In The News

Feb 2021

Feb 26, 2021

Celebrate 2020 NCYC, Member and Association Award Winners Next Friday!

Join us Friday, March 5, to celebrate the state and national winners of the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest! The online event will feature a recognition of 2020 NCYC winners, an awards ceremony recognizing the recruiters, members and state associations making a difference and the annual State of the Association address by NCGA CEO Jon Doggett.   Attendees can also enjoy messages directly from Pioneer, BASF and John Deere, the sponsors who make our contest possible.   The event will begin at 3:00 p.m. Central and run for thirty minutes. So, take a moment to close your Commodity Classic, celebrating the success stories and notable work of and for farmers.   Click HERE to register.  

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Feb 25, 2021

Growing Exports of Poultry and Egg Products Delivers Value Back to Corn Farmers

Key Issues:TradeAnimal Agriculture

Exports of U.S. corn-fed poultry and egg products are one key area of future demand that the Market Development Action Team (MDAT) at NCGA focuses on. The team has funded projects with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), most recently including an economic study on the value of poultry exports to U.S. corn and updates to improved versions of buyer’s guides. The economic study found that poultry exports add $0.28 of value per bushel of corn, which is approximately $4.1 billion in revenue. The new and improved buyer guides for chicken, turkey, and eggs were digitized and updated, including a section on the value and sustainability of U.S. corn. These guides play a large role in securing value back to the U.S. corn grower as they are used at almost all of USAPEEC’s international trade and marketing activities.   The partnership with USAPEEC is one poised to enable success for both poultry producers and U.S. corn growers through the support of NCGA’s Market Development...

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Feb 24, 2021

NCGA Leads Call for Farmer Participation in Paycheck Protection Program

Key Issues:Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with K·Coe Isom, today led a coalition of 35 agriculture organizations urging Congress to work with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure that farming partnerships and limited liability corporations (LLCs) are able to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).   In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the House Committee on Small Business, the organizations said it is critical for agricultural producers, many of whom have structured their operations as partnerships and LLCs, to receive PPP funding regardless of tax structure.   “As you know, farming and ranching are capital-intensive operations often operating at a loss and with owners who frequently do not work for wages,” the organizations wrote.   Section 313 of The Economic Aid Act made changes to the initial eligibility requirements for PPP, recognizing the special circumstances of those...

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Feb 23, 2021

NCGA Congratulates Tom Vilsack on Senate Confirmation to Lead USDA

Key Issues:Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today congratulated Tom Vilsack on his Senate confirmation to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NCGA President John Linder made the following statement.   “NCGA congratulates Secretary Vilsack on his confirmation. Corn growers appreciated his comments in support of biofuels, along with the positive role he sees agriculture playing in addressing climate change, during his confirmation hearing. Secretary Vilsack has consistently shown a willingness to listen to corn growers, to understand the issues they face on their farms, and we’ve welcomed his outreach to agriculture. Corn growers are looking forward to working together 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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Feb 23, 2021

Commodity Classic Launches Powerful Podcast on Farm Stress and Mental Health

Commodity Classic, in partnership with the National Association of Farm Broadcasters, has produced a powerful podcast program dealing with farm stress and mental health. The program entitled “Mental Health on the Farm” features four panelists, each with a unique and personal perspective on the issue.   The podcast is now available at CommodityClassic.com. The program is available as a full-length podcast for download (49 minutes) or in four individual episodes ranging in length from 11 to 13 minutes that can be played right on the Commodity Classic website.  Several radio stations across the Midwest will also be airing the program and/or offering it on their streaming or podcast platforms this week.   The program panelists include:   Ted Matthews, a rural mental health professional from Minnesota with more than 30 years’ experience;  Adrienne DeSutter, an Illinois farm wife who holds a master's degree in counseling;  Lowell Neitzel, a Kansas farmer who shares his story of...

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Feb 22, 2021

Farm, Biofuel Leaders Embrace EPA’s New Position on Tenth Circuit’s Small Refinery Waiver Decision

Key Issues:Ethanol

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is supporting the Tenth Circuit Court’s January 2020 decision in Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA. After careful review of the decision, EPA’s new leadership agrees with both the court and the biofuel litigants that small refinery exemptions were meant to be temporary and that only pre-existing exemptions may be “extended” by the agency.    EPA states that it “agrees with the court that the exemption was intended to operate as a temporary measure and, consistent with that Congressional purpose, the plain meaning of the word ‘extension’ refers to continuing the status of an exemption that is already in existence.”     The four petitioners in the case—the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union—released the following statement:   “Our nation’s biofuel producers and farmers appreciate EPA’s careful review of the Tenth...

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Feb 22, 2021

NCGA Joins Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance

Key Issues:Sustainability

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA) today announced expanded membership, including the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). NCGA’s membership in FACA is part of the organization’s commitment to sustainability and support for market-based, voluntary opportunities for farmers to advance environmental goals.   FACA consists of organizations representing farmers, ranchers, forest owners, agribusinesses, manufacturers, the food and innovation sector, state governments, sportsmen and environmental advocates. These groups have broken through historical barriers to develop and promote shared climate policy priorities across the entire agriculture, food and forestry value chains.   FACA was formed in February 2020 by American Farm Bureau Federation (co-chair), Environmental Defense Fund (co-chair), FMI – The Food Industry Association, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives...

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Feb 22, 2021

Commodity Classic Farmer-Leaders Excited About Digital Edition of 2021 Event

Commodity Classic’s pivot from a live show—originally scheduled to take place in San Antonio— to a digital online format has created some unique opportunities, according to the two farmers who are co-chairing the 2021 Special Edition of Commodity Classic.   The 2021 Special Edition of Commodity Classic features more than 50 educational sessions that will be delivered digitally direct to farmers across the nation and around the world March 2-5, 2021. Registration is open at CommodityClassic.com and the first 5,000 farmers to register can do so at no charge.   Anthony Bush, an Ohio corn farmer and co-chair of the 2021 Commodity Classic, said this year’s digital event provides a platform for the event to bring together top agribusiness executives for a series of live, first-ever Executive Roundtables. “We will hear from CEOs from various stakeholders in our industry. I'm not sure what other venue would exist that we would be able to do this. I think that's going to be pretty...

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Feb 19, 2021

Commodity Classic Extends Invitation to USDA Secretary-Nominee Vilsack To Provide Keynote During 2021 Digital Event

With his pending return to the position of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack may also be returning to Commodity Classic as the keynote speaker during one of its 2021 General Sessions.   Commodity Classic has extended an official invitation to Secretary-nominee Vilsack to speak with attendees during the 2021 Special Edition of Commodity Classic during the Closing General Session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Central on Friday, March 5.    Vilsack has spoken at several Commodity Classic events over the years while he served with USDA under the Obama Administration.    Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s Commodity Classic is being delivered digitally online March 2-5, 2021.     Registration for the 2021 Special Edition is available at CommodityClassic.com. Thanks to the generous support of sponsors, the first 5,000 farmers who register can do so at no charge.  All other attendees can register for $20. Registration includes access to the entire week’s program as...

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Feb 19, 2021

Opinion: Cracking the accounting jigsaw of on-farm conservation to grow the profitability of healthy soils

Key Issues:Sustainability

This opinion piece originally ran in AgriPulse   While American farmers are trying to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and tough economic conditions, they are also being asked to improve soil health and water quality.   Policy and business leaders across the country are setting ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts from food production. But farmers can’t be expected to adopt practices like conservation tillage, cover crops and efficient nutrient management without these practices paying off on their balance sheets.   Fortunately, there is growing evidence from farmers who have been able to make sustainable improvements while maintaining or even improving their profitability. Still, agricultural soils are complex, and different conservation practices have different costs, benefits and timelines to return on investment, especially when compared across crop types and geographies.   Simply put, a cover crop that worked for a farmer...

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Feb 17, 2021

Top Agribusiness Executives Featured in Live Roundtable Discussions During 2021 Special Edition of Commodity Classic

What do the next 20 years look like in American agriculture?  Attendees at the 2021 Special Edition of Commodity Classic will have the opportunity to hear some of the top executives in agribusiness answer that question.   Three Executive Roundtables will be held during the 2021 Special Edition of Commodity Classic that will be delivered digitally March 2-5, 2021.  Each roundtable will be presented live and then archived for future viewing through the end of April.  More information is available at CommodityClassic.com.   The first Executive Roundtable takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Central on Wednesday, March 3, and features top executives from the ag equipment industry, including John Deere, AGCO, Case IH and Kubota, discussing how changing farm demographics, consumer demands, and technology may impact the ag equipment industry and agriculture in general. The panel will be moderated by Charlene Finck of Farm Journal.   The crop production industry will take the...

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Feb 16, 2021

Enrollment for 2021 Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage Programs Deadline Nears

Key Issues:Farm Policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that producers who have not yet enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2021 must do so by March 15. Producers who have not yet signed a 2021 enrollment contract or who want to make an election change should contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to make an appointment.   For more information on ARC and PLC including web-based decision tools, visit farmers.gov/arc-plc. During the 2018 Farm Bill negotiations, NCGA supported providing corn growers additional opportunities to choose between the commodity programs. This year starts a now annual opportunity for producers to make elections between the ARC and PLC programs.   FSA Acting Administrator Steve Peterson urged farmers not to delay starting the enrollment process. “FSA offices have multiple programs competing for the time and attention of our staff. Because of the importance and complexities of...

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Feb 11, 2021

NCGA Announces Winners of the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest

In 2020 we went from one unprecedented event to another. A challenging year for so many, yet photographers continued to share essential farmers’ stories of perseverance through the seventh National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest.   Also unprecedented was the number of social shares, breaking records overall for NCGA’s photo contest. NCGA awarded two Grand Prizes.  A grand prize was awarded for the single most popular photo, taken by Amanda Bush of Ohio, “Cotton Candy Harvest,” which gained more than 1700 likes on Facebook. Also, one selected by a panel of judges, submitted by McCullum Steen from Illinois with the photo titled “Harvest 2020.”   “Grit and grace characterize the photos of the year,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “The Facebook engagement this year is telling that people are appreciative of the beauty of rural America in their daily feed.”   “We continue to look at different ways to improve the contest by...

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Feb 10, 2021

Economic Boom From Grain Exports Highlights Need For Trade Access, Market Development

Key Issues:Trade

Access to international markets for U.S. grain supported an additional $41.8 billion in business sales during 2018 over and above the value of the grain sold, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) - highlighting the importance of new market access and robust market development for the profitability of U.S. grain farmers.    The study - the fourth in a series conducted by Informa Economics/IHS Markit - pegged the direct value of U.S. corn, sorghum, barley and the grain components of ethanol, distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and certain meat products at $22.7 billion, for a total economic output of $64.5 billion in 2018.    This analysis and that preceding it based on 2014, 2015 and 2016 sales help make the case for trade as a top priority for U.S. agriculture and the new administration's outreach to the global community.    "Exports are a driver for our economy in general, but nowhere...

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Feb 9, 2021

Navigating the Needs of the Nation’s Inland Waterways System

Key Issues:Transportation and Infrastructure

This past summer and through the fall, many of the locks on the Illinois River underwent major rehabilitation projects upgrading the aging infrastructure. Still, more work is necessary to bring the nearly 12,000 miles of commercially navigable channels and 240 lock sites up-to-date.   Members of the Market Development Action Team (MDAT) and Risk Management and Transportation Action Team (RMTAT) had the opportunity to tour the construction sites last fall. The project on the Illinois River had a price tag totaling roughly $200 million. The locks and dams at LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, Marseilles, and Dresden Island were the locations that underwent various construction projects.   Tracy Zea, President & CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc., joined NCGA to tour the construction of the locks and dams on the Illinois River. “We currently have 69 locks that are over 80 years old, and each lock is designed to last 50 years,” said Zea. “The upgrades are necessary because it allows...

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Feb 9, 2021

Commodity Classic Announces 2021 Schedule of Events

Online Event Features 50+ Educational Sessions   The tentative schedule for the 2021 Special Edition of Commodity Classic has been announced. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year’s event is being presented digitally on March 2-5, 2021.  The 2021 Commodity Classic, originally scheduled for San Antonio, Texas, in early March, is the Silver Anniversary of America’s largest farmer-owned, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.    Registration is now open at CommodityClassic.com.  Thanks to the generous support of sponsors, the first 5,000 farmers who register can do so at no charge.  All other attendees can register for $20.  The registration fee includes access to the entire week’s program as well as access to archived sessions through April 30, 2021.   “Education is a significant emphasis of this year’s Commodity Classic and that is clearly evidenced by the fact that we have more than 50 sessions scheduled over 3-1/2 days,” said Brad Doyle, an Arkansas...

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Feb 4, 2021

Senate Shows Support for Ethanol

Key Issues:EthanolFarm Policy

A flurry of positive action in support of renewable fuels took place in the U.S. Senate this week.   On Wednesday, Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, led a letter signed by 13 other farm-state Senators to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to highlight the “pressing concern of restoring integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and to alert you to pressing policy decisions that the Administration must make to bring regulatory certainty to the transportation fuels sector of the economy.”   Also, Wednesday, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., along with Klobuchar, reintroduced the Adopt GREET Act, legislation that would require the EPA to update its greenhouse gas modeling for ethanol and biodiesel.   “This bill will ensure EPA uses the most recent science and data to accurately measure the greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits of ethanol,” said NCGA President John Linder, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “The Department of...

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Feb 3, 2021

EP. 15-Going Whole Hog to Serve Our Pork Customer: A Conversation With National Pork Board CEO Bill Even

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

The U.S. pork herd consumed over 1.2 billion bushels of corn in 2020. Not only does that make the pork industry a key customer segment for NCGA’s growers, but many of the same trade and sustainability issues that we grapple with in corn impact them as well.   So in this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett chats with Bill Even, CEO of the National Pork Board, to review some of the cooperative efforts the two groups have underway, the challenges they face and the opportunities that await if they work together.   They also recount some of their favorite mouthwatering pork dishes. Spoiler alert: bacon is involved.       Direct Share Link Transcript   Bill Even: We've got producers out there that are paying the corn checkoff, they're paying the soybean checkoff, and they're paying the pork checkoff, and what they're expecting out of their respective boards and their respective staffs of these organizations is that they work together and share those checkoff dollars around and...

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Feb 2, 2021

Study Shows Precision Agriculture Improves Environmental Stewardship While Increasing Yields

Key Issues:Sustainability

Association of Equipment Manufacturers Releases “Environmental Benefits of Precision Agriculture” Study and Encourages Adoption of New Technologies   The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), in partnership with the American Soybean Association, CropLife America, and National Corn Growers Association, released a study quantifying how widely available precision agriculture technology improves environmental stewardship while providing economic return for farmers.   Precision agriculture leverages technologies to enhance sustainability through more efficient use of critical inputs, such as land, water, fuel, fertilizer, and pesticides. Farmers who use precision agriculture equipment use less to grow more.   The study highlights how policies and technological advancements can help farmers increase these outcomes.   “We are living in a new age of agriculture, and today’s precision technology on equipment can have an enormous positive impact on farmers and the...

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Feb 1, 2021

Consider Corn Challenge III Contest Looks to Establish Novel Biomaterials, Products, and Technologies Utilizing Corn

Key Issues:New Uses

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is launching the Consider Corn Challenge III open-innovation contest, looking for participants to answer the call and submit proposals for new uses of field corn as a feedstock for producing sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand.   “Corn is an affordable, abundant, sustainably grown crop that has a myriad of uses and applications, which is why we are holding our third Consider Corn Challenge contest,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. “Corn’s cost as a feedstock has benefited greatly by improvements in technology, production and logistics efficiency. With society’s interest in more biobased products, we know we have the solution and that’s corn.”   Previous winners of the Consider Corn Challenge contests have scaled up to the next phase of development, received additional grant funding, entered into joint agreements, and obtained registration for state...

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