In The News

May 28, 2020

Farmers Are the Most Important Asset on the Farm

Not to sound like your mom, but you work too hard, don’t eat right, aren’t exercising and probably aren’t getting enough sleep. These words likely ring true for many Americans but absolutely ring true for farmers working hard to get a handle on another growing season.   These behaviors are the perfect recipe for stress and nothing good comes from too much stress, according to John Shutske, Ph.D. Professor & Extension Specialist, UW Center for Agricultural Safety & Health. Too much stress can make you accident-prone and over time can have life-threatening health consequences.   We all feel stress at various times from multiple sources whether it is jobs, relationships, financial issues, or even emotional stress. But Shutske, who has 35 years of work in agricultural safety, health, wellness and stress management, notes farmers have additional stress that can range from long hours to get a crop in, bad weather, equipment break downs and low prices.   Farming ranks in the top 10...

Read More

May 27, 2020

Second Annual BeSure Campaign Aims to Help Bees

Key Issues:Production

The second annual “BeSure!” campaign supported by National Corn Growers Association is underway and runs through July.  The effort focuses on helping pollinators by promoting best management practices and habitat creation all year long.   BeSure centers on promoting proper use of neonicotinoid products to protect honeybees and other pollinators critical to the food supply and ecosystem. This year, the campaign is seeking to reach not only growers and applicators, but also golf course, turf, and ornamental landscape managers.   In its first year, BeSure! focused its messaging on major crops in the Midwest that utilize neonicotinoid-treated seed, such as corn and soybeans. This year, the campaign is expanding to include neonicotinoid foliar sprays, soil drenches, and granule uses on fruits, nuts, vegetables, turf, trees, and ornamental plants that bees visit.   (It’s also extending outreach to include the citrus industry in California and Florida where neonicotinoids have been...

Read More

May 26, 2020

Minnesota and Iowa Field Notes #PLANT2020

Key Issues:Production

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth 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.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “Our corn crop is going well so far. We do need sun and heat. It’s been overcast past two weeks with plenty of rain. The crop has emerged, but we are waiting on the sun and temperatures in the 70s so that it can really take off. Right now, the forecasters are talking sun tomorrow with the heat coming next week.”   - Bryan Biegler, Minnesota farmer   “Today, we’re clearing out the bins and delivering last...

Read More

May 22, 2020

New Faces, New Experiences, SHP Welcomes New Intern

Key Issues:Sustainability

This summer, the Soil Health Partnership welcomes Krystin Oborny to the staff as an intern. Throughout the summer, Krystin will be assisting with various SHP projects as well as interfacing with National Corn Growers Association staff and farmers on a variety of programs.   Krystin will be a senior this fall at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she is studying Agriculture Education with a minor in Agricultural Economics. Next spring, Krystin will be a student teaching in Humphrey, Nebraska to pursue her end goal of becoming an FFA advisor. Originally from Garland, Nebraska, she grew up raising registered Black Angus cattle, corn, and soybeans.   Over the course of her internship, Krystin will be working on a variety of projects, including helping out in the Nebraska, Kansas and South Dakota territories alongside Keith Byerly, Field Manager for Kansas and Nebraska. Additionally, she will be connecting with other National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) teams to learn...

Read More

May 22, 2020

World Trade Month: Corn’s Top Markets, Colombia

Key Issues:Trade

The export of corn and corn products is vital to the nation’s economy and NCGA has a deeply rooted policy of working to eliminate barriers to trade and supporting market development. Exports of U.S. corn and co-products provide critical support across the economy, offering billions of dollars in direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, rural communities, and the nation.   This month, NCGA is celebrating World Trade Month by highlighting the top export markets for U.S. corn. Colombia is the third major buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than 4.7 million metric tons (MT) of corn during the September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019 marketing year. Colombia is also the number seven buyer of U.S. ethanol and purchased more than 64 million gallons during the same marketing year.   Since the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 2012, exports of U.S. grains in all forms have increased more than 11-fold. Recently, the Colombian government-imposed non-tariff trade...

Read More

May 21, 2020

Ep. 7-Creating Corn Demand with Biobased Materials, with CRA’s John Bode and Iowa State’s Dr. Brent Shanks

Key Issues:New Uses

Corn-based materials technology is ready to compete with traditional plastics for market share.   When new materials can increase demand for corn, offer low-cost alternatives to traditional plastics AND benefit the environment, everybody wins.   And, backed by organizations like Iowa State’s Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) and the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), researchers in the heartland are pioneering new uses for corn that could reinvent the future of manufacturing.   In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett explores the possibilities with CRA CEO John Bode, CBiRC Director Dr. Brent Shanks, BioCognito Principal Nathan Danielson, and NCGA Director for Market Development Sarah McKay.     Direct Share   Transcript Dr. Brent Shanks: We think an important driver for new bio-based products is when we can get products that are produced from molecules generated from corn that can actually create added value in the product.   John Bode: Our industry of...

Read More

May 20, 2020

Creating Demand for Corn through New Uses

Key Issues:New Uses

The confluence of available corn-based feedstocks and consumer demand represents an opportunity for stakeholders in the sustainable biomaterials industry and will help drive demand for corn. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is working to establish new uses of corn and demonstrating corn as the clear feedstock of choice.   “The seeds have to be planted along the way to find the next big new uses of corn,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “This doesn’t just happen overnight. That’s why we’ve been working with university researchers, government entities, and untraditional partners to prime the pump for innovation and viable uses of corn. We also work with individual companies, innovators and research groups to engage in conversations and projects together to facilitate these technologies to commercialization while making sure their customers understand the value of corn as an industrial feedstock.”   NCGA has held two Consider Corn Challenge...

Read More

May 19, 2020

NCGA Welcomes COVID-19 Assistance for Corn Farmers

Key Issues:COVID-19Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed additional information from the Trump Administration on the $16 billion in much-needed assistance from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to begin to help farmers and their customers recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA's Farm Service Agency will begin accepting applications from eligible producers May 26.   “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to much uncertainty across farm country,” said NCGA President Kevin Ross. “This assistance is a first step to getting farmers, and our customers, back on solid footing.”   Recent analysis conducted by NCGA underscores the need for the assistance outlined by the President today. The analysis projects a $50 per acre average revenue decline for the 2019 corn crop with losses anticipated to be higher for the 2020 crop as two of corn’s largest uses, livestock feed and ethanol, have been especially impacted by COVID-19.   “Corn farmers are used to...

Read More

May 18, 2020

North Dakota and Illinois Field Notes #Plant2020

Key Issues:Production

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth 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.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “As of May 14, we haven’t turned a wheel to plant 2020 crop. We did harvest somewhat but had to quit because of the road conditions. We had more showers last night, but we are hoping to get one field planted early this week. That is only 15 percent of what we planned to plant in corn. After that, I have no idea where I am going to go.”   - Randy Melvin, North Dakota farmer     “In terms of corn planting, it...

Read More

May 15, 2020

HEROES Act Includes Needed Relief for Agriculture

Key Issues:COVID-19

The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800), a comprehensive $3 trillion bill to provide relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   The legislation includes several provisions to assist the agriculture industry. The HEROES Act will provide $16.5 billion in direct payments to farmers, including corn growers, to cover losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation will also provide much-needed relief to renewable fuel producers, including those who produce corn ethanol. NCGA earlier this week called on members of Congress to provide assistance to help the U.S. biofuel industry mitigate the impact of plant closures on the food and feed supply chain and rural communities.   Additionally, the HEROES Act assists agriculture by providing additional authority to the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and includes assistance for livestock, dairy and specialty crop producers to address the...

Read More