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(Posted Wed. Sep 4th, 2019)

Keywords: Biotechnology Glyphosate Production

NCGA Supports EPA’s Interim Decision on Glyphosate Registration   The NCGA recently submitted comments in support of U.S. EPA’s proposed interim registration review decision for glyphosate. EPA is required to review pesticide registrations every 15 years to comply with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), but may choose to issue interim decisions as needed to account for completed risk assessments and the availability of new data.   “The introduction of chemical herbicides during the second half of the 20th century transformed modern agriculture. Glyphosate, in particular, revolutionized weed control and facilitated the use of no-till practices, which have reduced topsoil erosion and improved soil health,” said Lynn Chrisp, NCGA president from Nebraska. “It is one of the most widely used and comprehensively evaluated herbicides and we appreciate the EPA’s recognition of the sound science behind this product in its interim review decision.”   In the...

(Posted Fri. Aug 30th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

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.   This week, Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois. While the crop continues to mature, the yields and overall quality of corn and soybeans in his area seem to have been impacted by this year’s difficult growing conditions.   “In southeastern Illinois, crops are maturing for the most part,” said Raben. “We did have some soybeans harvested in the area last week. The yields were 25 to 30 bushels less per acre than what they saw last year.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who...

Plant Breeding Meeting Hosts Key Players in the Future of Corn

(Posted Wed. Aug 28th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

NCGA is sponsoring a meeting this week attended by more than 400 plant breeders from industry and academia. The group, which will play a key role in the future of new corn varieties, are gathered at the 2019 National Association of Plant Breeders Annual Meeting in Pine Mountain, Georgia, to discuss cutting-edge research advances important to the breeding community.   While corn is just one of many crops represented at the meeting, the common language and goals of plant breeding mean that advances in other crops can be shared and provide benefits broadly. The meeting includes updates from USDA programs, field and facility tours at University of Georgia campus, and many opportunities for students and early career faculty to develop professional networks. NCGA is proud to be among the sponsors of the NAPB meeting.   "Events like these provide invaluable opportunities to share our perspective with those developing the next generation of varieties our growers need to continue...

(Posted Thu. Aug 22nd, 2019)

Keywords: Production

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.   This week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. The USDA Crop Progress report earlier in the week indicated crop progress in Kansas was closer to the five-year average than that in many other states. Looking at his fields, Neitzel does see progress delays.   “We are probably about two to three weeks behind where we normally would be at this time,” said Neitzel. “In terms of quality, I think this crop is going to be average to maybe just a pinch above average.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

Following Pesticide Labels Remains Critical Through Entire Growing Season

(Posted Thu. Aug 15th, 2019)

Keywords: production

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

(Posted Mon. Aug 12th, 2019)

Keywords: production

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

(Posted Thu. Aug 8th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. Further along in terms of crop development than her counterparts further north, she has already begun harvesting this year’s crop.   “Harvest is coming along quite nicely. Fortunately or unfortunately, we had had quite a bit of dry weather. So, we have made quite a bit of progress,” said Bowers. “We are about 95 percent complete on harvesting milo and about 65 percent complete on harvesting corn.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

(Posted Fri. Aug 2nd, 2019)

Keywords: production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois, this morning. Like many farmers, a wet planting season continues to impact the quality and size of his crop.   “Our crop definitely doesn’t look as good as it has in years past, but we have some corn that looks halfway decent,” said Raben. “We also have other corn, that was planted later, that looks very uneven and very stressed. It will still make some sort of corn – we hope.”   To listen to the full interview, including his observations about the use of prevent plant in his area, click here.   Stay tuned over the...

Scout Now, Take Action and Plan for 2020

(Posted Thu. Jul 25th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

Even though the growing season didn’t start out as many had hoped or planned, corn pests won’t be taking any time off this summer. Now is the time to be regularly scouting for the presence of weeds, diseases and damaging insect pests.   Check out the Take Action website for resources on managing corn rootworm beetles that can be damaging during the silking stage, plus herbicide, fungicide and insecticide classification charts to help break down your decisions for in-season control.   Your time scouting can also be useful as you start to think about seed and input selection for the 2020 growing season. Take note of how the control measures you put in place for this year are performing and if you see any problems with resistance. Use this information to help guide your decisions as you wait for yield results later this fall.

(Posted Wed. Jul 3rd, 2019)

Keywords: Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas, earlier this week. The USDA report earlier in the week indicated 97 percent of corn acres in his state had reached emergence, and he sees that number being accurate so far as the progress he has heard from fellow farmers.   “I talked to some friends in western Kansas, and their corn has all emerged,” said Neitzel. “Everything around here is fairly well along. Some of the corn that I saw in my travels today is actually starting to tassel, and some is about six inches tall. There is a wide variety in term of progress in...

(Posted Fri. Jun 28th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

American farmers planted 2.5 million more acres of corn in 2019 than they did the previous year, a three percent increase, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acreage report released today. The report indicates a 1.1 million-acre net decrease from the prospective planting report released in March. At the same time, today’s report shows a 1.8 million-acre increase from the planted acre forecast issued in the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Total corn acres planted in the United States are projected at 91.7 million.   Given the projected harvested corn acreage released in the report of 83.5 million acres and the most recent USDA estimated average national yield of 166.0 bushels per acre, farmers could harvest a crop of 13.861 billion bushels, slightly above the average over the past ten-year period.   The largest year-to-year acreage increases were seen in Kansas and North Dakota, where corn acreage increased by 530,000 and 520,000 acres...

(Posted Tue. Jun 11th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

Unprecedented planting delays seriously impacted corn crop forecasts issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. With the forecast number of acres both planted and harvested both revised down by three million acres and national average yield revised downward by 10 bushels-per-acre from last month, current forecasts show U.S. farmers producing the smallest corn crop since 2015/16 at 13.7 billion bushels.   In light of lowered production, and despite decreased demand, the season-average farm price raised by 50 cents over May estimates to $3.80 per bushel. While production forecasts were lowered, ending stocks are still forecast to exceed 1.6 billion bushels given the more than 2 billion bushels of beginning stocks forecast.   Export market demand forecasts were lowered by 100 million bushels. While price competitiveness and current outstanding sales caused export forecasts to lower, the ratification of trade deals such...

(Posted Fri. Jun 7th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

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.   Yesterday, Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. Further along in terms of crop progress than her counterparts further north, she has experienced a mixture of conditions simultaneously similar to and quite different than those seen throughout the Corn Belt.   “Over the last four weeks, we have been too dry and too wet at the same time,” said Bowers. “It had dried out significantly, and some farmers in our area even started watering crops. Then, over just the past two days, a little disturbance built up in the Gulf of Mexico. We...

(Posted Mon. Jun 3rd, 2019)

Keywords: Production

Check the weather, check the markets, check stored corn, check your planter, check emerging crops (if you have any planted.) There’s a good chance farmers are leaving a critical “to do” off the list...check on yourself!   In farming, there’s a lot out of your control, creating stress that can potentially lead to serious impacts on your well-being, even in a normal year. And there is nothing normal about the 2019 planting season. So, take a minute to assess your mental health, that of your family and even your employees.   After six years of low farm prices stress is at very high levels on the farm and it’s becoming harder to remain resilient with every new rain. Farmers and farmworkers recently surveyed said financial issues (91 percent), farm or business problems (88 percent) and fear of losing the farm (87 percent) impact farmers’ mental health. Other factors included stress, weather, the economy, isolation and social stigma.   The new national Morning Consult research poll...

Take Action Resources a Great Tool as Farmers Realign Pest Management Plan Due to Weather

(Posted Thu. May 23rd, 2019)

Keywords: Production

Farmers have a love-hate relationship with the weather because of how quickly and dramatically it can affect planting, plant development, pest management and harvesting. Droughts can be devastating but too much water can also be a huge problem as witnessed this spring.   Planting delays across farm country due to rain have been getting a lot of headlines but for crops already in the ground issues also abound. Wet weather is an important factor to consider when making herbicide applications related to timeliness of applications as well as getting the best product performance.   Fortunately, there are ways you can manage your herbicide use while factoring in the impact of weather on herbicide efficacy and NCGA is encouraging farmers to use the resources available on the Take Action website.   Wet conditions also mean higher risks of diseases in corn so careful management of fungicides to make sure they are effective is another priority.   You can learn more are the Take...

Enter National Yield Contest Early and Save!

(Posted Mon. May 20th, 2019)

Keywords: production

As the spring moves along, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to register early for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 30, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small-time investment now saves money later this summer.   To enter today using the online form, click here.    Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through July 31. All harvest forms will be due by November 15. Contest winners will be announced on December 16.   Click here for more information on the NCGA National Corn Yield Contest.

(Posted Fri. May 17th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

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. Cold, wet weather has hampered planting progress and could potentially impact the crop he will harvest this fall.   “We are about 300 acres away from completing corn planting. Usually, by this time, we would be done and pretty heavily into soybean planting,” said Neitzel. “We have gotten two rounds of rain that both lasted multiple days, and everything is saturated almost beyond belief. And, we were already way behind.   “We didn’t get started planting until the 15th or 16th of April. Mother...

(Posted Fri. May 10th, 2019)

Keywords: Production

U.S. corn farmers are forecast to reach record total corn supplies according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. Higher forecasted production outpacing forecasted demand growth resulted in lower average farm price projection of $3.30 per bushel for the 2019/20 market year.    This report, the first forecasting overall U.S. corn supply and demand for the next marketing year, projected higher production than the year prior, with a projected increase of 3.7 million planted acres. The yield, projected to 176 bushels per acre, is based on a weather-adjust trend assuming that both planting progress and summer weather remain normal in comparison with that seen over the prior thirty years. If realized, it would be the third-highest yield on record. Beginning stocks are projected lower than the prior year, yet the total corn supply is forecast to set a new record high at 17.2 billion bushels.   Total corn use is projected to rise slightly in 2019/20, despite lower...

NCGA Welcomes Nicole Hasheider as New Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs

(Posted Thu. May 9th, 2019)

Keywords: Biotechnolgoy Production

  The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Nicole Hasheider, who joins the organization this week as director of biotechnology and crop inputs in the St. Louis office. Hasheider brings a wealth of experience on farm production issues, stewardship and program management to the NCGA team. In this new position, she will provide key support to NCGA’s sustainability initiatives.   “Nicole’s previous experience working on behalf of farmer-led commodity groups like the United Soybean Board and NCGA makes her uniquely suited for this position. She brings a well-developed skill set which will allow her to make immediate contributions to our sustainability efforts,” said NCGA’s Vice President of Production and Sustainability Nathan Fields.  “We look forward to seeing how her perspective and understanding of our industry can provide strategic guidance on our staff and within the grower community.”   Hasheider most recently worked as an account director with Osborn Barr where she...

(Posted Fri. Mar 8th, 2019)

Keywords: production

The National Corn Growers Association released a video last week offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in Orlando honoring the state winners of the 2018 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   “The contest affords an opportunity for farmers to test their skill against their peers while also providing NCGA with a significant amount of information about cutting-edge production practices that all farmers might find useful,” said NCGA Stewardship Action Team Chair Roger Zylstra. “NCGA always looks for new and innovative ways to use this data, sharing the lessons learned with corn farmers. The video provides a quick, simple way for interested farmers to discover new...

Planting is Coming and So Are the Pests. Are You Ready?

(Posted Wed. Feb 20th, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability Conservation production

If you haven’t looked into the innovative and proactive Take Action initiative of late, it might be a great time to give the widely expanded program supported by National Corn Growers Association and a host of partners a closer look.   The great news is the educational campaign is evolving and growing at a fast pace and now provides information on dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds, and fungicide and insect resistance.   Finding a clearer path to a more sustainable and profitable way to farm is made much easier thanks to Take Action. The mission here is to choose the best available tools and technology for the environment, your balance sheet and all with an eye on preserving access to these important tools. Informed management is just smart farming.   Take Action on Weeds, which the National Corn Growers Association promotes as a resource of farmers combating herbicide resistance issues, was developed by the United Soybean Board. Based on that success new technical...

NCGA Announces 2018 Yield Contest Winners

(Posted Mon. Dec 17th, 2018)

Keywords: production

With improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices, corn growers achieved impressive yields despite weather-related adversity in the National Corn Growers Association 2018 National Corn Yield Contest.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 54th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   “While participating in friendly competition, yield contest participants create and share information that shapes the future of the industry,” said Roger Zylstra, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “Contest winners, at the state and national levels, find innovative ways to help their fellow farmers excel in a variety of situations. Emphasizing innovation both from growers and technology providers, our contest enables us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”   The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 349 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national...

Decreased Ethanol Market Demand May Lead to Higher Ending Stocks for U.S. Corn

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2018)

Keywords: production ethanol

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, decreased demand forecasts for U.S. corn from ethanol markets will impact ending stocks, which are projected 45 million bushels higher than the previous month.   Notably, ethanol demand forecasts reflect data showing that corn use during the quarter from September through November fell relative to prior years for the first time since 2012.   The corn price forecast remained at $3.60 per bushel at the midpoint while the range narrowed to between $3.25 and $3.95.   Click here to read the full report.  

(Posted Thu. Nov 8th, 2018)

Keywords: production

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, U.S. corn production is projected to reach 14.62 billion bushels for 2018/19. If realized, that would make it the second largest U.S. corn crop ever.   The October forecast for corn production is lowered 152 million bushels from last month on a reduced yield forecast. Despite lowered use forecasts, the corn price forecast was raised by 10 cents to a midpoint of $3.60 per bushel as supply fell more than use.   Click here to read the full report.

(Posted Tue. Oct 30th, 2018)

Keywords: production

The first confirmed case of Herculex corn rootworm resistance was confirmed this week in a single field in Delaware County, Iowa. The National Corn Growers Association is engaged directly with the technology provider, Corteva, to assure appropriate and aggressive measures are taken to keep the seed technology viable.   “This announcement is significant and troublesome given the potential economic implications for corn farmers, so we are watching it closely,” said Bob Hemesath, Decorah, Chairman of NCGA’s Freedom to Operate Action Team. “With that said, there are protocols in place to deal with resistance. NCGA wants to recognize the extraordinary measures taken by Corteva that are well beyond the steps required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”   Corteva has reported the development to the EPA, which regulates these Bt traits, and Corteva is working with farmers in Delaware County to limit the spread of this resistance.   “These corn rootworm traits are very...

(Posted Fri. Oct 26th, 2018)

Keywords: production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms in Lawrence, Kansas, earlier this week. With the 2018 corn crop in the bin, he sees the outcome to be about as expected.   “We finished harvesting corn about three weeks ago,” Neitzel explained. “In terms of yields, it was very spotty. Overall, it was an average crop. Some fields were right on-pace for average. Other fields were a bit better than average. Some fields made you wonder what had happened there but, we kind of expected that for this year.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as...

Corn Farmers on Track to Produce Second Largest Crop Ever

(Posted Thu. Oct 11th, 2018)

Keywords: production

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, U.S. corn production is projected to reach 14.78 billion bushels for 2018/19. If realized, that would make it the second largest U.S. corn crop ever.   The October forecast for corn production is slightly below what some analysts expected to see in today’s report. Meanwhile, ending stocks for corn came in at 1.8 billion bushels, which was also below average trade estimates. As a result, corn prices increased moderately following release of the report.   Click here to read the full report.

(Posted Thu. Sep 27th, 2018)

Keywords: production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth 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.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois. With harvest progress temporarily paused due to rain, he is grateful that at least flooding hasn’t impacted his farm as it has for many of those closer to the river.   “Any time you have rains in the fall, it delays the harvest,” said Raben. “We can work around a little rain but, yesterday, we got seven inches in some places. Prior to that, we had two inches of rain. So, we are very wet right now.   “We will probably go back to harvesting corn before we go back to harvesting beans.”   To listen to the full...

(Posted Fri. Sep 21st, 2018)

Keywords: production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth 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.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. With this year’s harvest already well underway, he characterizes the crop condition as “brutal,” with stalk brittleness necessitating extreme care in harvesting.   “We have about 650 acres of corn left to harvest, and we should be finished up some time next week,” said Neitzel. “Local elevators, given the decreased production projections that they have had due to the weather this summer, aren’t having storage issues as they have in the past few years.”   Despite early expectations of uniformly low yields due...

Corn Price Projections Fall on Forecast of Near-Record Production

(Posted Wed. Sep 12th, 2018)

Keywords: production

The already record national average yield projections were raised even further this month to 181.3 bushels per acre from 178.4 the month prior which, if realized, would surpass the previous record by 4.7 bushels per acre according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Given record yield projections, U.S. total corn production is now projected to reach 14.8 billion bushels for 2018/19, nearing the record of 15.1 billion bushels set in 2016. Given increased demand projections, corn price projections were lowered 10 cents at the midpoint to reflect the anticipated size of the supply.   Yield projections are also forecast to set records in many states including: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. The overall increase to projected yield, if realized, led to the 241 million bushel per acre increase to production estimates.    Feed and residual use and export demand projections were raised by...

(Posted Fri. Sep 7th, 2018)

Keywords: production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth 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.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois. Having already brought in half of his corn acres, he has switched over to harvesting soybeans now.   Much as he anticipated, the corn crop appears to be far less bountiful than in recent years.   “It will be the weakest year that we have had since 2012,” Raben said. “I have heard other farmers comment about their crops similarly.   “There will be some good yields in the county. There will be some 200 bushel per acre corn in the county in spots, but there will also be spots with 49 bushel per acre corn. That will...

Field Notes Gets Early Harvest Reports from Kansas Farmer Lowell Neitzel

(Posted Thu. Aug 30th, 2018)

Keywords: production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth 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.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms just outside of Lawrence, Kan. One week into harvest, the corn crop he has seen has been quite varied.   “Our corn yield will be dramatically less than it was last year,” Neitzel explained. “We will be going from what was one of the best crops we have ever had to something that, while it won’t be as bad as it was in 2012, but it is hard to put an estimate on it.   “We chopped some silage and had it appraised. It was pretty low, but the corn that we picked right next to it was 30 bushels better. You really don’t know what is out...

USDA: Farmers Planting Fewer Corn Acres in 2018

(Posted Thu. Mar 29th, 2018)

Keywords: Production

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the Prospective Plantings report, indicating that farmers will plant 88-million acres, 2.14 million fewer acres of corn, a 2 percent decrease from 2017. If realized, this will be the lowest total corn planted acreage in the United States since 2015.   “U.S. farmers continue to produce more bushels per acre as new technologies are brought to the marketplace,” said National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes. “American corn supplies remain ample as we have a large carryover crop from 2017. U.S. farmers can react nimbly to market conditions and make decisions that make the most sense for their operation.”   Ohio is expected to increase corn acreage from last year, with record high acreage in Nevada and Oregon. In 33 of the 48 corn producing states, planted acreage is expected to be down or unchanged. According to the report, compared to 2017, decreases of 300,000 acres or more are expected in Kansas, Minnesota and...

NCGA Yield Contest’s Top Growers Offer Yield-Increasing Insights

(Posted Tue. Mar 6th, 2018)

Keywords: production

The National Corn Growers Association released a video last week offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in Anaheim honoring the state winners of the 2017 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   “The contest not only affords an opportunity for farmers to test their skill against their peers, it also provides NCGA with a significant amount of information about cutting-edge production practices that all farmers might find useful,” said NCGA Stewardship Action Team Chair Roger Zylstra. “NCGA has always looked for new and innovative ways to use this data, sharing the lessons learned with corn farmers. The video provides a quick, simple way for interested farmers to...

(Posted Thu. Oct 12th, 2017)

Keywords: production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s WASDE report released today has corn production forecasted at 14.280 billion bushels, up 96 million from last month. Corn supply remains unchanged despite yield again being raised by almost a bushel to 171.8. The yield increase was offset by an adjustment in acreage planted and lower stocks. Lower planted acres likely reflects more accurate accounting of spring weather difficulties.  Corn price projections also remain unchanged from last month’s report, with the average projected range at $2.80 to $3.60 per bushel.   From a global perspective, corn stocks are down 1.5 million from last month, with foreign corn ending stocks for 2017/18 down, due to declines from China and Mexico.     Ethanol use rebounded from its projected drop last month, with numbers back at August levels of 5.5 billion bushels. Price remains unchanged, thus reflecting the need for new markets and new uses to be developed.   On the soybean side of the ledger, it looks...

(Posted Tue. Nov 29th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

In a win for farmers’ rights to use proven-safe technology, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled last week that additional regulation of treated seeds would unnecessarily duplicate the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing science-based regulatory review.   The decision protects farmers’ ability to continue using seed treatment technology and maintains the EPA’s currently regulatory approach for treated seeds.   National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas, applauded the Court’s decision.   “Farmers care deeply about preserving and protecting our land, water and air for the next generation. At NCGA, we support regulations that are reasonable and based on sound science. These crop protection tools have already undergone a thorough regulatory review as required by law and have been established as safe and effective. Creating additional regulatory hoops for agriculture to jump through is...

(Posted Wed. Oct 12th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Corn production is forecast at 15.057 billion bushels, down 36 million from last month, according to the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates Report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn supplies for 2016/17 are lowered from last month, but are still forecast at a record 16.845 billion bushels.   “We must pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year. The farm economy continues to struggle so anything we can do to encourage and grow exports is critical,” said Wesley Spurlock, President of National Corn Growers Association. “That’s why NCGA continues to encourage our elected officials to build trade access starting with TPP.”   USDA reduced the average U.S. corn yield by 1 bushel per acre to 173.4. If realized, these figures would still represent record yield and production numbers. The average price was increased by 5 cents to $3.25 per bushel.   “Although the production report remained largely unchanged, the export numbers offer some good news in...

(Posted Mon. Sep 12th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Corn production is forecast at 15.093 billion bushels, down 61 million from last month, according to the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates Report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn supplies for 2016/17 are lowered from last month, but are still forecast at a record 16.859 billion bushels.   USDA also reduced the average U.S. corn yield by 0.7 bushels per acre to 174.4. If realized, these figures would still represent record yield and production numbers. The average price was increased by 5 cents to $3.20 per bushel.   Chip Bowling, President of National Corn Growers Association, said the report is further evidence of the challenges family farmers are facing.   “The farm economy is in peril. If this trend continues, it means fewer family farms, fewer jobs, and fewer dollars being invested back into rural communities,” said Bowling, who farms corn, soybeans, and sorghum in Newburg, Maryland. “Farmers, industry, and government all have a...

(Posted Tue. Aug 2nd, 2016)

Keywords: Production

A recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft report on atrazine ignores a large body of scientific evidence affirming the herbicide’s safety, setting a dangerous precedent for all crop protection tools, says Brent Hostetler, a farmer from Plain City, Ohio, and chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Production and Stewardship Action Team.   “Federal law requires the EPA to base its decisions on science. And the science on this is pretty clear,” said Hostetler. “Atrazine is one of the safest and most effective crop management tools farmers have. It’s also one of the most studied pesticides in history—and more than 50 years’ worth of data show it is safe.”   EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine in June 2016. All pesticides sold or distributed in the U.S. must be registered by EPA and re-registered every 15 years. Ecological risk assessments are one step of that registration process. EPA is accepting public comments on the ecological...

(Posted Fri. Jun 24th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency signaled this week that they intend to extend until October 4 the public comment period on the preliminary Ecological Risk Assessment for the herbicide atrazine. The National Corn Growers Association was among several organizations requesting extension of the comment period.   If EPA’s draft recommendation stands, atrazine use would likely be banned in most U.S. farming areas. NCGA urged farmers to submit their comments as soon as possible, which they can do online at www.ncga.com/atz.   “Atrazine is a safe and effective crop management tool, and taking away this option will set farming practices back decades. That’s why we need farmers to be engaged on this issue. EPA needs to hear from all of us,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling.   In a letter to the EPA requesting an extension, Bowling called atrazine “a key component in weed management and modern conservation practices.” Losing access to this herbicide would have a...

(Posted Thu. Jun 2nd, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its ecological risk assessment on the pesticide atrazine. The following is a statement from Maryland farmer Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association.   “No one cares more about the safety of agricultural pesticides than farmers. Farmers make use of pesticides on their farms to ensure an abundant, affordable food supply of foods for consumers all over the world. We care about keeping land, rivers, and ponds safe for our families, our neighbors, and our communities.   “Atrazine is a safe and effective crop management tool for farmers. It is widely used because it is among the most reliable herbicides available, and it plays a critical role in combating the spread of resistant weeds. It reduces soil erosion, increases crop yields, and improves wildlife habits. Over the last 50 years, atrazine has passed some of the most rigorous safety testing in the world. More than 7,000 scientific studies have...

(Posted Thu. Apr 14th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

The National Corn Growers Association and other agriculture organizations on Wednesday called on the Environmental Protection Agency to postpone a meeting scheduled for next week related to the pesticide chlorpyrifos.   In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, NCGA and 41 other organizations argue that the Science Advisory Panel meeting, scheduled for April 19-21, was “hastily called” and is an attempt by EPA to “fundamentally alter its process for evaluating potential risk and regulation of pesticides.”   For the full letter, click here.   NCGA supports transparent, science-based oversight of pesticides. NCGA and other groups argue that the EPA is not basing its decisions on science, while also trying to change its longtime review processes. In January, NCGA submitted comments to the EPA reiterating support for chlorpyrifos.   Notably, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also expressed deep concerns over this process and EPA’s departure from decades of...

(Posted Fri. Oct 9th, 2015)

Keywords: Production Conservation

Today the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit stayed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule nationwide, pending further review by the court.   Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, issued the following statement:   “Today’s decision is great news for America’s farmers and ranchers. WOTUS was supposed to make things clearer for farmers about their responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. This rule is anything but clear. We are confident that the courts will eventually strike down EPA’s WOTUS rule altogether. The Army Corps of Engineers has already said the rule is not based on science or law and is unlikely to withstand a legal challenge.   “But court battles take months, if not years – and come at a considerable cost. There has to be a better way for us to work together on a rule that is successful and lawful. That’s why we are asking the Senate to step up...

(Posted Tue. Sep 8th, 2015)

Keywords: Conservation Production

The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota ruled last Friday that the preliminary injunction against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to postpone implementation of the “Waters of the U.S.” rule applies only in the 13 states involved in this specific court case. Those states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.    Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Md., issued the following statement:   “We are disappointed with the North Dakota court decision. WOTUS is a national rule with national ramifications, and the injunction should be applied nationwide. In the initial ruling, the judge stated the rule was likely to cause ‘irreparable harm.’ We believe this would be true in all 50 states, not just the 13 states that filed this request.   “Regardless of whether the injunction...

(Posted Fri. Aug 28th, 2015)

Keywords: Production Conservation

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota issued a preliminary injunction against the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, postponing implementation of the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule.   Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Maryland, issued the following statement:   “We support the judge’s decision in North Dakota, which should give the courts and the public more time to figure out how to proceed with WOTUS. The Army Corps of Engineers has stated this rule is not based on science or law and is unlikely to withstand a legal challenge. When even the federal agencies responsible for this rule can’t agree on its constitutionality, it’s time for EPA to withdraw the rule and start this process over.   “It is EPA’s view that this injunction only applies to the 13 states that filed the request. We believe EPA is incorrect. It certainly wouldn’t be the...