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Research

Oct 4, 2021

Research and Resources to Aid in the Fight Against Tar Spot

Key Issues:ProductionResearch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Oct 3, 2018

Agricultural Scientists Encouraged to Apply for Aflatoxin Mitigation Research Grants

Key Issues:Research

The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues. 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, 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 corn grower in Texas. “Working together, we can improve the tools available for aflatoxin control and get real results that farmers can see in their fields.”   Projects funded for 2019 should focus on...

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Mar 28, 2018

Ideation Workshop Aims to Surface High Potential Research Needs to Put Corn Productivity, Quality and Usage in High Gear

Key Issues:Research

Abraham Lincoln famously said, “the best way to predict your future is to create it,” and that’s the goal of the inaugural Corn Research Ideation Workshop on March 28-30, 2018 in St. Louis. With growth in corn production and especially during continued low corn prices, U.S. corn farmers need to be more efficient with inputs while also working to discover new and novel markets for corn.   “America’s corn farmers like me are entering our fifth year of low prices and net farm losses in 2018. Farmer income dropped almost 9 percent last year and net farm income is half of what it was in 2013,” said Dennis Maple, chairman of NCGA’s Corn Productivity & Quality Action Team. “So, building robust new markets for corn and optimizing production inputs are critical. NCGA is working hard to expand existing markets such as exports, livestock and ethanol, but this workshop is about identifying how to enhance corn productivity, grain/silage quality and sustainable production practices in the next...

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Feb 6, 2018

Consider Corn Challenge Shines a Light on Corn’s Potential

Key Issues:Research

Being immersed in the latest ideas and technology related to machinery, crop inputs and agronomic practices is expected at the annual Commodity Classic, February 27-March 1, 2018 in Anaheim, Calif. But this year’s attendees are in for a treat as they get a sneak peek at the best emerging ideas in new uses for corn.   Attendees have an open invitation to see the announcement of the winning research and product concepts surfaced via the National Corn Growers Association’s inaugural Consider Corn Challenge. The Challenge is a global competition to identify new and innovative uses for field corn as a renewable feedstock in the production of sustainable chemicals with significant market demand.   This year’s six winning projects will be announced and previewed in room 210 ABC of the Anaheim Convention Center on Wednesday, February 28, from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. Each winner will receive a US$25,000 cash prize.  NCGA will also explore additional opportunities to support contest entries...

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