Editorials

The Corn Feed


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   Once again, we see outdated projections made in the early days of the Renewable Fuel Standard – nearly 15 years ago –substitute for today’s analysis based on actual corn and ethanol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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Aug 16, 2022

Farmers are Adopting Advanced Technology and Employing Environmentally Smart Practices to Protect America’s Waterways

Key Issues: SustainabilityFarm Policy

Author: Chris Edgington

Over the last decade, farmers have been employing some of the most innovative practices in history to reduce nutrient losses and protect the nation’s rivers, lakes and streams. And the research shows that we’re making a difference, as water quality is improving across the country. That’s why I am perplexed by recent news coverage claiming runoff from fertilizer use is causing problems in the nation’s waterways. These stories run counter to the facts being released by some of the country’s most reputable groups in this space. Here are just a few snippets of what these groups are saying:   The US Geological Survey, which monitors the loads of nutrients being delivered to the Gulf of Mexico, reports that the 5-year moving average of total nitrogen load in America’s streams has steadily declined since 2009.   The US Army Corps of Engineers, working with the USGS and others, issued a report in June 2022 providing a 15-year update on the health of the Upper Mississippi and...

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Jul 28, 2022

Winning in the Margins

Key Issues: EthanolFarm PolicyProduction

Author: Chris Edgington

Growing up, I often fantasized about winning those little league games in dramatic style, with a walk-off grand-slam to seal the deal. With a bit of age, I began to realize those opportunities are few and far between. Most games are won, as they say, in the margins.   That’s how it’s been so far in 2022 for corn farmers. High corn prices have been all but muted by higher input prices, and many of us aren’t getting all the rain we’d like to this time of year. But thanks to good farm management, this crop still has the potential for a good year. That’s a win.   It’s a similar story of incremental gains in Washington, D.C. Last week, the U.S. International Trade Commission delivered a big win to corn farmers when it revoked hefty anti-dumping duties on urea ammonium nitrate fertilizers from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. The National Corn Growers Association, along with our state affiliates have led the charge against these tariffs. The outcome of this decision is proof positive...

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Jul 27, 2022

Opinion: Farming with one hand tied behind our backs?

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Chris Edgington

Agri-Pulse July 26, 2022   The world is facing serious food and energy shortages as an outgrowth of the war in Ukraine and supply-chain shortages. Farmers are working to solve these problems, but we need help from the federal government if we are going to have any chance of success.   That’s why national corn grower leaders recently called on the Biden administration to address regulatory overreach.   That call comes after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently revised its atrazine registration, a move that could restrict access to a critical crop protection tool that has been well tested and shown to be safe for use. Farmers fear that new requirements will impose arduous new restrictions and mitigation measures on the herbicide, limiting how much of the product they use.   The atrazine decision comes on the heels of a development involving the herbicide glyphosate. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case decided by a lower court from California, leaving...

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May 26, 2022

Summer’s Smash Hit: E15 – Found at a Gas Station Near You!

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Chris Edgington

Memorial Day, for many, is the kickoff to summer. School is almost out, planting is *hopefully* wrapping up for many across the Corn Belt, road trips and vacation planning are on the mind, and it’s summer blockbuster season! I am personally excited about one of the movies coming out, the new Top Gun. It makes me think of going on a “joy ride” and the “need for speed.”   With all of those things in mind, what probably has me the most excited for this summer, is the fact that I will be able to continue filling up with E15, often labeled as Unleaded 88. As everyone across the country deals with high fuel prices, it’s great to remember higher ethanol blends will save you money at the pump. Ethanol has been priced an average of 80-cents less per gallon compared to unblended gasoline, translating to savings of 20 cents or more per gallon when you choose E15.   Just a few weeks ago, there was uncertainty around whether E15 would be available for this summer driving season. In a time...

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Mar 18, 2022

Wrong Again: It’s Time to Get the Facts Straight on Corn Production and Ethanol

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Chris Edgington

I’ve been farming for a long time, so I’ve heard all the arguments about corn and ethanol – and they’re always wrong. The Washington Post Editorial Board suggested waiving the renewable fuel standard would help address outcomes of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Instead, the Washington Post should be crediting farmers’ increased productivity and efficiency, resulting in higher yields using fewer resources, meeting food and fuel needs to keep prices down.   What’s happening in the world today is disheartening. I recognize how fortunate we are to live in this country where we will plant crops this spring without a war coming through our fields. Corn farmers’ yields are up more than 25 bushels per acre since 2007 on a similar acreage footprint, and we are here to answer the call and help feed and fuel the world.   For the current 2021-22 corn marketing year, USDA estimates corn ending stocks at 1.5 billion bushels. We carried out 1.2 billion bushels in the 2020-21 marketing year....

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