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RESEARCH

NCGA Provides Input Into Future Mycotoxin Research at USDA Lab

(Posted Thu. Jun 6th, 2019)

Keywords: Research

Representatives of NCGA visited the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) research unit of USDA laboratory this week in Peoria, Ill. to gain insight and provide input into the group’s mycotoxin research.   The lab aims to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world. Researchers use information from genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant biology to develop new ways to limit mycotoxin contamination, control foodborne diseases, and improve crop production.   Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE) chair Charles Ring, a producer from Texas, visited the MPM unit along with Texas Corn Producers Executive Director David Gibson and NCGA Director of Research & Productivity, Robyn Allscheid.   As the unit develops its next five-year plan, NCGA was invited to give feedback on priorities through both a survey and in-person meetings. “Mycotoxin research is critically important for food safety and security,” said Ring. “Choices are...

(Posted Mon. Mar 18th, 2019)

Keywords: Research

Corn researchers from around the world gathered in St. Louis last week for the annual Maize Genetics Conference. The conference covers a broad range of subject areas and allows attendees from academia, industry, and funding agencies to learn about the most current scientific and technical advances in the maize genetics community.   Program directors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation were also present to discuss the current priorities and budget levels for their research programs. This annual conference represents a unique opportunity to stress the importance of research in areas that have substantial promise in addressing the issues most important to corn farmers.   This year, many presentations and posters highlighted the importance of the Genomes to Fields research initiative, which has been financially supported through state and national corn grower organizations. This interdisciplinary program has created an invaluable network of...

(Posted Wed. Oct 3rd, 2018)

Keywords: Research

The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues. 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, 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 corn grower in Texas. “Working together, we can improve the tools available for aflatoxin control and get real results that farmers can see in their fields.”   Projects funded for 2019 should focus on...

Ideation Workshop Aims to Surface High Potential Research Needs to Put Corn Productivity, Quality and Usage in High Gear

(Posted Wed. Mar 28th, 2018)

Keywords: Research

Abraham Lincoln famously said, “the best way to predict your future is to create it,” and that’s the goal of the inaugural Corn Research Ideation Workshop on March 28-30, 2018 in St. Louis. With growth in corn production and especially during continued low corn prices, U.S. corn farmers need to be more efficient with inputs while also working to discover new and novel markets for corn.   “America’s corn farmers like me are entering our fifth year of low prices and net farm losses in 2018. Farmer income dropped almost 9 percent last year and net farm income is half of what it was in 2013,” said Dennis Maple, chairman of NCGA’s Corn Productivity & Quality Action Team. “So, building robust new markets for corn and optimizing production inputs are critical. NCGA is working hard to expand existing markets such as exports, livestock and ethanol, but this workshop is about identifying how to enhance corn productivity, grain/silage quality and sustainable production practices in the next...

Consider Corn Challenge Shines a Light on Corn’s Growing Potential in Bio-Economy

(Posted Wed. Feb 28th, 2018)

Keywords: Research New Uses

Six new technologies, that are poised to change the way the public perceives our country’s most abundant crop, were highlighted today in Anaheim, Calif. as winners of the inaugural Consider Corn Challenge, an open innovation contest hosted by the National Corn Growers Association. The diverse range of science unveiled shows that corn is squarely situated on the cutting-edge of technology, ready to support a wave of growth sweeping through the renewable products industry.   More than thirty, scientists and start-up companies answered the global call to bring forth their best ideas focused on the conversion of corn into bio-renewable chemicals. Contest entries reinforced that corn can improve the environmental footprint of many products used by consumers, including plastic bottles, acrylics, solvents, fibers, packaging, and coolants.  Many of the submissions included bio-advantaged molecules, with the ability to deliver performance and value that exceeds petrochemicals.   The six...

(Posted Tue. Feb 6th, 2018)

Keywords: Research

Being immersed in the latest ideas and technology related to machinery, crop inputs and agronomic practices is expected at the annual Commodity Classic, February 27-March 1, 2018 in Anaheim, Calif. But this year’s attendees are in for a treat as they get a sneak peek at the best emerging ideas in new uses for corn.   Attendees have an open invitation to see the announcement of the winning research and product concepts surfaced via the National Corn Growers Association’s inaugural Consider Corn Challenge. The Challenge is a global competition to identify new and innovative uses for field corn as a renewable feedstock in the production of sustainable chemicals with significant market demand.   This year’s six winning projects will be announced and previewed in room 210 ABC of the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday, February 28, from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. Each winner will receive a US$25,000 cash prize.  NCGA will also explore additional opportunities to support contest entries...

(Posted Mon. Dec 18th, 2017)

Keywords: Research

This piece originally ran as a press release issued by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.   Tis’ the season many corn farmers finalize their seed decisions for the coming season. Armed with past year’s weather and field conditions data and information from seed companies, university extension, and others, they weigh their options in making their seed selections. One consideration often outweighs all others in this decision-making process: yield.   Thanks to selective corn breeding techniques and modern production practices, we have achieved remarkable productivity in last 100 years. But, has the last century of hybridization to increase yields changed the corn plant’s ability to adjust to new or stressful situations? This is the question that University of Wisconsin Professor of Agronomy Natalia de Leon along with her student Joe Gage, and colleagues at several institutions hoped to answer. In a recently published paper in Nature Communications, they detail study results which...

(Posted Mon. Sep 25th, 2017)

Keywords: Research

In a continuing effort to discover new uses for corn, NCGA is proud to announce an investment with QMaxx Products Group to develop a bio-renewable gun oil for use in both the civilian market and potential military applications.   “The National Corn Growers Association recently completed negotiations with QMaxx to provide financial support for military specifications testing of their bio-renewable based cleaning, lubricating, and protecting (CLP) gun oil,” said Larry Hoffmann, Chairman of NCGA’s Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team. “With our support QMaxx will submit a formulation derived from corn sweeteners to the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC).”   The QMaxx formulation is designed to meet the high-performance standards required by our military.  In addition, it will meet federal bio-renewable standards and reduce soldiers’ exposure to some harmful components.    Hoffmann, a former U.S. Army officer, said “It’s exciting to think CLP, a...

NAGC Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

(Posted Wed. Jun 21st, 2017)

Keywords: Research

The National Agricultural Genotyping Center, championed by the National Corn Growers Association, marks its one-year anniversary today and it does so with a significant list of accomplishments of importance to corn farmers.   NAGC’s mission is to translate scientific discoveries, such as the information from the maize genome project, into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national security.   “We are extremely excited to see this state-of-the-art facility living up to its promise,” said Larry Hoffmann, chair of the NCGA’s Corn Quality and Productivity Action Team. “The Genotyping Center is already building a reputation for using its high-throughput genotyping technology to both inform and solve problems facing agriculture.”   In just a year’s time, NAGC has been able to commercialize tools to help corn growers and all of agriculture, Hoffman noted, including a screening assay for honey bee diseases and faster and more effective...

NCGA Launches Open Innovation Challenge to Find the Next Big Thing for Corn

(Posted Wed. Jun 7th, 2017)

Keywords: Research

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with innovation facilitator NineSigma, today announced the launch of a global competition to identify new and innovative uses for field corn as a renewable feedstock for making sustainable chemicals with significant market demand.   Growing interest in America’s emerging bio-economy and continued improvements in sustainable corn production underscore the versatility and potential of this crop.  The “Consider Corn Challenge” is a starting point to help industry realize corn’s full potential.   “Corn has a history of being an abundant, cost-effective, and sustainable feedstock for chemicals used in thousands of products. This challenge is geared to inspire new concepts, approaches and technologies that will help drive innovation,” said Larry Hoffmann, a farmer from Wheatland, North Dakota and chairman of NCGA’s Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team. “In addition to researchers who have increased the spectrum of renewable...

(Posted Wed. Dec 14th, 2016)

Keywords: Research

Corn farmers’ ongoing quest to manage and mitigate the fungus aflatoxin received a boost this week with the announcement that the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center for Excellence has approved seven new research projects for 2017.   AMCOE’s mission is to investigate biological controls, aflatoxin resistance via transgenic and traditional breeding, best management strategies for harvest, handling and storage and improved testing procedures. AMCOE, managed by the National Corn Growers Association, is now in its sixth year supporting aflatoxin research.   “Aflatoxin is a critical issue for corn growers who want to provide consumers with the best quality and safest product possible,” said Charles Ring AMCOE Committee Chairman of Sinton, Texas. “AMCOE is committed to making continued progress toward solving this problem and helping southern corn farmers remain profitable.”   Aflatoxin in corn can be at dangerously high levels especially during periods of drought. The toxin, a byproduct...

(Posted Thu. Jun 16th, 2016)

Keywords: Research

A graduate student from Iowa State University took home the top prize in the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference 2016 Poster contest held in St. Louis, Missouri recently. Lei Fang received top honors in the Gary Lamie Student Poster Competition, sponsored by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council for his work on increased oil recovery during ethanol fermentation and downstream processing.   “This is a premier scientific conference on corn wet and dry milling and new uses for corn, so it is appropriate that we also have a high caliber poster competition like this,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chairman Larry Hoffmann during the awards presentation. “The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to lend our support, encouragement and a cash stipend to young researchers who are shaping the future of this important industry.”   The second place award was presented to David Orrego and Dahewan Kim of Purdue...

(Posted Fri. Jun 3rd, 2016)

Keywords: Research

Off the Cob caught up with DuPont Pioneer Vice President of Research and Development Neal Gutterson. This year, DuPont Pioneer is both an exhibitor and Platinum Sponsor of the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference.   During this audio interview, Gutterson discusses CRISPR-Cas and how DuPont Pioneer is using this advanced breeding technology to help benefit America’s corn farmers. From explaining the science behind CRISPR-Cas to discussing his company’s next generation waxy corn products developed through the advanced technology, Gutterson provides insight into the potential, applications and benefits of CRISPR-Cas.   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Held in St. Louis, Missouri this June 6 through 8, CUTC features scientists, researchers, farmers and industry leaders on the cutting edge of technology in the corn industry. In addition to riveting sessions, CUTC features exciting exhibits and the Gary Lamie Student Poster...

(Posted Thu. Feb 18th, 2016)

Keywords: Research

The National Agricultural Genotyping Center signed a license agreement with Tuskegee University this week that will provide the center with access to cutting edge food safety testing technology. Using the technology developed at Tuskegee, NAGC will be able to shorten the time necessary to perform food safety tests. This partnership will provide students opportunities to gain valuable research experience and foster their career development.   “This agreement both improves NAGC’s technical capabilities and helps it move forward in its mission of providing educational opportunities and work experience to the researchers of tomorrow,” said National Corn Growers Association Director of Research Dr. Richard Vierling. “Yet, this is only one step in our ongoing efforts to create concrete pathways that help bring diversity and excellence to our field. Today, we have improved the center’s ability to efficiently, accurately assess food safety. In the long run, we hope to improve the field...

(Posted Wed. Dec 23rd, 2015)

Keywords: Research

Relying on a weather scare as the best hope to fix the current weak prices for corn, as suggested by some market analysts, is not an acceptable business model. So, farmer leaders of the National Corn Growers Association have recommitted to boosting corn utilization as a key strategy in achieving a healthy and viable corn industry long term.   “To successfully address farmer’s income you have two paths, either decreasing input costs or growing demand,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chairman Larry Hoffmann, a farmer from Wheatland, North Dakota. “We will continue to work on both, but with a renewed focus on new uses for corn as a means of raising the price per bushel.”   NCGA’s Corn Board, action teams and committees convened in St. Louis earlier this month to delve into the issues and opportunities that will impact corn farmers across the country during the coming year.   The Research and Business Development Action Team explored possible changes to...

Open House Opens Many Eyes to Possibilities of Genotyping Center

(Posted Thu. Sep 24th, 2015)

Keywords: Research

The National Agricultural Genotyping Center held its first open house yesterday with representatives from government and industry on hand to tour the new facility and discuss the possibilities it will offer. With the board of directors in attendance, they established priorities and assigned responsibilities for the coming year.   “This facility is the first of its kind for a farmer-led association, giving growers more influence on research agendas,” said Dr. Richard Vierling, director of research at NCGA. “NAGC will help growers increase production and lower costs. With so many stakeholders on hand and actively expressing interest, it was apparent to all present that the exciting potential for innovation is enormous and will lead to concrete results that can strengthen the bottom line for U.S. farmers.”   The National Agricultural Genotyping Center will translate scientific discoveries, such as the information from the maize genome project, into solutions for production...

(Posted Thu. Aug 20th, 2015)

Keywords: Research

In an effort supported by the National Corn Growers Association, the Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program awarded Dr. Felicia Wu, from Michigan State University, a grant for the proposal entitled “An Agent Based Model of Insect Adaptation to Transgenic Insecticidal Corn”.      NCGA believes farmers should have as many options as possible to control pests. This project will develop a model to factors impacting the effectiveness of Bt corn that includes many factors that affect insect adaptation to the Bt proteins in corn, such as farmer behaviors, refuge strategy, insecticide usage, combination of traits used, crop rotation and others. Researchers hope to identify strategies that will achieve the greatest long-term effectiveness of Bt corn.    Understanding how insect resistance develops helps shape best management practices and mitigation actions that prevent the weakening of the technology's effectiveness, thus NCGA continues to work with industry and government on...

(Posted Tue. Aug 11th, 2015)

Keywords: Research

In an effort supported by the National Corn Growers Association, the Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program awarded Dr. Jeffrey Gore, from Mississippi State University, a grant for the proposal entitled “Quantifying the Role of Helicoverpa zea Host Plants in Bt Resistance Management.”     NCGA believes farmers should have as many options as possible to control pests. As a major pest impacting corn, cotton and soybeans in the United States, corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea, research will benefit farmers across the country. This proposal addresses the role that cultivated and non-cultivated host plants play in the population dynamics of corn earworm.  By better understanding how corn earworm utilizes all hosts, scientists can identify best management practices that will ensure the long-term effectiveness of Bt crops and make informed decisions about resistance management.   Understanding how insect resistance develops helps shape best management practices and mitigation...

(Posted Wed. Aug 5th, 2015)

Keywords: Research

The Monsanto Insect Management Knowledge Program awarded Dr. Tom Coudron, from the USDA-ARS in Columbia, Mo., a grant for the proposal entitled “Entomopathogenic Nematodes (ENP) as Part of Corn Rootworm Resistance Management.”    The National Corn Growers Association believes farmers should have as many options as possible to control pests. This research could develop additional management tools for corn rootworm control by incorporating parasitic nematodes that will specifically target rootworms causing damage to Bt corn as well as non-GMO corn. ENPs have proven valuable in mitigating western corn rootworm damage by reducing the number of surviving root worms. Success of this approach will be dependent on the proper combination of hybrid and ENP.   Understanding how insect resistance develops helps shape best management practices and mitigation actions that prevent the weakening of the technology's effectiveness, thus NCGA continues to work with industry and government on...

(Posted Fri. Jun 12th, 2015)

Keywords: Research

The Prospective Resistance Management: Empowering Growers to Understand and Exploit Refugia, a joint research program of the University of Arizona, University of California at Riverside and the U.S. Department of Agriculture funded by Monsanto, will soon offer maps featuring pesticide reporting data that farmers can use when planning their integrated pest management program. By basing plans on real-world data, farmers will gain a powerful tool in their ongoing fight against insect resistance to management products.  By adapting chemical applications to the specific circumstances prevalent in their area, farmers will be able to proactively reduce selection pressures, and thus the possibility of resistance, in their fields.   Understanding how insect resistance develops helps shape best management practices and mitigation actions that prevent the weakening of the technology's effectiveness, thus the National Corn Growers Association continues to work with industry and government on...

(Posted Wed. Jun 3rd, 2015)

Keywords: Research

In today’s agricultural environment of uncertain commodity prices, input costs and research funding, market development is critical. Last week, USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden and U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp visited the Fargo, N.D., site of the National Agricultural Genotyping Center to draw attention to the importance agricultural business development plays in maintaining a strong U.S. agricultural industry.   Sen. Heitkamp, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, has been working hard on behalf of agriculture to support crop production and genomics research programs. Deputy Secretary Harden views the center as a possible model for future public-private partnerships.   “New businesses drive innovation and offer choices to farmers,” said NCGA Director of Research and New Uses Rick Vierling, Ph.D. “The National Agricultural Genotyping Center was created to provide farmers, researchers and companies with cost effective, relevant, and breakthrough technologies. NCGA...

(Posted Tue. Jan 6th, 2015)

Keywords: Research

The Research and Business Development Action Team reviewed ongoing projects and investigated additional research funding proposals during its recent meeting in St. Louis.   “This team is charged with investing in scientific knowledge to ensure ever-increasing opportunities for corn growers,” said team Chair Tom Mueller, a corn grower in Illinois. “While the impact of what we do today won’t even be felt for 10 to 15 years from now, putting a little NCGA muscle behind promising research could provide the necessary support for industry to develop new products for the marketplace.”   At the meeting, the team reviewed new proposals involving breeding desired crop capabilities through chromosome duplication and technologies for the removal of nitrogen and phosphorous from field runoff.   The team also was briefed by NCGA’s Washington staff on the depth and breadth of the gap between science and public opinion on the issues of biotechnology and climate change.   At the team’s...

(Posted Wed. Oct 29th, 2014)

Keywords: Research

The National Agricultural Genotyping Center and Ag Innovation Development Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding stating the parties will work together to accelerate the commercialization of agricultural technology.  The technologies created will increase farm production, improve sustainability and increase income.   “Partnerships like this are important to the economic future of American farmers,” said Richard Vierling, Ph.D., director of research for NCGA. “We need to attract more money into agricultural startups. Vetting technology through NAGC will help identify commercially viable technologies and lower the risk for investors.”   NAGC, a non-profit initiative founded by the National Corn Growers Association and Los Alamos National Laboratory, will provide research and testing services to both public and private researchers. The center will translate scientific discoveries into solutions for production agriculture, food safety, functional foods, bioenergy and national...

(Posted Fri. Aug 29th, 2014)

Keywords: Research

The National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board today announced that Fargo, N.D., will be the site of the National Agricultural Genotyping Center. The final decision follows careful deliberations by the site selection committee, who visited Illinois and North Dakota to assess the possibility of locating the center in either Decatur or Fargo, and NCGA’s Research and Business Development Action Team.   “This is a first-time-ever, huge step for a farmer-led association that gives growers more influence on research agendas,” said Dr. Richard Vierling, director of research at NCGA. “This can help growers increase production and lower costs. We’re really excited about Fargo and the commitment from the many forward-thinking people involved in this project. The commitment from North Dakota State University, North Dakota Corn Growers, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, the state’s congressional delegation and many others really helped sell the plan to our team.”   The site selection committee,...

(Posted Fri. Aug 8th, 2014)

Keywords: Research

This week, the National Corn Growers Association National Agricultural Genotyping Center site selection committee visited Illinois and North Dakota to assess the possibility of locating the center in either the DeKalb or Fargo area.   The visits were arranged following a July vote taken by NCGA’s Research and Business Development Team narrowing the final list of site location proposals under consideration. Carefully scrutinizing a number of factors, team members will now issue reports back to the Research and Business Development Action Team, which will chose the winning proposal and submit their recommendation to the Corn Board.   The team, which includes Richard Vierling, Pete Snyder, Bob Bowman, Bob Timmons, Phil Gordon and Chad Willis, was chosen to conduct these visits by the greater team and come from states which did not submit proposals.   Over four days, they toured facilities in Fargo, N.D., and Decatur, lll., considering a list of factors critical to ensuring...

(Posted Thu. Oct 10th, 2013)

Keywords: Research

Oct. 9:  The National Corn Growers Association participated earlier this week in an inter-commodity research meeting hosted at Cotton Incorporated in Cary, N.C. Along with corn, national research staff from soy, wheat, sorghum, and cotton associations met to exchange ideas and discuss potential collaborations among the groups.   “One common area of concern expressed by attendees was regarding the data utilized in lifecycle analysis,” said Richard Vierling, NCGA Director of Research and New Uses. “The historical data applied to the lifecycle analysis models which policy is often derived from does not reflect current production practices or recent improved efficiencies.”   This fall, NCGA is starting a project to gather production data that accurately describes current corn production practices. NCGA’s Research and Business Development Action Team views this project as an ongoing effort that will collect multiple years of data and make this information available to researchers....