In The News

Biotechnology

Dec 7, 2020

Maintaining Access to Important Tools Key to NCGA Mission

Key Issues: Biotechnology

Author: Mark Lambert

Farmers face a host of challenges each year in growing a crop, so it is critical they have access to the best available tools and technology to get the job done. Maintaining this access on your behalf is part of National Corn Growers Association’s core mission.   “It may not always be high profile but representing farmers’ interests is an important part of what we do,” said Nicole Hasheider, NCGA’s Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Director. “Growers increasingly face challenges to their access to seed technology, pesticides and more. NCGA works to ensure the farmer voice is heard and only the best-available science is used to drive decisions.  We track these issues closely and work with other farm organizations, ag input suppliers and government agencies to advocate for the farmer at every step.”   That advocacy often takes the form of formal comments submitted to agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture or Environmental Protection Agency and sometimes results in weighing...

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Nov 12, 2020

NCGA Comments to EPA Focus on Future Access to Bt Technology

Key Issues: Biotechnology

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Jul 14, 2020

NCGA Mid-Year Report Offers Look at Efforts to Help Corn Farmers Meet the Challenges of 2020

Key Issues: EthanolSustainabilityTradeAnimal AgricultureBiotechnologyConsumer EngagementHigh-Octane Low-CarbonNew UsesProduction

Author: Mark Lambert

Despite marketing and economic challenges and a pandemic, farmer leaders of National Corn Growers Association continue to advocate and work to improve the lot of the nation’s family corn farmers. Some of the steps being taken are covered in a new  2020 mid-year report  released online today.   “2020 began with reason for optimism in our industry. The signing of the USMCA trade deal, emerging corn purchases by China, a successful challenge to EPA granting RFS waivers and approval of year-round sales of E-15 had us all looking toward an economic rebound. Then the Coronavirus pandemic stunned the world,” said Kevin Ross, NCGA president. Through it all, corn farmers continue to go to work.  They answer the bell, responding by putting us on track to produce an abundant crop once again.”   You can view the report here.    

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May 15, 2020

NCGA Commends USDA Rule Updating Biotech Regulation Process

Key Issues: Biotechnology

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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

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Feb 4, 2020

NCGA’s Annual Report Reflects On Significant Wins Amidst Challenging Times

Key Issues: EthanolSustainabilityTradeAnimal AgricultureBiotechnologyConsumer EngagementFarm PolicyNew UsesProductionResearch

Author: Mark Lambert

The National Corn Growers Association’s Ann ual Report for the 2019 fiscal year is now available online.  The report highlights memorable events and victories accomplished in a year characterized by weather and policy challenges.   “NCGA was in some pretty amazing positions in 2019. From sharing the stage with President Trump to having a beer with the Coors family after the Super Bowl attack on corn sweetener,” said 2019 NCGA First Vice President Kevin Ross from Iowa. “We are constantly prepared to engage, and we are looking for new allies and new conversations to represent corn growers better.”    Through unruly weather, flooding, sluggish markets and trade disruptions, NCGA members kept moving forward together to reach long-term, strategic goals to improve prices and the overall future of the industry. As the year ended NCGA’s grassroots efforts resulted in several major trade victories, a strong support system through the farm bill, and more opportunity for E15 and other...

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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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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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Aug 5, 2019

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

Key Issues: Biotechnology

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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

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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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Jun 12, 2019

NCGA Applauds Administrations Efforts to Further Ag Biotech, Streamline Regulation

Key Issues: BiotechnologyFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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

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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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