Editorials

The Corn Feed

Jan 5, 2023

New Year Brings Continued Negotiations with Mexico Over Biotech Corn Imports

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Brooke S. Appleton

As we enter 2023, we are reminded that we are now one year out from the effective date of the decree banning most corn imports from the U.S. into Mexico.   The National Corn Growers Association, along with state corn partners, ended 2022 sounding the alarm about this issue and we’re seeing results, though there is still work to do. The current predicament emerged last year when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised to enact a decree that would ban all imports of biotech corn into Mexico, effective January 31, 2024.   Since 90% of U.S. corn is biotech corn and because Mexico is one of our top trading partners, the president’s promise threatened to upend a major economic partnership for our nation’s farmers. A study by World Perspectives showed that it also would adversely affect the Mexican economy and lead to issues of food insecurity.   NCGA and state corn partners began an aggressive campaign to bring attention to the issue. We continue to call for the U.S. Trade...

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Dec 15, 2022

Corn Farmers: Feeding and Fueling a Cleaner America

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Tom Haag

Published Real Clear Energy November 6, 2022   You’ve almost certainly driven by one. Maybe visited one as a student on a school field trip or tackled the challenge of their mazes in the fall. You might have even grown up on one, like I did.    Corn farms are an important part of the American ethos. Across the country, millions of farmers and their families help sustain the everyday way of life for millions more Americans they will never meet. Our efforts to grow crops and raise livestock year after year keep our nation self-reliant and secure.   It has been a tough year for a lot of people. Following months of record inflation, our nation faces an ongoing energy crisis while rising interest rates and continued impacts of climate change raise new concerns.    Fuel prices hit Americans especially hard this summer as the national average for a gallon of regular gas reached a record $5.01 in June. Following a steady decline thereafter, prices are rising yet again, averaging...

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Dec 6, 2022

A Look at the Ins & Outs of Washington in 2022

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Brooke S. Appleton

It has been an incredibly busy year with many interesting twists and turns along the way. As 2022 draws to a close and the mid-term elections are all but wrapped up, we are beginning to gain clarity on what will be in and out as we enter the new year. So, with no further ado, here are my annual ins and outs as we end one year and head into another.   Ins:    The Farm Bill – The legislation, which governs many of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s programs, is up for reauthorization in 2023. My staff and I, along with our state partners, are working to educate members of Congress about the importance of the farm bill for agriculture. We are already working with our congressional allies to protect and improve programs important to corn growers. Speak up on your priorities, and stay tuned for more updates as the legislative process proceeds.   Coalitions – As discussions about the farm bill intensify, we will work with the broad political partnerships that have been built over...

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Dec 1, 2022

Three Ways Today’s Ethanol Advances a Clean, Affordable Energy Future

Author: The National Corn Growers Association

America is in search of long-term energy and climate solutions. In recent years, we have battled high inflation and supply chain disruptions, rising energy costs and interest rates, and persisting effects of climate change. But America’s corn growers are taking action today to create tomorrow’s long-term energy and climate solutions.   Across the country, farmers are fueling our nation’s clean energy future through the production of corn-based ethanol. Today’s ethanol plays a key role in enhancing U.S. energy independence, providing affordable fuel choices for American consumers and combatting climate change. Going forward, we need all environmental and economic solutions on the table, and low-cost, low-carbon ethanol is ready to contribute even more.   Reducing Dependence on Foreign Energy Sources Fuel prices often fluctuate, but over the past year, Americans witnessed record highs. Yet, ethanol continues to be priced lower than gasoline, and higher ethanol blends such as E15,...

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Nov 14, 2022

The 2022 Mid-Term Elections Promise More of the Same in Washington – and That’s Not All Bad

Author: Brooke S. Appleton

This year’s election results are still trickling in as of this writing, but there is one thing that is certain: while there will be some changes in Washington, for the most part, we’re going to see more of the same in the new Congress.   Republicans will most likely take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, but, like the current Democratically controlled House, it will be by slim margins. With victories in Nevada and Arizona, Democrats will continue to control the Senate. A run-off scheduled in the Georgia Senate race will determine whether the vice president’s vote will be needed to determine party control.   Everyone in Washington is still sifting through the data to determine what drove voting patterns this year. The results run counter to political wisdom and historical patterns, all of which show that the president’s party typically loses seats by large margins. This is particularly true during economic downturns and when basic staples, like groceries and gas...

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Nov 10, 2022

At COP27, all solutions - including ethanol - necessary to meet emission reduction goals

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Tom Haag

This week, delegates from around the world are converging in Egypt for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), an international summit aimed at accelerating global action to reduce emissions. The annual event takes place this year against the backdrop of both a global energy crisis and increased extreme weather events around the world. As the international community comes together to drive collective action for a cleaner future, America’s corn farmers remain committed to advancing sustainable agriculture and low carbon energy solutions. Solutions from agriculture and renewable fuels not only help the United States meet its climate commitments but will help countries around the world achieve theirs as well.   Throughout the United States, millions of farmers are wrapping up corn harvest and delivering it to local ethanol plants. As a fuel, today's ethanol cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52 percent compared to gasoline, according to the Department of Energy’s Argonne...

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Sep 30, 2022

Time to Drain the Swamp as Elections Near? Not So Fast.

Author: Brooke S. Appleton

There is just something about Washington that comes across swampy.   During particularly brutal heatwaves, Washingtonians like to remind themselves that of course it’s hot; after all, the capital city was built on a swamp. In recent years, voters, who have grown disenchanted with Washington, have been increasingly referring to the capital as the swamp and to its political inhabitants as creatures of the swamp.   But as we look at the facts, Washington the swamp, both metaphorically and as a geographical feature, appears to exist less in reality and more as part of the popular imagination. It’s important that voters understand the circumstances as attacks on Washington can elicit the kind of cynicism that is harmful to the democratic process, as it tempts voters to vote against something they dislike rather than vote for what is in their own best interest. Don’t get me wrong. As someone who grew up on a farm in the Midwest, I understand the frustrations that can arise from...

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Sep 8, 2022

In Recent Story, Reuters Looks Out for Oil, Undermines Clean Energy Progress

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Chris Edgington

Reuters just published a story on ethanol production that, whether intentional or not, advances the interests of oil by ignoring the significant progress corn growers have made in cutting the carbon footprint of the biofuel. This article fails to provide readers with an updated, full and accurate picture of the environmental benefits ethanol provides, including lower GHG and tailpipe emissions compared to gasoline.   Once again, we see outdated projections made in the early days of the Renewable Fuel Standard – nearly 15 years ago –substitute for today’s analysis based on actual corn and ethanol production experience. This keeps old oil arguments afloat when today’s data show otherwise. What does recent research on this issue tell us? The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab concluded in 2021 that the combined improvements from farmers and ethanol producers cut ethanol’s carbon intensity by 23 percent between 2005 and 2019, resulting in ethanol that is 44 to 52...

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Sep 6, 2022

US farmers can supply long-term energy and climate solutions

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Jon Doggett

Published Fox Business Sept. 6 2022   We must expand fuel choices and make ethanol more accessible across the U.S.   Up before the sun rises and into bed long after it sets, farmers spend their days supporting our nation. In fact, in times of crisis, American farmers have always been there to help. During the Civil War, farmers supplied troops with food, clothes and transportation. During World War II, they accelerated production to feed U.S. troops and allies in Europe.   American farmers are stepping up to the plate once again as our nation and the world face an ongoing energy crisis while battling the effects of record-high inflation and tackling climate change.   Although gas prices are beginning to trend downward and AAA’s national average has fallen below $4 per gallon, consumers are still feeling the pinch and some analysts are warning gas prices could climb back to $5 per gallon later this year. With energy costs continuing to be a major driver of inflation,...

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Sep 1, 2022

As a Long, Hot, Productive Summer Comes to an End, Corn Growers Focus on Policy Priorities this Fall and Beyond

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Brooke S. Appleton

If there is anything unforgettable about Washington, it’s that the nation’s capital gets hot and humid during the summer months. Perhaps that’s why historically activity in the city has come to a screeching halt in August as members of Congress head home to meet with constituents.   Yet, this summer leaders in Washington continued to crank out results, some of which will impact corn growers. My team and I hope to build on some of this activity as we move into fall and the next Congress.   The summer was bookended by the president’s decision in April to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to use its authority to allow for continued, year-round market access for higher blends of ethanol and with the enactment in August of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.   While the president’s decision on ethanol enjoyed bipartisan praise, passage of his signature piece of legislation was completed along party lines.   While we always like to see Congress act in a bipartisan...

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