In The News

Sep 19, 2022

Upcoming RFD-TV Cattlemen to Cattlemen Episode to Focus on the Importance of Beef and Corn Exports

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Later this month, viewers of Cattlemen to Cattlemen on RFD-TV will get a firsthand look at the value of corn and beef exports at the Port of New Orleans. In 2021, beef and port exports accounted for 537 million bushels of corn usage.   “The U.S. is the world’s leading exporter of corn and when you pair that with the success of exports of the beef industry, it is an important demand driver for corn farmers,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) incoming President and Minnesota farmer Tom Haag. “Being at the Port of New Orleans for this episode was a great backdrop because of the amount of agricultural goods and product that goes out of this port.”   Panel participants include Tom Haag, incoming NCGA President and Minnesota farmer; National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President and Minnesota farmer Don Schiefelbein; NCGA Market Development Action Team Chair and Colorado corn and beef producer Troy Schneider; and Kyla Hamilton, a Texas corn and beef producer who...

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Aug 18, 2022

Trade School: Coming to a City Near You!

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Julie Busse

    The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and state corn growers are partnering to host an upcoming trade school event in Omaha, Nebraska.   The event in Omaha is sponsored by NCGA, USGC, Iowa Corn Growers, the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, South Dakota Corn, and the Yeutter Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, in cooperation with host Green Plains. This event is on Friday, August 26 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is free to attend.   The agenda will cover the benefits of trade, current hot button issues, regional trade topics, and key updates pertaining to policy initiatives and market development efforts. Participants will walk away from the event being able to talk about how trade policy and market development lead to sales.   Trade school started in 2016 and has been held in a number of states since then. You can register and learn more about the events here.  

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Jul 18, 2022

USMEF Releases Updated Value of Red Meat Export Numbers and the Impact on Corn Farmers

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) just recently updated its export numbers and the value to corn and soybean farmers. The study shows in 2021, beef and pork exports accounted for 537 million bushels of corn usage, which equals $2.94 billion (estimated using an average corn price of $5.48 bushel).   “The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) works closely with USMEF and other domestic and export partners to help drive demand and bring value back to corn farmers,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team Chair and Colorado farmer Troy Schneider. “The animal ag industry is the largest user of U.S. corn, and it’s important to collaborate and partner with the industry to expand and grow these markets.”   Other key findings from the 2021 report include:   Beef and pork exports account for 3.4 million tons of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) Pork and beef exports contributed 12% of bushel value The market value of beef and pork exports to U.S. DDGS equals...

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Jun 22, 2022

Don’t Miss the NCYC Early Entry Deadline!

Author: Julie Busse

Time is running out to save on entry fees for the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC). The early registration deadline is June 30, 2022. After June 30, fees will go from $75 to $110. Registration for the contest closes on August 17, 2022.   To enter today using the online form click here.   The online harvest entry opens August 18, 2022, and all harvest forms will be due by November 30, 2022. Contest winners will be announced on December 14, 2022.   For the 2022 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. The contest started in 1965. Be part of its history. Be part of its legacy.

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Jun 7, 2022

Calling All Photographers: The Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest is Officially Open!

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn.com photo contest is now open and accepting entries for the 2022 contest. Since the beginning of the contest in 2014, nearly 3,000 pictures have been submitted across the various categories. This year a new category, Farm Babies, has been added.   “Each year, we evaluate the categories and entries to determine if we should expand the areas photographers can enter, and farm babies was a natural addition for this year,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “Our winners last year knocked it out of the park, and I can’t wait to see what gets entered this year. Other popular categories include growing field corn and the farm family lifestyle, just to name a few.”   Last year, “My Drone’s View Returning Home” was the grand prize winner. The picture was taken via drone by Todd Wachtel of Illinois. The most popular entry was from April Anthony of Ohio for “Fire in the sky!!” in the equipment category.   A...

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May 17, 2022

Interested in Learning More about Trade? Join us for Trade School!

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Julie Busse

The Texas Corn Producers Board, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and U.S. Grains Council are teaming up to host Trade School for farmer members and stakeholders in Belton, Texas, on Tuesday, June 14. Held at the Bell County Expo Center, the agenda will cover the benefits of trade, current hot button issues, regional trade topics, and key updates pertaining to policy initiatives and market development efforts.   “Trade School gives attendees an opportunity to learn more about the current global market that we all operate within and how to share that message with members of Congress or their local communities,” said NCGA Manager of Market Development Michael Granché. “In 2020, the U.S. exported 2,550 million bushels of corn, which makes up roughly 17.5% of our entire demand portfolio, so it’s important that we’re all aware of current trade barriers and that we’re all equipped with the information needed to talk about trade within our communities.”   Trade school started...

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May 11, 2022

Time is Running Out! Apply for the Women and Mentors Program Today!

Author: Julie Busse

There’s still time to apply 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?...

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May 10, 2022

Sharing the Story of the Path for Corn as an Industrial Feedstock

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

At the Advanced Bioeconomy Leadership Conference (ABLC) in Washington D.C., the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) held a session on Corn-to-Chemicals, outlining the uses of corn as an industrial feedstock.   The panel was moderated by McKay, and participants included John Hannon, COO, Vertimass; Nathan Danielson, Principal, BioCognito; Erick Lutt, Senior Director, Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Jessica Bowman, Executive Director, Plant Based Products Council. The panel highlighted the evolution of the biotechnology industry and how each organization is working to overcome barriers to commercialization. Further, the panel had a robust Q&A session with the audience on programs and policies, including national incentives for biobased materials.   “U.S. corn farmers continue to produce an affordable, high quality and reliable crop each year,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “That crop can be turned into more than just food, feed and fuel. The...

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Apr 29, 2022

NCGA Thanks EPA for Following Through on President Biden’s E15 Emergency Waiver

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

The following is a statement from NCGA President Chris Edgington on today’s announcement from the EPA issuing an emergency fuel waiver for E15 sales.   “We thank EPA Administrator Michael Regan for following through on the president’s recent announcement in Iowa and taking the action needed to ensure drivers maintain access to lower-cost, lower-emissions E15,” said NCGA president Chris Edgington. “We also agree with EPA’s assessment that treating E15 the same as regular fuel in the market maintains air quality. By acting today, and commitment to act through the summer, the Biden Administration will help increase the fuel supply by relying on more domestic biofuels and reducing our dependence on oil.”   Environmental Benefits of E15:  E15 has a lower RVP than E10 and, therefore, results in lower evaporative emissions, the goal of RVP regulation. Blending more ethanol to make E15 displaces and dilutes the most toxic aromatic hydrocarbon components in gasoline, reducing...

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Apr 29, 2022

Corn Farmer Outlines Farm Bill Priorities at First Field Hearing in Michigan

Key Issues: Farm BillFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

Today, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and committee ranking member U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), held the first 2023 farm bill hearing in Michigan. Michigan Corn Growers Association board member Allyson Maxwell testified at the hearing titled “Growing Jobs and Economic Opportunity: 2023 Farm Bill Perspectives from Michigan,” outlining many of the priorities that are important for corn farmers across the U.S.   “The safety net provided by crop insurance is vital to maintaining the agriculture industry in this country, especially in the face of increasingly unpredictable disasters like droughts, floods and extreme weather,” Maxwell said.   Maxwell went on to talk about the importance of assistance for new/beginning farmers, bolstering U.S. international market development efforts through the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, and the role...

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Mar 18, 2022

Wrong Again: It’s Time to Get the Facts Straight on Corn Production and Ethanol

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

I’ve been farming for a long time, so I’ve heard all the arguments about corn and ethanol – and they’re always wrong. The Washington Post Editorial Board suggested waiving the renewable fuel standard would help address outcomes of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Instead, the Washington Post should be crediting farmers’ increased productivity and efficiency, resulting in higher yields using fewer resources, meeting food and fuel needs to keep prices down.   What’s happening in the world today is disheartening. I recognize how fortunate we are to live in this country where we will plant crops this spring without a war coming through our fields. Corn farmers’ yields are up more than 25 bushels per acre since 2007 on a similar acreage footprint, and we are here to answer the call and help feed and fuel the world.   For the current 2021-22 corn marketing year, USDA estimates corn ending stocks at 1.5 billion bushels. We carried out 1.2 billion bushels in the 2020-21 marketing year....

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Mar 7, 2022

Trade School Comes to Minnesota – Register Today!

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Julie Busse

The Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, North Dakota Corn Utilization Council, U.S. Grains Council, National Corn Growers Association and Northern Crops Institute are hosting a trade school event for farmer members and stakeholders in Alexandria, Minnesota, on Wednesday, March 16. Held at the Arrowood Resort and Conference Center, the agenda will cover the benefits of trade, current hot button issues, regional trade topics, and key updates pertaining to policy initiatives and market development efforts.   “Trade School gives folks an opportunity to learn more about the current global market that we all operate within,” said NCGA Manager of Market Development Michael Granché. “In 2020, the U.S. exported 2,550 million bushels of corn, which makes up roughly 17.5% of our entire demand portfolio, so it’s important that we’re all aware of current barriers to trade and that we’re all equipped with the information needed to talk about trade within our communities. Sometimes...

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Mar 3, 2022

Heading to NOLA for Commodity Classic? Come See us at our Booth!

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association has a full line-up of activities at our booth at Commodity Classic, and we hope to see you there! Stop in for a giveaway and hear from a variety of experts. There will be a live taping of the U.S. Farm Report with Tyne Morgan, a discussion with NCYC high-yield record holder David Hula, updates on NCGA programs, podcast recordings and more!   We also hope you’ll stop by to join NCGA as we raise a collective voice in support of the Next Generation Fuels Act. While you are at the booth, you can also update your contact information to ensure you are the first to know when NCGA releases future calls-to-action. All advocates who sign up for mobile advocacy alerts will receive a special gift.   The tradeshow hours are Thursday, March 10, from 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Friday, March 11, from 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday, March 12, from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   We hope to see you there! For a schedule of events at the NCGA booth, click Read More

Feb 25, 2022

#ICYMI: RFA Salutes National Corn Growers Association With 2022 Industry Award

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) received the Renewable Fuels Association’s 2022 Ethanol Industry Award in recognition of the group’s dedicated and sustained efforts on behalf of the ethanol industry over the last 40 years. The award, RFA’s highest recognition, was presented at the 27th annual National Ethanol Conference earlier this week in New Orleans.   “RFA and NCGA have worked together for decades on policy, market development, research, and promotional efforts aimed at growing our nation’s ethanol industry,” Cooper said. “NCGA CEO Jon Doggett was personally involved in the very early negotiations with RFA, the oil industry, and other ag groups in an effort that ultimately led to the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. That legislation created the RFS and set the ethanol industry on a growth path few could have imagined. And it was NCGA that laid out the first vision for a 15 billion bushel corn crop and 15 billion gallons of ethanol by 2015 that became the...

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Feb 17, 2022

NCGA Staff Person Receives TOBI Award at Growth Energy Conference

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

During the recent Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference, NCGA Communications Director Julie Busse received the TOBI Award for Public Affairs. Seven individuals were recognized for their leadership within the biofuels industry in the categories of Get Biofuel, Public Affairs, Technical, Advocacy, Market Development, Global Market Development and Membership.   In 2021, NCGA expanded its communications efforts, thanks to support from state partners and the Ethanol Action Team, to be on T.V., had sponsored content on Politico, were the sponsors of the AgriPulse Deep Dive on Biofuels, and were seen on digital platforms. The campaign’s goal was to reach policymakers and staff and highlight the environmental benefits of corn ethanol.   Also, at the conference, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett, Board Chairman John Linder and First Vice President Tom Haag participated in a panel with Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, discussing the opportunities for continued collaboration and current issues...

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Feb 8, 2022

NCGA Announces New Slate of Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest Winners

Author: Julie Busse

My Drone’s View Returning Home” is the grand prize winner of the 2021 National Corn Growers Association Fields-of-Corn photo contest. The picture was taken via drone by Todd Wachtel of Illinois. This was the first time a bird’s eye view category was offered as a part of the contest.   The most popular entry by April Anthony of Ohio for “Fire in the sky!!” was also entered in a new category this year – equipment. Returning popular categories included corn, growing field corn, the farm family lifestyle, scenery/landscapes, farming challenges and conservation. In the 8 years of the contest, nearly 3,000 photos have been submitted.   “We’re always looking for new and different categories to add to the contest, and this year it was fitting that one of the new categories produced the grand prize winner,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “Every year, it is a challenge for the judges to pick the winners because of the number of high-quality submissions. There...

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Feb 4, 2022

NCGA Members Receive Discount to Top Producer Summit – Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Attend!

Author: Julie Busse

There’s still time to register for the Top Producer Summit, February 14 – 16 in Nashville, Tennessee. Members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) are eligible to receive a discount to attend. Can’t be there in person? We’ve got you covered! You can also join the event online the following week, February 22 – 23.   If you are there, be sure to stop by our booth at the Expo to learn about NCGA’s initiatives on sustainability and work to drive corn demand. NCGA is a sponsor of the breakfast on Tuesday and while at the event will provide briefings on how Washington affects producers’ bottom line and how NCGA is driving corn demand through ethanol infrastructure and regulatory avenues. Senior NCGA staff will be leading each session via Zoom.   By attending the Top Producer Summit, you can participate in 40+ educational sessions, attend the awards banquet, engage in networking opportunities, and attend breakout tracks designed specifically for female and young...

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Feb 3, 2022

Engaging with the Cattle Industry at #CattleCon22

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

This week, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) participated in the Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Tradeshow to engage with corn’s largest animal ag consumer, beef cattle. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual Cattle Industry and Trade Show, #CattleCon22, was attended by thousands in the ag industry, including representatives of the National Corn Growers Association who were on hand to talk about beef and corn’s sustainability story.    “The beef industry consumes over 1.25 billion bushels of corn annually,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “It’s important for us to engage with our partners and talk to them about not only some of the exciting research and projects we are working on in the feed space but also the sustainable synergies between beef and corn production. We have a great story to tell in this space, and it’s important to continue working together to share that narrative.”   NCGA hosted a Learning Lounge session, “Sizzlin’...

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Feb 2, 2022

#ICYMI: Technip Energies Purchases Iowa Corn’s Monoethylene Glycol Technology

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

Technip Energies and Iowa Corn announced that the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) and Technip Energies have signed an Asset Purchase Agreement under which Technip Energies acquires ICPB’s patents, technology, and rights for the process technology to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) from surplus corn plant-based feedstocks.    Since 2013, ICPB has invested checkoff funds(1) to develop the technology and to create new demand for corn-based products. Corn-based MEG is used to produce renewable plastics. Technip Energies will advance the technology development, construct and operate a pilot plant to commercialize the technology and make it available for licensing.    Stan Nelson, Chair of the Iowa Corn Research and Business Development Committee, commented: “Iowa Corn has been dedicated to finding new uses and markets for corn to meet our mission for long-term Iowa corn farmer profitability. By investing in research to expand the market for corn as an ingredient to replace oil,...

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Jan 11, 2022

Commodity Classic Discounted Registration Fees End January 21

Author: Julie Busse

Only a few days remain to take advantage of registration discounts for the 2022 Commodity Classic to be held March 10-12, 2022 in New Orleans.    Friday, January 21, 2022, is the last day the discounts will be in effect.      Registration fees vary depending on the number of days attended. Full registration covers all three days of the event, and one-day registrations are also available. Members of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Sorghum Producers, National Association of Wheat Growers, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers receive additional discounts on registration.     All registration and housing reservations should be made online at CommodityClassic.com. Maritz is the official registration and housing provider for Commodity Classic. In order to stay at an official Commodity Classic hotel, reservations must be made only through Maritz to ensure favorable rates, reasonable terms, and confirmed hotel rooms.   The...

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Jan 11, 2022

Market Development Action Team Focused on Driving Demand in 2022

Author: Julie Busse

Exports and animal agriculture make up nearly 70% of annual corn demand. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Market Development Action Team (MDAT) portfolio includes these, as well as new uses of corn. The team’s primary goal and focus is to drive demand for America’s corn farmers.   “Last fall, we announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge III, engaged with our animal ag partners on a variety of projects, and worked with trade industry partners to promote the benefits of corn grown here in the U.S.,” said MDAT Chair and Colorado farmer Troy Schneider. “We are going to build upon our wins from 2021, and continue to make strides in this space in 2022 and beyond. I look forward to seeing what we can get accomplished over the next year.”   The team’s 2022 priorities include:   Increase demand for U.S. Animal Agriculture domestic demand and exports Support research into corn and corn co-product use within animal feed Identify new & support existing...

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Dec 9, 2021

Farm, Biofuel Groups Ask EPA to Resolve Summertime E15 Barrier

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

To improve air quality and remove arcane barriers to innovation and consumer choice in the retail fuel marketplace, six national farm and biofuel organizations have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to enact regulations requiring lower-volatility conventional gasoline blendstock in the summertime. This would result in lower tailpipe and evaporative emissions during the summer ozone control season and improve air quality.   In a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the Renewable Fuels Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers said reducing the volatility of gasoline by just 1 pound per square inch (psi) would yield significant environmental benefits.   Regarding air quality, the six organizations referenced and attached a new study using EPA modeling tools, showing that reducing the vapor pressure of conventional gasoline blendstock by 1 psi “…would be...

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Nov 18, 2021

Harvest time and NCGA's Annual Photo Contest are Coming to a Close

Author: Julie Busse

Each year growing season kicks off the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) annual online photo contest Fields-of-Corn.com. The entry period is coming to an end at the stroke of midnight CST on November 30, 2021.   Photographers compete for 26 cash prizes across 8 categories – two individuals will receive $500 grand prizes.   Voting continues through December 31. The winners will be announced in January.   You can learn more about the contest, review the rules and submit your photos today at Fields-of-Corn.com.   Open to all, NCGA invites amateur and professional photographers alike to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. NCGA seeks high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it. 

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Oct 28, 2021

National Corn Growers Association Announces Winners of the Consider Corn Challenge III Contest

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the Consider Corn Challenge III winners at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in San Francisco, California. The six winners were chosen because their technologies can improve a product or process, scale-up and produce biobased materials from field corn.   “We know we produce an affordable, abundant and sustainable crop that can be used for a variety of uses and applications, which is why we held the contest,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. “The value of corn as an industrial feedstock continues to improve thanks to advancements in technology, production and logistics efficiency. Corn is the perfect solution for biobased products, especially as society becomes increasingly interested in more sustainable products.”   The six winners of the Consider Corn Challenge III are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, BioAstra...

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Oct 19, 2021

The Value of Corn in the Pet Food Industry

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

There are many benefits to including corn in your pet’s diet, but have you ever wondered about the benefits that your cat or dog brings to the corn industry? A comprehensive study unpacked the $30 billion U.S. retail pet food industry, thanks to the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), the Pet Food Institute and the North American Renderers Association.   The study found that corn and corn gluten meal are the top two most used plant-based ingredients in pet food products. Corn is the dominant plant-based carbohydrate at 1,283,674 tons, and corn gluten meal is the dominant plant-based protein ingredient at 476,649 tons used on an annual basis. Thanks to Fido and Fluffy, the corn industry moved 1,958,061 tons of product, valued at a total of $438 million.   “Farmers and farm-product processors sell $6.9 billion worth of products to pet food manufacturers every year that are used as ingredients. Sales made by farmers and processors of farm products to pet food...

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Oct 15, 2021

#ICYMI: Cattlemen to Cattlemen Episode Focuses on Sustainable Synergies Between Corn and Beef

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Beef and Corn: Working Together in a Sustainable System was the focus of a recent episode on the National Cattlemen Beef Association’s (NCBA) series Cattlemen to Cattlemen on RFD-TV. Panelists discuss sustainability practices on their farms, the benefits of next-generation feed products, how the ethanol industry has impacted corn and beef producers, and more. The episode was filmed at the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster, Ohio with panelists from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), NCBA, and Certified Angus Beef (CAB). The episode aired on Tuesday, September 28th on RFD-TV at 8:30 PM ET.   “It is important for corn farmers and beef producers to work together so both industries remain sustainable, both environmentally and economically, for the years to come,” said NCGA Chairman John Linder. “Beef cattle is one of our largest customers. One out of four bushels of added corn demand is due to beef and pork exports, with the beef industry providing $5.7 billion...

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Oct 14, 2021

Don’t Miss Out! Deadline to Submit Photos for Fields-of-Corn Quickly Approaching!

Author: Julie Busse

Time is running out to submit your photos in the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. This is the eighth year of the annual photo contest of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and the deadline to submit photos is November 30, 2021.   “We have had some great photos submitted already this year and harvest is a great opportunity to snap a few more pictures while farmers are in the field to submit to the contest,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “The entries we get throughout the year tell the story of agriculture and rural America and show how the crop progresses during the season. This year we added the new categories of equipment and bird’s eye view.”   A total of 26 cash prizes will be awarded with the single, most popular photo with Facebook “likes” receiving a $500 prize and First ($300), Second ($200), Third ($100), prizes will be awarded for each of eight categories and, as in prior years, judges will select a single Grand Prize winner to be...

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Oct 5, 2021

Iowa farmer Chris Edgington Takes Over as NCGA President

Author: Julie Busse

Today, National Corn Growers Association President and Iowa farmer Chris Edgington held a news conference with the media to outline his goals for his year as president.   Edgington told reporters, “Making family farms like ours better is what drives me. It’s why I ran for the Corn Board, and it’s why I ran to be president of NCGA. And just like it is for our farm, my goal as president is to make NCGA the best team it can be. That starts with staying focused on our top priorities. These include Growing demand for our products; Protecting the profitability of our businesses; and Building trust in our sustainable production methods.”   Edgington acknowledged that there’s a lot of work to tackle in the year ahead. “The thing about this job is there will always be issues to work on - good ones, bad ones and others that fall somewhere in between. I can’t say for sure what they’ll be or when we’ll be confronted with them, but I know our chances of success are greater if we are on the...

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Sep 22, 2021

NCGA Showcases the Benefits and Uses of Corn at Petfood Forum

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

This week, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is highlighting the benefits of corn in pet food and packaging opportunities at the Petfood Forum in Kansas City, Missouri. This is the pet food industry’s largest event, with exhibitors and attendees from various backgrounds including research and development, technology and packaging providers, ingredient suppliers and retailers. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Kansas Corn Growers Association had a booth at the event to interact with these stakeholders.   “It’s important for us to engage with the pet food industry and audience, because a recent study found that retail pet food is a $30 billion industry, with corn and corn gluten meal as the top two most used plant-based ingredients in pet food products,” said NCGA Market Development Manager Michael Granché. “This was an opportunity for us to not only discuss the benefits of corn in pet food, but also talk about the role corn can play beyond the bowl in...

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Sep 21, 2021

Sustainable Synergies Between Corn and Beef Production Cattlemen to Cattlemen Episode Airs Next Week on RFD-TV

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Beef and Corn: Working Together in a Sustainable System is the topic of the upcoming panel show on the National Cattlemen Beef Association’s (NCBA) series Cattlemen to Cattlemen on RFD-TV. Panelists will discuss sustainability practices on their farms, the benefits of next-generation feed products, how the ethanol industry has impacted corn and beef producers, and more. The episode was filmed at the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster, Ohio with panelists from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), NCBA, and Certified Angus Beef (CAB). The episode will air on Tuesday, September 28th on RFD-TV at 8:30 PM ET.   “It is important for corn farmers and beef producers to work together so both industries remain sustainable, both environmentally and economically, for the years to come,” said NCGA President John Linder. “Beef cattle is one of our largest customers. One out of four bushels of added corn demand is due to beef and pork exports, with the beef industry providing...

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Sep 16, 2021

NCGA Participates in UN Food Systems Summit Stakeholder Listening Session

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

Colorado farmer and Market Development Action Team (MDAT) member Troy Schneider recently delivered oral comments at a Stakeholder Listening Session of the UN Food Systems Summit convened by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Organization Affairs along with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The session gave a platform for NCGA to outline our priorities for the upcoming Summit on September 23, 2021.   “Americans today have access to one of the safest, most diverse, and most affordable food supplies in history, thanks in large part to the efficiency, productivity and innovation of U.S. agriculture enabled by technology and the United States’ robust science and risk-based regulatory system,” Schneider said.   NCGA has been engaged in the Summit process through participation in multiple events leading up to the September event, including Independent Dialogues, USDA-hosted National Dialogues, and events...

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Sep 14, 2021

Updated Study Shows the Value of Red Meat Exports to U.S. Corn Farmers

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

A recent study by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) indicates that U.S. beef and pork exports added 41 cents per bushel to the value of corn in 2020. That’s 11.5% of the average annual price of $3.52/bushel, and the overall value of red meat exports was $5.8 billion.   “Considering everything that happened in 2020, it is encouraging to see how red meat exports continued to show a strong return for U.S. corn farmers,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. “The animal ag industry is our largest customer. It’s important to continue to partner with USMEF and expand and grow these markets.”   Key findings from the study, which utilizes 2020 export data, include:   Beef and pork exports used 530.5 million bushels of corn. At an average annual price of $3.52/bushel, beef and pork exports accounted for $1.87 billion in market value to the corn industry. Beef and pork exports also used 3.03 million tons of distiller’s dried grains...

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Sep 9, 2021

Group Spotlights Biofuel Benefits for California’s Carbon-Neutral Future

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Julie Busse

In joint comments submitted last week to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), a group of ag and biofuel organizations and companies highlighted the role  renewable fuels like ethanol can and should play in helping the state achieve its goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2045 or sooner. CARB is in the  process of updating its Scoping Plan, which lays out the path toward achieving the state’s carbon reduction targets.   The comments were signed by leadership of the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, Aemetis Inc., Alto Ingredients Inc., Calgren Renewable Fuels, Pearson Fuels, Propel, POET and RPMG. Their letter spotlights recent state-funded research that indicates pathways to carbon neutrality through greater reliance on renewable fuels like low-carbon ethanol.   “The carbon intensity of the fuel continues to drop as farmers and fuel producers invest in better techniques and technologies,” the group writes. “Ethanol in a wide...

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Aug 18, 2021

NCGA Staff and Growers Share Corns Sustainability Story at Cattlemen’s Convention

Key Issues: SustainabilityAnimal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) participated in the recent National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) 2021 Cattlemen’s Convention and NCBA Trade Show, engaging with leaders of the organization to share corn's sustainability story. NCGA President John Linder and NCGA CEO Jon Doggett were invited to present during NCBA’s executive committee meeting to share NCGA’s recently unveiled sustainability goals and report.   Members of the Market Development Action Team (MDAT) had additional meetings throughout the convention with NCBA and Cattlemen Beef Board (CBB) leadership.   “It is very important to engage with our animal ag partners, especially cattle producers as beef cattle are one of our largest customers,” said Bob Hemesath, Iowa farmer and MDAT Chair. “It was great to share our work and talk about opportunities to partner together in the future. We have built a great relationship with NCBA, and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with cattle...

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Aug 17, 2021

Biofuel and Farm Group Intervenors File Petition for Rehearing of D.C Circuit RVP Decision

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) filed a petition for rehearing with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the recent American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, et al. vs. EPA decision, in which the court vacated a 2019 regulation allowing year-round sales of a fifteen percent ethanol fuel blend (E15). The petition asks the full court to rehear the case because of significant legal errors in the three-judge panel’s decision, handed down on July 2nd.   Together, the three national organizations stated: “If allowed to stand, this court’s decision to vacate EPA’s rulemaking to allow E15 to be sold year-round will have devastating consequences for the market expansion of homegrown biofuels. Petitioning for a rehearing is a critical next step in giving biofuel producers and farmers a fair shot in the marketplace and providing American drivers with better access to cleaner fuel choices. We are hopeful that...

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Aug 11, 2021

Upcoming RFD-TV Cattlemen to Cattlemen Episode Explores the Sustainable Synergies between Corn and Beef Production

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Beef and Corn: Working Together in a Sustainable System is the topic of the upcoming panel show on the National Cattlemen Beef Association’s (NCBA) series Cattlemen to Cattlemen on RFD-TV. Panelists will discuss sustainability practices on their farms, the benefits of next-generation feed products, how the ethanol industry has impacted corn and beef producers, and more. The episode was filmed at the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster, Ohio with panelists from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), NCBA, and Certified Angus Beef (CAB).   “It is important for corn farmers and beef producers to work together so both industries remain sustainable, both environmentally and economically, for the years to come,” said NCGA President John Linder. “Beef cattle is one of our largest customers. One out of four bushels of added corn demand is due to beef and pork exports, with the beef industry providing $5.7 billion in corn value and consuming 1.2 billion bushels of grain....

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Aug 9, 2021

Biofuel and Ag Leaders Call for Accountable Life Cycle Analysis for SAF Tax Credits

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

On Friday, Growth Energy, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Biodiesel Board, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and the Renewable Fuels Association sent a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means outlining its recommendations for a sound and effective sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) tax credit.   In an effort to decarbonize transportation and reduce aviation emissions, Congress is considering new legislation to establish a tax credit to promote and develop robust domestic SAF production. To be successful, the ag and biofuels coalition notes in their letter, the tax credit must be based on accurate carbon accounting in life cycle analysis (LCA) led by the U.S. Department of Energy:   “Numerous members of our respective organizations are poised to produce SAF or sustainable feedstocks for SAF. Many others are looking to work toward participation in the full value chain in the...

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Jul 21, 2021

New NCGA Campaign Promotes Environmental Benefits of Ethanol in Washington D.C.

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) launched a new campaign in Washington D.C., outlining the environmental benefits of corn ethanol that can be realized today. The digital campaign is made up of non-skippable video units on streaming services, video on local websites within Washington D.C. and social media marketing on Facebook and Instagram. Additionally, NCGA was the sole sponsor of the latest Agri-Pulse Podcast Deep Dive series on biofuels and sponsored content in Politico. All of these efforts explore not only the environmental benefits of ethanol, but the policy demand needed to ensure the industry is on a level playing field moving forward in the transportation and energy sectors.   “It is important for us to have a voice in our nation’s capital where decisions that impact how the ethanol industry operates are made,” said NCGA Ethanol Action Team (ETHAT) Chair and Iowa Farmer Mark Recker. “The timing of these communications efforts comes at a critical time for the...

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Jul 19, 2021

NCERC Submits Two Grant Proposals to BETO, Expanding Use of Corn as an Industrial Feedstock

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn to Ethanol Research Center (NCERC), a partner of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), submitted two grant proposals to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) FY21 Bioenergy Technologies (BETO) Multi-Topic Funding Opportunity Announcement. Both proposals would expand the use of corn as an industrial feedstock. NCGA was integral in getting BETO to clarify corn grain as an acceptable feedstock, meaning that starch-derived sugars, specifically starches from field/feed corn, were clarified as acceptable.   The first proposal included NCERC as a Co-PI and was led by Marquis Energy. The purpose of this collaboration is to scale up a conversion method that utilizes corn as a feedstock for sustainable aviation fuel. The work being done at the intermediate scale will be performed at NCERC and brings together additional research centers, including the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and US Navy NAWCWD China Lake, to see through a solution that brings...

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Jul 14, 2021

NCGA Supports Legislation to Provide E15 Market Access Solution

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) thanks bipartisan members of Congress in both the House and Senate for their continued support of corn growers and rural America through the introduction of legislation that would ensure higher blends of ethanol, specifically E15, are available in the marketplace year-round. Led by Representatives Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and co-chairs of the House Biofuels Caucus, 22 House members introduced H.R. 4410, the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act. In the Senate, Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), led introduction of the Consumer and Fuel Retailers Choice Act with 10 bipartisan cosponsors.   “Corn growers stand behind the many benefits of higher ethanol blends like E15 and support ensuring its continued access to the marketplace on the same terms as standard ten percent blends. E15 is lower in carbon, tailpipe and evaporative emissions, not to mention lower in price, so it’s no surprise oil companies have...

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Jul 14, 2021

NCGA Recognizes Representative Bustos with President’s Award

Author: Julie Busse

  National Corn Growers Association John Linder today recognized Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-17) with NCGA’s 2021 President’s Award. The President’s Award is given annually at NCGA’s Corn Congress summer meeting to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn growers and agriculture.   “Congresswoman Bustos has worked tirelessly during her tenure in Congress to represent agriculture, rural America and corn farmers through her advocacy for low-carbon ethanol, support for inland waterway infrastructure essential for moving our crop to export markets and ensuring a role for rural areas when it comes to addressing climate change,” said Linder. “It is an honor to present Representative Bustos with this year’s NCGA President’s Award. We thank her for being an agriculture champion in Congress.   In a video to Corn Congress delegates and attendees, Bustos discussed her passion for agriculture, the environmental and economic benefits of corn ethanol and the...

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Jul 8, 2021

Why Illinois’ Choice of a State Microbe Matters to the Nation’s Farmers

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

The State of Illinois recently introduced legislation to name a state microbe—Penicillium ruben. This fungus, with its humble beginnings -- first isolated from a rotting cantaloupe at a Peoria, Illinois farmers market--has saved countless lives.   History tends to repeat itself.    Just as we have seen amazing advances in vaccine development this year, penicillin represented a sea change in human health and disease treatment. Prior to the widespread availability of penicillin, even a small cut could mean death or disfigurement. So, when Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, it was clear that it could be an essential tool to save lives. However, it wasn’t until the 1940s that production was successfully scaled up to help the allies in WWII.   The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) lab in Peoria was the key to scaling up penicillin, and in doing so, saved millions of lives.  In addition to penicillin, the Peoria Lab has made several impressive advances,...

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Jul 2, 2021

NCGA Supports New Bill to Close Door on RFS Waiver Abuse

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association thanks Representative Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa) and Angie Craig (D-Minn.) for introducing new legislation today to prevent future Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waiver abuse in response to last week’s Supreme Court decision, clarifying the intent of the law that small refineries must have received continuous RFS exemptions in order to have an exemption to extend.   “Corn growers thank Representatives Randy Feenstra and Angie Craig for taking the lead on helping close the door on RFS waiver abuse,” said National Corn Growers Association President John Linder. “With 70 waiver petitions pending, corn growers join Members of Congress in urging EPA to use the tools they do have from the Tenth Circuit Court decision and EPA’s stated support for the Court’s opinion to resolve those waivers and move forward with putting the RFS back on track with strong volume requirements.”   For more information on the new House SRE bill, click Read More

Jul 2, 2021

GROWTH ENERGY, RFA, NCGA DISAGREE WITH COURT DECISION TO REVERSE E15 YEAR-ROUND

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a 2019 rule by the Environmental Protection Agency that lifted outdated restrictions on the sale of a fifteen percent ethanol fuel blend (E15). The case, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, et al. vs. EPA, was a challenge by oil refiners to the rulemaking that allowed the year-round sale of E15. Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, and the National Corn Growers Association were intervenors on behalf of EPA in the case and issued a joint statement expressing disappointment in the court’s ruling:   “We disagree with the court’s decision to reject EPA’s move to expand the RVP waiver to include E15, a decision that could deprive American drivers of lower carbon options at the pump and would result in more carbon in the atmosphere.   “We are working to ensure the continuity of E15 sales through the 2021 summer season and beyond. This decision could impact summertime sales across all non-RFG areas where nearly two-thirds...

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Jul 1, 2021

NCGA Supports Biofuel Infrastructure Legislation

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association thanks Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and bipartisan co-sponsors for the introduction of three new bills that would help expand the use of higher ethanol blends in the marketplace and thanks bipartisan House members for introducing and supporting similar legislation.     “The three pieces of legislation introduced by Senators Klobuchar, Ernst and Thune offer pathways to include biofuels in ongoing congressional discussions over an infrastructure package and clean energy incentives,” said NCGA Director of Public Policy and Renewable Fuels Kathy Bergren. “Ethanol’s low carbon and environmental benefits should be recognized and utilized in any infrastructure package. Getting higher blends of ethanol into the marketplace and more vehicles on the road that can use those higher blends further reduces greenhouse gas emissions, provides consumers more options, and gives farmers a stable market for their sustainable corn crop.”   The Biofuel...

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Jun 25, 2021

Biofuels Coalition Disappointed in Supreme Court Decision to Overturn Tenth Circuit’s RFS Refinery Exemption Ruling

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

A coalition of renewable fuel and farm groups expressed “extreme disappointment” in today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a 2020 appellate court ruling that struck down three improper small refinery exemptions granted by previous EPA administrators. However, because certain elements of the appellate court ruling were left unchallenged and were not reviewed by the Supreme Court, the groups remain optimistic that the Biden administration will discontinue the past administration’s flagrant abuse of the refinery exemption program.   Today’s decision stems from a May 2018 challenge brought against EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and the American Coalition for Ethanol, working together as the Biofuels Coalition. The petitioners argued that the small refinery exemptions were granted in direct contradiction to the statutory text and purpose of the...

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Jun 23, 2021

New NCGA-KCOE ISOM Report Explores Tax Proposals

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

A new report commissioned by the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Risk Management & Transportation Action Team (RMTAT) with KCOE-Isom dives into potential changes in capital gains federal taxation and step-up in basis for corn farmers.   “Having an understanding of the tax proposals, the potential impacts on farms, and what it would take for a change to be made legislatively is why RMTAT worked with KCOE Isom on this report,” said RMTAT Chair and South Dakota farmer Doug Noem. “We will continue to analyze and review the proposals from President Biden that if enacted would include a significant change from the historical treatment of income tax basis.”   The report is broken into seven sections, including the impact on agriculture with case study examples, an explanation of the administration’s proposal, and a history of step up in basis.   A key finding and explanation within the report states: “The recently-issued administrative revenue proposal outlines...

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Jun 21, 2021

NCGA Thanks Members of Congress for Calling on the Administration to Uphold the RFS

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

Last week, agriculture and biofuels leaders in both the House and Senate stood up for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in a series of letters and on the Senate floor, advocating for the Biden Administration to set strong 2021 and 2022 RFS volumes and opposing options to waive or exempt refiners from the RFS.     Senate and House Democrats sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan and National Economic Council Director Brain Deese on Wednesday saying, “As your Administration continues to push for meaningful and rapid climate action, biofuels can and should play an important role in decarbonizing vehicle emissions. Recent studies demonstrate that using ethanol in place of gasoline reduces greenhouse gas emissions by almost half, while biodiesel cuts greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 74 percent. Exempting refiners of their obligations to blend biofuel would mean increased reliance on oil and more carbon emissions – a result this country cannot afford if we are to...

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Jun 16, 2021

Industry Representatives Outline the Future of Ethanol at Farm Futures Summit

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

Today, at the Farm Futures Business Summit in Iowa, both corn farmers and ethanol industry leaders shed light on the future of ethanol. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) sponsored the panel with Iowa corn farmer and NCGA Ethanol Action Team (ETHAT) member Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Renewable Fuels Association CEO Geoff Cooper, and Growth Energy Senior Vice President Mike Lorenz.   RFA CEO Geoff Cooper kicked off the panel discussion, outlining the landscape of the industry, noting that ethanol is a renewable, high-octane, hydrogen-rich low-carbon molecule with an incredibly bright future. “We have a lot of room to grow in the world market,” Cooper stated. “Corn ethanol’s average reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline is 46%. No other fuel at the same scale can make that claim.”   Growth Energy SVP of Market Development Mike Lorenz, who spent 20 years with Sheetz, discussed the expansion of higher blends of ethanol, like E15. “The future of ethanol is...

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Jun 11, 2021

Deadline for Cover Crop Insurance Premium Benefit Quickly Approaching

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

In order to qualify for the new federal Pandemic Cover Crop Program (PCCP), the U.S. Department of Agriculture has set a deadline of June 15, 2021, for producers to file a Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) for cover crops with the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Eligible producers must have planted cover crops and purchased crop insurance during the 2021 crop year.   The June 15, 2021 deadline is distinct from the normal acreage reporting date. The normal acreage reporting deadline with FSA has not changed, but to receive the premium benefit for cover crops, producers must file by June 15. To file the form, producers should contact their local USDA Service Center.   The PCCP is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, a bundle of programs to bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.

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Jun 10, 2021

NCGA Statement: NCGA Expresses Disappointment in EPA’s Intent to Revise Definition of WOTUS

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

NCGA President John Linder made the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced their Intent to Revise the Definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS).   “The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is disappointed in the EPA’s announcement of its intention to revise the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. The current rule provided long-overdue certainty and clarity for farmers about their obligations under the Clean Water Act. Clean water is important to America’s corn farmers, and we are committed to protecting our environment and the communities where we live and work. We are dedicated to protecting our water resources for future generations and will work with the EPA to implore that they recognize the efforts of agriculture and not return to an overly burdensome regulation.”  

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Jun 1, 2021

NCGA Launches New Uses 101 Materials: NCGA’s Role In Supporting Bio-Based Product Development through Innovation and Policy

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has launched a new series of one-pagers, diving into the importance of new uses for corn and why corn should be the commercial feedstock of choice. From renewable plastics to novel chemicals, corn is competitively positioned as the commercial feedstock of choice thanks to its sustainability, abundance, and affordability.   “NCGA has a lot of great work going on in the new uses space, these materials will serve as a great introductory tool for individuals interested in learning more,” said NCGA Market Development Manager Michael Granché. “There are many frequently used terms, acronyms, and definitions that can make this space a little confusing at times if you don’t happen to have a Ph.D. in chemistry, and I certainly don’t, so these one-pagers will be a helpful resource for our industry.”   New uses efforts are overseen by NCGA’s Market Development Action Team (MDAT). One of MDAT’s goals is to identify new and  support existing...

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May 28, 2021

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

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

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

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May 26, 2021

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

Author: Julie Busse

Back by popular demand, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn.com photo contest is officially open! This is the eighth year of the contest and two new categories have been added.   “This year I am excited to offer photographers the opportunity to submit photos in some of our most popular categories like the farm family lifestyle and growing field corn, but also new categories of equipment and bird’s eye view,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “Every year it’s great to see how the submissions tell the story of agriculture and rural America. That’s why we evaluate the categories and try to offer photographers something new to snap a picture of.”   A total of 26 cash prizes will be awarded with the single, most popular photo with Facebook “likes” receiving a $500 prize and First ($300), Second ($200), Third ($100), prizes will be awarded for each of eight categories and, as in prior years, judges will select a single Grand Prize winner...

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May 25, 2021

Recognizing the Importance of the Beef Cattle Industry to Corn

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

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

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May 20, 2021

Webinar Dives into Proposed Legislation and Impacts on Taxes

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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May 19, 2021

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

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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May 18, 2021

Consider Corn Challenge III Deadline Approaching

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

Time is running out to submit an application for the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Consider Corn Challenge III. The contest, aimed at establishing novel biomaterials, products, and technologies utilizing corn, closes June 3, 2021.   “If all nine winners of the Consider Corn Challenge I & II reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand could be approximately 2.9 billion bushels,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “We know there are other technologies out there that can utilize field corn as a feedstock for producing sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand.”   Learn more about the Consider Corn Challenge III submission process and find out how successful winners have moved closer to commercialization by watching a recent informational webinar. Consider Corn Challenge II winner Derek Wells, CEO and founder of ExoPolymer, participated in the webinar to...

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May 7, 2021

New Study Finds Corn Ethanol Champions Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

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

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May 6, 2021

NCGA Statement on America the Beautiful Initiative

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Apr 22, 2021

NCGA Supports Reintroduction of Senate Climate Policy Legislation

Key Issues: SustainabilityFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauds the bipartisan reintroduction of the Growing Climate Solutions Act, sponsored by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.). The bill passed out of the Senate Ag Committee this morning. The bipartisan legislation addresses the potential for agriculture to serve as a critical climate solution by making it easier for producers to participate in climate-smart practices, navigate carbon markets and earn extra income through carbon sequestration.   “NCGA thanks the Senators for their leadership and recognition of agriculture’s role as a solution to solving climate change,” said NCGA President John Linder. “Corn farmers continue to be leaders in this space and are always adopting practices that improve the quality of the soil, water, and air around our farms. We look forward to working together on this legislation and others that support voluntary, market and incentive-based...

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Apr 19, 2021

NCGA Submits Comments to EPA on E15 Fuel Dispenser Labeling and Underground Storage Tanks

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to update fuel pump labeling for E15 and improve the process for retailers to demonstrate compatibility of their equipment so they can offer higher ethanol blends.   “As producers of the primary feedstock for ethanol, corn growers support expanding availability of higher ethanol blends such as E15, an immediate, available, and affordable solution to lowering carbon emissions in transportation,” NCGA President John Linder wrote in the organization’s comments. “Finalizing this proposal will remove additional barriers to retailers offering E15 and provide an immediate fuel decarbonization opportunity.”   Updating EPA’s fuel pump label and supporting compliance demonstration for underground storage tanks (USTs) will benefit both consumers and retailers. NCGA’s comments urged EPA to adopt proposed updates to the E15 label and make further revisions to...

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Apr 14, 2021

Consider Corn Challenge III Informational Webinar Highlights the Benefits of the NCGA Sponsored Innovation Contest

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

Learn more about the Consider Corn Challenge III submission process and find out how successful winners have moved closer to commercialization by watching a recent informational webinar. Consider Corn Challenge II winner Derek Wells, CEO and founder of ExoPolymer, participated in the webinar to share his experience of the process and the benefits he’s received from participating in the Challenge.   “As we were starting our company, having that discretionary funding available was very, very helpful in the beginning,” Wells told participants. “And a little bit more important, as we evolved the company here, are the agricultural network connections in the Midwest that the corn growers provided to us. Being out here in California as a startup company, we don't have a lot of insight into all the interesting things that are happening out in the Midwest, especially with regard to fermentation capacity.”   Specific application areas being considered for this Challenge...

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Apr 13, 2021

Focus on Infrastructure: Rural Broadband

Key Issues: Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Julie Busse

The American Jobs Plan, the Biden Administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, includes several provisions directly impacting corn growers. Rural Americans rely on reliable and safe infrastructure to compete in the global marketplace, and access to a fast, reliable broadband connection is critical for all Americans.   Technology is a part of nearly every aspect of the farming operation, allowing farmers to be more efficient and sustainable on their operations. But, 14 million Americans living in rural communities lack access to reliable internet.   The Biden plan proposes $100 billion to expand high-speed internet to enable 100 percent access across the entire country. This proposal will prioritize support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and cooperatives. This will also reduce the cost of broadband internet service and promote more widespread adoption.   The broadband industry supports jobs in rural...

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Apr 5, 2021

The Potential for Corn and the Animal Ag Sector Through Next-Generation DDGS

Key Issues: EthanolAnimal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Opportunities for new corn fractionation technologies at dry mills create value by further separating out the various components of corn to allow differential utilization of the subsequent product streams. Feed rations and specific ingredients for animals can be optimized by separating corn into its most valuable components.   Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGs) are a co-product of the ethanol production process and used 1.075 billion bushels of corn in 2020. DDGs are a valuable feed ingredient for cattle, swine, poultry, and aquaculture as they are rich in the protein, fat, minerals, yeast, and vitamin that animals need.   DDGs were never initially engineered, as they were an accidental discovery derived from the ethanol manufacturing process. As these next generation DDGs products become increasingly competitive in their nutritional composition, ethanol manufacturers have the opportunity to diversify their portfolio, plugging into newly created revenue sources. If an...

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Mar 24, 2021

Biofuels Coalition Files Brief in Supreme Court Case

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

Today, the Renewable Fuels Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Farmers Union, working together as the Biofuels Coalition, filed their response brief in the Supreme Court case HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, LLC, et al., v. Renewable Fuels Association, et al.   In the brief, the coalition argues in support of the challenged Tenth Circuit decision, which held that only small refineries that have remained continuously exempt from obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard program are eligible for future extensions of the compliance exemption.   “We believe the Tenth Circuit got it right the first time, and we will continue to defend the court’s ruling and stand up for the farmers and renewable fuel producers harmed by the granting of these illegal waivers,” the coalition said. “We strongly believe the Tenth Circuit Court’s ruling is consistent with both the Clean Air Act and Congressional intent.”   The...

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Mar 24, 2021

Next Gen Fertilizer Challenge Recipients Identified for Phase Two Trials

Key Issues: SustainabilityProduction

Author: Julie Busse

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), along with the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), The Nature Conservancy, and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), announced the organizations and products selected for Phase two trials in the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges. Collectively, the challenges aim to accelerate the development of innovative fertilizer product technologies and to increase the use of existing enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEFS) that maintain or increase crop yields and reduce environmental impacts to air, land, and water. The organizations partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the challenges.   “For generations, we’ve seen how innovation has shaped modern U.S. agriculture into the most successful and efficient production system in the world,” said Corey Rosenbusch, TFI president and CEO. “This public-private partnership represents the next generation of fertilizer technologies...

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Mar 16, 2021

Consider Corn Challenge III Informational Webinar Scheduled to Outline Contest Parameters and Expectations

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

Learn more about the Consider Corn Challenge III submission process and find out how successful winners have moved closer to commercialization by participating in the informational webinar scheduled for Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 10:00 AM CDT. Consider Corn Challenge II winner Derek Wells from ExoPolymer will participate in the webinar to share his experience of the process and the benefits he’s received from participating in the Challenge.   “We’ve had very diverse and robust applications and winners from the previous two Consider Corn Challenges, and I am looking forward to seeing who is working on a technology that can utilize field corn as a feedstock for producing sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “Corn is a versatile crop that’s affordable, abundant and sustainably grown. As society continues to be more interested in biobased products, we know we have the solution and that’s...

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Mar 4, 2021

Learning about Feeding and Fueling the World

Key Issues: Research

Author: Julie Busse

Over 30 science teachers from across the country participated in the first Nourish the Future: Feeding and Fueling the World, a workshop sponsored by National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Using supplies mailed to them ahead of time, this group engaged in a variety of lessons to understand more about the science of food production and sustainable fuels.   Robyn Allscheid, NCGA Director of Research and Productivity, greeted the teachers and talked about NCGA’s support for education and how she got involved in this career. “We’d like to help students become aware of all the careers related to agriculture,” Allscheid said. “Helping students see what opportunities are out there in agriculture is important to bringing on the next generation of scientists and researchers.”   Randy DeSutter, a farmer from western Illinois, serves as the chairman of the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team (SARAT) for NCGA. He praised the teachers for their enthusiasm for learning, as evidenced by...

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Feb 25, 2021

Growing Exports of Poultry and Egg Products Delivers Value Back to Corn Farmers

Key Issues: TradeAnimal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Exports of U.S. corn-fed poultry and egg products are one key area of future demand that the Market Development Action Team (MDAT) at NCGA focuses on. The team has funded projects with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), most recently including an economic study on the value of poultry exports to U.S. corn and updates to improved versions of buyer’s guides. The economic study found that poultry exports add $0.28 of value per bushel of corn, which is approximately $4.1 billion in revenue. The new and improved buyer guides for chicken, turkey, and eggs were digitized and updated, including a section on the value and sustainability of U.S. corn. These guides play a large role in securing value back to the U.S. corn grower as they are used at almost all of USAPEEC’s international trade and marketing activities.   The partnership with USAPEEC is one poised to enable success for both poultry producers and U.S. corn growers through the support of NCGA’s Market Development...

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Feb 9, 2021

Navigating the Needs of the Nation’s Inland Waterways System

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Julie Busse

This past summer and through the fall, many of the locks on the Illinois River underwent major rehabilitation projects upgrading the aging infrastructure. Still, more work is necessary to bring the nearly 12,000 miles of commercially navigable channels and 240 lock sites up-to-date.   Members of the Market Development Action Team (MDAT) and Risk Management and Transportation Action Team (RMTAT) had the opportunity to tour the construction sites last fall. The project on the Illinois River had a price tag totaling roughly $200 million. The locks and dams at LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, Marseilles, and Dresden Island were the locations that underwent various construction projects.   Tracy Zea, President & CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc., joined NCGA to tour the construction of the locks and dams on the Illinois River. “We currently have 69 locks that are over 80 years old, and each lock is designed to last 50 years,” said Zea. “The upgrades are necessary because it allows...

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Feb 2, 2021

Study Shows Precision Agriculture Improves Environmental Stewardship While Increasing Yields

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Julie Busse

Association of Equipment Manufacturers Releases “Environmental Benefits of Precision Agriculture” Study and Encourages Adoption of New Technologies   The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), in partnership with the American Soybean Association, CropLife America, and National Corn Growers Association, released a study quantifying how widely available precision agriculture technology improves environmental stewardship while providing economic return for farmers.   Precision agriculture leverages technologies to enhance sustainability through more efficient use of critical inputs, such as land, water, fuel, fertilizer, and pesticides. Farmers who use precision agriculture equipment use less to grow more.   The study highlights how policies and technological advancements can help farmers increase these outcomes.   “We are living in a new age of agriculture, and today’s precision technology on equipment can have an enormous positive impact on farmers and the...

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Feb 1, 2021

Consider Corn Challenge III Contest Looks to Establish Novel Biomaterials, Products, and Technologies Utilizing Corn

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is launching the Consider Corn Challenge III open-innovation contest, looking for participants to answer the call and submit proposals for new uses of field corn as a feedstock for producing sustainable chemicals and products with quantifiable market demand.   “Corn is an affordable, abundant, sustainably grown crop that has a myriad of uses and applications, which is why we are holding our third Consider Corn Challenge contest,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. “Corn’s cost as a feedstock has benefited greatly by improvements in technology, production and logistics efficiency. With society’s interest in more biobased products, we know we have the solution and that’s corn.”   Previous winners of the Consider Corn Challenge contests have scaled up to the next phase of development, received additional grant funding, entered into joint agreements, and obtained registration for state...

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Jan 28, 2021

New Study Highlights the Environmental Benefits of Corn-Ethanol Showing a Reduction in Carbon Emissions by Almost 50 Percent

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

A new study released this week further emphasizes the need and benefits of corn ethanol in the nation's fuel supply. Scientists from Harvard University, Tufts University and Environmental Health & Engineering Inc., in Carbon Intensity of Corn Ethanol in the United States: State of the Science showed that corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 46 percent, compared to gasoline.   “This study underscores what we have known for a long time,” says NCGA President John Linder. “Corn farmers continue to use sustainable practices to grow an affordable and abundant crop that is the solution to combating climate issues. This study is another reason why we need to continue moving to higher blends of ethanol as the baseline for the nation's fuel supply.”   “Updated analysis such as this reflects changes in corn production that reduce carbon intensity and updated land use data that shows land use is a ‘minor contributor’ to ethanol’s profile,” Linder added. “Relying on...

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Jan 26, 2021

Increasing Demand for Corn the Primary Focus of the Market Development Action Team

Key Issues: TradeAnimal AgricultureNew Uses

Author: Julie Busse

Nearly 70-percent of annual corn demand is covered under the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Market Development Action Team (MDAT) portfolio. From exports to animal agriculture to new uses of corn, the team is focused on growing and driving demand for America’s corn farmers.   “This team had a lot of wins in 2020, and we will continue that momentum into our planning for 2021 and beyond,” said MDAT Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. “I look forward to leading the team and tackling the challenge that faces us – how to grind more corn. Our team's portfolio includes initiatives like the Consider Corn Challenge, which we will be announcing details on our third open-innovation challenge soon; the Cattlemen’s Education Series, a virtual program that focuses on issues that impact cattle producers such as protein and energy supplementation; and Trade School, a joint venture with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), in which we are able to give our members the tools they need to be...

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Jan 25, 2021

Crappie Masters-NCGA-RFA Partnership Highlights Benefits of E10 in Marine Engines

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

Combating the myths that exist about the use of gasoline blended with 10-percent ethanol has been the primary goal of the partnership between Crappie Masters, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The Crappie Masters National Tournament Trail kicked-off over the weekend with a two-day national qualifier at St. Johns River in Deland, Fla., where Robert and Tommy Sellers took home top honors and once again the winners powered their way to victory with E10 fuel.  NCGA and RFA are co-title sponsors for the fifth year in a row.   “We are looking forward to another great season being teamed up with the National Corn Growers Association and Renewable Fuels Association coming off our sixth straight year of all winners of the national tournament trail using E10 fuel in their boat,” said Crappie Masters President Mike Vallentine. “The anglers have been receptive to learning about ethanol fuel and now have full confidence after seeing...

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Jan 15, 2021

Last Call! Apply for 2022 Corn Board Today

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee reminds interested members to submit their application for the 2022 Corn Board by January 22.  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...

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Jan 13, 2021

30-Plus Years of Fighting for Corn Farmers

Author: Julie Busse

There’s no mistaking the impact Mark Lambert has had on the agriculture and corn industry. He’s worked tirelessly for America’s corn farmers for more than 30 years, helping tell the story of production, sustainability, ethanol and more. Mark’s contributions to the industry won’t be forgotten after he retires on January 15, 2021.   “It has been a pleasure working with Mark for so long. We are going to miss his knowledge, his passion for our industry, his relationships with the media and his infectious laugh,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett. “Mark is never afraid to share his opinion and truly has been a fighting force when it comes to standing up for and fighting for our members.”   The brains behind one of the most recognizable DC ag-consumer campaigns, Mark’s work on the Corn Farmers Coalition helped bring the farmer's voice to the forefront to educate policymakers in Washington about how innovative corn farmers are. The campaign reached millions of people every year and won...

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Jan 4, 2021

Corn in the Biorenewable Space Featured as the Cover Story of Industrial Biotechnology

Key Issues: New UsesResearch

Author: Julie Busse

The use of corn as an industrial feedstock was featured as the cover story of Industrial Biotechnology, a leading industry journal focused on biobased industrial and environmental products and processes. The paper, “Industrial Biotechnology: An Industry at an Inflection Point,” illustrates the technology evolution in the biobased manufacturing infrastructure and processes. It also highlights new technologies that will continue to advance progress in this space. Leaders from across the value chain collaborated on the paper.   “It’s important to continue to set the stage for future corn grind, tell corn’s story as the preferred industrial feedstock of choice, and show how we are a solution for products in the biorenewable space,” said NCGA’s Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “The paper also reviews consumer and industry demand factors, sustainability considerations, and policy suggestions to drive the industry forward.”   The paper was co-authored by Nathan...

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Dec 22, 2020

Congress Provides Farm and Food Relief

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed Congressional approval of H.R. 133, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, legislation to provide assistance to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, along with the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills to ensure continued funding for vital federal programs.   The legislation provides $13 billion to address COVID-related impacts on agriculture, $13 billion to support nutrition programs and $7 billion for broadband funding.   “The assistance provided by this bill will go a long way in providing the certainty corn growers need to recover from the impact of the coronavirus on our industry,” said NCGA President John Linder. “We thank those members who fought to deliver this needed relief and ensure we can continue to feed and fuel the world.”   Linder also praised the authority granted to USDA to provide support for ethanol producers, who were impacted by a drop in ethanol demand, along with the increased...

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Dec 1, 2020

Lending a Helping Hand – State Corn Grower Associations Partner with Ethanol Plants to Distribute Hand Sanitizer

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The coronavirus pandemic flipped the world on its head and knocked farmers off our feet when it started its spread. But instead of giving in, we showed the true spirit of rural America by helping our neighbors out. Hand sanitizer suddenly became a vital necessity, and ethanol facilities shifted their production capabilities to meet this sudden spike in demand.   State associations jumped in to help with the distribution. The Illinois Corn Growers Association partnered with other farm groups to distribute sanitizer to retailers to keep them in the field through the critical planting period. “I thought it was important to help the community during this crisis. It made the most sense to purchase products made right here in Illinois and distribute them across the state. Logistics was the trickiest part,” Rodney Weinzierl, executive director of Illinois Corn, said.   The New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association teamed up with Western New York Energy to deliver sanitizer to...

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Nov 20, 2020

Illinois Waterway System Reopens to Traffic

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Julie Busse

A major rehabilitation project on the Illinois River has been completed, allowing for the 12 million tons of food and ag commodities that leave the state to resume. This past summer, the Illinois River was shut down to go through necessary infrastructure upgrades with all of the newly completed work accompanied by a price tag totaling roughly $200 million.   This Week in Agribusiness recently featured the ongoing work from the Illinois Lock and Dam Project. Back in September, corn growers and NCGA staff toured four active construction sites along the Rock Island District including LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, and Marseilles. The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to the export market, with more than 60 percent of the grain produced in the U.S. being transported by barge.     Illinois corn grower Terry Smith told This Week in Agribusiness that waterways transportation isn’t just more efficient, it also makes the roads safer. “If you know some of the...

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Nov 17, 2020

Farm to Virtual Fair Contest Winners Highlight the Benefits of a Corn Fed Diet

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

This fair season, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) hosted a virtual contest to give 4-H and FFA members an opportunity to showcase their show animals and the benefits of using corn in the feed ration.    “There’s a lot of work that goes into caring for livestock, and with many local, county and state fairs being canceled this year, we wanted to celebrate the hard work that goes into a fair season with this contest,” said NCGA Market Development Manager Michael Granché. “This was an opportunity to get the next generation of farmers and livestock producers to incorporate and learn about the benefits of a corn-fed diet.”   Three winners were selected based on social media engagement, photo quality and the post text.  The first-place winner will win $300, second place will receive $200, and third place will get $100.   The following posts were the winners of the contest:   First-Place: “Sheep love corn and find it very palatable. It covers their nutrient...

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Nov 17, 2020

Chemical & Engineering News Partnership Highlights the Versatility of Corn as an Industrial Feedstock

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is partnering with Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) to underscore the many uses of corn, including opportunities in plant-based packaging, chemicals, and nutraceuticals. The Market Development Action Team funded this effort.   “This is a way for us to enter into a conversation with an audience we don’t get to engage with on a day-to-day basis,” said Market Development Action Team Chair and Nebraska farmer Dan Wesely. “This is one of the many efforts we have in the new uses space. Being able to share corn’s story, that we are an abundant, affordable, sustainably grown and versatile crop with this audience is important to future corn demand.”   C&EN subscribers will test their knowledge on corn production and uses by taking a quiz with questions ranging from “How much corn does the U.S. produce each year?” to “Which organic acid produced from corn is used in shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals?”   An Read More

Nov 12, 2020

NCGA Comments to EPA Focus on Future Access to Bt Technology

Key Issues: Biotechnology

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association submitted formal comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week to ensure future access and continued success with the use of Bt technology.   In September, the EPA published a proposal to update insect resistance management (IRM) strategies for lepidopteran pests, like corn earworm and fall armyworm. EPA went through a similar process several years ago for corn rootworm.   “The proposal offered what the EPA is calling “complex mitigation strategies” that would directly impact corn growers nationwide, not only in the south,” said Chad Wetzel, a Texas farmer and chairman of NCGA’s Production Technology Access Action Team. “EPA proposed phasing out certain Bt pyramids nationwide. NCGA did not support this for multiple reasons, as it would greatly limit grower seed selection and drastically increase the use of a select few Bt products and therefore increase the risk of resistance development for those traits.”   The EPA...

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Nov 10, 2020

Watch now! Unleashing the Power of Ethanol: NCGA and Growth Energy Town Hall

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and Growth Energy recently held a town hall, discussing exciting ethanol initiatives and other opportunities on the horizon for corn growers and biofuel producers. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor and NCGA President John Linder participated in the Town Hall with Farm Journal’s Chip Flory.   “We need all the markets we can, and we need market-based solutions,” Linder told viewers. Linder outlined the market potential of getting E15 in California, which is 750 million gallons of ethanol or 260 million bushels of corn. Linder also outlined the market potential of a high-octane low-carbon fuel with the Next Generation Fuels Act, telling viewers eventually the annual usage of corn would be 1.8 billion bushels   Linder and Skor outlined the latest policy priorities for the biofuel and ag industry, opportunities for growth in the domestic and global marketplace, the path to increased consumer choice at the pump via higher ethanol fuel blends,...

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Nov 10, 2020

Deadline to Submit Photos in the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest Nov. 30

Author: Julie Busse

Time is running out to submit your photos in the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. This is the seventh year of the annual photo contest of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and the deadline to submit photos is November 30, 2020.   “This year, we added two new categories: Livestock and Farm Pets,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “In the past, the contest has received a number of submissions of livestock, and since the animal ag industry is the largest customer of corn, it made sense to have that as a category. And, farm pets are an important part of any operation, so we wanted to include them, too!”   The single, most popular photo with Facebook “likes” will be awarded a $500 prize. First ($300), Second ($200), Third ($100), prizes will be awarded for each of eight categories, and, as in prior years, judges will select a single Grand Prize winner to be awarded $500. A total of 26 cash prizes will be awarded.   Visit Fields-of-Corn today to enter...

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Nov 9, 2020

New Study Highlights the Value of Corn in the Pet Food Industry

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

There are many benefits to including corn in your pet’s diet, but have you ever wondered about the benefits that your cat or dog brings to the corn industry? Fortunately, there is a new, comprehensive study available aimed at unpacking the $30 billion U.S. retail pet food industry, thanks to the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), the Pet Food Institute and the North American Renderers Association.   The study found that corn and corn gluten meal are the top two most used plant-based ingredients in pet food products. Corn is the dominant plant-based carbohydrate at 1,283,674 tons, and corn gluten meal is the dominant plant-based protein ingredient at 476,649 tons used on an annual basis. Thanks to Fido and Fluffy, the corn industry moved 1,958,061 tons of product, valued at a total of $438 million.   “Farmers and farm-product processors sell $6.9 billion worth of products to pet food manufacturers every year that are used as ingredients. Sales made by farmers...

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Nov 2, 2020

Updated Buyer’s Guides Provides Poultry Customers Around the World Information on the Value of American Poultry Products

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The poultry industry alone consumes over 1,200 million bushels of corn, making our feathered friends the largest consumer of corn grain within the animal agriculture sector. As the top export product by volume for the U.S. meat market, it’s no surprise that poultry exports add $0.28 of value per corn bushel, equating to $4.1 billion in revenue.   “The USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) is excited to announce that our new and improved buyer’s guides have officially launched,” says Shelby Watson, USAPEEC Manager of Allied Industry Relations. “NCGA’s initiative to update our buyer’s guides came just in time as the Covid-19 pandemic rocked the world and highlighted the need for updated digital resources. The existing guides for chicken, turkey, and eggs were PDF resources, originally designed in 1996, detailing U.S. poultry product offerings and have been used at almost all of our trade and marketing activities to ease the buying process for our foreign buyers around the...

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Oct 23, 2020

DigestData Facilitates Networking Across the Bio-Based Materials Industry Connecting Start-Ups with Trusted Partners

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

In 2018, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) partnered with Biofuels Digest to support the creation and launch of DigestData. This online database was designed to facilitate connections and the transfer of information between interested parties working in the biobased industry. The sponsorship by NCGA continues to provide free access for users to search research and find pilot-scale facilities.   This database allows companies, investors, and innovators to easily find facilities that they can contact to scale up their technologies as well as partners that can help commercialize their products. There is a large opportunity to utilize facilities located in areas with major corn production, creating an opportunity to tap the further potential of corn as an industrial feedstock.   “Thanks to NCGA’s support and the other initial sponsors, we’ve been able to hire freelancers twice a year to keep the database up to date as projects and products evolve, and to add new projects...

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Oct 22, 2020

Unleashing the Potential of Ethanol: National Corn Growers Association and Growth Energy hosting a Free Virtual Town Hall Meeting

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and Growth Energy will discuss exciting ethanol initiatives and other opportunities on the horizon for corn growers and biofuel producers during a free virtual town hall meeting on Wednesday, October 28 at 11:00 a.m. Central/12:00 p.m. Eastern.   This year, the global pandemic has challenged rural America like never before. But corn growers and ethanol producers have stood together to weather the storm and seize opportunities for growth. Today, these partners remain focused on the same mission: to drive demand and propel this industry forward. That’s why Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association are proud to present this virtual town hall where farmers, biofuel producers and leaders of both businesses and communities will hear about:   The latest policy priorities for the biofuel and ag industry Opportunities for growth in the domestic and global marketplace The path to increased consumer choice at the pump via...

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Oct 22, 2020

Market Growth Opportunities for Ethanol: A conversation between an Iowa Corn Farmer and Growth Energy’s CEO

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

There are many opportunities for market growth in the ethanol space, and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) works closely with the ethanol associations to help share the story of the benefits of ethanol and drive demand locally and in Washington D.C.   Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor sat down with Iowa corn farmer and Ethanol Action Team Vice Chair Kelly Nieuwenhuis to talk about small refinery exemptions (SRE’s), E15 in the marketplace and future market growth opportunities. “There are a lot of positives looking forward, and I’m looking forward to playing offense instead of defense,” Nieuwenhuis said. “It’s time to get in the lead and share our message and make sure everyone knows the benefits of biofuels.”   During the conversation, Skor mentioned the industry is at a critical juncture for biofuels. “At Growth Energy, we will continue to work with the National Corn Growers and the ethanol industry because when we speak with one voice, that’s when we have the best...

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Oct 21, 2020

Growing Ethanol Markets: E15 Testing to Start in California

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with state corn organizations, ethanol partners and the auto industry, are working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to conduct vehicle testing at the University of California at Riverside (UCR). E15 in the California market is important to growing ethanol demand. CARB is a part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is the state’s clean air agency.   The testing will demonstrate the environmental benefits and compatibility of E15 in selected makes and models of vehicles. This process will help pave the way for sales of E15 and higher blends of ethanol in California.   “With the scope of research agreed upon and contracts signed, E15 testing in California can move forward,” said JR Roesner, Indiana farmer and Ethanol Action Team (ETHAT) member. “If we can achieve E15 as the base fuel in California, based on estimated total gasoline usage in the state in 2015, the potential market opportunity...

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Oct 19, 2020

Consider Corn Challenge Aims to Grow Demand Through New Industrial Uses of Corn

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has held two Consider Corn Challenge contests, garnering nine winners with unique technologies that would improve a product or process by using field corn to produce biobased materials. If all nine of the Consider Corn Challenge winners reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand would be approximately 2.9 billion bushels.   “The team is discussing having another Consider Corn Challenge because we know there is still a lot of untapped potential out there, and researchers have new and innovative ideas to bring to the table using corn as an industrial feedstock,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) and Nebraska farmer Dan Wesely. “This is an important area of focus because it will set us up for driving corn demand long-term.”   Previous Consider Corn Challenge winners have recently received more funding for their technologies. ExoPolymer announced the...

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Oct 14, 2020

Inland Waterways Vital to America’s Corn Farmers

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Julie Busse

The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to export, with more than 60 percent of the grain produced in the U.S. being transported by barge. For the past few months, the Illinois River has been shut down to go through necessary upgrades, with a price tag totaling roughly $200 million.   “The waterway system is critical to all of agriculture,” said Bill Leigh, Illinois farmer and Vice Chair of the Risk Management and Transportation Action Team. “The work that’s gone into making the waterways viable transportation hubs to reliably move agricultural goods is what has made our grain so competitive around the world.”   The locks and dams on the Illinois River at LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, Marseilles, and Dresden Island have been closed for various construction projects, with a target completion date of all the projects by the end of October. For more information on the locks and dams undergoing construction on the Illinois River, click here.   Tracy Zea,...

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Oct 9, 2020

Sustainability Research to Drive Corn Demand and Collaboration Continues with Industry Partners

Key Issues: SustainabilityAnimal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand and that’s been the focus of a partnership between the National Pork Board (NPB), United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).  Two years ago, the three organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers.   Since the MOU was signed, the groups have been collaborating on sustainability goals and initiatives, as well as a feed sustainability blueprint project. This project intends to encourage on-farm and facility outcome-based goals that contribute to watershed and sustainability goals. The objective is to establish practices, definitions, and standards on how to measure and track the sustainability of feed ingredients, primarily soybean meal and corn, with a focus on water quality, water quantity, climate resilience and wildlife habitat.   “America’s pig farmers are committed to producing pork and...

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Oct 7, 2020

Reaching Retailers to Foster the Adoption of Higher Ethanol Blends

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) has been a leader in retailer education when it comes to utilizing and accessing higher blends of ethanol like E15 and E85. ACE’s Flex Fuel Forward website is a resource for retailers by retailers.   Ron Lamberty, Senior Vice President of Market Development, says the organization launched a new tool for retailers, helping them determine the compatibility of existing station equipment with E15.   “A huge number of retailers have E15 compatible equipment and could sell it tomorrow without a big investment,” Lamberty said. “But they don’t know, and most haven’t even checked, because API, AFPM, oil companies and petroleum marketer groups have been telling station owners their equipment isn’t compatible with E15 since it was approved, and replacing it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We just want them to check because a lot of them will be shocked to find out they can add E15 for next to nothing.”   The National Corn Growers...

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Oct 6, 2020

Protein and Energy Supplementation for Cow-Calf Operations in the East and West the Next Focus of the Cattlemen’s Education Series

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is rolling out another round of the Cattlemen’s Education Series (CES), focusing on protein and energy supplementation. NCGA is the sole sponsor of the CES, which is designed to provide resources to NCBA state and breed affiliates through grants, which allow them to extend outstanding educational experiences. The mission of the CES is to provide cutting-edge information to beef producers that contribute to increased knowledge, profitability, and sustainability. With the need for virtual events this year, NCGA and NCBA have pivoted CES efforts toward a virtual webinar series.    The beef cattle industry consumes more than 1.2 billion bushels of corn. One out of four bushels of added corn demand is due to beef and pork exports, with the beef industry providing $5.7 billion in corn value. DDGs account for nearly 8 percent of total domestic corn usage.   “Supporting programs like the CES...

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Oct 5, 2020

High-Octane Low-Carbon Fuels: The Importance to Corn Farmers and Consumers

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Julie Busse

A high-octane low-carbon (HOLC) fuel in the marketplace, once fully implemented, has the potential to increase ethanol consumption by more than 5 billion gallons. That’s equal to over 1.8 billion bushels of new annual corn demand. Not only is a HOLC fuel good for corn farmers, but it also benefits consumers and the environment.   Brian West, former Group Leader for the Fuels and Engines Research Group at the National Transportation Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), says based on the engine testing work he’s done, the move to a HOLC fuel just makes sense.   “Ethanol has a high Research Octane Number (RON), which is why it is attractive as a spark-ignition engine fuel,” says West. “At ORNL, we tested an unmodified Ford F-150 with conventional E10 gasoline and splash blended that with more ethanol, to make a 98 RON E25 and found modest improvements in efficiency and the truck was four-tenths of a second faster in an acceleration test. Then, in a series of...

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Oct 2, 2020

Advancing and Driving Demand for Biofuels Through Research at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) has expanded its capabilities and offerings over the years, but one thing remains the same; its mission to create opportunities for America’s corn farmers.   NCERC opened its doors, thanks to the work and partnership with the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA), back in 2003. Along with ICGA, NCGA has worked closely with NCERC to help underscore the advantages of renewable corn ethanol.    “Ethanol production in the United States has grown significantly since NCERC opened its doors from roughly 2.8 billion gallons annually to the nearly 16 billion gallons of production today,” said NCERC Executive Director John Caupert. “NCERC has assisted in advancements in fuel ethanol production, with more than 75 products and technologies that have passed through our doors now in the commercial marketplace. These products and technologies are being utilized in every commercial corn ethanol plant operating today, with a significant...

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Sep 29, 2020

American Coalition for Ethanol and Fuel Ethanol Workshop Focus on the Future of Biofuels

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Julie Busse

Looking ahead to the future and setting plants up for success were the primary subjects addressed at the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) and Fuel Ethanol Workshop (FEW) virtual meetings.   “Rising Up” was the theme of ACE’s annual meeting, with guest speakers from OPIS, Casey’s General Stores, Pump & Pantry, and a keynote address from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Steve Censky.   ACE CEO Brian Jennings addressed conference attendees saying, “These are extraordinary times. Merely playing defense on the RFS and hoping trade wars subside does not constitute a plan to increase ethanol use. At some point in the future, we will look back at 2020, knowing it was the year that defeated us, or the year we took control and got ahead. I hope you join ACE in Rising Up and going on offense to develop these new clean fuel markets to increase ethanol demand.”   You can learn more about ACE’s virtual conference here.   FEW included a pre-workshop on low carbon...

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Sep 28, 2020

Engaging with the Companion Pet Industry by Promoting the Use of Corn in Pet Food and Packaging

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

There are many benefits of using corn in pet food, but the opportunity to utilize the corn kernel doesn’t end there. Corn is also a useful ingredient for the packaging of pet food. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) shared that message with representatives from 40 countries at Petfood Forum CONNECT.   “Being able to share our story and engage with members of the pet food industry to let them know the versatility of corn is important to growing and expanding our reach within the industry,” said Market Development Manager Michael Granché. “When you have conversations with attendees, you sort of see the light bulb go off, and they connect the dots and realize the variety of ways corn can be utilized.”   NCGA sponsored an educational video, Rethinking the Role of Corn in the Pet Food Industry, which was a part of the ePoster series during the event, showcasing myths, the versatility of corn, and the nutritional benefits of corn in pet food.   “Last year, the Pet Food...

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Sep 22, 2020

Setting the Table for Growth

Key Issues: Animal AgricultureNew Uses

Author: Julie Busse

The economic headwinds corn farmers faced heading into this year were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is actively working to rebuild demand by exploring new incremental opportunities for America’s corn farmers. In partnership with AimPoint Research and our primary customer segments, NCGA is developing a short-term demand growth plan that sets the table for long-term success.   “Every day, our main focus is to drive demand and find markets for America’s corn farmers to ensure they are successful year after year,” said NCGA President Kevin Ross. “I don’t have to tell you, this year is unlike any other I’ve experienced in my career, which is why we have to think outside the box and deliver quick wins for corn farmers. That’s why we’ve engaged with AimPoint and our key partners to help us optimize our demand building efforts moving forward.”   The process of evaluating potential market opportunities started with an intelligence...

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Sep 16, 2020

Upcoming Cattlemen to Cattlemen Episode on Sustainability and Next Generation DDGs Features Corn Farmers

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Beef and Corn: Working Together in a Sustainable System is the topic of the upcoming panel show on the National Cattlemen Beef Association’s series Cattlemen to Cattlemen on RFD-TV. Panelists will discuss sustainability practices on their farms, the benefits of next-generation feed products, how the ethanol industry has impacted corn and beef producers, and more.   “1.25 billion bushels of corn plus the majority of distillers grains goes towards feeding beef cattle,” said NCGA President Kevin Ross. “Adding corn into the cattle diet increases feed efficiency reflected in the rate of daily gain. It also promotes faster growth, reduces days to finish, and produces steaks with a higher marble score.”   One out of four bushels of added corn demand is due to beef and pork, with the beef industry providing $5.7 billion in corn value. DDGs account for nearly 8 percent of total domestic corn usage.   “It’s important for us to collaborate with our animal ag partners because they are...

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Sep 15, 2020

Next Generation DDGs and the Potential for Corn and the Animal Ag Sector

Key Issues: EthanolAnimal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Opportunities for new corn fractionation technologies at dry mills create value by further separating out the various components of corn to allow differential utilization of the subsequent product streams. Feed for animals is optimized by separating corn into its most valuable components.   Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGs) are a co-product of the ethanol production process and used 1.2 billion bushels of corn in 2019. DDGs are a feed ingredient for cattle, swine, poultry, and aquaculture, rich in protein, fat, minerals, yeast, and vitamins.   DDGs were never initially engineered, as they were an accidental discovery derived from the ethanol manufacturing process. As these next generation DDGs products become increasingly competitive in their nutritional composition, ethanol manufacturers have the opportunity to diversify their portfolio, plugging into newly created revenue sources. If an ethanol plant is experiencing a lull in liquid fuel demand, they could offset...

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Sep 3, 2020

Expanding Access to Higher Blends through Pump Infrastructure

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Julie Busse

Building out the infrastructure needed for future mid-level blends of ethanol continues to be a priority of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Over the past three-years, NCGA and state partners have worked with Wayne Fueling Systems to produce and sell fuel pumps certified to deliver fuel containing up to 25 percent ethanol.   Thanks to this key partnership, NCGA has supported the sale of more than 50,000 new fuel pumps across the U.S., building out the infrastructure needed to support future mid-level blends of ethanol.   “This lays the groundwork for growing ethanol demand and moving the industry forward,” said NCGA Market Development Vice President Jim Bauman. “Corn farmers' support of NCGA’s multi-year fuel pump infrastructure program supports the introduction of higher octane fuels delivered by low-carbon, affordable, corn-based ethanol.”   NCGA also recently partnered with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), assisting fuel retailers in applying for the...

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Sep 2, 2020

Reaching our Animal Ag Customers Through the Cattlemen’s Education Series

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is the sole sponsor of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Cattlemen’s Education Series (CES), engaging with cattle producers on production efficiency, profitability and sustainability. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many grant-funded in-person events have been canceled, but fortunately, corn and cattle have been able to innovate new solutions aimed at connecting agriculturalists with the latest industry information.   “With many beef industry meetings being canceled due to Covid-19, producers like me are missing out on many of the educational opportunities presented at those meetings,” said former Nebraska corn producer and beef feeder Scott Schaneman. “However, the Cattlemen’s Webinar Series allows me to still be in the know with information that can help make my operation more profitable and sustainable. We appreciate the National Corn Growers for sponsoring events like these!”   So far this year, there have been 14...

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Aug 25, 2020

There’s Still Time to Submit Entries for the Farm to Virtual Fair Contest

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Whether your local, county or state fair was canceled or held in person, you can still submit pictures of you and your livestock to the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Farm to Virtual Fair contest. The contest focuses on the benefits of using corn in the feed ration. You can submit entries through Monday, November 2, 2020.   “The contest is a fun way to engage with the next generation and get students to think about what a corn-powered diet can do for their livestock,” said NCGA Market Development Manager Michael Granché. “There’s a lot that goes into caring for and showing livestock, and we are celebrating the hard work that’s put into livestock shows through this contest.”   The first-place winner will win $300, second place will receive $200, and third place will get $100. Winners will be announced by Monday, November 16, 2020.    To enter the contest, you must follow NCGA (@corngrowers) on Instagram, tag NCGA in the post and use the hashtag #MyCornFedBarn....

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Aug 18, 2020

Market Value of Red Meat Exports to the U.S. Corn Farmer

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Red meat exports added 12 percent of bushel value to the U.S. corn farmer in 2019. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) recently updated a study on the market value of red meat exports. At an average of $3.75 per bushel, $0.46 is from red meat exports. The study indicated that without red meat exports, corn growers would have lost $6.4 billion in corn revenue in 2019. Other highlights from the updated study include:   Value of Red Meat Exports’ Feed Use of Corn and Soybeans In 2019, U.S. beef and pork exports used 480 million bushels of corn. Corn revenue generated by pork exports totaled $1.8 billion (480 million bushels x average annual price of $3.75/bushel). Beef and pork exports also used about 3 million tons of distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) in 2019 at an annual average price of $137/ton. This generated $411.8 million in revenue for ethanol mills’ co-products. The projected market value of red meat exports to U.S. corn from 2020-2029 is $23.1...

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Aug 12, 2020

NCGA Sponsoring Farm Journal Webinar – America’s Farmers Carrying On: How Commodities are Adapting in a Pandemic World

Key Issues: Animal AgricultureCOVID-19Production

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is partnering with Farm Journal, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, National Pork Board and United Soybean Board to discuss how commodities are adapting to a pandemic world.   NCGA President and Iowa farmer Kevin Ross, Beef Checkoff Chair and Idaho cattleman Jared Brackett, Missouri farmer and Pork Checkoff President David Newman and Soy Checkoff Chairman and Arkansas farmer Jim Carroll will represent each checkoff organization on the panel.   The panelists will dive into the challenges each commodity has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and short- and long-term solutions moving forward. Viewers will have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions at the end. The free event is Wednesday, August 19, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. CDT. You can register here.   Farm Journal broadcaster Clinton Griffiths will host the virtual roundtable.     

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Aug 6, 2020

Use of Corn as an Acceptable Feedstock Clarified by the Department of Energy

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Julie Busse

An important step forward to driving demand for corn was recently achieved, thanks to the work of state and national corn growers staff and members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Market Development Action Team (MDAT).   In the most recent Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) clarified that corn grain is an acceptable feedstock. This means that starch derived sugars, specifically starches from field/feed corn, were clarified as acceptable.   “This is an important evolution in how DOE interprets legislative intent,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “Given U.S. corn growers’ ability to efficiently produce, it is clear that corn can not only meet the needs of existing markets but can enable exciting new markets for renewable materials. We are excited to continue working with BETO and other government agencies to lay the groundwork and develop a solid foundation for future...

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Jul 7, 2020

Meet the FY21 Corn Board Candidates: Dan Wesely

Author: Julie Busse

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2021 Corn Board.   Working to positively impact the future of agriculture for fellow farmers is what drives Nebraska farmer Dan Wesely to run for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Board. In past experiences, Wesely has come to realize how each one of us can truly make an impact. Both open-minded and oriented toward a big picture worldview, he remains willing to stand his ground for what he believes to be right for corn farmers.   “NCGA is well-respected as an organization both at home and abroad. This history of grassroots-driven success gives us the power to defend and advance the interests of the industry to build a better future for farmers.”   As a board member, Wesely will work to proactively find new uses for corn, building upon his previous work in this area, in a manner that is both concrete and results-oriented. Understanding the magnitude of the need to grow demand, he also will work...

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Jul 7, 2020

Meet the FY21 Corn Board Candidates: Brian Thalmann

Author: Julie Busse

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2021 Corn Board.   Working with his fellow farmers and staff, Minnesota farmer Brian Thalmann will bring passion and perspective as a member of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Board. Thalmann values the positive impact agriculture has had on him personally, as well as the many ways in which corn-based products touch the lives of so many people every day.     If elected, Thalmann will place a high priority on bringing NCGA to the forefront of the many new and improved ideas for decreasing the environmental footprint of corn production while expanding current market opportunities. Brian also believes strongly in the importance of laying the foundation for a successful tomorrow by actively exploring the realm of possibilities for new products and markets that corn offers.    “NCGA is able to complement the work done in all of the states by keeping a larger perspective and scope to projects and...

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Jul 7, 2020

Meet the FY21 Corn Board Candidates: Gary Porter

Author: Julie Busse

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2021 Corn Board.   As the global marketplace continues to expand, Missouri farmer Gary Porter knows it is necessary to aggressively explore new strategies and new partners to move the industry forward.  Given today’s growing pile of corn, Porter recognizes just how crucial of a time it is for corn growers.   Porter and his family own and manage a local fuel station offering E15 and other higher ethanol blends. This provides a unique perspective when Porter and his wife Lori testify at EPA hearings and other policy-related events. In addition to ethanol, he’s passionate about growing opportunities in export markets, also actively serving as a farmer leader for the U.S. Grains Council.   “NCGA works to promote and better the corn industry and the thousands of farmers it represents. I have personally seen the strength of strong grassroots. I was humbled when my fellow farmers elected me to the Corn Board. Now, I want...

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Jul 7, 2020

Meet the FY21 Corn Board Candidates: Brandon Hunnicutt

Author: Julie Busse

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2021 Corn Board.   Making sure the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is the leading voice in all of agriculture is the focus of Nebraska farmer Brandon Hunnicutt. Working with new partners to build a bright future for agriculture, he envisions a tomorrow where farmers communicate in a transparent, transformative way with the public. As a member of the Corn Board, he uses his wide array of experiences, while engaging listening skills, to actively foster a productive conversation that finds innovative solutions.    “NCGA is the leading voice and advocate for the corn farmer in America regardless of the situation. More importantly, though, it is truly a grassroots organization that brings together individuals with different perspectives, to do what is best for the corn industry as a whole.”   If re-elected, Hunnicutt will push NCGA to continue to drive and protect innovation and technology within the industry....

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Jul 7, 2020

Meet the FY21 Corn Board Candidates: Bob Hemesath

Author: Julie Busse

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2021 Corn Board.   Balancing the specific needs of members with the broader perspective of factors influencing the industry to achieve the best possible future outcomes is why Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath is running for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Board. Hemesath wants to help move NCGA’s portfolio of issues and programs forward to build a positive future for farmers.   Drawing upon his passion for both NCGA and the Iowa Corn Growers Association, his service is motivated by a desire to help the entire industry remain strong for the benefit of all members. As a member of the Corn Board, Hemesath will utilize the problem-solving skills he has honed through years of leadership experience and work collaboratively with corn grower members, state and national staff, and industry partners.   “NCGA is built on grassroots membership and grower leadership. I would bring passion and commitment to my service...

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Jul 7, 2020

Meet the FY21 Corn Board Candidates: Kenneth Hartman, Jr.

Author: Julie Busse

Looking beyond the curve and embracing innovative thinking, Illinois farmer Kenneth Hartman, Jr. aims to improve the corn industry for the years to come. Seeking another term on the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Board, Kenneth hopes to continue his service to NCGA as he feels the work of this grassroots-oriented organization puts members first without being dominated by personal agendas.   “I would like to continue my service on the NCGA Corn Board to help find opportunities for today’s producers while, at the same time, looking to find the long-term opportunities that will make us profitable and sustainable in the future. By working hard today, we can position U.S. corn farmers for a successful future, offering solutions that better the nation as a whole.”   Hartman strongly believes that it is imperative for board members to be dedicated, sharing both their talents and experiences for the betterment of NCGA’s members and holding themselves to a higher standard...

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Jul 7, 2020

Meet the FY21 Corn Board Candidates: Jed Bower

Author: Julie Busse

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2021 Corn Board.   Providing a stable, sustainable, and profitable environment for today’s farmers and future generations is why Ohio farmer Jed Bower is running for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Board. Currently the vice chair of the Market Development Action Team and member of the NCGA Corn Sustainability Advisory Group, he hopes to be an asset at moving NCGA into the future.   As a member of the Corn Board, Bower would hold to the belief that we should always lookout for the best interest of corn farmers as a whole while remaining vigilant to find the best new ideas that will drive forward progress for the association and its members.    “NCGA is the voice of the corn farmer and, as an organization with a history of great leadership, I appreciate your consideration. With my leadership skills and confidence gained through both personal experience and service as a grower leader, I will continue...

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Jun 16, 2020

Crappie Masters National Tournament Trail in Full Swing

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The 2020 Crappie Masters National Tournament Trail is back up and running, after delays from COVID-19. This year, Crappie Masters has grown and expanded their reach by adding state chapters.   Brian Sowers, the voice of Crappie Masters, says that a lot of new anglers have been involved this year, because of the expansion which has allowed them to spread the message of using E10 fuel in marine engines.   “Having chapters in the south is a very vital part of sharing our message,” Sowers said in an interview with NCGA. “The southern part of the U.S. has been an area that hasn’t been as receptive to the message of using E10 fuel in their boats. Having the teams down there, who can have a one-on-one conversation about E10, is important.”   Sowers went on to say the primary message they share with anglers is that E10 fuel is the better choice, it’s cleaner for the environment and water and gives boaters better performance and supports America’s corn farmers.   The National Corn...

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Jun 15, 2020

NCGA Launches Farm to Virtual Fair Contest

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is kicking-off summer with a new contest, focusing on the benefits of using corn in the feed ration. The contest starts Monday, June 15, 2020, and runs through Monday, November 2, 2020.   “With so many unknowns this year, we wanted to give students participating in their local, county or state 4-H and FFA livestock shows something to look forward to,” said Nebraska farmer and Market Development Action Team Chair Dan Wesely. “That’s why we are calling this the Farm to Virtual Fair contest. Whether you’re able to attend in-person or not, we want to recognize the hard work that goes into caring for and showing livestock.”   To enter the contest, you must follow NCGA (@corngrowers) on Instagram, tag NCGA in the post and use the hashtag #MyCornFedBarn. Participants can enter a photo or video, explaining why they use corn in their feed ration.   “This is an opportunity to engage the next generation of farmers and livestock producers to...

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May 5, 2020

USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Grants Announced

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Monday announced additional details on the $100 million in grants available to fuel retailers and distributors under the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). HBIIP is intended to increase the sale and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.   “American ethanol and biofuel producers have been affected by decreased energy demands due to the coronavirus, and these grants to expand their availability will help increase their use during our economic resurgence,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said.   Perdue first announced this funding in his address to corn farmers at this year’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio.   One of the program requirements outlined by USDA is for all funded equipment to be certified for use with at least 25 percent ethanol blends, an important feature supported by NCGA to ensure the infrastructure funded...

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Apr 14, 2020

New Analysis Shows U.S. Agriculture Reducing Per-Unit GHG Emissions

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

New analysis of updated data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, combined with U.S. Department of Agriculture data, shows U.S. farmers and ranchers continue to reduce per-unit greenhouse gas emissions. All told, the U.S. agricultural sector accounts for less than 10% of total U.S. emissions. That’s less than the emissions from the transportation, electricity generation and industrial sectors. Globally, agriculture accounts for about 24% of GHG emissions.   The EPA’s U.S. Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions provides a first look at 2018 U.S. emissions data, which is incorporated into a new Market Intel report from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Market Intel report finds that per-unit methane emissions from livestock have declined since 1990 as livestock producers have increased productivity. During the past 30 years, U.S. milk production has increased 71% while per-unit emissions of milk have declined by almost 25%. Beef production has increased almost 50%,...

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Mar 19, 2020

National Poultry Day

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Today, March 19, is National Poultry Day! Consuming nearly 1.2 billion bushels annually, poultry is one of the top consumers of US corn. With poultry exports adding $.28 of value per bushel, a total of $4.1 billion in revenue, that’s nothing to squawk at. Whether you like them grilled, fried, or pecking around in your front yard; let’s all shake our tail feathers with some hen-thusiasm and celebrate these corn-converting protein machines! Learn more about corn and animal agriculture here.

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Mar 10, 2020

Ethanol, Farm Groups Respond as Administration Mulls Appeal of Tenth Circuit SRE Ruling

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

On March 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit approved requests by the U.S. Department of Justice, HollyFrontier, and CVR Energy for an extension of the deadline to file motions asking for a rehearing en banc of Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA, in which the Court found EPA vastly exceeded its authority in granting compliance exemptions to three refineries from 2016 and 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard obligations. The new deadline for requesting a rehearing in the Tenth Circuit is March 24.   The petitioners in the case—the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union—offered the following statement:   “We are very disappointed that the Administration has opted to kick the can on deciding whether to appeal the court decision, as all initial indications suggested EPA would not appeal the ruling and would correctly apply the decision nationally. This delay just prolongs uncertainty...

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Mar 3, 2020

NCGA Welcomes USDA Action to Increase Biofuels Usage

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last week announced plans to increase biofuels usage in USDA vehicles, directing the department to acquire alternative fueled vehicles when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. Moving to vehicles that can use E85 or biodiesel will increase efficiencies and performances of the USDA fleet, one of the largest civilian fleets in the federal government.   Perdue also announced USDA will make $100 million in grants available this year for the newly created Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), expanding fueling infrastructure to make higher blends like E15 more available nationwide. Last month, NCGA submitted comments to USDA outlining corn farmers’ recommendations for the HBIIP program.   NCGA is committed to growing demand for corn farmers and appreciated that Perdue shared these announcements directly with growers during his address to Commodity Classic in San Antonio on Friday. NCGA appreciates USDA’s leadership to...

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Feb 19, 2020

Focus Forward: RFA Conference Dives into the Issues and Opportunities Facing the Ethanol Industry in 2020

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

Putting 2019 in the rear-view mirror, the Renewable Fuels Association is focusing forward in 2020, looking at the future of clean fuel standards and high-octane low-carbon fuel.   At the National Ethanol Conference, CEO Geoff Cooper, in his state of the industry address, told the roughly one-thousand attendees, “as we focus more acutely on positioning ethanol in discussions about energy and climate change, we need to play to ethanol’s unique strengths and emphasize the Three Cs: Clean Octane, Carbon Reduction and Consumer Choice.”   Cooper went on later in his speech to say “As we write the next chapter of renewable fuels policy, RFA and its allies believe ethanol has a tremendous opportunity to serve as the key ingredient of a future high octane low carbon fuel that delivers significant benefits to American consumers.”   NCGA CEO Jon Doggett was part of a stakeholder’s round table discussion with Callie Eideberg of the Environmental Defense Fund, John Reese with Shell Oil...

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Feb 12, 2020

NCGA Hosts Learning Lounge Session at NCBA Annual Cattle Industry and Trade Show

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Annual Cattle Industry and Trade Show, #CattleCon20, was attended last week by nearly 9,000 in the ag industry including representatives of the National Corn Growers Association addressing the next generation of feed products.   NCGA Corn Board Members Dennis McNinch, a Kansas farmer, and Gary Porter, a Missouri farmer, along with staff members Sarah McKay and Michael Granché, attended the convention in San Antonio, Texas.   “The beef industry consumes roughly 1,250 million bushels of corn annually,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “It’s important for us to engage with our partners and talk to them about some of the exciting research and projects we are working on in the feed space.”   NCGA hosted a Learning Lounge session on Friday afternoon, talking to attendees about the relationship between corn and cattle and how next-generation feed products, such as HP-DDGS and residual fiber and solubles from advanced corn...

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Feb 10, 2020

Growing Biofuels Demand in 2020 and Beyond:

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

Growing demand for the ethanol industry domestically with E15 and higher ethanol blends and expanding markets internationally were the key themes of the Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference last week, Vision 2020.   National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross participated in a discussion on-stage with Mark Marquis, CEO of Marquis Energy. “The farmer voice is so important in Washington D.C.” Ross told the crowd. “We are a grassroots organization and partnerships with industry groups that have similar goals like Growth Energy will help us continue to grow the E15 market and higher blends of ethanol.”   Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor, during her CEO address, told attendees “Make no mistake, successful E15 market adoption paves the way for even higher blends. We will only get higher blends when we show E15 isn’t niche fuel – that this higher blend is the preferred, regular fuel consumers use every time they fuel up.”   Skor went on to say "We now have more than...

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Jan 7, 2020

USMCA Moves Ahead in U.S. Senate

Author: Julie Busse

Members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee today voted 25-3 in support of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a critical step to moving the new trade agreement toward final passage in the U.S. Senate.   “USMCA will bring much-needed certainty, and real benefits to America’s farmers, workers, and businesses. Farmers are getting better and more reliable market access, which they badly need,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in his opening remarks.   Members of the House of Representatives in December overwhelmingly approved USMCA. The agreement is critically important to corn farmers. Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market. In 2018, 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $4.56 billion.   The trade agreement will next need to be approved by the full Senate which could occur as early as next week.

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Nov 27, 2019

Fun Turkey Facts for this Thanksgiving

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

Did you know the average American eats roughly 16 pounds of turkey each year and 46-million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving?   The poultry industry is the second-largest consumer of corn in the animal-ag sector and adds $.28 of value per bushel. That equates to $4.1 billion in revenue.   Todd Gleason, the host of WILL-AM-580’s Closing Market Report and Commodity Week at the University of Illinois Extension, compiled a list of fun turkey facts for Thanksgiving. You can listen to his audio report to learn more by clicking here.   To see more corn specific poultry facts, click here.

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Nov 21, 2019

Hitting the Road for Thanksgiving? Fill-up with E15!

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

According to AAA, consumers traveling this Thanksgiving by automobile is up 2.8 percent from last year, with 49.3 million cars expected to be on the road. That is the highest number since 2005. With E15 now available at more than 2,000 stations nationwide, there’s no reason to not fill-up with the cleaner burning more cost-effective fuel.   A few benefits of filling up with E15 include:   E15 is between 3 and 10 cents less expensive than regular gas. Corn ethanol is cleaner burning and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45 percent. The number of E15 locations continues to grow and is available in 30 states. The number of locations offering E15 continues to increase!   Click here to view a Thanksgiving infographic with these E15 facts

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Nov 13, 2019

NCGA Engages with the Next Generation of Leaders

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) had the opportunity to participate in the  Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference (AFALC) in Kansas City, Missouri. AFALC offers four different and distinct tracks for college students to assist them in developing both personally and professionally. The tracks vary based on where students are within their college journey.   “These are the future leaders of our industry and it is great to represent America’s corn farmers to talk about opportunities with NCGA and the industry,” said NCGA Manager of Market Development Michael Granché.   Granché helped staff a booth where he engaged with students about NCGA and student opportunities within the association. Granché also served on a roundtable, where he discussed his career path with students and answered their questions about association work as well as offering advice for navigating academia and career.   While there, Michael was reunited with NCGA former intern, Emily...

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Oct 28, 2019

Scholarship Programs Expanded: Apply Now!

Author: Julie Busse

To increase diversity and reach a broader applicant pool that more accurately reflects rural America, NCGA’s Engaging Members Committee created two new scholarship programs and increased the benefit of their long-standing William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program.   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.   The committee also decided that the graduate student program deserved its own category. Students pursuing an advanced degree or working on their doctorate degree should be compared against other similar candidates. The graduate student scholarship will provide a single student a $2,500 award plus the opportunity to attend NCGA’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference in 2020.   The...

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Oct 28, 2019

Argus Biofuels & Carbon Markets Summit Dives into the Future of Fuel and Transportation

Author: Julie Busse

Biofuels and Carbon Markets was the focus of a recent Argus Summit in California.  Now on its 7th year, the Summit brings together market-focused content and perspectives from government leaders and other stakeholders. Key industry participants, including the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), representing fuel markets, utilities, industrials, traders, brokers and offset developers gathered to network and discuss the impact of new regulations on the marketplace.     At the Summit, Richard Corey, Executive Director of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), kicked off the event where he delivered the keynote address and focused on a series of questions:   -What are the statuses of California’s LCFS and cap-and-trade programs? -What are the challenges ahead on the path to meeting 2030 emission reduction targets? -How might changes at the federal level impact California’s program? -What does the future of California’s transportation mix look like? -How is California...

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Oct 15, 2019

EPA Plan to Address RFS Waivers Falls Short

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today made the below statement following the release of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supplemental proposal to the 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rulemaking. The proposed rule follows an announcement from President Trump last week directing the EPA to follow the letter of the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole.   “While corn farmers appreciate the EPA’s intent to follow Department of Energy recommendations on waivers going forward, the proposed rule fails to provide the assurance needed that EPA’s practices for granting waivers will change going forward. Farmers have long been skeptical of the EPA’s administration of the RFS. This proposal doesn’t provide farmers confidence in EPA’s ability to follow through and make this right. President Trump made a commitment to farmers and instructed the EPA to follow the law, but this proposal appears to come up short...

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Aug 9, 2019

NCGA Statement: EPA Waivers Undermine RFS

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

NCGA President Lynn Chrisp made the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved 31 refinery exemptions. Since early 2018, EPA has undermined the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and granted 53 RFS waivers to big oil companies, totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel.   “Waivers reduce demand for ethanol, lower the value of our crop and undermine the President’s support for America’s farmers. Waivers benefit big oil at the expense of corn farmers who, between losing export markets abroad and ethanol markets at home, are losing patience.   “Mr. President, you proudly stand with farmers, but your EPA isn’t following through. You can step up for farmers today by reining in RFS waivers. Farmers expect the RFS to be kept whole by accounting for waived gallons and bringing more transparency to EPA’s secret process.   “Farmers are facing a sixth consecutive year of depressed income and commodity prices, with farm income for...

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Jul 5, 2019

EPA Favors Oil Refiners Over Corn Farmers

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the proposed Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rule for 2020. Once again EPA has failed to account for lost volumes due to refinery exemptions and uphold the President’s commitment to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   “We are frustrated the EPA did not account for potential waived gallons going forward in the proposed rule,” said National Corn Growers Association President and Nebraska farmer Lynn Chrisp. “If the EPA continues to grant retroactive waivers, the RVO numbers are meaningless and the EPA is not following the law. Farmers are facing a very tough economic environment and the continued waiver abuse chips away at farmers’ bottom line.”   Since early 2018, the EPA has granted 53 RFS exemptions totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. There are currently 38 pending petitions for 2018.   EPA also failed to uphold the D.C. Circuit Court’s 2017 ruling, requiring the Agency to account...

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May 10, 2019

Leading Agriculture Commodities Oppose Additional Tariffs on Chinese Goods

Author: Julie Busse

Today, the U.S. Trade Representative moved forward with increasing the tariff rate from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Farmers across the country are extremely concerned by the actions taken today by President Trump and his Administration. The National Association of Wheat Growers, the American Soybean Association, and the National Corn Growers Association were expecting a deal by March 1 before farmers went back into the fields but today saw an escalation of the trade war instead. The three commodities represent around 171 million of acres of farmland in the United States.    “U.S. wheat growers are facing tough times right now, and these additional tariffs will continue to put a strain on our export markets and threaten many decades worth of market development,” stated NAWG President and Texas wheat farmer Ben Scholz. “Further, members from both sides of the aisle and Chambers have reservations about the Section 232 tariffs in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada...

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Apr 15, 2019

39 Reasons the EPA Shouldn’t Grant any Additional Small Refinery Exemptions

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

  It was recently reported that the EPA will likely be considering the 39 pending petitions for 2018 small refinery exemptions very soon. The EPA approved 53 small refinery waivers from 2016 and 2017. These waivers have a direct impact on rural America and corn farmers. With an already tough economic environment, more waiver abuse will continue to chip away at farmers’ bottom line by destroying demand for corn. While EPA considers this next round of waivers, we came up with 39 facts and reasons why they should not grant any additional SRE’s.   53 - The number of refinery waivers EPA granted for the 2016 and 2017 compliance years since early 2018. 39 – The number of refinery exemptions EPA Administrator Wheeler has pending for 2018. 9.4 percent -- The percent of the 2017 RFS ethanol volume waived through SREs. 636 million – The difference in the amount of corn bushels needed to meet the RFS volume EPA set for 2017 and the amount needed to meet the effective...

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Apr 12, 2019

RFA Sets the Record Straight on Rising Gas Prices

Author: Julie Busse

News coverage of the recent floods suggests ethanol shortages are to blame for rising gas prices. Setting the record straight on this, the Renewable Fuels Association just released an analysis that explains the real reasons why consumers are paying more at the pump. RFA’s analysis says prices are up due to several factors including:   A surge in crude oil prices since the start of the year. Typical seasonal patterns in gasoline pricing, partially reflecting the changeover to summer specifications. Refinery maintenance and unplanned outages.   The analysis states: “While the Midwest floods in mid-March did affect ethanol transportation and some individual facilities, this occurred at a time when ethanol inventories were at record levels. Stocks in most regions, including the Gulf Coast and East Coast, are above year-ago levels. West Coast inventories have been declining since the start of the year but are slightly above the minimum levels experienced over the last 12...

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Apr 11, 2019

Corn in Pet Food: A Natural Ingredient

Author: Julie Busse

Today is National Pet Day and there are a lot of benefits to feeding your best friend a diet that includes corn ingredients. The Kansas Corn Growers Association and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) commissioned a study through Kansas State University to look at corn in pet food. We will release and share the results of the study in its entirety in May. Until then, here’s a snapshot of some of the findings and our top 10 reasons why you should include corn in your pets’ diet.     Corn provides energy AND nutritional value to pets. Corn provides kibble binding and expansion due to starch properties when it is cooked in the presence of water and heat (a process known as starch gelatinization). Including >60 percent corn in pet food recipes promotes quality stools and high apparent total tract digestibility in dogs, to levels comparable to sorghum and rice. The disappearance of starch in corn is nearly 100 percent by the point at which it is excreted in...

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Mar 26, 2019

Diving into the Changing Nutrient Profile of Distillers Feed Products

Key Issues: EthanolAnimal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) held the first Distillers Feed Products Nutrition Roundtable, bringing together animal ag partners, animal nutrition experts and ethanol technology providers to discuss the changing number and nutrient profile of distillers feed products.   “Our goal is to start a meaningful dialogue across segments of the supply chain,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “This is just one of the many steps to better understanding how new corn fractionation technologies are being deployed in dry mills in the U.S.  These technologies create value by separating out the various components of corn to allow improved utilization of the subsequent product streams.  While this technology has a lot of potential for early adopters and could increase corn grind, it will require a change in how the value chain views and uses the products of ethanol plants.  Gathering stakeholder input and starting a dialog early should help the rollout of this...

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Mar 14, 2019

NCGA on RFS Waivers: When Will the Nonsense Stop?

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Julie Busse

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today, National Ag Day, granted five additional Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE) for the 2017 compliance year, waiving 366 million gallons of biofuels from RFS compliance.   EPA’s decision today brings the total waivers from 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations to 53, amounting to 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons.  In years prior to 2016, SREs totaled less than 300 million gallons per year.   This action continues to chip away at the RFS and corn demand, hurting America’s corn farmers. NCGA has called for EPA to account for these lost volumes and disclose which refineries receive these waivers and why the waivers are justified.   The five refineries receiving today’s exemptions produced approximately 3.4 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2017, resulting in 366 million Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) being exempted.    Currently, EPA has two remaining refinery exemption petitions for...

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Mar 11, 2019

Ag Tech & the Future of Farming

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association, along with the National Pork Board, co-sponsored a U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance panel on ag tech, advanced breeding techniques and the future of farming at this year’s South by Southwest, or SXSW. Held in Austin, Texas, SXSW is a collection of conferences and festivals that focus on the film, media, music and technology industries.   Our panel gave the full room of attendees a first-hand account of how modern agriculture is helping farmers provide more food with far fewer resources. Panelists include:   Megan Vollstedt, Executive Director, Iowa AgriTech Accelerator Darren Anderson, Ph.D., President and Co-Founder, Vive Crop Protection Randy Spronk, Minnesota Pig & Crop Farmer Alex Heine, Director of Customer Experience, Quantified Ag   Click here to watch a USFRA recording of the panel.

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Feb 21, 2019

NCGA USMEF Study Highlights the Value to Corn Producers through Red Meat Exports

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Julie Busse

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) partnered with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to update a study on the value of red meat exports to domestic U.S. corn growers. The original study was conducted in 2015. In 2018, the study showed beef and pork exports used a combined total of 14.9 million tons of corn and DDGS, which equates to an additional 459.7 million bushels of corn produced – an increase of 29 percent over the 2015 projections.   Other highlights from the updated study:   Since 2015, one in every four bushels of added feed demand for corn is due to beef and pork exports. About 11 percent of the price of corn this year will be derived from red meat exports. Red meat exports’ impact on corn price is 39 cents per bushel (based on the annual average price of $3.53 per bushel). There would be a loss of $5.7 billion in corn value without red meat exports.   “It’s important to continue to foster these types of relationships to continue to grow demand for red...

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Jan 28, 2019

RFA & NCGA Co-Title Sponsorship of 2019 Crappie Masters Tournament Trail Begins This Week

Key Issues: EthanolSustainability

Author: Julie Busse

The 2019 season of the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail begins later this week, with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) signed on as co-title sponsors for the third consecutive year. The first of 16 tournaments begins Friday, Feb. 1 in Deland, Fla., between Daytona and Orlando, at St. Johns River.   “Crappie Masters is pleased to again have the Renewable Fuels Association as a 2019 co-title sponsor of the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail,” said Crappie Masters President Mike Vallentine. “We have done significant education outreach to the boating community on the benefits of 10 percent ethanol blends (E10), and have helped push back on misinformation on higher blends like E15. Every Crappie Masters tournament winning team for the past four years has safely used E10 fuel with no reported engine issues. We plan to continue to help dispel the myths propagated by ethanol’s opponents, and support homegrown,...

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