In The News

Aug 30, 2022

Ready to Roll for Harvest? NCYC Yield Results Open for Submission

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

As farmers ready their combines to roll, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) reminds them of one important step  – submitting yield results of their contest entries in the 2022 National Corn Yield Contest. While harvest may seem a ways off for some, we ask that harvest results be submitted no later than two weeks after harvest or by the contest deadline of November 30 to be included in the 2022 rankings.   The contest winners will be announced on December 14.   Enter your harvest results online, click here.   NCGA challenges you to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new ideas and production technologies while gleaning knowledge to enhance your future yield potential. Winners will receive national recognition in publications, such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies.  winners will be honored at Commodity Classic in Orlando, Florida in March of 2023.   Contact NCYC...

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Aug 11, 2022

Beat the Buzzer! Enter National Corn Yield Contest Today

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC) is nearing the August 17 entry deadline. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) challenges you to participate and be a part of its history.   “Our crops in Nebraska have been through a lot this year, but there are still some pretty good-looking fields. That’s why we’re encouraging you to challenge us in the National Corn Yield Contest,” said Andy Jobman, a farmer who chairs NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “I’m sure you’ve got some great fields on your own operations, and the deadline is quickly approaching. So, fill out the entry form and be a part of the contest in 2022.”   Entry closes August 17, 2022. All harvest forms will be due by November 30. Contest winners will be announced on December 14.   Winners will receive national recognition in publications, such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. All winners will be honored at Commodity...

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Jul 14, 2022

NCGA Elects Five Members to Serve on Corn Board

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Corn Congress, which was held today in Washington D.C., elected five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board.  Taking office on Oct. 1, the start of NCGA’s 2023 fiscal year, are new board members Matt Frostic of Michigan and J.R. Roesner of Indiana. Current board members Kelly Harsh of Ohio, Brian Thalmann of Minnesota and Dan Wesely of Nebraska were re-elected. Four were elected to three-year terms with Thalmann elected to the two-year term left open by FY23 First Vice President-Elect Harold Wolle, Jr. of Minnesota.   The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations. Board members represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokesmen for the NCGA and...

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Jul 6, 2022

Be an Informed Voter! Meet the FY23 Corn Board Candidates

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will elect farmer leaders to fill positions on the NCGA Corn Board during Corn Congress on Thursday, July 14, in Washington, DC.   The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations.  Board members serve the organization in a variety of ways.  They represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokespeople for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.   Meet the Candidates   Matt Frostic   Frostic farms 1,000 acres of corn, soybeans, edible beans and sugar beets in east-central Michigan. On his farm, they also have approximately 550 head-finished beef cattle on feed.   Matthew has gained hands-on experience in public policy,...

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Jun 2, 2022

NCGA Welcomes Hoffschneider, Peterson to Summer Internships

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) welcomes two interns this summer thanks to the generous support of the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA). Emma Hoffschneider, who is majoring in agricultural economics and agricultural & environmental sciences communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will be working in the NCGA office in Washington, D.C. Savannah Peterson is interning with the NCGA office in St. Louis, Missouri. Peterson majored in agricultural communications and animal science at Casper College and will begin at Kansas State University this fall.   “I am so excited for this opportunity to grow my network and make real connections within the agricultural industry,” said Peterson. “There are really talented and influential leaders within this organization, and I look forward to learning from and working with them.”   Hoffschneider and Peterson are two of six interns in all who were selected for internships with...

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May 19, 2022

RFD-TV Takes a Fresh Look at CommonGround’s Fresh Look

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

CommonGround continues to open the farm gate and bring together the women who grow and raise our food with those who buy it. After 12 years, the program’s fresh look reflects the amazing, timely conversations being had today.      Sara Ross, a farmer from Iowa who is also one of the fifteen founding CommonGround volunteers, recently spoke with RFD-TV’s Suzanne Alexander about the program’s purpose, history and evolution. Having grown along with the program, she shared her perspective as a volunteer and celebrated the growth and accomplishments of the women who make this grassroots program so impactful.   “80% of U.S. women make the household grocery shopping decisions,” said Ross. “They have important questions about what to buy in the store, what to feed their family to keep them safe and healthy. As women farmers, we connect with these women. We have the same values and share similar life experiences. We want the women purchasing food in the grocery store to be able to...

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May 16, 2022

Action Team Raises Awareness on Farmer Mental Health

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Approximately one in four farmers struggle with mental health issues. NCGA asks farmers, their families, and the people they do business with to look for signs. NCGA’s Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team (MCEAT) distributed a short, one-minute video asking our industry partners to assist in this effort. Working with allies in the lending communities, retailer networks, grain elevator operators, and others, we are distributing this video widely throughout our networks and helping raise awareness.       “The Membership and Consumer Engagement Action Team has a real passion for this topic,” said Dan Nerud, vice chair of MCEAT and a farmer from Nebraska. “We wanted to do something in this space that would have a real impact. A lot of organizations have done great work on creating resources. We decided that continuing to raise awareness amongst our closest industry partners, those who we see and interact with almost daily, had the potential to bring something unique to the...

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May 9, 2022

MCEAT Shares Importance of Mental Health Awareness with RFD-TV Audiences

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Many farm families and others in the agricultural industry often struggle, suffering silently, with mental health. This Mental Health Awareness Month, Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team Chair Lowell Neitzel, along with other farmers and industry leaders, urged farmers to speak up and share their struggles, reminding them that they are not alone.   During an interview with RFD-TV's Suzanne Alexander, Neitzel shared how this topic hits home for him and urged those struggling personally, or who see others who may be, to support one another and seek help.   “If you see someone who is acting not quite like themselves, just pick up the phone,” said Neitzel. “You just have to start a conversation. And, if you are feeling bad, reach out to that one person that you know that has your back – a friend, partner, family member, your preacher, your doctor – someone who will help you seek the help that you need.”   To watch, click here: Mental Health Awareness Month hits home for...

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May 2, 2022

Grow Like a Champion!

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Want to join a few thousand farmers from across the country in a friendly competition? Take part in a tradition that stretches back more than five decades? Grow your knowledge and skills and have fun while doing it?   “The farmers who enter the National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC) build a brighter future for America’s farm families,” said Lowell Neitzel, a Kansas farmer who chairs NCGA’s Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team. “Together, entrants generate a pool of collective knowledge and spark innovation. These champions actively contribute to the advances that will continue to keep U.S. farmers meeting growing demands for feed, fuel and fiber sustainably for generations to come.”   Enter by June 30 to save with a special $75 early entry rate. Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through August 17, 2022. All harvest forms will be due by November 30. Contest winners will be announced on December 14.   Winners will receive national recognition in publications,...

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Apr 19, 2022

Women and Mentors Program: Accepting Applications Now!

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Join us for the second class of the NCGA Women and Mentors Program to be held in St. Louis on June 27-28. In addition to networking with other women committed to their success, participants learn how to quiet their inner critic, explore what they can learn from another woman’s leadership journey, and develop an action plan for their own mentorship journey. Each participant will leave the retreat with an action plan and mentorship pairing to help each other reach their goals.   In this second year of the program, participation is expanding to include a state, national, and industry staff component—creating a support network and a place for these women to discuss issues they face as women in a male-dominated industry.   Members of the new class will be welcomed to ongoing quarterly virtual leadership lunch and learn sessions already underway with the prior year’s participants.   Do you know of any women looking for the next step in their leadership journey? Anyone, male or...

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Mar 28, 2022

NCGA National Yield Entrants Share Tips in New Video

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) released a video offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC) during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in New Orleans honoring the state winners of the 2021 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 58th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   For more than half of a century, NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest has provided corn growers the opportunity to compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre, helping feed and fuel the world. This has given participants not only the recognition they deserved, but the opportunity to learn from their peers.   Enter the 2022 contest and accept...

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Mar 21, 2022

2022 World of Corn Is Ready to Explore

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

U.S. corn farmers raised the bar in 2021, setting a new record-high national average yield. To highlight the many achievements of corn farmers and explore the data, the National Corn Growers Association delves into the facts about corn production, using a historical comparison in its newest edition of the World of Corn. This statistical look at the corn industry, both domestic and worldwide, features a wide array of information on corn production and usage.   “With weathered hands, a spark in their eye and steel in their spines, corn farmers grow a world of possibilities from the soil. Bone-deep knowledge and unwavering resolve to improve every season grew into a new record-high national average yield at 177 bushels per acre this year,” said NCGA President Chris Edgington and Chief Executive Officer Jon Doggett note in the introduction. “Yet, everything farmers build rests on the legacy bestowed upon them. We build a brighter future for the next generation, using technology and...

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Jan 10, 2022

Last Call! Apply for the 2023 Corn Board Today

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Time is running out to play an active role in a bright future for corn farmers by stepping forward to help lead the National Corn Growers Association as a candidate for the 2023 Corn Board.   The NCGA Nominating Committee is closing the applications period for 2023 Corn Board through January 21.  Through the Corn Board, members can become an integral part of the organization’s leadership. Click here for the application, which provides complete information on requirements, responsibilities and deadlines.   The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations.  Board members serve the organization in a variety of ways.  They represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokespeople for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public...

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Jan 3, 2022

NCGA Announces 2022 Action Teams

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association announced the slate of new and returning farmer leaders who will serve as members of its action teams and committees, which began on January 1, 2022. These volunteer farmers will actively shape the future of their industry by guiding programs and carrying out the policies and priorities that drive the association.   Leadership for NCGA’s seven major teams in 2022 will be:   Ethanol Action Team: JR Roesner, chair; Kelly Nieuwenhuis, vice chair; Ken Hartman, board liaison. Market Development Action Team: Troy Schneider, chair; Denny Vennekotter, vice chair; Brian Thalmann, board liaison. Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team: Lowell Neitzel, chair; Dan Nerud, vice chair; Jed Bower, board liaison. Production Technology Access Action Team: Kate Danner, chair; Patty Mann, vice chair; Mike Lefever, board liaison. Risk Management & Transportation Action Team: Bill Leigh, chair; Richard Preston, vice chair; Kelly Harsh, board...

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Dec 15, 2021

Corn Yield Contest Reflects Resilience of Corn and Farmers Who Grow It

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Corn growers showed the amazing possibilities open to agriculture with the use of modern seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices this year as David Hula topped the 600 bushel-per-acre mark again this year in NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest.  Hula, of Charles City, Virginia, repeated his accomplishment and produced the highest yield in the contest with 602.1694 bushels per acre. These great yields, which have been achieved nationwide despite many challenges, reflect farmers' resilience and deep dedication to continuous improvement.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 57th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   “This contest offers farmers a chance to come together both for good-natured competition and to help innovate the future of our industry,” said Lowell Neitzel, chair of NCGA’s Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team. “These contestants grow to be leaders in many other ways as well. For many, the...

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Oct 20, 2021

CommonGround Spotlights Ag’s Story with Food and Nutrition Experts

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, CommonGround shared the story of American agriculture at the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE), which was held online this year. With more than 10,000 registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition science researchers, policymakers and healthcare providers in attendance, CommonGround volunteers attracted enthusiastic attention and engaged in meaningful dialogue that helped this influential audience delve further into how America’s farmers grow and raise the healthy foods they recommend.   “FNCE provides a great venue for us to connect with people who directly impact the food choices of countless others,” said CommonGround volunteer Paula Linthicum, who farms in Laytonsville, Maryland. “The audience is receptive and appreciates the work that we do to provide a direct link to farming.”   The activity, organized by CommonGround MidAtlantic with support from the National Corn Growers Association,...

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Oct 8, 2021

USDA to survey corn production costs and chemical use

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

In the next few weeks, a U.S. Department of Agriculture representative may contact you to participate in the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). This survey is a major source of U.S. farm production and economic data that has a direct impact on farm policy. This year the survey will focus on production practices and chemical use for corn producers.    Please help enumerators complete the survey by providing input on your nutrient and fertilizer use, tillage and pest management practices, and production costs for corn farming. To protect the health and safety of producers, partners, and employees, NASS has suspended in-person interviews. Instead, representatives from USDA will call to schedule a telephone interview.   For more information about ARMS, visit: nass.usda.gov/go/arms     For analysis of ARMS data, visit: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Surveys/Guide_to_NASS_Surveys/Ag_Resource_Management/ If you have additional questions about this survey, please contact...

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Oct 7, 2021

Applications for FY 2023 Corn Board

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The new fiscal year may have just begun, but farmers always work toward building for tomorrow. Play an active role in creating that bright future by stepping forward to help lead the National Corn Growers Association as a candidate for the 2023 Corn Board.   The NCGA Nominating Committee is currently accepting applications for 2023 Corn Board candidacy from interested members.  Through the Corn Board, members can become an integral part of the organization’s leadership. Click here for the application, which provides complete information on requirements, responsibilities and deadlines.   The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations.  Board members serve the organization in a variety of ways.  They represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress....

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Aug 25, 2021

Harvesting? Online Corn Yield Contest Harvest Entries Now Available

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

As summer draws to a close, the National Corn Growers Association is now accepting yield results of contest entries for the 2021 National Corn Yield Contest. All harvest results are due within two weeks after harvest or by November 30, whichever is the earlier date. The contest winners will be announced on December 15.   Enter your harvest results online, click here.   Please consider the potential availability of supervisors for this harvest. Government offices may be short-staffed, or under restrictions due to COVID-19, so it is important to begin conversations with potential yield check supervisors early.   Learn more about rules pertaining to supervisors by clicking here.   The premier event of every corn-growing season since 1965, the National Corn Yield Contest offers challenges and rewards to each entrant!   NCGA challenges you to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new ideas and production technologies while gleaning knowledge to enhance your future...

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Aug 24, 2021

Grower Leaders Develop Skills in the Leadership Academy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Earlier this month, grower leaders from seven states met in St. Louis, Missouri, for Session 1 of the NCGA Leadership Academy.  This year’s program included training on transformational leadership, consensus building, forecasting and anticipating future challenges, parliamentary procedures and media training. The group also spoke with staff members from each NCGA department to foster greater collaboration.   Growers gained a keener insight into association management and how different leadership styles can come together in building an efficient organization. A key component of the program is media training and advocacy communication to assist grower leaders as they take a more active role as spokespersons for their state and national corn organizations.   Additionally, NCGA President John Linder joined the group and shared leadership guidance and advice. The grower leaders will meet again for Session 2 in Washington, D.C.  

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Aug 19, 2021

CommonGround: Helping Consumers Say Goodbye to Mom Guilt

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Women from farms across the country, along with state and national staff, came together last week for this year’s CommonGround Summit. Over the course of two days, attendees participated in experiences that built skills, sparked insights, and fostered ideas that will empower the volunteers in their efforts and energize the program as a whole.   Through presentations from experts and group exercises, participants and honed the skills that they use to share their personal story.  Highlights included a look at Building Bridges on Tricky Topics with Roxi Beck of the Center for Food Integrity (CFI) and a consumer panel featuring a diverse group of local moms, led by Allyson Perry, also of CFI.   The diverse group of local consumer moms shared their concerns and the personal experiences that influence them, in an open, honest manner. As the moderator and volunteers brought forth questions that scratched beneath the surface, the common concerns that bother families everywhere and...

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Aug 3, 2021

#FOMO: Enter Yield Contest Today

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Don’t feel like you missed your chance this year. Be a part of the fun and enter the National Corn Growers Association by the August 18, 2021 deadline.   “Summer seems to be slipping away again this year. But, don’t let your chance to share in good-natured competition with your fellow farmers slip away too,” said NCGA Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team Chair Lowell Neitzel, a farmer from Kansas. “The contest provides entrants and the industry much more than a showcase for improvements, excellence and accomplishments. Entrants add to a pool of knowledge that will help farming evolve and meet tomorrow’s demands. Many also become engaged in NCGA’s work and help create change as grassroots advocates for corn farmers.”   To enter today using the online form, click here.   The online harvest form will be available on August 19. Harvest results must be submitted no later than two weeks after harvest or by November 30, 2021, whichever is the earlier date. Contest winners...

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Jul 26, 2021

NCGA Seeks Action Team, Committee Members, Leadership

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on 2022 NCGA action teams, which begin Jan. 1, 2022. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping their industry’s future and becoming a part of the national agricultural leadership community.   The action teams specialize in important subject areas, including Ethanol; Market Development; Member & Consumer Engagement; Production Technology Access; Risk Management & Transportation; Stewardship; and Sustainable Ag Research. Positions are also available on Standing Committees, which include CornPAC and the Resolutions Committee.    Qualified applicants must be an NCGA member or prospective member and/or contribute to their state checkoff program, if applicable. Ideal candidates should have an interest or expertise in a particular area relevant to the team focus.   Action Teams represent a cross-section of corn production. The teams may utilize staff,...

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Jul 14, 2021

NCGA Elects Five Members to Serve on Corn Board

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

  Delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress, which was held today in New Orleans, La., elected five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board.  Taking office on Oct. 1, the start of NCGA’s 2022 fiscal year, are new board members Randy DeSutter of Illinois, Bob Hemesath of Iowa and Dan Wesely of Nebraska. Current board members Deb Gangwish of Nebraska and Harold Wolle, Jr. of Minnesota were re-elected. Four were elected to three-year terms with Wesely elected to the one-year term left open by FY22 First Vice President-Elect Tom Haag of Minnesota.   “The many talented, well-qualified candidates who stepped forward are a testament to the work done by NCGA as well as the importance of our mission,” said NCGA Nominating Committee Chairman Kevin Ross. “All of the candidates already had established impressive track records of service to their fellow farmers.  As we welcome the FY22 Corn Board, I look forward to seeing the progress we will make...

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Jul 6, 2021

NCGA Women and Mentors Program Holds First-Ever Conference

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association hosted the first-ever in-person meeting of the Women and Mentors program through the generous sponsorship of Bayer and Syngenta. The 15 attendees, who learn invaluable skills through this retreat to help them make an impact on not only the agricultural industry but also in their other endeavors as well.   Noteworthy industry leaders shared their personal leadership experiences and insights gained, including CEO of U.S. Dairy Export Council and former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden, Syngenta Industry Relations Manager Macie O’Shaughnessy and Bayer President of North America Crop Science Jackie Applegate.  Experts led professional development sessions on Quieting our Inner Critic and Making Mentorship Work for You with separate breakout groups for mentees and mentors.   The Women and Mentors Retreat allowed the attendees to network and be supported by other female industry leaders to inspire and empower them. This conference...

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Jun 30, 2021

Be an Informed Voter! Meet the FY22 Corn Board Candidates

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association will elect farmer leaders to fill positions on the NCGA Corn Board during Corn Congress on Wednesday, July 14 in New Orleans, Louisiana.   The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations.  Board members serve the organization in a variety of ways.  They represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokespeople for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.   Meet the Candidates   Randy DeSutter   DeSutter operates a grain farm in its fourth generation along with his son Matthew, brother Jim and nephew Drew. Having operated continuously using no-till for nearly 30 years, they also use conservation practices such as filter strips,...

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Jun 24, 2021

Tik Tok – Savings on NCYC Entry Fees Ends Soon

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

You can save on entering the National Corn Yield Contest but not for much longer.  The National Corn Growers Association reminds potential entrants to register early. Until June 30, 2021, the fee is $75 per entry. A small-time investment now saves money later this summer.   To enter today using the online form click here.   Entry will remain open at $110 per entry through August 18, 2021. The online harvest form will be available August 19. Harvest results must be submitted no later than two weeks after harvest or by November 30, 2021, whichever is the earlier date. Contest winners will be announced on December 15.   For the 2021 Entry & Harvest Rule Book, along with information on changes this year and other resources, click here.   Contact NCYC at 636-733-5512 or email ncyc@ncga.com with any questions.  

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Jun 22, 2021

2022 Commodity Classic Schedule Announced

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

 Plans for the 2022 Commodity Classic are well underway as America’s largest farmer-led agricultural and educational experience returns to New Orleans March 10-12, 2022.   The preliminary schedule for the 2022 Commodity Classic can be found online at commodityclassic.com/2022-schedule. The schedule highlights tentative dates and times for the dozens of educational sessions, presentations, and special events.   “We’re excited for Commodity Classic to be back and in-person again in New Orleans,” said Gary Porter, a Missouri farmer and co-chair of the 2022 Commodity Classic. “New Orleans has historically been one of our most popular locations, so we anticipate a record number of attendees who will be eager to experience our host city, learn the latest farming technology, and gain strategies to improve their operation.”    The location’s popularity is evident with a nearly sold-out tradeshow of agricultural exhibitors who plan to showcase innovative products and services in front...

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Jun 18, 2021

NCGA Elects Haag to Corn Board Leadership

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board elected Tom Haag to become the organization’s first vice president for the next fiscal year, which begins October 1.   Haag is a fourth-generation family farmer in south-central Minnesota. Along with his son, Nathan, he grows more than 1,700 acres of corn and soybeans.   “The quality and character of the men and women who step forward, generously giving their time and energy, never ceases to amaze me. I am confident that Tom will continue in this tradition,” said NCGA President John Linder. “In his state-level service, through work on Action Teams and as a member of the Corn Board, he has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to working on behalf of all of his fellow farmers. As he steps into this new role, I look forward to the work, collaboration, and growth that will help further our mission under his leadership.”   On the national level, Haag serves as the Corn Board liaison to the Market Development Action Team and as...

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May 27, 2021

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

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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 4, 2021

NCGA to Farmers: Accept the Challenge 2021

Key Issues: Consumer EngagementProduction

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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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Apr 29, 2021

CommonGround Talks Consumers, COVID and Fresh Facts of Food Trends

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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 27, 2021

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

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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 6, 2021

CommonGround Webinar Series Offers Insight, Connection

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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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Mar 30, 2021

The Future of Sustainability: Nourish the Future Participant Receives Grant in New Jersey

Key Issues: SustainabilityResearch

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Sustainable Jersey for Schools recently announced the 34 New Jersey public schools and districts selected to receive Sustainable Jersey grants funded by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). Fourteen $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to support various projects, including outdoor classrooms, aquaponics food production, water bottle refilling stations, anti-bias training, school wellness programs, waste reduction, student green team capacity building and more. Christine Girtain, a teacher at Toms River High School South and Nourish the Future participant, received one of the $10,000 grants.   "The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is proud to partner with teachers like Christine Girtain through our Nourish the Future program,” said Director of Research and Productivity at NCGA, Robyn Allscheid. “We know that her enthusiasm and passion for research and teaching will help inspire other teachers to think about how they can incorporate real plant...

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Mar 29, 2021

Farmers Share Sustainability Story with Food Industry Leaders

Key Issues: SustainabilityConsumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

More than 200 high-level innovators in the food and beverage industry explored the challenges and successes they face as they continually strive to become even more sustainable during The Future of Food USA through a panel featuring CommonGround volunteer Kellie Blair, who farms in Iowa, and National Corn Growers Association Corn Board Member Brandon Hunnicutt, who also serves as Chairman of Field to Market in addition to farming in Nebraska. The session, Farmer Perspectives: The Key Sustainability Challenges and Successes from the Ground, shared the farmers’ personal experiences adopting sustainability practices and sparked discussions on how business can support farmers to reach shared goals together.   “We focused on the farmer perspective during our discussion of sustainability on our farms, how business can help, and what successes we have seen.  On our own farm, and the farms of the other panelists, it seems we have some of the same challenges: weather, labor, defining...

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Mar 3, 2021

Explore the 2020 World of Corn

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

U.S. corn farmers showed stamina and skill in 2020 with a national average yield of 172 bushels per acre and 14.2 billion bushels of corn produced in the United States while facing a myriad of weather-related challenges.   To highlight these achievements and all they mean, the National Corn Growers Association delves into the facts about corn production, using a historical comparison in its newest edition of the World of Corn. This statistical look at the corn industry, both domestic and worldwide, features a wide array of information on corn production and usage. In addition to the traditional statistics guide, this year’s distribution includes a poster highlighting the many incredible ways in which corn makes our daily lives possible.   “Don’t call it a comeback. America’s corn farmers took some hits in 2020. A record 30 named hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard. Aggressive wildfires ravaged parts of the western United States. A derecho devasted cropland from...

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Feb 26, 2021

Celebrate 2020 NCYC, Member and Association Award Winners Next Friday!

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Join us Friday, March 5, to celebrate the state and national winners of the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest! The online event will feature a recognition of 2020 NCYC winners, an awards ceremony recognizing the recruiters, members and state associations making a difference and the annual State of the Association address by NCGA CEO Jon Doggett.   Attendees can also enjoy messages directly from Pioneer, BASF and John Deere, the sponsors who make our contest possible.   The event will begin at 3:00 p.m. Central and run for thirty minutes. So, take a moment to close your Commodity Classic, celebrating the success stories and notable work of and for farmers.   Click HERE to register.  

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Nov 30, 2020

Registration for Mom Meals: Holiday Edition Now Open

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Bringing the holiday magic alive this season can feel daunting, but the farm women of CommonGround are here to help. On December 10, CommonGround is hosting the next virtual cooking event, walking through creating festive appetizers and cocktails (with kid-friendly alternatives), and farmers will touch on how the ingredients get from the farm to your holiday spread.   Recently, CommonGround hosted its second virtual cooking event, focused on relieving food-related mom guilt and providing support in this holiday season when many moms may be tackling the full Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. Led by CommonGround Texas farmer Kalley Howard as our chef and moderated by St. Louis mom and coach Jenn Whitmer, Kalley led the group through a cornbread dressing, turkey brine and honey pecan pie as farmer volunteers shared how the ingredients they farm make it to holiday tables.   Missouri volunteer Addie Yoder discussed GMO foods and farm ownership along with Kalley’s cornbread...

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Nov 16, 2020

CommonGround Celebrates 10 Years of Breaking Barriers, Building Trust

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

CommonGround, a group of women farmers planting seeds of trust through conversations with consumers about the food they grow, celebrates an impressive milestone this month: 10 years of service and impact.   With so many food choices available, the farmers of CommonGround serve as a resource to connect with families about food and farming. The organization’s farmers volunteer their time to share personal experiences, as well as science and research, to help consumers sort through the myths and misinformation surrounding food. What began as a handful of volunteers with a shared goal has flourished, growing into a grassroots movement with more than 200 volunteers across 20 states.   “I’m proud to be part of something so authentic in this crazy world,” said Lauren Biegler, a CommonGround farmer-volunteer from Minnesota. “All the women in the program have such genuine love and pride for their families, farms and the products that come off their farms.”   CommonGround was developed...

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Nov 12, 2020

Scholarship Programs Expanded: Apply Now!

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association will accept applications for a broad variety of college and graduate programs but act now. Applications are due on December 4, 2020.   NCGA will award five $1,000 scholarships to students attending technical school and community college. Students can be enrolled in any degree or certification program. The committee realized that not every student wants or needs to attend a four-year university to be successful in their community.   Students pursuing an advanced degree or working on their doctorate degree can apply for one $2,500 award plus the opportunity to attend NCGA’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference in 2021.   The monetary award for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program, which is sponsored by BASF, was expanded to $1,500 in 2019 and is available exclusively to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in any subject area.    To be eligible for all three scholarship programs, the...

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Oct 30, 2020

Commodity Classic Announces Transition to Digital Experience

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

In-Person 2021 Event Will Not Take Place Due to COVID-19 Restrictions   Commodity Classic has announced it will transition its annual conference and trade show, originally scheduled for March 4-6, 2021, in San Antonio, Texas, to an alternative digital format. The change was necessary due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new format is expected to be offered the first week in March 2021.   “This is about doing the right thing for our farmers, exhibitors, stakeholders and the broader community in terms of health and safety—which is our top priority,” said Anthony Bush, an Ohio corn farmer and co-chair of the 2021 Commodity Classic representing the National Corn Growers Association. “After careful deliberation among our farmer-leaders and industry partners, the COVID-19 restrictions would prevent us from delivering the type of high-quality experience Commodity Classic attendees and exhibitors have come to expect and enjoy for the past 25 years.”   According...

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Oct 21, 2020

NCGA Now Accepting Applications for FY 2022 Corn Board

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee is now accepting applications from interested members for the 2022 Corn Board.  Through the Corn Board, members can become an integral part of the organization’s leadership. Click here for the application, which provides complete information on requirements, responsibilities and deadlines.    The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations.  Board members serve the organization in a variety of ways.  They represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokespeople for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.   Applications are due Friday, January 22. Nominated candidates will be introduced at the 2021 Corn...

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Oct 6, 2020

NCGA Action Teams and Committees Announced for 2021

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association announced the slate of new and returning farmer leaders who will serve their industry as members of the action teams and committees beginning on January 1, 2021. These volunteer farmers will actively shape the future of their industry by guiding programs and carrying out the policies and priorities that drive NCGA.   Current 2020 teams, committees and members will remain in place until the beginning of the new calendar year.   Leadership for NCGA’s seven major teams in 2021 will be:   Ethanol Action Team: Mark Recker, chair; JR Roesner, vice chair; Gary Porter, board liaison. Market Development Action Team: Robert Hemesath, chair; Troy Schneider, vice chair; Tom Haag, board liaison. Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team: Lowell Neitzel, chair; Dan Nerud, vice chair; Kenneth Hartman, board liaison. Production Technology Access Action Team: Kate Danner, chair; Patty Mann, vice chair; Dennis Maple, board liaison. Risk Management...

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Sep 21, 2020

NCGA Joins in University Dialogue on the Future of Food

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett participated in the first session of the Farm Journal Foundation (Hunger U) Online University Speaker Series. The virtual event  “Level Setting: The Global Food Value Chain Transformed” featured a panel, moderated by Roger Thurow of the Hunger Solution Institute at Auburn University, which included  Keynote Speaker Dr. Olga Bolden-Tiller, Ag and Environmental Sciences at Tuskegee University and National President-Elect of MANRRS, Western Growers Association President and CEO David Puglia and Director of the Food and Ag Policy Research Institute at University of Missouri Dr. Pat Westhoff.   In addition to thought-provoking conversation, panelists shared their advice with students looking to enter the industry after graduation. Doggett challenged these future leaders to believe in science, get out of their comfort zones and help find ways to get food that might go to waste onto the plate of people in need.   The three-part Town...

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Sep 17, 2020

CommonGround Takes Cooking, Conversations to Kitchens Across the Country

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

CommonGround hosted a virtual cooking class for consumers, made possible through St. Paul, Minnesota-based Cooks of Crocus Hill. Last week, more than 50 attendees from across the country welcomed CommonGround into their kitchens to learn about preparing great food from professionals and to find out more about their food from the women who grow it.   Two farmers involved in raising or growing of ingredients spotlighted for each of the three courses, shared their story with influential and interested consumers. Through an interactive discussion, attendees found out not just about cooking but also about farming and how to continue dialogue that is honest and open between the farm and their families.   With participants from California bloggers to DC-based leaders in food non-profits, the impacts of the event will continue to spread on social media over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out!   Thank you so much to all of the awesome state staff and volunteers who came together to...

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Aug 31, 2020

Iowa and Missouri Field Notes

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   “Corn is maturing more quickly than we thought it would. For the first week of September, we are pretty far along for northern Iowa. North of me, they started harvesting seed stock. My neighbor hand-shelled some corn at 35 percent.” – April Hemmes, Iowa farmer   “The corn has fired, but the ears haven’t flipped down yet. We chopped silage last week. Harvest is still about 10 to 14 days out, so it is a waiting game.” – Addie Yoder, Missouri farmer   Visit the Blog here

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Aug 24, 2020

Minnesota Field Notes

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   “Our crops are looking good. The corn is denting. Dry areas are starting to show up now though. A shot of rain now would help finish the crop off.” – Bryan Biegler, Minnesota farmer Visit the Blog here

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Aug 24, 2020

National Yield Contest Now Accepting Harvest Entries

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The online harvest entry is now available to all NCGA members entered in the 2020 National Corn Yield Contest. The yield threshold for a required recheck is now 325.0000 bushels per acre or greater, increased from 300 bushels per acre. Please consider the availability of supervisors this harvest year. With many government offices under restrictions due to COVID-19, it is important to begin conversations with potential yield check supervisors early.   Learn more about rules pertaining to supervisors by clicking here.   The contest winners will be announced on December 14.   The premier event of every corn growing season since 1965, the National Corn Yield Contest offers challenges and rewards to each entrant! In 2019, 7,454 growers accepted the challenge to their corn production skills knowledge by competing with one another in a friendly yet exciting way.   NCGA challenges you to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new ideas and production technologies while...

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Aug 21, 2020

CornPAC Calendars Available

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association’s CornPAC now has calendars available for purchase. The calendars feature twelve months of award-winning photos from NCGA’s Fields-of-Corn photo contest.   Proceeds from all CornPAC calendar sales will go directly to NCGA’s CornPAC, promoting the public policy goals of corn producers and their agricultural related interests. CornPAC is a non-partisan, voluntary political action committee that provides the opportunity for individuals to support and elect pro-industry congressional candidates for federal public office who believe and have demonstrated their belief in the priorities of corn growers.   Calendars are $30 or four for $100 and can easily be purchased through the CornPAC website, or by contacting Anne Thompson or Kendra Ricks directly.   Any contribution is used for political purposes and is not tax-deductible as a charitable contribution for federal income tax purposes. Participation in CornPAC is voluntary, and you may refuse...

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Aug 17, 2020

Kansas and Ohio Field Notes

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   “Our corn is in surprisingly good condition. Right now, I would say that most are good, and some would be considered excellent. Even some of our less productive ground will do fairly well this year.  The fields we planted first are close to black layer while the corn planted later in the spring is in the late milk stage of development.”   – Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer   “Our corn crop is looking better since we got rain on Friday. Different fields vary, but all got from one-half to three inches of precipitation. In general, the amount of moisture we have now should get us through...

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Aug 13, 2020

Farmer Leaders Build a Better Future for Ag Through Training

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Twelve growers from seven states took part in the first session of this year’s National Corn Growers Association Leadership Academy program in St. Louis last week. This program, open to candidates from farmer members submitted through their state association, prepares participants to lead their state grower associations and check-off boards.    This year’s class grew their skills in a variety of areas, including transformational leadership, consensus building, meeting facilitation, parliamentary procedure, and building trust with consumers through traditional and social media. Additionally, these up-and-coming leaders took part in exercises that helped them refine their ability to forecast and anticipate future challenges. With additional briefings from the Soil Health Partnership team and an election preview provided by Washington staff, the attendees prepared to successfully serve their fellow farmers in a leadership capacity.   “NCGA’s tradition of grassroots-focused...

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Aug 10, 2020

Nebraska, North Dakota and Illinois Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   “Good, timely rains over the last few weeks have given us a bit of a break from irrigating. Most of my corn crop is in the late milk and dough stages. Generally, it is filling out well minus a few fields with hail or wind damage. Today, it is in the 80s with full sun. If we can have more days like this, it is going to help us out a lot.”   – Andy Jobman, Nebraska farmer   “In our area, we have a good corn crop and a mediocre bean crop coming. Our soil moisture profile has been saturated for quite some time. Last week, we had four days with measurable precipitation.  Thirty miles away,...

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Aug 4, 2020

Last Call! NCGA Yield Contest Entry Period Closing Soon

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The time has arrived to submit your entry for the NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest. With contest entries open only through August 15, 2020, act today.   To enter today using the online form, click here.   If you have already or plan to enter, please consider the potential availability of supervisors this harvest. With many government offices under restrictions due to COVID-19, it is important to begin conversations with potential yield check supervisors early.   Learn more about rules pertaining to supervisors by clicking here.   All harvest forms will be due by November 30. The contest winners will be announced on December 14.   The premier event of every corn growing season since 1965, the National Corn Yield Contest offers challenges and rewards to each entrant! In 2019, 7,454 growers accepted the challenge to their corn production skills knowledge by competing with one another in a friendly yet exciting way.   NCGA challenges you to take advantage of this...

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Aug 3, 2020

Iowa and Missouri Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   “Looking at the same field I have all season before reporting, the corn is tasseled out, has brown silk and the ears filled out nicely. That said, I do have cracks in the ground as there hasn’t been a significant rain here in the month of July. I now have gravel pockets that are starting to yellow, but it is nothing like my friends to the west. They are in a drought so significant it isn’t clear if a rain now would make a great difference in the crop.”   – April Hemmes, Iowa farmer   “With our corn, everything looks good here. The kernels are well developed but a long way from dent....

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Jul 27, 2020

Ohio, Minnesota and Kansas Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   “We are glad to know that rain is approaching, and I’m happy for how much we’ve recently. Until last week, we had only had 6/10 of an inch of rain in July. Then, over three days, we got an additional 1 and 8/10 inches. With all of our corn in pollination at some stage, the moisture and slightly less extreme temperatures will help.” – Patty Mann,  Ohio farmer   “We have been receiving some nice rain each week. The corn is looking good. Fully tasseled and looks like the weather is going to cooperate for pollination. Curious to get out and do some yield checks once pollination is done. If...

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Jul 20, 2020

Illinois and North Dakota Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a weekly series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   “It has been hot and dry here with less than a tenth of an inch of rain in the past two weeks. The crops are really struggling. The corn looks like it could be okay right now, but it needs rain soon. The soybeans we had to replant, because it was too wet earlier, haven’t gotten rain, and probably won’t come up at all.” – Jim Raben, Illinois farmer   “The corn acres that we did get planted look okay and are starting to tassel. The spots which weren’t water-logged in the spring look pretty good. If we can keep up the heat through August, the corn crop should turn out okay as we haven’t...

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Jul 16, 2020

New Video Celebrates CommonGround Volunteers

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

As CommonGround approaches its tenth year of programming, the National Corn Growers Association released a short video celebrating the incredible work being done by more than 200 volunteers across the country. Through the support and hard work of state associations, these women serve as resources for consumers who have questions about how their food is grown.    To view the video and learn more about their story, click here.   Sharing their personal stories, the volunteers who make up this grassroots movement foster conversations based on shared values that help moms off the farm discover that they can feel good about the food they feed their families. America’s farm families provide an amazing array of options but, with so many competing claims, honest questions are understandable. By serving as resources, these women have shared their unique understanding of important topics, such as the difference between organic and conventional crops and how ranchers care for their...

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Jul 15, 2020

NCGA Elects Five Members to Serve on Corn Board

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Delegates attending the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress, which was held virtually today, elected five farmers to serve on the organization’s Corn Board.  Taking office on Oct. 1, the start of NCGA’s 2021 fiscal year, are new board members Jed Bower of Ohio and Brian Thalmann of Minnesota. Current board members Ken Hartman of Illinois, Brandon Hunnicutt of Nebraska, and Gary Porter of Missouri were re-elected. Four were elected to three-year terms with Thalmann elected to the two-year term left open by FY21 First Vice President-Elect Chris Edgington.   “It clearly demonstrates the importance of NCGA’s work that so many talented, well-qualified candidates stepped forward even during these uniquely difficult times,” said NCGA Nominating Committee Chairman Lynn Chrisp. “All of the candidates were outstanding and have already established impressive histories of service to American agriculture. I am excited to see the work they will do over the coming years for the...

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Jul 6, 2020

Ohio and Nebraska Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “We are hot, dry, and begging for rain. We’ve had a few pop-up showers in the area, but our farm hasn’t had rain since a week ago Saturday. With temperatures in the 90s, we are really cooking. I don’t think that the damage to our corn crop is critical yet, but it looks stressed with leaves that roll in the afternoon. As we near pollination, a popup storm this week would improve the situation substantially. We...

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Jun 30, 2020

HungerU Innovates to Broaden Educational Outreach

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

While classrooms have moved into our kitchens for months now, the HungerU, a program platform of the Farm Journal Foundation, has been working to share resources and build relationships that keep issues important to modern agriculture in students’ agendas. By expanding beyond the traditional college-aged audience, the program is finding new ways to build partnerships and utilize online platforms to reach school children. In doing so, farmer investments are being maximized to open even more minds to the importance of modern agricultural tools, such as GMOs, pesticides and gene editing, in farmers’ struggle to feed a growing population.   HungerU was originally designed as an educational and advocacy platform designed to engage universities’ student populations. This fall marks the fourth year of NCGA’s partnership in the program.   To address the need for educational materials parents’ could easily use in their homes and lessons educators could share in the scramble to go...

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Jun 29, 2020

Kansas and Missouri Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   The corn is doing very well. It was starting to get pretty dry around here. Then, last weekend, we caught an inch of rain. Last night, we got another half-inch to an inch, depending on the field. The rain gave the corn a shot in the arm, and it looks like it’s doing very well right now.” Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer (June 25, 2020)   “Our corn crop looks great. It has grown a foot or so since last week. It is...

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Jun 22, 2020

Minnesota and Iowa Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “I am happy with the way our crop is looking now. It’s between knee- and waist-high and coming along nicely. 75 to 80 percent of corn is in excellent condition. The rains have been spotty. We had 3/10 of an inch of rain yesterday. One mile south, they had a full inch and another mile south 2 ½ inches. So, we’re sitting well on moisture.” Bryan Biegler, Minnesota farmer   “The crop had been incredible until the...

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Jun 18, 2020

NCGA Board Elects Edgington to join Organization’s Leadership

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board elected Chris Edgington to become the organization’s first vice president for the next fiscal year, which begins October 1.   “It is an honor and a privilege to be chosen by respected colleagues to help lead NCGA into the future,” said Edgington, who farms in Iowa. “The landscape facing farmers today is constantly evolving and presents new challenges and opportunities rapidly. Only by working collaboratively with our partners in industry, government, and the public can we grow markets for our growing crop. I am excited to be working with our leadership and our partners to develop new, effective ways to ensure a bright future for U.S. corn farmers.”   Edgington raises corn and soybeans along with his dad, brother and son. Chris and his wife, Vanessa, have two children, Alex and Elizabeth. In addition to his row crop operation, he gains insight into livestock through a small business run by his son.   “NCGA’s success has been...

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Jun 15, 2020

NORTH DAKOTA AND ILLINOIS FIELD NOTES

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “We finished harvesting 2019 corn on June 1. We finished planting 2020 corn, at least what we could, just a hair before that. Now, we’re planting our edible beans. We grow navy and pinto beans. We had two inches of rain about two weeks ago. Today, we’re planting one more field of edible beans, and we’ll hang it up after that. We’ve planted less corn, in terms of the percentages of acres we intended, in 2019. In...

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Jun 11, 2020

CommonGround Volunteers Keep Consumer Conversations Going

Key Issues: Consumer Engagement

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

While CommonGround volunteers across the country may not be hosting large events this summer, they have taken time over the past few months to find opportunities to connect with women in urban and suburban areas for conversations on social media. From building relationships based in common experiences like learning to home school on the fly to sharing the story of farming through COVID-19, these volunteers continue to share the story of American agriculture and bridge the distance from their fields to families’ tables digitally.   You can follow their journey on Facebook at facebook.com/CommonGroundNow.   “I know as a mom, I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to lose my cool, but at the end of the day, my family’s health and safety are my number one priority. Every parent is doing their absolute best to get through this unprecedented time, and we’re going to get through this together.” Kate Sawyer – Kansas farmer   “My friend and I were talking about the changes in our...

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Jun 8, 2020

Ohio and Nebraska Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “We’re hoping to finish planting by the end of the week if we get lucky. While there’s a little rain in the forecast for later today, it doesn’t sound like enough to impact us significantly. We will finish planting later than we would like, but it’s better here than it was last year.”   Patty Mann – Ohio farmer (June 3, 2020)   “This week, we’ve been side-dressing corn with fertilizer and herbicides. We’ve only...

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Jun 1, 2020

Kansas and Missouri Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “Our corn crop is finally getting some heat and starting to get some color again. It’s really healthy and growth is taking off now that it has recovered from the cold snap. Soybean planting is a long way from done, but we are making progress every day.”   Lowell Neitzel, Kansas farmer   “Finally, we got the corn sprayed so that it looks like a field and not a pasture. We will have to replant in the...

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May 26, 2020

Minnesota and Iowa Field Notes #PLANT2020

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “Our corn crop is going well so far. We do need sun and heat. It’s been overcast past two weeks with plenty of rain. The crop has emerged, but we are waiting on the sun and temperatures in the 70s so that it can really take off. Right now, the forecasters are talking sun tomorrow with the heat coming next week.”   - Bryan Biegler, Minnesota farmer   “Today, we’re clearing out the bins and delivering last...

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May 18, 2020

North Dakota and Illinois Field Notes #Plant2020

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “As of May 14, we haven’t turned a wheel to plant 2020 crop. We did harvest somewhat but had to quit because of the road conditions. We had more showers last night, but we are hoping to get one field planted early this week. That is only 15 percent of what we planned to plant in corn. After that, I have no idea where I am going to go.”   - Randy Melvin, North Dakota farmer     “In terms of corn planting, it...

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May 15, 2020

NCGA Commends USDA Rule Updating Biotech Regulation Process

Key Issues: Biotechnology

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association commends the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient (SECURE) rule, which will modernize and update the way in which biotechnology is regulated under the Plant Protection Act. In doing so, the SECURE rule comprehensively revises USDA’s regulations since first established in 1987, providing a modern framework to better address the innovations in and challenges facing modern agriculture.   The availability of new technology plays a vital role in helping farmers enhance the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of agricultural production – benefits that ripple beyond the farm gate to the rural economy and consumers. These innovative tools allow farmers to produce a healthy crop and adapt to the many challenges presented by climate change, while constantly mitigating their environmental impact. NCGA shares USDA’s commitment to a clear, science-based and transparent...

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May 12, 2020

World of Corn Explores 2019 Crop

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

U.S. corn farmers showed resilience in 2019 with a national average yield of 10.6 metric tons per hectare and 348 million metric tons of corn produced in the United States while facing a myriad of weather-related challenges.   To highlight these achievements to audiences more familiar with metric measurements, such as buyers in export markets, the National Corn Growers Association now offers the option to view the World of Corn in either metric or standard measurements on www.worldofcorn.com.    World of Corn is a respected collection of the most important statistics about corn production, exports and consumption, providing key information in a readable format, comparing numbers and trends across the years.     This year’s publication was generously sponsored by Bayer, and the print edition distributed through The Progressive Farmer.

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May 4, 2020

Blog Brings Field Notes to Life, Shares Real Farmer Experiences with #Plant2020

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This year, the National Corn Growers Association launched its tenth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Now, the series is being presented in an exciting new format that features reports in a short format with insight and provides a real picture of American farm life through visuals.   “We’ve had really good weather for planting, actually. We haven’t had any rain delays. It is far nicer than last year with bomb cyclones. We are starting to get dry in areas. As guys are wrapping up planting in a week to ten days, we’ll be hoping for rain. There are a few center pivots that are already running,” Andy Jobman, Nebraska farmer.   “I finished planting on Saturday like almost everyone in northern...

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Mar 9, 2020

ARC-PLC Enrollment Deadline

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This is the last full week for farmers to complete the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) election and enrollment process for the 2019 crop year. Applications are due Monday, March 16. Producers must visit their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in order to enroll and make program elections for the 2019 crop year.   FSA urges applicants to enroll soon to beat the rush as the deadline nears.   For more information on selecting the best program for your operation, the National Coalition for Producer Education (NCPE), led by the University of Illinois - fd-tools.ncsa.illinois.edu and the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University, in conjunction with the Food and Agricultural Policy Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri - https://www.afpc.tamu.edu/tools/farmbill/2018/ have developed online decision calculators.

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Mar 4, 2020

World of Corn Explores 2019 Crop

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

U.S. corn farmers showed resilience in 2019 with a national average yield of 168 bushels per acre and 13.7 billion bushels of corn produced in the United States while facing a myriad of weather-related challenges.   To highlight these achievements and all they mean, the National Corn Growers Association delves into the facts about corn production, using a historical comparison in its newest edition of the World of Corn. This statistical look at the corn industry, both domestic and worldwide, features a wide array of information on corn production and usage. In addition to the traditional statistics guide, this year’s distribution includes a poster highlighting the many incredible ways in which corn makes our daily lives possible.   “Resilience. What word better embodied the spirit of America’s corn farmers in 2019?” NCGA President Kevin Ross and Chief Executive Officer Jon Doggett note in the introduction. “Facing persistent economic challenges, regulatory and legislative...

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Nov 22, 2019

Growing Trust A Key Development Driving Sustainability Efforts

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The word “sustainability” may be a bit over-used in agriculture, but it is way more than a buzz word as evidenced by the 2019 Sustainable Ag Summit held in Indianapolis this week. More than 650 people converged on the event hosted by Field to Market, Pork Checkoff, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops and attended by representatives of National Corn Growers Association and the Soil Health Partnership.   “We had a lot of technical discussions with groups ranging from farmers, suppliers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, academics, conservation groups and public sector representatives. But to me a big take-away was the growing comfort level between these diverse participants,” said NCGA Stewardship and Sustainability Director Rachel Orf. “We’re trying to establish agriculture as a driver of large-scale, sustainable solutions that will meet consumer’s needs, but we...

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Nov 1, 2019

Field Notes Talks Late Harvest with Kansas Farmer Neitzel

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Earlier this week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. Still in his combine, he remains hopeful despite a harvest that is running long.   “If you look at a calendar, we are a little bit behind schedule compared with the last few years, but harvest is coming along pretty well,” said Neitzel. “Quality has been good. Yields have been all over the place.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true...

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Oct 31, 2019

CommonGround Spotlights Ag’s Story with Food and Nutrition Experts

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, CommonGround shared the story of American agriculture at the world’s largest meeting of food and nutrition experts at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) in Philadelphia. With 10,000 registered dietitian nutritionists, nutrition science researchers, policymakers and health-care providers in attendance, CommonGround volunteers attracted enthusiastic attention and engaged in meaningful dialogue that helped this influential audience delve further into how America’s farmers grow and raise the healthy foods they recommend.   “FNCE provides a great venue for us to connect with people who directly impact the food choices of countless others,” said CommonGround volunteer Paula Linthicum, who farms in Laytonsville, Maryland. “The audience is receptive and appreciates the work that we do to provide a direct link to farming.   “I spoke with a dietitian from Kentucky who was skeptical about GMOs when we began chatting who left noting that she needed to look at the...

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Oct 29, 2019

Congressional Hearing: “Protecting the RFS: The Trump Administration’s Abuse of Secret Waivers”

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change held a hearing today to discuss the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers. Since early 2018, EPA has granted 85 RFS exemptions to refineries, totaling 4.04 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. Refinery exemptions under the Trump Administration have totaled nearly six times more gallons than those under the previous Administration.   The hearing also included discussion on the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 (H.R. 3006), legislation supported by NCGA that would set a deadline for refineries to apply for RFS waivers and bring much-needed transparency to the waiver process.   The Subcommittee heard testimony from several witnesses, including Iowa farmer, NCGA Ethanol Action Team member, and Siouxland Energy Cooperative President Kelly Nieuwenhuis.   “I’m taking time away from harvest...

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Oct 24, 2019

EPA Proposed Revisions to Pesticide Application Exclusion Zone

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding application exclusion zones (AEZ).   The EPA proposal would make two major changes for corn growers. Modifying the AEZ so it is only enforceable on a farmer’s property would replace the current regulation requiring farmers to ensure individuals are outside of the pesticide AEZ not only on their property, but off their property as well. The proposal would also exempt farm owners and their immediate family members from the requirement that they leave their home during certain pesticide applications.   NCGA will be participating in the rulemaking process to ensure the final rule works for corn growers and their farming operations.

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Oct 22, 2019

Field Notes Talks Harvest Progress with Illinois Farmer Raben

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois, this week. Given planting conditions and the weather throughout the summer and fall, he had worried about yields. Now that the crop is largely in the bins, he found some surprising results.   “Even though we did have a lot of bad spots, the yields were better than we anticipated,” said Raben. “It probably isn’t anything great in our area. It is an average crop or, maybe, just a little below, but it is still better than what we had anticipated.   “The quality is probably equal to if not better than last year. The quality...

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Oct 21, 2019

NCGA Urges Farmers to Practice Proper Grain Bin Safety This Harvest

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers of the importance of proper grain bin safety procedures. To help review both the importance of and procedures for grain bin safety, NCGA is again offering an informative video.   To view the video, click here.   The video, shot on location in several states, provides a wide range of information from prevention tips and background data on grain bin accidents.  The project also involved interviews with professionals in the fields of grain bin safety research and rescue to provide as much information to viewers as possible.

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Oct 18, 2019

Field Notes Checks Harvest Progress with Iowa Farmer Hemmes

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with April Hemmes, who farms in northern Iowa, today. While weather presents harvest challenges across much of the Corn Belt, she has finally gotten her combine into the fields.   “Harvest is finally coming along pretty well. Right now, I am actually sitting and unloading corn into my drying bin,” said Hemmes. “I just finished harvest soybeans, but they are wet everywhere. Some in my area are finding 14 to 15 percent moisture. So, soybean harvest is holding up corn harvest in those places.”   To listen to the full interview, including her thoughts on the importance of...

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Oct 18, 2019

NCGA Now Accepting Applications for FY 2021 Corn Board

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee is now accepting applications from interested members for the 2021 Corn Board.  Through the Corn Board, members can become an integral part of the organization’s leadership.  Click here for the application, which provides complete information on requirements, responsibilities and deadlines.    The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all matters while directing both policy and supervising day-to-day operations.  Board members serve the organization in a variety of ways.  They represent the federation of state organizations, supervise the affairs and activities of NCGA in partnership with the chief executive officer and implement NCGA policy established by the Corn Congress. Members also act as spokespeople for the NCGA and enhance the organization’s public standing on all organizational and policy issues.   Applications are due Friday, January 24. Nominated candidates will be introduced at the 2020 Corn...

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Oct 16, 2019

Corn Growers Search for Solutions to Aflatoxin Continues

Key Issues: Research

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA continues to move forward with its long-term initiative to manage and ultimately solve aflatoxin issues for farmers with the announcement of a new round of research grants.   The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues for farmers. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on six priority areas, were designed by southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.   “The National Corn Growers Association, working with southern state grower associations including Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina, developed AMCOE to bring a unified approach to aflatoxin research that will yield results in a timely and more efficient manner,” said NCGA Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team Chair Charles Ring, a...

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Sep 30, 2019

NCGA Action Team and Committees Announced for 2020

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association announced the slate of new and returning farmer leaders who will serve their industry as members of the action teams and committees beginning on January 1, 2020. These volunteer farmers will actively shape the future of their industry by guiding programs and carrying out the policies and priorities that drive NCGA.   Current FY 2019 teams, committees and members will remain in place until the beginning of the new calendar year.   Leadership for NCGA’s seven major teams in 2020 will be:   Ethanol Action Team: Mark Recker, chair; Kelly Nieuwenhuis, vice chair; Gary Porter, board liaison. Market Development Action Team: Dan Wesely, chair; Jed Bower, vice chair; Tom Haag, board liaison. Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team: Debbie Borg, chair; Lindsay Bowers, vice chair; Dennis Maple, board liaison. Production Technology Access Action Team: Chad Wetzel, chair; Kate Danner, vice chair; Brandon Hunnicutt, board liaison. Risk...

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Sep 20, 2019

Field Notes Discusses Early Harvest with Kansas Farmer Neitzel

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas, earlier this week. With his combine already rolling, he explained why he harvests some of his corn while the moisture levels remain high.   “The high moisture corn will be used in the rations at our cattle operation,” said Neitzel. “We aim to harvest this corn in the 20 to 24 percent moisture range.”   To listen to the full interview, including how the corn is processed and when he expects to begin harvesting corn for grain, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have...

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Sep 19, 2019

Skunes Reflects on NCGA’s Work and Importance of Leadership

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

As the end of the current fiscal year nears, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board prepares to seat new members and officers on October 1.  When the 2019 Executive Committee steps down, NCGA Chairman Kevin Skunes, a farmer from Arthur, North Dakota, will complete his term, passing the role of chairman to current NCGA President Lynn Chrisp.   The Off the Cob podcast series caught up with Skunes to discuss his perspective on his years in leadership, provided his insight into the future and explored how members can work together to make NCGA an even more effective advocate for farmers.    To listen to the full interview, please click here.   Reflecting upon his time on the Corn Board, Skunes found many accomplishments to be important, such as the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, getting year-round E15 sales over the finish line and ongoing work on trade. A humble leader, he notes that who was president of NCGA, at the time an accomplishment happened is not important....

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Sep 6, 2019

Texas Farmer Bowers Talks Trade, Corn with Field Notes

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Over the holiday weekend, Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. With this year’s crop in the bins, she keeps busy with her work as a grain merchandiser and in promoting U.S. ag products to export markets.   “We harvested a bit later than is typical, but we planted later also. Now, we are wrapped up,” said Bowers. “I received my last loads of corn and grain sorghum at the coop last week. We are still receiving soybeans but the rain we couldn’t catch before finally came. Unfortunately, it has done a number on the quality of the...

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Aug 30, 2019

Illinois Farmer Raben Talks Corn Crop with Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   This week, Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois. While the crop continues to mature, the yields and overall quality of corn and soybeans in his area seem to have been impacted by this year’s difficult growing conditions.   “In southeastern Illinois, crops are maturing for the most part,” said Raben. “We did have some soybeans harvested in the area last week. The yields were 25 to 30 bushels less per acre than what they saw last year.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who...

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Aug 22, 2019

Kansas Farmer Neitzel Talks Crop Progress with Field Notes

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   This week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. The USDA Crop Progress report earlier in the week indicated crop progress in Kansas was closer to the five-year average than that in many other states. Looking at his fields, Neitzel does see progress delays.   “We are probably about two to three weeks behind where we normally would be at this time,” said Neitzel. “In terms of quality, I think this crop is going to be average to maybe just a pinch above average.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

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Aug 15, 2019

Following Pesticide Labels Remains Critical Through Entire Growing Season

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

With harvest beginning in some states and right around the corner in others, National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that following pesticide labels is critical right through the end of the season.   In particular, it’s important to pay close attention to preharvest interval requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that any potential traces of the product left behind are at levels that will not cause disruptions in trade.   Every pesticide has a maximum residue level (MRL) specific to each crop for which it is labeled. MRLs are a measurement of acceptable pesticide residues, set far below toxicological safety limits, for every product treated with pesticides.   They provide a standard to help ensure that food treated with pesticides is safe for consumption and ultimately verify that farmers have used crop protection products correctly. Especially in international markets, if shipments are tested and the MRL for one or more pesticides is exceeded that...

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Aug 12, 2019

Higher Yield Projections, Lowered Acreage Lead to Increased Corn Production Forecast for 2019/20

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

American farmers planted two percent fewer corn acres than forecast in June estimate but still exceeded 2018 acres planted by one percent, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. The report indicates a 1.7 million-acre net decrease from the Acreage report released in June. At the same time, today’s reports show a 3.5 bushel per acre increase to national average yield projections from last month, with 169.5 bushels per acre now forecast. With increased yield projections more than offsetting decreased planted acres, total production for 2019/20 is now projected to reach 13.9 billion bushels.   Yield projections, notably, reflect the season’s first survey-based yield forecast.   Ending stocks are forecast up by 171 million bushels to 2.2 billion given reductions to the projected demand for corn from the ethanol and export sectors, along with increased production projections. The season-average corn price received by producers lowered by 10 cents to...

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Aug 8, 2019

Field Notes Talks 2019 Crop with Texas Farmer Bowers

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. Further along in terms of crop development than her counterparts further north, she has already begun harvesting this year’s crop.   “Harvest is coming along quite nicely. Fortunately or unfortunately, we had had quite a bit of dry weather. So, we have made quite a bit of progress,” said Bowers. “We are about 95 percent complete on harvesting milo and about 65 percent complete on harvesting corn.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

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Aug 5, 2019

NCGA Voices Support for USDA Proposed Rule on Biotech Regulation, Offers Suggestions for Improvement

Key Issues: Biotechnology

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association today submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the Proposed Rule regarding Movement of Certain Genetically Engineered Organisms. The submission voiced support for the proposed rule while also offering several suggestions that would strengthen the final rule. The proposed rule marks the first comprehensive revision of USDA’s regulations since they were established in 1987.   Corn farmers have a strong interest in the availability of new technologies to enhance the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of U.S. agriculture. Agriculture biotechnology and next generation breeding techniques allow growers to increase yields while decreasing inputs. Meeting demand, improving processes and minimizing environmental impacts are what make modern corn production a dynamic industry. The proposed rule, in large part, demonstrates an underlying agreement with the basis of NCGA’s stance and strives to create a more efficient...

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Aug 2, 2019

Field Notes Chats About Corn Crop with Illinois Farmer Raben

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois, this morning. Like many farmers, a wet planting season continues to impact the quality and size of his crop.   “Our crop definitely doesn’t look as good as it has in years past, but we have some corn that looks halfway decent,” said Raben. “We also have other corn, that was planted later, that looks very uneven and very stressed. It will still make some sort of corn – we hope.”   To listen to the full interview, including his observations about the use of prevent plant in his area, click here.   Stay tuned over the...

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Jul 29, 2019

Deadline Extended! National Corn Yield Contest Entry Open Until August 15

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

With farmers in many states experiencing planting difficulties due to weather, the National Corn Growers Association has extended the entry deadline for the National Corn Yield Contest to Thursday, August 15. By providing additional time, NCGA hopes to make participation possible for all interested growers.   To enter today using the online form, click here.    All harvest forms will be due by November 15. Contest winners will be announced on December 16.   For access to additional contest information and a detailed list of the entry and harvest rules, click here.   Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. The winners will be honored during Commodity Classic 2020 in San Antonio, Texas.   Contact the direct call line at 636-733-5512 or email ncyc@ncga.com with any...

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Jul 3, 2019

Field Notes Talks Crop Progress with Kansas Farmer Neitzel

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas, earlier this week. The USDA report earlier in the week indicated 97 percent of corn acres in his state had reached emergence, and he sees that number being accurate so far as the progress he has heard from fellow farmers.   “I talked to some friends in western Kansas, and their corn has all emerged,” said Neitzel. “Everything around here is fairly well along. Some of the corn that I saw in my travels today is actually starting to tassel, and some is about six inches tall. There is a wide variety in term of progress in...

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Jul 3, 2019

Dreaming of Getting Away? NCGA Makes Summer Vacations Reality with Member Discounts

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Are you dreaming of getting away this summer? Members of the National Corn Growers Association can save on travel by using exclusive discounts. Through partnerships with Association Motor Club Marketing, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Cabela’s and the Worldwide Hotel Discount Program, NCGA offers members valuable savings on emergency service, car rentals, outdoor adventure gear and hotel bookings whether they travel across the country or even too many locations around the world.   “NCGA works hard to increase opportunities for farmers in the marketplace, but we also strive to offer a wide array of benefits to our members,” said NCGA Engaging Members Committee Chair Brandon Hunnicutt. “Summer vacations often build memories that last a lifetime, and we want to provide discounts that make these magical moments more affordable.”   Members taking their own vehicles on the road this summer can save with the new Association Motor Club Marketing benefit. AMCM is a roadside service provider...

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Jul 2, 2019

Fill-Up with E15 this Fourth of July

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Fireworks, grilling out, road trips and spending quality time with family and friends is typically on the top of the list of must-dos for the Fourth of July. This year, as you head out on your excursion, be sure to look for E15 at the pump. Not only is it homegrown by American corn farmers,  it is also typically 3-to-10 cents cheaper per gallon than regular gasoline. Chances are your car was made after 2001; if so, it can benefit from E15!   AAA reports nearly 49-million Americans will be traveling for the Fourth of July this year, with 41.4 million hitting the road. That’s an increase of 4.3 percent over last year and the highest number by AAA for Independence Day holiday travel.   You can find E15 stations by going to either getbiofuel.com or e85prices.com.

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Jul 1, 2019

Happy Canada Day!

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

July 1 is Canada Day, the national day of Canada. The holiday celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, the effective date of the Constitution Act, 1867, which united the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.   Canada is an incredibly valuable trading partner for American corn farmers. Our northern neighbors are the No. 9 international buyer of U.S. corn, No. 8 buyer of U.S. DDGs and No. 2 buyer of U.S. ethanol. Canada purchased more than $2 billion worth of feed grains in all forms during the 2017/2018 marketing year.   The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) strengthened this important trading relationship, tripling U.S. agriculture exports to Canada over the past 20 years. Now, through the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), we have an opportunity to solidify this relationship further.   Ratifying USMCA continues to be NCGA’s

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Jul 1, 2019

Happy Canada Day!

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

July 1 is Canada Day, the national day of Canada. The holiday celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, the effective date of the Constitution Act, 1867, which united the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.   Canada is an incredibly valuable trading partner for American corn farmers. Our northern neighbors are the No. 9 international buyer of U.S. corn, No. 8 buyer of U.S. DDGs and No. 2 buyer of U.S. ethanol. Canada purchased more than $2 billion worth of feed grains in all forms during the 2017/2018 marketing year.   The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) strengthened this important trading relationship, tripling U.S. agriculture exports to Canada over the past 20 years. Now, through the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), we have an opportunity to solidify this relationship further.   Ratifying USMCA continues to be NCGA’s

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Jun 28, 2019

Corn Acres Up from 2018, Lower than March Projections

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

American farmers planted 2.5 million more acres of corn in 2019 than they did the previous year, a three percent increase, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acreage report released today. The report indicates a 1.1 million-acre net decrease from the prospective planting report released in March. At the same time, today’s report shows a 1.8 million-acre increase from the planted acre forecast issued in the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Total corn acres planted in the United States are projected at 91.7 million.   Given the projected harvested corn acreage released in the report of 83.5 million acres and the most recent USDA estimated average national yield of 166.0 bushels per acre, farmers could harvest a crop of 13.861 billion bushels, slightly above the average over the past ten-year period.   The largest year-to-year acreage increases were seen in Kansas and North Dakota, where corn acreage increased by 530,000 and 520,000 acres...

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Jun 14, 2019

NCGA Welcomes Senate SRE Legislation

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA today applauded legislation introduced by Sens. Deb Fisher, R-Neb., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., to bring transparency and accountability to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs).   Similar to the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 introduced in the House, the Senate bill, S. 1840, would set a deadline for refineries to apply for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers and bring much-needed transparency to the waiver process. The Senators’ bill also includes specific actions EPA must take within the annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume rule to account for and reallocate waived gallons and requires EPA to report to Congress with a justification for each waiver granted. Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are original co-sponsors of S. 1840.   Within the past year, EPA has granted 54 exemptions to refineries, waiving 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel blending...

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Jun 13, 2019

Social Media Advocacy Is A Powerful Tool

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Social media is great to share stories and pictures of your kids, grandkids, or that amazing meal, but did you realize that it can be a powerful advocacy tool?  According to congressional staff, your Facebook comment or tweet is viewed as an authentic constituent message.  Over 60 percent of Hill staff agree that accessing information on social media is an important part of their daily work.   Below are some simple tips to help you be an effective advocate.   “Like” your elected officials on Facebook Like you, legislators will post content throughout the day to let the folks back home know that important work is being done and they are playing a key role. Legislators and their staff do read your comments and take them into consideration.  Posting your story about the impacts of a piece of legislation on your farm, family or community on your legislator’s Facebook page is just as valuable as a letter or phone call. Make sure that you identify yourself as their constituent....

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Jun 13, 2019

NCGA Board Elects Linder as Next Farmer to Join Organization’s Leadership

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board has elected John Linder to become the organization's first vice president for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.   “I am honored my fellow Corn Board volunteers placed their trust in me and granted me the distinct privilege of becoming a part of the organization’s leadership,” said Linder. “Today’s American corn farmers face an ever-changing landscape with numerous challenges, as well as opportunities, on the horizon. It is imperative that we work with our partners in government, in industry and in the public to grow markets at home and abroad. I sincerely look forward to working with our grower leadership to find innovative, impactful ways to grow the markets and the future for U.S. corn farmers.”   Linder, along with his brother, Mike, and wife, Cheryl, run a fifth-generation farm raising corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat and soybeans for seed in central Ohio. In addition to traditional row crop farming, he also...

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Jun 12, 2019

NCGA Applauds Administrations Efforts to Further Ag Biotech, Streamline Regulation

Key Issues: BiotechnologyFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association applauded the Administration after President Donald Trump signed the Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products Executive Order yesterday. This important declaration will streamline the approval process for agricultural products produced through biotechnology while reinforcing the move toward a product and not process-based approach.   The order promotes a science- and risk-based program that will lay out a clear, predictable and efficient regulatory framework. This will offer cost savings to technology developers, open the pipeline for product approval to a larger sphere and allow farmers more rapid access to the tools that they need in the field.   This order also furthers policies important to farmers by expanding markets by urging USDA, along with USTR and the Department of State, to work with our trade partners abroad to synchronize approval processes internationally and help remove barriers to trade...

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Jun 11, 2019

NCGA Joins President at Iowa Ethanol Plant

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA First Vice President Kevin Ross today represented NCGA in hosting President Trump for a tour of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Ross farms in nearby Minden and sells corn to the ethanol plant.   The visit was an opportunity for NCGA to thank the President for following through on the commitment to allow for year-round sales of E15, a priority for corn farmers. On May 31, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule for E15. In addition to increasing demand for farmers, higher blends of renewable fuels such as E15 reduce fuel prices for drivers by three to ten cents per gallon and result in lower emissions, improving air quality and providing greater greenhouse gas reductions.   Ross also urged President Trump to address EPA's waivers to large refiners that are undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and work with members of Congress to pass an infrastructure bill.    Members of NCGA's board of directors,...

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Jun 11, 2019

Corn Crop Expected to Bring Fewer Bushels, Higher Prices

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Unprecedented planting delays seriously impacted corn crop forecasts issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. With the forecast number of acres both planted and harvested both revised down by three million acres and national average yield revised downward by 10 bushels-per-acre from last month, current forecasts show U.S. farmers producing the smallest corn crop since 2015/16 at 13.7 billion bushels.   In light of lowered production, and despite decreased demand, the season-average farm price raised by 50 cents over May estimates to $3.80 per bushel. While production forecasts were lowered, ending stocks are still forecast to exceed 1.6 billion bushels given the more than 2 billion bushels of beginning stocks forecast.   Export market demand forecasts were lowered by 100 million bushels. While price competitiveness and current outstanding sales caused export forecasts to lower, the ratification of trade deals such...

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Jun 10, 2019

Consider Corn Challenge Winners to be Announced at BIO World Congress

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

At this year’s Bio World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, Iowa, the Consider Corn Challenge II winners will be announced. The National Corn Growers Association is also a sponsor of the event and will be participating in a number of sessions.   “This is a great opportunity to be engaged with researchers, end users and leaders in industrial biotech and tell corn’s positive story around sustainability, abundance, and affordability,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “Announcing the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II at this event allows us to showcase all the various potential uses of corn as an industrial feedstock. The submissions this year were very diverse and further emphasized that corn is a versatile crop.”   BIO World Congress brings in roughly 900 attendees from 35 countries. Topics discussed vary from biobased chemicals to advanced biofuels to food ingredients and more.   NCGA is either participating in or sponsoring...

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Jun 7, 2019

Ag Innovation and Sustainability on Display at DC Area Farm

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Key staff from multiple government agencies are getting a crash course in the latest farming techniques and agricultural technology from industry experts at the Modern Ag Sustainability Field Day Demo Day outside of Washington, D.C. today.   The Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Pest Policy Management and Foreign Ag Service are all represented at the event on the family farm of Chip Bowling in Newburg, Maryland.   Bowling, a former NCGA president and current chairman of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, hosted the event along with NCGA, Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers, American Soybean Association, American Seed Trade Association, National Agricultural Aviation Association and the Fertilizer Institute.   The day featured in-field demonstrations of modern conservation tillage, precision planting, spraying and harvesting equipment. The group also saw drones and the latest in seed and fertilizer...

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Jun 7, 2019

Field Notes Talks Corn Crop with Texas Farmer Bowers

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Yesterday, Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. Further along in terms of crop progress than her counterparts further north, she has experienced a mixture of conditions simultaneously similar to and quite different than those seen throughout the Corn Belt.   “Over the last four weeks, we have been too dry and too wet at the same time,” said Bowers. “It had dried out significantly, and some farmers in our area even started watering crops. Then, over just the past two days, a little disturbance built up in the Gulf of Mexico. We...

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Jun 6, 2019

NCGA Highlights Negative Effect of Ethanol Waivers

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA Renewable Fuels Public Policy Director Kathy Bergren participated in a Capitol Hill briefing today for U.S. House of Representatives staff to help explain the damaging effects the EPA’s expansive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to large, profitable refineries and recommend solutions.   Since early 2018, EPA has granted 53 RFS exemptions to refineries for the 2016 and 2017 RFS compliance years totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. EPA currently has 39 waiver petitions pending for the 2018 RFS compliance year. These waivers have taken a toll on farmers by undercutting the RFS and reducing corn demand.   NCGA President Lynn Chrisp recently touched on the negative impact of these waivers, following the announcement that EPA had completed action to allow for year-round sales of E15. “While corn farmers are immensely grateful that the barrier to year-round E15 has been lifted, we won’t be able to reap the full benefits if EPA continues to...

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Jun 6, 2019

NCGA Provides Input Into Future Mycotoxin Research at USDA Lab

Key Issues: Research

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Representatives of NCGA visited the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) research unit of USDA laboratory this week in Peoria, Ill. to gain insight and provide input into the group’s mycotoxin research.   The lab aims to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world. Researchers use information from genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant biology to develop new ways to limit mycotoxin contamination, control foodborne diseases, and improve crop production.   Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE) chair Charles Ring, a producer from Texas, visited the MPM unit along with Texas Corn Producers Executive Director David Gibson and NCGA Director of Research & Productivity, Robyn Allscheid.   As the unit develops its next five-year plan, NCGA was invited to give feedback on priorities through both a survey and in-person meetings. “Mycotoxin research is critically important for food safety and security,” said Ring. “Choices are...

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Jun 3, 2019

Wet Spring and Poor Ag Economy Magnifying Stress on the Farm

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Check the weather, check the markets, check stored corn, check your planter, check emerging crops (if you have any planted.) There’s a good chance farmers are leaving a critical “to do” off the list...check on yourself!   In farming, there’s a lot out of your control, creating stress that can potentially lead to serious impacts on your well-being, even in a normal year. And there is nothing normal about the 2019 planting season. So, take a minute to assess your mental health, that of your family and even your employees.   After six years of low farm prices stress is at very high levels on the farm and it’s becoming harder to remain resilient with every new rain. Farmers and farmworkers recently surveyed said financial issues (91 percent), farm or business problems (88 percent) and fear of losing the farm (87 percent) impact farmers’ mental health. Other factors included stress, weather, the economy, isolation and social stigma.   The new national Morning Consult research poll...

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Jun 3, 2019

NCGA Congratulates Corteva on Successful Spin-Off

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Today, Corteva AgriscienceTM became a standalone company completing the spin-off from DowDuPontTM by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp was in attendance, with senior leaders from Corteva and other agriculture commodity representatives.   “We congratulate Corteva AgriscienceTM on becoming a standalone company and look forward to our continued partnership moving forward,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “We’ve been fortunate to have their support for a number of our programs over the years and will work closely with Corteva on issues and programs important to U.S. corn farmers.”   Corteva has been a sponsor of leadership development and sustainability programs and is a vital sponsor of NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and Commodity Classic.   “As Corteva Agriscience™ has made its journey to this important milestone, we have greatly appreciated the National Corn Grower Association’s advice, input...

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May 31, 2019

NCGA: Year-Round E15 a Win-Win for Farmers and Consumers

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today celebrated the Trump Administration completing actions to allow for year-round sales of 15 percent ethanol blends or E15.   “Corn farmers have been long-time advocates of higher blends of ethanol such as E15, touting its benefits to both the farmer and the consumer,” NCGA President Lynn Chrisp said. “Farmers are facing some tough times which makes this announcement particularly welcome. We thank President Trump for following through on his promise to rural America and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and supporters in Congress for their outspoken commitment to year-round E15.” The final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) eliminates the outdated barrier that required retailers in many areas of the country to stop selling E15 during the summer months by allowing E15 to receive the same summer volatility adjustment EPA permits for E10.   Higher blends of renewable fuels such as E15 reduce fuel prices for drivers by...

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May 30, 2019

Field Notes Checks Crop Progress with Illinois Farmer Raben

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois, earlier this week. Persistent wet weather has hindered planting progress and will potentially have ramifications that last through harvest.   “In southern Illinois, planting is really far behind schedule. We are wet, like everyone else,” said Raben. “We couldn’t get into the fields to plant for the last few days because of how wet it is, and we expect more thunderstorms today.”   To listen to the full interview, including how these conditions may impact farmers’ decisions in many parts of the Corn Belt, click...

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May 30, 2019

Former Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Cochran Passes Away

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Former Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, who chaired the Senate Agriculture and Senate Appropriations Committees during his 45 years in Congress, passed away Thursday. He was 81 years old.   Cochran was an outspoken advocate for Mississippi’s farmers, using his leadership roles to guide disaster assistance and economic development funds to the state.   Cochran was first elected to Mississippi’s Fourth Congressional District in 1972. He was elected to the Senate in 1978 before retiring during his seventh term in 2018. Cochran chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee from 2003-2004 and was Ranking Member from 2013-2014, serving as a key player in the writing of the 2014 Farm Bill. He was Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee from 2005-2006 and, again, from 2015-2016.   NCGA CEO Jon Doggett expressed the organization’s appreciation for Cochran’s contributions to agriculture and condolences to his loved ones.

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May 30, 2019

Dreaming of Getting Away? NCGA Makes Summer Vacations Reality with Member Discounts

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Are you dreaming of getting away this summer? Members of the National Corn Growers Association can save on travel by using exclusive discounts. Through partnerships with Association Motor Club Marketing, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Cabela’s and the Worldwide Hotel Discount Program, NCGA offers members valuable savings on emergency service, car rentals, outdoor adventure gear and hotel bookings whether they travel across the country or even too many locations around the world.   “NCGA works hard to increase opportunities for farmers in the marketplace, but we also strive to offer a wide array of benefits to our members,” said NCGA Engaging Members Committee Chair Brandon Hunnicutt. “Summer vacations often build memories that last a lifetime, and we want to provide discounts that make these magical moments more affordable.”   Members taking their own vehicles on the road this summer can save with the new Association Motor Club Marketing benefit. AMCM is a roadside service provider...

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May 28, 2019

Key Trade Developments Discussed at U.S. Meat Export Federation Annual Spring Conference

Key Issues: TradeAnimal Agriculture

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The U.S. Meat Export Federation held their annual Spring Conference last week in Kansas City. Staff and members from the National Corn Growers Association and state corn associations were present. The conference featured updates on the positive growth of red meat exports and included presentations on U.S. trade related challenges and opportunities, an update from United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, country and region-specific marketing efforts and the global impact of African Swine Fever (ASF).   “There were a number of items on the trade front discussed at the meeting, including Japan’s lifting of longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “That equates to $23 million in incremental value to corn growers in the U.S. Updates from other markets included, Mexico removing retaliatory duties on U.S. pork and Canada eliminating a 10 percent duty on...

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May 23, 2019

NCGA Welcomes Trade Aid, Continues Call for Equitable Relief and Market Opportunities for Corn Farmers

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed the Trump Administration’s announcement of up to $16 billion in assistance to help farmers to make up for potential agriculture losses due, in part, to the most recent tariff increases and prolonged trade dispute with China.   “Farmers across the country are struggling. Wet spring weather, trade disputes and tariffs and demand destruction in the ethanol market are forcing farmers to make difficult decisions. We appreciate the Administration’s recognition of these challenges and support for America’s farmers,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp who joined President Trump for the White House announcement.   Following President Trump’s announcement that the Administration would be pursuing a second round of trade aid, NCGA put forward recommendations that would provide both short-term assistance and support market access for farmers.   NCGA called on USDA to update the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to factor market...

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May 23, 2019

House Members Introduce Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 to Address RFS Waivers

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today applauded legislation introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and Representative Dusty Johnson, R-S.D. The Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 would set a deadline for refineries to apply for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers and bring much-needed transparency to the waiver process.   Within the past year, EPA has granted 54 exemptions to refineries, waiving 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel blending under the RFS. EPA has another 39 waiver petitions pending, with decisions from EPA expected in the coming weeks.   Currently, most refineries do not apply for a waiver until after EPA sets the RFS volumes for the coming year. This new legislation would set a June deadline for refineries to apply for RFS exemptions, allowing ample time for the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine exemptions before the annual...

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May 23, 2019

Take Action Resources a Great Tool as Farmers Realign Pest Management Plan Due to Weather

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Farmers have a love-hate relationship with the weather because of how quickly and dramatically it can affect planting, plant development, pest management and harvesting. Droughts can be devastating but too much water can also be a huge problem as witnessed this spring.   Planting delays across farm country due to rain have been getting a lot of headlines but for crops already in the ground issues also abound. Wet weather is an important factor to consider when making herbicide applications related to timeliness of applications as well as getting the best product performance.   Fortunately, there are ways you can manage your herbicide use while factoring in the impact of weather on herbicide efficacy and NCGA is encouraging farmers to use the resources available on the Take Action website.   Wet conditions also mean higher risks of diseases in corn so careful management of fungicides to make sure they are effective is another priority.   You can learn more are the Take...

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May 22, 2019

Efforts to Help Struggling Honey Bee Population Gaining Momentum

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Corn is wind pollinated and does not benefit from insect pollination so why the heck do corn farmers care about bees?   Well, few farmers grow only one crop and bees play a critical role in 80 percent of flowering crops. Even bigger picture, bees are a critical part of thriving ecosystems, including those found across the Corn Belt.   That’s why more and more farmers are keeping pollinators in mind as they manage their fields each year and make longer term plans for their operation, according to Nicole Hasheider, NCGA’s director of biotechnology and crop inputs. NCGA is doing its part to help by partnering with the Honey Bee Health Coalition and through the introduction of a new resource on pollinator protection.   Bees can cover up to 3,200 acres as they travel looking for nectar and pollen, which means the odds are high they are eventually going to end up hanging out in a cornfield. Corn pollen, while of low nutritional value to honey bees, can still be an important component...

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May 22, 2019

NCGA Remembers Farm Credit Chairman Dallas Tonsager

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Farm Credit Administration Chairman Dallas Tonsager passed away Tuesday after a battle with lymphoma. Tonsager was a long-time champion of agriculture and rural America.   “Dallas was a good and honest man who worked hard on behalf of farmers and ranchers,” NCGA CEO Jon Doggett said. “He never lost touch with his rural roots and used his leadership positions to advocate for rural communities.”   Tonsager served as undersecretary for rural development at USDA from 2009 to 2013, overseeing an expansion of rural broadband development and increased funding for first- and second-generation biofuels, among other initiatives.   Tonsager grew up on a South Dakota dairy farm and served as South Dakota Farmers Union President and USDA state director for rural development. He was also a founding member of Rural Americans for Obama, served on the board of National Farmers Union Insurance, was a member of the CFTC advisory board, and executive director of the South Dakota Value-Added...

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May 17, 2019

Field Notes Checks Crop Progress with Kansas Farmer Neitzel

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Earlier this week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. Cold, wet weather has hampered planting progress and could potentially impact the crop he will harvest this fall.   “We are about 300 acres away from completing corn planting. Usually, by this time, we would be done and pretty heavily into soybean planting,” said Neitzel. “We have gotten two rounds of rain that both lasted multiple days, and everything is saturated almost beyond belief. And, we were already way behind.   “We didn’t get started planting until the 15th or 16th of April. Mother...

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May 10, 2019

Field Notes Checks Crop Progress with Texas Farmer Bowers

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. In her area, some of the crop has reached tasseling despite difficult planting conditions.   “In our area, it is hit or miss. We have some corn that, honestly, looks great, and we have some corn where we saw uneven emergence with stands that I am unsure will be able to fully recover,” said Bowers. “Areas like those can take some substantial yield hits.   “Additionally, in our local area, corn acres are down about 15 to 20 percent. There wasn’t time to work the ground. Most of the acres here...

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May 10, 2019

Lower Corn Prices, Record Supply Forecast Show Need for Trade, Ethanol Markets

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

U.S. corn farmers are forecast to reach record total corn supplies according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. Higher forecasted production outpacing forecasted demand growth resulted in lower average farm price projection of $3.30 per bushel for the 2019/20 market year.    This report, the first forecasting overall U.S. corn supply and demand for the next marketing year, projected higher production than the year prior, with a projected increase of 3.7 million planted acres. The yield, projected to 176 bushels per acre, is based on a weather-adjust trend assuming that both planting progress and summer weather remain normal in comparison with that seen over the prior thirty years. If realized, it would be the third-highest yield on record. Beginning stocks are projected lower than the prior year, yet the total corn supply is forecast to set a new record high at 17.2 billion bushels.   Total corn use is projected to rise slightly in 2019/20, despite lower...

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May 6, 2019

National Corn Yield Contest Launches Today!

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Today is opening day, not for baseball, but for the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC).  Baseball and growing record corn yields may have little in common on the surface, but both feature intense competition, months of preparation and good old-fashioned hard work.   Farmers have from today, May 6, through Sunday, July 31, 2019, to enter. This year marks the 55thyear for the contest that began with 20 entries from four states. Last year 7,258 entries from 46 states made NCYC the premier event of its kind in the nation.   “NCGA wants to challenge you to take advantage of this opportunity to explore new ideas and production techniques while gleaning knowledge to enhance your future yield potential,” said Linda Lambur, NCYC manager. “It’s not just about big yields but promoting innovative production methods and sharpening management skills. It’s about being more precise in how we grow each bushel of corn and that ultimately will make corn...

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May 3, 2019

Field Notes Checks Planting Progress with Illinois Farmer Raben

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois, this week. While he has already begun corn planting, he has not made the progress normally expected due to extremely wet conditions.   “The weather is wet, wet, wet,” said Raben. “’We have had rain all the way through the spring. I planned on planting more this morning, but we have had rain again. We expect another 2- to 2 1/2- inches of rain just today.” To listen to the full interview, including how both weather and economic considerations impact planting decisions, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as...

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May 1, 2019

World Trade Month

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

May is World Trade Month and NCGA is using the occasion to highlight the importance of trade for future profitability and global food security. NCGA has a deeply-rooted policy of working to eliminate barriers to trade, supporting market development and promoting a transportation infrastructure that moves grain efficiently.   Exports of grains in all forms provide critical support across the economy, offering billions in direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers and rural communities. Exports of corn in all forms support 33 percent of corn farmer incomes.   In the 2016/2017 crop marketing year, the United States exported nearly 120 million metric tons of feed grains in all forms (GIAF), translating into roughly 4.75 billion bushels or a third of U.S. production. Feed grains in all forms include corn, barley and sorghum and products made with them as inputs including the corn equivalent of co-products like ethanol, DDGS and corn gluten feed/meal as well as beef, pork and...

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Apr 30, 2019

NCGA Mourns Bart Chilton

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) CEO Jon Doggett today expressed the organization’s condolences following the passage of former Commodity Futures Exchange Commissioner (CFTC) Bart Chilton.   “Bart was a well-known figure in Washington agriculture circles,” Doggett said. “With his signature blond hair, endless energy and creativity, Bart was a force. He nurtured those who worked under him and set an example for others to pay it forward in the future.”   Chilton spent much of his professional career advocating for agriculture and rural Americans. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff to former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, was a senior advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and was the Chief of Staff and Vice President for Government Relations at the National Farmers Union before his nomination and confirmation to the CFTC in 2007.   Chilton was 58 years old.

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Apr 26, 2019

Year Round E15 – Last Call to Take Action!

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Monday, April 29, is the deadline to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposal to allow for year-round sales of E15.   If you have not already, click here to submit your comments.   Removing the outdated barrier to year-round sales of E15 would grow demand for corn, lower fuel prices and lower emissions.    Submit your comments today!

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Apr 26, 2019

Field Notes Checks Planting Progress with Iowa Farmer Hemmes

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association launched its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with April Hemmes, who farms in northern Iowa, yesterday. Having already begun corn planting, she has made more progress than many in her state.   “I was out this morning at five o’clock with sprinkles on the windshield of my tractor trying to get another field’s soil finished” said Hemmes. “Planting is just slow. I talked to a farmer by me who said, ‘can’t we just have ten nice days?’”   To listen to the full interview, including how she started a STEM lunch-and-learn program for local girls this winter, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes...

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Apr 25, 2019

USMCA Leads to New Market Opportunities

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

We know that ratifying USMCA will secure a $3.2 billion export market for corn farmers and provide some certainty as farmers begin the hard work of planting and harvesting their crop. Passing USMCA will also open the door to other markets and new opportunities for American farmers. Locking in USMCA establishes some important new standards for what can be achieved in future trade agreements and would also build confidence in other nations with whom the United States wants to more closely engage.   Japan is the perfect example of a very important long-time customer for the U.S. corn industry and a nation with which a trade agreement is urgent for U.S. agriculture. Japan was the second largest buyer of U.S. corn in the 2017/2018 marketing year, purchasing nearly 13.2 million metric tons (520 million bushels) of corn for a value of $2.39 billion. Japan also serves as the ninth largest buyer of U.S. DDGS, setting a new record for DDGS imports in 2017/2018, increasing 8.4 percent from...

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Apr 24, 2019

Crappie Masters Tournament Season in Full Swing

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The Crappie Masters Tournament Trail is half over with anglers already competing in nine tournaments across the country. Seven tournaments remain, including the National Championship in September at Grenada Lake in Mississippi.   Last weekend, anglers came to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to compete in a one-day tournament. The winning team was Kevin Jones and Billy Don Surface, who is sponsored by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol. They competed against 98 other teams. The team turned in seven crappies, the most allowed to be turned in for the weigh-in, with a combined weight of 11 pounds.   During a Facebook Live Interview with Brian Sowers, the voice of Crappie Masters, he told the National Corn Growers Association “The message we are trying to put out there is using E10 fuel in your boat. There’s no other outdoor fishing organization talking about supporting the farmers, supporting cleaner water and cleaner air.”   NCGA is a co-sponsor of...

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Apr 23, 2019

Register for SHP Webinar about Associate Program

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The Soil Health Partnership is launching the Soil Session webinar series to provide updates on SHP's various programs and research findings. Future webinars will cover a range of topics such as their new partnership with the National Wheat Foundation, the Associate Program and the Carbon In-setting framework, as well as providing technical information on topics like cover crops, grazing, and data insights.   Please join Tuesday, April 30, 2019,11 AM EST / 10 AM CST for a Soil Session about the Soil Health Partnership’s Associate Program.   Register now – a quick and easy sign-up to join us on Zoom from any web browser.   During this webinar you will learn: ·         The goal of the Associate Program ·         The difference between a partner site and an associate site ·         How farmers can join the program   If you are unable to join live on April 30, please still register. A recording of the webinar will be shared with all registrants.   A calendar of future Soil...

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Apr 19, 2019

CROP Partnership Lends Focus to Broader Goals for Farmers

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

While farmers continue to struggle to plant their crops in these wet, cool spring conditions a group of staff from some of the major crop organizations tackled bigger picture issues in Cary, N.C. this week at a meeting of CROP.   Research and communications staff from corn, soy, sorghum, wheat, and cotton organizations met at Cotton Incorporated to discuss tools for farmer outreach and engagement on important production issues.   CROP represents broad U.S. acre commodities of corn, cotton, sorghum, soybeans and wheat and works to find synergies in research among row crop agriculture and represent farmers better, with one voice on key issues.   “We have lots of great information resulting from research programs funded by our various organizations, but finding the best way to get that information into the hands of those who need it most, whether farmers, advisors, customers, or consumers, is always a challenge, ”said Robyn Allscheid, National Corn Growers Association’s director...

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Apr 19, 2019

Field Notes Checks Planting Progress with Kansas Farmer Lowell Neitzel

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, the National Corn Growers Association launched its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms in Lawrence, Kansas, earlier this week. With his planters rolling, he is dedicated to making progress despite the late start but still not overly concerned.     “We are a little bit behind schedule. We usually like to start planting during the first part of April,” Neitzel explained. “Spring has been cooler and both winter and spring were wetter than we are used to here. That has pushed everything back in terms of field work quite a bit.”   To listen to the full interview, including his perspective on why today many farmers feel more...

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Apr 18, 2019

NCGA Statement: International Trade Commission Report on USMCA

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp made the below statement today following the release of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) economic analysis on the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).   “The release of the ITC report is an important step in moving USMCA toward Congressional action. ITC reports typically measure the economic impact of new trade agreements and focus on market access. USMCA is different – it’s an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – which already eliminated most tariffs on exports of U.S. food and agriculture products. So, the ITC report released today doesn’t fully capture the economic benefits of trade with Canada and Mexico, nor the improvements to trade rules in USMCA that benefit agriculture.    “NAFTA has been a resounding success for agriculture. In 2016 alone, American corn growers exported $3.2 billion in corn and corn co-products to Mexico and Canada. USMCA secures and builds upon this...

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Apr 18, 2019

Corn Growers and Soil Health Partnership Represented at Recent Sustainable Agriculture Event

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA attended the Coalition for Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (C-AGG) Spring 2019 meeting last week in Sacramento, California. The multi-stakeholder coalition sees agricultural lands as playing a key role in building sustainable agriculture and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. The event was sponsored in part by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the Soil Health Partnership (SHP), Vivayic, Almond Board of California, Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC), Dagan, Newtrient, Nutrien Ag Solutions and The Nature Conservancy (TNC).   C-AGG believes that by effectively incentivizing and creating value through tools and opportunities, farmers and ranchers can help the environment while increasing efficiency and profits.  Catalyzing new and improved solutions across regions, sectors, etc., to sequester carbon and reduce GHG emissions. Through creating voluntary, market-based incentive programs, cross-sector...

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Apr 17, 2019

Corn Farmer Engagement on Water Quality Continues to Grow

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

State and national corn staff gathered in Kansas City, MO this week for their bi-annual Eleven State Water Quality Meeting.   The meeting brings together National Corn Growers Association staff and state corn staff representing Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and Ohio.   The group received updates on programs and issues like Water of the U.S. (WOTUS), atrazine reregistration, monarch education and outreach, nutrient management and Farm Bill Conservation Title opportunities.   During the two-day meeting, participants shared lessons learned from state policy efforts and innovative agricultural nutrients and water quality efforts. The nuts and bolts portion of the meeting covered topics such as: assessing current water quality initiatives; costs and benefits of current practices; educating key thought leaders and the public regarding progress in the industry; and farm bill proposals opportunities to expand...

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Apr 17, 2019

USMCA: Market Access for U.S. Corn

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

By all accounts, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been a resounding success for agriculture. To ensure American farmers continue to have access to these important export markets, the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) needs to be ratified.   USMCA will solidify a $3.2 billion export market for corn farmers and provide some certainty as farmers begin the hard work of planting and harvesting their crop. Ratifying USMCA will also instill confidence in other nations with whom we want to enter into future trade agreements. Opening new markets will ensure U.S. agriculture remains competitive for generations to come.   Securing this new agreement allows America to compete. The United States has much more competition in North America now than when NAFTA was signed - Mexico has 46 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Canada has 21.   If Congress does not approve USMCA, and the United States withdraws from NAFTA, American agriculture and rural communities would be...

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Apr 16, 2019

Stewardship Planning an Important Part of Planting Season

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Spring is a great time to revisit the use of best management practices (BMPs) as farmers plant a new crop, and the National Corn Growers Association is encouraging thoughtful use and handling of neonic seed treatments to protect crops, pollinators and wildlife.   “Spring is a busy time for farmers. We literally set the stage for the success or failure of our new crop and the future profitability of our farm, said Bob Hemesath, Decorah, IA farmer and chairman of NCGA’s Freedom to Operate Action Team. “It’s also a great time to reset and revisit the steps we are taking to improve stewardship and integrate best management practices as we grow the crops the public needs.”   Specifically, NCGA’s message to farmers is:   Always read and follow the label when using treated seed Use the right amount of an appropriate seed lubricant to minimize dust Clean planters in non-sensitive areas and clean or cover up any seed spills Utilize the wealth of information online including this

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Apr 16, 2019

NCGA Files WOTUS Comments

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA this week submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers on the Agencies’ proposed rule revising the definition of waters of the United States, or WOTUS.   Click here to read them in full.   “Overall, NCGA supports the Proposed Rule,” NCGA President Lynn Chrisp wrote. Chrisp also highlighted NCGA and state affiliates’ work to balance environmental protection efforts while sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world, pointing to the benefits of the Soil Health Partnership and Field to Market as proactive efforts to help farmers fully utilize sustainability tools.   NCGA also submitted comments on the revised WOTUS rule as part of the organization’s participation in the Agricultural Nutrients Policy Council (ANPC) and the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC). 

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Apr 12, 2019

CSP Enrollment Deadline

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Farmers planning to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for 2019 will have until May 10 to sign up. CSP is for working lands, including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe. The 2018 Farm Bill made several improvements to the existing CSP, which has shown to increase crop yields, decrease inputs, and improve wildlife habitats among other benefits.   USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has more information.

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Apr 11, 2019

2017 Census of Agriculture

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The report includes millions of data points, including number of farms, land in farms, total value of production, demographics and more at the national, state and county levels.    Corn is the #2 commodity by value, behind cattle and calves. The 2017 corn crop was valued at $51.2 billion. Other census highlights include:   There are 2.04 million farms and ranches (down 3.2 percent from 2012) with an average size of 441 acres (up 1.6 percent) on 900 million acres (down 1.6 percent). The average age of all producers is 57.5, up 1.2 years from 2012. Average farm income is $43,053. A total of 43.6 percent of farms had positive net cash farm income in 2017. Ninety-six percent of farms and ranches are family owned. A total of 133,176 farms and ranches use renewable energy producing systems, more than double the 57,299 in 2012. There are 321,261 young...

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Apr 10, 2019

Explore the World of Corn Online

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

U.S. corn farmers grew an abundant crop in 2018 with a near-record national average yield of 176.4 bushels per acre and 14.4 billion bushels of corn produced in the United States, the third-highest production on record.   To highlight these achievements and all they mean, the National Corn Growers Association delves into the facts about corn production, using a historical comparison in its newest edition of the World of Corn. This statistical look at the corn industry, both domestic and worldwide, features a wide array of information on corn production and usage.   In addition to the traditional statistics guide, this year’s distribution includes a poster highlighting the many incredible ways in which corn farming practices and uses make a more sustainable world. The companion piece this year allows for greater exploration through a new augmented reality function.    “In 2018, America’s corn farmers demonstrated again how the world of opportunities corn farmers create truly...

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Apr 9, 2019

Spring into Action! Get your Lawn Equipment in Tip-Top Shape!

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Spring is officially here, and yardwork is getting underway. As you pull your various gas-powered tools, there are a few steps you can take to get your machine ready for use for the season.   There are several online resources available with tips and tricks to get your equipment ready to use, but the best place to find specifics is in your owner’s manual.   Here are a few standard practices to keep in mind:   Refresh Fuel: Before attempting to start your machine, make sure the fuel from last season has been drained and fresh fuel added. Check Oil & Filters: This keeps your engine clean by preventing buildup of particles and foreign materials. Inspect Blade: Safely remove the blade and replace it or bring it into the local hardware store to have the blade sharpened. A sharp blade cuts effectively and puts less stress on your machine. Check Spark Plugs: Replacing spark plugs periodically is a cheap way to keep your engine running smoothly. Review...

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Apr 9, 2019

USDA: Corn Demand Forecasts Decline, Price Expectations Hold

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Despite decreased use estimates and a rise in projected ending stocks, U.S. corn projected prices remained steady in reports issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Use estimates declined overall due to lowered use projections in the feed and residual categories, exports and corn used to produce ethanol categories. With overall supply projections unchanged and the lowered use projections, ending stock projections were raised by 200 million bushels to 2.03 billion.    Feed and residual forecasts were lowered by 75 million bushels below last month’s report. At the same time, corn used to produce ethanol forecasts were lowered by 50 million bushels below last month’s report based upon the most recent data from the Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report and pace of production the prior month indicated by Energy Information Administration data. Exports were reduced by 75 million bushels to reflect increased competition and outstanding sales.   The prices...

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Apr 5, 2019

Opening Dialogue, Forging New Relationships

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Engaging with and continuing to build new relationships is a key priority for building and increasing demand for corn. Earlier this month, members of the Feed, Food and Industrial Action Team (FFIAT) traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with representatives from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service; USDA Rural Development, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and the Corn Refiners Association (CRA).   “Having conversations with government entities like the Department of Energy is a great way for us to start the conversation and help educate the agency on the uses of corn, annual carryout and the value of corn as a feedstock,” said FFIAT Chair and Nebraska farmer Dan Wesley. “There are a lot of potential opportunities where we could work together with these agencies and engaging in conversation and opening the dialogue was a great first step.”   These...

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Apr 4, 2019

Melvin named to CFTC Ag Advisory Committee

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

North Dakota Corn Growers Association President and Risk Management Action Team Chairman Randy Melvin has been named a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Agricultural Advisory Committee.   According to the CFTC, the Agricultural Advisory Committee was created in 1985 to advise the Commission on issues involving the trading of agricultural commodity futures and options and facilitate communications between the CFTC, the agricultural community, and agriculture-related organizations.   Members include representatives of national farm organizations, major commodity groups, agribusiness concerns, and agricultural bankers.   The CFTC announced yesterday that the next Agricultural Advisory Committee meeting would be held on April 11. The meeting is open to the public and also available via webcast.

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Apr 4, 2019

Beating the Drum on Capitol Hill: Grower Leaders Attend ACE Fly-In

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week corn farmers, state and national corn staff and ethanol producers attended the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Government Affairs Summit in Washington, D.C. Attendees took to the Hill for congressional visits to talk about the importance of E15 year-round, the overall benefits of ethanol and how refinery waivers undermine the renewable fuel standard (RFS).   “Being able to show we have a unified voice in Washington, D.C. is critical,” said Ethanol Action Team Chair and Missouri farmer Jay Schutte. “We have a lot of new members of Congress. Attending events like this helps us tell the positive story of corn ethanol and how it benefits consumers, rural America and the environment.”   The conference started with an update from ACE CEO Brian Jennings on the latest policy priorities for the organization: 1) E15 year-round, free of harmful changes to the RIN market; 2) reallocation of RFS blending obligations waived for small refineries and future refinery waivers; and...

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Mar 29, 2019

NCGA Testifies in Support of Year-Round E15

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

National Corn Growers Association First Vice President and Minden, Iowa, farmer Kevin Ross spoke in support today of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to allow for year-round sales of E15 across the country.   “Farmers stand ready to work with the Administration to clear obstacles to higher blends of ethanol such as E15 and ensure a final rule works for the full ethanol and fuel supply chain,” Ross said. “To ensure E15 sales are not interrupted, NCGA urges EPA to complete this rulemaking by June 1.”   Ross’s comments came during a hearing held as part of the rulemaking that would remove outdated regulations requiring retailers in many areas of the country to stop selling E15, a blend of gasoline and 15 percent ethanol approved for all vehicles 2001 and newer, during the summer months.   Year-round E15 is a no-cost means for farmers to grow demand. It also saves drivers between 3 and 10 cents per gallon and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.   During...

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Mar 28, 2019

NCGA CEO at Equality Summit

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA CEO Jon Doggett this week attended the Bloomberg Equality Summit in New York. The full-day summit sought to “foster forward-looking conversations and spotlight successful business leaders who are paving the way.”   Doggett’s participation was part of NCGA’s commitment to creating a more inclusive and diverse organization.   “Being a part of the Equality Summit was a great opportunity to learn from successful leaders about their inclusivity strategies, and think about ways to implement them across NCGA,” Doggett said. “It was inspiring and thought-provoking to be a part of this important event.”   Doggett highlighted a quote from one of the panel sessions, “diversity and inclusion are not barriers to overcome but opportunities to be seized,” as an important takeaway from the event.   You can learn more about the Bloomberg Equality Summit online - Read More

Mar 22, 2019

Devastating Flooding Strikes Farmers, Highlights Generosity of Ag Community

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

News reports showing the devastating flooding in Nebraska show the incredible tragedy facing so many farmers this spring and compounding the impacts of an already weak agricultural economy. As farm families face these hardships, the National Corn Growers Association extends its deepest empathy and support.   This already devastating situation appears likely to hit even more of America’s farm families. Farmers have been impacted by record flooding in the upper Mississippi and Missouri River basins including Minnesota and Iowa, as well as Nebraska, already this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts an elevated risk for flooding through May. Nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk of flooding, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states.   While these times of crisis place so many at risk, they also serve to highlight the incredible generosity and resiliency in rural America. With many states coordinating...

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Mar 20, 2019

Chinese Leaders Visit NCGA St. Louis Office

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Two business leaders from the People’s Republic of China visited the National Corn Growers Association’s St. Louis office yesterday to discuss the U.S. corn industry and NCGA’s role in working to create opportunities for corn farmers.   Robyn Allscheid, NCGA director of Research & Productivity, said the visitors were intrigued by NCGA’s focused mission of sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world in a way that is profitable for our nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide as well as the 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs.   Rong Zhang and Rui Li are touring America as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The program connects current and emerging leaders who travel to the U.S. for programs that reflect their professional interests and U.S. Foreign Policy Goals.   Zhang, manager Dalian Yigu Information Consulting Co., Ltd., and Li, an Associate...

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Mar 18, 2019

Global Corn Research Conference Held in St. Louis

Key Issues: Research

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Corn researchers from around the world gathered in St. Louis last week for the annual Maize Genetics Conference. The conference covers a broad range of subject areas and allows attendees from academia, industry, and funding agencies to learn about the most current scientific and technical advances in the maize genetics community.   Program directors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation were also present to discuss the current priorities and budget levels for their research programs. This annual conference represents a unique opportunity to stress the importance of research in areas that have substantial promise in addressing the issues most important to corn farmers.   This year, many presentations and posters highlighted the importance of the Genomes to Fields research initiative, which has been financially supported through state and national corn grower organizations. This interdisciplinary program has created an invaluable network of...

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Mar 15, 2019

CommonGround Invites Consumers to the Conversation in New Video

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

CommonGround launched a new video inviting mom with food questions to a conversation about farming and food. The short piece shows the many resources available to help cut through food conversation clutter and find peace of mind in their decisions.   Filmed at the St. Louis Science Center, the video showcases real families given the options of asking a CommonGround volunteer, a blogger, a dietitian, the internet or a friend their honest questions about food. Many of those who chose to participate were excited to learn that they could ask an actual farmer, one who shared their same desire to make the best food choices for their family, about issues ranging from the use of pesticides to the nutritional value of conventional versus organic options to how farmers treat livestock. Even those who expressed a desire to look at information online reacted positively to knowing they could find information shared by women in farming at www.findourcommonground.com.   To see the video...

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Mar 13, 2019

CommonGround Volunteers Spotlight Farming at “Empower and Light” Conference

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Farm women volunteers involved in the CommonGround outreach program, along with state and national staff met in Kansas City, Mo., to share their experiences with the program and welcome new members earlier this week.  Over the course of three days, the participants worked intensively to gain insight into consumer questions and hone the skills that they use to share their personal story and that of modern farming with urban and suburban moms.   In addition to social media training and panels focused on consumer questions, the volunteers hosted an event for women from the Kansas City area focused on food discussions. From entering through an exhibit designed to provoke thoughts on what sources they turn to for information to a closing panel discussion featuring volunteers, a local lifestyle blogger and a dietitian, the evening sparked conversations and built relationships to bridge the divide from the field to fork.    The conference offered the volunteers and staff a chance to...

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Mar 8, 2019

Video Offers Top Tips from NCGA National Corn Yield Contest Winners

Key Issues: Production

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The National Corn Growers Association released a video last week offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in Orlando honoring the state winners of the 2018 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   “The contest affords an opportunity for farmers to test their skill against their peers while also providing NCGA with a significant amount of information about cutting-edge production practices that all farmers might find useful,” said NCGA Stewardship Action Team Chair Roger Zylstra. “NCGA always looks for new and innovative ways to use this data, sharing the lessons learned with corn farmers. The video provides a quick, simple way for interested farmers to discover new...

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Mar 7, 2019

Consider Corn Challenge: Just a Few Days Remain!

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Only days remain to submit a proposal for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Consider Corn Challenge II. A successful proposal will outline how the project will enable a new market for corn, have a clear path to commercial scale and use components of the corn kernel as a primary feedstock.   “Finding new and innovative uses for field corn in order to utilize 75 million bushels by 2020 is what we are striving to do,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “There is a lot of great research work going on right now in the industry, and we are hopeful that anyone who is developing bio-based materials from corn will enter the contest.”   Three to six winners will be selected for a total prize pool of U.S. $150,000. Submissions are due March 20, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST. This year’s winners will be announced at the BIO’s World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in Des Moines, Iowa on July 8, 2019.   For more information on the contest click here: 

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Mar 6, 2019

Minnesota Farm Family Represents Generations of Stewardship

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

A Minnesota farm family’s four generation conservation initiative garnered national attention at the Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla. The National Corn Growers Association’s presented Rick Schlichting’s - Schlichting Farms of Rice, Minn. with its 2019 Good Steward Recognition.   “NCGA defines sustainability as the pursuit of constant improvement and the Schlichting family personifies this description,” said Lynn Chrisp, NCGA president of Hastings, Neb. “Their progressive farming practices and contributions to healthier soils, cleaner water and sustainable crop production are nothing short of extraordinary.”   The program and recognition funding are provided by the NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team to raise awareness among U.S. farmers of the importance of conservation agriculture.   The Schlichtings farm 6,600 acres of cropland, and the operation reflects their commitment to the concept of regenerative agriculture. They employ cover corps, crop rotation, extreme nutrient...

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Mar 5, 2019

E15 Rulemaking Moves Forward

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Monday sent a draft rule to allow for year-round sales of E15 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. This is the next step in the regulatory process and meeting expectations that this rulemaking be completed when the summer driving season begins June 1.     “NCGA is pleased to see the process move forward and will be providing input during this important phase,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “A timely rule is important for the summer driving season but it’s also important that the rule is done right.”   NCGA will be providing OMB with input to help ensure a strong, clear rule for E15. Following the review and interagency approval, EPA will issue a proposed rule for public comment.

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Feb 20, 2019

Planting is Coming and So Are the Pests. Are You Ready?

Key Issues: SustainabilityProduction

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

If you haven’t looked into the innovative and proactive Take Action initiative of late, it might be a great time to give the widely expanded program supported by National Corn Growers Association and a host of partners a closer look.   The great news is the educational campaign is evolving and growing at a fast pace and now provides information on dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds, and fungicide and insect resistance.   Finding a clearer path to a more sustainable and profitable way to farm is made much easier thanks to Take Action. The mission here is to choose the best available tools and technology for the environment, your balance sheet and all with an eye on preserving access to these important tools. Informed management is just smart farming.   Take Action on Weeds, which the National Corn Growers Association promotes as a resource of farmers combating herbicide resistance issues, was developed by the United Soybean Board. Based on that success new technical...

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Feb 19, 2019

Collaborative Program Brings Ag Leaders Together to Sharpen Skills

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Corn farmers joined with their counterparts from other ag-focused organizations in Raleigh, N.C. and Washington, D.C. last week for the revised Leadership At Its Best Program, sponsored by Syngenta. The new structure of the program allows leaders from eleven associations to network and hone their leadership skills in a collaborative environment.   During their time in Raleigh, the class explored how to increase their efficacy as advocates both in the public policy and media arenas. In addition to training sessions, the group delved into emerging topics such as gene editing, maximum residue limits and the future of digital ag. The latter part of the week when the attendees were in Washington, their focus shifted to building their personal advocacy plan and learning about the increasing role of social media in public policy.  Program participants also held meetings with their representatives and senators.   “Last week was a very good example of ag groups coming together to look...

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Feb 19, 2019

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Will Be Keynote Speaker of 2019 Commodity Classic

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Commodity Classic, held Feb. 28-March 2 in Orlando, Fla. Commodity Classic is one of the largest agriculture industry events, with close to 10 thousand attendees annually the past three years.  Perdue will speak during the General Session, which is open to registered event attendees and is scheduled for Friday, March 1, at 9:00 a.m. at the Orange County Convention Center.   Secretary Perdue is expected to share current news and perspectives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with topics including international trade, farm bill implementation, rural development and the role of agriculture in America’s food security and economic health.   Before Secretary Perdue, the General Session will include comments from leaders of the five associations that present Commodity Classic each year: American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers,...

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Feb 12, 2019

RFA Outlines 2019 Priorities at National Ethanol Conference

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

The Renewable Fuels Association kicked-off their National Ethanol Conference today, looking back at the many battles that the ethanol industry has fought the past year.   RFA President & CEO Geoff Cooper opened the conference with the State of the Industry report. “Our industry made significant strides in 2018 to expand the market for E15 and flex fuels like E85. Thanks to the persistent and vocal advocacy efforts of our industry, our partners in agriculture, and our champions in Congress and the Administration, we got a firm commitment from President Trump in October to eliminate what he called an “unnecessary and ridiculous” regulatory barrier to year-round E15 sales before this summer driving season begins.”   “The U.S. ethanol industry produced a record 16.1 billion gallons of high-octane, clean-burning renewable fuel in 2018, up about 200 million gallons from 2017 and the sixth straight annual increase in production. Meanwhile, you churned out 41.3 million metric tons of...

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Feb 11, 2019

The Next Wave: Growth Energy Celebrates 10 Years

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Last week, the annual Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference was held, celebrating their 10-year anniversary. The conference focused on 2019 priorities, E15 and retailer expansion.   On Friday, National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Market Development Jim Bauman moderated a panel with Kansas Corn’s CEO Greg Krissek, Illinois Corn’s Executive Director Rod Weinzierl and Nebraska Corn’s Director of Market Development Roger Berry.   The panel focused on bolstering demand for biofuels. The group talked about current state and national initiatives and outlined their priorities for the next year. “U.S. corn yields continue to grow by almost 2 bushels per acre.  If this growth continues, our industry will produce around 2 billion additional acres every 10 years,” said Bauman. “The need for new U.S. corn demand is clear.  Expanding ethanol demand represents an essential pathway to grinding additional corn.  Corn farmers have and continue to support the ethanol...

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Feb 8, 2019

NCGA Remembers Congressman John Dingell

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Former Congressman John Dingell, who represented Southeast Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 60 years passed away on Thursday. He was 92 years old.   Dingell was the longest-serving member of Congress, holding office from 1955-2014. He played significant roles on landmark pieces of legislation impacting health care, environment, food safety and civil rights. He was also a major player in enacting both the RFS1 and RFS2, increasing market demand for U.S. corn.   “Congressman Dingell was successful, in part, because he took full stock of the issue at hand, bluntly asking those visiting his office what the problem was and how it could be solved, and then using the legislative process to find a solution,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett.   “He was a great American. We don’t have many like him in Congress now, and our nation is poorer for it,” Doggett added.

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Feb 1, 2019

NCGA Farmer Leaders and Staff Attending #CattleCon19

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

This week, beef producers from across the country are in New Orleans for the annual Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show.   National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) board member and Missouri farmer Gary Porter serves as the liaison between NCGA & NCBA and is attending the event this week. “Beef is one of the largest customers of the U.S. corn crop,” said Porter. “It’s important to engage with this large end user of corn. In fact, more than one billion bushels of corn are consumed each year by beef production in the U.S.”   “Since 2015, corn utilized in U.S. beef and pork exports has grown by 29 percent,” Porter added. “Corn farmers see a return of 39-cents per bushel from red meat exports, so this is an important industry to support.”   Last year, NCGA & NCBA announced a partnership to offer the Cattlemen’s Education Series to state beef affiliates. The Feed, Food and Industrial Action Team (FFIAT) is sponsoring the program...

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Jan 31, 2019

Grower Leaders Hone Skills in Nation’s Capital

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Corn farmers from across the country traveled to Washington this week to take part in the second phase of the annual leadership development programs co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and Syngenta. While in town, the group visited numerous congressional leaders and got an inside look at parliamentary procedure and how lobbying works on Capitol Hill.   “For three decades, the Leadership At Its Best program has played an important role in helping corn growers become leaders at the state and national level,” said Kevin Ross, NCGA’s current first vice president and a LAIB graduate himself. “In Washington, our farmer leaders saw firsthand how decisions made in our nation’s capital impact us all back on our farms. Using the skills developed here, these farmer leaders effective, compelling voices will concretely benefit NCGA and all its farmer members through their current and future endeavors.”   The Leadership At Its Best class received briefings on the issues...

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Jan 25, 2019

MAIZALL Members Advocate for Innovation at the World Trade Organization

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

In a follow-up to its October 2018 meeting, five members of MAIZALL, the international maize alliance, were in Geneva this month to advocate for agricultural innovation with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo and five other WTO country representatives.   Rapid innovation in agriculture benefits farmers who can grow more and higher quality crops using fewer natural resources. But these same innovations push governments around the world to determine the best ways to regulate these modern practices, and the WTO helps determine whether these policies are fair. MAIZALL encourages countries to adopt science-based policies to prevent disruptions to trade.   “It is extremely important to show the Director-General that the farmer alliance that is MAIZALL believes innovation is important and we need to draw attention to innovation at the highest levels within the WTO,” said MAIZALL Board Member Chip Councell.   MAIZALL President Cesario Ramalho, MAIZALL...

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Jan 24, 2019

Don’t Miss Out! Consider Corn Challenge II Informational Webinar Next Week

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Will you help the National Corn Growers Association find the untapped potential of corn? NCGA is holding the Consider Corn Challenge II and will be hosting an informational webinar January 28, 2019 at 11 a.m. EST. To register for the webinar, click here: 9sig.co/CCIIWebinar .   “The webinar is an opportunity for participants to hear directly from one of the previous Consider Corn Challenge winners, get more specifics about the contest and ask questions about the contest,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “We had a diverse set of applications last year and look forward to receiving more this year.”   “The goal of the contest is to identify and highlight new uses and markets for the U.S. corn crop,” McKay added. “Corn production continues to increase year over year, and corn farmers are able to do more with less. Corn is an affordable, sustainable and abundant feedstock for the bio-based chemical industry to use.”   Three to six winners will be selected for a...

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Jan 23, 2019

Expanding Global Market Access for U.S. Corn

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA is committed to helping corn producers weather this tough economy by creating market opportunities for U.S. corn, including expanding market access for our products around the globe. Exports of corn and corn products account for a third of corn farmers’ incomes.   To accomplish these goals, we work closely with our partners at the U.S. Grains Council. NCGA advocates for elimination of barriers to corn and corn products in the U.S trade policy agenda, passage of strong trade agreements by Congress and helps secure market development funds that USGC puts into action. USGC’s mission is clear - develop markets, enable trade and improve lives. USGC leaders, staff members, and consultants strive to be the most relevant, passionate and trusted ambassadors for free and fair trade between U.S. agriculture and our customers around the world.   The flow of goods, ideas, capital, and people are essential for prosperity, and for American competitiveness in the global economy. This is...

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Jan 4, 2019

NCGA Recognizes Senator Pat Roberts

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, today announced his decision not to seek reelection in 2020. Roberts was first elected to Kansas’s First Congressional District in 1980 before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1996.   Roberts has been an outspoken advocate for farmers and agriculture. He is the first member of Congress in history to have chaired both the House Agriculture Committee and the Senate Agriculture Committee. He has also served as the ranking member of each committee.    “Senator Roberts’ influence on agriculture, from his leadership roles on both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, is unmatched,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett. “He has been a steadfast advocate for farmers on a host of issues important to American agriculture. While we will miss his leadership in the Senate, we look forward to working with him during the 116th Congress and wish him and his family the best.”   "I can't think of a lawmaker who is more in touch...

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Jan 3, 2019

NCGA Welcomes New Congress

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA President Lynn Chrisp, First Vice President Kevin Ross, and Chairman Kevin Skunes were in Washington, D.C. this week for the swearing-in of the 116th Congress. The Leadership Team attended several Capitol Hill receptions to welcome both new and returning members of Congress and offer NCGA as a resource to lawmakers as issues of importance to corn growers arise in the new Congressional session.   “NCGA has strong relationships on Capitol Hill, but with so many new members of Congress, many of whom might not represent corn growers, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce NCGA. We were able to stress the importance of creating market opportunities for corn and lay the foundation for a good working relationship in the future,” said Chrisp.   The 116th Congress includes ten new Senators and 100 new Representatives.

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