In The News

Apr 2021

Apr 30, 2021

CUTC 2021: Funding Research, Development and Commercialization for New Uses of Corn

Key Issues:Research

The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is taking advantage of the virtual circumstances presented during COVID-19 by bringing a special session on “Funding for Research, Development and Commercialization.”  This is a FREE event on Thursday, May 13, starting at 10 a.m. CDT.   This is a special session of CUTC, designed to keep interest high for next year's in-person event that brings innovators and stakeholders from across the supply chain together for dynamic and targeted scientific exchange.   “While COVID limited our ability to bring this group together, this online session is a great opportunity to continue the dialogue surrounding the issues for funding innovations to extend uses for corn,” said Randy DeSutter, Chair of the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team.   Karla Thieman of the Russell Group will be the panel moderator.  Panelists include Drs. Valerie Reed and Tim Conner who will share the innovative programming being funded at the Department of Energy...

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Apr 29, 2021

CommonGround Talks Consumers, COVID and Fresh Facts of Food Trends

CommonGround continued its Coffee & Conversations series, which brings volunteers and staff at the state and national levels to hone skills and explore new topics. The second session in the spring series, this online session, continued this summer’s series in utilizing new technology to keep volunteers active and engaged despite having to remain distant physically.   The session's topic gained significant interest as it looked at the impacts of the pandemic on consumer food trends and, thus, on agriculture. During the hour-long session, Center for Food Integrity Consumer Engagement Director Roxi Beck addressed the way consumers choose food has also changed – and the likely demands on the food system shifting consumer needs create.   Despite how many things have changed, consumers’ desire to learn more about where food comes from, who is producing it, and the why behind the how remains robust. Over the hour, Beck highlighted the evolution of consumer needs related to food due to...

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Apr 28, 2021

EP 19-Bourbon, the Spirit of America, and Corn's Deep Roots in Kentucky

Jon visits the Frazier Kentucky History Museum bourbon exhibit and hears from an 8th generation master distiller.   Bourbon is a uniquely American beverage.   Not only is its heritage deeply rooted in early Appalachian history, but up to two-and-a-half pounds of corn go into every bottle that’s distilled.   So in this episode of the podcast, we’re going on the road with Jon as he pays a visit to the Frazier Kentucky History Museum in Louisville. There, in the midst of the exhibit on bourbon, we’ll learn about the unique way that corn farming contributed to the history of this singular beverage from museum president and CEO Andy Treinen.   We'll also follow the crop from kernel to kettle to bottle with 8th generation master distiller Jacob Call from Green River Distilling. And we'll explore how the corn industry and bourbon celebrate their shared history together from Laura Knoth and Adam Andrews from the Kentucky Corn Grower's Association.       DIRECT...

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Apr 27, 2021

“Mental Health on the Farm” Podcast Explores Resources, Offers Support

This spring, radio stations across rural America joined Commodity Classic to highlight an issue important to all of us in the corn family - managing the mental health issues facing farmers and rural America.  As you are aware, we face challenging times in society due to COVID. On the farm, things had been amplified by six years of tough economic conditions before the pandemic, and its changes emerged on the horizon. To raise awareness, NCGA is offering access to a podcast created from the original program.   Highlighting real stories as well as resources, the podcast shares reassurance that those feeling the stress are not alone and that there are resources to help.   To download or listen to the podcast, please click here.   The podcast features mental health practitioners and counselors with strong ties to the farm and real-life perspectives on the issue from farmers Jason Meadows and NCGA Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team Chair Lowell Neitzel.   Neitzel, who...

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Apr 26, 2021

Biofuels Coalition Readies for Oral Arguments in Supreme Court

Key Issues:EthanolFarm Policy

In oral arguments scheduled for Tuesday morning, four agriculture and biofuel organizations will argue that the U.S. Supreme Court should affirm a unanimous 2020 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which held that only small refineries that have remained continuously exempt from obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard are eligible for future extensions of the compliance exemption.   The four organizations comprising the Biofuels Coalition—the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and the American Coalition for Ethanol—will share time during Tuesday’s oral arguments with the U.S. Department of Justice, which will be representing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA announced in February that it supports the Tenth Circuit’s decision.   “EPA had exceeded its authority by creating new exemptions when the statute only authorizes the agency to extend the temporary, time-limited...

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Apr 22, 2021

NCGA Supports Reintroduction of Senate Climate Policy Legislation

Key Issues:SustainabilityFarm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauds the bipartisan reintroduction of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). The bill passed out of the Senate Ag Committee this morning. The bipartisan legislation addresses the potential for agriculture to serve as a critical climate solution by making it easier for producers to participate in climate-smart practices, navigate carbon markets and earn extra income through carbon sequestration.   “NCGA thanks the Senators for their leadership and recognition of agriculture’s role as a solution to solving climate change,” said NCGA President John Linder. “Corn farmers continue to be leaders in this space and are always adopting practices that improve the quality of the soil, water, and air around our farms. We look forward to working together on this legislation and others that support voluntary, market and incentive-based...

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Apr 22, 2021

BeSure! This Growing Season

Key Issues:SustainabilityPollinators

Spring has sprung and the growing season is upon us! This Earth Day, the National Corn Growers Association is celebrating the third annual national campaign to promote pollinator health best management practices through BeSure!.   “Making sure farmers have access to the best and most up-to-date information is why NCGA has been a part of the BeSure! campaign from the beginning,” said NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Nicole Hasheider. “With planting season underway across the country, it’s a great time for farmers to again consider how they can help protect important pollinators around their fields.”   The benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments in protecting corn seeds from early-season pests are well documented. But farmers and applicators can protect both their crop and pollinators and other wildlife by following a few simple guidelines.    For Growers: Follow directions on the label for appropriate storage, use and disposal practices. When planting...

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Apr 21, 2021

2021 Awardees Named for Aflatoxin Mitigation Competitive Grant Program

Key Issues:ProductionResearch

The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to announce that seven applicants have been awarded research funding through the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center for Excellence’s (AMCOE) Competitive Grants Program for 2021. The winners were selected by an evaluation committee comprised of technical experts, growers, state and national staff.   Dr. Anindya Chanda, Mycologics LLC – A non-pathogenic marine Vibrio as a novel biocontrol microbe against Aspergillus infections and aflatoxin contamination in corn    Dr. Zhi-Yuan Chen, Louisiana State University – Transgenic control of aflatoxin contamination in corn through host-induced gene silencing    Dr. Thomas Isakeit, Texas A&M University – Efficacy of an atoxigenic Aspergillus flavus application for management of aflatoxin in conjunction with a fertilizer application     Dr. Robert Kemerait, University of Georgia – Breeding drought-tolerant corn and elucidating the mechanism of corn-Aspergillus flavus interactions    Dr. Shien...

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Apr 19, 2021

NCGA Statement on Robert Bonnie

Key Issues:Farm Policy

“We’re pleased to learn President Biden has nominated Robert Bonnie to be the next Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation at USDA. This is an important mission area to America’s corn farmers. And we look forward to working with him on COVID recovery, disaster relief, risk management tools, and conservation programs,” said NCGA President John Linder.

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Apr 19, 2021

NCGA Submits Comments to EPA on E15 Fuel Dispenser Labeling and Underground Storage Tanks

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to update fuel pump labeling for E15 and improve the process for retailers to demonstrate compatibility of their equipment so they can offer higher ethanol blends.   “As producers of the primary feedstock for ethanol, corn growers support expanding availability of higher ethanol blends such as E15, an immediate, available, and affordable solution to lowering carbon emissions in transportation,” NCGA President John Linder wrote in the organization’s comments. “Finalizing this proposal will remove additional barriers to retailers offering E15 and provide an immediate fuel decarbonization opportunity.”   Updating EPA’s fuel pump label and supporting compliance demonstration for underground storage tanks (USTs) will benefit both consumers and retailers. NCGA’s comments urged EPA to adopt proposed updates to the E15 label and make further revisions to...

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Apr 15, 2021

New SHP Business Case Showcases the Impact of Cover Crops on Erosion Control

Key Issues:Sustainability

In a new business case from Soil Health Partnership, Missouri farmers Tim and Trent Gottman share how building soil health through reduced tillage and cover crops has been critical to reducing erosion on their Missouri farm. By keeping the soil in place, they hold onto valuable nutrients and help protect nearby waterways.   It was in the mid-2000s when Tim says he first started noticing a significant change in weather patterns. Rainfall events seemed more frequent and more extreme in the spring, pushing planting dates back later and later. Over years of watching his soils wash away, he and his brother Trent worked toward strategically approaching erosion control in a way that was financially feasible for their farm.   “I don’t want to be the guy that stands in the shop every time we get a big rain and go, ‘Well…’ and just shrug my shoulders,” Tim said. “It seemed to me we needed to start adopting practices where, when that happens, you haven’t lost all your fertility, you...

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Apr 14, 2021

Consider Corn Challenge III Informational Webinar Highlights the Benefits of the NCGA Sponsored Innovation Contest

Key Issues:New Uses

Learn more about the Consider Corn Challenge III submission process and find out how successful winners have moved closer to commercialization by watching a recent informational webinar. Consider Corn Challenge II winner Derek Wells, CEO and founder of ExoPolymer, participated in the webinar to share his experience of the process and the benefits he’s received from participating in the Challenge.   “As we were starting our company, having that discretionary funding available was very, very helpful in the beginning,” Wells told participants. “And a little bit more important, as we evolved the company here, are the agricultural network connections in the Midwest that the corn growers provided to us. Being out here in California as a startup company, we don't have a lot of insight into all the interesting things that are happening out in the Midwest, especially with regard to fermentation capacity.”   Specific application areas being considered for this Challenge...

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Apr 13, 2021

Focus on Infrastructure: Rural Broadband

Key Issues:Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

The American Jobs Plan, the Biden Administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, includes several provisions directly impacting corn growers. Rural Americans rely on reliable and safe infrastructure to compete in the global marketplace, and access to a fast, reliable broadband connection is critical for all Americans.   Technology is a part of nearly every aspect of the farming operation, allowing farmers to be more efficient and sustainable on their operations. But, 14 million Americans living in rural communities lack access to reliable internet.   The Biden plan proposes $100 billion to expand high-speed internet to enable 100 percent access across the entire country. This proposal will prioritize support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and cooperatives. This will also reduce the cost of broadband internet service and promote more widespread adoption.   The broadband industry supports jobs in rural...

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Apr 13, 2021

RFA, Growth Energy and NCGA Defend Year-Round E15 in Court

Key Issues:EthanolFarm Policy

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court will hear oral arguments in American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, et al. vs. EPA, a case in which oil refiners challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2019 rulemaking that paved the way for the year-round sale of E15. As intervenors in the case, the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association will also argue in support of upholding the E15 rule in court today.   In a joint statement, RFA, Growth Energy and NCGA said, "Oil refiners are simply trying to reclaim more market share by blocking American drivers from year-round access to a more affordable, lower-carbon fuel at the pump. Studies have repeatedly shown that the volatility of E15 is lower than that of E10. And other recent studies find that a nationwide switch from E10 to E15 would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions –equivalent to removing approximately 3.85 million vehicles from the road. If the refiners had their way and...

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Apr 8, 2021

The Value of Corn in the Pet Food Industry

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

April 11 is National Pet Day. There are many benefits to including corn in your pet’s diet, but have you ever wondered about the benefits that your cat or dog brings to the corn industry? In November a comprehensive study unpacked the $30 billion U.S. retail pet food industry, thanks to the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), the Pet Food Institute and the North American Renderers Association.   The study found that corn and corn gluten meal are the top two most used plant-based ingredients in pet food products. Corn is the dominant plant-based carbohydrate at 1,283,674 tons, and corn gluten meal is the dominant plant-based protein ingredient at 476,649 tons used on an annual basis. Thanks to Fido and Fluffy, the corn industry moved 1,958,061 tons of product, valued at a total of $438 million.   “Farmers and farm-product processors sell $6.9 billion worth of products to pet food manufacturers every year that are used as ingredients. Sales made by farmers and...

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Apr 7, 2021

Follow the Science: How Farm Country Can Beat COVID-19, with the National Rural Health Association

Key Issues:COVID-19

Rural America faces unique challenges when it comes to beating COVID-19, and vaccination will play a vital role in winning the battle.   Two and a half million Americans are getting their COVID-19 vaccine every day. And as America takes this critical step to beating the virus and re-opening the economy, it’s more important than ever that rural America does NOT get left behind.   So the NCGA has joined a nationwide effort to support that process, the COVID-19 Community Corps. Together with other founding members, NCGA will promote the science behind the safe and effective vaccines that are a critical component in the battle against Coronavirus.   In this episode, we talk about the unique challenges we face in getting rural Americans vaccinated with Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association, and Carrie Saia, the CEO of a small-town hospital in Holton, Kansas.       DIRECT SHARE       TRANSCRIPT     Alan Morgan: You understand how science plays a...

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Apr 6, 2021

CommonGround Webinar Series Offers Insight, Connection

Key Issues:Consumer Engagement

While volunteers from across the country have not been able to meet in person nationally, CommonGround continues to offer opportunities to learn more and hone skills online through a second online training series. This series of three webinars, which launched last week, builds upon the series of learning and networking opportunities offered online over the summer of 2020.   The first session welcomed new volunteers to incredible work being done by more than 200 farm women like them across the country. Through state associations' support and hard work, these women serve as resources for consumers who have questions about how their food is grown.   Additional sessions are planned for April 21 and May 19, featuring Roxi Beck of the Center for Food Integrity to update the pandemic’s impact on consumer food trends and a social storytelling workshop on May 19.   Sharing their personal stories, the volunteers who make up this grassroots movement foster conversations based on shared...

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Apr 6, 2021

USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers

Key Issues:COVID-19Farm Policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on March 24 Pandemic Assistance for Producers (PAP). The new initiative will bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.   The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 passed by Congress in December 2020 included additional Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) assistance of $20 per acre for producers of eligible crops, including corn. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will automatically issue payments to eligible producers based on the eligible acres included on their CFAP 2 applications. These payments should start being distributed this month.   The Consolidated Appropriations Act also granted USDA with the authority to provide support for ethanol producers who were impacted by a drop in ethanol demand. USDA is expected to share details of this assistance in a proposed rule likely to be released in the next few months.   USDA will be holding a webinar...

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Apr 5, 2021

The Potential for Corn and the Animal Ag Sector Through Next-Generation DDGS

Key Issues:EthanolAnimal Agriculture

Opportunities for new corn fractionation technologies at dry mills create value by further separating out the various components of corn to allow differential utilization of the subsequent product streams. Feed rations and specific ingredients for animals can be optimized by separating corn into its most valuable components.   Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGs) are a co-product of the ethanol production process and used 1.075 billion bushels of corn in 2020. DDGs are a valuable feed ingredient for cattle, swine, poultry, and aquaculture as they are rich in the protein, fat, minerals, yeast, and vitamin that animals need.   DDGs were never initially engineered, as they were an accidental discovery derived from the ethanol manufacturing process. As these next generation DDGs products become increasingly competitive in their nutritional composition, ethanol manufacturers have the opportunity to diversify their portfolio, plugging into newly created revenue sources. If an...

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Apr 1, 2021

Finding Funding for New Uses of Corn — A CUTC Special Session

Key Issues:New UsesResearch

NCGA is pleased to announce a special session of the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) focused on funding for research, development, and commercialization of new uses for corn.  This special session will bring together a panel of experts from both the public and private sectors to discuss funding across the RD&C spectrum from bench level to financing new capital at existing facilities. This free online event is scheduled for 10:00-11:30 Central Time on Thursday, May 13, 2021.    “One of the key aspects of CUTC is to build a community of researchers and other stakeholders who are focused on new technology.  COVID limited our ability to bring this group together, so this session is a good opportunity to have an informational program that is of interest to our entire CUTC audience and keep this community engaged and cohesive,” said Randy DeSutter, Chair of the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team.   Funding is an essential component of innovation at every stage, and...

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