In The News

Dec 2020

Dec 22, 2020

NCGA Recognizes Long-Serving Agriculture Committee Leaders

Key Issues:Farm Policy

As the 117th Congress comes to a close, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is recognizing the tenure of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway, R-Texas. The three leaders will not be returning to elected office next Congress, taking a combined 86 years of experience and institutional knowledge of the legislative process with them.   Roberts was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, representing Kansas’ “Big First” District for 16 years. He served as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1995-1997 where he oversaw passage of the 1996 Farm Bill. In 1996, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He became Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman in 2015 and served as Ranking Member from 2011-2013. Roberts is the first member of Congress to have chaired both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and...

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Dec 22, 2020

Congress Provides Farm and Food Relief

Key Issues:Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed Congressional approval of H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, legislation to provide assistance to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, along with the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills to ensure continued funding for vital federal programs.   The legislation provides $13 billion to address COVID-related impacts on agriculture, $13 billion to support nutrition programs and $7 billion for broadband funding.   “The assistance provided by this bill will go a long way in providing the certainty corn growers need to recover from the impact of the coronavirus on our industry,” said NCGA President John Linder. “We thank those members who fought to deliver this needed relief and ensure we can continue to feed and fuel the world.”   Linder also praised the authority granted to USDA to provide support for ethanol producers, who were impacted by a drop in ethanol demand, along with the increased...

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Dec 18, 2020

NCGA Statement: Regan nominated to Lead EPA

Key Issues:EthanolFarm Policy

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder today made the below statement following the news that President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Michael Regan to serve as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator.   “The National Corn Growers Association looks forward to working with Regan on issues of importance to corn farmers overseen by the EPA, most notably the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS was a game-changer for corn farmers nearly 20 years ago but previous administrations have failed to uphold the law and implement it as Congress intended. NCGA hopes to have an open dialogue with the new Administrator upon his confirmation and work together to uphold the RFS, reduce emissions through greater use of biofuels, ensure farmers’ access to crop protection products based on sound science and seek practical solutions to issues important to agriculture.”

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Dec 16, 2020

Farm, Biofuels, Trade Leaders Label Brazil Decision ‘Devastating’ For U.S. Ethanol

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

A statement from: Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO, U.S. Grains Council Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy Geoff Cooper, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association Jon Doggett, CEO, National Corn Growers Association The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association issued the following statement in response to the Brazilian government’s decision to let the current tariff rate quota (TRQ) expire, replacing it with a 20 percent tariff on all imports of U.S. ethanol: “Brazil’s decision to impose a 20 percent tariff on all U.S. ethanol imports is devastating for the U.S. ethanol industry, the future of cooperation and coordination between our nations. Not only does this decision risk destroying the great progress our two nations have made as global leaders in ethanol production, it marks a dramatic turn in our bilateral trade relationship. “Today, Brazilian ethanol receives unfettered access into the U.S. market,...

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Dec 15, 2020

A New Blueprint for Improving Ag Trade, Supply Chains and American Competitiveness

Key Issues:Trade

NCGA joined American ag leaders from across the country at a virtual press conference today to release a new report on the challenges and solutions facing American agriculture on trade, supply chains and global competitiveness. The report, organized by Farmers for Free Trade and its membership, is the culmination of the summer’s AgTalks virtual town hall discussions with farmers, ag leaders and related industries including manufacturing and food producers and distributors.   NCGA Board Chairman Kevin Ross represented NCGA in today’s virtual press conference where he stressed the importance of biofuels like ethanol as a driver of the agriculture economy, opportunities for corn and corn product exports in Southeast Asia, and infrastructure modernization.   “There have been so many disruptions in agriculture in recent years, due to many different factors. AgTalks brought people together for conversations around trade and agriculture issues,” Ross said.   The AgTalks report will...

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Dec 15, 2020

Legislation Seeking to Curb Rising Rural Suicide Rate Approved by Congress

Key Issues:Farm Policy

The Seeding Rural Resilience Act, legislation aimed at curbing the rising rate of suicide in rural areas, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate last week as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill is currently awaiting President Trump’s signature.   The legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Jon Tester, D-Mont., both active farmers.    The Senators cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing the suicide rate 45 percent higher in rural America than in urban areas. Americans in rural communities face isolation, distance from basic health care services, lack of broadband access, stigmas against receiving counseling, and financial burdens due to stagnant crop prices. These factors cause higher rates of stress for American farmers and ranchers, making it even harder for people in rural communities to get by.   The Seeding Rural Resilience Act creates three...

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Dec 14, 2020

Corn Yield Contest Reflects Resilience of Corn and Farmers Who Grow It

Key Issues:Production

U.S. farmers not only planted and harvested a large crop successfully in 2020, but they also rolled out some impressive yields in the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest despite weather challenges, wildfires, and a pandemic. Don Stall, Charlotte, Michigan, produced the highest yield in the contest with a yield of 476.9052 bushels per acre, reflecting farmers' resilience and the value of modern seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 56th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   “This contest brings farmers together to create, innovate and explore ways to optimize the nation’s largest and arguably most important crop,” said Debbie Borg, chair of NCGA’s Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team. “At both the state and national levels, contest winners find new ways to excel while using a variety of techniques. Ultimately, the invention and...

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Dec 11, 2020

Agriculture Trade: A Reason for Optimism in 2020

Key Issues:Trade

This month we are looking back at some of the accomplishments and success stories from 2020. This story is an example of many we will be highlighting throughout the month.   In late January 2020, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was signed into law by President Trump at a White House ceremony attended by NCGA leaders. This monumental event set the stage for positive trade developments for corn growers in 2020.   The signing ceremony was the culmination of nearly two years of negotiations and ratification between the three countries. Following the initial signing November 30, 2018, the United States ratified USMCA on January 29, 2020, followed by Canada on March 13 and Mexico on April 3.   NCGA endorsed USMCA at Commodity Classic 2019 and declared the trade deal the organization’s top legislative priority for the year. Corn farmers submitted more than 1300 comments in support of USMCA.   Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market....

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Dec 10, 2020

NCGA Statement: Nomination of Tom Vilsack to lead U.S. Department of Agriculture

Key Issues:Farm Policy

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder today welcomed the nomination of former Iowa Governor and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to again serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Linder made the following statement.   “The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Secretary Vilsack on his nomination to lead USDA. In his eight years leading the Department during the Obama administration corn farmers appreciated his willingness to listen to the input from growers across the country and his steadfast commitment to agriculture, renewable fuels, our environment and USDA’s food and nutrition programs. He’s been an outspoken advocate for rural America and we look forward to working together again, along with President-elect Biden, to build long-term demand for our product, mitigate the impact of climate change, seek new markets around the globe, and continue to feed and fuel the world.”

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Dec 9, 2020

EPA, DOJ Oppose Refiner Request for Supreme Court Review of Tenth Circuit Decision on RFS Exemptions

Key Issues:Ethanol

In a filing submitted yesterday, the Department of Justice recommended against Supreme Court review of the Tenth Circuit Court’s ruling earlier this year that invalidated several small refinery exemptions issued by EPA under the Renewable Fuel Standard. The DOJ filing is in response to a petition submitted in September by HollyFrontier Corporation and CVR Energy, in which the oil refiners ask the Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit’s January decision.   The petitioners in the original Tenth Circuit Court challenge—the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and American Coalition for Ethanol—welcomed the government’s brief opposing Supreme Court review of the appeals court decision. RFA, NCGA, NFU and ACE plan to file their own brief with the Supreme Court today echoing the points raised by DOJ and adding others in opposing review of the Tenth Circuit’s decision.    In January, the Tenth Circuit invalidated three exemptions...

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Dec 8, 2020

Biofuels Coalition Files Brief Challenging 31 Small Refinery Exemptions in 2018

Key Issues:Ethanol

The Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union today filed a brief challenging EPA’s August 2019 decision to exempt 31 small refineries from their obligations to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2018. Collectively known as the Biofuels Coalition for this case, the group submitted its filing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that EPA lacked the authority to issue such exemptions and that it acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in attempting to do so.   In its brief, the Coalition asserts some of the same arguments that the Renewable Fuels Association, NCGA, NFU, and ACE successfully made in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals against three small refinery exemptions, including the fact that EPA lacked the authority to extend small refinery exemptions that had lapsed in earlier years. The Coalition also took on EPA’s failure to...

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Dec 8, 2020

EP 13-CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jeff Zeleny Discusses the Biden Administration and Agriculture on the New Episode of Wherever Jon May Roam

From his roots on a Nebraska corn farm, Jeff Zeleny has gone on to become one of the nation's foremost experts on presidential politics, covering the White House and campaigns for the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. Now as CNN's Senior White House Correspondent, he's spent every day of 2020 with his finger on the pulse of the election for U.S. president.   In this episode, Jeff joins Jon to talk about the issues that defined the campaign, what we can expect as President-Elect Joe Biden transitions to the presidency, the future for President Donald Trump, and what it all means for America's corn farmers. With the economy and the COVID-19 response hanging in the balance, he also offers insights about what a Biden presidency means for agriculture-focused issues like trade and the environment.    And, Jeff shares tales about how growing up in the heart of corn country shaped his world view and his work ethic as a world-renowned journalist.     Direct Share...

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Dec 7, 2020

Maintaining Access to Important Tools Key to NCGA Mission

Key Issues:Biotechnology

Farmers face a host of challenges each year in growing a crop, so it is critical they have access to the best available tools and technology to get the job done. Maintaining this access on your behalf is part of National Corn Growers Association’s core mission.   “It may not always be high profile but representing farmers’ interests is an important part of what we do,” said Nicole Hasheider, NCGA’s Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Director. “Growers increasingly face challenges to their access to seed technology, pesticides and more. NCGA works to ensure the farmer voice is heard and only the best-available science is used to drive decisions.  We track these issues closely and work with other farm organizations, ag input suppliers and government agencies to advocate for the farmer at every step.”   That advocacy often takes the form of formal comments submitted to agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture or Environmental Protection Agency and sometimes results in weighing...

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Dec 4, 2020

Setting the Stage for the Next Generation Fuels Act

Key Issues:EthanolFarm PolicyHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has long sought new and creative ways to build demand for our product. Since 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has helped to promote both energy independence and a stable, prosperous U.S. economy.   The Next Generation Fuels Act (H.R. 8371) is the next step in corn farmers’ efforts to build on the success of the RFS to continue growing the role of low carbon, affordable and renewable ethanol in the fuel supply. Not only does this legislation yield economic benefits for rural America, but it also results in common sense environmental benefits.   The introduction of the bill follows several years of work by corn farmers to boost long term corn demand for clean, affordable ethanol. But introduction of this legislation is just the beginning of a long process.   The current Congress is set to adjourn by mid-December, making the next week a critical time to raise awareness and build additional support for the Next Generation Fuels...

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Dec 3, 2020

NCGA Statement: Thompson to Serve as U.S. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member

Key Issues:Farm Policy

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder today made the following statement after it was announced that Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Pa., would serve as Ranking Member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress.   “The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Representative Thompson on his new role as Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee. In his time on the Committee, Thompson has been a strong advocate for farmers and policies impacting rural America. We look forward to continuing to work with him and members of the Agriculture Committee on behalf of America’s corn farmers.”  

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Dec 3, 2020

NCGA Statement: Scott to Lead U.S. House Agriculture Committee

Key Issues:Farm Policy

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder today made the following statement after it was announced that Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., would serve as Chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress.   “The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Congressman Scott on his new role as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Through his tenure on the Committee, Scott has demonstrated strong support for the policies important to corn farmers. NCGA looks forward to continuing our work with the House Agriculture Committee and Chairman Scott in this new leadership role.”

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Dec 3, 2020

Congress Reauthorizes U.S. Grain Standards Act

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

The U.S. House of Representatives late Wednesday approved the U.S. Grain Standards Reauthorization Act (S. 4054). The U.S. Senate approved the legislation prior to the Thanksgiving holiday and the bill now moves to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.   The U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA) sets the framework for the functioning of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Federal Grain Inspection Service.   Earlier this week, NCGA joined a coalition of agriculture interests in a letter urging members of Congress to support S. 4054 ahead of the impending Dec. 11 expiration of parts of USGSA.   “The U.S. grain inspection system provides certainty to our foreign customers that all U.S. grains and oilseeds have been inspected and certified by an independent agency and provides great value to U.S. commodities, thereby enhancing our competitiveness in the world market. This certainty and reliability have helped grow export markets for U.S. commodities and serves as a...

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Dec 2, 2020

The Success in Stewardship Network Recognizes Good Farming

Key Issues:Sustainability

The National Corn Growers Association wanted to make sure the new decade started with a bright spotlight shining on the sustainability renaissance underway in the U.S., and the launch of the Success in Stewardship Network did that in a big way.   NCGA and the Environmental Defense Fund formalized their relationship with a memorandum of understanding in 2020 on joint sustainability goals and have beat the drum loudly all year to recognize and accelerate the use of agricultural conservation practices on U.S. corn farms.   Farmers frequently bemoan the lack of public understanding regarding the positive change that has already occurred, and the accelerating move to sustainability still underway. The Network celebrates and connects the farmers and their programs that are already driving change with proven conservation practices and encourage the trend to continuous improvement.   The Success in Stewardship Network uses public recognition to foster and strengthen the ongoing...

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Dec 1, 2020

Lending a Helping Hand – State Corn Grower Associations Partner with Ethanol Plants to Distribute Hand Sanitizer

Key Issues:Ethanol

The coronavirus pandemic flipped the world on its head and knocked farmers off our feet when it started its spread. But instead of giving in, we showed the true spirit of rural America by helping our neighbors out. Hand sanitizer suddenly became a vital necessity, and ethanol facilities shifted their production capabilities to meet this sudden spike in demand.   State associations jumped in to help with the distribution. The Illinois Corn Growers Association partnered with other farm groups to distribute sanitizer to retailers to keep them in the field through the critical planting period. “I thought it was important to help the community during this crisis. It made the most sense to purchase products made right here in Illinois and distribute them across the state. Logistics was the trickiest part,” Rodney Weinzierl, executive director of Illinois Corn, said.   The New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association teamed up with Western New York Energy to deliver sanitizer to...

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