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 in on a court case. For instance, thanks to efforts of groups like NCGA, earlier this year the Eastern District Court of California issued a permanent injunction preventing the labeling of glyphosate as a carcinogen in California. NCGA was a plaintiff in this case, along with 12 other ag organizations. The court concluded that the best available science does not support labeling glyphosate as a carcinogen and doing so would be misleading to consumers and not advance the mission of the state to protect citizens from truly cancerous materials, while also violating the first amendment rights of the manufacturers. Success in this case is a big win for farmers and supports the use of science-based decision making.
Additionally, last month NCGA submitted formal comments to the EPA to ensure future access and continued success with the use of Bt technology. NCGA’s comments addressed several concerning proposed strategies from the EPA that would potentially limit grower access nationwide to valuable Bt pyramids. The comments stressed the willingness of NCGA to devise strategies with the agency that will preserve grower access to effective Bt technologies.
Earlier this year NCGA and state corn organizations mobilized to drive farmer comments to the EPA compelling them to reregister atrazine. NCGA’s mobilization resulted in more than 2,771 individual farmer comments being sent to the EPA, in addition to NCGA’s comments. NCGA also submitted comments on behalf of corn growers to maintain access to products like glyphosate, metolachlor and several neonicotinoids.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.