In The News

May 2021

May 28, 2021

Road Trips, Playlists and Ethanol – The Right Combination for Summer

Key Issues:Ethanol

This article was written by John Linder, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President who also farms in Edison, Ohio and published in Agweb's Guest Commentary, May 27, 2021.   Memorial Day is the “unofficial” kickoff to summer - planting is winding down, the school year is coming to an end, some good corn-fed products are going on the grill, and people are actually planning summer vacations again. There are so many songs that come to mind when I think of summer and road trips……On the Road Again, Travelin’ Man, Highway to H…..wait…..how about Life is a Highway instead. Where am I going with this?   A few months ago, I wrote an opinion piece, The Secret to Clean Air is No Secret. It’s Ethanol. A lot has happened in that time that makes that piece even more relevant today than it was then. There’ve been two new studies highlighting the environmental benefits of renewable corn ethanol. Just this month, a new analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National...

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May 27, 2021

NCGA Welcomes Nebraska Corn-Sponsored Interns to DC, St. Louis Teams

The National Corn Growers Association welcomes two interns this summer thanks to the generous support of the Nebraska Corn Board and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. Chloe Higgins, an ag economics major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will be working in the NCGA office in Washington, D.C. Danie Brandl is interning with the NCGA office in St. Louis, Missouri. Brandl is majoring in agricultural education at UNL.   “Throughout my internship experience, I would like to gain knowledge of how NCGA works and how it advocates for farmers,” said Brandl. “I would also like to gain more experience and knowledge that will help me in the agricultural industry.”   Higgins and Brandl are two of seven interns in all who were selected for internships with key cooperator partners of NCB. Students will be based in the offices of the National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Grains Council, U.S. Meat Export Federation, NCB and NeCGA.   Although these internships may vary in scope,...

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May 26, 2021

Show off Your Photography Skills by Entering the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest

Back by popular demand, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn.com photo contest is officially open! This is the eighth year of the contest and two new categories have been added.   “This year I am excited to offer photographers the opportunity to submit photos in some of our most popular categories like the farm family lifestyle and growing field corn, but also new categories of equipment and bird’s eye view,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “Every year it’s great to see how the submissions tell the story of agriculture and rural America. That’s why we evaluate the categories and try to offer photographers something new to snap a picture of.”   A total of 26 cash prizes will be awarded with the single, most popular photo with Facebook “likes” receiving a $500 prize and 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...

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May 25, 2021

Recognizing the Importance of the Beef Cattle Industry to Corn

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

May is National Beef Month, and there’s no better way to celebrate than to recognize our largest animal ag customer and throw a sirloin on the grill. One out of four bushels of added corn demand is due to beef and pork exports. With such demand, NCGA recognizes the value of industry partnership with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. NCGA has continued to be the sole sponsor of NCBA’s Cattlemen’s Education Series, a partnership that strives to bring the latest and greatest industry information to producers while highlighting the value that corn and corn products, such as DDGs, bring to beef rations.   “Not only do corn growers benefit from the beef cattle industry’s consumption of corn, but adding corn into the diet promotes faster growth, increases feed efficiency in the rate of daily gain and produces steaks with a higher marble score,” said Market Development Action Team Chair Bob Hemesath.   With more than 20 million beef cattle...

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May 24, 2021

State and National Collaboration Strengthens the Efforts for Water Quality, Soil Health and Sustainability

Key Issues:Sustainability

Last week, the Water Quality Working Group—comprised of state and national corn staff—convened virtually for their bi-annual meeting.   During round table discussions, participants shared policies and regulations affecting their state, as well as local programs impacting agriculture, conservation, nutrients, and water quality.  The group also received updates on issues surrounding constructed wetlands, online watershed analysis, cover crop and prevented planting legislation, the future of Navigable Waters Protection Rule, and the new administration’s infrastructure and climate package.   “We have a dynamic and proactive group,” said NCGA Director of Stewardship and Sustainability Rachel Orf.  “Every member is committed to sharing their knowledge and resources so we can stay apprised of water quality and sustainability issues that directly impact our corn growers.”   This meeting of the Water Quality Working Group brought together state corn staff representing Colorado,...

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May 20, 2021

Ethanol Credited for Its GHG Reductions in USDA’s Climate Strategy

Key Issues:Ethanol

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry.  The report is in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad which directed USDA to collect stakeholder input on how to best use programs, funding and financing capacities to encourage the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices.    The report focuses on USDA’s commitment to developing tools to assist farmers in quantifying benefits of climate smart practices and supporting research and data collection to support carbon measurement and verification capabilities. The progress report mentions that USDA could help support carbon credit prices but emphasizes the use of private markets to compensate farmers for practices.   The document acknowledges the role of agriculture in decarbonizing the transportation sector and stated, “The growth of the U.S. biofuels sector, driven in part by...

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May 20, 2021

Webinar Dives into Proposed Legislation and Impacts on Taxes

Key Issues:Farm Policy

KCoe Isom, a food and agriculture consulting and accounting firm, will be holding a webinar for corn growers on News and Perspective on Tax Planning and Priorities on Wednesday, May 26 at 8:00 AM central. The webinar will address questions farmers have been asking around legislative tax proposals and potential impacts to businesses.   The advisors who will be leading the discussion from KCoe Isom are Brian Kuehl, principal; Jim Rein, principal; and Beth Swanson, senior associate.   Wayne Stoskopf, Public Policy Director for Risk Management and Tax at the National Corn Growers Association will be making introductory comments. “This is an issue that many of our members are asking questions about after the release of President Biden’s American Families Plan. This webinar hosted by KCoe Isom will dive into specifics for agriculture around the proposed legislation.”   There is no cost to attend the webinar. If you cannot attend the webinar at that time, you are still encouraged to...

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May 19, 2021

U.S. Court of Appeals Vacates Three Small Refinery Exemptions from the Previous Administration

Key Issues:EthanolFarm Policy

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President John Linder made the following statement after three small refinery exemptions granted by the previous administration were overturned today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.   “We are pleased the court has vacated these waivers that were granted unnecessarily in the final hours of the previous administration. The waivers would have accounted for roughly 260 million ethanol equivalent gallons. We look forward to working with EPA Administrator Regan to uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and appreciate his early actions to change course when it comes to RFS waivers.”

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May 19, 2021

America’s Corn Farmers to Sponsor MLB at Field of Dreams presented by GEICO

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced today that the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has agreed to become an official partner of this summer’s MLB at Field of Dreams presented by GEICO event. The game will be played at a newly constructed ballpark adjacent to the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa on Thursday, August 12th and will be broadcast nationally on FOX.   “NCGA brings an authentic voice of the American corn farmer to this unprecedented game,” said Bill Morningstar, MLB Executive Vice President, Sponsorship Sales. “This organization is a perfect fit to sponsor a game nestled in a cornfield, just like the film we will celebrate. We are delighted to welcome the NCGA on board as an official partner of an event that will be memorable for all sports fans.”   The game between two historic franchises – the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees – will be played, as in the film from Universal Pictures, amongst fields of Iowa corn, in all its mid-August...

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May 18, 2021

Consider Corn Challenge III Deadline Approaching

Key Issues:New Uses

Time is running out to submit an application for the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Consider Corn Challenge III. The contest, aimed at establishing novel biomaterials, products, and technologies utilizing corn, closes June 3, 2021.   “If all nine winners of the Consider Corn Challenge I & II reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand could be approximately 2.9 billion bushels,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “We know there are other technologies out there that can utilize field corn as a feedstock for producing sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand.”   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...

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May 14, 2021

Focus on Infrastructure: Rural Broadband

Key Issues:Transportation 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 America...

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May 13, 2021

Focus on Infrastructure: Inland Waterways and Ports

Key Issues:Transportation and Infrastructure

The American Jobs Plan, the Biden Administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, includes several provisions directly impacting corn growers.   Sixty million rural Americans live and work in rural communities. They rely on reliable and safe infrastructure to effectively move their products and compete globally and roads, bridges, highways and waterways provide the first and last links in the supply chain. America’s inland waterways system provides the most fuel-efficient, lowest cost, and environmentally friendly method of transporting products.   Included in the Biden Administration plan is a proposed $17 billion for inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries. The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to export, with more than 60 percent of the grain produced in the United States being transported by barge, but work needs to be done to bring the nearly 12,000 miles of commercially navigable channels and 240 lock sites up to...

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May 12, 2021

EP. 20 - Corn & Bourbon: Powering Partnerships and Kentucky’s Economic Revival

The Kentucky Corn Growers Association and Green River Distilling have teamed up to produce a locally sourced bourbon that supports corn research.   With a grain content of at least 51% corn, bourbon is a drink that’s near and dear to every grower’s heart.   But in the heart of bourbon country, there’s a really neat partnership taking root between the Kentucky Corn Growers Association and the producers of Yellow Banks bourbon, who source their corn from local growers and donate a portion of their profits to support corn research.   In this episode, we’re back at the Frazier Kentucky History Museum in Louisville for part two of our discussion about bourbon, as 8th generation master distiller Jacob Call from Green River Distilling talks about the partnerships… and the relationships… that make Yellow Banks possible.   Plus, Frazier Kentucky History Museum president and CEO Andy Treinen talks about how bourbon tourism is helping people reconnect with life on the farm.   And...

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May 11, 2021

NCGA Joins Agricultural Tax Priorities Letter to Congress

Key Issues:Farm Policy

This week, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) joined 39 agricultural organizations in a letter to Congressional leaders outlining key tax priorities including protecting current estate tax exemptions and preserving the step-up in basis for capital gains.   The letter comes just after President Biden proposed the American Families Plan, the second part of the President Build Back Better Plan. The plan includes over $1 trillion in new investments throughout the economy and $800 billion in tax cuts.   The $1.8 trillion plan proposes paying for the investments and tax cuts through reforms to the tax code, including ending the step-up of basis for capital gains more than $1 million ($2 million per couple). According to the White House, “the reform will be designed with protections so that family-owned businesses and farms will not have to pay taxes when given to heirs who continue to run the business.”   The Administration is expected to continue to release more details...

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May 10, 2021

Focus on Infrastructure: Roads and Bridges

Key Issues:Transportation 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 effectively move their products and compete globally and roads, bridges, highways and waterways provide the first and last links in the supply chain.   The proposal’s $115 billion to modernize 20,000 miles of highways as well as roads and bridges would target the most economically significant large bridges and repair the worst 10,000 smaller bridges.   If approved by Congress, this funding would meet the needs of our crumbling infrastructure. The nation’s rural roads and bridges have significant deficiencies due to underfunding. 15 percent of the nation’s major rural roads have pavements rated in poor condition, 21% in mediocre condition, and 10 percent rated structurally deficient.   Congress will ultimately decide, and vote on, the provisions included in any...

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May 7, 2021

New Study Finds Corn Ethanol Champions Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Key Issues:Ethanol

A new analysis from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory concludes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from corn ethanol are now 44% to 52% lower than gasoline, thanks to improvements in the efficiency of both corn and ethanol production. The retrospective study analyzed data from  U.S. corn and ethanol production between 2005 and 2019, finding a 23% decrease in corn ethanol’s carbon intensity. (This reduction is due to improvements in corn yield, decreases in fertilizer intensity inputs, increases in ethanol yields, and reductions in ethanol plant energy use.) From the 15 years studied, an additional 140 million metric tons (MMT) GHG emission reductions were made possible by the reduction in corn ethanol’s carbon intensity.   “Relying on updated data and the best science show ethanol is truly a low carbon fuel, with the potential to become even more low carbon, thanks to how farmers continue to improve corn production practices and increased yields that produce...

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May 6, 2021

NCGA Statement on America the Beautiful Initiative

Key Issues:Farm Policy

President Biden released a report today detailing their vision for the “America the Beautiful” initiative. The report contains recommendations outlining what it describes as locally-led, voluntary efforts to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030.   “We’re pleased to learn of the emphasis on voluntary conservation measures,” said NCGA President John Linder. “NCGA has long advocated that voluntary conservation efforts are the best ways to deliver sustainable results on the farm. And we conveyed that to the Administration in a conversation with them about their 30x30 initiative last month. We’re glad they listened and will continue sharing our views with them as this process unfolds,” concluded Linder.

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May 6, 2021

Commodity Classic Recognized in Trade Show Executive Magazine for Significant Growth

Commodity Classic was recently honored in four different categories in Trade Show Executive Magazine where the trade show took home three “Fastest 50” awards and one Gold award for trade show growth.    Due to delays by the Covid-19 pandemic, the awards were based on numbers from 2019. During that year, Commodity Classic was identified as the 86th largest U.S. trade show in any industry. Additionally, it ranked in the top 50 among the fastest-growing shows in three categories, which were based on total square feet, number of exhibitors, and number of attendees. Commodity Classic was the only agricultural trade show to be recognized in all three categories.   Here were the official rankings of Commodity Classic. To view the entire results, click here. - Gold 100 Ranking - #86 (based on net square feet) - Fastest 50 Ranking - #35 (by percentage of growth in net square feet) - Fastest 50 Ranking - #39 (by percentage of growth in number of exhibitors) - Fastest 50 Ranking - #38...

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May 4, 2021

NCGA to Farmers: Accept the Challenge 2021

Key Issues:Consumer EngagementProduction

With entry for the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest now open, farmers across the country are joining the friendly competition, giving it their best and hoping to top their personal best. NCYC entrants contribute to a pool of shared knowledge that helps all corn farmers in challenging years. So, plant a new seed of thought, shed some light and have some fun.   The premier event of every corn growing season since 1965, the National Corn Yield Contest offers challenges and rewards to each entrant! In 2020, 7,844 growers accepted the challenge, enjoyed the friendly competition with fellow farmers and helped provide information that will lead to future innovations.    This year, to add transparency and visual confirmation to high-yield entries, the contest requires a photo inclusion to be submitted online with the recheck yield results. For the 2021 Entry & Harvest Rule Book, along with information on changes this year and other resources, click...

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May 3, 2021

Corn Farmers Launch Campaign to Open Minds, Share Sustainability Story in Washington

Key Issues:Consumer Engagement

This Saturday, key public policy influencers in our nation’s capital met the corn farmers of America’s Heartland in their homes, at the airport, and even while listening to their favorite podcasts as the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) launched a campaign highlighting their incredible sustainability story. By reaching “Inside the Beltway,” this campaign, made possible by a collaboration with state associations and highlighting the authentic stories of corn farmers, is designed to open doors and build trust by highlighting the role farmers play in combatting today’s most pressing environmental issues.   “Even in 2021, corn farming remains, at its heart, a family operation rooted in the earth,” said John Linder, NCGA President and a farmer from Ohio. “In many cases, such as mine, this vocation goes back multiple generations. America’s family farmers take great pride in the past, but we are working to build a future with healthy soil, clean air and clean water. Whether you...

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