NEWS STORIES

FEBRUARY 2012

(Posted Tue. Feb 28th, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Feb. 28:  Commodity Classic isn’t just the largest grower-run convention and trade show, it’s a busy week for members of the National Corn Growers Association, who have a wide variety of association business to tend to, from Wednesday to Saturday afternoon, in addition to numerous learning sessions and other entertainment and networking opportunities.  “Commodity Classic is a great time for us to get together and mix business with pleasure,” …

(Posted Mon. Feb 27th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Feb. 28: As crop insurance purchase deadlines approach for the majority of the Corn Belt on March 15, the National Corn Growers Association urges farmers to explore how changes in policies can make coverage more affordable.  With lower insurance premiums being offered for most coverage levels this year and adjustments to historical-yield trend calculations, many growers can take advantage of lower rates and increases in coverage.  “At NCGA, we …

(Posted Mon. Feb 27th, 2012)

Feb. 27: The National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to become a part of the change they desire by actively honing their leadership skills through the Leadership At Its Best Program, sponsored by Syngenta.  Applications for this best in the industry leadership training program are due to NCGA by March 30.  Interested members are urged to contact their state associations today and be nominated to participate in the program.  …

(Posted Fri. Feb 24th, 2012)

Keywords: Conservation

Feb. 24:  Ken McCauley remembers getting Maryland’s Jamie Jamison to tackle the sustainability issue during McCauley’s term as NCGA president: “I remember him telling me, ‘this is not fun.’ At that time, people just didn’t want to talk about the issue.”  Times have changed, and sustainability has become an important issue for the National Corn Growers Association, and with good reason, according to Don Glenn, the Alabama grower who …

(Posted Fri. Feb 24th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Feb. 24: The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series launches this weekend as drivers compete in the Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500, which will again be fueled by Sunoco Green E15.  The ethanol-blend fuel also celebrates a milestone as NASCAR enters its second full season of races in which every car in all three series will again get the power to compete from this domestically-produced, sustainable biofuel. From fuel port …

(Posted Thu. Feb 23rd, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Feb. 23:  When the biotechnology revolution hit the U.S. corn industry, it did more than change the way people farmed. For NCGA, it changed the roles grower leaders had to play if they were going to represent their members effectively.  “With biotech, early on we could see this was something new,” says Leon Corzine, who chaired NCGA’s Biotechnology Working Group before becoming an NCGA officer.  “The biotechnology providers were …

(Posted Thu. Feb 23rd, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Feb. 23: With Commodity Classic 2012 only days away, Off the Cob caught up with National Corn Growers Association Corn Board member and Commodity Classic Joint Venture Committee Co-Chair Martin Barbre to discuss what awaits attendees at this year’s event.  Noting this year the event will break both trade show and attendance records, Barbre explained that of-the-moment learning opportunities, world-class entertainment will take the stage in Nashville next week.  …

(Posted Wed. Feb 22nd, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Feb. 22:  The ethanol story, fully told, would showcase every aspect of NCGA – the dedication of thousands of grower members, the strategic thinking, state level initiatives, policy work, research, infrastructure, sustainability, even aspects of NCGA’s biotechnology effort – and it would take a whole book.  Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, an ethanol supporter since the 1970s, remembers some of the earliest corn grower efforts to promote ethanol: “They …

(Posted Wed. Feb 22nd, 2012)

Keywords: Trade Transportation

By Rick Tolman, NCGA Chief Executive Officer  Feb. 22:  Along with others from farm country, I recently returned from a visit to Panama, where we were treated to a tour of the Panama Canal and got to see very closely the third canal and series of locks being constructed to expand capacity.    The existing canal is breathtaking with its scale and scope and what it accomplishes, particularly when one …

(Posted Wed. Feb 22nd, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Feb. 22:  As Congress continues work on the 2012 farm bill, the Crop Insurance Industry’s Annual Convention hosted a panel discussion focusing on the farmers’ perspective.  NCGA Public Policy Action Team Chair Anthony Bush participated in the panel and provided his thoughts on farm policy and the new farm bill.  The panel also hosted soybean, cotton, wheat and rice growers.  “Ensuring an effective, affordable crop insurance program is NCGA’s …

(Posted Tue. Feb 21st, 2012)

Feb. 21: U.S. corn farmers succeeded despite a challenging year in 2011, producing a near-record harvest (12.4 billion bushels) for a crop valued at approximately $76.62 billion despite harsh weather, the National Corn Growers Association reports in its newest World of Corn statistical look at the corn industry both domestic and worldwide.      “The world of corn has come a long way since the single seed kernel was planted …

(Posted Tue. Feb 21st, 2012)

Keywords: Trade

Feb. 21:  The U.S. Trade Representative announced today that the free trade agreement with Korea will go into effect on March 15, five months after approval by Congress. The move was greeted with praise by the National Corn Growers Association, which remains committed to the development and maintenance of fair and open global trade policies.   “We are very pleased to see the USTR announce movement on the U.S.-Korea FTA,” …

(Posted Fri. Feb 17th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Feb. 17:  Trevor Bayne, the unlikely 2011 Daytona 500 winner, kicks off the 2012 NASCAR season today with the American Ethanol green flag in his hand. Bayne will drive his No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford over a section of the old Daytona Beach course to the track's former north turn. Following a news conference, Bayne will continue on to the speedway, where he'll present the American Ethanol green flag …

(Posted Fri. Feb 17th, 2012)

Keywords: Trade

Feb. 17:  At the invitation of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, an NCGA representative this week attended a U.S.-China Trade Symposium in Iowa that focused on sustainable agriculture, food safety and food security. The symposium was part of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s week-long trip to the United States; also at the meeting were U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and China Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu.  “Secretary Vilsack …

(Posted Thu. Feb 16th, 2012)

Keywords: Research

Feb. 16:  Feb. 28, 2008, a red-letter day for modern corn production, also marked what may be the National Corn Growers Association’s greatest research achievement to date.  It was the day scientists from Washington University’s Genome Research Center announced the completion of a working draft of the corn genome – a breakthrough expected to accelerate the production of new corn hybrids, allow researchers to develop better varieties without using …

(Posted Thu. Feb 16th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

  Feb. 16:  The National Corn Growers Association released its 2011 National Corn Yield Contest Guide online, providing a sneak preview of the winner profiles and sustainability information that will hit many farmers’ mailboxes in the mid February issue of Farm Journal.  With a personal message from NCGA President Garry Niemeyer and informative and entertaining information, such as a look at the nation’s oldest corn club, this edition of …

(Posted Wed. Feb 15th, 2012)

Feb. 15: Contrary to popular belief, straightforward answers to your farming and food questions do exist. Now, consumers can find answers in one location as a result of CommonGround’s new Website.  The Website, which launched this week, has transitioned from informing audiences about the CommonGround program to providing a resource for consumers on many of the most popular food and farming topics.  As site visitors search for information …

(Posted Wed. Feb 15th, 2012)

Feb. 15:  The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced to the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday that LightSquared’s plans to build a nationwide 4G broadband network will impact global positioning systems. NTIA said the latest round of testing showed there is “no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time.”  The National Corn Growers Association has been monitoring this issue closely for its members, who rely on …

(Posted Tue. Feb 14th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Feb. 14:  From NCGA’s earliest days, long before issues like ethanol or biotechnology arose, farm policy has been at the top of the association’s priority list.  Farm policy was a “natural” for organization founder Walter Goeppinger, who made a point of working with presidents and congressional leaders of both parties on behalf of corn growers. His close relations in government and his stature as a spokesman for growers established …

(Posted Tue. Feb 14th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Feb. 14:  The National Corn Growers Association, in conjunction with the Illinois Corn Growers Association and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, has filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration outlining several concerns with the proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards.   “We are concerned that the proposed CAFE/GHG rule is inconsistent with the RFS2 regulation and the EISA requirement to use 36 billion …

(Posted Mon. Feb 13th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol Trade

Feb. 13:  This week, the U.S. Grains Council, a sister organization to the National Corn Growers Association that develops export markets for U.S. corn, barley, grain sorghum and related products, meets in Panama for its annual membership meeting, and a new chart provided by USGC shows how much the global corn supply has grown in previous years to meet all needs worldwide.  “Total corn use outside …

(Posted Mon. Feb 13th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Feb. 13:  As the Senate begins to prepare for farm bill hearings, the National Corn Growers Association signed a letter with more than 80 other agriculture groups urging Congress to pass a new bill this year.  The letter was sent to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Ag Committees.   “The 2012 farm bill is among the most important pieces of legislation the U.S. Congress will …

(Posted Mon. Feb 13th, 2012)

Feb. 13:  With more than two weeks before the 2012 Commodity Classic kicks off in Nashville, Tenn., the show has broken all registration records. Last year, total attendance set a record of 4,826 show participants. This year, registrations for the 17th annual event have already surpassed the 5,000 mark with two more weeks left until onsite registration opens.  “We are thrilled that more and more growers and industry professionals …

(Posted Fri. Feb 10th, 2012)

Feb. 10:  The National Corn Growers Association’s Grower Services Action Team met in Kissimmee, Fla., this week to review programs under its jurisdiction related to membership, leadership and communications. The meeting followed the biennial Membership Symposium in which association and staff from around the Corn Belt talked about ways to recruit, retain and engage grower members.  “We had a terrific set of meetings this week at a great time …

(Posted Fri. Feb 10th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Feb. 10:  The National Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Committee met in Kansas City, Mo., this week to review programs to promote legislation and support opportunities that foster this important market. With guest speakers including PRX economist Bill Hudson and representatives from the farm machinery and aromatics industries, the attendees updated themselves on the latest information on the markets and opportunities while staff provided input on the legislative climate in …

(Posted Fri. Feb 10th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

By Rick Tolman  CEO, National Corn Growers Association     Feb. 10:  A writer for Fortune magazine appears to want to make his journalistic fortune with stories that betray a lack of preparation, depth and balance. What else would explain a recent article on ethanol that is one-dimensional, one-sided and full of personal opinions and petty biases?  The only source the reporter cites in his page-long screed in the …

(Posted Thu. Feb 9th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Feb. 9:  As planting for the 2012 season approaches, the National Corn Growers Association notes that newly revamped on-farm refuge assessments are part of the enhanced Compliance Assurance Program (CAP) implemented last year, which is designed to improve compliance with Insect Resistance Management (IRM) requirements. Corn growers found to be out of compliance with refuge requirements will be checked more frequently by the Bt corn registrants and have a …

(Posted Thu. Feb 9th, 2012)

Keywords: Trade

Feb. 9:  Trade is critically important to U.S. corn growers’ balance sheets – just look at what happens to corn prices when export demand wanes – but trade issues never seem to take center stage the way ethanol or farm programs do.  As a result, NCGA’s sustained efforts in the trade arena are too often overlooked.  But they are still essential.  Walter Goeppinger, NCGA’s founder, recognized the importance of …

(Posted Thu. Feb 9th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Feb. 9:  As Congress continues the 2012 farm bill process, members of the National Corn Growers Associations’ Public Policy Action Team met in Washington this week to hear more about the subject from experts from inside the beltway.  PPAT’s mission is to offer direction to NCGA efforts to address public policy issues.  The action team is comprised of 17 growers and staff from across the country.  “We came together …

(Posted Wed. Feb 8th, 2012)

Keywords: Corn Sugar

Feb. 8:  As the refined sugar industry continues efforts to revive litigation claims already dismissed by a federal judge, it argued this week against a second dismissal as it defended the rewritten lawsuit filed in November.  The suit, which the federal judge allowed the group to file following dismissal of the initial claims, targets members of the Corn Refiners Association again and seeks to create confusion by suggesting that …

(Posted Wed. Feb 8th, 2012)

Feb: 8: Last week, National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer, along with other members of the organizations leadership, took time away from his farm again to meet with federal legislators in Washington DC for discussions on issues affecting corn farmers across the country.  During this visit, he also took time to speak on the importance of helping government officials understand how potential legislation and regulation could impact farmers. …

(Posted Tue. Feb 7th, 2012)

Feb. 7:  Every two years, corn grower association staff members responsible for building and retaining farmer membership at the state and national level get together to learn from experts and share best practices  -- something crucially important for organizations that respect the value of grassroots involvement. This week in Florida, the National Corn Growers Association will host a meeting of dozens of membership staff from around the country.  “This …

(Posted Tue. Feb 7th, 2012)

Feb. 7:  Last week, the Purdue University Agricultural Alumni Association awarded National Corn Growers Association CEO Rick Tolman a Certificate of Distinction, the highest honor it bestows.  The association conferred this award in recognition of his exemplary and longstanding service to both the agricultural industry and his community.   "Purdue Ag Alumni is honored to present such a distinguished group of professionals with our highest award, recognizing the many ways …

(Posted Tue. Feb 7th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Feb. 7:  The House Science Committee passed a piece of legislation today that will require the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct additional testing on E15 before allowing use of the blend. H.R. 3199 is sponsored by James Sensenbrenner(R-WI) and includes an additional six cosponsors. The legislation was passed by a vote of 19-7.  “NCGA is disappointed to see the House Science Committee vote in favor of a piece of legislation …

New Staffers Bring Expertise, Enthusiasm

(Posted Mon. Feb 6th, 2012)

Feb. 6:  The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Dr. Pam Keck, who joins the organization as director of biofuels programs and business development.  Keck, a multi-faceted scientist and educator, brings more than 20 years of experience in the agricultural and biofuels industry, academia and not-for-profit research to the position.  “Pam is an incredibly valuable addition to our team, and we are excited to be able to utilize her broad …

(Posted Mon. Feb 6th, 2012)

Feb. 6:  Farm women volunteers involved in the CommonGround outreach program, along with state and national staff, met in Charleston, S.C., to share their experiences with the program and welcome new members last week.  Over the course of three days, the participants worked intensively on the tools that they use to share their personal story and that of modern farming with urban and suburban moms through sessions on social …

(Posted Fri. Feb 3rd, 2012)

Feb. 3:  Six corn growers from around the country have been nominated for election to the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board for the 2013 fiscal year, which begins October 1. New board members will be elected by state delegates at the Corn Congress this July in Washington.  “Each year, we get a great group of dedicated growers who sacrifice their time on the farm to serve their national …

(Posted Thu. Feb 2nd, 2012)

Feb. 2:  The House of Representatives Small Business Committee’s Agriculture Subcommittee held a timely hearing today on the effects of proposed child labor regulations on small-business producers.  The hearing comes a day after the Department of Labor announced it would re-propose the “parental exemption” portion of the regulation.   “We are pleased to see the Administration listened to the thousands of comments received from Members of Congress and farmers on …

(Posted Thu. Feb 2nd, 2012)

Feb. 2:  With the Colorado Corn Growers Association’s sponsorship, NCGA’s Washington office welcomes new intern Travis Roth this week.  Roth will spend the next three months getting a first-hand look at legislative and regulatory policy work at the federal level.  “We are thrilled to welcome Travis to the Washington office and greatly appreciate Colorado Corn’s generous sponsorship if this internship,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett.  …

(Posted Wed. Feb 1st, 2012)

Feb. 1:  The award-winning America’s Heartland television program is now in its seventh season of introducing non-farm viewers to the men and women who provide the food, fuel, and fiber we use and consume daily.  Currently, the series is seen in 20 of the top 25 television markets and on more than 240 PBS stations, covering 60 percent of the country.  Overall, including its RFD-TV viewership, the series reaches …

(Posted Wed. Feb 1st, 2012)

Feb. 1:  When Walter Goeppinger founded the National Corn Growers Association, he wanted it to be a self-help tool corn producers could use to plan for their industry’s future.  Since 1957, his two priorities – grower control and focusing on the challenges of the future – have become ingrained, and the NCGA has demonstrated an ongoing capacity for strategic thinking and change, as seen with major structural reorganizations in …