In The News

Feb 22, 2024

Corn Growers Welcome Decision by EPA on Access to Year-Round E15 While Calling for Legislation to Eliminate Nationwide Patchwork on Ethanol

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will grant the request by eight Midwestern governors to allow the year-round sale of fuel with a 15% ethanol blend, or E15, in their states beginning in the summer of 2025. The announcement was welcomed by the National Corn Growers Association, which has been fighting to break down barriers to the environmentally friendly biofuels. “We are glad to hear this decision from EPA, as it puts us on the road to providing more certainty to America’s corn growers and consumers who will save money at the pump,” said NCGA President and Minnesota Farmer Harold Wolle. “However, given that this decision will not take effect until the summer of 2025, we question and are concerned about the implications of the timeline for growers and consumers this summer.” The sale of E15 has been banned during the summer months to meet federal clean air standards that have been shown to be unnecessary and outdated. The U.S. EPA has granted waivers...

Read More

Feb 16, 2024

Breaking Down 5 Projections in the USDA 2024 Corn Outlook

Key Issues: Production

Author: Krista Swanson

USDA released the Grains and Oilseeds Outlook this week providing an initial look at the 2024/25 marketing year projections that include lower production, greater domestic use, increased exports, and higher ending stocks as compared to the current 2023/24 market years. The following is a summary and some additional context for five projections from the latest outlook.   Yield Corn yield is projected at 181 bushels per acre. Yield projections depend on the modeling approach and time series used. While a 3.7 bushel per acre increase over the 2023 record 177.3 bushels per acre may seem like a stretch, a regression on annual yields from 2023 to several different historical points including 1934, 1980, and 1996 all predict 2024 yields within about one bushel of the USDA projection.   Trendline yields are a reasonable expectation at this point. Adverse weather is generally thought to have a negative impact on yields but in 2023 a record yield was achieved in a year with widespread...

Read More

Feb 9, 2024

Climate, Conflict, & Currency Impact Cost Competitiveness for U.S. Corn Exports

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Krista Swanson

A combination of climate, conflict, and currency values are factors in cost competitiveness that impacts transits and overall U.S. corn exports.   Climate Climate conditions brought widespread drought to the United States Corn Belt in 2023. Dry conditions in the Mississippi River basin led to record low water levels. As a result, barge weight and traffic restrictions were imposed, and the 7.7 million tons of corn moved by barge on the Mississippi River in 2023 was 30% lower than 2022 and 54% lower than 2021. Ultimately, the cost of added time and weight restrictions were factors contributing to a higher corn price at port but also meant pace of getting grain to the port was slowed.   Climate-induced waterway challenges for U.S. corn don’t end at the Gulf. Extreme drought has forced substantial scaleback of shipping through the Panama Canal, a key global maritime channel. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has reduced traffic to 24 ships a day, about two-thirds of the normal...

Read More

Feb 8, 2024

Iowa Farmer and NCGA Board Member Bob Hemesath Tapped to Serve as President of Trade Advocacy Group

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

National Corn Growers Association board member and Iowa corn grower Bob Hemesath was recently elected to serve as president of the international agricultural advocacy group Farmers for Free Trade. “I am honored to assume this leadership role at an organization that has been so effective in advocating on behalf of farmers and their trade priorities,” Hemesath said. “I look forward to leading the organization in a direction that will allow us to build on our successes and further advance the trade goals of America’s farmers.” The U.S. exported 1.8 billion bushels of corn in 2023 valued at $13.1 billion, according to the latest data by the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, exports of ethanol and its co-products were exported that year at a value of $7.1 billion.   Corn is also exported in the form of animal protein when corn-fed, U.S.-raised beef, pork and poultry is shipped overseas. Shipments of these products resulted in $23.6 billion in export value in 2023.   With export...

Read More

Feb 7, 2024

Thousands of Farmers Across the Country Caution Biden Administration Against Solely Focusing on Electric Vehicles at Expense of Biofuels in Climate Fight

Author: Bryan Goodman

A letter signed by 3,466 farmers from across the country was sent to President Biden today expressing concern that his administration is taking a short-sighted approach to addressing climate change by prioritizing the use of electric vehicles over biofuels, such as corn ethanol, as it works to drastically lower the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. “If we are going to address climate change and meet our sustainability goals, we are going to have to take a multi-pronged approach, that includes tapping into higher levels of biofuels, such as corn ethanol, which offers an immediate climate solution,” the letter said. The letter, which drew thousands of signatures in less than a week, comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency prepares to release its light- and medium-duty vehicle tailpipe emissions standards for 2027-2032. To help meet the standards, the president has set a goal that 50% of all vehicle sales will be electric by 2030. A similar rulemaking is also being...

Read More

Feb 6, 2024

National Corn Growers Association Statement on Passing of Former Board President Bill Northey

Author: Bryan Goodman

Harold Wolle, president of National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), released the following statement today expressing condolences after the passing of Bill Northey, who served many important roles in agriculture, including president of the NCGA board from 1995 to 1996. “We are deeply saddened by Bill Northey’s untimely passing. Our staff and leaders worked very closely with Bill, as did our Iowa corn growers, and we all agree that he was not only an incredibly kind human being but also an effective advocate who worked his way up to some of the highest echelons of government. He made a difference for the agricultural community every step of the way. His loss will be felt deeply from the halls of D.C. to the fields of the Midwest.”

Read More

Jan 18, 2024

National Corn Growers Association Expresses Disappointment with International Trade Commission Decision on Fertilizer Tariffs

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) said today that it is deeply disappointed in a decision released by the International Trade Commission, which upholds an earlier opinion that found material injury to U.S. fertilizer companies during a time of rising on-farm fertilizer prices that went on to reach record highs.   The decision comes after the U.S. Court of International Trade asked the U.S. Department of Commerce and ITC to reconsider earlier decisions they issued on the matter.   “The idea that major fertilizer conglomerates were materially injured even as they were posting substantially higher profits during the time in question sounds dubious to me,” said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle. “ITC’s decision flies in the face of the U.S. Court of International Trade’s request to seriously reconsider this issue and ignores the negative impact these tariffs continue to have on America’s farmers who are facing higher prices for fertilizers that are...

Read More

Dec 22, 2023

NCGA Expresses Relief Over Rail Crossing Re-Opening, Emphasizes Need to Avoid Similar Situations in Future

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today that it will reopen the Eagle Pass and El Paso rail crossings into Mexico. The announcement pleased leaders at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), who cautioned the agency against making similar decisions in the future.   “This is certainly a welcome relief,” said NCGA President Harold Wolle. “We are very appreciative that CBP was responsive to our calls to have the border crossings re-opened, but we hope this experience serves as a cautionary tale moving forward. Rail is a key mode of transportation for our exports into Mexico, so closing rail crossings can have devastating ramifications for farmers and the economy.”   The two rail crossings along the Texas border towns were closed on December 18 by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as part of an effort to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally. Twenty-five percent of U.S. corn exports into Mexico go through El Paso and Eagle Pass.   On...

Read More

Dec 21, 2023

National Corn Growers Association Joins Others Ag Groups in Calling for Reopening of Eagle Pass and El Paso Rail Crossings

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association is increasing pressure on U.S. officials to reopen the recently closed Eagle Pass and El Paso rail crossings into Mexico. “These closures will have an immediate and prolonged impact on corn exports to Mexico, one of our closest and largest trading partners, during a period of high demand,” NCGA President Harold Wolle said today. “We urge our federal officials to resolve this issue quickly so the flow of goods between the two countries can resume as soon as possible and minimize the damage that has already been done by these abrupt closures.”   The two rail crossings along the Texas border towns were closed on December 18 by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection as part of an effort to prevent migrants from entering the country illegally. Twenty-five percent of U.S. corn exports into Mexico go through El Paso and Eagle Pass. On Thursday, the National Corn Growers Association joined other national ag groups in sending a letter to Homeland...

Read More

Dec 20, 2023

EPA’s Decision on Year-Round Access to Higher Ethanol Blends Will Help in Climate Fight, NCGA Says

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today praised a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that advances the request of several Midwestern governors to allow their states to sell fuel with 15% ethanol blends year-round. EPA's decision now puts eight Midwestern states on the road toward allowing for year-round access to E15. “Allowing consumers to access higher blends of ethanol year-round will play a critical role in helping the country meet the Biden administration’s ambitious climate goals,” said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle. “We are very appreciative of the EPA for making this science-based and forward-looking decision.” Because of outdated federal regulations, consumers have historically lost access to higher blends of ethanol during the summer months. In April 2022, eight Midwestern governors sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan asking him to provide a permanent fix to this issue by allowing retailers to sell...

Read More

For media inquiries contact Bryan Goodman, goodman@ncga.com