In The News

Apr 2021

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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