In The News

Nov 2017

Nov 30, 2017

USGC, NCGA Officers And CEOs Reiterate Support For Trade In South Korea, Mexico

Key Issues:Trade

The leaders of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) traveled to South Korea and Mexico this week in concurrent missions to engage with customers and government officials during a period of policy uncertainty in the U.S. corn industry’s #1 and #3 markets.    “Trade equals huge success for U.S. feed grains in all forms,” said Deb Keller, USGC chairman and farmer from Iowa. “The Council has helped build relationships over decades with a large and loyal customer base in both Mexico and South Korea, reflected by increased demand and integrated grain supply systems. These missions helped reinforce those ties and let us hear directly from our customers.”   The delegation in South Korea included Keller; Wesley Spurlock, NCGA chairman from Texas; Lynn Chrisp, NCGA first vice president from Nebraska; Darren Armstrong, USGC secretary/treasurer from North Carolina; and Tom Sleight, USGC president and chief executive officer.   The joint mission in...

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Nov 30, 2017

NCGA Statement on EPA’s Final 2018 Renewable Volume Obligation

Key Issues:Ethanol

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), in response to today’s announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the final 2018 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   “NCGA is pleased to see the EPA meet the Administration’s commitment to keep the RFS on track when it comes to conventional ethanol. Not only has EPA hit the mark with the 15 billion-gallon implied target, but EPA has also improved on the proposed rule by correctly growing the total 2018 volume from the 2017 level as intended in the RFS.   “This year’s corn crop is bigger than anyone anticipated, resulting in the largest carryover supply in 30 years. Farmers want to rely on the marketplace for their income, and ethanol has been critical in our effort to increase profitable demand for U.S. corn.   “While we are concerned that the RVO number for cellulosic ethanol is not set...

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Nov 27, 2017

Last Call! Submit Fields-of-Corn Photo Entries Today

With only days remaining until the November 30 deadline, the National Corn Growers Association Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest reminds interested farmers to submit their snap shots and help tell the story of American agriculture.   Photographers can help tell that story of farming field corn in America through this fourth annual contest by capturing high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it. Interested photographers wishing to help tell that story will be able to submit multiple entries until November 30, 2017.   Open to all, the Fields-of-Corn photo contest offers a free opportunity for photographers to share their work while competing for 25 cash prizes, including a $500 grand prize. Prizes include cash awards for the top three entries in eight categories including:  Corn, Growing Field Corn, Farm Family Lifestyle, Scenery/Landscape, Farming Challenges, SHP Conservation, Little Farmers and one for the most popular as determined by...

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Nov 20, 2017

Farm Bureau Study: Thanksgiving Dinner Cost the Lowest in Five Years

The following piece originally ran as a news story created and distributed by the American Farm Bureau Federation at:   American Farm Bureau Federation’s 32nd annual price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year’s average of $49.87.   The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at a total of $22.38 this year. That’s roughly $1.40 per pound, a decrease of 2 cents per pound, or a total of 36 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2016.   “For the second consecutive year, the overall cost of Thanksgiving dinner has declined,” AFBF Director of Market Intelligence Dr. John Newton said. “The cost of the dinner is the lowest since 2013 and second-lowest since 2011. Even as America’s family farmers and ranchers continue to face economic challenges, they...

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Nov 16, 2017

Corn-based Compound Used for Ice and Snow Control on Roadways

Key Issues:New Uses

Road crews around the country are preparing for winter weather by running preparedness drills and stocking up on road treatment products. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) added a new product to their lineup for dealing with ice and snow on the roadways, one that includes a corn-based compound.   “We added another road treatment option to our winter operations,” says MODOT St. Louis Maintenance Engineer, Mark Croarkin. “The corn-based portion of the product is a carrier for Magnesium Chloride.  There are similar products that result in an approximately 2% Magnesium Chloride treated salt that use other base materials.  These products typically cost a little more to mix, but they can be more effective.”   Croarkin says the corn-based product MODOT started using goes by IceBan® M20 or IceBan® 300.  “If I was trying to quantify I would estimate the IceBan® treated material is about 25% more effective overall,” says Croarkin. “The benefits we have seen depend on the...

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Nov 13, 2017

Farm Broadcasters Key Conduit in Telling Farmers Story

Much of the U.S. agricultural world converged on Kansas City last week to participate in the annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting. The meeting provides a great opportunity for agricultural businesses and organizations like the National Corn Growers Association to tell the story of the industry.   “As a farmer, I also appreciate the unique relationship I have with my local farm broadcaster who shadows me throughout the day in my home, my tractor, my shed and my truck. They provide important information I need from markets to weather,” said Kevin Skunes, NCGA president from Arthur, North Dakota. “Sometimes we forget that farm broadcasters also provide an opportunity to reach many urban folks. Consumers get farther and farther from the farm while the list of issues they are concerned about continues to grow.”   So, leaders of NCGA spent hours last Thursday doing dozens of interviews on critical issues like the new farm bill, trade and ethanol. But...

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Nov 9, 2017

WASDE Report Indicates Record Production and Yields

U.S. corn production is on track to set another record, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today, with 2017/18 forecasts indicating both record production and yields. Despite the increased production and ending stocks forecasts, prices are expected to remain in the same range due to increased demand from feed and export markets.   "America's corn farmers continue to face challenging economic conditions, highlighting the incredible importance of growing and supporting markets for the crop we produce so well," said National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes, a farmer from North Dakota. "From growing our ethanol and livestock markets to advancing trade opportunities abroad, whether it be by protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard in Washington or building demand for higher blends of ethanol across the world, NCGA strives to help farmers grow markets for their growing crop.    "Notably, this report demonstrates the importance of the North...

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Nov 8, 2017

Field Notes Talks Corn Harvest in Iowa

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its seventh 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 April Hemmes, who farms in north central Iowa.   “The sun is out. The birds are singing. And, I have finished corn harvest,” she explained. “We finished about a week ago. We have had cold weather and snow flurries now.   “As we talked about before, the yields are turning out to be pretty good. But, there is still a lot of work to do around the farm.”   To find out more about the farm, how Hemmes supports trade and why you should too, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and...

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Nov 7, 2017

New Study Shows Grain Exports Offered $55.5 Billion In Economic Output

Exports of U.S. feed grains and related products provide critical support across the U.S. economy, offering billions in economic direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation as a whole.  New research commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) quantified these benefits, showing that U.S. feed grain and grain products exports were worth $18.9 billion in 2015 and supported $55.5 billion in economic output. These exports were linked directly or indirectly to nearly 262,000 jobs.  Furthermore, if exports were halted, the analysis indicated that more than 46,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in GDP would be adversely impacted at the farm, ethanol production and meat production levels before accounting for losses in linked industries. “International markets represent demand that would not exist elsewhere,” said Deb Keller, USGC chairman and a farmer from Iowa. “This research highlights the important...

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Nov 6, 2017

NCGA Encouraged by USDA Biotech Regulatory Process Announcement

The National Corn Growers Association issued this statement today, in response to the Administration's announcement that it will withdraw the Part 340 proposed rule in favor of taking a closer look at reforming biotechnology regulatory processes. "The National Corn Growers Association is encouraged by today's announcement and applauds USDA’s reconsideration of the proposed rule," said NCGA President and North Dakota Farmer Kevin Skunes. "The proposed rule had desirable elements, but the deficiencies found in key areas would have rendered the overall product unworkable for innovation and America’s farm families. "On behalf of America's corn farmers, I commend Secretary Perdue for the serious nature with which he has approached this important and sizable task. The intent he has expressed in regard to working with stakeholders is heartening, and we look forward to collaborating with him to ensure that our nation's system regulating all agricultural technologies facilitates both the...

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Nov 6, 2017

NCGA Now Accepting Applications for the 2019 Corn Board

The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee is now accepting applications from members for the 2019 Corn Board.  Through the Corn Board, members can become an integral part of the organization’s leadership.  Click here for the application, which provides complete information on requirements, responsibilities and deadlines.   “I have had the privilege of working with so many talented, dedicated volunteers who step forward to lead this organization during my years on the Corn Board,” said NCGA Chairman and Nominating Committee Chair Wesley Spurlock. “Their willingness to step forward as volunteer leaders play a crucial role in building NCGA’s future successes. As a true grassroots organization, we rely upon farmers to volunteer to lead, helping to shape policy and drive efforts. Serving on the Corn Board empowers farmers to play a proactive role in determining the collective future of our industry.”   The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters...

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Nov 3, 2017

Field Notes Talks Corn Harvest with Farmers in Illinois, Minnesota

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its seventh 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. Despite periods of slow progress due to wet conditions, he sees the end of this harvest season moving closer on the horizon.   “Harvest here has gone fairly well. We have had our wet times, but they have never lasted longer than about three or four days,” he explained. “Most of the corn in our county is out of the field, and soybean harvest is nearly coming to an end.”   To find out more, click here.   Dan Erickson, who farms in Minnesota, also took a moment from harvest to discuss his progress thus far. Given his...

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Nov 2, 2017

Remember! Complete Your National Yield Contest Entry by Submitting Harvest Forms

With harvest continuing across the country, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to submit their harvest forms for the 2017 National Corn Yield Contest by Friday, December 1, at 4:30 p.m. CST. These forms are available online for those who entered the contest. Please do remember though, entrants are asked to report within two weeks of their final yield check or by Dec. 1 now, whichever comes first.   “While NCGA certainly understands the unique nature of each harvest, it is important to keep contest rules regarding harvest form submissions in mind. We ask contest applicants to submit harvest forms within two weeks of their final yield check to allow NCGA staff adequate time to thoroughly review each form,” said Stewardship Action Team Chair Roger Zylstra. “The National Corn Yield Contest plays a significant role in recognizing excellence and finding new, more productive techniques. We hope that growers continue to support the contest by seeing their entry through...

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Nov 1, 2017

NCGA Offers Valuable College Scholarships – Apply Today!

The National Corn Growers Association and BASF Corporation are now accepting applications for five $1,000 scholarships to be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field during the 2018-19 school year. While these scholarships are open to any NCGA members and their children or legal guardians, all submissions must be postmarked on or before December 1, 2017 for consideration.   "Building the leaders of tomorrow is essential to NCGA’s work to build a productive, sustainable and profitable corn industry," said John Linder, chair of the Engaging Members Committee. "Our partnership with BASF helps ease the financial pressures these students face in pursuing their degree and, in doing so, helps ensure the brightest minds remain engaged in agriculture."   Applicants for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program must be entering at least their second undergraduate year or any year of graduate...

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