In The News

Aug 5, 2020

Virtual Town Hall Features NCGA Corn Board Member

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

The AgTalks virtual town hall discussion continued today in conjunction with what would have been Minnesota IDEA FarmFest. This year’s in-person event was canceled, and sessions held virtually due to COVID-19.   National Corn Board Director and Minnesota farmer Harold Wolle served as a panelist during the town hall to discuss the future of agriculture, with a focus on trade, supply chains and global competitiveness. The town hall gave panelists the opportunity to provide updates from their industries and take questions from conversation participants, including local corn growers.   Wolle highlighted the importance of the ethanol industry, a market that takes more than 35 percent of the annual U.S. corn crop, and NCGA’s efforts to support the industry’s recovery and long-term success.   “In terms of global competitiveness, the expansion of ethanol exports is an opportunity to really move the demand needle for our industry. Global customers are increasingly turning to ethanol...

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Aug 5, 2020

NCGA Welcomes New Accounting Clerk

The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Katie Walter, who joins the organization as Accounting Clerk in the St. Louis, Missouri office.    Walter joins NCGA from Dent Wizard, where she has been working in their accounting group for six years. She will perform daily accounting functions for NCGA, such as processing accounts payable, recording accounts receivable, completing check requests and processing expense reports.   “We feel fortunate to add Katie to our team,” said NCGA Accounting, Human Resources and Administration Director, Marie Nelson. “She brings a strong skill set to the position that will be helpful in achieving our goals and being responsive to our staff and farmer constituency.”

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Aug 4, 2020

NCGA Relaying Farmers Input on Ag Innovation Agenda Direction

Key Issues:Research

National Corn Growers Association responded in formal comments this week to USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky’s request for stakeholder input into a new formal Agricultural Innovation Agenda.   NCGA developed a comprehensive process to provide our best understanding of the objectives and opportunities leading to research goals and informed product goals to facilitate transformative breakthroughs. Through this process, NCGA identified a few major concerns coming from U.S. corn growers that primarily boiled down to three key points:   Their ability to retain or grow profitability; Their ability to optimize environmental and economic benefits from implementing conservation or sustainability practices; and, Their ability to cope with increasing biotic and abiotic stressors.   NCGA considered not only the innovation needed to reach USDA’s goals of improved yield and efficiency with a reduction in environmental footprint but also how to best encourage the adoption of...

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Aug 4, 2020

Last Call! NCGA Yield Contest Entry Period Closing Soon

The time has arrived to submit your entry for the NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest. With contest entries open only through August 15, 2020, act today.   To enter today using the online form, click here.   If you have already or plan to enter, please consider the potential availability of supervisors this harvest. With many government offices under restrictions due to COVID-19, it is important to begin conversations with potential yield check supervisors early.   Learn more about rules pertaining to supervisors by clicking here.   All harvest forms will be due by November 30. The contest winners will be announced on December 14.   The premier event of every corn growing season since 1965, the National Corn Yield Contest offers challenges and rewards to each entrant! In 2019, 7,454 growers accepted the challenge to their corn production skills knowledge by competing with one another in a friendly yet exciting way.   NCGA challenges you to take advantage of this...

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Aug 3, 2020

America’s Watershed Initiative Appoints New Executive Director

Key Issues:Sustainability

Kim Lutz has been named as the new Executive Director for the America's Watershed Initiative. AWI is a collaboration among hundreds of business, government, academic, and civic organizations, including the National Corn Growers Association, with a mission of finding solutions to the challenges facing the Mississippi River and its tributaries.   AWI serves as a voice for the entire Mississippi River Watershed, working to chart an action plan for the watershed that secures the long-term health of our nation, its communities, economies and natural systems. The NCGA Director of Stewardship and Sustainability, Rachel Orf, serves on the AWI board.   NCGA supports AWI efforts because the infrastructure of the Mississippi River Watershed continues to face significant challenges at the same time its national and local importance continues to grow. The fourth-largest watershed in the world, the Mississippi River Watershed traverses 31 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, comprising...

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Aug 3, 2020

Iowa and Missouri Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly 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.   “Looking at the same field I have all season before reporting, the corn is tasseled out, has brown silk and the ears filled out nicely. That said, I do have cracks in the ground as there hasn’t been a significant rain here in the month of July. I now have gravel pockets that are starting to yellow, but it is nothing like my friends to the west. They are in a drought so significant it isn’t clear if a rain now would make a great difference in the crop.”   – April Hemmes, Iowa farmer   “With our corn, everything looks good here. The kernels are well developed but a long way from dent....

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Jul 30, 2020

NCGA Joins Virtual Town Hall on the Future of Agriculture Trade and Supply Chains

Key Issues:Trade

NCGA President Kevin Ross today joined Iowa and national agriculture leaders for an AgTalks virtual town hall to discuss the future of agriculture, with a focus on trade, supply chains and global competitiveness. The town hall gave panelists the opportunity to provide updates from their industries and take questions from conversation participants.   Ross discussed the challenges 2020 has presented for U.S. corn farmers and shared NCGA’s recovery plans to help growers navigate immediate challenges in the short term and expand market access in the long term.   “We’re thankful to have USMCA in force and Phase One deals with Japan and China,” Ross said. “But we have lost ground to our competitors, and it’s time to pivot to more aggressive expansion in our trade. NCGA will continue to push for trade agreements in Southeast Asia and other regions with strong demand potential.”   The AgTalks town hall series will help farmers learn and share their views with commodity association...

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Jul 29, 2020

NCGA Urges Farmers Receiving Unsolicited Seeds to Follow USDA Guidance

The National Corn Growers Association urges any farmers who have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China to follow guidance being provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on how to proceed. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, other federal agencies, and State departments of agriculture to investigate the situation. Currently, the USDA website urges anyone who receives an unsolicited package of seeds to immediately contact their State plant regulatory official or APHIS State plant health director. Then, it asks they hold onto the seeds and packaging, including the mailing label, until someone from your State department of agriculture or APHIS contacts you with further instructions.   Do not plant seeds from unknown origins. USDA indicates that they do not have any evidence suggesting this is something other than a...

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Jul 28, 2020

Pollinator Protection Efforts Continue to Expand

Key Issues:Sustainability

Throughout the growing season, farmers utilize stewardship practices for proper pesticide use while protecting crops from insect pests and also protecting pollinators. NCGA supports the BeSure! campaign as one way to support farmers, protect bees and other wildlife. Some of the other groups we work with include:   Honey Bee Health Coalition Farmers for Monarchs EDF Monarch Butterfly Habitat Exchange Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund You can find a wealth of information on protecting pollinators in NCGA’s publication Best Management Practices for Pollinator Protection in Field Corn at https://cdn.ncga.com/file/133/HBHC_Corn_030119.pdf.   Keystone Monarch Collaborative also offers an excellent resource called the Insect Pollinators and Pesticide Product Stewardship guide.   Knowing and following label instructions is a key step to protect all pollinators. Farmers and applicators know that reading and following labels are the first and most important consideration when...

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Jul 27, 2020

Ohio, Minnesota and Kansas Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly 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.   “We are glad to know that rain is approaching, and I’m happy for how much we’ve recently. Until last week, we had only had 6/10 of an inch of rain in July. Then, over three days, we got an additional 1 and 8/10 inches. With all of our corn in pollination at some stage, the moisture and slightly less extreme temperatures will help.” – Patty Mann,  Ohio farmer   “We have been receiving some nice rain each week. The corn is looking good. Fully tasseled and looks like the weather is going to cooperate for pollination. Curious to get out and do some yield checks once pollination is done. If...

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