In The News

Trade

Mar 17, 2021

Senate Confirms Tai for U.S. Trade Representative

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

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

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Feb 25, 2021

Growing Exports of Poultry and Egg Products Delivers Value Back to Corn Farmers

Key Issues:TradeAnimal Agriculture

Exports of U.S. corn-fed poultry and egg products are one key area of future demand that the Market Development Action Team (MDAT) at NCGA focuses on. The team has funded projects with the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), most recently including an economic study on the value of poultry exports to U.S. corn and updates to improved versions of buyer’s guides. The economic study found that poultry exports add $0.28 of value per bushel of corn, which is approximately $4.1 billion in revenue. The new and improved buyer guides for chicken, turkey, and eggs were digitized and updated, including a section on the value and sustainability of U.S. corn. These guides play a large role in securing value back to the U.S. corn grower as they are used at almost all of USAPEEC’s international trade and marketing activities.   The partnership with USAPEEC is one poised to enable success for both poultry producers and U.S. corn growers through the support of NCGA’s Market Development...

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Feb 10, 2021

Economic Boom From Grain Exports Highlights Need For Trade Access, Market Development

Key Issues:Trade

Access to international markets for U.S. grain supported an additional $41.8 billion in business sales during 2018 over and above the value of the grain sold, according to a study commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) - highlighting the importance of new market access and robust market development for the profitability of U.S. grain farmers.    The study - the fourth in a series conducted by Informa Economics/IHS Markit - pegged the direct value of U.S. corn, sorghum, barley and the grain components of ethanol, distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and certain meat products at $22.7 billion, for a total economic output of $64.5 billion in 2018.    This analysis and that preceding it based on 2014, 2015 and 2016 sales help make the case for trade as a top priority for U.S. agriculture and the new administration's outreach to the global community.    "Exports are a driver for our economy in general, but nowhere...

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Jan 26, 2021

Increasing Demand for Corn the Primary Focus of the Market Development Action Team

Key Issues:TradeAnimal AgricultureNew Uses

Nearly 70-percent of annual corn demand is covered under the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Market Development Action Team (MDAT) portfolio. From exports to animal agriculture to new uses of corn, the team is focused on growing and driving demand for America’s corn farmers.   “This team had a lot of wins in 2020, and we will continue that momentum into our planning for 2021 and beyond,” said MDAT Chair and Iowa farmer Bob Hemesath. “I look forward to leading the team and tackling the challenge that faces us – how to grind more corn. Our team's portfolio includes initiatives like the Consider Corn Challenge, which we will be announcing details on our third open-innovation challenge soon; the Cattlemen’s Education Series, a virtual program that focuses on issues that impact cattle producers such as protein and energy supplementation; and Trade School, a joint venture with the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), in which we are able to give our members the tools they need to be...

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Dec 16, 2020

Farm, Biofuels, Trade Leaders Label Brazil Decision ‘Devastating’ For U.S. Ethanol

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

A statement from: Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO, U.S. Grains Council Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy Geoff Cooper, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association Jon Doggett, CEO, National Corn Growers Association The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association issued the following statement in response to the Brazilian government’s decision to let the current tariff rate quota (TRQ) expire, replacing it with a 20 percent tariff on all imports of U.S. ethanol: “Brazil’s decision to impose a 20 percent tariff on all U.S. ethanol imports is devastating for the U.S. ethanol industry, the future of cooperation and coordination between our nations. Not only does this decision risk destroying the great progress our two nations have made as global leaders in ethanol production, it marks a dramatic turn in our bilateral trade relationship. “Today, Brazilian ethanol receives unfettered access into the U.S. market,...

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Dec 15, 2020

A New Blueprint for Improving Ag Trade, Supply Chains and American Competitiveness

Key Issues:Trade

NCGA joined American ag leaders from across the country at a virtual press conference today to release a new report on the challenges and solutions facing American agriculture on trade, supply chains and global competitiveness. The report, organized by Farmers for Free Trade and its membership, is the culmination of the summer’s AgTalks virtual town hall discussions with farmers, ag leaders and related industries including manufacturing and food producers and distributors.   NCGA Board Chairman Kevin Ross represented NCGA in today’s virtual press conference where he stressed the importance of biofuels like ethanol as a driver of the agriculture economy, opportunities for corn and corn product exports in Southeast Asia, and infrastructure modernization.   “There have been so many disruptions in agriculture in recent years, due to many different factors. AgTalks brought people together for conversations around trade and agriculture issues,” Ross said.   The AgTalks report will...

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Dec 11, 2020

Agriculture Trade: A Reason for Optimism in 2020

Key Issues:Trade

This month we are looking back at some of the accomplishments and success stories from 2020. This story is an example of many we will be highlighting throughout the month.   In late January 2020, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was signed into law by President Trump at a White House ceremony attended by NCGA leaders. This monumental event set the stage for positive trade developments for corn growers in 2020.   The signing ceremony was the culmination of nearly two years of negotiations and ratification between the three countries. Following the initial signing November 30, 2018, the United States ratified USMCA on January 29, 2020, followed by Canada on March 13 and Mexico on April 3.   NCGA endorsed USMCA at Commodity Classic 2019 and declared the trade deal the organization’s top legislative priority for the year. Corn farmers submitted more than 1300 comments in support of USMCA.   Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market....

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Dec 3, 2020

Congress Reauthorizes U.S. Grain Standards Act

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

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

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Oct 15, 2020

China Purchases More U.S. Corn

Key Issues:Trade

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced yesterday an export sale of 420,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to China.   “I saw the sale this morning and China could be our biggest customer this year,” said Lesly McNitt, director of public policy and trade for the National Corn Growers Association. “We are seeing tremendous purchases.”   Agri-Pulse reported that outstanding sales of U.S. corn – the amount of purchases that have not yet been shipped – to China as of Oct. 1 totaled about 8.9 million tons, according to the latest weekly trade data out of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. A year ago that total was zero. And the sales to China are significantly boosting overall U.S. export sales. Total outstanding U.S. corn export sales as of Oct. 1 were about 22 million tons. Physical corn exports to China are also continuing to surge. China was again the biggest corn importer during the Sept. 25-Oct. 1 period. The U.S. shipped 349,900 tons of corn to China in that week-long...

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Oct 13, 2020

AgTalks: Taking the Town Hall Digital

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) joined other agriculture leaders this summer in hosting a series of Farmers for Free Trade town hall discussions focused on the future of agriculture.   The AgTalks town hall series focused specifically on the big challenges American agriculture faces on trade, international supply chain resilience and global competitiveness. With the cancellation of many state fairs and agriculture conventions where farm and agriculture leaders typically engage in dialogues on industry-wide challenges, AgTalks served as a platform for insightful discussion on trade and its importance to the health of rural economies.   “Farmers and Agribusiness leaders from across the country are leading the way in defining the future for their industry and communities. Expanded trade is key to revitalizing Rural America and it is incumbent upon our local leaders to play a critical role in shaping future policies that will not only open markets but also ensure...

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Sep 14, 2020

Brazil Tariff Rate Quota for Ethanol Extended for 90 Days

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

After expiring on August 31 and a 20 percent tariff was temporarily applied to all U.S. ethanol, Brazil’s tariff rate quota (TRQ) has been extended for a further 90 days starting on Sept. 14. National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) CEO Jon Doggett joined Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO, U.S. Grains Council; Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy; and Geoff Cooper, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association in the below statement:   “The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association believe the 90-day extension of the TRQ serves neither Brazil’s consumers nor the Brazilian government’s own decarbonization goals, especially while Brazil’s ethanol producers continue to be afforded virtually tariff-free access to the U.S. market. The extension falls during Brazil’s annual inter-harvest period when U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil are traditionally low, causing greater uncertainty for U.S. exporters looking to make selling...

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Aug 5, 2020

Virtual Town Hall Features NCGA Corn Board Member

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

The AgTalks virtual town hall discussion continued today in conjunction with what would have been Minnesota IDEA FarmFest. This year’s in-person event was canceled, and sessions held virtually due to COVID-19.   National Corn Board Director and Minnesota farmer Harold Wolle served as a panelist during the town hall to discuss the future of agriculture, with a focus on trade, supply chains and global competitiveness. The town hall gave panelists the opportunity to provide updates from their industries and take questions from conversation participants, including local corn growers.   Wolle highlighted the importance of the ethanol industry, a market that takes more than 35 percent of the annual U.S. corn crop, and NCGA’s efforts to support the industry’s recovery and long-term success.   “In terms of global competitiveness, the expansion of ethanol exports is an opportunity to really move the demand needle for our industry. Global customers are increasingly turning to ethanol...

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Jul 30, 2020

NCGA Joins Virtual Town Hall on the Future of Agriculture Trade and Supply Chains

Key Issues:Trade

NCGA President Kevin Ross today joined Iowa and national agriculture leaders for an AgTalks virtual town hall to discuss the future of agriculture, with a focus on trade, supply chains and global competitiveness. The town hall gave panelists the opportunity to provide updates from their industries and take questions from conversation participants.   Ross discussed the challenges 2020 has presented for U.S. corn farmers and shared NCGA’s recovery plans to help growers navigate immediate challenges in the short term and expand market access in the long term.   “We’re thankful to have USMCA in force and Phase One deals with Japan and China,” Ross said. “But we have lost ground to our competitors, and it’s time to pivot to more aggressive expansion in our trade. NCGA will continue to push for trade agreements in Southeast Asia and other regions with strong demand potential.”   The AgTalks town hall series will help farmers learn and share their views with commodity association...

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Jul 21, 2020

Ep. 9. Corn’s Place at the Table in Global Trade Policy, with Amb. Darci Vetter and Ryan LeGrand

Key Issues:Trade

In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett talks to a pair of the world’s foremost experts in global agricultural trade about what comes next for U.S. ag trade policy.   Ambassador Darci Vetter is the Former USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator and USDA Deputy Under Secretary and currently works as a consultant at Edelman. And Ryan LeGrand is the CEO of the U.S. Grains Council.       Direct Share   Transcript Darci Vetter: Lots of our competitors are out there concluding bilateral or regional free trade agreements. We can't take our eye off the fact that our competitive position is declining. We're really falling behind here.   Ryan LeGrand: We have to have a seat at the table. We used to be the dominant player in corn exports to the world, and that has just been chipped away year after year.   Dusty Weis: Hello, and welcome to Wherever Jon May Roam, the National Corn Growers Association podcast. This is where leaders, growers, and stakeholders in the corn industry can...

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Jul 14, 2020

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

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

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

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Jul 1, 2020

It’s Official: USMCA Enters into Force Today

Key Issues:Trade

The United States-Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) is officially the law of the land, replacing the 25 year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).   Today’s action is the culmination of nearly two years of negotiations and ratification between the three countries. Following the initial signing November 30, 2018, the United States ratified USMCA on January 29, 2020, followed by Canada on March 13 and Mexico on April 3.   NCGA endorsed USMCA at Commodity Classic 2019 and declared the trade deal the organization’s top legislative priority for the year. Corn farmers submitted over 1300 comments in support of USMCA.   Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market. Since NAFTA, U.S. ag exports have tripled to Canada and quintupled to Mexico. In 2018, 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products, valued at $4.56 billion, were exported to Mexico and Canada. Mexico is the top buyer of U.S. corn and DDGs.   These exports have a...

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May 22, 2020

World Trade Month: Corn’s Top Markets, Colombia

Key Issues:Trade

The export of corn and corn products is vital to the nation’s economy and NCGA has a deeply rooted policy of working to eliminate barriers to trade and supporting market development. Exports of U.S. corn and co-products provide critical support across the economy, offering billions of dollars in direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, rural communities, and the nation.   This month, NCGA is celebrating World Trade Month by highlighting the top export markets for U.S. corn. Colombia is the third major buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than 4.7 million metric tons (MT) of corn during the September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019 marketing year. Colombia is also the number seven buyer of U.S. ethanol and purchased more than 64 million gallons during the same marketing year.   Since the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 2012, exports of U.S. grains in all forms have increased more than 11-fold. Recently, the Colombian government-imposed non-tariff trade...

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May 15, 2020

World Trade Month: Corn’s Top Markets, Japan

Key Issues:Trade

The export of corn and corn products is vital to the nation’s economy and NCGA has deeply rooted policy of working to eliminate barriers to trade and supporting market development. Exports of U.S. corn and co-products provide critical support across the economy, offering billions in direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation.   This month, NCGA is celebrating World Trade Month by highlighting the top export markets for U.S. corn. Last week we featured Mexico, the top buyer of U.S. corn. This week’s focus is corn’s number two market – Japan.   Japan has been a strong trading partner and is now the second largest purchaser of U.S. corn, buying more than 13 million metric tons (MT) of corn during the September 1, 2018 - August 31, 2019 marketing year. Japan is also a high-value market for the U.S. livestock industry, the top purchaser of U.S. beef and beef products and number three purchaser of U.S. pork and pork products, therefore also a...

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May 8, 2020

World Trade Month: Corn’s Top Markets, Mexico

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

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

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Mar 23, 2020

China Purchases U.S. Corn

Key Issues:Trade

A new report released Friday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows export sales of 756,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. corn to China for delivery in the 2019-20 marketing year.   China holds tremendous opportunity for U.S. corn, ethanol and DDGs and NCGA welcomed this news.   The USDA report also showed Chinese purchases of 340,00 MT of hard red winter wheat for the 2020-21 marketing year.

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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 29, 2020

NCGA: USMCA a Win for Agriculture

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

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

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Dec 20, 2019

NCGA: House Passes USMCA, Delivers a Win for Agriculture

Key Issues:Trade

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today thanked members of the U.S. House of Representatives for their bipartisan approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Ross made the following statement.   “Corn farmers have been working toward this vote for nearly a year, sending emails, having meetings and making phone calls to their representatives in support of USMCA. All of agriculture should be incredibly proud to see these efforts pay off with such a strong, bipartisan vote. We wouldn’t be at this stage in the ratification process without the hard work of individual farmers across the country. Ratifying USMCA has been NCGA’s top legislative priority because Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable markets.   “NCGA thanks members of the House for their votes in support, along with President Trump and his administration’s continued efforts to come to a bipartisan consensus. It’s now up to members of the U.S. Senate...

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Dec 4, 2019

U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Ratified

Key Issues:Trade

The Japanese Diet, the country’s legislative body, earlier today ratified the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement secures the second-largest export market for corn farmers and is expected to go into effect on January 1, 2020. This agreement formalizes and builds on our long-standing trading relationship with Japan.   Japan is the number two buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than $2 billion in the most recent marketing year. The agreement reduces U.S. corn and sorghum imports for all purposes to a zero-level tariff and includes a staged tariff reduction for U.S. ethanol and corn. U.S. feed and food corn, corn gluten feed, and DDGS will continue to receive duty-free market access.   NCGA President Kevin Ross in October joined leaders of other farm and commodity groups at the White House to commemorate the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

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Dec 2, 2019

Corn Trade Is A Huge Driver of the U.S. Economy

Key Issues:Trade

Who you know and your relationship with them can make a big difference in many aspects of your life, but if you are a corn farmer this is likely a huge understatement. You see, trade is critical to farmer’s profitability and relationships can either float or sink the export ship.   According to the U.S. Grains Council, U.S. corn exports totaled 52.3 MMT or 2.06 billion bushels in 2018/19 and moved to 62 countries. That’s a lot of relationships to juggle for USGC and a big reason NCGA has made a resolution of trade agreements like the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) a priority. Addressing both components - relationships and the access that comes with trade agreements – is a potent combination.    As we head toward 2020, NCGA, USGC and many of their partners will be involved in a “Did You Know” campaign to raise awareness of the importance of free trade and trade agreements to farmers and a strong U.S. economy. Look for these messages on NCGA social channels from Dec. 2 to...

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Nov 5, 2019

Tell Congress to Pass USMCA

Key Issues:Trade

Passing USMCA remains a top priority for farmers across the country and NCGA. With the end of the year fast approaching, and a very limited number of Congressional workdays remaining, urging your representatives to support this important trade deal is more important than ever.   Waiting until 2020, when election-year politics will likely derail its passage, is not an option. Ratifying USMCA this year is our best chance of securing this agreement.   USMCA preserves and builds upon the corn industry’s successful relationship with Mexico and Canada.  In 2018, 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $4.56 billion. These exports generated $5.79 billion in economic activity, supported 36,480 jobs and 300,000 farms.   Passage would provide some certainty to farmers facing challenging times and instill confidence in other important trading partners that the United States is open for business. Members of Congress need to hear...

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Oct 7, 2019

NCGA Joins President Trump for U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Signing

Key Issues:Trade

NCGA President Kevin Ross today joined leaders of other farm and commodity groups at the White House to commemorate the signing of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. The agreement secures the second-largest export market for corn farmers. Ross made the following statement.   “Japan is the number two buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing more than $2 billion in the most recent marketing year. This is a high-value market for our livestock industry, therefore, also a major purchaser of U.S. corn through exported meats. NCGA has been a long-time supporter of trade with Japan. With many farmers struggling amid some challenging times, this is some much-needed good news. This agreement reaffirms and builds on our trading relationship with Japan and NCGA looks forward to continued work for a successful Phase 2 of these important negotiations.”

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Sep 25, 2019

Trade and Biofuels Offer Solution for Weak Ag Economy

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

Earlier this week, NCGA attended the Ag Outlook Forum in Kansas, City. Guests, including NCGA manager of Market Development, Michael Granché, traveled from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska to hear from esteemed speakers on the health of the U.S. agricultural economy, the trade war, and what potential challenges and opportunities lay ahead for the industry.   Speakers included; Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, and USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky, all of whom opened the floor to receive questions from the audience after their remarks. Guests also had the opportunity to engage in a roundtable discussion on Workforce Development led by Mark Stewart, CEO and President of Agriculture Future of America.   Granché found the Forum to be a valuable networking opportunity and enjoyed hearing from different perspectives across the industry. “It’s been a tough year for the industry as a whole. Just like Governor Parson said, ‘he’s never met a farmer who hasn’t...

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Sep 18, 2019

NCGA Leaders Fly-In to Washington

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

NCGA State Executives, representing eleven state associations travelled to Washington, D.C. this week to urge members of Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and continue the education effort on NCGA’s Low Carbon/High Octane proposal. The State Executives also pressed lawmakers to use their influence with President Trump regarding potential Administrative actions to mitigate the effects of RFS waivers.   “Having representatives of NCGA’s state affiliates in Washington provides lawmakers and their staffs with a first-hand account of the importance of USMCA and ethanol policy to corn farmers,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke Appleton. “This week was also an opportunity for the State Executives to meet with members of Congress who may not have corn farmers in their district but whose votes will be needed to get USMCA across the finish line.”   Passage of USMCA remains NCGA’s top legislative priority for 2019. USMCA will solidify a $4.56...

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Sep 5, 2019

USMCA Must Be at the top of Fall Congressional Agenda

Key Issues:Trade

Congress returns to Washington next week and passage of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) should be at the top of their agenda.   Farmers have taken the opportunity to share this message with lawmakers at local events during the August break and are eager to see the working group process bear fruit so the agreement can move forward for consideration.   USMCA will solidify a $4.56 billion export market and provide some certainty for farmers weathering a perfect storm of challenges. Ratifying USMCA will also instill confidence in other nations that the U.S. is a reliable partner and supplier, ensuring U.S. agriculture remains competitive for generations to come.   Since NAFTA, U.S. ag exports have tripled to Canada and quintupled to Mexico. Mexico is now the top buyer of U.S. corn, purchasing 25 percent of corn exports. For more information on what these markets mean to your state - https://www.fas.usda.gov/usmca-benefits-states   Congress has a lot to do and they...

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Aug 26, 2019

NCGA Encouraged by U.S.-Japan Agreement in Principle

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association today welcomed the announcement that the United States and Japan have reached an agreement in principle that sets the stage for increased market access for American agriculture products in Japan.   “This is very encouraging news,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “Japan is the second-largest purchaser of U.S. corn and has been an important, longstanding trading partner with America’s corn farmers. We hope the next stage of negotiations are successful in enhancing rules of trade and building on this strong relationship.”   Chrisp said NCGA is continuing conversations with the Trump Administration to learn more details on what specifically Sunday’s announcement will mean for America’s corn farmers.   The U.S.-Japan announcement follows recent Administrative actions that have added to growing economic concerns across rural America. On Friday, the Chinese government announced it would levy an additional ten percent tariff on U.S. products,...

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Aug 23, 2019

NCGA Statement: USDA Trade Damage Calculations

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp today made the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) release of its methodology to determine commodity payment rates for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP). The payment rate for corn is $0.14 per bushel.   “NCGA welcomes USDA’s transparency in this process. Corn farmers were understandably disappointed by the one cent per bushel for corn in the first MFP program and we appreciate that it appears USDA considered our recommendations in developing MFP 2.0. Amid farmers’ concern over crop conditions, trade disputes and tariffs, and demand destruction in the ethanol market, this program will not make any farmer whole. NCGA continues to strongly advocate for the Administration to open markets and provide more certainty for corn farmers, including addressing the harm caused by RFS waivers and resolving trade disputes and tariffs.”   NCGA analysis showed an average price loss for corn of 20...

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Jul 25, 2019

NCGA Welcomes Progress on MFP, Looks Forward to Improved Program

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp today made the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) release of county payment rates for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP).   “It’s no secret that farmers are facing difficult decisions amid wet spring weather, trade disputes and tariffs, and demand destruction in the ethanol market. While NCGA’s focus remains markets, we welcome USDA’s quick rollout of MFP 2.0 and the Department’s creative efforts to reorient MFP to better reflect market impacts and support American farmers. We look forward to learning more about how MFP will work for corn farmers.”   Following President Trump’s announcement that the Administration would be pursuing a second round of trade aid, NCGA put forward recommendations that would provide both short-term assistance and support market access for farmers. NCGA continues to encourage the Administration to take additional actions to open markets and provide more...

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Jul 18, 2019

NCGA Recognizes Senator Fischer with President’s Award

Key Issues:EthanolTradeFarm Policy

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

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Jul 16, 2019

Trade School Focuses on Ongoing Trade Issues

Key Issues:Trade

More than 70 farmers, state staff and college students interested in agriculture yesterday participated in the 2019 Trade School, a one-day session meant to deepen their knowledge on trade issues and hone their messaging to help better convey the benefits of agricultural trade to outside audiences.   The event is held annually by NCGA and the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and was held this year in association with Corn Congress in Washington, D.C.   NCGA is closely following ongoing trade disputes and negotiations, and members in Washington, D.C. this week will be urging lawmakers to ratify the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The agreement would solidify a $4.56 billion export market for America’s corn farmers and provide certainty to farmers facing challenging times.   “Agricultural trade has vastly expanded market opportunities for U.S. farmers. Today, it seems like everyday farmers wake up to a new headline regarding trade. Whether it is the pursuit of new...

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Jun 11, 2019

NCGA Joins Call for Ratification of USMCA

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

NCGA today joined more than 950 food and agriculture organizations representing to call on members of Congress to swiftly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).   In a letter to Congressional leaders, the groups reiterated that USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices.   “Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under NAFTA – growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018. NAFTA has significantly helped create a reliable, high-quality supply of food products for U.S. consumers, while supporting more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy. USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade. This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and...

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May 31, 2019

NCGA Statement: Rethink New Tariffs on Mexican Imports

Key Issues:Trade

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp made the following statement in response to tweets from President Trump announcing tariffs on all Mexican imports beginning June 10, in an effort to stop illegal immigration.   “NCGA strongly urges the President to rethink applying new tariffs to Mexican goods and to reconsider using tariffs to address non-trade issues. Mexico is the top customer for U.S. corn. Corn farmers want to continue working with the Administration and Congress to ratify the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and pursue new trade agreements. The recent deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada was an important breakthrough for USCMA but new tariffs threaten to reverse that progress. Amid a perfect storm of challenges in farm country, we cannot afford the uncertainty this action would bring.”   Mexico was the top market for U.S. corn in 2017/2018, with corn and corn product exports valued at $3.3 billion. Corn exports to...

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May 28, 2019

Key Trade Developments Discussed at U.S. Meat Export Federation Annual Spring Conference

Key Issues:TradeAnimal Agriculture

The U.S. Meat Export Federation held their annual Spring Conference last week in Kansas City. Staff and members from the National Corn Growers Association and state corn associations were present. The conference featured updates on the positive growth of red meat exports and included presentations on U.S. trade related challenges and opportunities, an update from United States Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney, country and region-specific marketing efforts and the global impact of African Swine Fever (ASF).   “There were a number of items on the trade front discussed at the meeting, including Japan’s lifting of longstanding restrictions on U.S. beef exports,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “That equates to $23 million in incremental value to corn growers in the U.S. Updates from other markets included, Mexico removing retaliatory duties on U.S. pork and Canada eliminating a 10 percent duty on...

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May 23, 2019

NCGA Welcomes Trade Aid, Continues Call for Equitable Relief and Market Opportunities for Corn Farmers

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed the Trump Administration’s announcement of up to $16 billion in assistance to help farmers to make up for potential agriculture losses due, in part, to the most recent tariff increases and prolonged trade dispute with China.   “Farmers across the country are struggling. Wet spring weather, trade disputes and tariffs and demand destruction in the ethanol market are forcing farmers to make difficult decisions. We appreciate the Administration’s recognition of these challenges and support for America’s farmers,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp who joined President Trump for the White House announcement.   Following President Trump’s announcement that the Administration would be pursuing a second round of trade aid, NCGA put forward recommendations that would provide both short-term assistance and support market access for farmers.   NCGA called on USDA to update the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to factor market...

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May 21, 2019

Trade Tuesday: Tariff Lift Clear Barrier for USMCA

Key Issues:Trade

NCGA continues to celebrate World Trade Month and Friday’s announcement that the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on Mexico and Canada had been lifted was a major positive step for passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Lawmakers on Capitol Hill frequently cited this tariff as a roadblock for the bill.   USMCA would update the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to further solidify the U.S. trading relationship with Canada and Mexico, two of the largest markets for U.S. corn. Passing this agreement would help farmers in the frontlines of the economy. Exports to Mexico and Canada produced $4.1 billion in economic activity, supporting 25,000 jobs and 300,000 farms in 2016.   U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue stated on Friday: “Today’s announcement is a big win for American agriculture and the economy as a whole. I thank President Trump for negotiating a great deal and for negotiating the removal of these tariffs. Canada and Mexico are...

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May 17, 2019

NCGA Provides Trade Aid Recommendations to USDA

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today provided the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with recommendations outlining both short and long-term actions that would provide assistance to farmers facing losses due, in part, to the most recent tariff increases and prolonged trade dispute with China.   NCGA analysis, capturing corn market impacts from May 2018 to April 2019, showed an average price loss of $0.20/bushel. In March and April of 2019, as trade talks with China lagged on, that loss widened again to closer to $0.40/bushel.   Given these losses, NCGA is urging USDA to improve upon last year’s Market Facilitation Program (MFP) which set the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel, to make sure that assistance more equitably compensates farmers for market losses. Beyond USDA, NCGA is also urging the Administration to address demand destruction caused by the EPA’s small refinery exemptions to oil refiners, among other actions.   NCGA members have...

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May 17, 2019

USMCA Roadblock Cleared

Key Issues:Trade

Leaders from the United States, Mexico and Canada today announced that a deal has been reached to lift the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs.   Lawmakers on Capitol Hill frequently cited the tariffs as a roadblock to passage of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley leading the charge. NCGA appreciates lawmakers’ support for USMCA, along with the Administration’s willingness to hear from agriculture and work to resolve the industry’s concerns.   Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market. In 2016 alone, more than 17.3 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $3.2 billion.   USMCA secures and builds upon this important partnership, which is why ratifying USMCA is NCGA’s top legislative priority for 2019.   Tell Congress to Pass USMCA!

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May 15, 2019

Another Penny for Corn Farmers Won’t Cut It

Key Issues:Trade

We need your help. Friday’s announcement that the Trump Administration is increasing the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China’s retaliatory tariffs, could not have come at a worse time for corn farmers, bringing more uncertainty to markets and impacting commodity prices.   In an effort to ease this impact, the Administration is now pursuing a second round of trade assistance for agriculture with the intent of making an announcement in the next few days. As you’ll recall, the previous Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payment rate for corn farmers was just one cent per bushel.   Please tell the president that a penny didn’t cut it then and won’t cut it now.   On top of trade disputes and tariffs, EPA granting RFS waivers to oil refiners, devastating weather conditions, farm incomes on a downward trend, and crumbling infrastructure have all created a perfect storm for agriculture.   Tell the President that one penny won’t provide the market certainty that...

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May 14, 2019

Trade Tuesday: Farmers Need Certainty

Key Issues:Trade

Friday’s announcement that the Trump Administration was moving forward to increase the tariff rate from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods could not have come at a worse time for corn farmers.   As NCGA President Lynn Chrisp noted, “Corn farmers are watching commodity prices decline amid ongoing tariff threats, even while many can’t get to spring planting because of wet weather.” This spring’s heavy rains have impacted farmers across the country, with the most recent WASDE report showing that only 30 percent of the corn crop has been planted, half the five year average of 66 percent.   Trade disputes and tariffs, devastating weather conditions, stagnant farm incomes, crumbling infrastructures and EPA waivers to oil refiners have all combined to create a perfect storm for agriculture.   Times are tough for farmers. More tariffs won’t help, neither will another penny per bushel trade assistance payment. Simply put, farmers need a win and they need...

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May 7, 2019

Economic Analysis: Grain Exports Offer Billions in Benefits Beyond the Farm

Key Issues:Trade

A new study shows access to international export markets for U.S. grains supported nearly $38 billion in business sales in the U.S. economy during 2016 beyond the value of the products themselves.   The analysis commissioned by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) found a total economic impact of U.S. grains exports of $55 billion that year, supporting 271,000 jobs directly or indirectly. These sales supported U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $19 billion over what would have occurred without such exports.   The analysis dives deep into the benefits to farmers, rural communities and the nation as a whole derived from overseas sales driven by strong trade policy and robust in-country market development for grains and grains products.   “Every sale counts for farmers, especially in this market, and this analysis shows just how much the grain sector is supported by regular and growing purchases from our overseas customers,” said Jim...

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May 1, 2019

World Trade Month

Key Issues:Trade

May is World Trade Month and NCGA is using the occasion to highlight the importance of trade for future profitability and global food security. NCGA has a deeply-rooted policy of working to eliminate barriers to trade, supporting market development and promoting a transportation infrastructure that moves grain efficiently.   Exports of grains in all forms provide critical support across the economy, offering billions in direct and indirect economic benefits to farmers and rural communities. Exports of corn in all forms support 33 percent of corn farmer incomes.   In the 2016/2017 crop marketing year, the United States exported nearly 120 million metric tons of feed grains in all forms (GIAF), translating into roughly 4.75 billion bushels or a third of U.S. production. Feed grains in all forms include corn, barley and sorghum and products made with them as inputs including the corn equivalent of co-products like ethanol, DDGS and corn gluten feed/meal as well as beef, pork and...

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Apr 25, 2019

USMCA Leads to New Market Opportunities

Key Issues:Trade

We know that ratifying USMCA will secure a $3.2 billion export market for corn farmers and provide some certainty as farmers begin the hard work of planting and harvesting their crop. Passing USMCA will also open the door to other markets and new opportunities for American farmers. Locking in USMCA establishes some important new standards for what can be achieved in future trade agreements and would also build confidence in other nations with whom the United States wants to more closely engage.   Japan is the perfect example of a very important long-time customer for the U.S. corn industry and a nation with which a trade agreement is urgent for U.S. agriculture. Japan was the second largest buyer of U.S. corn in the 2017/2018 marketing year, purchasing nearly 13.2 million metric tons (520 million bushels) of corn for a value of $2.39 billion. Japan also serves as the ninth largest buyer of U.S. DDGS, setting a new record for DDGS imports in 2017/2018, increasing 8.4 percent from...

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Apr 18, 2019

NCGA Statement: International Trade Commission Report on USMCA

Key Issues:Trade

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Lynn Chrisp made the below statement today following the release of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s (ITC) economic analysis on the U.S-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).   “The release of the ITC report is an important step in moving USMCA toward Congressional action. ITC reports typically measure the economic impact of new trade agreements and focus on market access. USMCA is different – it’s an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – which already eliminated most tariffs on exports of U.S. food and agriculture products. So, the ITC report released today doesn’t fully capture the economic benefits of trade with Canada and Mexico, nor the improvements to trade rules in USMCA that benefit agriculture.    “NAFTA has been a resounding success for agriculture. In 2016 alone, American corn growers exported $3.2 billion in corn and corn co-products to Mexico and Canada. USMCA secures and builds upon this...

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Apr 17, 2019

USMCA: Market Access for U.S. Corn

Key Issues:Trade

By all accounts, the North American Free Trade Agreement has been a resounding success for agriculture. To ensure American farmers continue to have access to these important export markets, the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) needs to be ratified.   USMCA will solidify a $3.2 billion export market for corn farmers and provide some certainty as farmers begin the hard work of planting and harvesting their crop. Ratifying USMCA will also instill confidence in other nations with whom we want to enter into future trade agreements. Opening new markets will ensure U.S. agriculture remains competitive for generations to come.   Securing this new agreement allows America to compete. The United States has much more competition in North America now than when NAFTA was signed - Mexico has 46 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Canada has 21.   If Congress does not approve USMCA, and the United States withdraws from NAFTA, American agriculture and rural communities would be...

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Apr 1, 2019

U.S. Farmers Support USMCA

Key Issues:Trade

Corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum growers recently joined together to announce their support for the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).   Agriculture’s support for USMCA makes sense. Mexico and Canada account for 25 percent of all corn exports, and in 2016 alone, this market generated $4.1 billion in economic activity and supported 25,000 jobs and 300,000 farms.   For corn farmers, USMCA will solidify a $3.2 billion export market and provide some certainty as farmers begin the hard work of planting and harvesting their crop. Ratifying USMCA will also instill confidence in other nations that the U.S. is a reliable partner and supplier, ensuring U.S. agriculture remains competitive for generations to come.   Withdrawing from the existing NAFTA agreement, closing the U.S.-Mexico border, or implementing other policies that jeopardize the future of this important economic partnership, would be catastrophic for farmers...

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Mar 25, 2019

China Purchases U.S. Corn

Key Issues:Trade

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service announced Friday an export sale of 300,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to China.   “The corn purchase by China announced today in USDA’s export sales report is very welcome news for U.S. agriculture, and we see it as a positive sign for the U.S.-China relationship as intense negotiations continue. The outcome of these talks is crucial to U.S. grains and ethanol, and we appreciate continued engagement by our negotiators and their counterparts in China,” U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight said.   Sleight also discussed the purchases and ongoing trade negotiations with Agri-Pulse, telling the publication,  “This is very encouraging — that the negotiations have been going well and getting after some of the key issues that have been blocking trade with the U.S. and China on corn."  Read More

Mar 1, 2019

Leading Agriculture Organizations Endorse USMCA

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers today announced their support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).   Mexico and Canada account for 25 percent of all U.S. agriculture exports and USMCA preserves and builds upon the existing trading relationship between the United States, Canada and Mexico.   Members representing the four organizations will be advocating members of Congress to ratify USMCA this year while also urging the Administration to keep the current NAFTA agreement intact until the new agreement is ratified.   “Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable corn market; Mexico is corn’s number one buyer and Canada is one of our largest ethanol importers. We cannot afford to risk losing this market,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “USMCA is NCGA’s top legislative priority for 2019, and we will be working closely with the Administration...

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Jan 25, 2019

MAIZALL Members Advocate for Innovation at the World Trade Organization

Key Issues:Trade

In a follow-up to its October 2018 meeting, five members of MAIZALL, the international maize alliance, were in Geneva this month to advocate for agricultural innovation with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo and five other WTO country representatives.   Rapid innovation in agriculture benefits farmers who can grow more and higher quality crops using fewer natural resources. But these same innovations push governments around the world to determine the best ways to regulate these modern practices, and the WTO helps determine whether these policies are fair. MAIZALL encourages countries to adopt science-based policies to prevent disruptions to trade.   “It is extremely important to show the Director-General that the farmer alliance that is MAIZALL believes innovation is important and we need to draw attention to innovation at the highest levels within the WTO,” said MAIZALL Board Member Chip Councell.   MAIZALL President Cesario Ramalho, MAIZALL...

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Jan 25, 2019

Off the Cob Talks Trade with Texas Farmer Bowers

Key Issues:Trade

Today on Off the Cob, meet Lindsey Bowers, a Texas farmer who also works as a grain merchandiser and hedger near the southern border. From the storage situation in her part of Texas to the importance of the Mexico market to all U.S. corn farmers, she provides unique insights and a fresh perspective on American agriculture.   To listen, click here.

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Jan 23, 2019

Expanding Global Market Access for U.S. Corn

Key Issues:Trade

NCGA is committed to helping corn producers weather this tough economy by creating market opportunities for U.S. corn, including expanding market access for our products around the globe. Exports of corn and corn products account for a third of corn farmers’ incomes.   To accomplish these goals, we work closely with our partners at the U.S. Grains Council. NCGA advocates for elimination of barriers to corn and corn products in the U.S trade policy agenda, passage of strong trade agreements by Congress and helps secure market development funds that USGC puts into action. USGC’s mission is clear - develop markets, enable trade and improve lives. USGC leaders, staff members, and consultants strive to be the most relevant, passionate and trusted ambassadors for free and fair trade between U.S. agriculture and our customers around the world.   The flow of goods, ideas, capital, and people are essential for prosperity, and for American competitiveness in the global economy. This is...

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Jan 11, 2019

NCGA Communications Shine at NAMA Region II Awards

Key Issues:Trade

Yesterday, the National Corn Growers Association and its CommonGround were recognized for excellence at the National Agri-Marketing Association’s Region II Awards Ceremony. NCGA’s World of Corn Publication, which is sponsored by Bayer, took the first-place award for Company Publications- Annual Report. CommonGround, one of the programs managed by NCGA’s Consumer Engagement Action Team, won the first-place award for Social Media Campaigns Directed to Consumers for its series of carpool moments videos.   See these videos by clicking here.   To see the World of Corn, click here.   “Consumers have many questions about how farmers and ranchers grow and raise food. It is understandable given their desire to raise healthy, happy families,’ said NCGA Consumer Engagement Action Team Chair Ted Mottaz. “Through programs such as CommonGround, NCGA works to bridge the gap from farm to plate so that families who buy the foods we raise can feel confident in their choices.   “When farmers...

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Dec 18, 2018

Register for the Soil Health Summit While There’s Still Time!

Key Issues:TradeFarm Policy

The clock is ticking for registering for the Soil Health Summit, January 15-16 in St. Louis. For the first time ever, this Soil Health Partnership event is open to any farmer, agronomist or educator. But don’t wait another day! You must book your room by 2:00 p.m. Central on Dec. 21 for block pricing.   “Our farmers are facing unprecedented headwinds creating tremendous challenges for many,” said Shefali Mehta, Soil Health Partnership executive director. “People have asked me why farmers should think about sustainability in a climate when they are not sure if they can keep their farms afloat to next year. Sustainability means weathering these shocks and ensuring your farm and your land are healthy and viable moving forward.”   Mehta added that this marks the first year for a fully analyzable set of year-over-year data.   “We will be sharing these initial insights and our data and analysis plan at our Summit,” she said.   Peer-to-peer learning opportunities complement the...

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Nov 30, 2018

NCGA: USMCA Signing an Important Step Forward

Key Issues:Trade

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today released the following statement applauding the important step taken by U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials today in signing the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).   “U.S. corn farmers are proud of the strong trading relationships NAFTA has enabled us to build with our North American trading partners, exporting more than $3 billion of corn and corn products to Mexico and Canada last year. Today’s signing is an important step toward cementing a modernized relationship with these important partners. NCGA commends leaders from all three nations and looks forward to engaging on next steps as the USMCA moves to Congress for consideration.”

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Nov 27, 2018

NCGA Submits U.S.-Japan Objectives to USTR

Key Issues:Trade

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp yesterday submitted NCGA’s negotiating objectives for a United States-Japan Trade Agreement to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Japan is the second largest market for U.S. corn exports and U.S. corn farmers have been a reliable supplier to this market for more than 50 years.   “Corn farmers have long counted on Japan as a leading export market and have spent decades developing this important partnership,” Chrisp wrote. “NCGA has been advocating for a formal trade agreement with Japan for years and we are pleased to see the Trump administration take this important step, one that we hope will be followed up with other trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region.”   NCGA’s top priorities for this negotiation are to secure this market access for corn amid intensifying competition from other corn suppliers, to improve market access for other corn co-products, and to address technical, sanitary and phytosanitary, and...

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Nov 20, 2018

NCGA Calls for More Equitable Trade Relief

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today urged U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to consider changes to the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) ahead of the second round of payments.   In a letter to Perdue, Chrisp said that he continues to hear from farmers who are disappointed in USDA’s approach to calculating the first round of MFP payments because it was too narrow in scope and did not capture the real-time impacts of trade disruptions on our markets.   Chrisp asked Perdue to add ethanol and distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to the calculation of damages for corn. Using USDA’s methodology, gross trade damages for ethanol and DDGS amounts to $254 million, which was not accounted for in the first MFP payments. Chrisp also asked the Secretary to allow farmers who suffer production losses from disasters to use an alternative to 2018 production for their MFP calculation. This would ensure farmers suffering from drought,...

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Nov 8, 2018

MAIZALL Mission Emphasizes Importance of Agricultural Innovation

Key Issues:TradeBiotechnology

Agricultural innovation continues to develop rapidly, benefiting farmers who are able to grow more and better crops using fewer inputs and natural resources. As governments around the world work to determine how to regulate these ever-evolving technologies, MAIZALL, the international maize alliance, is encouraging countries to adopt science-based policies to prevent disruptions to trade.   MAIZALL was formed in January 2013 by the corn growers associations in Argentina, Brazil and the United States to work together to tackle global market access barriers related to the introduction of new technologies in agriculture, particularly biotechnology. The alliance focuses on three areas: communicating the benefits of modern agricultural production methods and technologies, addressing asynchronous approval of biotech products and promoting regulatory harmonization.   During an October mission to Geneva and Rome, a group of MAIZALL leaders met with World Trade Organization (WTO) and...

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Nov 7, 2018

Commodity Leaders Join Forces on Sustainability Research

Key Issues:Trade

The National Pork Board (NPB), United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers. This research program will include the sharing of completed research, coordination on current and planned research and define ways to share and communicate results with each organization’s members.   Leadership from the three commodity groups agree that it is prudent to consider specific ways in which they might work together more effectively to ensure alignment and collaboration in sustainability research and how the results can and will be communicated and shared.   “Sustainability is defined by the We CareSM ethical principles pork producers established over 10 years ago,” said National Pork Board President Steve Rommereim, a pig farmer from Alcester, South Dakota. “Joining in the efforts of two other organizations,...

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Oct 1, 2018

Corn Farmers Praise New US-Mexico-Canada Agreement

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today released the following statement after an announcement that the United States, Canada, and Mexico reached an agreement in principle on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), renamed the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).    “Farmers across the country have been closely following NAFTA negotiations and reminding the administration of its promise to ‘do no harm’ to agriculture.”   “NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture, opening markets that since enactment have become vitally important to U.S. corn farmers, and providing certainty to farmers and the rural economy. We applaud USTR for reaching a new agreement and look forward to thoroughly evaluating it to determine if it continues to benefit American agriculture.”   Last year the United States exported $3.2 billion of corn and corn products to Mexico and Canada, supporting 25,000 rural jobs. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce...

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Sep 27, 2018

NCGA Statement: United States-Japan Trade Negotiations

Key Issues:Trade

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes made the following statement on the announcement that the United States and Japan would begin formal trade negotiations.   “Japan is a top export market for U.S. corn and, for many years, U.S. corn farmers have valued this long-standing partnership. Since withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, NCGA has urged the administration to re-engage Japan in negotiating a trade agreement. The announcement that talks will begin is welcome news to American corn farmers.”

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Sep 25, 2018

New KORUS Trade Agreement

Key Issues:Trade

President Trump on Monday signed the new United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). The National Corn Growers Association has advocated for continuing our trading relationship with Korea and appreciates President Trump and President Moon reaffirming the two countries’ important partnership. Korea is the third largest export market for U.S. corn farmers, and KORUS has been instrumental in solidifying this important market. Farmers voiced their support for KORUS loud and clear, and NCGA is pleased the agreement has been updated. The new KORUS also paves the way for U.S. trade negotiators to work on opening new export markets for agriculture.

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Aug 31, 2018

Corn Farmers Need a Break

Key Issues:Trade

In The Hill Friday, NCGA President and North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes shared the challenges facing corn farmers this year and the frustration following USDA’s announcement of just one cent per bushel in trade relief for corn farmers.   “It is insulting that USDA’s plan sells corn farmers so short. As history has shown, once you lose a market it is very difficult to get it back. Our global competitors are aggressively pursuing every opportunity we miss and our margin for error is shrinking. Corn farmers direly need a win,” Skunes wrote.   The op-ed cites NCGA-commissioned analysis, provided to both USDA and OMB, estimating trade disputes to have lowered corn prices by 44 cents per bushel for crop produced in 2018. This amounts to $6.3 billion in lost value on the 81.8 million acres projected to be harvested in 2018.   LINK: http://thehill.com/opinion/finance/404516-pitiful-subsidy-to-corn-farmers-adds-insult-to-trump-tariff-injuries

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Aug 31, 2018

Trade, RFS Lead Conversations at Farm Progress Show

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

  National Corn Growers Association farmer leaders and staff attended this week’s Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa to let attendees know the importance of trade, the RFS and Farm Bill. Chairman Wesley Spurlock, President Kevin Skunes and First-Vice President-elect Kevin Ross attended the show.    President Skunes participated in a pro-RFS rally and a Farmers for Free Trade news conference. After the RFS rally, Skunes had the opportunity to talk with Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue one-on-one.   “I wanted to let the Secretary know that farmers appreciate his support in Washington D.C. and thank him for carrying our message with the administration,” Skunes said. “However, I was very direct and let the Secretary know that there are steps that can be taken now to help farmers and the rural economy and that’s getting RVP (allowing year-round E15 ethanol sales) done now. I also voiced our displeasure with the one-cent per bushel for corn in the trade mitigation package is...

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Aug 28, 2018

Chinese Academy of Science Fellows Visit NCGA for Dialogue on Farming, Future of Corn

Key Issues:TradeBiotechnology

Last week, the National Corn Growers Association hosted a Chinese agricultural delegation for an informative presentation and discussions about the U.S. corn crop, the association’s programs and an overview of the U.S. agricultural environment in relation to biotechnology, advanced breeding techniques and market opportunities. The group, organized by Bayer, included this year’s Chinese Academy of Sciences Fellows, who specialize in areas from functional genomics to characterizing novel circadian components in plants.   “While NCGA hosts a number of teams interested in biotechnology and the corn crop outlook, this breadth of topics in which this team showed interest was somewhat unique,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Jim Bauman. “Working together, our staff was able to provide them with insight into a number of sectors which influence U.S. corn production and markets.”   Following an in-depth examination of NCGA’s history, mission and structure, the team had an...

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Aug 27, 2018

NCGA: USDA Trade Aid Won’t Make Up for Lost Markets

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today said plans unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide aid to farmers negatively impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty would be insufficient to even begin to address the serious damage done to the corn market as a result of the Administration’s actions.   The organization reiterated its call for the Administration to rescind tariffs, secure trade agreements and allow for year-round sales of higher blends of ethanol; no-cost actions that would allow for the marketplace to drive demand.   “NCGA members had a spirited debate on the prospect of trade aid during last month’s Corn Congress meeting,” said NCGA President and North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes. “While most members prefer trade over aid, they support relief if it helps some farmers provide assurances to their local bankers and get through another planting season. Unfortunately, this plan provides virtually no relief to corn...

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Aug 27, 2018

Farmers Welcome Positive Trade Steps

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Skunes today released the following statement after an announcement that the United States and Mexico reached a trade agreement and that President Trump intends to replace NAFTA with the new agreement.   “NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture, dramatically expanding market access for all parties, integrating supply chains and providing economic opportunity to farmers and rural communities. Mexico is the largest export market for U.S. corn farmers and we are pleased the United States and Mexico are reaffirming mutual commitment to this important relationship.   “Farmers across the country have been closely following NAFTA negotiations and NCGA welcomes the opportunity to evaluate the details of this agreement with Mexico. However, the trilateral relationship is important, and we urge President Trump not to terminate the underlying agreement until full trilateral negotiations have been concluded...

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Jul 24, 2018

NCGA Statement on USDA Trade Aid

Key Issues:Trade

North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), made the below statement following this afternoon’s USDA announcement of an aid package for farmers negatively impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty.   “NCGA appreciates the Administration’s recognition of the harm to producers caused by tariffs and trade uncertainty. The fine print will be important. We know the package won’t make farmers whole but look forward to working with USDA on the details and implementation of this plan.   “NCGA’s grower members are confronting their fifth consecutive year of declining farm incomes while facing high levels of uncertainty due to ongoing trade disputes and disruptions in the ethanol markets. Corn farmers prefer to rely on markets, not an aid package, for their livelihoods.   “NCGA will continue to advocate for Administrative actions including: rescinding the section 232 and 301 tariffs; securing NAFTA’s future; entering new...

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Jun 18, 2018

Trade Policy Issue Heating Up with U.S. Farmers

Key Issues:Trade

If you have been following the roller coaster ride that is trade policy these days and are trying to decide how you feel about it, remember two things: Most of our customers live outside the U.S. and it’s impossible to find historic examples of tariffs or related trade wars that accomplished the intended goal.   NCGA Executive Vice President Jon Doggett told 50 corn farmer leaders attending a Trade School in St. Louis it is critical farmers engage in the ongoing trade issues and while they do, they should reference their history books. A good example of failed trade policy is President Carter’s Russian grain embargo in the 1980’s. The embargo removed them as a customer and ultimately caused Russia to increase their own grain production.   One positive development in the current trade arena is tariffs and ongoing trade rhetoric have raised the profile of trade as a key issue farmers care about. Maintaining and growing exports of U.S. agricultural goods has migrated to the top of...

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Jun 14, 2018

Agriculture Associations Appeal to Congress: We Need #TradeNotTariffs

Key Issues:Trade

After weeks of engaging with the Trump Administration to gain insight into the future of trade tariffs, agriculture producers and related industries dependent on exports to China are turning to Congress for help.   The White House has declared that by June 15 it would announce its final list of $50 billion in Chinese products that would be subject to 25 percent tariffs under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. In response, China’s Commerce Department announced several months ago that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on 106 U.S. goods amounting to roughly $50 billion in imports.   In the announcement, China specifically stated that it will impose a 25 percent tariff on imports of U.S. soybeans, a tax that could be devastating to growers of the number one U.S. agricultural export, with sales to China last year totaling $14 billion.   Davie Stephens, a Kentucky soybean grower and vice president of the American Soybean Association (ASA), is among growers distraught over the...

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May 31, 2018

Tariffs Put U.S. Farmers in Jeopardy

Key Issues:Trade

North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), made the following statement after the White House announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, triggering potential retaliatory actions against American agriculture.   “Farmers are busy with planting season but are moving forward without knowing who will buy their crop when it’s harvested later this year. With a 52 percent drop in net farm income over the last five years, and depressed commodity prices, this is not the time to face such a burden. This uncertainty impacts every step of the agriculture economy, from securing financing to marketing.   “Imposing tariffs has the potential to undermine positive relationships with our closest allies and erode long-standing market access. NCGA urges policymakers to strengthen cooperation with our trading partners and stay at the negotiating table.”

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Apr 17, 2018

Japan Shifting to Allow the Use of U.S. Ethanol

Key Issues:Trade

Earlier today, the U.S. Grains Council announced that Japan had finalized a change to the country’s biofuels policy.  As a result of this policy change, Japan will now allow the use of U.S. ethanol to meet its greenhouse gas reduction standard. The National Corn Growers Association is pleased with today’s announcement. “We applaud the Japanese government for recognizing the benefits of U.S. ethanol and its improved lifecycle assessment resulting from farmers’ production efficiency and sustainability,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “We appreciate Japan’s consumers putting their trust in America’s corn farmers and the ethanol industry to be a consistent and reliable supplier of bio-ethyl tert-butyl ether (ETBE) made from U.S. corn-based ethanol.”   To read the full announcement, click here.

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Apr 12, 2018

NCGA Statement on House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on China Tariffs

Key Issues:Trade

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on proposed tariffs and trade with China.   “Ag exports support more than one million American jobs and are a major driver of the U.S. economy. With 95 percent of consumers living outside the U.S., the future of American agriculture depends largely on the ability to sell to foreign markets.   “As corn farmers, we need open markets for our agricultural goods and want the trade doors with China to remain open. While not a lot of U.S. corn is exported to China today, we view China as having great potential as a market for U.S. corn and corn products.  We appreciate President Trump’s commitment to agriculture by offering Secretary Perdue the option to make emergency assistance payments to farmers, but farmers prefer having a market for their crops.    “With commodity prices so low, we cannot afford another...

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Apr 4, 2018

NCGA Statement on Proposed Tariffs and Trade with China

Key Issues:Trade

The following is a statement from Texas farmer Wesley Spurlock, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), on proposed tariffs and trade with China.   “There are no winners in a trade war, only casualties.  As trade tensions continue to mount with China, the expanded list of tariffs on food and agriculture exports are making America’s farmers the first casualties.   “Our corn farmers have worked for decades to support fair and open trade practices because we understand that trade is a two-way street.  In today’s global economy, we know that we need to be competitive to grow and maintain our market share.  Our farmers have done that, which is why agriculture has a positive trade balance.  In 2018, the U.S. is forecast to export $139.5 billion in agricultural goods to the 95 percent of consumers who live outside the U.S.  Instead of new protectionist policies, our nation’s focus should be on growing market access and promoting expanded trade from our most...

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Mar 8, 2018

NCGA Response to Trade Tariff Announcement

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association issued the following statement in response to the trade tariff actions taken today by the Administration:   “Trade plays an important role in many facets of the U.S. economy and impacts various industries in different ways. Agricultural trade has been a bright spot for U.S. economy, positively impacting our overall trade balance, while providing an important avenue to grow demand for America’s farmers and ranchers. New tariffs on steel and aluminum might not only trigger retaliation from our trading partners, but could also increase the prices farmers pay for necessary equipment, such as tractors and combines. The National Corn Growers Association is hopeful that, as the Administration moves forward, it will work to minimize the impacts upon America’s agricultural sector.”

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Jan 18, 2018

New Coalition Advocates for North American Free Trade Agreement Preservation and Modernization

Key Issues:Trade

A broad-based group of over 30 organizations representing growers, refiners, producers, transporters, retailers and consumers announced the formation of Americans for Farmers & Families (AFF), a coalition that will work to ensure President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders understand the importance of preserving and modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to America’s agricultural and retail economies.   Since taking effect in 1994, the positive impacts of NAFTA extend beyond America’s farming community, and have helped the food and agricultural industries to grow to support more than 43 million jobs.  But it is rural economies and communities that are among the biggest winners under NAFTA, the very same communities that powered President Trump to victory in 2016.   Under NAFTA, food and agriculture exports have more than quadrupled and account for 25 percent of American exports.  One in every 10 acres of American crops is for export to NAFTA partners. ...

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