In The News

Dec 20, 2019

NCGA: House Passes USMCA, Delivers a Win for Agriculture

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today thanked members of the U.S. House of Representatives for their bipartisan approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Ross made the following statement.   “Corn farmers have been working toward this vote for nearly a year, sending emails, having meetings and making phone calls to their representatives in support of USMCA. All of agriculture should be incredibly proud to see these efforts pay off with such a strong, bipartisan vote. We wouldn’t be at this stage in the ratification process without the hard work of individual farmers across the country. Ratifying USMCA has been NCGA’s top legislative priority because Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable markets.   “NCGA thanks members of the House for their votes in support, along with President Trump and his administration’s continued efforts to come to a bipartisan consensus. It’s now up to members of the U.S. Senate...

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Dec 19, 2019

NCGA: Corn Farmers Underwhelmed by Final RVO Rule

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Kevin Ross today made the following statement on the release of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) final 2020 Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) rule, setting renewable fuel volume requirements for the coming year, including accounting for 2020 refinery waivers. The final rule uses a three-year average of the Department of Energy (DOE) recommended waivers as an estimate for 2020 waivers rather than an average of actual gallons waived by the EPA.   “The Administration has chosen to move forward with a final rule that corn farmers believe falls short of adequately addressing the demand destruction caused by EPA’s abuse of RFS refinery waivers. While using the DOE recommendations to account for waivers is an improvement over the status quo, it is now on corn farmers to hold the Administration to their commitment of a minimum of 15 billion gallon volume, as the law requires. We will use future rulemakings and other...

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Dec 18, 2019

Corn Farmers to Congress: Pass USMCA!

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association members this week traveled to Washington, D.C. to make a final push for passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in the House of Representatives. House passage before the end of the year would provide some certainty to farmers facing challenging times and instill confidence in other important trading partners that the United States is open for business.   NCGA members shared with lawmakers the importance of USMCA for 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 NCGA members also met with members of the U.S. Senate, urging they quickly consider and pass USMCA in the new year. Corn farmers cannot afford to lose this North American market which is why it is so important USMCA be ratified.

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Dec 17, 2019

Sustainability Focus Continues to Grow at NCGA

Key Issues: Production

Author: Mary Quigley

A new Corn Sustainability Advisory Group (CSAG) met recently to discuss how NCGA can focus on corn sustainability and advise the NCGA board on how to proactively tell corn’s positive story of change and constant improvement.   The group - made up of farmer representation of NCGA’s Ethanol, Market Development, Sustainable Ag Research and Stewardship Action Teams, NCGA staff and state corn staff – will also work toward building consumer trust and growing competitive market demand by offering a broad view of NCGA’s current initiatives as well as establishing goals for the future.   “We have a lot going on organizationally that links directly or indirectly to sustainability. CSAG will work to help to identify areas for strengthening, integration and expansion,” said Rachel Orf, NCGA director of sustainability. “We will also step up our engagement with corn sector partners and value chain members to identify mutual goals, opportunities for collaboration and bring more cohesion to...

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Dec 17, 2019

Public Corn Breeding Research Remains Critical

Key Issues: Research

Author: Mary Quigley

New seed corn technology and the robust traits they bring are crucial to the success of farmers today, said National Corn Growers Association Research and Productivity Director Robyn Allscheid. And a key component to this progress is the public corn breeders working within the University system who train people to carry on this legacy in the future.   Allscheid, fresh from attending the North Central Coordinating Committee for Regional Corn Breeding Research’s Annual Corn Breeding Research Meeting in Chicago, Illinois noted companies involved in corn plant breeding depend on public corn breeders for training new students in fundamental principles of plant breeding and genetics.   “Small seed companies and producers indicate a need for developing publicly available varieties, especially for small markets that are not currently served by the large corporations in the private sector,” she said. “Funding agencies expect public corn breeders to carry out translational research to...

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Dec 16, 2019

Records Broken in 2019 NCGA Corn Yield Contest

Key Issues: Production

Author: Mary Quigley

This year, corn growers hit new highs in the National Corn Growers Association 2019 National Corn Yield Contest with David Hula of Charles City, Va. setting the highest yield on record at 616.1953 bushels per acre. Despite adverse growing conditions that impacted most farmers, improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices, allowed corn growers to achieve many impressive yields across all categories again this year.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 55th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   “Yield contest participants create and share information that shapes the future of the industry while participating in friendly competition,” said Roger Zylstra, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “At both the state and national levels, contest winners find new ways to excel in a variety of situations. In turn, these innovations can help their fellow farmers face challenges as well. Our contest emphasizes...

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Dec 10, 2019

NCGA Applauds Bipartisan Effort to Advance USMCA to Congress, Urges Passage

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today made the below statement following an announcement that the White House and Congress are moving forward with the necessary legislative steps to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).   “NCGA’s top legislative priority in 2019 has been passing USMCA. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to ratifying this important agreement and securing the future of our trading relationship with Mexico and Canada, the top export market for U.S. corn farmers. It’s been a brutal year for many farmers who really need the certainty this would provide for agricultural trade.   “NCGA appreciates the bipartisan efforts between Speaker Pelosi, Ambassador Lighthizer and the House working group to reach an agreement. I urge lawmakers to pass USMCA and help us close out 2019 with a win for America’s farmers and the U.S. economy.”

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Dec 5, 2019

Engaging with Government Partners to Find New Uses for Corn

Key Issues: Biotechnology

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) staff and grower leaders will travel to Washington, D.C. next week for meetings on new uses for corn. Meetings are scheduled with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at their Beltsville, Maryland facility where staff will discuss projects related to research corn utilization for biobased products and chemicals, including a new project at the Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania facility.   Updates will also be provided on the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research’s project on amylose inclusion complexes, which was a winner of Consider Corn Challenge II. Their project plans to use emulsifiers, polymer films and coatings made from corn starch and vegetable oil rather than petroleum, which could open the door to new products with enhanced performance and lower environmental footprints. Other visits will include meetings with the Department of Energy (DOE) and USDA Rural...

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Dec 4, 2019

U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Ratified

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

The Japanese Diet, the country’s legislative body, earlier today ratified the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement secures the second-largest export market for corn farmers and is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2020. This agreement formalizes and builds on our long-standing trading relationship with Japan.   Japan is the number two buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than $2 billion in the most recent marketing year. The agreement reduces U.S. corn and sorghum imports for all purposes to a zero-level tariff and includes a staged tariff reduction for U.S. ethanol and corn. U.S. feed and food corn, corn gluten feed, and DDGS will continue to receive duty-free market access.   NCGA President Kevin Ross in October joined leaders of other farm and commodity groups at the White House to commemorate the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

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Dec 3, 2019

When it Comes to Soil Health Good News Isn’t Hard to Find

Author: Mary Quigley

Thursday, December 5, is World Soil Day and National Corn Growers is joining the Soil Health Partnership in celebrating the growing focus on improved soil health in agriculture.   The SHP effort is cool because they are encouraging farmers to tell their own unique soil health journey! Outside the Ag industry, many folks don’t know about the soil health revolution taking place so don't forget to use the hashtag #mysoilhealthjourney and tag @soilhealthpartnership to join the celebration. The Nature Conservancy, one of the many groups working with SHP and NCGA, believes a sustainable food system is potentially one of the most significant ways to ensure a future where both nature and people thrive. Research estimates that improving adopting soil health-promoting practices on at least half of U.S. croplands by 2025 could deliver up to $7.4 billion in water and climate benefits annually. So, Happy Soil Health Day.

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Dec 3, 2019

General Session at Commodity Classic Promises to Inspire and Inform

Author: Mary Quigley

A decorated fighter pilot and best-selling author will be the keynote speaker during the Commodity Classic General Session.    The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas.  Commodity Classic is the nation’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.  The Friday morning General Session is one of the most highly-rated experiences during the three-day farmer-driven event—and the 2020 version promises to be as well.   Keynote speaker will be Lt. Colonel Waldo Waldman, a decorated fighter pilot, highly-rated Hall of Fame Speaker and New York Times best-selling author.  His message is designed to inspire farmers to collaborate and innovate with their fellow farmers and ag partners to maximize their potential in farming and in life.   The session will also include the nation’s commodity association leaders who will discuss the hottest issues facing the nation’s corn, soybean, wheat and...

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Dec 2, 2019

Corn Trade Is A Huge Driver of the U.S. Economy

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

Who you know and your relationship with them can make a big difference in many aspects of your life, but if you are a corn farmer this is likely a huge understatement. You see, trade is critical to farmer’s profitability and relationships can either float or sink the export ship.   According to the U.S. Grains Council, U.S. corn exports totaled 52.3 MMT or 2.06 billion bushels in 2018/19 and moved to 62 countries. That’s a lot of relationships to juggle for USGC and a big reason NCGA has made a resolution of trade agreements like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) a priority. Addressing both components - relationships and the access that comes with trade agreements – is a potent combination.    As we head toward 2020, NCGA, USGC and many of their partners will be involved in a “Did You Know” campaign to raise awareness of the importance of free trade and trade agreements to farmers and a strong U.S. economy. Look for these messages on NCGA social channels from Dec. 2 to...

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Nov 26, 2019

Montgomery Gentry to Perform at Commodity Classic During Saturday’s Evening of Entertainment

Author: Mary Quigley

Award-winning Montgomery Gentry will put the c­­­­herry on top of the 2020 Commodity Classic with a crowd-pleasing performance during Saturday night’s Evening of Entertainment. The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas.  Commodity Classic is the nation’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.   Eddie Montgomery continues the band’s legacy after Troy Gentry’s tragic death in 2017. With 20-plus charted singles, the Kentucky native has earned CMA, ACM, and GRAMMY awards and nominations with undeniable blue-collar anthems like “Hell Yeah,” “My Town,” and “Hillbilly Shoes." The group has notched five No. 1 singles, "If You Ever Stop Loving Me," "Something To Be Proud Of," "Lucky Man," "Back When I Knew It All" and "Roll With Me." Montgomery Gentry was inducted as Grand Ole Opry members in 2009 and inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2015.   The Evening of Entertainment...

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Nov 25, 2019

NCGA Calls on EPA to Follow Law, Keep RFS Whole

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to EPA’s supplemental proposed rule for the 2020 volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.   Rather than addressing the impact of waived renewable fuel gallons based on exemptions actually granted by EPA, the proposed rule would use a three-year average of Department of Energy (DOE) recommended waivers. By using DOE recommendations, not actual waived gallons, EPA’s proposal to redistribute any future waived gallons is half of what President Trump previously committed to farm-state Senators.   “EPA’s proposal does not ensure sufficiently accurate projections for waived gallons and, therefore, will continue to shortchange the RFS when waivers are granted,” NCGA President Kevin Ross wrote. “Farmers are once again asking EPA to uphold the law and the integrity of the RFS.”   Since early 2018, EPA has granted 85 RFS exemptions to...

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Nov 8, 2019

NCGA Thanks Senate Leaders for Weighing in on EPA Waiver Proposal

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

U.S. Senators representing many corn states yesterday took action to press EPA to follow the law and adhere to the deal President Trump made with farmers and the EPA to address RFS waivers.   Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), each submitted comments to the Federal Register regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In individual letters to EPA Administrator Wheeler, the Senators expressed concerns about the way the agency plans to calculate the reallocation of biofuel gallons lost due to exemptions for oil refineries and asked EPA to fix the problem in the final rule.   NCGA greatly appreciates the Senators’ calls for EPA to provide more accuracy and certainty in the final rule and standing up for RFS integrity. Farmers are grateful for their continued support and advocacy.   Farmers...

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Nov 7, 2019

Ag-Auto-Ethanol Work Group Annual Forum Focuses on High-Octane Low-Carbon Fuel

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

The Ag-Auto-Ethanol Work Group Annual Forum, held in Detroit, Michigan, took a deep dive into environmental issues, future engine technologies and the potential cost-benefit of high-octane low-carbon fuels at the pump. Representatives from state and national corn growers’ associations, government entities, automakers, the ethanol industry, and researchers were all in attendance.   “NCGA and state corn grower associations continue to educate members of Congress and their staffs on the fuel-efficiency benefits of high-octane fuel, along with the benefits of higher blends of ethanol,” NCGA Renewable Fuels Public Policy Director Kathy Bergren told attendees. “Higher blends of ethanol lower carbon emissions, reduce aromatic emissions and improve air quality and support rural economies.”   “This forum is an opportunity to bring together a cross-section of groups which span the entire value chain to talk about the future and provide updates on current research and initiatives,” said...

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Nov 7, 2019

Commodity Classic Registration & Housing Opens Wednesday, November 13 at 10:00 a.m. Central

Author: Mary Quigley

Registration and housing for America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience officially opens at 10:00 a.m. Central on Wednesday, November 13.   The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas. To register, reserve hotel rooms, and sign up for email updates, visit CommodityClassic.com.   Early discounts on registration end January 9, 2020.   Established in 1996, Commodity Classic features a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers, unique optional tours and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.   “Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event because every experience, every educational session, and every speaker at Commodity Classic is selected by farmers, for farmers,” said Bob Bowman, an Iowa farmer and co-chair...

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Nov 5, 2019

Tell Congress to Pass USMCA

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

Passing USMCA remains a top priority for farmers across the country and NCGA. With the end of the year fast approaching, and a very limited number of Congressional workdays remaining, urging your representatives to support this important trade deal is more important than ever.   Waiting until 2020, when election-year politics will likely derail its passage, is not an option. Ratifying USMCA this year is our best chance of securing this agreement.   USMCA preserves and builds upon the corn industry’s successful relationship with Mexico and Canada.  In 2018, 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $4.56 billion. These exports generated $5.79 billion in economic activity, supported 36,480 jobs and 300,000 farms.   Passage would provide some certainty to farmers facing challenging times and instill confidence in other important trading partners that the United States is open for business. Members of Congress need to hear...

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Nov 5, 2019

Deadline Extended! There’s Still Time to Enter your Corn Yield Contest Harvest Results

Author: Mary Quigley

The weather has posed a challenge for farmers in many states this year, prompting the National Corn Growers Association to extend the harvest deadline for the National Corn Yield Contest. The new deadline will be Saturday, November 30, 2019, at 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.   Entrants need to upload weigh tickets and the yield calculation worksheet that outlines the number of rows harvested and the length of each pass. Both documents must be signed by the contest supervisor. For detailed contest information and harvest rules, click here. If you have specific questions, call the direct call line at 636-733-5518 or email ncyc@ncga.com.   The deadline extension is not expected to impact the announcement of winners on Monday, December 16. Winners will be recognized at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. This is the 55th year of the National Corn Yield Contest.

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Nov 4, 2019

NCGA Joins Effort Calling on President to Support Farmers, RFS

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA today joined a unified biofuel and agriculture group letter to President Trump urging him to uphold his commitment to accurately account for refinery waivers and support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   The letter is in response to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that would account for waivers based on Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommendations, rather than the actual gallons waived by EPA. The proposal is half of what the President committed to in an October 4 deal with farmers.   “Mr. President, we share a common vision regarding the RFS. We want to reopen biofuel plants and restore demand for America’s farm products. We are asking for SRE accountability based on a rolling average of the actual volumes exempted by the EPA during the three most recently completed compliance years. This simple fix will provide the market and regulatory certainty necessary to bring back rural jobs and restore demand. The proposal – as written – will not provide the...

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Oct 10, 2019

Researching the Next Generation of Biobased Materials

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

The Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technology Office (BETO) recently held a workshop on Leveraging First Generation Bioethanol Production Facilities. The National Corn Growers Association participated in the event, which was held in Ames, Iowa at the Ames Laboratory, a national laboratory operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Iowa State University.   The workshop focused on how to leverage existing infrastructure and available feedstocks to create biobased materials and chemicals. Suggestions and proposals from the workshop may be used to inform future DOE Bioenergy Technology Office funding announcements. NCGA’s Director of Market Development, Sarah McKay, presented a Rapid-Fire Talk during the workshop. McKay discussed NCGA’s priorities and approach for increasing corn demand and driving the bioeconomy.   “NCGA has a three-pillar approach toward increasing corn demand and driving the bio-economy,” said McKay. “This approach creates new opportunities, improves...

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Oct 10, 2019

Corn Growers Making Significant Contribution to Bee Health Cause

Key Issues: Production

Author: Mary Quigley

  NCGA constantly works to ensure corn growers’ voices are represented in wide-ranging conversations on sustainability issues like the long-term health and viability of honeybees. Most recently, NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs, Nicole Hasheider, participated in the annual meeting of the Honeybee Health Coalition.   As an active member of the coalition for several years, NCGA ensures The Coalition includes representation across a spectrum of stakeholders, including grower groups like NCGA, commercial beekeepers, input providers, specialty crop growers and more.   Even though corn production does not require pollination from bees, NCGA still engages with groups like the Honeybee Health Coalition to create dialogue and foster a better understanding of the similarities and differences in crop production around the country. During the meeting, NCGA staff had the opportunity to lead a discussion on crop selection and grower decision making, which gave other...

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Oct 8, 2019

NCGA Urges Farmers to Harvest Safely this Fall

Key Issues: Production

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers of the importance of proper grain bin safety procedures this harvest. With farmers across the country preparing to hit the fields in their combines, NCGA offers both a list of safety reminders and a video on the important topic of grain bin safety.   Safety Tips   1.  Road Safety   Reduce vehicle width as much as possible and ensure adequate warning lighting.   Use “Slow Moving Vehicle” signs on all slow-moving equipment.   2.   Equipment Safety   Be incredibly careful when approaching harvesting equipment.  Approach from the front and gain eye contact with the operator before approaching.   Ensure the harvesting equipment is fully stopped and disengaged before climbing onto a vehicle.   Do not place yourself near any unguarded or otherwise running machinery.   Avoid pinch points between equipment – such as tractors with grain wagons. Visibility can be limited, and serious injury can occur.   Watch for trucks...

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Oct 7, 2019

NCGA Joins President Trump for U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Signing

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA President Kevin Ross today joined leaders of other farm and commodity groups at the White House to commemorate the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement secures the second-largest export market for corn farmers. Ross made the following statement.   “Japan is the number two buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than $2 billion in the most recent marketing year. This is a high-value market for our livestock industry, therefore, also a major purchaser of U.S. corn through exported meats. NCGA has been a long-time supporter of trade with Japan. With many farmers struggling amid some challenging times, this is some much-needed good news. This agreement reaffirms and builds on our trading relationship with Japan and NCGA looks forward to continued work for a successful Phase 2 of these important negotiations.”

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Oct 4, 2019

NCGA: Farmers Thank Trump Administration for Listening and Upholding the RFS

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association today welcomed an announcement from President Trump directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow the letter of the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole.    The RFS and corn farmers have repeatedly come under attack from big oil and the EPA, including the most recent approval of 31 additional RFS exemptions for oil companies, reducing corn demand for ethanol and increasing total waived biofuels demand to 4.04 billion gallons under the Trump Administration. Today’s announcement that EPA will reopen the rulemaking for the 2020 RFS volumes and propose to account for waivers in the volume requirements allows EPA to follow the law and restore integrity to the RFS.   “We’re very grateful the President listened to our concerns and is upholding his commitments to put the RFS back on track,” NCGA President Kevin Ross said. “Corn farmers weren’t shy in telling the President that the impact of these waivers would lead...

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Sep 30, 2019

NCGA Brings Farmer’s Perspective to Women in Agribusiness

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association Corn Board member Deb Gangwish, who farms in Shelton, Nebraska, brought her experiences and insights as a farmer to a group of 850 industry professionals during the Women in Agribusiness Summit this morning. During a panel discussion, Gangwish, CommonGround Minnesota volunteer Katie Brenny and poultry producer Amy Syester shared their ideas, concerns and perspectives with the rest of the supply chain.   Moderated by Successful Farming Agronomy and Technology Editor Megan Vollstedt, the farmers delved into topics such as the adoption of technology, sustainability and the importance of markets. The discussion emphasized the importance of working as a team to make change possible and farming profitable.   Gangwish highlighted the need to focus on the many goals shared by all in the industry.   “I respect every farmer every acre no matter their production method,” she said. “There aren’t enough of us to focus on our differences or work against...

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Sep 27, 2019

State Corn Grower Leaders to Trump: Uphold Commitment to Farmers and RFS

Author: Mary Quigley

State leaders of corn grower organizations in 23 states today sent a letter to President Trump, calling on him to follow the law and keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole. The letter to the President comes on the heels of the Trump Administration’s most recent approval of 31 new RFS waivers to big oil companies. The 85 total waivers approved under the Trump Administration amount to 4.04 billion gallons, resulting in reduced corn demand due to lower ethanol blending and consumption and a rising number of ethanol producers slowing or idling production.   The state corn grower leaders urge the President to stop the harm caused by waivers and restore integrity to the RFS by directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to account for projected waivers beginning with the pending 2020 RFS volume rule.   Full text of the letter is below and available as a PDF here.   President Donald J. Trump The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500   Dear...

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Sep 27, 2019

Cover Crops Offer a Jackpot of Benefits to the Environment and Your Bottom Line

Author: Mary Quigley

  “In the farming community “cover crop” is a buzzword, and for a good reason. Adding a cover crop to your farm means you are extending the amount of time there is something growing in that soil and that adds many other benefits,” according to Lisa Kubik, a field manager with the Soil Health Partnership.   The obvious benefit is improved soil health, but what does that really mean? Improving soil health increases porosity, water holding capacity and builds the structure within the soil. With more pores within the soil, your crop’s roots are better able to proliferate and establish a good root system to support the plant throughout the entire growing season, she says in a new blog.   More pore spaces also mean that when the weather turns dry, the soil has a pore structure waiting to soak in the rainfall and store it until your crops are in need. With that water-absorbing better within the soil, this also reduces the chance for ponding or flooding within the field which could...

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Sep 25, 2019

NCGA: U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Bright Spot for Agriculture

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association today welcomed the news of a trade agreement between the United States and Japan that will increase market access for American agriculture products in Japan. NCGA President Lynn Chrisp made the following statement.   “Japan has been a strong trading partner and friend for American agriculture, now the second largest purchaser of U.S. corn. NCGA has long-advocated for an agreement with Japan and, with many farmers struggling amid challenging times in agriculture, this is very welcome news. While we await further details, it seems this phase one agreement will deliver for corn farmers and build upon our successful partnership with Japan.”

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Sep 25, 2019

Trade and Biofuels Offer Solution for Weak Ag Economy

Key Issues: EthanolTrade

Author: Mary Quigley

Earlier this week, NCGA attended the Ag Outlook Forum in Kansas, City. Guests, including NCGA manager of Market Development, Michael Granché, traveled from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska to hear from esteemed speakers on the health of the U.S. agricultural economy, the trade war, and what potential challenges and opportunities lay ahead for the industry.   Speakers included; Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, and USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky, all of whom opened the floor to receive questions from the audience after their remarks. Guests also had the opportunity to engage in a roundtable discussion on Workforce Development led by Mark Stewart, CEO and President of Agriculture Future of America.   Granché found the Forum to be a valuable networking opportunity and enjoyed hearing from different perspectives across the industry. “It’s been a tough year for the industry as a whole. Just like Governor Parson said, ‘he’s never met a farmer who hasn’t...

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Sep 24, 2019

Chrisp Reflects on Time as President, Keeps an Eye on the Future

Author: Mary Quigley

As the fiscal year comes to an end, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board prepares to seat new members and officers on October 1. When the 2019 Executive Committee steps down, NCGA President Lynn Chrisp, of Hastings, Nebraska, will move into the role of chairman, passing the role of president to current NCGA First Vice President Kevin Ross.   The Off the Cob podcast series caught up with Chrisp for a conversation about his perspective on his years in leadership, his insight into the future and how members can work together to make NCGA an even more effective advocate for farmers.     Reflecting upon his time as president, Chrisp discussed many of the programs and projects NCGA completed during his years of service that benefit farmers. From the development of new risk management tools in the Farm Bill to advocating for important trade agreements to protecting the RFS and growing ethanol markets, he sees how the work done and conversations had over many years...

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Sep 23, 2019

HungerU Launches Tour to Share Ag’s Story on College Campuses

Author: Mary Quigley

Last week, this year’s class of HungerU ambassadors prepared to launch the college tour portion of the program during a day of educational presentations in Washington D.C. The already-accomplished students prepared to have peer-to-peer conversations at universities that graduated tomorrow’s leader in business, government, science and other fields that open minds to the importance of modern agricultural tools, such as GMOs, pesticides and gene editing, in farmers’ struggle to feed a growing population.   This year’s ambassadors, Tyheim Brown, Lona Strader and Meagan Miller, asked probing questions, showing intense interest in subjects from sustainability’s relationship to landownership to addressing the importance of ethanol in producing feed and fuel, during a multi-hour presentation by NCGA Communications Director Cathryn Wojcicki.   Ambassadors explored NCGA’s mission and activities to foster consumer engagement in agricultural issues and support farmers’ freedom to operate....

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Sep 17, 2019

Corn Growers Learn about Mississippi River Initiatives

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Mary Quigley

  National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) staff, state staff and grower leaders had the opportunity to participate in a river collaboration trip, in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi River St. Louis district, to see firsthand the infrastructure and inner workings of the inland waterway system.   On the first day, the group boarded the barge at Lock and Dam 22, located near Saverton, Missouri, roughly 10 miles southeast of Hannibal. This lock and dam have been in operation since 1938. In 2017, more than 21-million tons of food and farm products went through this lock and dam.   “Agriculture relies so heavily on the inland waterways system to move our product each year to export markets,” said Market Access Action Team (MAAT) Chair and Colorado farmer Michael Lefever. “With more than 60 percent of grain exports in the U.S. being moved by barge, having up-to-date infrastructure is imperative. This trip helped us learn more about the needs and challenges of the river...

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Sep 16, 2019

Farmers Must Play Key Role in Effort to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Key Issues: SustainabilityProduction

Author: Mary Quigley

Efforts throughout society, and virtually every industry, to cut greenhouse gases are underway and agriculture is no exception. There is also a growing awareness throughout the supply chain that any successful initiative will start with farmers.   “There is no silver bullet for addressing GHGs and climate change outcomes, but we are working in the right direction,” said NCGA’s Stewardship and Sustainability Director Rachel Orf. “Throughout the Ag supply chain, from conservation groups to the largest retailers, there is solid agreement that this effort needs to be driven by science. And if it doesn’t work for farmer’s it doesn’t work at all.”   Orf attended a meeting hosted by Field to Market last week in Washington, D.C. with the objective of better understanding climate change risk facing the ag value chain, including retailers, conservation groups, farmers, agribusiness. The Field to Market effort, which is focused on cross-sector dialogues, began last fall with the goal of...

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Sep 12, 2019

EPA Releases WOTUS Repeal Rule

Author: Mary Quigley

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its final rule to repeal the harmful 2015 definition of "waters of the United States.”   NCGA will be reviewing the repeal rule and is encouraged that we are one step closer to ensuring farmers have the clarity and certainty they have long-sought to effectively implement stewardship practices on their operations.   NCGA and state affiliates have been working to balance environmental protection efforts while sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world. The Soil Health Partnership and Field to Market are both proactive efforts to help farmers fully utilize sustainability tools.   NCGA has also been active in the ongoing WOTUS rulemaking process, submitting comments as part of the organization’s participation in the Agricultural Nutrients Policy Council (ANPC) and the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC). 

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Sep 12, 2019

NCGA Members Now Save in More Ways at Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops

Author: Mary Quigley

With the recent purchase of Cabela’s by Bass Pro Shops, a special program has been designed for NCGA members by Bass Pro Shops-Cabela’s Business Sales. The program provides discounts which can save you up to 30% on all purchases and 15% on gift cards.   Now, you have the option of adding the National Corn Growers Association logo to almost any Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s merchandise you order for free, or you can customize your order using your own farm, ranch or business logo for a modest fee. Certain restrictions may apply.   To receive the NCGA member Bass Pro Shops-Cabela’s Business Sales Discount: For product selection, please visit www.basspro.com or www.cabelas.com, Discount will be applied when you contact Bass Pro Shops-Cabela’s Business Sales team through the toll-free number 1-800-243-6626. Specify that you would like to place the order through the National Corn Growers Association Member Program, using the Customer ID # of 38751073 Specify items, sizes, and...

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Sep 10, 2019

NCGA Files Court Motion in Support of E15

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA yesterday moved to intervene in an effort by big oil to challenge the EPA’s final RVP rule by filing a motion in support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the final rule allowing for year-round sales of E15. If successful, the oil industry’s lawsuit would overturn the E15 rule.   NCGA and its farmer members have been long-time advocates of removing the unnecessary and outdated barrier to year-round E15. Removing that barrier took several years to accomplish, but our persistence paid off. With that barrier gone, more retailers are coming off the fence to offer consumers more fuel choice that saves drivers money and lowers emissions. Monday’s action was a continuation of NCGA efforts to increase corn grind by expanding the sales of higher ethanol blends. NCGA will be joining efforts with other ethanol advocates as the legal process continues.

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Sep 9, 2019

NCGA at USDA Farmers Market

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA last Friday participated in the VegU fruit and vegetable education program at the USDA Farmers Market in Washington, D.C. Chip Bowling and NCGA staff gave a presentation covering how to choose the best sweet corn and the difference between sweet corn and field corn.   NCGA also shared the other places consumers can see field corn in their diets, such as animal proteins and cornmeal products.   The VegU-cation program, initiated in 2016, teaches consumers how to pick, grow, and prepare produce that is in season across the United States and its territories. VegU has its own tent in the market and each week presentations for the week’s vegetable run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. where the featured produce is highlighted during 10-minute cooking presentations.   During the presentation, NCGA gave sweet corn samples and recipe cards featuring corn-based meals to patrons at the market.

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Sep 5, 2019

USMCA Must Be at the top of Fall Congressional Agenda

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

Congress returns to Washington next week and passage of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) should be at the top of their agenda.   Farmers have taken the opportunity to share this message with lawmakers at local events during the August break and are eager to see the working group process bear fruit so the agreement can move forward for consideration.   USMCA will solidify a $4.56 billion export market and provide some certainty for farmers weathering a perfect storm of challenges. Ratifying USMCA will also instill confidence in other nations that the U.S. is a reliable partner and supplier, ensuring U.S. agriculture remains competitive for generations to come.   Since NAFTA, U.S. ag exports have tripled to Canada and quintupled to Mexico. Mexico is now the top buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing 25 percent of corn exports. For more information on what these markets mean to your state - https://www.fas.usda.gov/usmca-benefits-states   Congress has a lot to do and they...

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Sep 4, 2019

NCGA Supports EPA’s Interim Decision on Glyphosate Registration

Key Issues: BiotechnologyProduction

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA Supports EPA’s Interim Decision on Glyphosate Registration   The NCGA recently submitted comments in support of U.S. EPA’s proposed interim registration review decision for glyphosate. EPA is required to review pesticide registrations every 15 years to comply with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), but may choose to issue interim decisions as needed to account for completed risk assessments and the availability of new data.   “The introduction of chemical herbicides during the second half of the 20th century transformed modern agriculture. Glyphosate, in particular, revolutionized weed control and facilitated the use of no-till practices, which have reduced topsoil erosion and improved soil health,” said Lynn Chrisp, NCGA president from Nebraska. “It is one of the most widely used and comprehensively evaluated herbicides and we appreciate the EPA’s recognition of the sound science behind this product in its interim review decision.”   In the...

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Sep 3, 2019

NCGA Hosts LCFS Regulators and Environmental Non-Profits

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association and Renewable Fuels Association last week hosted Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) regulators from the California Air Resources Board and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, along with representatives of leading environmental non-profit organizations for a Midwest tour of corn-growing and ethanol decarbonization technologies.   The tour was designed for individuals who already have a working understanding of ethanol but who want to learn more about the research, innovation and investment in the science of growing corn and producing ethanol firsthand.   Tour participants were able to hear from farmers and see advances in corn production practices. They learned how farm production practices already help reduce the carbon intensity of ethanol and how corn production can provide additional decarbonization benefits, including sequestering carbon in the soil.   Tour stops included Siouxland Ethanol in Jackson, Neb., and Elite Octane...

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Aug 30, 2019

NCGA: EPA Must Account for Waivers

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed 2020 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   While NCGA appreciates EPA’s 15 billion gallon proposal for conventional biofuel, these proposed volumes are meaningless by failing to account for issued refinery waivers, which EPA significantly expanded during this Administration.   “NCGA has no confidence in the volumes EPA proposes for 2020. These refinery waivers have significantly outpaced annual increases in RFS volume requirements, taking RFS volume requirements backward,” NCGA President Lynn Chrisp wrote in the organization’s comments to EPA.   President Trump’s actions on ethanol have cost 2,700 rural jobs and impacted demand for more than 300 million bushels of corn as a result of ethanol plant closures and slowing production. Since 2018, the 85 RFS exemptions granted to big oil refineries have totaled 4.04...

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Aug 29, 2019

NCGA Letter to President Trump: Step In to Help Out Corn Farmers

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

Three weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stunned the corn industry with news it approved 31 additional small refinery exemptions for big oil companies. Today, NCGA President Lynn Chrisp sent a letter to President Trump encouraging him to step in and help out corn farmers that have been affected by this mistake.   The body of this letter is provided below:   Dear President Trump:   Three weeks ago, your Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved 31 additional refinery exemptions to big oil companies. This news sent shockwaves through the corn industry and put us back on our heels.   Days after the 31 exemptions were announced, the nation’s largest ethanol producer, POET, idled production at an ethanol plant in Indiana. This action came after they already reduced production at half their facilities, with the largest drop taking place in Iowa and Ohio. Just yesterday, Corn Plus, a farmer-owned ethanol plant in Minnesota that has been in business for over...

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Aug 29, 2019

Ethanol and Trade Dominate Conversations at Farm Progress Show

Author: Mary Quigley

It’s no surprise that trade and ethanol were top-of-mind, driving the conversations with farmers, media and industry partners at this year’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois. The National Corn Growers Association officer team engaged in a number of conversations around these topics, talking about the importance of growing corn demand.   “One of the primary questions we were getting asked at the show was what is happening in regard to the small refinery exemptions,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “We are in a situation where we are putting some importance on the fact that the gallons need to be reallocated and they need to be reallocated to 2020, not 2021. Farmers can’t wait another year and President Trump needs to act to restore lost ethanol gallons starting this year.”   NCGA First Vice President Kevin Ross had the opportunity to briefly discuss the reallocation of gallons with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “I told the Secretary that we absolutely could not...

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Aug 28, 2019

Plant Breeding Meeting Hosts Key Players in the Future of Corn

Key Issues: Production

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA is sponsoring a meeting this week attended by more than 400 plant breeders from industry and academia. The group, which will play a key role in the future of new corn varieties, are gathered at the 2019 National Association of Plant Breeders Annual Meeting in Pine Mountain, Georgia, to discuss cutting-edge research advances important to the breeding community.   While corn is just one of many crops represented at the meeting, the common language and goals of plant breeding mean that advances in other crops can be shared and provide benefits broadly. The meeting includes updates from USDA programs, field and facility tours at University of Georgia campus, and many opportunities for students and early career faculty to develop professional networks. NCGA is proud to be among the sponsors of the NAPB meeting.   "Events like these provide invaluable opportunities to share our perspective with those developing the next generation of varieties our growers need to continue...

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Aug 27, 2019

Teeter Joins SHP as Minnesota Field Manager

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

Anna Teeter is SHP’s newest team member, joining as a Field Manager covering Minnesota. Anna most recently received her master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the Department of Soil Science. Her thesis evaluated preserving nitrogen from fall-applied dairy manure using nitrapyrin, a nitrification inhibitor, in combination with spring wheat as a fall cover crop.    “Anna is a great addition to the SHP Field Manager team. Her extensive experience working with diverse farming operations will bring a great perspective to Minnesota farmers,” commented SHP Field Team Director, Jack Cornell. Anna received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison double majoring in Agronomy and Life Science Communication. Throughout her undergrad, Anna worked with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Forage Extension Specialist and gained experience working with a diverse group of farming operations. Additionally, Anna served as a Crop Scout at Tilth...

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Aug 26, 2019

NCGA Encouraged by U.S.-Japan Agreement in Principle

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association today welcomed the announcement that the United States and Japan have reached an agreement in principle that sets the stage for increased market access for American agriculture products in Japan.   “This is very encouraging news,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “Japan is the second-largest purchaser of U.S. corn and has been an important, longstanding trading partner with America’s corn farmers. We hope the next stage of negotiations are successful in enhancing rules of trade and building on this strong relationship.”   Chrisp said NCGA is continuing conversations with the Trump Administration to learn more details on what specifically Sunday’s announcement will mean for America’s corn farmers.   The U.S.-Japan announcement follows recent Administrative actions that have added to growing economic concerns across rural America. On Friday, the Chinese government announced it would levy an additional ten percent tariff on U.S. products,...

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Aug 26, 2019

Celebrate the Women Sharing Ag’s Story this Women’s Equality Day

Author: Mary Quigley

This Women’s Equality Day, the National Corn Growers Association invites those on and off the farm alike to consider the important role women have and continue to play in agriculture. According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, 36 percent of all producers are now female, with 56 percent of farms having at least one female decision-maker.   Many of these women are also playing a key role in conversations in food and farming through their work in programs such as CommonGround. For more than eight years, CommonGround volunteers have served as resources for consumers who have questions about how their food is grown.   Sharing their personal stories, the volunteers who make up this grassroots movement foster conversations, based in shared values, that help moms off the farm discover that they can feel good about the food they feed their families. America’s farm families provide an amazing array of options but, with so many competing claims, honest questions are understandable. By...

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Aug 23, 2019

President Signs Farm Bankruptcy Bill

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

President Trump today signed the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 (H.R. 2336). The legislation, supported by NCGA, aims to ease bankruptcy rules for farmers by raising the limit for farms to qualify for reorganizing their debts under agriculture bankruptcy law.   “Farmers are facing a perfect storm of challenges, be it uncertainty surrounding trade and tariffs or disruptions in the ethanol market. Amid these challenges they need access to all available tools which the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019 will ensure they have. This benefits not just the farmer, but their rural communities. This bill raises the Chapter 12 operating debt cap to $10 million, giving more farmers facing difficult financial decisions the opportunity to survive another day,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp.

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Aug 23, 2019

Congressional Group Gets Close-Up Look at Farms and Issues

Author: Mary Quigley

A group of 20 Congressional staffers received updates from farmers, Illinois Corn Growers Association staff and NCGA staffers this week as part of the St. Louis Agribusiness Club’s Congressional Tour. NCGA Manager of Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Sarah Doese and NCGA’s Biotechnology and Crop Input Director Nicole Hasheider, joined the group on visits to numerous ag-related sites.   The tour, which happens every other year, give the Washington, DC Congressional staff a boots-on-the-ground look at farming and gain a better understanding of the industry and current key issues.   The tour included stops at a lock and dam facility on the Mississippi River, the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center, and multiple row crop and livestock farms in the area.   Tour participants heard about the benefits of ethanol and the importance of the biofuel to the farm economy. The group also engaged in conversations on the importance of trade and heard encouragement to pass the USMCA...

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Aug 23, 2019

NCGA Statement: USDA Trade Damage Calculations

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp today made the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) release of its methodology to determine commodity payment rates for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). The payment rate for corn is $0.14 per bushel.   “NCGA welcomes USDA’s transparency in this process. Corn farmers were understandably disappointed by the one cent per bushel for corn in the first MFP program and we appreciate that it appears USDA considered our recommendations in developing MFP 2.0. Amid farmers’ concern over crop conditions, trade disputes and tariffs, and demand destruction in the ethanol market, this program will not make any farmer whole. NCGA continues to strongly advocate for the Administration to open markets and provide more certainty for corn farmers, including addressing the harm caused by RFS waivers and resolving trade disputes and tariffs.”   NCGA analysis showed an average price loss for corn of 20...

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Aug 22, 2019

Corn Farmers Press Trump to Take Steps to Significantly Increase Corn Demand

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

The impact of the Trump Administration’s recent granting of 31 refinery waivers to big oil is quickly being felt across the countryside, compounding farmer’s concerns about crop conditions, markets, and trade.   In the last 12 months, 15 ethanol plants have been shuttered or idled, including POET’s Cloverdale facility which specifically cited the most recent waivers as the cause. Given this reduced demand, it is likely more closings will follow.   Recent press reports indicate the President is, rightly, rethinking this action and NCGA is continuing to work with members of his administration and ethanol advocates in Congress. This includes sharing solutions that would significantly boost corn demand.   President Trump’s actions on ethanol have cost 2,700 rural jobs and lost demand for more than 300 million bushels of corn as a result of the ethanol plant closures and slowing production. Since 2018, the 85 RFS exemptions granted to big oil refineries have totaled 4.04 billion...

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Aug 22, 2019

Conservation Action Tour Showcases Advances in Sustainability

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA Stewardship and Sustainability Director Rachel Orf is in central Iowa this week attending the 2019 Conservation Technology Information Center Conservation in Action Tour. Attendees are examining a wide range of edge-of-field systems, in-field solutions, and management practices on the farm and at those being adopted by retailers.   “The theme of the 12th annual Conservation in Action Tour, Conservation at The Leading Edge, is reflected in how farmers hosting tour stops are literally at the leading edge of conservation practices,” Orf said. “Healthy soil and clean water are incredibly valuable assets for farmers living - and making a living - from the land as well as society at large.”   Yesterday the group got to see a bioreactor in the process of being constructed. In agricultural applications, bioreactors are vessels/trenches filled with woodchips that literally contain water briefly allowing bacteria to filter and clean the water from the farm field. They are...

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Aug 20, 2019

Tell EPA: Waivers Are Gutting the RFS

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

Corn farmers have until August 30 to submit comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), urging the agency to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole. Farmer comments are critically important following EPA’s recent announcement of waivers to big oil.   EPA’s annual RFS volume proposal seeks to increase total renewable fuel blending by 120 million gallons and maintain an implied conventional ethanol requirement of 15 billion gallons. But these volumes are meaningless amid EPA's expansion of retroactive RFS waivers for refineries, which now total 4.04 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons.    EPA’s proposal fails to account for projected waivers and ignores a 2017 court decision that EPA improperly cut 500 million gallons of renewable fuels blending in 2016. Tell EPA the agency must account for waived gallons in the volume rule in order to keep the RFS whole. 

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Aug 14, 2019

#ICYMI: Waterways Council Launches Educational Video Series

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Mary Quigley

The Waterways Council, Inc. recently produced a series of videos, aimed at educating various audiences on inland waterways. The five videos focus on agriculture, labor, shippers, communities and the Army Corps of Engineers. In the agriculture video, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue kicks it off by saying “I don’t think anything is more important to agriculture than logistics and transportation. That’s ultimately how we get that product to the ultimate end customer and our waterways have been absolutely critical in that effort.”   To watch the agriculture video, click here. To learn more about and watch the other four videos, click here. In September, NCGA staff will be participating in a Mississippi Riverboat trip with the Army Corps of Engineers from Hannibal to St. Louis, to learn more about river transportation, lock and dam infrastructure and various projects the Corps is working on.   Fast Facts on River Transportation:   Corn, soybeans and wheat account...

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Aug 13, 2019

The National Corn Yield Contest Deadline August 15

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Yield Contest entry deadline is Thursday, August 15, 2019. To participate and receive recognition for your yield, enter online.   All harvest entries will be due by November 15. Contest winners will be announced on December 16. For access to additional contest information and a detailed list of the entry and harvest rules, click here.   Winners receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips or other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. The winners will be honored during Commodity Classic 2020 in San Antonio, Texas.   Contact the direct call line at 636-733-5512 or email ncyc@ncga.com with any questions.

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Aug 9, 2019

Leaders Come Together to Develop Skills, Share Insights

Author: Mary Quigley

Fifteen growers from nine states - Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, South Dakota and Wisconsin took part in NCGA’s Leadership Academy program in St. Louis this week.   The NCGA Leadership Academy is designed to prepare state corn leaders to lead their respective state grower associations and checkoff boards.  This year’s program included training on the following: transformational leadership, consensus building, forecasting and anticipating future challenges, parliamentary procedure, and building trust with consumers through traditional and social media. The group visited the NCGA office to meet and build a relationship with staff who lead national programs.  NCGA’s CEO, Jon Doggett, Board President, Lynn Chrisp and in-coming First Vice-President John Linder were on hand to interact with the participants.   Leading the conversation on building trust was the Center for Food Integrity (CFI). CFI is a not-for-profit organization whose members and partners...

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Aug 8, 2019

Joint NCGA-ASA Op-Ed Urges President to Support Renewable Fuel Standard

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp and American Soybean Association (ASA) President Davie Stephens have written the below opinion piece urging President Trump to uphold his commitment to America’s farmers and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   President Trump, Uphold Your Commitment to the RFS American farmers have a strong history of innovation. Whether that be the seeds that we plant or the tractors that we drive, we are always looking for ways to do better and increase market opportunities for our products.   Home-grown renewable fuels, like ethanol and biodiesel, are far and away our biggest success story. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has reduced our dependence on foreign oil, lowered fuel prices at the pump, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and added value by increasing demand for the corn and soybeans our farmers produce.   Recently, President Trump took a significant step forward for renewable fuels, instructing the Environmental...

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Aug 7, 2019

Farmers Come First: Reflections on an Amazing Summer at NCGA

Author: Mary Quigley

Written by Emily Keiser     After traveling to six different states, visiting D.C. twice, and learning the true meaning of “farmers come first,” I could not be more grateful for my time with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and the Soil Health Partnership (SHP). Throughout the summer, I have learned the mission of NCGA, the dedication it takes to continue to move the needle through the tough times, and the importance of continuing to spread the positive message of agriculture.   With over 40,000 farmers served by NCGA nationwide, it becomes a big task to have each region represented. During my time in the national office, I have seen the true dedication to provide the voice for farmers, no matter what their geography. Learning how an issue that starts in a farmer’s field gets to Washington is a process that I have truly enjoyed getting to learn more about.   This year has not been the year most farmers would hang their hat on, with the continued trade challenges...

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Aug 6, 2019

Save on Back to School Shopping with NCGA-Office Depot Membership Benefit

Author: Mary Quigley

The coming school year is facing families on farms and in cities alike. Members of the National Corn Growers Association can save on the supplies they need for a successful school year through the association’s partnership with Office Depot. Online and in-store, NCGA members are eligible for special discounts on the products necessary to help their families prepare for another successful school year.   The benefit offers members discounts on already low Office Depot prices and provides the flexibility to shop online and at any of their retail locations with a Store Purchasing Card. Online savings include up to 55 percent off a 260 item “best buy” list of their most popular items and 5 percent off every online item. Members can also save 10 percent off everything in Office Depot & OfficeMax retail stores with their store card.   Register by clicking here to either shop online or receive a discount card for in-store shopping.

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Aug 2, 2019

Congressional Recess Presents Opportunity for Corn Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

Members of the U.S. House and Senate are returning home after adjourning for the annual August recess. This district work period provides ample opportunity for NCGA’s farmer members to engage with their representatives on issues of importance to corn farmers.   NCGA continues to advocate for passage of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and lawmakers are hoping to consider the new pact when they reconvene this fall. USMCA will solidify a $4.56 billion export market and provide some much-needed certainty for farmers. Ratifying USMCA will also instill confidence in other nations that the U.S. is a reliable partner and supplier, ensuring U.S. agriculture remains competitive for generations to come.   Townhall meetings, county fairs and local festivals are all opportunities for farmers to share their stories with lawmakers. Farmers can learn more about upcoming events in their area by contacting their state corn grower association.   Farmers can also send a message to...

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Aug 1, 2019

Soil Health Partnership Celebrates 5 Years of Growth and Collaboration

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) has been fostering transformation in agriculture through improved soil health since 2014. This year, SHP celebrates its fifth anniversary and the foundational collaborations that developed the program.   SHP was founded by a diverse group of organizations with a shared vision of developing a farmer-led research network to measure the impacts of implementing soil health practices on working farms. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Bayer, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), alongside the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), came together to see this vision through. This program was based upon work supported by the National Resources Conservation Service, U.S Department of Agriculture.   “We are proud of the collaboration led to SHP’s establishment. That collaboration has continued to grow and evolve with many partners, bringing dynamic perspectives to the table. We would not be where we are today without our founding partners sharing the...

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Jul 31, 2019

NCGA Testimony: EPA Must Account for RFS Waivers

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association today reiterated its call on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) whole by accounting for waived ethanol gallons as the agency considers proposed biofuel targets for 2020.   In testimony at an EPA hearing in Ypsilanti, Mich., NCGA Board Member and Ohio farmer John Linder pressed the agency to move forward with a stronger RFS rule that supports America’s farmers, their rural communities, and consumers.   “The proposed rule we are discussing today allows retroactive refinery exemptions to continue to destroy demand for renewable fuels. In addition, the proposal ignores the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision that EPA improperly waived 500 million gallons in 2016,” Linder said.   For 2020, EPA proposes to increase total renewable fuel blending by 120 million gallons and maintain an implied conventional ethanol requirement of 15 billion gallons. The proposal does not take into account EPA’s ongoing...

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Jul 31, 2019

NCGA Seeks Action Team, Committee Members, Leadership

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on 2020 NCGA action teams, which now begins Jan. 1, 2020. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.   The teams, which will be entering their first year in this new format and term dates include: Ethanol; Market Development; Member & Consumer Engagement; Production Technology Access; Risk Management & Transportation; Stewardship; and Sustainable Ag Research. Positions are also available on Standing Committees, which include CornPAC and the Resolutions Committee.    Qualified applicants must be an NCGA member or prospective member and/or contribute to their state checkoff program, if applicable. Ideal candidates should have interest or expertise in a particular area relevant to the team focus.   Action Teams represent a cross-section of corn...

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Jul 30, 2019

Senate Staffers Hear About the Intersection of Soil Health and Climate Change

Key Issues: SustainabilityFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

    A standing-room-only crowd attended a briefing: “An Overview of Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry” in Washington, D.C. today to hear experts like Executive Director of the Soil Health Partnership Dr. Shefali Mehta, highlight the agricultural practices farmers are adopting that can help mitigate climate change.   The briefing was hosted by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and targeted a diverse group of staffers interested in learning more about how farming practices are helping make farmers more resilient in the face of a changing climate.   “Practices such as reducing or eliminating tillage and growing cover crops can improve soil health, and they also hold the potential to increase carbon sequestration and storage and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with agricultural production,” Mehta said. “In addition to their role in climate change mitigation, these practices can make agricultural land—and farm operations—more...

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Jul 30, 2019

Corn as an Industrial Feedstock

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Mary Quigley

  The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) rolled out a new publication at BIO World Congress in Des Moines, Iowa earlier this month called Corn as an Industrial Feedstock. The publication distills corn’s story by explaining why corn is a great industrial feedstock. The book is divided into three sections: Corn is a Responsibly Produced Industrial Feedstock, Corn is an Abundant Industrial Feedstock and Corn is an Affordable Industrial Feedstock.   “As NCGA continues to work to find new uses of corn, this publication will help us have conversations with potential future partners about why corn is an ideal industrial feedstock,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “We have a very positive story to tell. U.S. corn farmers continue to produce a more on less land and corn’s cost as a feedstock has benefited greatly by improvements in technology, production and logistics efficiency.”   NCGA is working to establish at least three new uses of corn by 2020, for a...

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Jul 26, 2019

Annual Monarch Blitz Kicks Off July 27

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the 3rd Annual International Monarch Monitoring Blitz in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The event from July 27 to August 4, 2019, invites people across North America to go out to gardens, parks and green areas and monitor milkweed plants for monarch eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and butterflies.   The information will help researchers identify priority areas for monarch conservation. It also provides a great way to build overall awareness of the importance of the Monarch butterfly to our ecosystem and biological diversity.   NCGA supports Monarch conservation initiatives because of their contribution to productive agriculture. An increase in milkweed and nectar plants appropriately placed in rural areas can benefit Monarchs without inhibiting production, and farmers are in a great position to establish Monarch habitat.   You can learn a lot more from NCGA’s new publication called Best Management Practice for Pollinator Protection in...

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Jul 26, 2019

NCGA Seeks Action Team, Committee Members, Leadership

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on 2020 NCGA action teams, which now begins Jan. 1, 2020. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.   The teams, which will be entering their first year in this new format and term dates include: Ethanol; Market Development; Member & Consumer Engagement; Production Technology Access; Risk Management & Transportation; Stewardship; and Sustainable Ag Research. Positions are also available on Standing Committees, which include CornPAC and the Resolutions Committee.    Qualified applicants must be an NCGA member or prospective member and/or contribute to their state checkoff program, if applicable. Ideal candidates should have interest or expertise in a particular area relevant to the team focus.   Action Teams represent a cross-section of corn...

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Jul 25, 2019

NCGA Welcomes Progress on MFP, Looks Forward to Improved Program

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp today made the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) release of county payment rates for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP).   “It’s no secret that farmers are facing difficult decisions amid wet spring weather, trade disputes and tariffs, and demand destruction in the ethanol market. While NCGA’s focus remains markets, we welcome USDA’s quick rollout of MFP 2.0 and the Department’s creative efforts to reorient MFP to better reflect market impacts and support American farmers. We look forward to learning more about how MFP will work for corn farmers.”   Following President Trump’s announcement that the Administration would be pursuing a second round of trade aid, NCGA put forward recommendations that would provide both short-term assistance and support market access for farmers. NCGA continues to encourage the Administration to take additional actions to open markets and provide more...

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Jul 25, 2019

Scout Now, Take Action and Plan for 2020

Author: Mary Quigley

Even though the growing season didn’t start out as many had hoped or planned, corn pests won’t be taking any time off this summer. Now is the time to be regularly scouting for the presence of weeds, diseases and damaging insect pests.   Check out the Take Action website for resources on managing corn rootworm beetles that can be damaging during the silking stage, plus herbicide, fungicide and insecticide classification charts to help break down your decisions for in-season control.   Your time scouting can also be useful as you start to think about seed and input selection for the 2020 growing season. Take note of how the control measures you put in place for this year are performing and if you see any problems with resistance. Use this information to help guide your decisions as you wait for yield results later this fall.

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Jul 24, 2019

Ag Economy and Tough Growing Season Driving Increase in Farm Stress

Key Issues: Production

Author: Mary Quigley

If you farm it is very likely you deal with stress on a regular basis. If you farm in 2019, your stress level may be red-lining due to multiple factors making life more challenging than usual.   Low commodity prices, livestock health problems, crop yield, high interest rates, government regulations, large debt loads, disagreements from being in a family business and weather head the list of things that can put a major kink in a farmer’s day, according to Charles Schuster and Jeanette M. Jeffrey, with University of Maryland Extension.   Schuster and Jeffrey, who regularly address farm stress and mental health issues, recently addressed a session of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Congress in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness related to the high levels of anxiety in the countryside today.   The notable increase of stress on many farms means it’s a good time to recognize escalating stress in yourself and your friends, family and neighbors in the ag community. That’s...

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Jul 24, 2019

First-Time Corn Ambassador Training Held in Minnesota

Author: Mary Quigley

Growers gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota this week for the first class of the NCGA Corn Ambassadors, co-sponsored by Syngenta. The class included 16 aspiring leaders from 7 states. The purpose of this training is to inspire this next generation of leaders to be an envoy to bring new members and advocates to join their state corn association.   At the meeting, participants got an inside look at the important role played by their corn associations and Syngenta trainers provided exposure to hands-on sales tools that will help energize recruitment and political engagement in their state association.   The attendees used the DiSC assessment to review their personal communications style, understand the styles of others and learn how to adapt or flex their personal style to better communicate with others. They also received training in understanding generational differences, motives for decision making, understanding their personal mission, motivation, and opportunities, and...

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Jul 22, 2019

2019 Corn Yield Contest Deadline Approaching

Author: Mary Quigley

There is still time to enter the 55th installment of the National Corn Yield Contest but entries must be in by Wednesday, July 31, 2019. So, if you are looking to challenge yourself, explore new production techniques and learn about enhancing yields, you should check out the National Corn Growers Association’s contest.   NCYC is where high yields meet innovative production methods and razor-sharp management skills. The contest also helps chart a course for how corn farmers will continue to meet future demand while integrating the drive for more sustainable production practices.   A farmer must have an NCGA membership number to enter the contest. Please call 636-733-5512 or email ncyc@ncga.com to get your membership number or to join the organization. Your full name, mailing address, phone number and email address are required to create your membership number and enter.   Winners will receive national recognition in publications such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide, as well as...

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Jul 19, 2019

SHP Soil Sessions: Crop Update and Scouting Tips

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

You still have time to sign up for a unique webinar to get a U.S. crop update and learn crop scouting techniques and strategies. The Soil Health Partnership sponsored event will be held July 30, 2019 at 11 a.m. EST / 10 a.m. CST.   During the session discussion will revolve around:   How to scout fields with cover crops during planting What to expect with a late harvest? Drone scouting techniques and strategies   If you are unable to join live, please still register. A recording of the webinar will be shared with all registrants so you can listen any time. You can register here.

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Jul 12, 2019

Cover Crop Benefits Clearer in Drought and Wet Years

Key Issues: SustainabilityProduction

Author: Mary Quigley

Joe Breker needs his own tee shirt that reads “No Tillage, More Plants” or “Cover Crops Are Good Risk Management.” The North Dakota farmer thinks the tandem of no-till farming and the use of cover crops are key to making farmers more resilient in good times and bad, deluge or drought.   That’s because National Corn Growers Association’s 2017 Good Steward Recognition Recipient has spent four decades working to make his farm more sustainable and he has seen the conservation and business benefits of protecting and enriching the soil with cover crops, especially when mother nature provides too little or too much rain.   “If you already have established cover crops in a wet spring as we’ve had, it protects the soil from erosion and in some cases can get you in the field faster. That’s important when getting planting done is a challenge,” Breker said. “Sure, some fields are just too wet but cover crops generally improve your chances for success in most years.”   And Breker is not...

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Jul 11, 2019

National Corn Growers Association in the Spotlight at BIO World Congress

Key Issues: EthanolBiotechnology

Author: Mary Quigley

This week, farmer leaders, state staff and National Corn Growers Association staff attended and participated in BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, Iowa. Topics at the event ranged from sustainability, transforming chemical markets to biofuel market growth. NCGA staff participated in three different panels throughout the event.   To kick-off the week, NCGA announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II, holding a session where the winners were able to share with a large audience their technologies that will utilize field corn. NCGA Vice President of Market Development Jim Bauman moderated the session.   “Making the announcement at BIO was a great fit for our winners because they were able to participate in a number of one-on-one meetings with companies and researchers interested in learning more about their technology,” said Bauman. “It also allowed NCGA to talk about the various benefits of corn as an industrial feedstock with the...

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Jul 10, 2019

Higher Cash Prizes with Higher Res Requirements for 2019 Photo Contest

Author: Mary Quigley

The annual photo contest of National Corn Growers Association, Fields-of-Corn.com started in 2014 to help tell the story of farming field corn in America. Since its start, NCGA has collected 2,000 photos across ten categories and awarded more than one hundred cash prizes.     A few updates have been made for the 2019 contest:   Stricter resolution requirements are in place, so photographers should use their equipment’s highest resolution settings. 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 seven categories and, as in prior years, judges will select a single Grand Prize winner to be awarded $500. New category: True Grit, Women’s Edition    Visit Fields-of-Corn today to enter your best farm photos, and vote for your favorite photos.   Open to all, entries will be accepted through Nov. 30 and will be available to accumulate Facebook “likes”...

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Jul 8, 2019

Consider Corn Challenge Winners Focus on Improving Existing Products in the Marketplace with Corn Based Next Generation Renewable Materials

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Mary Quigley

Today, at the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, Iowa, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II. Three winners were chosen, each with a unique technology to improve a product or process using field corn to produce biobased materials.   “Corn is a sustainable, abundant and affordable industrial feedstock that, as these companies have demonstrated, has myriad uses,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “The winners of the Consider Corn Challenge will help America’s corn farmers partner with industry to establish new uses of corn. This challenge continues to highlight the fact that U.S. corn is an extremely flexible feedstock for biobased products.”   The three winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II are ExoPolymer, Inc., based out of San Carlos, California, Sumatra Biorenewables, LLC. from Ames, Iowa, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural...

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Jun 27, 2019

Census of Agriculture Congressional District Profiles

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on Wednesday released the Congressional District Profiles and Rankings from the 2017 Census of Agriculture.   “The profiles are a quick way to see what’s going on with agriculture in a particular area – to show its value at the local level,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “They provide an easy way to evaluate high-level data, compare characteristics of one district to another, and educate colleagues, policymakers, and non-farming neighbors about farming in that location.”   USDA announced the initial results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture in April. Corn is the #2 commodity by value, behind cattle and calves. The 2017 corn crop was valued at $51.2 billion.   The census is available to review in many formats on the NASS website.

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Jun 27, 2019

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Dennis McNinch

Author: Mary Quigley

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   A life-long farmer with a deep passion for agriculture that has only grown stronger over time, Dennis McNinch gained unique experiences through off-farm work after graduating from college in the early 1980s. Now, he would like to share that combined experience in agricultural and rural finance and passion for farming to the service of others as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   McNinch decided to run for the Corn Board because he sees the need for a strong voice in agriculture to ensure that the farmers of today and generations to come are properly represented. With a passion for farming born as a small child tagging alongside his grandfather on the farm, he has gained valuable experience working both on the farm and off, with Farm Credit where he worked for 32-years. As a Corn Board member, he would listen to not only the farmers in his state but to farmers from all...

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Jun 26, 2019

Sustainability: Making Dollars and Sense in Agricultural Sustainability Programs

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

Consumer interest in where and how their food is produced is on the rise, and many leading brands and retail companies have responded by setting ambitious sustainable sourcing commitments. However, plenty of challenges remain to make sure all participants, from farmer to retailer, share in the value from the evolving marketplace.   Better understanding this conundrum and finding solutions and incentives throughout the value chain is a key topic of discussion at the Field to Market Meeting in Oakbrook, Ill. this week. NCGA staff, including Rachel Orf, Director of Stewardship and Sustainability, are in attendance seeking opportunities to partner with other organizations and companies on projects.   Orf says many farmers are making substantive changes in their farming operations with sustainability goals in mind. But, for the progress to continue, there must be clear incentives to enhance farmers’ livelihoods such as protecting and maintaining farm productivity and better prices...

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Jun 26, 2019

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Mike Lefever

Author: Mary Quigley

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   After seeing the contributions of the Corn Board to the industry as a whole, Mike Lefever grew a deep respect for the work that these grower leaders do and what they accomplish for the industry as a whole. Currently chairing the Market Access Action Team, he hopes to grow his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Lefever decided to run for election to the Corn Board after his involvement with NCGA deepened his understanding of the importance of NCGA’s work to the well-being of the corn industry as a whole and the work it has done on his behalf over the years. As a Corn Board member, he would strive to be the eyes and ears of production, uses and world needs. An ambassador for the industry to both the government and the public, he would ensure that grassroots’ voices are taken into account in all NCGA’s actions regardless of the size and location of their...

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Jun 25, 2019

SHP Testifies in Support of Investment and Collaboration in Soil Health Practices

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) Executive Director, Dr. Shefali Mehta testified today at a House Agriculture, Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry hearing in support of investment in soil health practices.   The SHP, a program of the National Corn Growers Association, is a farmer-led effort that has built a network of over 220 farmers in 15 states and over 100 partner organizations at the federal, state and county levels over the past five years.    “Our partner farmers work with us over five years to measure the impacts of the practice change. We measure basic soil macro- and micronutrients every year on the field, as well as soil health indicators every other year. Through this process, we are creating an in-depth data set from which to support farmers’ decisions and to understand the long-term changes in soil health over time. We look for impacts on yield, input use, and the farmer’s profitability,” explained Dr. Mehta.   “The farmers we work with are exceptional...

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Jun 25, 2019

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Tom Haag

Author: Mary Quigley

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   Having served one term on the National Corn Growers Association, Tom Haag is running for re-election to continue serving his fellow farmers. A team-oriented leader with the ability to find real solutions, he sees Corn Board service as an important way to contribute to his industry in a concrete manner.   As a Corn Board member, Haag brings an ability to collaborate well while also acting as a strong voice on the association’s behalf to members and external stakeholders. By carefully considering the many strengths and weaknesses of all possible approaches to multifaceted issues, he consistently shares well-reasoned insights and adds depth to important conversations.   “NCGA’s strength comes from a combination of its excellent grower leadership, dedicated staff and consistent reliance upon a grassroots approach. Looking forward, we must not only continue to draw upon these strengths but push...

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Jun 20, 2019

NCGA Ups Pressure on EPA to Follow President’s Lead on Ethanol

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association today will begin airing an advertisement calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow President Trump’s commitment to farmers and stop giving Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to big oil companies. These waivers negatively impact farmers by undercutting the RFS and reducing corn demand.   Watch Ad   The ad features NCGA First Vice President and Iowa farmer Kevin Ross who recently appeared at an ethanol plant with President Trump in recognition of the Administration’s support of year-round E15. During the event, Ross thanked the President for delivering on this promise but cautioned, “The EPA’s oil refinery waivers threaten to undo your good works.”   Since early 2018, EPA has granted 53 RFS small refinery exemptions (SREs), or waivers, totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. The 2017 RFS waivers effectively reduced the 15 billion-gallon implied ethanol volume to 13.18 billion gallons,...

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Jun 20, 2019

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Chris Edgington

Author: Mary Quigley

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   A committed and energetic leader, Chris Edgington does the homework necessary to contribute deeply to his service as a volunteer farmer leader. Having already served his first term on the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board, he wishes to continue this valuable work through re-election to a second term.   Having worked for many years for the betterment of agriculture, he is passionate about continuing the full range of work that NCGA carries out to benefit all farmers across the country. From the promotion of the versatility and value of corn to work in the policy and regulatory arenas, he aims to help farmers maintain the tools, policy and market opportunities that they need to thrive in the future.   As a leader, he believes strongly in doing the due diligence and coming to discussions thoroughly prepared, whether that work is a board meeting, a conference call or talking about the...

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Jun 19, 2019

Virtual Reality Immerses Viewers in Monarch Butterflies’ 3000-Mile Migration

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

The Monarch Effect, an interactive, virtual reality experience, will debut today during National Pollinator Week in Washington, DC. Created by Environmental Defense Fund and the National Corn Growers Association, The Monarch Effect immerses viewers in monarch butterflies’ incredible 3,000-mile migration through North America. The journey begins in the oyamel fir forests of central Mexico, where tens of millions of monarchs spend the winter. Viewers then join consecutive generations of monarchs as they fly north into the American heartland looking for the milkweed and wildflower habitat they need to survive.   “Being surrounded by millions of monarchs during our shoot in Mexico was one of the most surreal and magical moments of my life,” said Eric Holst, associate vice president for working lands at EDF. “This technology transports people there, letting them feel that same sense of awe.”   Monarch populations have plummeted 90% over the past two decades due to habitat loss,...

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Jun 19, 2019

Mesko joins SHP as Development Director

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

The Soil Health Partnership is pleased to announce that John Mesko has joined as the Development Director, bringing vision and a breadth of experience to the SHP team.   Mesko grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in Minnesota, gaining a passion for farming and tremendous respect for farmers.  After graduating from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in agricultural economics, Mesko’s diverse career in agriculture has centered around helping farmers become more financially and environmentally sustainable.    He served as a sales agronomist and technical information manager for Mycogen Seeds. As a County Extension Director for Purdue University, his work centered on farm management and developing new markets for farmers. In addition to raising and selling grass-fed beef and lamb for a dozen years, John has led two sustainability-minded nonprofits: The Sustainable Farming Association and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable...

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Jun 19, 2019

Byerly Joins SHP as Kansas & Nebraska Field Manager

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

Keith Byerly has joined the Soil Health Partnership as the Kansas and Nebraska Field Manager. Byerly brings a broad set of experiences and expertise to this role.     “I am really impressed with Byerly’s experience of communicating his agronomic knowledge to the growers in his region across various platforms,” said SHP Field Team Director, Jack Cornell. “SHP is dedicated to continually helping farmers make more informed decisions to become more productive in their operations, and Byerly is going to help us provide Kansas and Nebraska farmers with local support.”   Byerly graduated with a degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2001 and has been a Certified Crop Advisor since 2002. Byerly spent the last eighteen years working for a cooperative that served multiple states out of Nebraska. For fifteen years, he has been a precision ag manager focusing on data services, prescriptions and hardware.  Raised on the edge of the Nebraska Sandhills, Byerly holds a...

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Jun 18, 2019

Michael Granche Joins NCGA as Market Development Manager

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to announce Michael Granchè is joining the organization as market development manager. Granchè will serve as a contact for NCGA’s animal agriculture partners and will work on export and transportation issues.   “Michael’s leadership, experience, professionalism and background are a great fit for this position,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “In this position, Michael will be an integral part of the team, providing staff support for the Market Access Action Team and liaising with many of our trade, transportation and animal agriculture industry stakeholders.”   Granchè was a policy and communications intern at the National Association of Wheat Growers in Washington, D.C. in 2016 and 2018. During his internship, he attended Commodity Classic, went to congressional hearings and analyzed policy that impacted the wheat industry. He was also a communications and marketing intern at Virginia Tech and has...

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Jun 18, 2019

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Dan Cole

Author: Mary Quigley

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   After more than a decade of involvement with the National Corn Growers Association, Dan Cole believes that the need for growers to stand up and be counted has never been greater. After serving on many teams covering a diverse array of topics, he hopes to grow his service also as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Cole decided to run for election to the Corn Board to help bring the perspective he has gained over the years, both through the people that he has met and from his unique experience as a small farmer. A man who has truly never met a stranger, he focuses on developing a deep understanding of his fellow farmers’ situations and, through his ability to communicate, he brings a grassroots voice to board conversations while also working to foster unity and cooperation through relationship building.   “NCGA’s greatest strength lies in its grassroots, federation...

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Jun 17, 2019

Pollinator Week Is A Great Time To Think Small

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

So many big things on a farm: buildings, equipment, fields, and even the scale of business decisions. So, sometimes it can be easy to forget the small things like honey bees, Monarch butterflies and other pollinators that play a critical role in the health of the environment and high yields on many crops.   “That’s why we have a National Pollinator Week – Junes 17-23, 2019 - which launches today. Pollinators are an indispensable natural resource in agriculture and healthy ecosystems,” said Roger Zylstra, a Lynnville, Iowa farmer who heads the National Corn Growers Association’s Stewardship Action Team. “There is a growing awareness amongst farmers that they are on the front line in playing a critical role for their survival and NCGA is trying to help.”   NCGA is working cooperatively with numerous groups like The Honey Bee Health Coalition, Farmers for Monarchs, and the Environmental Defense Fund to expand pollinator awareness through education and providing tools to assist in...

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Jun 17, 2019

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Russell Braun

Author: Mary Quigley

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   Over the past six years, Russell Braun has seen how the economic downturn in agriculture has impacted corn farmers. Seeing Corn Board service as a way to actively create the changes needed to keep the industry that he is passionate about vibrant, he hopes to continue his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Having served in a variety of capacities, Braun currently works as a member of the NCGA Ethanol Action Team at the national level. Through these experiences, he has developed insight into the skills needed to serve in this capacity effectively.   “A good leader needs to do a lot of listening and, at the same time, the ability to speak up when a subject needs more attention,” said Braun. “If a leader sees that something is not going the way it should, they need to raise that issue to create a discussion that allows others to see the issue from another...

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Jun 11, 2019

NCGA Joins Call for Ratification of USMCA

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA today joined more than 950 food and agriculture organizations representing to call on members of Congress to swiftly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).   In a letter to Congressional leaders, the groups reiterated that USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices.   “Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under NAFTA – growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018. NAFTA has significantly helped create a reliable, high-quality supply of food products for U.S. consumers, while supporting more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy. USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade. This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and...

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Jun 5, 2019

U.S. Farmers Should Take a Bow on World Environment Day

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

Today is World Environment Day and for U.S. farmers that makes it a great time to celebrate their success in modernizing agriculture and make it more environmentally sustainable. Improved soil management like no till and use of cover crops, precision farming tactics that better utilize nutrients and pesticides, and reducing trips across fields reduces fuel use and air pollution.   This list could go on, but suffice it to say, caring for the planet is vital to our survival. As caretakers of massive tracts of land farmers play a key role in improving our environment and they take this responsibility seriously.   From the Soil Health Partnership, which is building new soil for future generations; to the Take Action initiative that is constantly educating farmers on the latest and best ways to use crop products like herbicides and pesticides; to our efforts to save honey bees and Monarch butterflies, NCGA is working hard to keep farming profitable and assure environmental...

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Jun 4, 2019

Congress Passes Disaster Aid Package

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Mary Quigley

Farmers confronting weather-related challenges are one step closer to receiving relief.   The U.S. House of Representatives last night passed a disaster assistance package that will provide $3 billion to USDA to assist farmers confronting weather-related losses. The Senate passed the disaster bill on May 24, the legislation now goes to the President’s desk where it is expected he will sign it into law.   The disaster assistance covers expenses related to the losses of crops as a consequence of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms and wildfires in the 2018 and 2019 calendar year. The term “losses of crops” includes on-farm stored commodities and crops prevented from planting in 2019.     The legislation gives the Secretary of Agriculture and USDA discretion to decide where and how to spend the $3 billion. These determinations will likely be made in the coming weeks.

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May 31, 2019

NCGA Statement: Rethink New Tariffs on Mexican Imports

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp made the following statement in response to tweets from President Trump announcing tariffs on all Mexican imports beginning June 10, in an effort to stop illegal immigration.   “NCGA strongly urges the President to rethink applying new tariffs to Mexican goods and to reconsider using tariffs to address non-trade issues. Mexico is the top customer for U.S. corn. Corn farmers want to continue working with the Administration and Congress to ratify the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and pursue new trade agreements. The recent deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada was an important breakthrough for USCMA but new tariffs threaten to reverse that progress. Amid a perfect storm of challenges in farm country, we cannot afford the uncertainty this action would bring.”   Mexico was the top market for U.S. corn in 2017/2018, with corn and corn product exports valued at $3.3 billion. Corn exports to...

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May 29, 2019

FUELS2019 Brings Together Industry Stakeholders to Discuss Liquid Transportation Fuels

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Mary Quigley

The Fuels Institute FUELS2019 conference in Dallas provided attendees with the opportunity to take a deep dive into topics around internal combustion engines, the future of retail, biofuels and more. FUELS2019 explored the market through a series of panel discussions and presentations that evaluated the pressures from the environment, government regulations and consumer behavior.   “This was a great opportunity to build new relationships, especially with the members of the retail community,” said Director of Renewable Fuels Mark Palmer. “Gaining insights from the various sectors represented at the conference helps us better understand the challenges and opportunities we have for getting more ethanol into the marketplace.”   There were roughly 150 participants in attendance from all aspects of the liquid transportation industry including retailers, refiners, auto manufacturers, ethanol producers and RIN traders.   NCGA was a sponsor of the event, providing participants with...

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May 21, 2019

Trade Tuesday: Tariff Lift Clear Barrier for USMCA

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA continues to celebrate World Trade Month and Friday’s announcement that the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada had been lifted was a major positive step for passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Lawmakers on Capitol Hill frequently cited this tariff as a roadblock for the bill.   USMCA would update the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to further solidify the U.S. trading relationship with Canada and Mexico, two of the largest markets for U.S. corn. Passing this agreement would help farmers in the frontlines of the economy. Exports to Mexico and Canada produced $4.1 billion in economic activity, supporting 25,000 jobs and 300,000 farms in 2016.   U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue stated on Friday: “Today’s announcement is a big win for American agriculture and the economy as a whole. I thank President Trump for negotiating a great deal and for negotiating the removal of these tariffs. Canada and Mexico are...

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May 20, 2019

Enter National Yield Contest Early and Save!

Key Issues: Production

Author: Mary Quigley

As the spring moves along, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to register early for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 30, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small-time investment now saves money later this summer.   To enter today using the online form, click here.    Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through July 31. All harvest forms will be due by November 15. Contest winners will be announced on December 16.   Click here for more information on the NCGA National Corn Yield Contest.

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May 16, 2019

Nebraska Program Benefits Both Interns and NCGA

Author: Mary Quigley

Nebraska Program Benefits Both Interns and NCGA   With the generous support of the Nebraska Corn Board, college students from the Cornhusker State are joining the National Corn Growers Association as interns this summer to learn more about the industry.    NCGA is hosting two of the interns sponsored by Nebraska. Alyssa Jones is majoring in communication studies and political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She is interning with the NCGA office in Washington, D.C. Emily Keiser is interning with the NCGA office in St. Louis, Missouri. Keiser is majoring in agricultural education, communication and leadership at South Dakota State University.   “I applied for this internship because I wanted to expand my knowledge of the production side of the agricultural industry and focus on policy issues,” said Keiser. “I also appreciated the action NCGA takes to inform members and consumers about the current changes and actions of the industry that shape the industry...

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May 14, 2019

Trade Tuesday: Farmers Need Certainty

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

Friday’s announcement that the Trump Administration was moving forward to increase the tariff rate from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods could not have come at a worse time for corn farmers.   As NCGA President Lynn Chrisp noted, “Corn farmers are watching commodity prices decline amid ongoing tariff threats, even while many can’t get to spring planting because of wet weather.” This spring’s heavy rains have impacted farmers across the country, with the most recent WASDE report showing that only 30 percent of the corn crop has been planted, half the five year average of 66 percent.   Trade disputes and tariffs, devastating weather conditions, stagnant farm incomes, crumbling infrastructures and EPA waivers to oil refiners have all combined to create a perfect storm for agriculture.   Times are tough for farmers. More tariffs won’t help, neither will another penny per bushel trade assistance payment. Simply put, farmers need a win and they need...

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May 9, 2019

NCGA Welcomes Nicole Hasheider as New Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs

Key Issues: BiotechnologyProduction

Author: Mary Quigley

  The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Nicole Hasheider, who joins the organization this week as director of biotechnology and crop inputs in the St. Louis office. Hasheider brings a wealth of experience on farm production issues, stewardship and program management to the NCGA team. In this new position, she will provide key support to NCGA’s sustainability initiatives.   “Nicole’s previous experience working on behalf of farmer-led commodity groups like the United Soybean Board and NCGA makes her uniquely suited for this position. She brings a well-developed skill set which will allow her to make immediate contributions to our sustainability efforts,” said NCGA’s Vice President of Production and Sustainability Nathan Fields.  “We look forward to seeing how her perspective and understanding of our industry can provide strategic guidance on our staff and within the grower community.”   Hasheider most recently worked as an account director with Osborn Barr where she...

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May 9, 2019

Rose joins SHP as Program Specialist

Author: Mary Quigley

Tracy Rose has joined The Soil Health Partnership and will serve as a program specialist. In this role, Tracy will support the SHP team, especially the National team, on scheduling, coordination and connecting with external partners.  Rose is also the main support for Executive Director Shefali Mehta and Lead Scientist Maria Bowman.   “As our organization continues to grow, we knew it was important to have someone coordinate SHP’s comprehensive logistics. We are excited to gain Tracy’s wealth of experience and expertise,” said SHP Executive Director Shefali Mehta.    Rose previously worked as an executive assistant for eight years in the financial industry.   A St. Louis native, Tracy has two grown children and four well-loved dogs.

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May 8, 2019

House Members Call on EPA to End Refiner Exemptions

Author: Mary Quigley

A bipartisan coalition of 35 members of the House of Representatives, led by Reps. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, and Adrian Smith, R-Neb., today called on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler to end the practice of granting small refinery exemptions (SRE) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for large or unqualified refiners.  The EPA has approved 54 SRE petitions totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuels in the past year and a half; EPA currently has 40 more refinery waiver petitions pending.   “This unprecedented rate of granting waivers is a betrayal of our rural communities, detrimental to our energy security, and threatens our entire agricultural sector at a time of declining incomes and rising debts for our producers. EPA must halt this process and reallocate waived gallons as the law intends,” the lawmakers wrote.   Read the letter sent to the EPA.   NCGA thanks Representatives Axne and Smith and the 33 House members who...

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May 8, 2019

African Swine Fever: What You Need to Know

Author: Mary Quigley

The National Pork Board has been closely monitoring the African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in China and other countries around the world. To date, ASF is not in the United States. The pork board has put together several resources that producers can utilize in preparation of a foreign animal disease, which you can find on their website.   The pork board also implemented a pork crisis alert text service, which you can sign up by texting PorkCrisis to 97296.   Some key facts about African Swine Fever from the National Pork Board include:   Pork is safe to eat. African swine fever is not in the United States. U.S. pigs are not affected by the African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in other countries, to date.   ASF does not affect humans and therefore is not a public health threat according to USDA. As with any food product, you should always follow safe handling and cooking instructions to protect your family’s health.   African swine fever is a viral disease impacting only...

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May 7, 2019

Economic Analysis: Grain Exports Offer Billions in Benefits Beyond the Farm

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Mary Quigley

A new study shows access to international export markets for U.S. grains supported nearly $38 billion in business sales in the U.S. economy during 2016 beyond the value of the products themselves.   The analysis commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) found a total economic impact of U.S. grains exports of $55 billion that year, supporting 271,000 jobs directly or indirectly. These sales supported U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $19 billion over what would have occurred without such exports.   The analysis dives deep into the benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation as a whole derived from overseas sales driven by strong trade policy and robust in-country market development for grains and grains products.   “Every sale counts for farmers, especially in this market, and this analysis shows just how much the grain sector is supported by regular and growing purchases from our overseas customers,” said Jim...

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May 2, 2019

NCGA Promotes Uses of Corn at Petfood Forum

Author: Mary Quigley

More than 3,000 people from 38 countries were in attendance at the Petfood Forum in Kansas City, Missouri this week. 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.   “This was an opportunity for us to discuss the benefits of corn in pet food as well as engage with current customers and potential future partners,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “We were able to showcase how corn can be used in treat form and talk about how corn is a key factor in digestibility, the value-added attributes of corn in pet food and the nutritional and energy value of corn to pets.”   While at the event, NCGA debuted its new corn in pet food materials, including technical...

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Apr 10, 2019

NCGA Testifies on Importance of Inland Waterways

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA First Vice President Kevin Ross testified before the U.S. House Transportation Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment today at a hearing titled, “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and Investment in our Nation’s Waterways Matter.”   The hearing was an opportunity for NCGA to share the importance of the inland waterway system to farmers and serve as a resource for future discussions regarding water transport.   “America’s corn farmers need reliable means of moving our crops to customers, whether it’s to livestock feed yards, grain elevators, the ethanol plant, or ports for export. Farmers use many modes of transportation, with the inland waterway system being a vital artery of transportation for our products, especially for farmers in the Midwest,” Ross told the Subcommittee.   Read Ross’s Testimony   Video Highlights

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Jan 17, 2019

Weak Farm Economy Not Hampering Drive to Healthier Soils

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

This week’s Soil Health Summit 2019 with Soil Health Partnership was the largest ever—360 registered attendees made their way to St. Louis to learn and network. A diverse group including farmers, corporations, educators and environmental groups spent two days talking about soil health. The summit provided many takeaway messages and insights of interest. Here are just a few:   Enthusiasm for learning new sustainability practices and adopting new farm management tools to protect and improve soil is not being slowed by a prolonged downturn in the farm economy. Many farmers, landlords, and others are investing in the long game to assure more sustainable and profitable agriculture.   SHP outreach is building a diverse coalition of partners from farms all the way to consumers. The program and the network being created is growing rapidly.   The common interest of proving the latest farming techniques, building healthier soils, cleaner water while maintaining farmer...

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Jan 15, 2019

Look Down, You Are Standing on Our Future

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mary Quigley

How do we feed a growing population and meet additional, related demand from other sectors for crops (like corn) while also addressing farmers and consumers desire for continuous improvement, healthier soils and cleaner water? Enter the Soil Health Partnership.   Today and tomorrow, SHP is hosting a meeting with national significance called the Soil Health Summit 2019 in St. Louis, Mo.  SHP Executive Director Shefali Mehta says the diverse partnership is “a gathering of unlikely partners” that includes farmers, agronomists, environmental groups, and partners from throughout the value chain from the farm all the way to finished consumer products.   Mehta, notes a key thing that sets SHP apart is supporters moved beyond “just talking” quickly, and the “unlikely partners” rallied around their shared desire to help farmers improve soil health while maintaining and improving profitability. The result is a boots-on-the-ground effort that is turning farmers fields into a research...

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Jan 10, 2019

NCGA Recognizes NAFTA Benefits

Author: Mary Quigley

NCGA is committed to creating new market opportunities for U.S. corn. This includes expanding market access for U.S. corn around the globe and securing our most important markets by injecting certainty back into our relationships with Mexico and Canada.   The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been an unequivocal success for American corn farmers. Since 1994, U.S. corn exports to these regional partners have increased 300 percent and Mexico is now the top export destination for U.S. corn.   Corn exports to Mexico were up nearly 13 percent for 2017/2018 from the previous year, reaching a record high of 15.7 million tons or 618 million bushels.   In 2016 alone, more than 17.3 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $3.2 billion. These exports produced $4.1 billion in economic activity as well as supported 25,000 jobs and 300,000 farms.   Now, as Congress looks to consider the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement,...

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