NEWS STORIES

MARCH 2012

(Posted Fri. Mar 30th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Mar. 30:  American farmers expect to plant nearly four million more acres of corn in 2012, a four percent increase from 2011, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report released today.   If realized, it will be the highest corn planting in the United States since 1937, when 97.2 million acres were planted.  In recent years, the record corn planting was in the spring of 2007 when U.S. growers planted 93.527 million acres.     “Even after a difficult growing season last year, farmers harvested a bountiful crop to meet all needs, and it seems that they are on track to break records in 2012,” National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer said.  “This report shows that the innovative American farmer understands the increasing global demands of corn for food, feed, fuel and fiber and that they see the importance of meeting those needs.”  The USDA’s estimate for 2012 is for 95.9 million acres to be planted in field corn.  Assuming the...

(Posted Fri. Mar 30th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Mar. 30:  As Congress prepared to depart Washington for a two-week recess, Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) introduced a new farm bill proposal, the Revenue Loss Assistance and Crop Insurance Enhancement Act of 2012.  The legislation would include a farm-level revenue-based program, a narrower band of coverage and a reduced percentage of planted acres eligible for payments.  “The National Corn Growers Association has advocated for a revenue-based risk management tool at the crop reporting district that provides assistance only when it is needed,” NCGA Public Policy Action Team Chair Anthony Bush said.  “The NCGA Corn Board voted in December to support the Aggregate Risk and Revenue Management legislation as introduced by Senators Brown, Thune, Durbin and Lugar.”  The new legislation comes two weeks after the Senate Ag Committee’s final farm bill hearing.  The House Ag Committee will continue field hearings over the next month.  NCGA...

(Posted Thu. Mar 29th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology Research

Today, the National Corn Growers Association launches a new series featuring information on the scientific topics relevant to farming, food, biofuels and agriculture as a whole.    What Do Chemical, Organic, Synthetic and Natural Really Mean?  By Dr. Pam Keck, NCGA Director of Biofuels Programs and Business Development  Would you vote to ban a substance with the following characteristics?  Recent scientific evidence has shown the substance hydrogen oxide to pose many extreme dangers to humans. Colorless, odorless and tasteless, it kills uncounted thousands of people every year. Most of these deaths are caused by accidental inhalation, but the dangers do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. If ingested, it can cause excessive urination, and possibly a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting and body electrolyte imbalance. At the same time, hydrogen oxide withdrawal means certain death. Additionally, hydrogen oxide is known to:...

(Posted Thu. Mar 29th, 2012)

Keywords: Transportation

Mar. 29: With a wide variety of pressing issues facing the federal government over the coming months, funding for desperately needed lock and dam improvements remains a high priority for the nation’s corn farmers according to the National Corn Growers Association.  With the country’s inland navigation system moving more than a billion bushels of grain per year, about 60 percent of all grain exports, farmers understand the importance of a functional waterways system.  “Our inland waterway system plays a crucial role in the nation’s economy, and we must act now to help our leaders understand that funding improvements is critical to maintaining our industry’s viability,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer.  Achieving our goal is not only important for farmers and shippers, our nation as a whole will benefit from the job creation and shipping efficiencies this project would generate.”  The country’s inland navigation system plays an even more visible role in the economy also, moving...

(Posted Wed. Mar 28th, 2012)

Mar. 28: Mark your calendar today for Commodity Classic 2013! Building upon record-breaking numbers in 2012, next year’s event, scheduled for February 28 through March 2 in sunny Kissimmee, Florida, promises to be a winner.  “There is already a great buzz building for next year’s trade show,” said 2013 Commodity Classic Co-Chair Mark Schwiebert.  “Last week, our committee traveled to Kissimmee to tour the facilities, which I can guarantee are top-notch.  With another broad offering of learning opportunities, a continually evolving tradeshow and the incredible Florida weather, we are on track for another year of helping farmers find the technologies, acquire the knowledge and build the relationships that will kick off another successful year.”  The 2012 Commodity Classic surpassed all previous turnout records with a total of 6,014 attendees, representing a 25 percent increase from last year’s record of 4,826 attendees. Once again, farm families comprised more than half of the...

(Posted Wed. Mar 28th, 2012)

Mar. 28: Last week, a key working group of the International Maritime Organization recommended approval of a U.S. proposal that corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal be reclassified in the official IMO code to make transport of these quality feed ingredients simpler, by eliminating a requirement that these cargoes be loaded on vessels with specialized fire suppression equipment.  The proposal was based on the results of tests organized by the U.S. Grains Council, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, in cooperation with a number of U.S. producers, marketers and shippers of CGF and CGM.  "For corn gluten to be loaded with these specifications, it would have significantly raised the cost of exporting U.S. corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal," said Erick Erickson, USGC director of programs and planning. "This would reduce the attractiveness of these products to feed manufacturers."  In 2010, the U.S. Grains Council organized an industry group to...

(Posted Tue. Mar 27th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Mar. 27:  The National Corn Growers Association has joined forces with biofuels organizations and renewable energy advocates to highlight the role the Renewable Fuel Standard plays in moderating gasoline prices, reducing foreign imports, and supporting the advanced and cellulosic biofuels sector.  In a letter sent to Congressional leaders today, NCGA, the American Coalition for Ethanol, Advanced Ethanol Council, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, 25x’25 Alliance and Energy Future Coalition are urging Congress to support the RFS and reject attempts to reduce, waive, or eliminate it.  Click here for the letter.  “Today, ethanol is approximately $1 cheaper than gasoline and blending ethanol into U.S. gasoline saves consumers at the pump,” the groups said. “Thanks in part to the RFS, U.S. oil imports fell below 50 percent in 2010 for the first time since 1997, and, oil imports stand at just 45 percent today. Ethanol accounts for...

(Posted Tue. Mar 27th, 2012)

Mar. 27: Washington policy makers and influencers continue to hold family farmers in high regard, according to focus group research conducted for the National Corn Growers Association last week.  The Washington-based focus group participants provided valuable insight into federal legislative and regulatory perspectives that will guide improvements and updates made to the advertisements placed there this summer through the Corn Farmers Coalition program.  “Awareness of how much farmers contribute to the national economy is growing in Washington,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer.  “As the Corn Farmers Coalition enters its fourth year, we are seeing positive movement, with this focus group demonstrating a much better understanding of the prevalence of family farms and of the role that they play in building a successful future for our industry.  This important shift in attitudes and perception is due, in large part, to the incredible work done in the first three years of this...

(Posted Tue. Mar 27th, 2012)

Mar. 27: A resurgence in the U.S. poultry industry, and the subsequent increased demand for feed, drove corn demand higher in February according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released this week.  With broiler and young turkey slaughter up 3 and 7 percent over last year at this point respectively, the ProExporter Network estimates that U.S. poultry will consume more than 1.2 billion bushels of corn this marketing year, driving roughly 9.5 percent of total U.S. corn demand.  Estimates of corn demand from poultry are almost 30 million bushels higher than 2010-11 marketing year.  “With all of the strong indicators coming from the dairy and animal ag sectors, it may seem repetitive, but sustained success in all sectors is crucial to a healthy agricultural economy,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer.  “With the poultry, cattle, swine and dairy sectors all reporting evidence of positive trends, we see a strong future for corn with growing...

(Posted Mon. Mar 26th, 2012)

Mar. 26: The movement to raise the voices of America’s farmers and ranchers and facilitate the dialogue about today’s food is gaining momentum. The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, a unique organization that is a collaboration of more than 75 farmer- and rancher-led organizations and agricultural partners, is creating new ways for farmers and ranchers from all types of agriculture to reach consumers – whether that’s in the national news scene, popular culture or social media.  “We’re changing the conversation about how food is grown and raised,” said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Farmers and ranchers are telling their own stories and leading the dialogue on some of the hottest topics about food. In six months, we’ve been able to provide more powerful ways for farmers and ranchers to get involved, add their voices and provide their perspectives to an audience that may not have experienced this first-person interaction with...

(Posted Mon. Mar 26th, 2012)

Keywords: Corn Sugar

Mar. 26: Last week, a group of corn refiners asked a federal judge in Los Angeles to dismiss claims brought by the processed sugar industry based on statements made by the Corn Refiners Association, the companies’ trade association. An earlier version of these same claims was already dismissed by the court in October 2011.  “Through their work, the corn refiners aim to provide public information on one simple fact about sugar- that it is nutritionally equal whether it comes from corn, cane or beets,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “Like CRA, NCGA also works tirelessly to provide factual, accessible information to consumers on important food issues.  We understand the importance of the CRA’s work and hope that, as this case proceeds, many more come to value the importance of informative campaigns on food run by the very people who grow it.”  CRA President Audrae Erickson said the processed sugar industry’s attempt to hold the individual companies...

(Posted Fri. Mar 23rd, 2012)

Mar. 23:  The National Corn Growers Association announced has extended the early registration period for 2012 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference has been extended by one week and will now close on Friday, April 6.  The biennial event, which will be held June 4-6 in Indianapolis, now offers a greater window for savings in addition to a greater selection of topics to be covered. With a theme of “Back to the Grind,” CUTC will feature the cutting-edge technologies and new uses that continually improve and dynamically change the corn industry.  This year, the conference will debut a third tier of presentation options offering participants the opportunity to hear the latest on mycotoxin research. This new offering has been added to complement the work of the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence, which continues to emphasis the importance of developing methods to mitigate and control mycotoxin development in all phases of production and processing.    “Mycotoxins...

(Posted Thu. Mar 22nd, 2012)

Mar. 22: Milk production in the United States continues to expand, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture milk production estimate released earlier this week.   With February 2012 milk production estimated to be eight percent higher than in that month last year, the industry is benefitting from both a one percent expansion in the dairy cow herd and, more importantly, a seven percent productivity increase, as measured by milk produced per cow.  “As an agricultural community, we certainly look at growth and gains across the industry favorably,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer. “This trend benefits corn farmers, like myself, directly also though as increased milk production often translates into increased demand for feed, including corn and ethanol coproduct distillers dried grains.  I see it as a win-win-win as consumers benefit from a larger milk supply, dairy and corn farmers benefit from increased production and the ethanol industry...

(Posted Wed. Mar 21st, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Mar. 21:  With gas prices again on the rise throughout the United States, many consumers are driving less or switching to cars and trucks that use less fuel. And gas is certainly on the rise for some time to come, with the U.S. Energy Information Agency estimating the average retail cost of gasoline to be $3.79 per gallon in 2012 and $3.72 per gallon in 2013. Some areas of the country can see gas priced at well over $4 per gallon into the foreseeable future.  When gas prices are this high, most consumers don’t want to think about how it can go higher, but there is one factor that, when removed, can drive the cost of gas in your tank significantly higher, the National Corn Growers Association reports – and that is domestic, renewable ethanol.  “It’s hard to believe that there are people who want to reduce our fuel supply at a time when prices are this high, but that’s exactly what is happening with ethanol opponents,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, a corn grower in...

(Posted Wed. Mar 21st, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Mar. 21: The release of U.S. Department of Agriculture reports on crop production plays an increasingly large role in the movement of volatile commodity markets according to its own data.  In a report released earlier this month through the department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service titled “Price Reactions after USDA Crop Reports”, the impact of data on corn prices has magnified since 2006, with monthly and annual production data releases, and particularly with quarterly grain stocks reports, now resulting in market price changes of ten or more cents in a majority of cases.  “When examined, the data clearly demonstrates a marked increase in commodities market volatility,” said National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels, an agricultural economist by training. “While many factors certainly impact cash markets on a given day, the correlation is too strong to ignore.  Evidence shows a trend toward significant, market...

(Posted Tue. Mar 20th, 2012)

Mar. 20: Across the country, public interest in food production continues to grow.  And that’s why the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, in conjunction with the Kentucky Soybean Growers Association, hosted a dinner through their state’s CommonGround program, bringing a broad spectrum of area thought leaders -- from journalists to stay-at-home mothers -- to the table for a conversation with local farm women.   The 30 attendees included food bloggers, health professionals, food and consumer science academics from the University of Kentucky, area cooking show hosts, a few stay-at-home moms and Kentucky CommonGround farmer volunteers, including Mary Courtney and Denise Jones.  Following a brief reception, the guests were seated for dinner, where the conversation and local refreshments flowed freely.  Executive chef Jimmy Owens of the Clarion Hotel Lexington served a menu focused on regional fare, including pork chops, cheese grits and an apple-and-caramel bread pudding made with...

(Posted Mon. Mar 19th, 2012)

Mar. 19: Last week, 22 representatives of 13 agribusinesses gathered with National Corn Growers Association leadership in Washington for NCGA’s Agri-Industry Council’s biannual meeting.  Over the course of two days, attendees received updates on key NCGA programs.  Additionally, they discussed topics of special importance to the entire agricultural community right now, including the importance of ag policy in meeting future demand, ways in which to include climate change projections into agricultural forecasts more accurately and how the coming election year will affect the corn sector.   “The work done in AIC meetings is crucial to helping NCGA fulfill its mission of creating and maintaining opportunities for corn growers,” said NCGA Chairman and AIC Co-Chair Bart Schott. “Only through unified position throughout the industry will we make our voices loud enough to reach the best possible outcomes for growers as we face the challenging political landscape.”  Political analyst...

(Posted Fri. Mar 16th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology Production Trade

Mar. 16: Farmers looking for information about the approval status of U.S.-grown corn hybrids in certain export markets now have access to the most current data through the National Corn Growers Association’s Know Before Your Grow program.  Recently updated, Know Before Your Grow, featured on the association’s website, provides a comprehensive look at this vital information in an easily accessible format.  To learn more about this program, Off the Cob sat down with NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman, a farmer from Rosendale, Wisc.  In his explanation of the program, Zimmerman stressed the simplicity and importance of making informed planting decisions that factor the nuances of the final market into decisions.  “The Know Before You Grow program offers a website, which is open to anyone interested, listing the approval status of the biotech traits currently available,” he explained. “This is incredibly important because farmers who are...

(Posted Thu. Mar 15th, 2012)

Mar. 15: The benefits of membership in the National Corn Growers Association continue to grow with the recent announcement of a new partnership with Enterprise Leasing.  Through the program, NCGA members and their immediate families are eligible to take advantage of reduced lease and purchase rates on cars and trucks from Enterprise’s extensive vehicle fleet.  The program also features flexible funding options and many additional perks.  “It is an exciting time to be a NCGA member for many reasons,” said NCGA Growers Services Action Team Chair Brandon Hunnicutt.  “In addition to benefitting from the association’s work in research, market development, communications and stewardship, members now have a deep benefits portfolio custom designed to bring the greatest possible value to farmers on the goods and services that they already require.  At every turn, we seek to serve our organization of creating and maintaining opportunities for corn farmers.”  The partnership with...

(Posted Thu. Mar 15th, 2012)

Keywords: Trade

Mar. 15: After being passed by Congress last fall, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement took effect this morning.  NCGA praises the full implementation of the FTA and thanks the two countries for working together on this achievement.     “NCGA greatly appreciates all the work put forth to fully implement the U.S./Korea FTA,” said Chad Blindauer, chair of NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team.  “Korea is an important market for America’s corn farmers and we will now see expanded opportunities for corn and corn co-products.  We thank United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and the Congressional leaders that were dedicated to seeing the FTA completed and implemented.”  Korea is currently the United States’ third largest corn market and is a potentially important market for distillers grains.  Imports of U.S. corn for feed, as well as distillers grains, will now be guaranteed to enter duty free immediately.  The United States exported 241 million bushels of corn to...

(Posted Thu. Mar 15th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Mar. 15: Today, National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Pam Johnson testified before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.  Johnson participated in the final series of farm bill hearings focusing on the Commodity Title.  “NCGA has invested time and resources to develop and analyze concepts for a new farm bill that would help farmers in times of need and be a good investment of taxpayer dollars,” Johnson, a grower from Floyd, Iowa said during her testimony.  “We learned that risk management is the number one priority and that federal crop insurance is the cornerstone of a sound farm safety net for the future.”  Johnson also stated NCGA has called for a transition away from the direct payments to a revenue-based risk management tool that complements crop insurance. Growers decided it was time to move toward a farm policy that better addresses today’s production and volatile market risks, such as the Aggregate Risk and Revenue Management...

(Posted Wed. Mar 14th, 2012)

Keywords: Research

Mar. 14:  The National Corn Growers Association announced today that the early registration period for 2012 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference has been extended by one week and will now close on Friday, April 6.  The biennual event will be held June 4-6 in Indianapolis. With a theme of “Back to the Grind,” CUTC will feature the cutting-edge technologies and new uses that continually improve and dynamically change the corn industry.  “The deadline extension means that more attendees will have access to the valuable savings that early registration offers,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chair DeVonna Zeug. “CUTC remains at the forefront of technology, fostering innovative ideas and important networking connections necessary to move the industry forward.”  The 2012 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference adds a third tier of presentation options offering participants information on and analysis of the latest on mycotoxin research. These new...

(Posted Wed. Mar 14th, 2012)

Mar. 14: The National Corn Growers Association and several other agriculture industry groups today sent comments to the Federal Communications Commission on LightSquared’s conditional authorization.  The comments urged the FCC to withdraw the conditional waiver granted to LightSquared in 2011 and modify LightSquared’s satellite license to prohibit the building of a ground-based network.  “We urge the FCC to adopt both proposals because of the overwhelming evidence that LightSquared’s proposed ground-based network would cause severe interference to virtually all uses of GPS,” the comments state.  “High-precision GPS technology is vitally important to American agriculture, and would be gravely harmed by LightSquared’s plans.”  NCGA has previously expressed support for broadband access for rural America but also believes precision farming must be protected.  The comments state that a recent economic study that reviewed crop yields from 2007-2010 found that use of precision GPS...

(Posted Tue. Mar 13th, 2012)

Mar. 13: Through a new membership benefit recently added by the National Corn Growers Association, farmers belonging to NCGA can save on the office supplies they need to run an effective operation when they shop at Office Depot.  The Office Depot/NCGA Rewards Platinum Program offers members and affiliated state corn organizations unbeatable deals on more than 50 office essentials, great deals on virtually everything Office Depot sells and award-winning customer service.  “When we came across this opportunity, we felt that it was a perfect fit,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team.   “We understand that farmers are the small businesses that power much of our economy.  Running a modern operation requires the office essentials offered through this program at a discount that will help keep more hard-earned money in our pockets.”  Available for purchases online, by phone, by fax or in-store, the rewards program features:  Instant 15 percent discount...

(Posted Mon. Mar 12th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Mar. 12: This weekend marked major milestones for both NASCAR driver Austin Dillon and the American Ethanol partnership as the 21-year-old sensation made his first Nationwide Series start at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway while sporting an American Ethanol paint out on his No. 3 Chevrolet Impala.  Born a racer, son of former driver and RCR general manager Mike Dillon and grandson of Richard Childress, Dillon shone a spotlight on his developing talent and his dedication to clean-burning, domestically produced ethanol.  “This was a big weekend for ethanol in NASCAR, with Austin Dillon racing his No. 3 American Ethanol car to another strong finish. With three races down in the Nationwide season, he is already exceeding our expectations,” said Martin Barbre, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association NASCAR Advisory Committee. “He ranks second in driver points in his rookie season and is proving to be a great spokesperson for the performance, economic and environmental benefits...

(Posted Mon. Mar 12th, 2012)

Mar. 12: As many growers prepare for planting, a select group channeled their energy into becoming the most effective leaders possible through the National Corn Growers Association Advanced Leadership program, sponsored by Syngenta.  The program’s second class completed the second and final phase of its training last week in Washington.  The session helped qualified and motivated candidates finely hone their leadership and lobbying skills and prepared them to lead the industry forward.   During the course, a small group of active grower leaders explored the current political  climate while learning to improve their skills in many areas such as dealing with legislators and their staffs, the environmental community, regulators and state and national staff.  While there, the six participants participated in a variety of exercises, including a public speaking and presentations training program created by the American Farm Bureau Federation, and sessions on topics including domestic...

(Posted Fri. Mar 9th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Mar. 9: Last week at Commodity Classic, National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer had a chance to address the General Session during an interview with his fellow commodity association leaders on the issues he sees as key to farming in the coming years.  From his response to the address by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to the halls of the trade show, one sentiment was reiterated consistently when this topic arose. We need a farm bill, and we need it now.  Today, NCGA’s podcast series, Off the Cob, caught up with Niemeyer and asked him to share his thoughts on the importance of supporting agriculture through farm bill legislation and on his views on the role of farming in our country.  Niemeyer began providing his outlook on what the future holds for U.S. farmers.  “As a corn farmer, if the recent past is any indication of the future, things look pretty good,” he said. “Over the past decades, we have then the potential that biotechnology and...

(Posted Thu. Mar 8th, 2012)

Keywords: Production Trade

Mar. 8: U.S. corn farmers harvested a high-quality crop in 2011, according to a report released by the U.S. Grains Council. With good test weights, low damage and relatively high protein concentrations, the crop will require little drying and store well.  The first report of this kind issued by the Council, this initial edition sets a baseline for subsequent annual updates while establishing credible criteria and processes through which to assess the crop.  “The global corn market is increasingly competitive, and the Council believes that the availability of accurate, consistent, and comparable information is in the long-term interests of all concerned,” said USGC Chairman Wendell Shauman. “Improved information will facilitate increased trade – and when trade works, the world wins.”  This report, created to answer buyers’ questions about the quality of the current U.S. crop and assist in making well-informed decisions, adds to the insight offered by the National Corn Growers...

(Posted Wed. Mar 7th, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Mar. 7: The 2012 Commodity Classic surpassed all previous turnout records with a total of 6,014 attendees. This represents a 25 percent increase from last year’s record of 4,826 attendees. Once again, farm families represented over half of the participants, with 3,505 growers, spouses and children attending.  “We broke records in every category,” said Commodity Classic Co-chair Martin Barbre. “However, the most exciting number was beating last year’s record of first-time attendees by 48 percent. It’s very gratifying to see that Commodity Classic’s appeal continues to grow.”  This year’s show also experienced the highest number of exhibitor and media attendees. The 963-booth trade show was sold out with a waiting list of interested parties ready to take advantage of cancelations.   The only national agricultural convention and trade show put on by farmers for farmers, Commodity Classic is presented annually by the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean...

NCGA Recognizes Recruiting Excellence

(Posted Tue. Mar 6th, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Mar. 6: Each year, the National Corn Growers Association recognizes the hard work of grower members who recruit colleagues into the association. At a time when many associations have seen membership decline, NCGA continues to enjoy record membership, in large part because of the excellent job recruiters do in helping farmers understand the work done on their behalf. Another strong effort helped NCGA set a new membership record of 37,160 in August.  “NCGA’s continued growth clearly demonstrates the value that members see in the organization,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “Through our efforts in the industry, in government and with the public, NCGA works tirelessly to defend corn farmers and create new opportunities for them to flourish.  Programs such as Leadership at Its Best, the National Corn Yield Contest and scholarship opportunities allow growers to benefit from membership in a personal way while growers across the country benefit...

(Posted Mon. Mar 5th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology Production

Mar. 5:  As a preview to National Agriculture Day events in Washington this week, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance is holding a panel discussion on Capitol Hill that will be streamed live online, and is inviting questions from the public. While he is not a panelist, National Corn Growers Association Chairman Bart Schott, a North Dakota corn farmer, will be present in his role as Vice Chair of USFRA.  “We’re proud to be one of the founding organizations of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance,” Schott said. “Not only has this organization united farmers and ranchers together as never before, but it is helping jumpstart a real conversation about our commitment to continuous improvement to provide healthy choices for all when it comes to the food they eat. This panel will help bring that conversation to our nation’s capital.”  The discussion, before an audience of more than 200, will center on technology, and how, for most industries, it is seen as a catalyst for...

(Posted Fri. Mar 2nd, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Mar. 2: At the Commodity Classic General Session this morning, a packed house of Commodity Classic grower families and others took in informative presentations from sponsor Dow AgroSciences, commodity organization leaders and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.  The event provided insight into the broader political climate affecting farmers as well as inspirational messages to take into the upcoming planting season.  Repeat MC Mark Mayfield opened the presidents’ roundtable conducting brief interviews with each participant.  Speaking with National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer, Mayfield asked why so many farmers play an active role in the greater industry and involve their families in doing so.  “Looking out at this audience, you can see that it is all about families for farmers,” said Niemeyer, a farmer from Auburn, Ill. “At NCGA, we are working constantly to ensure that our children have the freedom to continue our farming tradition. Right now,...

(Posted Fri. Mar 2nd, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Mar. 2: The National Corn Growers Association, in conjunction with sponsor BASF, honored recipients of the Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship this week at Commodity Classic 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.  This year, the scholarships, created to foster promising agricultural leaders for the future, provided five winners with $1,000 for use in pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field.  "This is the fifth year we've recognized students who are in a position to make a real impact in agriculture," said Brandon Hunnicutt, NCGA's Grower Services Action Team Chair. "The support provided by BASF allows us to ease the financial burden on these students, allowing them to focus on their education."  Recipients of the NCGA scholarship include:  Andrew Perry of Columbia, Missouri - Perry is a sophomore at the University of Missouri-Columbia, studying agricultural economics and plant science. Andy Chamra of Rose Hill, Iowa - Chamra is a junior at Iowa State University pursuing...

(Posted Thu. Mar 1st, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic Farm Policy

Mar. 1:  The following statement on the 2012 farm bill was released today by National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer, a corn grower from Auburn, Ill.; National Association of Wheat Growers President Wayne Hurst, a wheat producer from Burley, Idaho; American Soybean Association President Steve Wellman, soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb.; and National Sorghum Producers Chairman Terry Swanson, a sorghum grower from Walsh, Colo.  “Commodity Classic provides our organizations an opportunity to come together to discuss important policy issues facing our industry.  As Congress continues work on the next farm bill, our organizations agree that an affordable crop insurance program is our No. 1 priority.  We also stand ready to work with House and Senate Ag Committee leaders to create farm programs that provide risk-management tools to growers when they are facing a loss beyond their control.   “We urge Congress to pass a new farm bill this year to provide the level...

(Posted Thu. Mar 1st, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Mar. 1:  The Commodity Classic Trade Show opened today, showcasing a record 250-plus displays of the latest farming products and innovations to a record audience of more than 5,800 attendees. With opening remarks by National Corn Growers Association Joint Venture Committee 2012 Co-Chair Martin Barbre launching the ribbon cutting ceremony along with his American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers Association counterparts and Jason Hoag, the Marketing Lead for Monsanto brand DEKALB, the show flung open its doors and welcomed farm families, their friends and industry allies to agriculture’s premier showcase.  “The Commodity Classic trade show is always a popular event, but its growth even further improves its worth to exhibitors and attendees alike,” said Barbre.  “Those searching for new ideas and a better picture of what is now and soon will be available to farmers will find the most extensive, comprehensive offering to date...