In The News

May 3, 2022

BeSure! with Stewardship BMPs

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

#Plant22 is underway and the BeSure! initiative is back with its fourth annual national campaign to promote best management practices (BMPs) when applying neonicotinoid insecticides. Ag stakeholders appreciate how neonicotinoid seed treatments and other products increase yields and boost revenues, but they are also committed to protecting bees and other wildlife. This spring, growers and applicators can follow a few simple guidelines to BeSure! they’re using pesticides safely.   For Growers:   Follow directions on the label for appropriate storage, use and disposal practices. When planting treated seed, use advanced seed flow lubricants that minimize dust. Additionally, when planting treated seed, eliminate flowering plants and weeds in the field prior to planting. For foliar applications, ensure that sprays are directed away from any flowering plants, follow established buffer zones and calibrate equipment to minimize spray drift. Before making an application, be aware of...

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Apr 22, 2022

Delivering on Our #CornCommitment this Earth Day

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Leaving the world in better shape than we found it . . . this is a tenet of policy written and upheld by our U.S. corn farmers. So, this Earth Day, let’s each make a commitment to amplify our impact on this front.  Let’s take time to share our conservation efforts!  Let’s illuminate how little changes can make BIG differences! Let’s inspire others to begin writing their own sustainability stories!  Here are some quick and impactful ideas to get started:   Review best management practices for your crop protection tools—like neonics—with Growing Matter’s BeSure! initiative. Consider planting a pollinator habitat!  Check out The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund’s Seed A Legacy program. Fill your tank with clean-burning ethanol blends.  Visit Gas Buddy to find the nearest station carrying E15 and E85. Maximize nutrient applications with the 4Rs (right source, right rate, right time and right place). 4 Nutrient Stewardship will get you pointed in the “right” direction! To learn...

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Apr 14, 2022

The Success in Stewardship Network – Honoring 2022’s Recipients at #Classic22

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

A segment of the panel will be featured on the U.S. Farm Report on Saturday, April 16 at 9 a.m. CT.   The Success in Stewardship Network (SISN), an initiative of NCGA and the Environmental Defense Fund, breaks down the notion that only elite groups can improve environmental results. Conservation practices that protect the land and water are not only accessible, profitable, scalable—they are commonplace on farms across America. Recipients of 2022’s SISN recognition, the Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative and INField Advantage, were honored at a panel presentation that was hosted by U.S. Farm Report’s Tyne Morgan.    The event, which was held in National Corn Growers Association’s “Born for the Field” booth, focused on the U.S. Corn Sustainability 2030 Goals and how growers are taking the lead in writing and sharing their personal sustainability stories. The panel kicked off with NCGA Board Member and Field to Market Chair Brandon Hunnicutt drawing the important connections...

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Apr 11, 2022

Sustainability Series Geared to Help Corn in “Getting to Goal”

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

In support of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) mission to create and increase opportunities for corn growers and the vision to sustainably feed and fuel a growing world, NCGA leaders established five U.S. Corn Sustainability Goals for 2030.  While the goals are achievable, it will take a unified and concerted effort to support farmers in moving the conservation needle.   The “Getting to Goal” sustainability webinar series for state and national staff is designed to offer relevant resources and create relationship-building opportunities in order to support on-the-ground efforts for continuous environmental improvements. The series kicked off with two sessions in the fall of 2021 and has reemerged this spring:   “The Economics of Sustainability” – October 26, 2021 Dr. Michelle Perez of American Farmland Trust shared summaries of nine soil health economics case studies (conducted through an NRCS CIG) and highlighted the downloadable Retrospective Soil Health Economic...

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Apr 5, 2022

Looking to a Bright Future for Corn with 2022 CUTC

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) answers the question of how can we produce more quality corn, build new markets and continue to create opportunities for agriculture. While the ag industry can often be the target of unfavorable attention, CUTC brings an optimistic and forward-thinking focus on corn production quality and new technologies to build greater corn demand.  Productivity, adaption and resilience are key pillars at the forefront of 2022’s CUTC agenda.    An impressive list of industry experts will cover topics including sustainable aviation fuel, DDGS opportunities, fractionation, biotechnology, technology transfer, commercialization, mycotoxin management, wet-milling technologies, dry-milling markets and innovation.   This year’s keynote will be presented by Dr. Todd Werpy, senior vice president and chief science officer for Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). In that role, Dr. Werpy leads the development of ADM’s scientific talent and technical...

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Mar 30, 2022

NCGA Research Ambassadors Learn Firsthand that “The Future is in Your Hands!”

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

In-person education is the primary focus of Commodity Classic, and the 2022 conference held in New Orleans was definitely no exception!  This year’s theme —"The Future is in Your Hands!”—encapsulated the first-time experience had by NCGA’s Research Ambassadors.   The four ambassadors in attendance—Claire Menard, Alden Perkins, Dylan Schoemaker and Corey Schultz—were able to experience the trade show, talk one-on-one with growers, network with Nourish the Future teacher leaders and attend Corn Congress.   “I spend less than 14 days in a cornfield, so talking at length with farmers was eye-opening. Somewhere there is a massive disconnect between farmers and academia,” noted Corey Schultz, a graduate student from the University of Georgia. “I know the farmers here were the cream of the crop—the most active and the most forward-thinking—but I had many misconceptions about farmers dispelled.”   In its inaugural year, the Research Ambassador Program, an initiative of NCGA’s...

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Mar 23, 2022

Up to Bat at Classic: Nourish the Future’s Teacher Leaders

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

Did you know that only 4% of students take agriculture science? It is the primary goal of Nourish the Future (NTF)—a national education initiative developed by science teachers for science teachers—to have ag science taught in every biology classroom across America.  During 2022’s Commodity Classic in New Orleans, NTF came out swinging with a heavy-hitting agenda to help meet that goal.  Not only did the STEM-based initiative lead a dynamic three-day Teacher Leader Community (TLC) conference where they introduced ag-based science curriculum and peer-networking, but additionally, participants stepped downstairs to the trade show floor and interacted with growers from around the country.    On the first day of the trade show, NTF knocked it out of the park with an expert panel discussion that was moderated by Dale Minyo, general manager for Ag New Communications and broadcaster for Ohio Ag Net.  The discussion centered around the importance and impact of NTF’s curriculum and...

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Mar 18, 2022

National Butterfly Day + First Day of Spring = Practically Perfect Pollinator Planning

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Let’s talk environmental equations!  March 14th’s National Butterfly Day plus March 20th’s first day of Spring . . . equals the perfect calendar calculation for planning a new pollinator habitat!   Pollinator health is one of the leading sustainability issues in twenty-first-century agriculture. As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, stakeholders in this discussion – our members and producers nationwide – have a critical role to play for implementation. Therefore, NCGA has partnered with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever – the nation’s leading charities for upland wildlife habitat conservation – to provide our members with direct complimentary conservation planning services for pollinator habitat outcomes in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.   In addition, NCGA proudly supports pollinator health awareness through initiatives like the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, the Honeybee Health Coalition and Farmers for Monarchs. These programs offer online...

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Feb 22, 2022

Country Music, Cowboy Boots and Corn Convene Together

Author: Stacey Stiens

Last week, an all-American trio came together in Nashville to paint the town with dynamic and collaborative Beltway brushstrokes: country music, cowboy boots and corn. Representatives from both national and state corn grower associations were in attendance for the tandem events held by Farm Journal—the Top Producer Summit and the Trust In Food Symposium.   At the Top Producer Summit’s “Business on Broadway,” NCGA showcased the value of associations and partnerships, targeting to connect with interested producers who are not yet engaging with their state and/or national corn association. As part of the program available to attendees, NCGA Vice Presidents Brooke Appleton and Jim Bauman virtually hosted two different sponsored sessions--“How Washington Affects Your Bottom Line - A Legislative and Regulatory Update” and “Driving Corn Demand through Ethanol Infrastructure and Regulatory Avenues” which was moderated by Board Chairman John Linder. Both sessions were well attended and...

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Feb 22, 2022

Mark These CRP Deadlines on Your Calendar!

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Stacey Stiens

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a federally-funded and voluntary land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Agricultural producers and landowners can sign-up to ensure that environmentally sensitive agricultural land is not farmed or ranched but instead devoted to conservation benefits.    In 2021, the USDA announced updates to CRP and extended the deadline for enrollment as farmers and landowners evaluated their options.  That year, producers and landowners enrolled 4.6 million acres into CRP sign-ups, including 2.5 million acres in the largest Grassland CRP sign-up in history. There are currently 22.1 million acres enrolled, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is aiming to reach the 25.5-million-acre cap statutorily set for fiscal year 2022.  This year’s General CRP sign-up ends March 11, and the Grassland CRP sign-up will run from April 4 to May 13.   General CRP helps producers and landowners establish long-term, resource-conserving plant...

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Feb 10, 2022

Sow Seeds of STEM with Workshops Hosted by Nourish the Future!

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted six more weeks of winter, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning for spring!  In preparation, let’s sow some seeds of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education!  Nourish the Future (NTF)—a national initiative developed by science teachers for science teachers—has some upcoming workshops for educators.  At NTF workshops, teacher leaders guide participants through inquiry-based, hands-on STEM lessons aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for chemistry, biology and environmental science classes.   March 12, 2022, at 9 am CST Nourish the Future: Feeding and Fueling the World Ernest N. Morial Convention Center - New Orleans, Louisiana Learn more about feeding and fueling the future with these hands-on NGSS-aligned lessons and activities!    April 1, 2022, at 12:30 pm Mesofauna Investigation: Soil Biodiversity and Climate National Science Teaching Association NSTA Conference – Houston,...

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Feb 1, 2022

Safeguarding Production Technologies and Practices for 2022

Key Issues: Production

Author: Stacey Stiens

Taking a close look at and defending the inputs used to grow corn every year will be an important goal for the Production Technology Access Action Team (PTAAT) of the National Corn Growers Association in 2021, according to Illinois farmer Kate Danner.   Fertilizer prices are on the top of every farmer’s mind right now, says Kate Danner, chairperson of PTAAT, and it's important that organizations like NCGA examine all options to have a positive impact on issues like these.   “NCGA exists to work for the nation’s corn growers and defend their interests,” says Danner, a farmer from northwest Illinois. “Skyrocketing fertilizer prices are just one of the issues we’re working to tackle right now.”   Last year PTAAT commissioned a study to better understand the fertilizer market, what factors are contributing to the current increase in prices and, importantly, what options exist for NCGA to have an influence on price. The outcomes of that study will lead NCGA to continue to fight to...

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Jan 20, 2022

NCGA Director Appointed to America’s Watershed Initiative Board Leadership

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

The America’s Watershed Initiative (AWI), recently named their 2022 Board of Directors Executive Team. Rachel Orf, National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Director of Stewardship & Sustainability, was elected as Secretary.   “It is an honor to serve on the board and be a part of an organization that works across so many sectors and states,” said Orf. “The health of the Mississippi River Watershed is critical to ensuring the river remains productive and healthy for future generations.”   Other AWI board members are: Chair Larry Weber, University of Iowa Vice Chair Rainy Inman Shorey, Caterpillar Inc.  Vice Chair Kirsten Wallace, Upper Mississippi River Basin Association Treasurer Michael Reuter, The Nature Conservancy   The announcement of the board stated, “America’s Watershed Initiative is made up of public, private and nonprofit leaders working together voluntarily to improve the health of the Mississippi River Watershed by informing, advocating and leveraging...

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Nov 17, 2021

Pollinator Habitat – If You Plant It, They Will Come!

Key Issues: Pollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Since 1957, NCGA has stayed true to its mission of creating and increasing opportunities for corn growers throughout the United States. As part of this mission, our efforts across the sustainability sector have made waves for the advancement of land, water, and energy uses.   Taking our commitment to environmental sustainability one step further, NCGA has recently partnered with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever – the nation’s leading charities for upland wildlife habitat conservation – to provide our members with direct complimentary conservation planning services for pollinator habitat outcomes in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.   Pollinator health is one of the leading sustainability issues in twenty-first-century agriculture. As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, stakeholders in this discussion – our members and producers nationwide – have a critical role to play for implementation. By partnering with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, NCGA...

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Nov 9, 2021

Allen-Tully Appointed to USDA’s NAREEE Advisory Board

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

On October 28, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the appointment of 14 members to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board. Eight members are new appointments, and six members are reappointments.   Of those new appointments, one was Dr. Dana Allen-Tully.  She serves as Minnesota Corn Grower Association treasurer and NCGA Sustainable Ag Research Action Team (SARAT) vice chair.  Additionally, Dr. Allen-Tully serves as the Dairy and Nutrition manager for the Gar-Lin Dairy Farm. Her studies included animal science with a Ph.D. in ruminant nutrition.    “SARAT has had the privilege of Dana’s leadership and knowledge.  Her voice will continue to play an instrumental role in elevating corn grower voices, and her appointment to the NAREEE Advisory Board is well-deserved,” said NCGA Research and Productivity Director Robyn Allscheid.  “NCGA is a grassroots organization, and Dana’s new role will continue to help...

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Nov 8, 2021

National STEM Day – Celebrate Science!

Author: Stacey Stiens

November 8 is the unofficial holiday that celebrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education throughout the United States. Need any ideas for how you can inspire young minds for agricultural science? We’ve got you covered!   Find activities and lessons on biotechnology, biofuels, water quality, soil and sustainability by visiting the Nourish the Future's (NTF) curriculum page.    4-H’s STEM and Agriculture programs cover topics not limited to Engineering & Technology; Environmental Science & Alternative energy; and Plant & Animal Science.   For younger readers, check out Kansas Corn STEM’s book, “We Grow Corn.”  There are additional activities, videos and resources to help with corn-centric hands-on learning.   Texas Corn Producers also have a collection of Educational Resources to keep K-5 students engaged and learning about the world of agriculture.   For older students, broaden their horizons in career pathways with a tour of

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Oct 25, 2021

Winning Innovators Announced in the Next Gen Fertilizer Challenges

Key Issues: Production

Author: Stacey Stiens

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the winners of the Next Generation Fertilizer Innovations Challenge.  Along with EPA and USDA, the competition is a collaboration with The Fertilizer Institute (TFI), the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).   “This collaboration allows us to propel advancement with unified efforts from the private and public sectors.  Corn farmers are committed to continuous improvements in sustainability and efficiency—we are always looking for new ways to be better,” said Iowa corn grower and NCGA President Chris Edgington.  “This competition is an opportunity to encourage the development of new technologies and innovative practices which will help bolster productivity and profitability for growers.”   The goal of the competition is to improve the efficiency of fertilizers to increase...

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Oct 21, 2021

National Corn Growers Association forges new partnership with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is proud to announce their partnership—funded by NCGA’s Production Technology Access Action Team (PTAAT)—with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. This new collaboration will focus on increasing pollinator and wildlife habitat in corn-producing states. Initially, the partnership will focus on corn producers in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, with room for expansion down the road.   “Pollinator health is a leading sustainability issue in 21st-century agriculture,” said Ohio grower and PTAAT Vice Chair Patty Mann. “As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, stakeholders in this discussion – our members and producers nationwide – have a critical role to play for implementation. By partnering with Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, NCGA can assist growers with profitability and sustainability measures on their farms for win-win scenarios.”   Pollinators are essential to the health of upland bird habitat and...

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Oct 4, 2021

Research and Resources to Aid in the Fight Against Tar Spot

Key Issues: ProductionResearch

Author: Stacey Stiens

Growers across the country are reporting unprecedented incidences of tar spot this harvest season.   When conditions are favorable for the disease, it can cause significant yield loss in susceptible corn hybrids. Tar spot was first detected in the U.S. in 2015 in northern Illinois and Indiana, and it has quickly spread through the Corn Belt. The disease causes significant losses for farmers’ livelihoods. Efforts to combat tar spot have been hindered by the difficulty of growing Phyllachora maydis—the fungus responsible for the disease—in a laboratory setting which, in turn, limits researchers’ capabilities to study and understand it.   The National Corn Growers Association has two Action Teams, both armed with support from state checkoff dollars, focused on aiding the fight against tar spot.    In 2019, the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team (SARAT)—along with Corteva Agriscience, Wyffels Hybrids, Illinois Corn Growers Association and Purdue University—helped to provide...

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Oct 4, 2021

Be Part of the Future! Join the Nourish the Future Teacher Leader Community!

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

Autumn is here and the school year is well underway!  Nourish the Future—a national education initiative developed by science teachers for science teachers—has put out the call for the next round of Teacher Leaders!  This national leadership program is a year-long cohort experience especially designed for middle and high school teachers.  The Teacher Leader Community (TLC) program offers participants opportunities to:   Enhance professional development capacities to fit diverse audiences and venues. Become skilled in inquiry-based lesson design. Become a leader in exploring solutions with your students on issues affecting sustainability, climate, environment and food production. Expand a professional network to include teachers and industry experts from different states. Become a career coach for students. The national program is limited to 20 teachers, and the deadline for TLC III application is December 1, 2021. The leadership experience begins in January 2022 with a...

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Sep 30, 2021

Corn Continues to be Proactive in the Efforts for Water Quality

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

The Water Quality Working Group (WQWG)—comprised of state and national staff—assembled last week in Janesville, Wisconsin, for the fall session of their biannual meetings.  On Wednesday morning, the group discussed credit trading markets, Waters of the United States (WOTUS), wheat’s consideration as a cover crop, the Hypoxia Task Force, and nitrate/groundwater rules.  The afternoon included a visit to Roger Rebout & Son’s Farm, where the group heard more about the work being done by Discovery Farms, Wisconsin Farmers on the Rock local watershed group and Illinois Corn’s Rock River program.  Attendees also viewed one of the runoff monitoring stations located on the Rebout operation.    Thursday’s agenda focused on state updates regarding ecosystem markets, regional policy and programs, as well as included discussion of Farm Bill conservation policy and the Precision Agriculture Loan Program Act of 2021.    “Farmers understand what needs to be done and have been responding to...

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Sep 20, 2021

Corn Continues Call for Research Projects Which Help Solve Aflatoxin Issues

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announces a new round of research grants to help farmers manage aflatoxin issues. Letters of intent from principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and collaborators--not exceeding the $75,000 per year limit--will be accepted by the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE) no later than October 15, 2021. For more information about the review process, evaluation criteria and program, click here.   AMCOE’s Research Program will again offer grants for projects focused on solving profit-robbing aflatoxin issues for farmers. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on one of six priority areas, were designed by Southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will therefore favor research teams that include members from multiple states.   The six priority areas for projects funded for 2022 are biological control, transgenic modification,...

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Aug 4, 2021

Open Comment Period on Corn’s Continuous Commitment Ends August 8

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

On June 8 of this year, The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) released its U.S. Corn Sustainability Goals and the first U.S. Corn Sustainability Report. The release of both the report and the sustainability goals is the culmination of an 18-month, farmer-led process; the report documents a long history of continuous improvement by U.S. corn farmers and the goals set targets for further progress over the next decade.   Looking back over more than the last decade, corn farmers across the country have adopted practices to defend against soil erosion, improve water quality and water use, and manage resources and nutrients through continuous improvements found in modern farming.  From 1980 – 2015:    More corn is being produced on less land. The amount of land required to produce a bushel of corn decreased by 41%.  Per bushel, energy use decreased by 41%, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions decreased by 31%.  Through the adoption of practices that reduce soil erosion,...

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Jul 7, 2021

Nourish the Future Brings STEM Synergy to St. Louis

Author: Stacey Stiens

Nourish the Future (NTF) had two St. Louis events happening in tandem during the week of June 21.  The first was a three-day Teacher Leader Conference that brought together the selected educators for NTF’s Community Class II. During that time, the group participated in peer teaching, curriculum writing and networking as well as an industry dinner at Jungermann Farms in Troy, Missouri, and a presentation and tour at the Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Illinois.   “This opportunity allowed me to bolster my science knowledge and also make some amazing connections with educators I know I can call up,” said Bernadette Harwood, who teaches at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Livingston County in New York. Harwood is an Agriculture in the Classroom teacher, and her job is to push into the pre-K through 12th grade classroom to teach students the science behind the food we eat. Through her experience at the conference, she states that “I now have that knowledge to go home and say [to...

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Jun 28, 2021

It’s Time to “Take Action” during PEST Week!

Key Issues: Production

Author: Stacey Stiens

This year marks the fourth observation of PEST (Pest Elimination Strategy & Tactics) Week, which aims to boost awareness around the United Soybean Board’s (USB) Take Action program.  Mid-season is a crucial time of year for pests, and the program website offers tools and resources to help combat resistance against weeds, diseases and insects.   Check out some of the following tools as you continue to plan and implement your management strategies for this season and beyond:   Fungicide Lookup Tool Cover crops and weed control Multiple modes of action for insect control Managing Corn Rootworm Herbicide Lookup Tool   Be sure to follow the Take Action program on Facebook and Twitter.   With the investment of state corn grower checkoff dollars, the National Corn Growers Association partners with USB to help bring these Take Action tools and resources to growers. To download the app on your tablet or mobile device, visit Read More

Jun 23, 2021

Field to Market Recognizes Deb Gangwish in 2021 Farmer Spotlight

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is proud to announce that Nebraska farmer Deb Gangwish has been recognized as one of Field to Market’s 2021 Farmer Spotlight Honorees! Through  the U.S. Corn Sustainability Goals and the first U.S. Corn Sustainability Report, NCGA works to support farmers like Deb to improve environmental outcomes and advance sustainable solutions across the value chain. Field to Market recognized Deb Gangwish on June 23 during its annual Plenary and General Assembly Meeting, recognizing her outstanding leadership in implementing innovative approaches to water conservation and soil health on her farm.   “Our farm was started in 1994, and we began with no-till practices and cover crops.  And as we’ve progressed and grown, our sustainability practices have grown along with the farm,” notes Deb.  “Sustainability is the very heart and soul of everything we do.”   NCGA is dedicated to engaging with farmers to advance continuous improvements in sustainable...

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Jun 22, 2021

Five Graduate Students Selected for NCGA’s Research Ambassador Program

Author: Stacey Stiens

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to announce that five Research Ambassadors have been selected for the 2021-2022 academic year:   Claire Menard, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities     Alden Perkins, University of Wisconsin-Madison     Matthew J. Runyon, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign     Dylan L. Schoemaker, University of Wisconsin-Madison   Corey Schultz, University of Georgia   In its inaugural year, the program’s focus is to build a network of future leaders in the agricultural sector; ambassadors must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential and be involved in research relevant to corn production.   “The Research Ambassador Program gives students the opportunity to interact directly with growers,” said NCGA Sustainable Ag Research Action Team Chair Randy DeSutter.  “They will be able to participate in Capitol Hill visits and other meetings alongside our farmers to learn firsthand what we think and what is important...

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Jun 21, 2021

Butterflies and Beetles and Bees, Oh My!

Key Issues: Pollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Today is the official kickoff of Pollinator Week, which runs Monday, June 21 through Sunday, June 27 this year.  Fourteen years ago, the U.S. Senate approved the designation of a “National Pollinator Week” to help bring to light the issue of declining pollinator populations.  It has now grown into a worldwide celebration of all pollinators--bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and small mammals, just to name a few!   NCGA is proud to support pollinator health awareness through initiatives like the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund, the Honeybee Health Coalition and Farmers for Monarchs. These programs offer online tools, educational resources, and best management practices to help support pollinator habitats. By incorporating pollinator forage and creating a pollinator-friendly landscape in tandem with their crop lands, growers can protect soil health, improve water quality by controlling runoff and sediment, and capture carbon in the environment.   The next step in a good...

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Jun 8, 2021

NCGA Releases U.S. Corn Sustainability Goals and Report

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) solidified U.S. corn farmers’ commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability with the release of U.S. Corn Sustainability Goals and the first U.S. Corn Sustainability Report. The report documents a long history of continuous improvement by U.S. corn farmers and the goals set targets for further progress over the next decade.    “Corn farmers have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability for decades through their adoption of practices to defend against soil erosion, improve water quality and water use, and management of resources through modern farming advancements,” says John Linder, a farmer from Edison, Ohio, and NCGA President. “NCGA is celebrating this commitment and sharing our story through our Sustainability Report. By setting future goals, we’re both demonstrating our dedication to continued improvement and setting targets to measure this progress.”    Farmer-leaders of NCGA are setting five...

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Jun 3, 2021

KCoe Isom Helps Corn Growers Decode Proposed Tax Legislation

Author: Stacey Stiens

Last week, KCoe Isom, a food and agriculture consulting and accounting firm, hosted a Tax Reform Watch webinar for corn growers regarding News and Perspective on Tax Planning and Priorities.  This webinar addressed questions farmers have surrounding legislative tax proposals and potential impacts on businesses.   The discussion was led by KCoe Isom advisors Brian Kuehl, principal; Jim Rein, principal; and Beth Swanson, senior associate. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Public Policy Director for Risk Management and Tax, Wayne Stoskopf, opened the webinar with some background remarks.   “The National Corn Growers Association partnered with KCoe Isom during the 2017 tax reform, and we asked them to help growers fill in the gaps and answer some tough questions surrounding the release of President Biden’s American Families Plan,” said Stoskopf.   NCGA recently joined 40 agricultural organizations in a letter to Congressional leaders outlining key tax priorities,...

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May 24, 2021

State and National Collaboration Strengthens the Efforts for Water Quality, Soil Health and Sustainability

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Stacey Stiens

Last week, the Water Quality Working Group—comprised of state and national corn staff—convened virtually for their bi-annual meeting.   During round table discussions, participants shared policies and regulations affecting their state, as well as local programs impacting agriculture, conservation, nutrients, and water quality.  The group also received updates on issues surrounding constructed wetlands, online watershed analysis, cover crop and prevented planting legislation, the future of Navigable Waters Protection Rule, and the new administration’s infrastructure and climate package.   “We have a dynamic and proactive group,” said NCGA Director of Stewardship and Sustainability Rachel Orf.  “Every member is committed to sharing their knowledge and resources so we can stay apprised of water quality and sustainability issues that directly impact our corn growers.”   This meeting of the Water Quality Working Group brought together state corn staff representing Colorado,...

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Apr 30, 2021

CUTC 2021: Funding Research, Development and Commercialization for New Uses of Corn

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

The Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) is taking advantage of the virtual circumstances presented during COVID-19 by bringing a special session on “Funding for Research, Development and Commercialization.”  This is a FREE event on Thursday, May 13, starting at 10 a.m. CDT.   This is a special session of CUTC, designed to keep interest high for next year's in-person event that brings innovators and stakeholders from across the supply chain together for dynamic and targeted scientific exchange.   “While COVID limited our ability to bring this group together, this online session is a great opportunity to continue the dialogue surrounding the issues for funding innovations to extend uses for corn,” said Randy DeSutter, Chair of the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team.   Karla Thieman of the Russell Group will be the panel moderator.  Panelists include Drs. Valerie Reed and Tim Conner who will share the innovative programming being funded at the Department of Energy...

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Apr 22, 2021

BeSure! This Growing Season

Key Issues: SustainabilityPollinators

Author: Stacey Stiens

Spring has sprung and the growing season is upon us! This Earth Day, the National Corn Growers Association is celebrating the third annual national campaign to promote pollinator health best management practices through BeSure!.   “Making sure farmers have access to the best and most up-to-date information is why NCGA has been a part of the BeSure! campaign from the beginning,” said NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Nicole Hasheider. “With planting season underway across the country, it’s a great time for farmers to again consider how they can help protect important pollinators around their fields.”   The benefits of neonicotinoid seed treatments in protecting corn seeds from early-season pests are well documented. But farmers and applicators can protect both their crop and pollinators and other wildlife by following a few simple guidelines.    For Growers: Follow directions on the label for appropriate storage, use and disposal practices. When planting...

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Apr 21, 2021

2021 Awardees Named for Aflatoxin Mitigation Competitive Grant Program

Key Issues: ProductionResearch

Author: Stacey Stiens

The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to announce that seven applicants have been awarded research funding through the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center for Excellence’s (AMCOE) Competitive Grants Program for 2021. The winners were selected by an evaluation committee comprised of technical experts, growers, state and national staff.   Dr. Anindya Chanda, Mycologics LLC – A non-pathogenic marine Vibrio as a novel biocontrol microbe against Aspergillus infections and aflatoxin contamination in corn    Dr. Zhi-Yuan Chen, Louisiana State University – Transgenic control of aflatoxin contamination in corn through host-induced gene silencing    Dr. Thomas Isakeit, Texas A&M University – Efficacy of an atoxigenic Aspergillus flavus application for management of aflatoxin in conjunction with a fertilizer application     Dr. Robert Kemerait, University of Georgia – Breeding drought-tolerant corn and elucidating the mechanism of corn-Aspergillus flavus interactions    Dr. Shien...

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