NEWS STORIES

APRIL 2012

(Posted Mon. Apr 23rd, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Apr. 23:  National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer released the following statement in response to Senate Agriculture Committee’s proposed 2012 farm bill legislation:  “We greatly appreciate the work by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Ranking Member Pat Roberts to put forth a well-crafted 2012 farm bill.  The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to see the Committee listened to the concerns of our nation’s corn growers and have done a great job keeping our priorities under consideration while drafting the legislation. NCGA believes the Committee print is consistent with what our members have been advocating.”  “While we understand this is the first step in a very long process, we applaud the Senate Ag Committee for holding a...

(Posted Mon. Apr 23rd, 2012)

Apr. 23: Last week, staff from the National Corn Growers Association and state corn associations across the country met in St. Louis to share insights gained over the past year and coordinate efforts for the next.  With more than 100 attendees including state association executives, program directors and communicators, the conference also provided a forum to discuss pressing issues facing farmers including potential farm bill legislation and ethanol promotion.  “We all understand that, by working together, we magnify the effectiveness of our organizations and subsequently our ability to create positive change for farmers,” said NCGA CEO Rick Tolman. “While each state organization has specific circumstances unique to its area, farmers across the country share many common issues.  Accordingly, it only...

(Posted Mon. Apr 23rd, 2012)

Apr. 23: Corn planting is progressing well ahead of the five-year average across much of the Corn Belt according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today.  As a whole, the report indicates that a full 28 percent of the nation’s corn crop had already been planted as of April 22, nearly double the 15 percent five-year average at that time.  “For many farmers, this spring planting has been an exciting time,” said National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer.  “While the possibility of inclement weather negatively impacting a corn crop remains present until it is harvested, the early, favorable conditions this year have fueled a great amount of hope for many.  With planting and emergence well underway, we look forward with cautious optimism for an...

(Posted Fri. Apr 20th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Apr. 20: This Sunday, NASCAR, Kansas Speedway and several of NASCAR’s Official Partners will showcase the environmental sustainability programs that take place each week at racetracks across the country in celebration of Earth Day.  These efforts, taking place every day and at NASCAR races year-round, are part of the sport’s NASCAR Green initiative which shows the value NASCAR places upon the environment through real-world, sustained action.  The National Corn Growers Association, along with many state corn associations and the American Ethanol partnership, will help play a key role in promoting an aspect of NASCAR Green supported by agriculture and environmentalists alike, the sport’s move to a 15 percent ethanol fuel blend.  “Our promotion of...

(Posted Fri. Apr 20th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

April 20: The Senate Agriculture Committee confirmed today that it will mark up its version of the 2012 farm bill next week.  Members are scheduled to begin work at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 25.  The committee has stated the legislation reforms farm policy, consolidates and streamlines programs, and will reduce the deficit by $23 billion.   The National Corn Growers Association is grateful that the Senate Ag Committee developed a plan that saves taxpayers money while strengthening initiatives that help farmers, ranchers and small business owners create American jobs.  “At a time when the United States is borrowing 42 cents on every dollar spent, we are pleased to see the Senate Agriculture Committee be responsive to our federal deficit crisis,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer.  “We are delighted...

(Posted Thu. Apr 19th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Apr. 19:  In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) this morning, a group of eight prominent agricultural associations, including the National Corn Growers Association, voiced its support for the Senate’s approach to the 2012 Farm Bill, and raised several issues related to commodity and risk management programs.  Co-signed by NCGA, the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Barley Growers Association, National Sunflower Association, U.S. Canola Association and USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council, the letter commended the committee for adhering to its original proposal of $23 billion in deficit reduction, brought forth to the Joint Select...

(Posted Fri. Apr 13th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Apr. 13: Rev your engines! American Ethanol will race onto the scene at the Texas Motor Speedway as a group of unique visitors and millions of avid fans alike watch Austin Dillon’s No. 3 car fly by proudly displaying a full American Ethanol paint out.  To promote the benefits of higher-blend ethanol, including the E15 blend fueling every car in every race for NASCAR again this year, the National Corn Growers Association urges members to tune in and show support.  In addition to bringing attention to ethanol among the broader public, NCGA will promote the benefits of ethanol during this race for a select group of garage owners and mechanics by giving them a chance to see E15 in action under some of the toughest driving conditions on the planet.  Prior to the race, the group will...

(Posted Fri. Apr 13th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Apr. 13:  Because the estate tax remains a concern for thousands of farmers around the country, the National Corn Growers Association sent letters this week with more than 30 other agriculture organizations supporting House and Senate legislation that calls for permanent repeal of the so-called “death tax.” Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives and John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.  “Family farmers and ranchers are not only the caretakers of our nation’s rural lands but they are also small businesses,” the letter states.  “The 2013 change to the estate tax law does a disservice to agriculture because we are a land-based, capital-intensive industry with few options for paying estate taxes...

(Posted Thu. Apr 12th, 2012)

By Pam Keck, Ph.D.     Apr. 12: The word “gas” conjures a wide variety of images depending on the preconceived notion of the thinker.  In this article, though, the term specifically refers to the gases in the air --  namely nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide. As it turns out, what many people think about the relationship between gases and respiration misses the scientific mark.  First, nitrogen, not oxygen, is the main component of the air on earth.  With oxygen levels of around 21 percent and nitrogen levels of about 78 percent, it plays a much larger part in air’s composition.  The remaining one percent of air includes, among other gases, argon and carbon dioxide (CO2). On average, CO2 is present at levels of about 0.038 percent.  When asked what they exhale, many people respond by saying,...

(Posted Thu. Apr 12th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

By Garry Niemeyer, NCGA President  Apr. 12: I have spent much of my time over the past month in Washington visiting with members of Congress and other policy makers about the importance of the 2012 farm bill.  Each meeting seems to end in the same fashion as the others: Democrats blame Republicans and Republicans blame Democrats.  If I ask someone from the House, I hear that it is the fault of the Senate; and when I ask someone from the Senate, I hear it is the fault of the House.    Agriculture policy historically has not just been bipartisan, it’s been non-partisan.  Farmers recognize the seriousness of the federal government’s financial situation and that any new legislation needs to be responsive to taxpayers. Our organization understands that programs important to agriculture will be cut. We are willing to do...

(Posted Wed. Apr 11th, 2012)

Keywords: Farm Policy

Apr. 11:  U.S. Senator Roy Blunt shared his thoughts on today’s political environment with St. Louis Agribusiness Club members and guests at a lunch this week, co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association. NCGA CEO Rick Tolman was on hand to thank the senator for his work on behalf of U.S. agriculture, and draw attention to the lengthy list of unresolved issues that concerns farmers.  “When big decisions are being made, government stands still,” said Sen. Blunt, R-Mo. “We are going to have to decide who we as Americans want to be. Do we want to follow Europe’s path and have government outgrow our economy, or do we want a government we can afford?”  As ranking member of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and...

(Posted Tue. Apr 10th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Apr. 10:  Corn stocks and demand in the United States remain stable according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture today.  While potential for change in the May report was noted, the agency found that, at present, the previous estimates require no revision.   This news follows reports issued by USDA late yesterday indicating that seven percent of the U.S. corn crop had already been planted as of Sunday.  This indicates progress significantly ahead of the five-year average as only two percent of the crop would normally be planted at that time.   Much of the early planting is occurring in the south and central Corn Belt with Tennessee and Kentucky leading the push with planting 31 and 25 points over the average respectively.  Missouri and Illinois also have planted earlier than...

(Posted Tue. Apr 10th, 2012)

Apr. 10: Last week, the National Corn Growers Association’s Mycotoxin Task Force met in Corpus Christi, Texas to discuss the status of ongoing projects and activities, including the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE), and to look at potential projects moving forward.  The meetings, which included an on-farm demonstration of aflatoxin testing practices, allowed the growers to share insight, hear updates on the status of many projects and gain a first-hand understanding of the unique situation faced by farmers in affected areas.  The on-farm demonstration occurred during a tour of team member Charles Ring’s operation.  Ring, who farms in Sinton, Texas, serves as vice chair of the taskforce.  “It was interesting to find out what farmers thought after watching a...

(Posted Mon. Apr 9th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Apr. 9: In a country largely dependent on oil exports, the ethanol industry is often maligned and a large target of contention and discomfort in Saudi Arabia. However, as Venezuela overtook Saudi Arabia to become the owner of the largest share of the world’s known oil reserves in 2011, Saudis are now focusing on the need to diversify their economy, with agriculture garnering significant interest as a new revenue stream.  Already home to the largest dairy integrations in the world, the country once opposed to ethanol now cooperates with the U.S. ethanol industry to satisfy feed demand with ethanol coproduct distiller’s dried grains.  The U.S. Grains Council, which has operated in Saudi Arabia for decades, recently undertook a unique challenge as it launched...

(Posted Fri. Apr 6th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Apr. 6: With planting across much of the Midwest set to begin within the next week, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to take time to review proper safety procedures.   “Part of maintaining and increasing opportunities for corn farmers includes helping ensure that everyone in our community remembers the importance of safety, especially during the extremely active planting and harvest seasons,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “While a good part of planting safety is based in common sense, it is imperative to ensuring that farmers have a successful, secure season.”  First, farmers should remember to check safety equipment and ensure it is in proper working order.  Devices such as fire extinguishers should be thoroughly inspected prior to any active period, such as...

(Posted Thu. Apr 5th, 2012)

Keywords: Corn Sugar

Apr. 5:  In recent letters to food marketers, the National Corn Growers Association called on them to stop marketing products as not containing high fructose corn syrup, implying there is something especially unhealthy or unnatural about corn sugar.  “Such innuendos are not scientifically supportable and they are offensive to the hundreds of thousands of U.S. consumers that grow corn as well as the many others in rural communities,” NCGA CEO Rick Tolman wrote in letters to the chief marketing officers at Welch Foods and Dean Foods, producers respectively of Welch’s Natural Spreads and TruMoo Chocolate Milk, just two examples of anti-HFCS marketing.  “Your focus on health and nutrition are commendable and supportable. Those points can all be well made without the reference to...

(Posted Wed. Apr 4th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Apr. 4: This week, the National Corn Growers Association is participating in the New Development in GM Crop Farming meeting held in Manila, Philippines celebrating the tenth anniversary of the country’s adoption of this important form of technology. Considered the most progressive country in terms of biotech adoption, officials from the government of the Philippines, major technology companies and other stakeholders, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are meeting to look at ways to maintain the foothold for biotech adoption in the Asian Pacific region gained here a decade ago.  “Our Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team constantly works to promote the adoption of biotech regulations in foreign markets very similar to those in place here,” said NCGA...

(Posted Wed. Apr 4th, 2012)

Apr. 4: The National Corn Growers Association reached a new record number of members, 37,231, at the end of March.  The previous record of 37,160 was set in August 2011.  “It is inspiring to see the level of support for our programs and activities that this new membership record suggests,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer, who farms near Auburn, Ill. “This increased level of involvement makes obvious the value members believe NCGA staff and grower leaders provide to them and to the industry as a whole.”  NCGA membership offers many benefits, including leadership opportunities, academic scholarships and discounts.  Members play an active role in organizational leadership by shaping the direction of activities and influencing public policy that affects all farmers.  Additionally, membership...

(Posted Tue. Apr 3rd, 2012)

Apr. 3:  The National Corn Growers Association invites anyone interested in the 2012 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference to visit the refreshed website for the biennial event to find more information on the poster session, session topics and many other areas of interest.  Redesigned for easier navigation, www.corntechconf.org offers the quickest, simplest way to keep abreast of developments as the conference approaches.  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. By visiting the website today, potential attendees can explore this theme and make reservations at a discounted rate.  “The updated website makes learning about CUTC and registering even...

(Posted Mon. Apr 2nd, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Apr. 2: Young ethanol enthusiasts and aspiring actors alike should start shoring up scripts and collecting cameras to create entries for a new video contest created by the National Corn Growers Association’s Ethanol Committee today.  This opportunity will ask high school and college students to create a video that, in two minutes or less, showcases five facts about ethanol for submission between contest opening in early May and the final deadline, which will be late in the fall of 2012.  “We are extremely excited to launch this new project which will help connect our youth to corn-based ethanol, the fuel of the future,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chairman Chad Willis. “The innovative format of the submissions makes them ideal for placement on websites such as...

(Posted Mon. Apr 2nd, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Apr. 2:  At a time when gas prices are on the rise, the approval today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of E15 blended fuel, with 15 percent ethanol, is a good milestone of progress for the industry and a boon to the U.S. economy, according to the National Corn Growers Association. Today, EPA approved the first applications for registering ethanol for use in making E15; however, there are other steps that must be taken at the federal, state and local levels before it will be seen in gas stations.  “We’ve been working for a long time to make E15 a real choice for drivers, and we’re happy to see this step forward,” said NCGA President Garry Niemeyer. “We hope that within a matter of months we can get this important blend into vehicles to help decrease our nation’s reliance on...