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(Posted Fri. Sep 21st, 2018)

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

NCGA Statement on EPA RFS Website Updates

(Posted Thu. Sep 20th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol RFS

The following is a statement from North Dakota farmer Kevin Skunes, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) updated Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) transparency website that will provide information on granted small refinery waivers and data on Renewable Identification Number (RIN) prices.   “We appreciate the step EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler has taken to update the RFS data website to bring some initial transparency to refinery exemptions.  This information is a good place to start.    “However, there are a lot of questions left unanswered. We will still not know EPA’s justification for granting a refinery waiver and, without a change in how EPA accounts for those exempted gallons, those waived gallons will still be lost from RFS obligations.  It’s helpful to know when the harm is being done, but EPA needs to go a step further and take steps to mitigate the damage.    “We...

(Posted Thu. Sep 20th, 2018)

Keywords: Ethanol

In a recent letter  to EPA Acting Administrator Wheeler, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Biofuels Caucus provided comment on the Agency’s 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVO) proposal. Echoing comments from NCGA and other ethanol advocates, the Caucus members emphasized the growth potential for ethanol and advanced biofuels while also cautioning the EPA against further undermining the RFS through secret waivers for refineries.   “Corn farmers thank members of the bipartisan House Biofuels Caucus for advocating for a continued strong RFS, greater transparency from EPA and reallocation of waived gallons to keep RFS volumes whole,” said NCGA president Kevin Skunes. “We appreciate the Caucus’ efforts to promote the benefits of renewable fuels and stand up for farmers and rural communities.”   As the Caucus points out in the letter, the RFS volumes EPA sets this fall will be undermined if EPA continues issuing refinery exemptions.   “We urge the EPA to put an end...

(Posted Wed. Sep 19th, 2018)

With harvest already underway in many parts of the country, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that National Corn Yield Contest entrants must report within two weeks of their final yield check or by Nov. 16, whichever comes first.   The online harvest entry is available to both farmers and seed representatives using the same login process as the initial entry. Login does require submission of the entrant’s NCGA membership number.   To complete, entrants will upload weigh tickets and yield calculations worksheet that details the number of rows harvested and length of each pass. Prior to upload, both documents must be signed by the contest supervisor. A tutorial video is available online.   Two new rules will be implemented in 2018. First, a recheck of 1.2500 acres or more using the same harvest pattern in the rows next to the completed harvest plot is required if the first check yields 300.000 bushels per acre or higher. Secondly, all yields of 325.0000...

Caskey to Join NCGA as Vice President of Communications

(Posted Tue. Sep 18th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today announced that Neil Caskey has been selected to serve as NCGA Vice President of Communications, beginning Monday, October 15. Caskey will build upon the organization’s ongoing communications efforts to create and increase opportunities for corn growers.   “For more than 20 years, Neil has helped global agribusinesses, nonprofits, and government agencies connect with their audiences,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett. “We are looking forward to having his vast experience in building brands, along with his creativity and energy at NCGA.”   Caskey currently serves as the Executive Vice President of Osborn Barr, an agriculture-focused agency in St. Louis. Prior to joining O+B, he held the titles of Special Assistant to the CEO and Director of Industry and Public Relations for the American Soybean Association.   Early in his career, Caskey managed a portfolio of policy issues for Ameren, a local public power company. He began his career...

Fields to Lead NCGA Market Development Department

(Posted Mon. Sep 17th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association is excited to announce that Nathan Fields, the current NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs, has been promoted to the position of Vice President of Market Development. Fields joined NCGA in 2004 as Manager of Research, working initially on research and development for new uses for corn. In the intervening years, he has led the organization’s work on many issues including biotechnology, crop inputs, trade and economic analysis.   “Nathan has excelled both in his work and in leading his fellow employees over his tenure and, with this new role, we are confident that he will excel in bringing his history of success to the critical work of market development,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett.   During his tenure, Fields has been serving NCGA and its state-affiliated organizations on many issues of critical importance to the bottom line of corn farmers nationwide. From helping to defend key crop protection chemicals to working diligently on...

NCGA Names Jon Doggett CEO

(Posted Fri. Sep 14th, 2018)

Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Corn Board has named Jon Doggett as the organization’s new chief executive officer. Doggett is the fifth CEO in the organization’s 61-year history. The change is effective immediately.   Doggett has served in the capacity of NCGA interim CEO since August 1st and as NCGA executive vice president since late 2014. Prior to that, he served as vice president of public policy, and has continuously managed the organization’s 11-person Washington, DC office and led its public policy efforts since joining NCGA in July of 2002.   “The Corn Board is thrilled to have Jon Doggett at the helm to lead the charge for Corn Growers and guide the organization forward,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “We have a lot of serious issues impacting America’s corn farmers and rural communities right now. As such, Jon’s experience and leadership in the broader American agricultural industry, as well as the epicenter of national and international...

NCGA to Drivers: Fuel Up with E15 Beginning Sunday

(Posted Fri. Sep 14th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol RVP

The National Corn Growers Association is urging drivers to fuel up with E15 as the fuel again becomes available Sunday following its limited summer availability. NCGA also renewed its call for President Trump to follow through on his commitment to allow for year-round sales of E15 and ethanol blends greater than 10 percent.   “Starting September 16, consumers will once again have the option to choose E15 at the pump,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “E15 typically costs 3 to 10 cents less than regular E10 gasoline and offers more environmental benefits, making it a common-sense choice for many drivers. When consumers benefit from choice, it makes no sense than an outdated regulation prevents E15 from being sold in many areas for three and a half months of the year.”   “Just this week, USDA said it is anticipating near-record level corn production. Approving year-round E15 would go a long way toward growing the market for this year’s crop,” Skunes added.   NCGA recently...

(Posted Thu. Sep 13th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association kicked off its second year of a partnership with Farm Journal Foundation’s HungerU program during a training session for this year’s Ambassadors. The team, which is comprised of five young adults, will bring their unique perspectives and talents to the joint efforts this year with the support of the organization’s exceptional full-time staff.   During the training, Ambassadors explored NCGA’s mission and activities to foster consumer engagement in agricultural issues and support farmers’ freedom to operate. Delving into topics such as the importance of biotechnologies, crop inputs and innovative breeding techniques, the team expressed great interest in how modern farming practices and tools play a critical role in growing the crops that will feed and fuel a growing population.   HungerU, a program platform of the Farm Journal Foundation, is an educational and advocacy platform designed to engage universities’ student populations. A central...

Corn Price Projections Fall on Forecast of Near-Record Production

(Posted Wed. Sep 12th, 2018)

Keywords: production

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