in advocating for Ag Risk Coverage, and it’s coming just in time, when many farmers are seeing their incomes fall below the cost of production.”   Vilsack today announced the online tools which will help farmers select whether ARC or PLC coverage provides the best risk management option for their operations under future scenarios. USDA helped create online tools that...

(Posted Thu. Aug 21st, 2014)

Keywords: Farm Policy

On Thursday, the National Corn Growers Association and DTN hosted a webinar about new risk management options created under the 2014 farm bill, offering growers and landowners an early look into what the new programs will mean for them over the next five years.   Nearly 700 people signed up for the webinar. An archive of the audio, as well as printable materials, will be available on DTN’s website in the coming days. NCGA will send links to these materials when they become available.   “ARC or PLC choices: Which Farm Bill Contingency Plan Is Right for You?” featured insights from economists Carl Zulauf of Ohio State University and Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois, who explained the new programs and fielded questions from attendees. DTN executive editor Marcia Taylor served as moderator.   Professor Zulauf and Professor Schnitkey walked participants through the key changes in coverage options and the decision-making process farmers and landowners will go through,...

(Posted Tue. Aug 19th, 2014)

Keywords: Farm Policy

This winter, farmers and landowners will need to make important, one-time decisions about risk coverage packages authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill.   To help growers and landowners understand their options and choose the right fit for their situation, DTN and the National Corn Growers Association are hosting a free webinar this Thursday, Aug. 21, at 9 a.m. CDT.   The webinar will be hosted by DTN executive editor Marcia Taylor and include presentations from economists Carl Zulauf of Ohio State University and Gary Schnitkey of the University of Illinois.   “It’s very important for farmers to understand the ramifications of one-time program decisions that will affect their farms for years to come,” said Jim Reed, an Illinois corn grower and chair of NCGA’s Public Policy Action Team. “We’re proud of NCGA’s work on federal legislation with a program like Ag Risk Coverage to provide a smart and cost-efficient, market-based approach to managing risk.”   Later this winter,...

(Posted Thu. Aug 14th, 2014)

Keywords: Farm Policy

One week from today, farmers and landowners are invited to attend a free DTN webinar, co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association, that will help them choose the right farm bill risk coverage package in the months ahead.   “It’s very important for farmers to understand the ramifications of one-time program decisions that will affect their farms for years to come,” said Jim Reed, an Illinois corn grower and chair of NCGA’s Public Policy Action Team. “We’re proud of NCGA’s work on federal legislation with a program like Ag Risk Coverage to provide a smart and cost-efficient, market-based approach to managing risk.”   Later this winter, farmers will make a one-time choice of which farm program safety net they favor when prices and/or yields hit adversity. Price Loss Coverage is a price-only program very similar to past counter-cyclical programs, only with higher reference prices than in the past. ARC benchmarks revenue and pays when there is a shortfall. It has features...

(Posted Sat. Feb 8th, 2014)

Keywords: farm policy

The National Corn Growers Association thanked President Obama for signing the Agricultural Act of 2014 today. The farm bill passed the House on January 29 and the Senate on February 4.   “This new five-year farm bill means certainty and stability for farmers. It means food on the table for hungry families. And it means taxpayers will save money,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “We thank President Obama for signing this important legislation and we stand ready to work with the Administration and communicate the value of this new law for our growers and those they help feed and fuel. Because of its very topic – food and the farms that provide it – this is one of the most important pieces of legislation Congress has passed in some time.”   Among its specific provisions, the bill:   Eliminates controversial direct payments while maintaining decoupled farm support programs that will minimize the possibility of planting and production distortions that could trigger new World...

(Posted Wed. Feb 5th, 2014)

Keywords: Farm policy

The National Corn Growers Association thanked members of the Senate for their passage today, with a 68-32 vote, of the 2014 farm bill. The bill passed the House on January 29 and now goes to President Obama for signing.   “We’re happy to see the farm bill pass the Senate and are looking forward to seeing it signed and implemented,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “It was a long time coming for a bill so important for promoting stability in farm policy while saving taxpayers money and feeding the hungry. While it’s not perfect, we’re pleased to see the bill contains many provisions we’ve been working hard for over the years.”   Barbre in particular pointed out that the new legislation provides the farmers the option to participate in either the revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage program (with county or farm-level options) or a Price Loss Coverage program with fixed reference prices.  The ARC will provide a band of coverage for 76 to 86 percent of the benchmark...

(Posted Tue. Jan 28th, 2014)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The following is a statement from National Corn Growers President Martin Barbre on the Agricultural Act of 2014, released by the House-Senate conference committee:   “We appreciate the hard work of the committee, especially Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Thad Cochran and Reps. Frank Lucas and Collin Peterson, for crafting a balanced compromise that ensures market-oriented reforms and effective risk management tools.   Their work, and that of many of their colleagues, has resulted in policies and reforms that we believe will effectively meet the diverse needs of consumers and farmers around the country.   “We’re especially pleased the legislation provides an adequate and flexible farm safety net as well as  strong federal crop insurance program. The new bill also includes an option for farmers to participate in a modified Agriculture Risk Coverage program.     “We urge swift passage by both houses of Congress and look forward to seeing this new bill become law as soon as...