In The News

Farm Policy

Jun 23, 2022

Farmers Can’t Farm with One Hand Tied Behind Their Backs, NCGA Says After Ruling on Fertilizers

Key Issues: TradeFarm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a final determination this week, saying that urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer exported to the U.S. was subsidized and sold at less than normal value in the U.S. market during its period of investigation.   While an important step in the process, the ruling will not on its own lead to the placement of duties on nitrogen fertilizers shipped into the country. The final stage in the process is expected later this summer when the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes a final ruling on the matter.    “Placing tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers will land yet another blow to farmers, who are already dealing with a host of issues,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “Farming is hard enough in the current environment. Farmers can’t do what they do with one hand tied behind their backs. And actions like these, pushed by fertilizer companies, will tie the hands of farmers.”...

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Jun 16, 2022

Legislation that Would Tap Ethanol to Lower Gas Prices Secures Passage in U.S. House

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation today that would expand consumer access to higher biofuel blends that save consumers money at the pump and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.     NCGA supports two biofuels provisions in the “Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act.” The provisions offer a permanent solution for maintaining year-round market access to fuels with a 15% ethanol blend, called E15, and provide additional support for infrastructure for higher biofuels blends. NCGA also endorsed the PRECISE Act, which was included in the package.       “NCGA thanks Members of Congress, including Reps. Angie Craig and Cindy Axne, for advocating for biofuels as an energy security solution,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke S. Appleton. “We are also appreciative of the bipartisan House members who voted in favor of this bill to keep these solutions moving forward in Congress.”     Renewable fuels add billions of gallons to the nation’s fuel supply every year,...

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Jun 16, 2022

Fertilizer Tariffs, Shortages Taking Toll on American Farmers and Relief is Needed, National Corn Grower Leader Tells International Trade Commission

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Shortages in nitrogen fertilizers are placing an undue burden on farmers and could eventually be detrimental to the global food supply, according to testimony provided today to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Commission (ITC).   The hearing comes after CF Industries filed a petition with ITC in late 2021, requesting that the commission place tariffs on urea ammonium nitrate, which is used in liquid fertilizers imported from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. Shortages and prices have since increased exponentially.   “Some farmers are electing not to use UAN at recommended rates and, therefore, sacrificing yield because of the shortages,” said Nebraska corn grower Andy Jobman, who represented the National Corn Growers Association during the hearing. “As a farmer and agronomist, I can assure you that we study the optimal rate of UAN that should be applied and are cutting back given the shortages in the market.” This is an incredibly important issue for...

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Jun 8, 2022

McKalip to be Nominated to Serve as Ag Negotiator with USTR

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

President Biden announced today that he intends to nominate USDA advisor Doug McKalip to serve as chief agricultural negotiator with the United States Trade Representative.   “This position is important to corn growers,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “We are very pleased to see this nomination in place and moving forward, and we look forward to working with Mr. McKalip on some of our key trade issues.”     McKalip has worked on agricultural policy and trade for over 28 years. He most recently served as senior advisor to Secretary Vilsack. The position, which requires a Senate confirmation, is charged with conducting and overseeing international negotiations related to trade in agricultural products.  

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Jun 1, 2022

Extended Access to Higher Ethanol Blends Will Save Consumers Money at the Gas Pump

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

A recent decision by the Biden administration to extend access to higher blends of ethanol through the summer months will begin today, resulting in cost savings for Americans at the gas pump.   “Gas prices are crippling American consumers,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. "Having access to higher levels of ethanol will save drivers money this summer.”   Biden’s action came after a 2021 court decision – resulting from oil industry efforts to limit the growth of higher ethanol blends – was set to end full-market access fuel with a 15% ethanol blend this summer.   Ethanol has been priced at least 80 cents less per gallon than unblended gasoline at wholesale throughout the spring, and drivers currently save up to 20 cents or more per gallon where E15 is available. E15 is lower in carbon, tailpipe and evaporative emissions.   Drivers can find retail fuel locations that offer E15, often marketed at Unleaded 88, and compare prices using

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May 24, 2022

NCGA President Provides Input on Pending Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

A strong 2022 volume requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is important as American leaders seek to lower gas prices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with inflation, said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington to federal agency staff during a Monday meeting on the final RFS volume rule currently under review.   Corn growers support the proposed 2022 RFS numbers, Edgington told the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff. But he reiterated NCGA’s concerns with EPA’s proposal of retroactive 2021 volumes below actual use and the proposed reopening and revising already final 2020 standards.   “It’s important to share our perspective on corn supply and corn growers’ increasing productivity and sustainability, which allow us to meet demand for food, feed, fuel and exports with bushels to spare,” said Edgington. “Americans are feeling the effects of inflation, and they see the connection between...

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May 23, 2022

Ag Groups Call For Withdrawal of Solicitor General’s Supreme Court Brief on Glyphosate That Would Create a Patchwork of Problems

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

In a letter to President Biden, 54 agricultural groups expressed grave concern with a recent amicus brief submitted by the U.S. Solicitor General to the Supreme Court advising the court against taking up a case regarding pesticide labels. The groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cotton Council, and American Sugarbeet Growers Association, listed in full here in the letter, called on the president to swiftly withdraw the brief. They warned the new policy would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the science-based regulatory process. The groups are worried this new policy, along with having environmental impacts, could ultimately hinder the ability of U.S. farmers to help meet growing global food needs intensified by the invasion of Ukraine.   In the May 10 brief, the Solicitor General advised the court against taking up a case concerning whether...

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May 20, 2022

USDA Releases Emergency Relief Program Details for Producers Impacted by 2020 and 2021 Natural Disasters

Key Issues: Farm Policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week details of the Farm Service Agency’s new Emergency Relief Program that provides assistance for producers who were impacted by qualifying disasters from 2020 and 2021. FSA will soon mail pre-filled application forms to producers who have crop insurance and NAP data are already on file. Assistance for eligible commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021 through phase one of the Emergency Relief Program is estimated to total approximately $6 billion.   While there is not currently an announced deadline for phase one of the program, eligible growers will need to finish the application and return it to their local FSA office. When phase one payment processing is complete, the remaining funds will be used to cover gaps identified under phase two. You can learn more about eligibility and payment calculation by visiting the FSA website.

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May 13, 2022

NCGA on Ag Undersecretary Nominee Taylor: No Better Person for Position

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

President Biden announced today that he is appointing Alexis Taylor as undersecretary for trade and U.S. agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   Taylor, currently the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, has extensive experience working on agricultural issues.   “I have known Alexis in a professional capacity for well over a decade, and she is someone with a deep understanding of agriculture, particularly as it relates to foreign markets, and she is widely respected by policymakers on both sides of the aisle,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “I cannot think of a better person to represent the Biden administration on this issue.”   Taylor has served as a policy expert on ag issues for several members of Congress on Capitol Hill and managed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. An Iraq veteran, Taylor grew up in Iowa on her family’s...

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May 11, 2022

In Visit to Illinois Farm, Biden Commits to Helping Growers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Appearing on an Illinois family farm, President Biden announced today that his administration would be giving farmers additional tools and resources to boost crop production and maintain global food security.   The announcement comes as the administration is working to help farmers, American consumers and food insecure communities around the globe who are feeling the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.   “American corn growers continue to feed and fuel the world even as they face challenges stemming from the war in Ukraine and high input costs,” said National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett, who attended the announcement. “We’re appreciative of the efforts that President Biden and USDA are making to help farmers navigate these challenges, and the recognition of the key role farmers play in providing solutions.”   During his announcement, Biden committed to:   Increase the number of counties eligible for double cropping insurance, which will allow farmers to...

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May 4, 2022

NCGA Launches Call-to-Action Urging USDA to Help Ensure Fair Markets

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Gaylen Holloway

Are you concerned about the rising input costs of your operation?   In response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s public comment period on Access to Fertilizer: Competition and Supply Chain Concerns, the National Corn Growers Association has launched a call-to-action to aid corn growers in raising a collective voice on this important and timely matter.   “We need a unified message if we’re going to effectively reach Washington decision-makers on this important issue,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke S. Appleton. “That’s why it’s critical that corn growers take this opportunity to submit comments to USDA, including detailed information about how rising input costs are impacting their operation.”   The call-to-action encourages corn growers to comment specifically on accessibility, price volatility and market competition.   You can submit comments directly to USDA here. The public comment period closes on Monday, May 16.   This opportunity gives us a...

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Apr 29, 2022

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

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Apr 29, 2022

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

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Apr 12, 2022

Corn Growers Thank President Biden for Counting on Biofuels to Lower Costs, Boost Energy Independence

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

President Biden announced today that his administration would use existing authority to prevent drivers from losing access to lower-cost and lower-emission E15, a higher ethanol blend often marketed as Unleaded 88.   The president made the announcement at a POET ethanol production facility in Menlo, Iowa, and NCGA President Chris Edgington participated in the event.   “Corn growers thank President Biden for ensuring drivers continue to have access to a lower-cost fuel choice and acknowledging how renewable ethanol helps reduce prices, lower emissions and improve our nation’s energy security,” said Edgington. “Farmers are proud to contribute to cleaner, less expensive fuel choices.” A 2021 court decision resulting from oil industry efforts to limit the growth of higher ethanol blends was set to end full-market access for E15 beginning this summer, absent action from the Biden administration or Congress.   With a host of factors driving up gas prices, including Russia’s invasion...

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Apr 8, 2022

Biofuel & Ag Leaders Respond to EPA Decision to Reverse Refinery Exemptions, Decry Lack of Real Market Impact

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Top farm and biofuel leaders responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to reverse 31 controversial small refinery exemptions (SREs) granted in August 2019 and expressed disappointment with EPA’s decision to allow refineries with previously-granted SREs to not have to take additional actions to meet their obligations under the RFS by blending more biofuel or purchasing additional Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Biofuel and farm advocates had challenged the exemptions in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, forcing the agency to reevaluate its approval for select oil refiners to avoid their obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Leaders at Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, Clean Fuels Alliance America, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union released the following statement on yesterday's decision from EPA:      “While today’s decision is an important step in reversing...

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Mar 29, 2022

Growers Welcome EPA Decision on Enlist, Hope for Continued Progress and Lessons Learned

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

Grower groups including the American Soybean Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association, and National Cotton Council welcomed and expressed appreciation for an announcement from EPA that will restore use of Enlist herbicides to many U.S. counties. This label amendment, prompted by new data submitted to EPA, lifts county-level bans on use of Enlist and Enlist Duo in 134 counties across multiple states, including those where the American Burying Beetle is alleged to be present.   Brad Doyle, soy farmer from Arkansas and president of the American Soybean Association, welcomed the announcement, stating, “County-level bans had growers in these areas anxious and frustrated when the announcement came out in January – especially in this market where inputs are scarce and costs are sky high. We appreciate EPA hearing our concerns and working to quickly restore access in many counties where science and data support doing so.”   "On behalf of corn...

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Mar 29, 2022

EP. 31 - Smooth Sailing on River Transportation Infrastructure, with Jim Tarmann and Tracy Zea

Key Issues: Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Dusty Weis

Jon celebrates a big win in Congress with the leaders of the Illinois Corn Growers and the Waterways Council.   The Mississippi River transports 60% of American corn and soybean exports to market. The massive barges that ply America’s waterways are more cost-effective than any other form of transportation, and also play a role in getting vital inputs to growers.   And yet, much of the infrastructure that makes this possible hasn’t been updated since the 1930s… until now.   In this episode, we talk about a key win for the NCGA and other groups who have spent decades pushing Congress to act on this critical infrastructure problem.   Joining us are Jim Tarmann, the managing director with Illinois Corn Growers, and Tracy Zea, the president and CEO of the Waterways Council, which is an association dedicated to advocating for a modern national system of inland waterway infrastructure.   We discuss how we got to this point, what it means for growers in the Midwest, and what...

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Mar 25, 2022

Bipartisan Members of Congress to U.S. International Trade Commission: This Is No Time for Tariffs on Fertilizers

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Nearly 90 members of Congress sent a letter recently to the U.S. International Trade Commission calling on it to reconsider the tariffs placed on phosphate fertilizer products imported from Morocco and suspend the current process to impose new duties on nitrate fertilizers from Trinidad and Tobago. The effort was spearheaded by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rep. Tracey Mann and Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa).   “We are deeply appreciative of these leaders for their efforts to protect farmers who have felt the crippling effects of high fertilizer prices and shortages,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will no doubt worsen these problems.”   Alluding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and many of the supply-side issues plaguing the country, the letter noted that conditions surrounding on-farm expenses in the U.S. have dramatically changed since the ITC made its determinations and that tariffs are making a bad...

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Mar 24, 2022

Corn Growers Call on the Biden Administration to Use Emergency Authority to Maintain Consumer Access to Lower-Cost Fuel

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Corn grower leaders from 19 states sent an open letter to President Biden today calling on him to use the administration’s existing emergency authorities to tap more homegrown renewable fuels, like ethanol, to help stabilize energy markets and lower the price of fuel for consumers.   The letter comes as Russia’s attack on Ukraine has impacted energy markets, increasing oil and gas prices.   The letter called on the president to prevent consumers from losing the choice of E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, a higher ethanol blend that costs less and reduces emissions. A 2021 court decision resulting from oil industry efforts to limit the growth of higher ethanol blends reversed year-round market access for E15, beginning this summer, absent action from the Biden administration or Congress.   “We urge your administration to act to prevent consumers from losing access to a lower-cost fuel option on June 1,” the letter read. “As gas prices have increased following the rise in oil...

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Mar 16, 2022

House Agriculture Committee Receives Feedback on the Role of USDA Programs in Addressing Climate Change

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing today to review the role USDA programs can play in addressing climate change. Several coalitions that the National Corn Growers Association participates in were invited to provide testimony, including the AGree Economic and Environmental Risk Coalition, Bipartisan Policy Center’s Farm and Forest Carbon Solutions Task Force and the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance.   “We believe that policies should be voluntary, and incentive-based; that they should advance science-based outcomes; and that they should promote resiliency and help rural economies better adapt to climate change,” said Charles F. Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and co-chair of FACA.   The witnesses told committee members that there are several ways that the USDA could help address climate change, including by:   Strengthening the agency’s commitment to agricultural and forestry research to help provide farmers,...

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Mar 10, 2022

Bill Introduced in Congress Would Provide Relief on Fertilizer Tariffs

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

Sen. Roger Marshall, M.D., and Rep. Tracey Mann introduced the Emergency Relief from Duties Act today. The bill would create emergency waivers for duties levied on fertilizers by the U.S. International Trade Commission.   “Fertilizers and other inputs have been at an all-time high, and the war in Ukraine promises to drive up the price of products even more,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “Fertilizers have become increasingly hard to secure and pay for because of tariffs or the threat tariffs on imports. That’s why passage of this legislation would come as a welcome relief to farmers across the country.” The bill comes as the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) levied tariffs against imports of phosphate fertilizer at the behest of a U.S. fertilizer company. A petition for additional tariffs on urea ammonium nitrate is also being considered by ITC. This bill would introduce a pathway to establish a waiver of countervailing duties or anti-dumping...

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Mar 4, 2022

Biofuel & Ag Leaders Call on White House to Provide Relief at the Pump Through Higher Blends of Biofuels

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

To provide relief at the pump in response to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector, six farm and biofuel organizations wrote to President Biden urging his administration to use existing authority to allow for the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol (E15).   In a letter to the White House, American Farm Bureau Federation, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, and the Renewable Fuels Association explained that an immediate move to restore year-round sales of E15 can ease the impact of oil market disruptions and surging gas prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.   “As American families continue to confront skyrocketing gas prices, we write today to urge the Administration to take a simple action that can provide immediate relief at the pump while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions from the transportation...

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Mar 2, 2022

Grower Leaders Gather to Expand their Advocacy Skills

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Gaylen Holloway

The Advocating for Corn Effectively (ACE) Series brought together grower leaders from 12 states to further develop their advocacy skills. The program is designed to create prepared, informed, and effective advocates to carry the message of corn growers to elected officials across the nation.   This three-part virtual series covered How Congress Really Works, Effective Advocacy, and Becoming a Trusted Resource. Participants heard directly from congressional staff, leaders at the Congressional Management Foundation, and completed training on virtual and in-person professionalism. Those who completed the program are now empowered to fully engage in the political process.   The ACE Series is just one of NCGA’s leadership and grassroots programs. You can learn more about NCGA’s Leadership Programs and Grassroots Advocacy efforts on NCGA’s website or by contacting Gaylen Holloway at holloway@ncga.com.    

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Mar 1, 2022

NCGA President Provides Testimony on Farm Bill Commodity Programs

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The president of the National Corn Growers Association spoke today before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture about the key challenges corn growers are facing and offered reflections on existing farm bill commodity programs.   “NCGA has a long history of advocating for market-orientated farm policies, including commodity and crop insurance programs that help growers manage their risks,” Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington told the committee. “Our focus continues to be on accessible and defensible tools geared towards revenue, which factors in both yield and price risks that growers may face throughout the growing and market seasons.”   Edgington was invited by the committee to speak at the hearing, entitled “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Commodity Group Perspectives on Title 1.”   During the 2018 Farm Bill, NCGA supported increasing the opportunities for producers to choose between the commodity programs, Edgington noted. Thanks to that work, producers were...

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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 16, 2022

Senators Highlight Environmental, Economic Value of Ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard

Key Issues: EthanolFarm PolicyHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Bryan Goodman

Three U.S. senators today highlighted the environmental and economic benefits of corn ethanol during a hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) held before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.   During the hearing, Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who serve on this important committee, discussed the transportation emission reductions that result from renewable fuels, ethanol’s contribution to lowering fuel prices and agriculture’s role in producing and improving renewable fuels, among other issues.   “We appreciate Sens. Duckworth, Ernst and Stabenow for setting the record straight when it comes to agriculture and ethanol,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president Chris Edgington. “We were very pleased to have them highlight and include NCGA’s statement, which shows the environmental benefits of ethanol, into the hearing record.”   NCGA’s statement to the committee explains how...

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Feb 11, 2022

USDA’s Risk Management Agency Announces Pandemic Cover Crop Program for 2022

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

USDA’s Risk Management Agency just announced the continuation of the Pandemic Cover Crop Program for 2022. Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from USDA if they planted cover crops during the 2022 crop year. To receive the benefit from this year’s Pandemic Cover Crop Program, producers must report cover crop acreage by March 15, 2022. The premium support is up to $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium owed. It was first offered in 2021, and producers received $59.5 million in premium subsidies for 12.2 million acres of cover crops. For more info and FAQ, visit: https://www.farmers.gov/cover-crops  

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Feb 9, 2022

NCGA President Applauds EPA for Attempt to End RFS Waiver Abuse, Calls on Agency to Commit to Timely Release of Strong RFS Volume Standards

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association submitted comments this week applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to rein in exemptions provided to small oil refineries while calling on the agency to commit to the timely implementation of strong blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   “The RFS is a successful energy and economic policy for consumers, our environment and for farmers,” Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington said. “A return to consistent and timely RFS administration in 2022 is key to maximizing carbon and pollutant reductions, expanding our energy supply to lower consumer costs, and supporting rural economic growth.”   Edgington indicated in his comments that NCGA strongly supports the proposed 2022 RFS volumes, which include an implied volume of 15 billion gallons for conventional renewable fuel and an increase in total renewable fuel, while expressing opposition to proposed retroactive reductions from final 2020...

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Feb 7, 2022

NCGA to EPA: New Definition of WOTUS will Hurt Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should refrain from moving forward with its rule that would expand the definition of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), under the Clean Water Act (CWA), to include water on farmland that’s removed from major waterways, the National Corn Growers Association told the agency today. “NCGA and its farmer members are committed to the objectives of the Clean Water Act and the protection of water quality around our agricultural operations and downstream,” Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington said in comments filed with EPA. “We firmly believe that achieving these objectives does not require drainage and water features that are distant from relatively permanent flowing tributaries be made subject to the mandatory controls of the CWA’s regulatory measures.   Edgington told the agency that such expansive jurisdictional claims will create enormous and pervasive uncertainty and confusion in the agricultural community as to how farmers manage...

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Feb 2, 2022

Key U.S. Senators Call on EPA Administrator to Prioritize Renewable Fuels Standard as NCGA Calls on Farmers to Weigh In on Rule

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Allies of corn growers in the U.S. Senate sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan today calling on him to prioritize the Renewable Fuels Standard.   Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), with the support from a bipartisan group of 12 senators, called on the administrator to maintain proposed blending requirements for 2022; deny all pending Small Refinery Exemptions; eliminate proposed retroactive cuts to the 2020 renewable volume obligations; and set 2021 RFS volumes at the statutory levels.   “The RFS is a significant tool for EPA to reduce the carbon footprint of our transportation sector,” the senators wrote. “By taking the above actions, the EPA can quickly restore integrity, stability, and growth to the RFS and the U.S. biofuel sector while ensuring that the program continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diversify our fuels, drive down gas prices, strengthen our national security, and drive rural economic opportunity.” NCGA’s leadership...

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Jan 27, 2022

Farmers are Key to Successful Federal Environmental Mitigation Efforts, Ohio Farmers Tell Federal Agencies

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should look to farmers as it works to mitigate pesticide issues, a corn grower told members of a federal interagency working group (IWG) today.    “We respect EPA’s responsibility in protecting the environment, including endangered species,” said Patty Mann, a corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Jackson Center, Ohio. “We ask that the agency work closely with growers, the ones who often know the land the best, in developing and enacting mitigation measures.”   Mann’s remarks were made to the IWG, which is composed of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. The IWG was established under the 2018 farm bill to identify and implement improvements to the federal government’s pesticide consultation process.   Mann, who has worked with the National Corn Growers and Ohio Corn and Wheat on these...

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Jan 25, 2022

With Reauthorization of the Farm Bill on the Horizon, Grower Leaders are Positioned to be Valuable Resource

Key Issues: Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

As Washington prepares to debate the reauthorization of the farm bill in 2023, one group of grower leaders is well-positioned as a valuable resource for corn growers and policymakers.    The Risk Management and Transportation Action Team (RMTAT) – which oversees much of NCGA’s public-policy work on transportation, the farm safety net and federal taxes – will play an active role in preparing NCGA for the 2023 farm bill.   “NCGA will soon roll out key findings from our nationwide risk management survey of fellow corn growers,” said RMTAT Chairman Bill Leigh.” We are also spending time evaluating current farm bill commodity and crop insurance programs, continuing to support strong risk management tools, and looking for areas of improvement. And implementation of disaster assistance will once again be on the team’s agenda for the year.”   The team is building off a successful year, which saw historic federal investments in domestic infrastructure. Implementation of the bipartisan...

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Jan 19, 2022

NCGA Expresses Concern that Proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule Could Extend Federal Regulatory Control of Farmland

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association cautioned EPA on Tuesday about moving forward with a rule that could give the federal government sweeping regulatory power over America’s farmlands.   The testimony from Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington comes as EPA considers a proposed rule revising the definition of “Waters of the United States,” under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule would give the federal government leeway to assert jurisdiction over features that are remote from and carry only minor volumes of water to downstream navigable waters.   “The Clean Water Act simply does not allow the agencies to insert themselves into local and farmer land-use decisions in the manner that has been proposed,” Edgington said. “There is a limit under the Clean Water Act to the direct federal control over land-use decisions and policies. Such Clean Water Act policy properly respects the roles of each of the principal players in this system: the private landowner, citizen...

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Jan 6, 2022

USDA NASS ARMS Survey Extended to Mid-January

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Farmers are encouraged to respond to the USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). Phase II of the work has been extended to January 14. The survey asks about production practices and data from corn producers. Your response helps ensure corn growers are represented in key research and analysis by USDA. This portion of the survey asks questions about fertilizer, pesticide, cropping practice and technology management.    It is important to respond to make sure you are represented in your state. Phase II is primarily conducted by phone and is the best way for USDA to get the information it needs to make sure your operation is counted. Corn producers in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Colorado, and Texas have been contacted to participate in the survey. For more information about this survey, visit www.nass.usda.gov/go/arms .

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Jan 5, 2022

USDA Announces Details for Pace Coverage

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today released the details and coverage of the new crop insurance Post Application Coverage Endorsement, or PACE, for non-irrigated corn.   Farmers in select counties in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are eligible for the endorsement.   PACE, available to farmers who split-apply nitrogen, provides coverage for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the post nitrogen application during the V3-V10 corn growth stages due to field conditions created by weather. It is available as supplemental coverage for Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP), and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion (RP-HPE) policies.   “PACE is an important addition to the risk management toolbox for corn growers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “We are appreciative of our industry partners and the Risk Management Agency...

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Jan 4, 2022

NCGA to EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard Important to Farmers, Helps Lower Emissions

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Timely implementation of meaningful Renewable Fuels Standard volumes provides certainty in agriculture markets, reduces emissions and lowers fuel prices, NCGA told U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials today during the agency’s public hearing on proposed RFS volume standards for 2022 and 2021 and proposed reconsideration of 2020 volumes.   “Corn farmers produce low-carbon feedstock for low-carbon ethanol, offering immediate and affordable emissions reductions and a vital pathway for agriculture to help address climate change,” NCGA President Chris Edgington told EPA. “But our success helping you meet these commitments depends on EPA sending a clear and firm message that volume requirements will be enforced.”   Edgington urged EPA to move quickly to finalize the strong 2022 volume proposal and the denial of pending RFS waiver petitions, actions that would put more clean fuels in the market and repair RFS integrity. He also told EPA that proposed retroactive cuts to 2020...

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Dec 3, 2021

Government Grants Reprieve on Potash Sanctions Providing Win for Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls this week agreed to provide a reprieve through April of next year on sanctions on potash fertilizers imported to the U.S. from Belarus.    “This is a win for the American farmer,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “Farmers are having a very hard time securing fertilizers, so a positive development like this couldn’t come at a better time.”    NCGA and other groups initiated dialogue in November with the Treasury Department expressing concern that sanctions on potash were resulting in fertilizer shortages across the country.    As farmers have struggled to secure and pay for fertilizers and other inputs, NCGA has been sounding the alarm saying that tariffs and sanctions on imports only make a bad situation worse.  “The American farmer should not have to suffer for the trade practices of foreign governments or for disagreement between multi-national corporations,”...

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Dec 1, 2021

NCGA: Deeply Disappointed Fertilizer Companies, U.S. Commerce Department, Continue to Press for Tariffs at Expense of Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Department of Commerce today made a preliminary determination in favor of a complaint filed by CF Industries that urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) imports from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago are unfairly subsidized by their governments. As a result, the Department of Commerce is recommending countervailing duties on fertilizers from these countries. The decision comes on the heels of a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission in March to grant a petition by the Mosaic Company to place tariffs on phosphorous fertilizer imported from outside the country. Those tariffs were also recommended by the Commerce Department. In response to this development, the National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington released the following statement:   “Farmers across the country have spoken publicly over the last several weeks about the severe impact fertilizer shortages are having on the budgets of family farms. While there are a host of issues that contributed to this...

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Nov 30, 2021

NCGA: Remember to Submit Ballot for FSA Committee Positions

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

NCGA reminds corn growers that the deadline is approaching to submit ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections. Voters should return their ballots to their FSA county office by Monday, Dec. 6. Those wishing to mail-in ballots must make sure envelopes are postmarked by the ballot deadline.   Committee members represent local farmers at USDA and play an important role in shaping FSA programs.   Each committee has from three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office, and at least one seat, which represents local administrative areas, is up for election each year. Newly elected committee members will take office on Jan. 1, 2022.   Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from their local FSA county office. To find your local USDA Service Center, visit farmers.gov/service-locator. Visit fsa.usda.gov/elections for more information. 

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Nov 19, 2021

House Passes $1.7 Trillion Build Back Better Legislation, Allocating $82 Billion in Funding For Agriculture to Address Climate Change

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Bill Steers Clear of Harmful Tax Changes for Farmers   The House of Representatives voted today on a party-line basis to approve the $1.7 trillion budget reconciliation and spending bill, H.R. 5376, referred to as the Build Back Better Act.   NCGA worked with allies of farmers and rural communities in Congress to ensure that the bill did not remove important tax provisions that would directly affect family farms.   “Our number one concern has been proposals to remove stepped-up basis,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “That will continue to be our focus as the legislation moves to the Senate.”   The House version of the bill makes no changes to stepped-up basis, the current tax provision important to corn growers. Stepped-up basis and the estate tax provisions in the current tax code help protect family farms that are transferred from generation to generation.   In an acknowledgment of the role farmers can play in addressing environmental issues,...

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Nov 18, 2021

NCGA: Proposed Rule on Waters of the U.S. A Step Back, Confusing for Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Today, The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Army released a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The proposed rule would remove the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which was finalized in 2020 and provided long-overdue certainty and clarity for farmers affected by the scope of WOTUS jurisdiction.   In response to this development, NCGA President Chris Edgington released the following statement:   “We are extremely disappointed that this administration is taking us backward by removing a rule that has provided certainty for farmers who are working to feed and power America.”   "NCGA will continue to work with the agencies and advocate for a WOTUS definition that provides farmers clarity about their obligations under the Clean Water Act."  

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Nov 16, 2021

NCGA: EPA Didn’t Use Best Available Data in Popular Herbicides Used by Farmers

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

NCGA said today that the EPA did not use the best available science and data in the recently released endangered species biological evaluations for glyphosate, atrazine, and simazine, and, as a result, EPA’s final assessment for these chemistries vastly inflate the number of species and habitats found likely to be adversely affected.   “The assumptions EPA made in drafting this biological evaluation are not based on the real-world use of these products,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “It vastly overestimated the volume of herbicide farmers use and instead relied on inflated levels that resulted in this evaluation.”   In its evaluation, which was released on Friday and conducted as part of the Endangered Species Act, EPA looked at the effects of glyphosate, atrazine and simazine on endangered species when used at the highest legal limits rather than at levels typically used by farmers. EPA’s determination is also based on the assumption that the...

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Oct 1, 2021

NCGA Applauds Congress for Funding Disaster Assistance for Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Brian Goodman

Farmers who have been impacted by extreme weather patterns will see relief thanks to funding that was included in the continuing resolution that passed Congress this week.   "Farmers will be pleased with this development,” said NCGA President Chris Edgington. "The funding will be extremely helpful to our members who have struggled with adverse weather conditions in recent years."    The bill provides $10 billion to continue the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus, or WHIP+, for the losses in 2020 and 2021. It requires that recipients of that assistance purchase crop insurance or Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage for the two following crop years.     Assistance will be available for losses caused by droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms, freeze, polar vortexes, smoke exposure, quality losses of crops and excessive moisture in 2020 and 2021.     The Secretary of Agriculture will be required to submit a...

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Sep 29, 2021

USDA Announces New Climate Project

Key Issues: SustainabilityFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Secretary of Agriculture announced today that the administration will launch a new initiative to help farmers address climate change.   In a speech at Colorado State University, Secretary Tom Vilsack said USDA is investing in a series of pilot projects, as part of the “Climate Smart Partnership Initiative,” which will provide incentives to implement climate smart conservation practices on working lands and to quantify and monitor the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices.   USDA will receive stakeholder input over the next 30 days to determine how the partnerships will be structured and will then initiate a series of partnerships over the next six months.   “Today’s announcement underscores the fact that farmers are part of the climate solution,” said NCGA President John Linder. “We look forward to working closely with USDA in the coming weeks to provide input from corn growers.”   Vilsack also announced $3 billion in additional funds and...

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Sep 16, 2021

NCGA Participates in UN Food Systems Summit Stakeholder Listening Session

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Sep 13, 2021

Corn Growers React to Proposed Tax Changes

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The House Ways and Means Committee today released its draft bill, which includes tax provisions that would pay for portions of the proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation legislative package. While the bill would preserve stepped-up basis, there are several provisions impacting family farms, including lowering the current estate tax exemption. Stepped-up basis and the estate tax in the current tax code help protect family farms that are passed down from generation to generation.    In response to these developments, NCGA President John Linder released the following statement: “We are very pleased to see that the House Committee did not include the elimination of stepped-up basis within its initial text. However, we are concerned with the provisions on the estate tax in the Committee draft that could impact family farms. NCGA will continue to work to preserve stepped-up basis and the current estate tax exemption as this process moves forward. “Family farms produce crops...

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Sep 10, 2021

Corn Growers, Farm Organizations, and Small Businesses Tell Congress Tax Proposals Would Hurt the Economy

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association continued this week to fight to protect tax priorities for farmers ahead of the release of Congress’ $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. As part of these efforts, NCGA joined hundreds of state and federal agricultural organizations in sending three coalition letters urging Congress to preserve important tax provisions.     Letters that were sent to Congress this week with corn growers support: NCGA and state corn growers were part of a letter with 327 national, regional and state trade associations highlighting agricultural tax priorities including stepped-up basis, like-kind exchanges, the Sec. 199A small business deduction and current estate tax provisions. NCGA and state corn grower associations were part of over 160 signatories in the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition letter, focusing on the importance of preserving stepped-up basis and potential issues that could come with setting exemptions on inherited property. NCGA...

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Aug 31, 2021

NCGA to EPA: Don’t Saddle Farmers with Unnecessary Water Regulations

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Federal regulations on remote bodies of water will hurt farmers without providing any significant improvement to water quality, an NCGA leader told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today.   “They [EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] must not assume that achieving desired water quality outcomes means that remote water features must be made waters of the U.S.,” said Andy Jobman, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “The facts simply do not support this assumption as it applies to farms, conservation practices and farmland water management.”   Jobman’s remarks were made during a public meeting hosted by the EPA to hear from stakeholders on their perspectives on defining "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act, in light of the agency’s intention to revise the definition.   During the hearing, Jobman expressed support for the goals of the Clean Water Act to restore and protect the water quality integrity of jurisdictional waters.   “Corn farmers...

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Aug 9, 2021

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

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Jul 20, 2021

NCGA Expresses Opposition to Anti-Ethanol Legislation

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association strongly opposes a bill that was introduced in the U.S. Senate today, referred to as the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” which would remove the implied conventional biofuel blending requirement from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), increasing harmful emissions and use of fossil fuels.   “This bill is ill conceived and would have a devastating impact on air quality, the diversity of our energy supply, fuel prices and rural economies,” said NCGA president John Linder. “Blending ethanol into the fuel supply is one of the most effective ways to lower carbon emissions to combat climate change and replace the most toxic components of gasoline.”   Today’s corn growers sustainably produce more corn on less land with fewer resources than when the RFS was enacted and are committed to further improvements in sustainability. These extraordinary results have been accomplished as food price inflation has decreased as ethanol production has...

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Jun 23, 2021

New NCGA-KCOE ISOM Report Explores Tax Proposals

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Jun 11, 2021

Deadline for Cover Crop Insurance Premium Benefit Quickly Approaching

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Jun 10, 2021

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

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Jun 3, 2021

Corn Growers Welcome Stepped-up Basis Defense

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Neil Caskey

U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-GA) sent a letter yesterday to President Biden expressing his concerns to proposed changes in tax policy that would eliminate the stepped-up basis provisions used by farmers. The letter resulted from a conversation Chairman Scott had with the Corn Board last month on taxes and other priorities.    “We appreciate Chairman Scott’s leadership on preserving the stepped-up basis protections in the tax code for America’s corn farmers and stand ready to help him defend our farms and families from harmful taxation,” said NCGA President John Linder.    

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May 20, 2021

Webinar Dives into Proposed Legislation and Impacts on Taxes

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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May 19, 2021

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

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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May 11, 2021

NCGA Joins Agricultural Tax Priorities Letter to Congress

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Wayne Stoskopf

This week, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) joined 39 agricultural organizations in a letter to Congressional leaders outlining key tax priorities including protecting current estate tax exemptions and preserving the step-up in basis for capital gains.   The letter comes just after President Biden proposed the American Families Plan, the second part of the President Build Back Better Plan. The plan includes over $1 trillion in new investments throughout the economy and $800 billion in tax cuts.   The $1.8 trillion plan proposes paying for the investments and tax cuts through reforms to the tax code, including ending the step-up of basis for capital gains more than $1 million ($2 million per couple). According to the White House, “the reform will be designed with protections so that family-owned businesses and farms will not have to pay taxes when given to heirs who continue to run the business.”   The Administration is expected to continue to release more details...

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May 6, 2021

NCGA Statement on America the Beautiful Initiative

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Apr 26, 2021

Biofuels Coalition Readies for Oral Arguments in Supreme Court

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Ken

In oral arguments scheduled for Tuesday morning, four agriculture and biofuel organizations will argue that the U.S. Supreme Court should affirm a unanimous 2020 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which held that only small refineries that have remained continuously exempt from obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard are eligible for future extensions of the compliance exemption.   The four organizations comprising the Biofuels Coalition—the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and the American Coalition for Ethanol—will share time during Tuesday’s oral arguments with the U.S. Department of Justice, which will be representing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA announced in February that it supports the Tenth Circuit’s decision.   “EPA had exceeded its authority by creating new exemptions when the statute only authorizes the agency to extend the temporary, time-limited...

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Apr 22, 2021

NCGA Supports Reintroduction of Senate Climate Policy Legislation

Key Issues: SustainabilityFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Apr 19, 2021

NCGA Statement on Robert Bonnie

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Neil Caskey

“We’re pleased to learn President Biden has nominated Robert Bonnie to be the next Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation at USDA. This is an important mission area to America’s corn farmers. And we look forward to working with him on COVID recovery, disaster relief, risk management tools, and conservation programs,” said NCGA President John Linder.

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Apr 13, 2021

Focus on Infrastructure: Rural Broadband

Key Issues: Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Apr 13, 2021

RFA, Growth Energy and NCGA Defend Year-Round E15 in Court

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Ken Colombini

Today, the D.C. Circuit Court will hear oral arguments in American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, et al. vs. EPA, a case in which oil refiners challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2019 rulemaking that paved the way for the year-round sale of E15. As intervenors in the case, the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association will also argue in support of upholding the E15 rule in court today.   In a joint statement, RFA, Growth Energy and NCGA said, "Oil refiners are simply trying to reclaim more market share by blocking American drivers from year-round access to a more affordable, lower-carbon fuel at the pump. Studies have repeatedly shown that the volatility of E15 is lower than that of E10. And other recent studies find that a nationwide switch from E10 to E15 would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions –equivalent to removing approximately 3.85 million vehicles from the road. If the refiners had their way and...

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Apr 6, 2021

USDA Pandemic Assistance for Producers

Key Issues: COVID-19Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on March 24 Pandemic Assistance for Producers (PAP). The new initiative will bring financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and producers who felt the impact of COVID-19 market disruptions.   The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 passed by Congress in December 2020 included additional Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) assistance of $20 per acre for producers of eligible crops, including corn. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will automatically issue payments to eligible producers based on the eligible acres included on their CFAP 2 applications. These payments should start being distributed this month.   The Consolidated Appropriations Act also granted USDA with the authority to provide support for ethanol producers who were impacted by a drop in ethanol demand. USDA is expected to share details of this assistance in a proposed rule likely to be released in the next few months.   USDA will be holding a webinar...

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Mar 17, 2021

Senate Confirms Tai for U.S. Trade Representative

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. Senate today confirmed Katherine Tai to serve as U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), overseeing the development and promotion of U.S. trade policy.   In her prior role as Chief Trade Counsel for the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Tai was closely involved in negotiations between the House and USTR to reach an agreement on a U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) implementing bill that received strong bipartisan support in Congress.   For generations, America's farmers and ranchers have built strong trading relationships to help maintain a competitive edge in the global economy and bolster job creation across the United States. Today, exports are responsible for 33 percent of U.S. corn farmers’ income and more than 20 percent of the U.S. corn crop is exported annually when accounting for corn and value-added products like ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS).   U.S. corn exports for the current marketing year are on track to surpass...

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Mar 11, 2021

Regan Confirmed to Lead EPA

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Michael Regan, on a 66-34 vote, to serve as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).   The EPA oversees implementation of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), a top priority for corn farmers.   Following his nomination by President Bident, NCGA President John Linder said, “The National Corn Growers Association looks forward to working with Regan on issues of importance to corn farmers overseen by the EPA, most notably the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS was a game-changer for corn farmers nearly 20 years ago but previous administrations have failed to uphold the law and implement it as Congress intended. NCGA hopes to have an open dialogue with the new Administrator upon his confirmation and work together to uphold the RFS, reduce emissions through greater use of biofuels, ensure farmers’ access to crop protection products based on sound science and seek practical solutions to issues important to...

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Mar 10, 2021

American Rescue Plan to Provide Additional Relief Amid COVID-19

Key Issues: COVID-19Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319), providing additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. The U.S. Senate passed the legislation last week, and President Biden is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.   The Act includes $7 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and $15 billion for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. Agricultural businesses have utilized both programs to ensure they can continue to operate during the pandemic.   Similar to previous COVID relief efforts, the legislation provides food assistance for those facing hunger through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food and nutrition programs, including extending the 15 percent increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through September 30,...

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Feb 24, 2021

NCGA Leads Call for Farmer Participation in Paycheck Protection Program

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), along with K·Coe Isom, today led a coalition of 35 agriculture organizations urging Congress to work with the Small Business Administration (SBA) to ensure that farming partnerships and limited liability corporations (LLCs) are able to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).   In a letter to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the House Committee on Small Business, the organizations said it is critical for agricultural producers, many of whom have structured their operations as partnerships and LLCs, to receive PPP funding regardless of tax structure.   “As you know, farming and ranching are capital-intensive operations often operating at a loss and with owners who frequently do not work for wages,” the organizations wrote.   Section 313 of The Economic Aid Act made changes to the initial eligibility requirements for PPP, recognizing the special circumstances of those...

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Feb 23, 2021

NCGA Congratulates Tom Vilsack on Senate Confirmation to Lead USDA

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today congratulated Tom Vilsack on his Senate confirmation to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). NCGA President John Linder made the following statement.   “NCGA congratulates Secretary Vilsack on his confirmation. Corn growers appreciated his comments in support of biofuels, along with the positive role he sees agriculture playing in addressing climate change, during his confirmation hearing. Secretary Vilsack has consistently shown a willingness to listen to corn growers, to understand the issues they face on their farms, and we’ve welcomed his outreach to agriculture. Corn growers are looking forward to working together to build long-term demand for our product, mitigate the impact of climate change, seek new markets around the globe, and continue to feed and fuel the world.”

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Feb 16, 2021

Enrollment for 2021 Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage Programs Deadline Nears

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that producers who have not yet enrolled in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for 2021 must do so by March 15. Producers who have not yet signed a 2021 enrollment contract or who want to make an election change should contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to make an appointment.   For more information on ARC and PLC including web-based decision tools, visit farmers.gov/arc-plc. During the 2018 Farm Bill negotiations, NCGA supported providing corn growers additional opportunities to choose between the commodity programs. This year starts a now annual opportunity for producers to make elections between the ARC and PLC programs.   FSA Acting Administrator Steve Peterson urged farmers not to delay starting the enrollment process. “FSA offices have multiple programs competing for the time and attention of our staff. Because of the importance and complexities of...

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Feb 4, 2021

Senate Shows Support for Ethanol

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

A flurry of positive action in support of renewable fuels took place in the U.S. Senate this week.   On Wednesday, Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, led a letter signed by 13 other farm-state Senators to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to highlight the “pressing concern of restoring integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and to alert you to pressing policy decisions that the Administration must make to bring regulatory certainty to the transportation fuels sector of the economy.”   Also, Wednesday, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., along with Klobuchar, reintroduced the Adopt GREET Act, legislation that would require the EPA to update its greenhouse gas modeling for ethanol and biodiesel.   “This bill will ensure EPA uses the most recent science and data to accurately measure the greenhouse gas emission reduction benefits of ethanol,” said NCGA President John Linder, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “The Department of...

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Jan 28, 2021

NCGA Welcomes New Members of Congress with Virtual Open House

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association Officer Team on Tuesday hosted a virtual open house for new members of the 117th Congress. Members of the freshman class representing districts in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas, from both political parties participated in the event.   The virtual open house was an opportunity to begin to develop a meaningful relationship with these new members. NCGA’s Officer Team shared the organization’s legislative priorities, including support for increasing sales of higher ethanol blends through the Next Generation Fuels Act and expanding opportunities for corn in new global markets. Participants also discussed the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the positive role corn growers can play in future climate policy.   The participating members shared their priorities for the new session and were thankful for the outreach. They encouraged NCGA and farmers to continue reaching out in the...

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Jan 27, 2021

Court Seeks Status Report on EPA Compliance with Order on Renewable Volumes

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit today directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to submit a status report every 60 days “on its progress in complying with the court’s remand” stemming from the July 2017 ruling in Americans for Clean Energy v. EPA.  The 2017 ruling required EPA to address its improper waiver of 500 million gallons of 2016 renewable fuel blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard.   Today’s order from the D.C. Circuit was in response to a motion filed in December 2020 by biofuel and farm organizations, in which the groups asked the court to enforce its 2017 decision by requiring EPA to fully restore the 500 million gallons that were inappropriately waived from the 2016 RFS requirements. While the court denied the motion, the groups welcomed the court’s requirement that EPA provide status reports every 60 days on its progress in responding to the court’s decision.   The coalition, which includes the Renewable...

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Jan 20, 2021

Corn Grower Leaders to President Biden: We Stand Ready to Work with You

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

Leaders of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today congratulated President Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States. NCGA President John Linder, along with 21 state corn grower association presidents, sent a letter to Biden outlining the opportunities for corn growers and agriculture over the next four years.   “As you know, farmers are optimistic by nature. Each year we plant seeds in the ground, rely on a combination of mother nature and innovation, and we are hopeful that those seeds will generate a profitable commodity. In that same regard, we are optimistic about the opportunity for farmers to play an innovative role in combating climate change and expanding our overseas markets,” the corn grower leaders wrote.   NCGA and corn growers across the country are looking forward to being a part of efforts to address climate change, one of the Biden-Harris Administration’s top policy priorities. In their letter, the corn grower leaders...

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Jan 19, 2021

NCGA: EPA Undercuts Corn Farmers, Ethanol Again

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President John Linder today made the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted oil refineries two Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs), or waivers, for 2019 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) blending and one SRE for 2018.    “It shouldn’t be a surprise to those who have been paying attention for the last four years that this EPA would undermine corn farmers and the ethanol market on its way out the door. There is no reason for the EPA to take this action now, especially with the Supreme Court set to consider the Tenth Circuit ruling in the new term. Corn farmers need an EPA that will follow the law as written and intended by Congress. NCGA looks forward to working with the Biden Administration to rectify the harm caused by this EPA’s abuse of small refinery exemptions and restore the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard.”   Today’s waivers roughly account for 260 million ethanol equivalent gallons. NCGA last...

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Jan 15, 2021

EPA Takes Positive Steps Forward for Ethanol

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued proposed regulatory changes related to required pump labeling and infrastructure compatibility for E15. This is a long-awaited proposal and gives stakeholders, including NCGA, the opportunity to provide comments that will be considered by the incoming Biden Administration to complete this rulemaking process to address retail barriers.   The agency today also issued a request for comments on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waiver requests made by oil state Governors and refiners in 2020.   “Today’s announcement is a positive step forward for corn growers,” said NCGA Public Policy Director, Renewable Fuels, Kathy Bergren. “NCGA looks forward to working with the incoming Biden Administration to restore RFS integrity and stop RFS waiver abuse.  We also stand ready to work with them on a final rule that supports greater E15 distribution and sales by addressing labeling and infrastructure barriers.”   EPA’s announcements today...

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Jan 6, 2021

USDA Announces Quality Loss Assistance

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) yesterday announced details for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program. Producer signup for the program will begin today, January 6 and run through March 5, 2021.   QLA is intended to help growers who suffered crop quality losses due to weather-related disasters in 2018 and 2019. Corn growers in several states were impacted by these events.   For more information, growers can visit farmers.gov/quality-loss, or contact your local USDA Service Center. Producers can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling 877-508-8364.

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Dec 22, 2020

NCGA Recognizes Long-Serving Agriculture Committee Leaders

Key Issues: Farm Policy

As the 117th Congress comes to a close, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is recognizing the tenure of Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., and House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Mike Conaway, R-Texas. The three leaders will not be returning to elected office next Congress, taking a combined 86 years of experience and institutional knowledge of the legislative process with them.   Roberts was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980, representing Kansas’ “Big First” District for 16 years. He served as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee from 1995-1997 where he oversaw passage of the 1996 Farm Bill. In 1996, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He became Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman in 2015 and served as Ranking Member from 2011-2013. Roberts is the first member of Congress to have chaired both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and...

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Dec 22, 2020

Congress Provides Farm and Food Relief

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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Dec 18, 2020

NCGA Statement: Regan nominated to Lead EPA

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder today made the below statement following the news that President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Michael Regan to serve as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator.   “The National Corn Growers Association looks forward to working with Regan on issues of importance to corn farmers overseen by the EPA, most notably the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS was a game-changer for corn farmers nearly 20 years ago but previous administrations have failed to uphold the law and implement it as Congress intended. NCGA hopes to have an open dialogue with the new Administrator upon his confirmation and work together to uphold the RFS, reduce emissions through greater use of biofuels, ensure farmers’ access to crop protection products based on sound science and seek practical solutions to issues important to agriculture.”

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Dec 15, 2020

Legislation Seeking to Curb Rising Rural Suicide Rate Approved by Congress

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The Seeding Rural Resilience Act, legislation aimed at curbing the rising rate of suicide in rural areas, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate last week as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill is currently awaiting President Trump’s signature.   The legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Jon Tester, D-Mont., both active farmers.    The Senators cited data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing the suicide rate 45 percent higher in rural America than in urban areas. Americans in rural communities face isolation, distance from basic health care services, lack of broadband access, stigmas against receiving counseling, and financial burdens due to stagnant crop prices. These factors cause higher rates of stress for American farmers and ranchers, making it even harder for people in rural communities to get by.   The Seeding Rural Resilience Act creates three...

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Dec 10, 2020

NCGA Statement: Nomination of Tom Vilsack to lead U.S. Department of Agriculture

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder today welcomed the nomination of former Iowa Governor and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to again serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Linder made the following statement.   “The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Secretary Vilsack on his nomination to lead USDA. In his eight years leading the Department during the Obama administration corn farmers appreciated his willingness to listen to the input from growers across the country and his steadfast commitment to agriculture, renewable fuels, our environment and USDA’s food and nutrition programs. He’s been an outspoken advocate for rural America and we look forward to working together again, along with President-elect Biden, to build long-term demand for our product, mitigate the impact of climate change, seek new markets around the globe, and continue to feed and fuel the world.”

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Dec 4, 2020

Setting the Stage for the Next Generation Fuels Act

Key Issues: EthanolFarm PolicyHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has long sought new and creative ways to build demand for our product. Since 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has helped to promote both energy independence and a stable, prosperous U.S. economy.   The Next Generation Fuels Act (H.R. 8371) is the next step in corn farmers’ efforts to build on the success of the RFS to continue growing the role of low carbon, affordable and renewable ethanol in the fuel supply. Not only does this legislation yield economic benefits for rural America, but it also results in common sense environmental benefits.   The introduction of the bill follows several years of work by corn farmers to boost long term corn demand for clean, affordable ethanol. But introduction of this legislation is just the beginning of a long process.   The current Congress is set to adjourn by mid-December, making the next week a critical time to raise awareness and build additional support for the Next Generation Fuels...

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Dec 3, 2020

NCGA Statement: Thompson to Serve as U.S. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder today made the following statement after it was announced that Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-Pa., would serve as Ranking Member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress.   “The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Representative Thompson on his new role as Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee. In his time on the Committee, Thompson has been a strong advocate for farmers and policies impacting rural America. We look forward to continuing to work with him and members of the Agriculture Committee on behalf of America’s corn farmers.”  

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Dec 3, 2020

NCGA Statement: Scott to Lead U.S. House Agriculture Committee

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

National Corn Growers Association President John Linder today made the following statement after it was announced that Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., would serve as Chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress.   “The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Congressman Scott on his new role as Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee. Through his tenure on the Committee, Scott has demonstrated strong support for the policies important to corn farmers. NCGA looks forward to continuing our work with the House Agriculture Committee and Chairman Scott in this new leadership role.”

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Dec 3, 2020

Congress Reauthorizes U.S. Grain Standards Act

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. House of Representatives late Wednesday approved the U.S. Grain Standards Reauthorization Act (S. 4054). The U.S. Senate approved the legislation prior to the Thanksgiving holiday and the bill now moves to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law.   The U.S. Grain Standards Act (USGSA) sets the framework for the functioning of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Federal Grain Inspection Service.   Earlier this week, NCGA joined a coalition of agriculture interests in a letter urging members of Congress to support S. 4054 ahead of the impending Dec. 11 expiration of parts of USGSA.   “The U.S. grain inspection system provides certainty to our foreign customers that all U.S. grains and oilseeds have been inspected and certified by an independent agency and provides great value to U.S. commodities, thereby enhancing our competitiveness in the world market. This certainty and reliability have helped grow export markets for U.S. commodities and serves as a...

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Oct 26, 2020

NCGA to EPA: Remove Barriers to Increase Ethanol Demand

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today, along with 14 state affiliate associations, urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide more certainty and use forward-looking data analysis to update policy that will lead to greater flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) production and increased demand for higher blends of ethanol.   The associations submitted comments in response to EPA’s request for input on data sources and analytical approaches on which to base an updated weighting factor (F-factor) for E85 FFVs for model year 2021 and later.   “As the producers of the primary feedstock for ethanol, corn farmers support a forward-looking, consistent, long-term F-factor that provides automakers with greater certainty in compliance crediting for planning vehicle production,” the associations wrote.   “Corn farmers have responded to the demand for clean, renewable fuel with increased productivity. Corn production has improved on all measures of resource efficiency,...

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Oct 20, 2020

EP. 12 - A Wild Ride: Outgoing NCGA President Kevin Ross on his Eventful Term in Office

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Dusty Weis

The NCGA’s outgoing President Kevin Ross had a term in office unlike any other. From a Twitter battle with the world’s largest beer brewer, to a public speech with President Donald Trump, to the NCGA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, his year at the helm was anything but boring.   In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett asks the Iowa grower to unpack all the highlights from his term and look to the future of the industry. And, in spite of all the uncertainty, Kevin shares his reasons for optimism and a love of farming that's stronger than ever.     DIRECT SHARE   TRANSCRIPT   Kevin Ross: Having that opportunity to speak to the leader of the free world about what you've got going on in your industry and it did hit me right as I was walking up onto the stage and like you said, you see that seal of the president of the United States on a podium and you're sitting there going, "Hmm, that's kind of a big deal standing behind that thing and give a speech."   Dusty...

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Oct 8, 2020

NCGA Joins Secretary Perdue Supporting Higher Blends of Ethanol

Key Issues: EthanolFarm PolicyHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Liz Friedlander

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) First Vice President Chris Edgington, along with Minnesota Corn Growers Association leadership, today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue for an Albert Lea, Minn., event in support of higher blends of ethanol.   Perdue announced today that USDA has invested $22 million out of the up to $100 million in grants available to increase American ethanol and biodiesel sales through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).  According to USDA, the $22 million HBIIP investments are projected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually. USDA will announce the remaining grant recipients in the coming weeks.   Further developing the infrastructure needed for higher blends of ethanol continues to be a priority for NCGA. These cost-share grants will support more retailers offering E15 and E85 across the country. Increasing the availability of higher blends today also helps expand...

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Sep 23, 2020

Sign Up for CFAP 2 Available for Corn Farmers

Key Issues: COVID-19Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last Friday announced $14 billion in additional aid from the Commodity Food Assistance Program (CFAP 2) to assist farmers and their customers recover from the continued financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.   Program enrollment is open through December 11, and producers can download application forms prior to visiting their local FSA office. Producers can also register to participate in a webinar scheduled for September 24 to learn more.   Corn is an eligible commodity under the row crop/price triggered commodities. CFAP 2 provides an effective payment rate of $0.232/bushel on eligible corn production. USDA has a specific resource website for row crops at www.farmers.gov/cfap/row-crops.   NCGA analysis projects a $59 per acre average revenue decline for the 2019 corn crop and an $89 per acre average revenue decline for 2020, compared to pre-COVID-19 projections. If realized, the 2020 crop year revenue would be the lowest corn...

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Sep 18, 2020

NCGA Welcomes Additional USDA COVID-19 Assistance for Corn Farmers

Key Issues: COVID-19Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today said additional aid from the Commodity Assistance Food Program (CFAP 2) will assist farmers and their customers recover from the continued financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $14 billion in a second round of direct support, including additional assistance for corn growers. The aid was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law in March.   “It’s been a tough year for agriculture and there’s still a lot of uncertainty across the corn belt as we head into harvest,” NCGA President Kevin Ross said. “We’re doing all we can to get back on solid ground, but we can’t do it alone, which is why today’s announcement is a positive and welcome step forward.   NCGA analysis projects a $59 per acre average revenue decline for the 2019 corn crop and an $89 per acre average revenue decline for 2020, compared to...

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Sep 16, 2020

Peterson Effort to Address RFS Waivers Moves Forward

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Tuesday released legislation containing provisions of legislation led by House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Congressional Biofuels Caucus Co-Chair Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to provide transparency into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) granting of small refinery exemptions (SREs), or waivers.   The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act (H.R. 4447) would set an annual deadline for refiners to request exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and require EPA to publicly release the name of refiners requesting a waiver, the number of gallons requested to be waived and the number of gallons of biofuel that will not be blended as a result of the waiver. These provisions mirror the policies contained in Peterson’s Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act (H.R. 3006).   Providing more transparency to EPA’s waiver process will give farmers, biofuel producers and the public a clearer understanding of EPA’s justification for...

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Sep 15, 2020

Agriculture Organizations Tell Congress USDA Needs Tools to Help Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today joined the American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 40 other agriculture organizations asking Congress to ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has the tools necessary to help farmers in times of crisis. The group sent a letter to House and Senate leadership requesting they immediately provide replenishment for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) through the continuing resolution. Without immediate replenishment, funding for farm bill programs could run out while farmers struggle against low commodity prices, natural disasters and the coronavirus pandemic.   “For decades, CCC has been regularly replenished to fund programs integral to the farm safety net that Congress has worked tirelessly to craft,” the letter states. “Producers count on programs like Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, Dairy Margin Coverage, Marketing Assistance Loans, conservation programs, and many others as they provide food,...

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Aug 19, 2020

NCGA and Leaders of American Agriculture

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Tuesday evening joined Leaders of American Agriculture (LAA) for a virtual symposium in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention (DNC). NCGA sponsored a pre-event welcome room, “Climate, Conservation, and Community.”   NCGA CEO Jon Doggett, NCGA Board Members Brandon Hunnicutt and Deb Gangwish, Ethanol Action Team Chair Mark Recker, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., and former USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie participated in the NCGA welcome room to discuss agriculture’s role in climate change policy, the Soil Health Partnership (SHP) and the environmental benefits of renewable fuels.   “The virtual symposium gave participants the opportunity to hear directly from corn farmers on the sustainable practices they’re using on their farms to leave it better for the next generation,” Doggett said. “We had great participation from the audience and especially appreciated the remarks from Rep. Spanberger on her bipartisan work on...

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Jul 23, 2020

Virtual Fly-In Gives Growers Opportunity to Meet with Members of Congress

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association remains hard at work to help improve the economic situation for corn growers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.   On the heels of NCGA’s first Virtual Corn Congress, the organization hosted a virtual fly-in to Capitol Hill July 22-23. NCGA typically hosts a fly-in for corn growers in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with Corn Congress each July.   NCGA’s fly-ins allow growers to provide members of Congress and their staffs, including that outside of the corn belt, first-hand accounts of how policies from Washington impact their farms. Even though coronavirus restrictions prevented growers from traveling to Capitol Hill this year, the virtual fly-in gave members the opportunity to share their stories and weigh in on ongoing policy discussions.   Growers discussed a wide range of topics including assistance for producers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic; the benefits of ethanol and a strong RFS along with the push for a Low Carbon Octane Standard;...

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Jul 2, 2020

NCGA Submits Fueling Regulations Comments to EPA

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association this week submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Agency’s Fuels Regulatory Streamlining proposed rule to update and streamline certain fuel regulations.   Clear and objective regulations around the manufacture and sale of fuels, including existing E85 for use in flex-fuel vehicles, E15, and future mid-level ethanol blends, are important to corn growers.   NCGA President Kevin Ross asked EPA to ensure proposed changes to the definition of gasoline do not add new and unnecessary regulatory burdens for E85, keep pathways to higher ethanol blends open, and build on the successful rule for year-round E15 by addressing additional regulatory barriers to expanding E15 sales.   Ross urged EPA to, “follow through and take action to update E15 labeling and equipment certification requirements. Streamlining E15 labeling and certifying current E10 equipment for E15 would support more retailers offering this fuel to...

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Jul 2, 2020

Agriculture Recognized in House Climate Report

Key Issues: EthanolFarm PolicyHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis this week released a report titled, “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.” The report from the Democratic Majority details the Select Committee’s plan for recommended Congressional action to provide climate solutions.   Notably, the report includes several provisions related to agriculture, including an expansion of conservation programs and increased funds for climate-related research, recognizing the positive role agriculture can play in addressing climate change.   The Select Committee also recognizes the benefits of renewable fuels, like ethanol, in reducing carbon emissions. Ethanol already offers much lower carbon emissions than fossil fuels which, by accounting for beneficial farming practices and other improvements, can be further reduced in the future.   NCGA is pleased to see the report acknowledge that high-efficiency...

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Jun 24, 2020

Senate Agriculture Committee Reauthorizes Grain Standards Act

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry today approved the United States Grain Standards Reauthorization Act of 2020. The legislation sets the framework for the functioning of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Federal Grain Inspection Service.   NCGA joined a coalition of other farm and commodity organizations in a letter to Committee leaders urging they act swiftly to finalize the reauthorization process.   “The United States’ grain inspection system provides certainty to our foreign customers that all U.S. grains and oilseeds have been inspected and certified by an independent agency and provides great value to U.S. commodities, thereby enhancing our competitiveness in the world market,” the groups wrote.   The United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) is set to expire at the end of September.

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Jun 17, 2020

NCGA Encourages Court to Respect EPA Decision

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Liz Friedlander

NCGA joined a coalition of national grower trade associations today in urging the Ninth Circuit to reject an NGO call to invalidate EPA’s dicamba existing stocks order for three dicamba products whose registrations were immediately vacated by the court earlier this month.   NCGA joined with American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Cotton Council of America, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers in filing an amicus brief supporting EPA’s position against the NGO petition. The brief seeks to invalidate EPA’s dicamba existing stocks order and hold the agency in contempt, citing the catastrophic consequences that could result if the NGO’s request is granted.   The grower coalition’s brief makes a case for farmers caught in a highly frustrating and costly situation amid prime planting season and the narrow weed-control window. Many farmers made management decisions and product investments months ago in good...

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May 19, 2020

NCGA Welcomes COVID-19 Assistance for Corn Farmers

Key Issues: COVID-19Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed additional information from the Trump Administration on the $16 billion in much-needed assistance from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to begin to help farmers and their customers recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA's Farm Service Agency will begin accepting applications from eligible producers May 26.   “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to much uncertainty across farm country,” said NCGA President Kevin Ross. “This assistance is a first step to getting farmers, and our customers, back on solid footing.”   Recent analysis conducted by NCGA underscores the need for the assistance outlined by the President today. The analysis projects a $50 per acre average revenue decline for the 2019 corn crop with losses anticipated to be higher for the 2020 crop as two of corn’s largest uses, livestock feed and ethanol, have been especially impacted by COVID-19.   “Corn farmers are used to...

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May 8, 2020

World Trade Month: Corn’s Top Markets, Mexico

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The export of corn and corn products is vital to the nation’s economy, and NCGA has a deeply rooted policy that works to eliminate barriers to trade and support market development. Exports of U.S. corn and co-products provide critical support across the economy, offering billions in direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation.   This month, NCGA is celebrating World Trade Month by highlighting the top export markets for U.S. corn.   Mexico is the top buyer of U.S. corn, U.S. DDGs and U.S. barley. American corn farmers exported more than 16 million metric tons (MT) of corn and more than 2 million MT of DDGS to Mexico during the September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019 marketing year.   Mexico is one of the most important and loyal buyers of U.S. feed grains. Access to affordable grains and reliable shipments from the United States has helped Mexican swine, poultry and beef industries grow, accompanied by increasing imports of U.S. corn,...

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Apr 2, 2020

Ep. 5 - Breaking Our Political Addictions, with U.S. Reps. Abigail Spanberger and Dusty Johnson

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Dusty Weis

Creating a place to have a conversation instead of yelling at each other is one reason why NCGA CEO Jon Doggett started this podcast.    And in this episode, he takes that philosophy to one of the most contentious places in America—Capitol Hill in Washington D.C.   From the Congressional office of Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Jon interviews the Democratic Congresswoman and her Republican colleague, South Dakota Rep. Dusty Johnson, about what it takes to bridge the partisan divide in Washington. As members of the bipartisan “Problem Solvers Caucus,” Spanberger and Johnson discuss their efforts to pass the USMCA trade agreement and find common ground on other topics that are important, not just to farmers, but to Americans nationwide.   They’re also joined by NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke Appleton.     Direct Share   Transcript   Jon Doggett: We wanted to create an opportunity to talk to one another instead of yelling at one another. So we're going...

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Mar 30, 2020

CARES Act Includes Support for Agriculture

Key Issues: COVID-19Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, H.R. 748, was signed by President Trump on Friday. The wide-ranging legislation provides emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.   The CARES Act provides $350 billion to help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from going under due to economic losses caused by COVID-19. The package includes a paycheck protection program, small business debt relief, recovery rebates for individuals, airline support, and the creation of a $150 billion coronavirus relief fund for states, territories and tribal governments.   For agriculture, the CARES Act includes $48.9 billion for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes $9.5 billion for the Secretary of Agriculture to assist agriculture producers, including specialty...

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Mar 24, 2020

NCGA Urges Congress Support CCC Authority

Key Issues: COVID-19Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Liz Friedlander

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) joined a wide range of agriculture organizations in a letter to Congressional leaders urging they provide support to farmers amid challenging times for agriculture.   “Farmers, ranchers and the supply chain that support them will not let Americans down during this unprecedented crisis and they are asking the same of you. Millions of producers will need help with cash flow given the rapid and unanticipated decline in commodity prices, the likely closure of ethanol processing plants, the effective elimination of direct-to-consumer sales and decline in full-service restaurants and school meal demand. Congress must have farmers’ and ranchers’ backs by expanding and replenishing USDA’s borrowing authority under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC),” the groups wrote.   NCGA last week formed a Task Force to facilitate the collection of information and streamline the decision-making process to make recommendations and coordinate...

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Feb 20, 2020

Farmers Join Forces for Sustainability and Responsible Climate Policy

Key Issues: SustainabilityFarm Policy

Author: Mark Lambert

This week, NCGA joined 21 farm groups to publicly launch Farmers for a Sustainable Future (FSF). The coalition’s mission is to share U.S. agriculture’s commitment to sustainability and the tremendous strides that have already been made to reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint. FSF will serve as a resource for lawmakers as they consider climate-related policies, providing its guiding principles as a foundation to further advance adoption of conservation programs. FSF’s principles call for policies that support science-based research, voluntary incentive-based conservation programs and investment in infrastructure   Corn farmers have long been leaders in working to improve the quality of soil, water, and air around our farms through NCGA programs, including the Soil Health Partnership (SHP).   More about the coalition, guiding principles and sustainability achievements can be found at sustainablefarming.us.   Also this week, USDA Secretary Perdue announced a new USDA...

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Feb 13, 2020

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Confirmed as Keynote Speaker at 2020 Commodity Classic

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Secretary Perdue came by his knowledge of agriculture early: He was born into a farming family in Bonaire, Georgia. From childhood, and through his life in business and elected office, Secretary Perdue has experienced the industry from every possible perspective. Uniquely qualified as a former farmer, agribusinessman, veterinarian, state legislator and governor of Georgia, he became the 31st United States Secretary of Agriculture on April 25, 2017.     Secretary Perdue has served as a board member for the National Grain & Feed Association and as president of both the Georgia Feed and Grain Association and the Southeastern Feed and Grain Association. Secretary Perdue has long-standing, close relationships with the leadership of the American Farm Bureau Federation and has been recognized by the Georgia 4-H and FFA programs, among others, for his leadership in agriculture.   During the General Session, the audience will also hear an inspiring presentation from Lt. Col. Waldo...

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Feb 4, 2020

Stoskopf Joins NCGA Washington Office

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

Wayne Stoskopf has joined NCGA’s Washington, D.C. office as Director for Public Policy for Risk Management and Tax. Stoskopf will also serve as lead staff for the Risk Management and Transportation Team.   Stoskopf comes to NCGA from the Senate Agriculture Committee where, as Senior Professional Staff, he oversaw commodity programs, crop insurance, disaster, and grain standards programs. He led staff-level negotiations for the commodities and crop insurance titles of the 2018 Farm Bill.   “Wayne is a great addition to the NCGA DC team,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke Appleton. “He brings vital Capitol Hill experience to the role and will lead the association's efforts on the next farm bill.”   Prior to his work on the Senate Agriculture Committee, Stoskopf served as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Pat Roberts and U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, handling agriculture issues for both offices. Wayne was raised on his family’s farm near Hoisington, Kansas and...

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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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Jan 29, 2020

NCGA: USMCA a Win for Agriculture

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today declared President Trump’s signing of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) a big win for American agriculture. Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market; 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products, valued at $4.56 billion, were exported to Mexico and Canada in 2018. The signing follows overwhelming Congressional support for the trade deal.   Ross made the following statement.   “This is a big win for America’s farmers, our rural communities and the American economy. USMCA builds on our already successful trading partnership with Mexico and Canada. This agreement should serve as a template for opening the door to new market opportunities for U.S. corn. Corn farmers are grateful for the hard work done by the President, the U.S. Trade Representative and everyone in the Administration who made today’s signing possible.”   Ross attended today’s White House...

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Jan 28, 2020

NCGA Welcomes Anne Thompson to DC Office

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Anne Thompson recently joined the NCGA Washington, D.C. office as the new Director of Political Strategy. Thompson will also serve as director of NCGA’s CornPAC. Thompson comes to NCGA from Bunge, where she served as a Director of Governmental Affairs handling issues such as transportation, tax, and food security while also overseeing the Bunge PAC for the last five years. Prior to that, Thompson worked at CoBank and on Capitol Hill.   “We look forward to having Anne on board to help us build on the work that is being done to grow our CornPAC and lead our political efforts engaging with the states, Capitol Hill and our industry,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke Appleton.   Thompson is originally from Fort Worth, Texas and is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and has an MS from Colorado State University.

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Jan 27, 2020

Tenth Circuit Court Strikes Down EPA Small Refinery Exemptions

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

In a decision that is expected to broadly impact the Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to granting small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit late on Friday struck down three exemptions that were improperly issued by EPA.   The court ruling stems from a May 2018 challenge brought against EPA by the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union.   “We are extremely pleased with the Tenth Circuit’s decision to vacate the waivers granted by EPA to three refineries owned by CVR Energy and HollyFrontier,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The Court has affirmed our long-held position that EPA’s recent practices and policies regarding small refinery exemption extensions were completely unlawful. And while the decision addresses three specific exemptions, the statutory interpretation issues resolved by the court...

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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 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 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

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 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 9, 2019

NCGA Statement: EPA Waivers Undermine RFS

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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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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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

Coalition Seeks Court Action Forcing EPA to Account for Lost Biofuel Volumes

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Beth Musgrove

An agriculture and biofuels coalition has petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to lift a stay it placed on a joint 2018 petition asking the court to protect the renewable fuels industry from undue harm caused by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.   The petition, filed late Tuesday afternoon, asks EPA to revise its Renewable Fuel Standard regulations for setting annual percentage standards of renewable fuel to account for small refinery exemptions the Agency issues retroactively.  EPA’s current regulations factor in only future small refinery exemptions granted prior to the compliance year, despite the fact that most of the exemptions granted in recent years have been for compliance periods that had already ended.   The coalition had asked for the stay to give EPA time to review its request to reconsider its current regulations. EPA’s response never arrived, but EPA’s statements and actions over the past 13 months indicate that EPA has...

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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 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 18, 2019

NCGA Recognizes Senator Fischer with President’s Award

Key Issues: EthanolTradeFarm Policy

Author: Beth Musgrove

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today presented NCGA’s 2019 President’s Award to Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer. The President’s Award is given annually at NCGA’s Corn Congress meeting in Washington, D.C. to a leader who has worked to advance issues important to corn growers and agriculture.   “It is my great pleasure to present the NCGA President’s Award to Senator Fischer,” Chrisp said. “Senator Fischer has been an outspoken advocate for corn farmers from our shared home state of Nebraska and across the country, supporting policies that will help create market opportunities for corn.”   In her remarks to corn farmers, Fischer voiced her support for the pending U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the top legislative priority for corn growers this year. Fisher was a strong advocate for removing the barrier to year-round sales of E15 and continues to stand up for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and against the Environmental Protection Agency’s...

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Jul 16, 2019

NCGA Takes Ethanol Waiver Message Back to Airwaves

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Beth Musgrove

NCGA today renewed its pressure 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, re-running the organization’s ad that first ran last month.    Watch Ad   NCGA members are in Washington, D.C. this week for Corn Congress and meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Farmers will be urging policymakers to support legislation in the House, H.R. 3006, and Senate, S. 1840, that would seek to stop waiver abuse and address the harm these waivers are causing.   Since early 2018, EPA has granted 53 RFS small refinery exemptions (SREs), or waivers, totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. There are currently 39 refinery exemption petitions pending for the 2018 compliance year. NCGA has highlighted 39 reasons why the EPA should not grant additional waivers.  

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Jul 5, 2019

EPA Favors Oil Refiners Over Corn Farmers

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Julie Busse

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

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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 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 14, 2019

NCGA Welcomes Senate SRE Legislation

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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

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Jun 12, 2019

NCGA Applauds Administrations Efforts to Further Ag Biotech, Streamline Regulation

Key Issues: BiotechnologyFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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

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Jun 11, 2019

NCGA Joins President at Iowa Ethanol Plant

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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

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Jun 11, 2019

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 6, 2019

NCGA Highlights Negative Effect of Ethanol Waivers

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

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

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Jun 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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Mar 27, 2019

NCGA Provides Comment on Farm Bill’s Trade Programs

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Liz Friedlander

  NCGA President Lynn Chrisp today submitted comments on the 2018 Farm Bill’s Trade Title (Title III) to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help advance the department’s implementation of the new bill. America’s corn farmers derive an estimated 33 percent of their incomes from the export of corn and corn products. Farmers’ ability to benefit from these exports is driven, in part, by the export promotion and market development programs administered by USDA.   NCGA encouraged USDA to consult closely with both Congress and agriculture stakeholders to ensure the positive changes to the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program are implemented as Congress intended. Increased investment for both MAP and FMD were top NCGA farm bill priorities.   MAP and FMD are used by cooperators like the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) who leverage these resources to develop overseas markets for corn.   You can read the complete comments Read More

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