In The News

Production

Mar 24, 2020

NCGA Urges Congress Support CCC Authority

Key Issues:Farm PolicyProduction

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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Mar 17, 2020

Get the Low Down on Weed Resistance from the Experts

Key Issues:Production

Welcome to the Take Action Webinar Series on new developments in herbicide-resistance management. If you have questions or concerns about herbicide resistance management you can get some answers Thursday, March 19, at 10 a.m.   The sixth installment of the Take Action Webinar Series features two presentations:   Part 1: Status of On-Combine Seed Destruction Technologies Kevin Bradley, Ph.D., University of Missouri Part 2: Chemical Control System Mixing Issues Joe Ikely, Ph.D., North Dakota State University.   Take Action is a farmer-focused education platform funded by soy checkoff and National Corn Growers Association through state checkoff support. The program is designed to help farmers and their advisors manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance.   The goal is to encourage the adoption of management practices that lessen the impact of resistant pests and preserve current and future crop protection technology.   The Take Action Webinar Series aims to bring you...

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Mar 13, 2020

Corn Checkoff Tackling the Challenge of Tar Spot

Key Issues:Production

Make no mistake, when it comes to corn diseases Tar Spot is a booger. Although largely ignored until 2018 in the U.S., the fungus is now generating interest driven by its ability to severely crush corn yields. In fact, some fields suffered yield losses ranging from 25-60 bushels an acre that year.   Especially concerning is the apparent lack of resistance in many hybrids and how quickly it has spread since its arrival. Tar Spot was first identified in Mexico and then the Caribbean before landing in Illinois and Indiana in 2015. Indiana and Michigan reported hot spots in 2019 with appearances reported in Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa and even Florida.   “Research is critically needed for rapid development of management strategies to reduce its impact and National Corn Growers Association with the support of state corn checkoff dollars and a FFAR grant is working to begin assessing germplasm for potential sources of resistance,” said Robyn Allscheid, NCGA Research and...

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Mar 11, 2020

NCGA National Yield Contest Stars Offer Tips to Increase Your Yields

Key Issues:Production

The National Corn Growers Association released a video last week offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in San Antonio honoring the state winners of the 2019 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 55th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   For more than half of a century, NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest has provided corn growers the opportunity to compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre, helping feed and fuel the world. This has given participants not only the recognition they deserved but the opportunity to learn from their peers.   Watch NCGA News of the Day for further...

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Mar 11, 2020

Concern About Weed Control Keeping You Up at Night?

Key Issues:Production

Welcome to the Take Action Webinar Series on new developments in herbicide-resistance management. If you have questions or concerns about herbicide resistance management you can get some answers Thursday, March 12, at 10 a.m.   The fifth installment of the Take Action Webinar Series features two presentations. Part 1: Drift Reduction Agents: Influence on Drift Management, Weed Control, and Dicamba Volatility Bryan Young, Ph.D., Purdue University   Part 2: Key Considerations for Preplant Burndown and Postemergence Volunteer Corn Control Herbicide Tank Mixes Bill Johnson, Ph.D., Purdue University.   Take Action is a farmer-focused education platform funded by soy checkoff and National Corn Growers Association through state checkoff support. The program is designed to help farmers and their advisors manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance.   The goal is to encourage the adoption of management practices that lessen the impact of resistant pests and preserve current...

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Mar 4, 2020

Winning the War Against Herbicide Resistance

Key Issues:Production

If you are wanting to up your game in dealing with herbicide resistance management there’s a great opportunity Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 10 a.m. central time. Take Action, and National Corn Growers Association program, is offering a series of sessions each Thursday this month.   Tomorrow’s session will include two presentations by Thomas Peters, Ph.D., North Dakota State University Weed Control discussing Weed Control using High Voltage Electricity and John Wallace, Ph.D., Penn State University on Integrating Cover Crops for Herbicide-Resistance Management. The series is hosted by Bill Johnson at Purdue University and Mark Loux at The Ohio State University.   Take Action is a farmer-focused education platform designed to help farmers and their advisors manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance. The goal is to encourage the adoption of management practices that lessen the impact of resistant pests and preserve current and future crop protection technology. The Take...

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Feb 27, 2020

New Stewardship Network Celebrates Growing Momentum on Conservation in Agriculture

Key Issues:Production

Initiative from National Corn Growers Association and Environmental Defense Fund will help farmers collaborate to remain productive and profitable   The National Corn Growers Association and Environmental Defense Fund today launched the Success in Stewardship Network at Commodity Classic to celebrate and accelerate the use of agricultural conservation practices on U.S. corn farms.   The network will showcase success stories from the many farmers and state-level programs putting stewardship into practice, with the goal of building an ever-growing network of corn farmers who are also conservation leaders. Today, NCGA and EDF recognized the Minnesota Corn Innovation Grant Program and the Illinois Corn Precision Conservation Management Program for their farmer-supported efforts to deliver clean water, healthy soils and farm profitability.   “The Success in Stewardship Network will break down the notion that conservation is only for an elite group of farmers,” said Callie...

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Feb 12, 2020

Now Is A Great Time to Consider Pollinator Habitat

Key Issues:SustainabilityProduction

A growing partnership between the National Corn Growers Association and the Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund (BBHF) supports creating new habitat for pollinators and you can help by considering adding habitat on your farm. The good news is the technical assistance and seed mix is free.   NCGA, with the assistance of state corn checkoff dollars, is working to raise the profile of the BBHF’s efforts and the free resources they make available to make farms more sustainable.   “If farmers have a resource concern, they have an area that is underperforming, it’s a great place to consider putting in some habitat, some additional vegetative cover, for water quality issues or erosion,” said Peter Berthelsen, Partnership Director at BBHF. “These areas present opportunities where pollinator habitat can work with a producer to address their resource concerns, and that’s a great fit for how we want to work with agriculture.”   Brandon Hunnicutt, an NCGA board member who works with the...

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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

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 24, 2020

Winning the War Against Weeds Takes a Serious Strategy

Key Issues:Production

Ok, let’s be honest, the last thing you want to think about this time of year are the weeds you will battle in the growing season ahead. But the truth is preparing for the weed pressures and building a management plan that is robust, as well as flexible, is every bit as important to your success as trait selection and nutrient planning. It’s about giving your crops a competitive advantage against weeds, delaying the evolution of herbicide resistance and preserving herbicide technology.   You should craft your weed management plan with the notion that it can and should influence multiple growing seasons. Long-term herbicide-resistance management requires an outlook that goes beyond minimizing crop loss in any one season to understanding how your strategy this year can also set you up for success in subsequent years. It requires long-term strategies focused on delaying the evolution of herbicide resistance and reducing weed seed in your fields.   Effective herbicide-resistance...

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Dec 17, 2019

Sustainability Focus Continues to Grow at NCGA

Key Issues:Production

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

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Dec 16, 2019

Records Broken in 2019 NCGA Corn Yield Contest

Key Issues:Production

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

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Oct 10, 2019

Corn Growers Making Significant Contribution to Bee Health Cause

Key Issues:Production

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

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Oct 8, 2019

NCGA Urges Farmers to Harvest Safely this Fall

Key Issues:Production

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

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Sep 16, 2019

Farmers Must Play Key Role in Effort to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Key Issues:SustainabilityProduction

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

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Sep 4, 2019

NCGA Supports EPA’s Interim Decision on Glyphosate Registration

Key Issues:BiotechnologyProduction

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

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Aug 30, 2019

Illinois Farmer Raben Talks Corn Crop with Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   This week, Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois. While the crop continues to mature, the yields and overall quality of corn and soybeans in his area seem to have been impacted by this year’s difficult growing conditions.   “In southeastern Illinois, crops are maturing for the most part,” said Raben. “We did have some soybeans harvested in the area last week. The yields were 25 to 30 bushels less per acre than what they saw last year.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who...

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Aug 28, 2019

Plant Breeding Meeting Hosts Key Players in the Future of Corn

Key Issues:Production

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

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Aug 22, 2019

Kansas Farmer Neitzel Talks Crop Progress with Field Notes

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   This week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. The USDA Crop Progress report earlier in the week indicated crop progress in Kansas was closer to the five-year average than that in many other states. Looking at his fields, Neitzel does see progress delays.   “We are probably about two to three weeks behind where we normally would be at this time,” said Neitzel. “In terms of quality, I think this crop is going to be average to maybe just a pinch above average.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

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Aug 15, 2019

Following Pesticide Labels Remains Critical Through Entire Growing Season

Key Issues:Production

With harvest beginning in some states and right around the corner in others, National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that following pesticide labels is critical right through the end of the season.   In particular, it’s important to pay close attention to preharvest interval requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that any potential traces of the product left behind are at levels that will not cause disruptions in trade.   Every pesticide has a maximum residue level (MRL) specific to each crop for which it is labeled. MRLs are a measurement of acceptable pesticide residues, set far below toxicological safety limits, for every product treated with pesticides.   They provide a standard to help ensure that food treated with pesticides is safe for consumption and ultimately verify that farmers have used crop protection products correctly. Especially in international markets, if shipments are tested and the MRL for one or more pesticides is exceeded that...

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Aug 12, 2019

Higher Yield Projections, Lowered Acreage Lead to Increased Corn Production Forecast for 2019/20

Key Issues:Production

American farmers planted two percent fewer corn acres than forecast in June estimate but still exceeded 2018 acres planted by one percent, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. The report indicates a 1.7 million-acre net decrease from the Acreage report released in June. At the same time, today’s reports show a 3.5 bushel per acre increase to national average yield projections from last month, with 169.5 bushels per acre now forecast. With increased yield projections more than offsetting decreased planted acres, total production for 2019/20 is now projected to reach 13.9 billion bushels.   Yield projections, notably, reflect the season’s first survey-based yield forecast.   Ending stocks are forecast up by 171 million bushels to 2.2 billion given reductions to the projected demand for corn from the ethanol and export sectors, along with increased production projections. The season-average corn price received by producers lowered by 10 cents to...

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Aug 8, 2019

Field Notes Talks 2019 Crop with Texas Farmer Bowers

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. Further along in terms of crop development than her counterparts further north, she has already begun harvesting this year’s crop.   “Harvest is coming along quite nicely. Fortunately or unfortunately, we had had quite a bit of dry weather. So, we have made quite a bit of progress,” said Bowers. “We are about 95 percent complete on harvesting milo and about 65 percent complete on harvesting corn.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field...

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Aug 2, 2019

Field Notes Chats About Corn Crop with Illinois Farmer Raben

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois, this morning. Like many farmers, a wet planting season continues to impact the quality and size of his crop.   “Our crop definitely doesn’t look as good as it has in years past, but we have some corn that looks halfway decent,” said Raben. “We also have other corn, that was planted later, that looks very uneven and very stressed. It will still make some sort of corn – we hope.”   To listen to the full interview, including his observations about the use of prevent plant in his area, click here.   Stay tuned over the...

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Jul 24, 2019

Ag Economy and Tough Growing Season Driving Increase in Farm Stress

Key Issues:Production

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

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Jul 12, 2019

Cover Crop Benefits Clearer in Drought and Wet Years

Key Issues:SustainabilityProduction

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

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Jul 3, 2019

Field Notes Talks Crop Progress with Kansas Farmer Neitzel

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas, earlier this week. The USDA report earlier in the week indicated 97 percent of corn acres in his state had reached emergence, and he sees that number being accurate so far as the progress he has heard from fellow farmers.   “I talked to some friends in western Kansas, and their corn has all emerged,” said Neitzel. “Everything around here is fairly well along. Some of the corn that I saw in my travels today is actually starting to tassel, and some is about six inches tall. There is a wide variety in term of progress in...

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Jun 28, 2019

Corn Acres Up from 2018, Lower than March Projections

Key Issues:Production

American farmers planted 2.5 million more acres of corn in 2019 than they did the previous year, a three percent increase, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acreage report released today. The report indicates a 1.1 million-acre net decrease from the prospective planting report released in March. At the same time, today’s report shows a 1.8 million-acre increase from the planted acre forecast issued in the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Total corn acres planted in the United States are projected at 91.7 million.   Given the projected harvested corn acreage released in the report of 83.5 million acres and the most recent USDA estimated average national yield of 166.0 bushels per acre, farmers could harvest a crop of 13.861 billion bushels, slightly above the average over the past ten-year period.   The largest year-to-year acreage increases were seen in Kansas and North Dakota, where corn acreage increased by 530,000 and 520,000 acres...

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Jun 11, 2019

Corn Crop Expected to Bring Fewer Bushels, Higher Prices

Key Issues:Production

Unprecedented planting delays seriously impacted corn crop forecasts issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. With the forecast number of acres both planted and harvested both revised down by three million acres and national average yield revised downward by 10 bushels-per-acre from last month, current forecasts show U.S. farmers producing the smallest corn crop since 2015/16 at 13.7 billion bushels.   In light of lowered production, and despite decreased demand, the season-average farm price raised by 50 cents over May estimates to $3.80 per bushel. While production forecasts were lowered, ending stocks are still forecast to exceed 1.6 billion bushels given the more than 2 billion bushels of beginning stocks forecast.   Export market demand forecasts were lowered by 100 million bushels. While price competitiveness and current outstanding sales caused export forecasts to lower, the ratification of trade deals such...

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Jun 7, 2019

Field Notes Talks Corn Crop with Texas Farmer Bowers

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Yesterday, Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. Further along in terms of crop progress than her counterparts further north, she has experienced a mixture of conditions simultaneously similar to and quite different than those seen throughout the Corn Belt.   “Over the last four weeks, we have been too dry and too wet at the same time,” said Bowers. “It had dried out significantly, and some farmers in our area even started watering crops. Then, over just the past two days, a little disturbance built up in the Gulf of Mexico. We...

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Jun 3, 2019

Wet Spring and Poor Ag Economy Magnifying Stress on the Farm

Key Issues:Production

Check the weather, check the markets, check stored corn, check your planter, check emerging crops (if you have any planted.) There’s a good chance farmers are leaving a critical “to do” off the list...check on yourself!   In farming, there’s a lot out of your control, creating stress that can potentially lead to serious impacts on your well-being, even in a normal year. And there is nothing normal about the 2019 planting season. So, take a minute to assess your mental health, that of your family and even your employees.   After six years of low farm prices stress is at very high levels on the farm and it’s becoming harder to remain resilient with every new rain. Farmers and farmworkers recently surveyed said financial issues (91 percent), farm or business problems (88 percent) and fear of losing the farm (87 percent) impact farmers’ mental health. Other factors included stress, weather, the economy, isolation and social stigma.   The new national Morning Consult research poll...

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May 23, 2019

Take Action Resources a Great Tool as Farmers Realign Pest Management Plan Due to Weather

Key Issues:Production

Farmers have a love-hate relationship with the weather because of how quickly and dramatically it can affect planting, plant development, pest management and harvesting. Droughts can be devastating but too much water can also be a huge problem as witnessed this spring.   Planting delays across farm country due to rain have been getting a lot of headlines but for crops already in the ground issues also abound. Wet weather is an important factor to consider when making herbicide applications related to timeliness of applications as well as getting the best product performance.   Fortunately, there are ways you can manage your herbicide use while factoring in the impact of weather on herbicide efficacy and NCGA is encouraging farmers to use the resources available on the Take Action website.   Wet conditions also mean higher risks of diseases in corn so careful management of fungicides to make sure they are effective is another priority.   You can learn more are the Take...

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May 20, 2019

Enter National Yield Contest Early and Save!

Key Issues:Production

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

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May 17, 2019

Field Notes Checks Crop Progress with Kansas Farmer Neitzel

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Earlier this week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. Cold, wet weather has hampered planting progress and could potentially impact the crop he will harvest this fall.   “We are about 300 acres away from completing corn planting. Usually, by this time, we would be done and pretty heavily into soybean planting,” said Neitzel. “We have gotten two rounds of rain that both lasted multiple days, and everything is saturated almost beyond belief. And, we were already way behind.   “We didn’t get started planting until the 15th or 16th of April. Mother...

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May 10, 2019

Lower Corn Prices, Record Supply Forecast Show Need for Trade, Ethanol Markets

Key Issues:Production

U.S. corn farmers are forecast to reach record total corn supplies according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. Higher forecasted production outpacing forecasted demand growth resulted in lower average farm price projection of $3.30 per bushel for the 2019/20 market year.    This report, the first forecasting overall U.S. corn supply and demand for the next marketing year, projected higher production than the year prior, with a projected increase of 3.7 million planted acres. The yield, projected to 176 bushels per acre, is based on a weather-adjust trend assuming that both planting progress and summer weather remain normal in comparison with that seen over the prior thirty years. If realized, it would be the third-highest yield on record. Beginning stocks are projected lower than the prior year, yet the total corn supply is forecast to set a new record high at 17.2 billion bushels.   Total corn use is projected to rise slightly in 2019/20, despite lower...

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May 9, 2019

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

Key Issues:BiotechnologyProduction

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

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Mar 8, 2019

Video Offers Top Tips from NCGA National Corn Yield Contest Winners

Key Issues:Production

The National Corn Growers Association released a video last week offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in Orlando honoring the state winners of the 2018 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   “The contest affords an opportunity for farmers to test their skill against their peers while also providing NCGA with a significant amount of information about cutting-edge production practices that all farmers might find useful,” said NCGA Stewardship Action Team Chair Roger Zylstra. “NCGA always looks for new and innovative ways to use this data, sharing the lessons learned with corn farmers. The video provides a quick, simple way for interested farmers to discover new...

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Feb 20, 2019

Planting is Coming and So Are the Pests. Are You Ready?

Key Issues:SustainabilityProduction

If you haven’t looked into the innovative and proactive Take Action initiative of late, it might be a great time to give the widely expanded program supported by National Corn Growers Association and a host of partners a closer look.   The great news is the educational campaign is evolving and growing at a fast pace and now provides information on dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds, and fungicide and insect resistance.   Finding a clearer path to a more sustainable and profitable way to farm is made much easier thanks to Take Action. The mission here is to choose the best available tools and technology for the environment, your balance sheet and all with an eye on preserving access to these important tools. Informed management is just smart farming.   Take Action on Weeds, which the National Corn Growers Association promotes as a resource of farmers combating herbicide resistance issues, was developed by the United Soybean Board. Based on that success new technical...

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Dec 17, 2018

NCGA: USDA Trade Aid Comes Up Short, Again

Key Issues:Production

The National Corn Growers Association today expressed disappointment that corn farmers impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty would receive virtually no relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Facilitation Program (MFP).   NCGA’s comments follow USDA’s announcement of the second round of MFP payments, again setting the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel, despite the fact that corn farmers have suffered an average 44 cent per bushel loss since tariffs were first announced.   “Farmers of all crops have felt the impact of trade tariffs,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “NCGA appreciates the progress the administration has made to advance ethanol, reach a new agreement with Mexico and Canada and move forward on negotiations with Japan, but the benefits of these efforts will take time to materialize and farmers are hurting now.”   “One cent per bushel is woefully inadequate to even begin to cover the losses being felt by...

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Dec 12, 2018

Decreased Ethanol Market Demand May Lead to Higher Ending Stocks for U.S. Corn

Key Issues:EthanolProduction

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, decreased demand forecasts for U.S. corn from ethanol markets will impact ending stocks, which are projected 45 million bushels higher than the previous month.   Notably, ethanol demand forecasts reflect data showing that corn use during the quarter from September through November fell relative to prior years for the first time since 2012.   The corn price forecast remained at $3.60 per bushel at the midpoint while the range narrowed to between $3.25 and $3.95.   Click here to read the full report.  

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Nov 8, 2018

Corn Price Forecast Rises Slightly on Lower Yield, Demand Forecasts

Key Issues:Production

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, U.S. corn production is projected to reach 14.62 billion bushels for 2018/19. If realized, that would make it the second largest U.S. corn crop ever.   The October forecast for corn production is lowered 152 million bushels from last month on a reduced yield forecast. Despite lowered use forecasts, the corn price forecast was raised by 10 cents to a midpoint of $3.60 per bushel as supply fell more than use.   Click here to read the full report.

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Oct 30, 2018

Crop Protection Industry Moves Quickly to Address Insect Resistance Incident

Key Issues:Production

The first confirmed case of Herculex corn rootworm resistance was confirmed this week in a single field in Delaware County, Iowa. The National Corn Growers Association is engaged directly with the technology provider, Corteva, to assure appropriate and aggressive measures are taken to keep the seed technology viable.   “This announcement is significant and troublesome given the potential economic implications for corn farmers, so we are watching it closely,” said Bob Hemesath, Decorah, Chairman of NCGA’s Freedom to Operate Action Team. “With that said, there are protocols in place to deal with resistance. NCGA wants to recognize the extraordinary measures taken by Corteva that are well beyond the steps required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”   Corteva has reported the development to the EPA, which regulates these Bt traits, and Corteva is working with farmers in Delaware County to limit the spread of this resistance.   “These corn rootworm traits are very...

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Oct 26, 2018

Field Notes Checks Harvest Progress with Kansas Farmer Lowell Neitzel

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms in Lawrence, Kansas, earlier this week. With the 2018 corn crop in the bin, he sees the outcome to be about as expected.   “We finished harvesting corn about three weeks ago,” Neitzel explained. “In terms of yields, it was very spotty. Overall, it was an average crop. Some fields were right on-pace for average. Other fields were a bit better than average. Some fields made you wonder what had happened there but, we kind of expected that for this year.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as...

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Oct 11, 2018

Corn Farmers on Track to Produce Second Largest Crop Ever

Key Issues:Production

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, U.S. corn production is projected to reach 14.78 billion bushels for 2018/19. If realized, that would make it the second largest U.S. corn crop ever.   The October forecast for corn production is slightly below what some analysts expected to see in today’s report. Meanwhile, ending stocks for corn came in at 1.8 billion bushels, which was also below average trade estimates. As a result, corn prices increased moderately following release of the report.   Click here to read the full report.

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Sep 27, 2018

Field Notes Checks Harvest Progress with Illinois Farmer Jim Raben

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois. With harvest progress temporarily paused due to rain, he is grateful that at least flooding hasn’t impacted his farm as it has for many of those closer to the river.   “Any time you have rains in the fall, it delays the harvest,” said Raben. “We can work around a little rain but, yesterday, we got seven inches in some places. Prior to that, we had two inches of rain. So, we are very wet right now.   “We will probably go back to harvesting corn before we go back to harvesting beans.”   To listen to the full...

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Sep 21, 2018

Field Notes Checks Harvest Progress with Kansas Farmer Lowell Neitzel

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. With this year’s harvest already well underway, he characterizes the crop condition as “brutal,” with stalk brittleness necessitating extreme care in harvesting.   “We have about 650 acres of corn left to harvest, and we should be finished up some time next week,” said Neitzel. “Local elevators, given the decreased production projections that they have had due to the weather this summer, aren’t having storage issues as they have in the past few years.”   Despite early expectations of uniformly low yields due...

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Sep 12, 2018

Corn Price Projections Fall on Forecast of Near-Record Production

Key Issues:Production

The already record national average yield projections were raised even further this month to 181.3 bushels per acre from 178.4 the month prior which, if realized, would surpass the previous record by 4.7 bushels per acre according to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Given record yield projections, U.S. total corn production is now projected to reach 14.8 billion bushels for 2018/19, nearing the record of 15.1 billion bushels set in 2016. Given increased demand projections, corn price projections were lowered 10 cents at the midpoint to reflect the anticipated size of the supply.   Yield projections are also forecast to set records in many states including: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. The overall increase to projected yield, if realized, led to the 241 million bushel per acre increase to production estimates.    Feed and residual use and export demand projections were raised by...

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Sep 7, 2018

Field Notes Checks Harvest Progress with Illinois Farmer Jim Raben

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois. Having already brought in half of his corn acres, he has switched over to harvesting soybeans now.   Much as he anticipated, the corn crop appears to be far less bountiful than in recent years.   “It will be the weakest year that we have had since 2012,” Raben said. “I have heard other farmers comment about their crops similarly.   “There will be some good yields in the county. There will be some 200 bushel per acre corn in the county in spots, but there will also be spots with 49 bushel per acre corn. That will...

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Aug 30, 2018

Field Notes Gets Early Harvest Reports from Kansas Farmer Lowell Neitzel

Key Issues:Production

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its eighth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Today, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms just outside of Lawrence, Kan. One week into harvest, the corn crop he has seen has been quite varied.   “Our corn yield will be dramatically less than it was last year,” Neitzel explained. “We will be going from what was one of the best crops we have ever had to something that, while it won’t be as bad as it was in 2012, but it is hard to put an estimate on it.   “We chopped some silage and had it appraised. It was pretty low, but the corn that we picked right next to it was 30 bushels better. You really don’t know what is out...

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Mar 29, 2018

USDA: Farmers Planting Fewer Corn Acres in 2018

Key Issues:Production

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the Prospective Plantings report, indicating that farmers will plant 88-million acres, 2.14 million fewer acres of corn, a 2 percent decrease from 2017. If realized, this will be the lowest total corn planted acreage in the United States since 2015.   “U.S. farmers continue to produce more bushels per acre as new technologies are brought to the marketplace,” said National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes. “American corn supplies remain ample as we have a large carryover crop from 2017. U.S. farmers can react nimbly to market conditions and make decisions that make the most sense for their operation.”   Ohio is expected to increase corn acreage from last year, with record high acreage in Nevada and Oregon. In 33 of the 48 corn producing states, planted acreage is expected to be down or unchanged. According to the report, compared to 2017, decreases of 300,000 acres or more are expected in Kansas, Minnesota and...

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Mar 6, 2018

NCGA Yield Contest’s Top Growers Offer Yield-Increasing Insights

Key Issues:Production

The National Corn Growers Association released a video last week offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in Anaheim honoring the state winners of the 2017 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   “The contest not only affords an opportunity for farmers to test their skill against their peers, it also provides NCGA with a significant amount of information about cutting-edge production practices that all farmers might find useful,” said NCGA Stewardship Action Team Chair Roger Zylstra. “NCGA has always looked for new and innovative ways to use this data, sharing the lessons learned with corn farmers. The video provides a quick, simple way for interested farmers to...

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Oct 13, 2017

It’s World Egg Day! - Get to Know USA Poultry & Egg Export Council President James Sumner

Key Issues:Production

Consuming more than 5 billion bushels annually, the animal feed industry is the #1 customer of U.S. corn. Within animal feed, poultry and egg farms use the most corn, followed by beef and pork. The largest growth opportunity for U.S. poultry and egg products exists in foreign markets, where consumer demand for safe, reliable protein continues to outpace supply. Last year, NCGA became a member of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), supporting USAPEEC’s efforts to increase export demand.  Since 1990, USAPEEC has been led by their President, Jim Sumner. Recently, NCGA caught up with Jim to learn a little bit more about him, USAPEEC’s structure, the importance of MAP & FMD funding, and the high value they place on allied commodity partnerships. Here’s what he told us:   NCGA: What is USAPEEC’s number one strategic priority?   Jim: Maintaining and developing new export markets for our chicken, turkey and egg industries is our top priority. An important key to our ability...

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Nov 30, 2016

National Corn Growers Association Welcomes Court Ruling on Seed Protection Case

Key Issues:Production

In a win for farmers’ rights to use proven-safe technology, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled last week that additional regulation of treated seeds would unnecessarily duplicate the Environmental Protection Agency’s existing science-based regulatory review.   The decision protects farmers’ ability to continue using seed treatment technology and maintains the EPA’s currently regulatory approach for treated seeds.   National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas, applauded the Court’s decision.   “Farmers care deeply about preserving and protecting our land, water and air for the next generation. At NCGA, we support regulations that are reasonable and based on sound science. These crop protection tools have already undergone a thorough regulatory review as required by law and have been established as safe and effective. Creating additional regulatory hoops for agriculture to jump through is...

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Oct 13, 2016

Growing Exports Offer Bright Spot in USDA Corn Production Report

Key Issues:Production

Corn production is forecast at 15.057 billion bushels, down 36 million from last month, according to the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates Report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn supplies for 2016/17 are lowered from last month, but are still forecast at a record 16.845 billion bushels.   “We must pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership this year. The farm economy continues to struggle so anything we can do to encourage and grow exports is critical,” said Wesley Spurlock, President of National Corn Growers Association. “That’s why NCGA continues to encourage our elected officials to build trade access starting with TPP.”   USDA reduced the average U.S. corn yield by 1 bushel per acre to 173.4. If realized, these figures would still represent record yield and production numbers. The average price was increased by 5 cents to $3.25 per bushel.   “Although the production report remained largely unchanged, the export numbers offer some good news in...

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