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Jun 21, 2022

#CUTC22 Content is Just a Click Away!

Key Issues: New UsesResearch

Author: Stacey Stiens

Since 1987, the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) has convened the corn industry’s leading innovators to participate in scientific exchange and thought-provoking discussions.  This year’s virtual edition—focused on New Uses and Mycotoxins—did not deviate from that formula, allowing a diverse group of researchers, farmers and other industry leaders to come together to consider the future of the industry from the varying perspectives of each stakeholder’s lens.   Day one of the conference kicked off with New Uses sessions focused on topics including advancements in wet and dry milling, sustainable aviation fuel, advocacy for biotechnology and renewable products, innovative financing solutions and commercialization of renewables. The following two days, Mycotoxins were forefront, including but not limited to the prevalence of mycotoxins, advances in technology to reduce fumonisins, vomitoxin, aflatoxin and approaches for mycotoxin-contaminated corn...

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Apr 5, 2022

Looking to a Bright Future for Corn with 2022 CUTC

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Mar 30, 2022

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

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Mar 23, 2022

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

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Feb 11, 2022

NCGA Leader Appointed to MAIZALL Board

Key Issues: Research

Author: Bryan Goodman

John Linder, a past president and current chairperson of the National Corn Growers Association, has been appointed to serve as a director on the board of MAIZALL, the international alliance of maize growers and exporters from Argentina, Brazil and the United States.   Linder is a fifth-generation farmer. Together with his wife and his brother, Linder grows corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat and soybeans for seed. In addition to traditional row crop farming, he also has experience raising livestock.   “I am humbled and honored to serve on behalf of U.S. corn farmers as a director for MAIZALL,” said Linder. “I look forward to collaborating with my family farmer counterparts in Brazil and Argentina to tell our farming story and advance the adoption of agricultural innovation to provide safe and abundant food and fuel for the world.”   As of January 1, 2022, John Linder replaced Pamela Johnson as the NCGA’s representative on the MAIZALL Board. Pam Johnson was a founding...

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Feb 10, 2022

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

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Oct 4, 2021

Research and Resources to Aid in the Fight Against Tar Spot

Key Issues: ProductionResearch

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Oct 4, 2021

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

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Sep 20, 2021

Corn Continues Call for Research Projects Which Help Solve Aflatoxin Issues

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Apr 30, 2021

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

Key Issues: Research

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Apr 21, 2021

2021 Awardees Named for Aflatoxin Mitigation Competitive Grant Program

Key Issues: ProductionResearch

Author: Stacey Stiens

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

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Apr 1, 2021

Finding Funding for New Uses of Corn — A CUTC Special Session

Key Issues: New UsesResearch

Author: Nathan Danielson

NCGA is pleased to announce a special session of the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC) focused on funding for research, development, and commercialization of new uses for corn.  This special session will bring together a panel of experts from both the public and private sectors to discuss funding across the RD&C spectrum from bench level to financing new capital at existing facilities. This free online event is scheduled for 10:00-11:30 Central Time on Thursday, May 13, 2021.    “One of the key aspects of CUTC is to build a community of researchers and other stakeholders who are focused on new technology.  COVID limited our ability to bring this group together, so this session is a good opportunity to have an informational program that is of interest to our entire CUTC audience and keep this community engaged and cohesive,” said Randy DeSutter, Chair of the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team.   Funding is an essential component of innovation at every stage, and...

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Mar 30, 2021

The Future of Sustainability: Nourish the Future Participant Receives Grant in New Jersey

Key Issues: SustainabilityResearch

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Sustainable Jersey for Schools recently announced the 34 New Jersey public schools and districts selected to receive Sustainable Jersey grants funded by the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA). Fourteen $10,000 grants and twenty $2,000 grants were distributed to support various projects, including outdoor classrooms, aquaponics food production, water bottle refilling stations, anti-bias training, school wellness programs, waste reduction, student green team capacity building and more. Christine Girtain, a teacher at Toms River High School South and Nourish the Future participant, received one of the $10,000 grants.   "The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is proud to partner with teachers like Christine Girtain through our Nourish the Future program,” said Director of Research and Productivity at NCGA, Robyn Allscheid. “We know that her enthusiasm and passion for research and teaching will help inspire other teachers to think about how they can incorporate real plant...

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Mar 4, 2021

Learning about Feeding and Fueling the World

Key Issues: Research

Author: Julie Busse

Over 30 science teachers from across the country participated in the first Nourish the Future: Feeding and Fueling the World, a workshop sponsored by National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Using supplies mailed to them ahead of time, this group engaged in a variety of lessons to understand more about the science of food production and sustainable fuels.   Robyn Allscheid, NCGA Director of Research and Productivity, greeted the teachers and talked about NCGA’s support for education and how she got involved in this career. “We’d like to help students become aware of all the careers related to agriculture,” Allscheid said. “Helping students see what opportunities are out there in agriculture is important to bringing on the next generation of scientists and researchers.”   Randy DeSutter, a farmer from western Illinois, serves as the chairman of the Sustainable Ag Research Action Team (SARAT) for NCGA. He praised the teachers for their enthusiasm for learning, as evidenced by...

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Jan 4, 2021

Corn in the Biorenewable Space Featured as the Cover Story of Industrial Biotechnology

Key Issues: New UsesResearch

Author: Julie Busse

The use of corn as an industrial feedstock was featured as the cover story of Industrial Biotechnology, a leading industry journal focused on biobased industrial and environmental products and processes. The paper, “Industrial Biotechnology: An Industry at an Inflection Point,” illustrates the technology evolution in the biobased manufacturing infrastructure and processes. It also highlights new technologies that will continue to advance progress in this space. Leaders from across the value chain collaborated on the paper.   “It’s important to continue to set the stage for future corn grind, tell corn’s story as the preferred industrial feedstock of choice, and show how we are a solution for products in the biorenewable space,” said NCGA’s Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “The paper also reviews consumer and industry demand factors, sustainability considerations, and policy suggestions to drive the industry forward.”   The paper was co-authored by Nathan...

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Oct 7, 2020

Aflatoxin Mitigation Grant Program Accepting Research Applications

Key Issues: ProductionResearch

Author: Mark Lambert

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announces a new round of research grants to help farmers manage aflatoxin issues. Letters of intent from principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and collaborators not exceeding the $75,000 per year limit will be accepted by AMCOE until October 30, 2020. For more information about the review process, evaluation criteria and program, click here.   The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer researcher grants for projects focused on solving profit-robbing aflatoxin issues for farmers. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on six priority areas, were designed by southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.   “We have made significant progress in understanding and managing Aflatoxin and other mycotoxins in recent years through the...

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Aug 4, 2020

NCGA Relaying Farmers Input on Ag Innovation Agenda Direction

Key Issues: Research

Author: Mark Lambert

National Corn Growers Association responded in formal comments this week to USDA Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky’s request for stakeholder input into a new formal Agricultural Innovation Agenda.   NCGA developed a comprehensive process to provide our best understanding of the objectives and opportunities leading to research goals and informed product goals to facilitate transformative breakthroughs. Through this process, NCGA identified a few major concerns coming from U.S. corn growers that primarily boiled down to three key points:   Their ability to retain or grow profitability; Their ability to optimize environmental and economic benefits from implementing conservation or sustainability practices; and, Their ability to cope with increasing biotic and abiotic stressors.   NCGA considered not only the innovation needed to reach USDA’s goals of improved yield and efficiency with a reduction in environmental footprint but also how to best encourage the adoption of...

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Feb 14, 2020

ADM’s Dr. Todd Werpy to Keynote Corn Utilization and Technology Conference

Key Issues: New UsesResearch

Author: Mark Lambert

Dr. Todd Werpy, senior vice president and chief science officer for ADM Company, will be the keynote speaker at the Corn Utilization and Technology Conference on June 1-3, 2020 in Chesterfield, Mo. Werpy, a member of ADM’s Executive Council, will address growth opportunities for sustainable materials from corn.   The biennial CUTC, put on by the National Corn Growers Association, is June 1-3, 2020 at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, 16625 Swingley Ridge Road, St. Louis. CUTC provides a great opportunity for attendees to interact with key stakeholders throughout the corn supply chain, sharing each other’s needs, priorities and successes.   Scientists, farmers, researchers and corn industry leaders attend the sessions that focus on what is new and novel in corn product production, processing and utilization.  Since 1987, CUTC has brought together leading innovators in the corn industry with the goal of more efficient and increased corn utilization.   Werpy is responsible for...

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Feb 4, 2020

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

Key Issues: EthanolSustainabilityTradeAnimal AgricultureBiotechnologyConsumer EngagementFarm PolicyNew UsesProductionResearch

Author: Mark Lambert

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

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Dec 17, 2019

Public Corn Breeding Research Remains Critical

Key Issues: Research

Author: Mary Quigley

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

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Oct 16, 2019

Corn Growers Search for Solutions to Aflatoxin Continues

Key Issues: Research

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

NCGA continues to move forward with its long-term initiative to manage and ultimately solve aflatoxin issues for farmers with the announcement of a new round of research grants.   The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues for farmers. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on six priority areas, were designed by southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.   “The National Corn Growers Association, working with southern state grower associations including Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina, developed AMCOE to bring a unified approach to aflatoxin research that will yield results in a timely and more efficient manner,” said NCGA Corn Productivity and Quality Action Team Chair Charles Ring, a...

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Jun 6, 2019

NCGA Provides Input Into Future Mycotoxin Research at USDA Lab

Key Issues: Research

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Representatives of NCGA visited the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) research unit of USDA laboratory this week in Peoria, Ill. to gain insight and provide input into the group’s mycotoxin research.   The lab aims to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world. Researchers use information from genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant biology to develop new ways to limit mycotoxin contamination, control foodborne diseases, and improve crop production.   Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE) chair Charles Ring, a producer from Texas, visited the MPM unit along with Texas Corn Producers Executive Director David Gibson and NCGA Director of Research & Productivity, Robyn Allscheid.   As the unit develops its next five-year plan, NCGA was invited to give feedback on priorities through both a survey and in-person meetings. “Mycotoxin research is critically important for food safety and security,” said Ring. “Choices are...

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Mar 18, 2019

Global Corn Research Conference Held in St. Louis

Key Issues: Research

Author: Cathryn Wojcicki

Corn researchers from around the world gathered in St. Louis last week for the annual Maize Genetics Conference. The conference covers a broad range of subject areas and allows attendees from academia, industry, and funding agencies to learn about the most current scientific and technical advances in the maize genetics community.   Program directors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation were also present to discuss the current priorities and budget levels for their research programs. This annual conference represents a unique opportunity to stress the importance of research in areas that have substantial promise in addressing the issues most important to corn farmers.   This year, many presentations and posters highlighted the importance of the Genomes to Fields research initiative, which has been financially supported through state and national corn grower organizations. This interdisciplinary program has created an invaluable network of...

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