In The News

May 2020

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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May 15, 2020

NCGA Commends USDA Rule Updating Biotech Regulation Process

Key Issues:Biotechnology

The National Corn Growers Association commends the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient (SECURE) rule, which will modernize and update the way in which biotechnology is regulated under the Plant Protection Act. In doing so, the SECURE rule comprehensively revises USDA’s regulations since first established in 1987, providing a modern framework to better address the innovations in and challenges facing modern agriculture.   The availability of new technology plays a vital role in helping farmers enhance the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of agricultural production – benefits that ripple beyond the farm gate to the rural economy and consumers. These innovative tools allow farmers to produce a healthy crop and adapt to the many challenges presented by climate change, while constantly mitigating their environmental impact. NCGA shares USDA’s commitment to a clear, science-based and transparent...

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May 15, 2020

World Trade Month: Corn’s Top Markets, Japan

Key Issues:Trade

The export of corn and corn products is vital to the nation’s economy and NCGA has 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 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. Last week we featured Mexico, the top buyer of U.S. corn. This week’s focus is corn’s number two market – Japan.   Japan has been a strong trading partner and is now the second largest purchaser of U.S. corn, buying more than 13 million metric tons (MT) of corn during the September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019 marketing year. Japan is also a high-value market for the U.S. livestock industry, the top purchaser of U.S. beef and beef products and number three purchaser of U.S. pork and pork products, therefore also a...

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May 13, 2020

Farmers' Passion for Stewardship Remains Strong in Uncertain Times

Key Issues:SustainabilityProduction

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein   Nebraska farmer Brandon Hunnicutt is a lifelong learner who has a curious bent, especially when it comes to pursuing sustainable farming practices. He agrees with Albert Einstein that an inquiring mind can drive positive change, but he has no desire to end up like the infamous cat of curiosity fame.   “Our farm tries to stay up on the cutting edge of technology. But we do it after a lot of investigation and talking with others and then doing an evaluation on our farm on a smaller scale,” said Hunnicutt, a fifth-generation farmer, who currently farms with his dad (Daryl) and his brother (Zach). This evolutionary approach has led to incorporating many of the latest technologies while integrating conservation tillage practices and cover crops, on a nearly 100 percent irrigated farm.   Moving to water sensors is a great example of how technology can address both...

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May 12, 2020

World of Corn Explores 2019 Crop

U.S. corn farmers showed resilience in 2019 with a national average yield of 10.6 metric tons per hectare and 348 million metric tons of corn produced in the United States while facing a myriad of weather-related challenges.   To highlight these achievements to audiences more familiar with metric measurements, such as buyers in export markets, the National Corn Growers Association now offers the option to view the World of Corn in either metric or standard measurements on www.worldofcorn.com.    World of Corn is a respected collection of the most important statistics about corn production, exports and consumption, providing key information in a readable format, comparing numbers and trends across the years.     This year’s publication was generously sponsored by Bayer, and the print edition distributed through The Progressive Farmer.

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May 11, 2020

NCGA Joins U.S. Farm & Biofuel Leaders Petitioning Congress for COVID-19 Relief

Key Issues:EthanolCOVID-19

America’s top biofuel and farm advocates called on House and Senate leaders to ensure the next round of COVID-19 relief does not overlook U.S. ethanol and biodiesel production. The joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoes bipartisan appeals from House and Senate members, as well as governors across the heartland. It was signed by the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, the National Biodiesel Board, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, the National Farmers Union, the National Oilseed Processors Association, the National Renderers Association, the National Sorghum Producers, and Fuels America.   “The situation we face is dire,” wrote biofuel and farm advocates. “More than 130 biofuel plants have already partially or fully shut down as motor fuel demand plunged to 50-year lows. America’s biofuel plants purchase annually more than one-third of U.S. corn...

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May 8, 2020

World Trade Month: Corn’s Top Markets, Mexico

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

The export of corn and corn products is vital to the nation’s economy, and NCGA has a deeply rooted policy that works to eliminate barriers to trade and support market development. Exports of U.S. corn and co-products provide critical support across the economy, offering billions 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.   Mexico is the top buyer of U.S. corn, U.S. DDGs and U.S. barley. American corn farmers exported more than 16 million metric tons (MT) of corn and more than 2 million MT of DDGS to Mexico during the September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019 marketing year.   Mexico is one of the most important and loyal buyers of U.S. feed grains. Access to affordable grains and reliable shipments from the United States has helped Mexican swine, poultry and beef industries grow, accompanied by increasing imports of U.S. corn,...

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May 8, 2020

More prizes and two new categories added for 2020 Photo Contest

The seventh annual photo contest of the National Corn Growers Association, Fields-of-Corn.com is open for photographers to enter their submissions. This year there are two new categories and additional prizes.   The single, most popular photo with Facebook “likes” will be awarded a $500 prize. First ($300), Second ($200), Third ($100), prizes will be awarded for each of eight categories and, as in prior years, judges will select a single Grand Prize winner to be awarded $500. Two new categories: Livestock and Farm Pets A total of 26 cash prizes will be awarded.    “It is important to continue re-evaluating the contest and category offerings for photographers to submit their images as the landscape of agriculture changes and expands,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “Each year, we continue to get new photographers who enter, and it’s exciting to see the story of agriculture portrayed through their eyes.”   Visit Fields-of-Corn today to enter your...

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May 7, 2020

NCGA Reinforces Importance of Seed Treatments in Comments to EPA

Key Issues:Production

This week the National Corn Growers Association submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the importance of neonicotinoids as part of the registration review process for three products.   The comments reinforced the importance of the neonicotinoid products being considered for reregistration – Clothianidin, Thiamethoxam and Imidacloprid – which are found in common corn seed treatments to combat early-season pests that attack seeds and seedlings when they are at their most vulnerable.   Without access to these products, losses to farmers could reach $848 million annually, primarily related to yield loss, according to research by AgInfomatics. Few insecticidal seed treatments exist outside of these products.   Neonicotinoids work well and are important because they help assure corn crop viability and allow for precise application of the pesticide to seeds, thus reducing non-target exposure and environmental runoff.   NCGA reinforced its ongoing...

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May 6, 2020

PepsiCo Partnership with Farmers Cutting Greenhouse Gas

Key Issues:SustainabilityProduction

In a big win for clean air, corn farmers in Illinois and PepsiCo have documented the ability to cut CO2 emissions, a major greenhouse gas contributor, through the adoption of cover crops and other sustainable farming practices. The partnership with PepsiCo and other large corporations across their supply chain is achieving large reductions in carbon emissions.    In the first two years of the corn checkoff-funded project, participating farmers have reduced CO2 emissions by 8,155 metric tons, equivalent to taking 1,762 cars off the road. In Illinois, Precision Conservation Management (PCM), Illinois Corn Grower Association’s premier conservation program, is working with PepsiCo to drive change at the farm level and achieve these substantial emissions reductions.   “PepsiCo is a leading example of how consumer packaged goods companies can partner with farmers to work towards their sustainability goals.  PepsiCo understands that investing in farmers and helping farmers understand...

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May 5, 2020

USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Grants Announced

Key Issues:Ethanol

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Monday announced additional details on the $100 million in grants available to fuel retailers and distributors under the Higher Blends infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). HBIIP is intended to increase the sale and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.   “American ethanol and biofuel producers have been affected by decreased energy demands due to the coronavirus, and these grants to expand their availability will help increase their use during our economic resurgence,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said.   Perdue first announced this funding in his address to corn farmers at this year’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio.   One of the program requirements outlined by USDA is for all funded equipment to be certified for use with at least 25 percent ethanol blends, an important feature supported by NCGA to ensure the infrastructure funded...

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May 4, 2020

Blog Brings Field Notes to Life, Shares Real Farmer Experiences with #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.   “We’ve had really good weather for planting, actually. We haven’t had any rain delays. It is far nicer than last year with bomb cyclones. We are starting to get dry in areas. As guys are wrapping up planting in a week to ten days, we’ll be hoping for rain. There are a few center pivots that are already running,” Andy Jobman, Nebraska farmer.   “I finished planting on Saturday like almost everyone in northern...

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May 1, 2020

Early Registration for National Corn Yield Contest Opens Today

Key Issues:Production

The National Corn Yield Contest officially opens today, May 1, 2020, and the National Corn Growers Association is encouraging potential entrants to register early and save big on entry fees. Until June 30, 2020, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small-time investment now saves money later this summer.   The premier event of every corn growing season since 1965, the National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC), offers challenges and rewards to each entrant! In 2019, 7,454 growers accepted the challenge to test their corn production skills and knowledge by competing with proven winners to reach the ultimate goal of being named CHAMPION.   NCGA wants to challenge you to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new ideas and production techniques, while gleaning knowledge to enhance your future yield potential.   Winners will receive national recognition in publications, such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as other awards from participating sponsoring seed,...

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May 1, 2020

Coalition Opposes API Petition on 2020 RFS Obligations

Key Issues:Ethanol

A coalition of ethanol and farm groups today sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency opposing the American Petroleum Institute’s recent petition requesting reconsideration of the 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) final rule.   API claims reconsideration of the 2020 RFS rule is necessary in light of the coalition’s recent Tenth Circuit court victory that overturned small refinery exemptions illegally granted by EPA. The successful Tenth Circuit court challenge was brought against EPA by the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and American Coalition for Ethanol.   Specifically, API argues that the 2020 RFS rule should be revised to eliminate measures that prospectively “reallocate” RFS blending obligations expected to be lost to refinery waivers. API claims reallocation of expected waivers is no longer needed because the Tenth Circuit decision should significantly curtail the number of waivers granted. However, EPA...

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