NEWS STORIES

DECEMBER 2012

(Posted Mon. Dec 31st, 2012)

Keywords: Membership

Dec. 31: As farmers across the country deal with a flurry of end-of-year paperwork, the National Corn Growers Association reminds members that they can save on their office supply needs through the association’s partnership with Office Depot. Online and in-store, NCGA members are eligible for special discounts on the products necessary to keep the farm office running smoothly. “As every farmer understands, the end of the year brings a significant amount of office work necessary to keep a farm running and government filings current,” said NCGA Grower Service Action Team Chair Brandon Hunnicutt. “While we can’t complete the forms for you, we can make office work a bit less painful on our members’ pocketbooks through our partnership with Office Depot. Every day, we look for ways to make life easier for our members, be it through opening markets, representing their interests to the federal government or taking their message straight to the public. Offering ways to save on the products...

(Posted Fri. Dec 28th, 2012)

Keywords: River Infrastructure Transportation

Dec. 28: The coming new year brings intensified shipping difficulties for barge operators on the stretch of the Mississippi River just south of St. Louis. With ice on the river’s northernmost stretch reducing water levels already seriously affected by the drought, traffic on the nation’s largest waterway could come to a halt by Friday of next week. “While the drought is at the core of the current issues on the Mississippi, this situation also highlights the dire need for infrastructure improvements,” said National Corn Growers Association Chairman Garry Niemeyer, a grower from Auburn, Ill. “At NCGA, we have been pushing for upgrades the locks and dams since 1993, but our federal government has failed to respond. If we continue to ignore our infrastructure, we will lose valuable markets.” Persistent drought has already caused the river to reach low-water points not seen in decades. Despite efforts to keep the waterway open for commerce, such as releasing water reserves from...

(Posted Thu. Dec 27th, 2012)

Keywords: EPA Regulations Ethanol

Dec. 27: The National Corn Growers Association thanks Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson for acting on the Obama Administration’s commitment to ethanol and other biofuels during her tenure. This statement comes on the heels of today’s public announcement of her forthcoming resignation in January. “Administrator Jackson worked with NCGA to support the ethanol industry and promote science-based regulations during her tenure,” said NCGA Chairman Garry Niemeyer, a farmer from Auburn, Ill. “Upon the announcement of her departure, we thank her for the action she took on behalf of the Administration to advance E15, support the RFS and for her willingness to work with America’s farmers. We hope to continue working in this cooperative, productive manner with her successor.” During her tenure as EPA Administrator, Jackson approved E15, a 15 percent ethanol blended-fuel, for consumer availability. In doing so, she helped decrease our nation’s dependence upon foreign...

(Posted Wed. Dec 26th, 2012)

The National Corn Growers Association concludes the second 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. Field Notes caught up with Billy Thiel, a Missouri farmer who has served his fellow growers through leadership at both the state and national levels. Through the year, he updated listeners on his operation, providing insight into the role technology played in reducing the impact of drought on this year’s corn crop, the importance of sound, far-sighted public policy and the need for farmers to give back to their industry through volunteer service. Looking back on 2012, Thiel finds that both his largest challenges and accomplishments as a farmer were rooted in the drought. “I would have to say that the...

(Posted Fri. Dec 21st, 2012)

Dec 20: The Environmental Protection Agency recently updated the National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Revisions were made to regulations pertaining to fine particulate only. The decision to revise fine particulate matter regulations was a result of a court order after EPA failed to meet its five-year legal deadline for reviewing the standards. The regulations do not include course particulate matter, which is where farm dust is categorized, thus the regulations do not impact agriculture. “EPA’s regulation of farm dust has been a major concern to our members and we are pleased to see no such impacts will be made to agriculture,” NCGA’s President Pam Johnson said. “EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and USDA Secretary Vilsack have told NCGA leadership many times they do not intend to regulate farm dust." According to the EPA, both coarse and fine particulate matter levels have seen dramatic reductions over the past 20 years. Coarse particulate matter has been reduced by 37 percent...

 CommonGround Volunteers Share Holiday Cheer, Ease Dairy Fear this Holiday Season

(Posted Fri. Dec 21st, 2012)

Dec. 21: While many people enjoy time relaxing over the holidays, CommonGround volunteers know that consumers’ food anxieties never take a day off, particularly as concerned moms prepare holiday meals for their families. To help ease dairy anxieties, CommonGround New York volunteer Beth Chittenden, a dairy farmer, stepped up her efforts to address common concerns many have over the milk they will offer alongside their Christmas cookies. In an open letter she shared earlier this week, Chittenden gave the gift of her own personal knowledge on these issues. Furthering the mission of all CommonGround volunteers, starting a conversation about food between the women who buy it and the women who grow it, Chittenden offers insight into why Santa doesn’t fear milk and cookies this Christmas. Her holiday message rings like a bell; enjoy food without fear. Why Santa (and You) Shouldn’t Fear Milk and Cookies This Christmas Dairy Farmers Are Proud to Serve Mr. Claus and American...

(Posted Fri. Dec 21st, 2012)

Dec. 21: Updates to research preventing health hazards and economic losses from aflatoxin, will be presented to the public Feb. 26, 2013, in conjunction with the annual Commodity Classic in Kissimmee, Fla. The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE) and the National Corn Growers Association’s Mycotoxin Task Force, a subcommittee of the organization’s Production and Stewardship Action Team will host the meeting. Corn producer organizations from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas currently participate in this collaborative initiative. “The heavy impact of the 2012 growing season’s heat, drought and high humidity, has increased the likelihood of grain being tested for the presence of aflatoxin,” said Charles Ring AMCOE steering committee chair. “Farmers want to know what work is being done to alleviate the potential of significant losses due to this toxin. The Mycotoxin Task Force felt that Commodity Classic’s popularity presented...

(Posted Thu. Dec 20th, 2012)

Dec. 20: Advanced production techniques, informed growing practices and improved seed varieties helped corn growers achieve high yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2012 National Corn Yield Contest. Despite a severe drought that plagued most of the Corn Belt, entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, even doubling it in some circumstances. The National Corn Yield Contest is in its 48th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. With 8,262 entries, the 2012 NCGA National Corn Yield Contest neared the participation record set last year of 8,425 entries. Notably, 2012 still marks a dramatic trend toward higher entry rates, far surpassing the previous entry record set in 2010 of 7,125 entries. “While this contest provides individual growers a chance for good-natured competition with their peers, it also advances farming as a whole,” said Dean Taylor, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques and...

(Posted Wed. Dec 19th, 2012)

Dec. 19: As the holidays approach, members of the National Corn Growers Association can save when purchasing gifts for the NASCAR ® racing fans in their lives. By using the benefits offered through the NCGA Fuel for Members website, members can find significant savings on a variety of NACAR-themed products, race tickets and even receive special offers from other NASCAR partners. “NCGA, corn farmers and the entire ethanol industry have benefited from the spotlight that the American Ethanol partnership with NASCAR has shown on the performance and environmental benefits of E15,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “Through the NCGA/NASCAR Fuel for Members website, our members can benefit directly from the savings offered on a wide array of great products and tickets every day.” Fuel for Members, an online portal to all things NASCAR customized specifically for NCGA members, allows members to access a number of exclusive deals on the latest gear...

(Posted Wed. Dec 19th, 2012)

Dec. 19: The National Corn Growers Association’s Grower Services Action Team focuses on three areas for the organization: membership, leadership and communications. In each of these areas, 2013 will continue to bring exciting programs and reenergized efforts under the leadership of the 14 growers who, along with state and national staff assistance, keep a sharp eye on program efforts in these three areas. Following the meetings, Off the Cob caught up with GSAT Chair Brandon Hunnicutt, a grower from Nebraska, to see what his team discussed and what NCGA members can expect to see in 2013. “Over the past few years, our team has really become excited about some of the new communications projects that we have launched like the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, CommonGround and the Corn Farmers Coalition,” said Nebraska corn farmer Brandon Hunnicutt, who chairs the team. “Most recently, NCGA launched the Corn Farmers Action Network, which will help us gain valuable insight and...

(Posted Tue. Dec 18th, 2012)

 Dec. 18: With water levels on the Mississippi River nearing historic lows, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched a two-pronged approach this week aimed at minimizing shipping delays on the nation’s busiest inland waterway. The plan, which includes increasing water flow into the river and removing rock pinnacle impediments to deepen the navigable channel, will cause temporary delays but may keep the river open for shipping for much of the winter under some plausible weather scenarios. “While the drought is at the core of the current issues on the Mississippi, this situation also highlights the dire need for infrastructure improvements,” said National Corn Growers Association Chairman Garry Niemeyer, a grower from Auburn, Ill. “At NCGA, we have been pushing for upgrades the locks and dams since 1993,but our federal government has failed to respond. If we continue to ignore our infrastructure, we will lose valuable markets.” Today, contractors from Iowa and Ohio will begin...

(Posted Mon. Dec 17th, 2012)

Dec. 17: This holiday season, members of the National Corn Growers Association can save on travel expenses by using discounts available exclusively through NCGA. Through partnerships with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the exclusive NCGA Worldwide Hotel Discount Program, NCGA offers members valuable savings on car rentals and hotel bookings whether they travel across the country or even to many locations around the world. “NCGA works hard to increase opportunities for farmers in the market place, but we also strive to offer a wide array of benefits to our members,” said NCGA Growers Service Action Team Chair Brandon Hunnicutt. “Growers benefit from our work to grow the market for corn and maintain their freedom to operate, but we also want to provide special opportunities for our members that reward their support of our organization. Seeing friends and family makes the holidays a special time, and we want to provide discounts that make these magical moments more affordable.” The...

(Posted Mon. Dec 17th, 2012)

Dec. 17: The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee is now accepting applications from members for the 2014 Corn Board. Through the Corn Board, members can become an integral part of the organization’s leadership. Click here for the application, which provides complete information on requirements, responsibilities and deadlines. “Through working with my fellow growers on the Corn Board, I have come to more fully appreciate the wealth of talented, dedicated volunteers who step forward to lead this organization,” said NCGA Chairman and Nominating Committee Chair Garry Niemeyer. “This willingness plays an integral role in ensuring NCGA’s continued success. As a true grassroots organization, we rely upon farmers to volunteer for leadership, helping to shape policy and drive efforts. Serving on the Corn Board allows farmers a chance to build a better future for the industry and become an active force for change.” The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all...

(Posted Fri. Dec 14th, 2012)

Dec. 14: As Mississippi River levels continue to drop and its infrastructure crumbles, the waterway’s effective closure looms on the horizon like a dark cloud for the many farmers. For a large portion of the Corn Belt, the river not only serves as the primary means by which to move their crop for export but also as the main channel by which fertilizer for the 2013 planting season is brought into the region. The drought, which lowered river levels across the Midwest and Northern Plains, intensified preexisting issues with Mississippi River transportation in that its effects highlight the severity of the need for major infrastructure improvements to our nation’s main inland waterway. “All the problems are because of the drought,” said Garry Niemeyer, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association. “But we’ve been trying to upgrade the locks and dams since 1993, and our federal government isn’t doing that. If we continue to not build our infrastructure, we’re going to lose our...

(Posted Fri. Dec 14th, 2012)

Dec. 14: This week, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board, Action Teams and Committees convened in St. Louis to delve into the issues and opportunities that will affect corn farmers across the country during the coming year. Gaining information from presentations by leaders from industry and government, the team members explored possible changes to team policies and activities that could help their respective programs improve efforts to create and maintain opportunities for growers. Additionally, they participated in discussions that will help as NCGA forms a new strategic plan that will govern the association’s policies and programs for the next several years. “I was inspired by the dedication to agriculture that the farmer leaders showed as a whole and by the depth of subject area knowledge they brought to team discussions,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “By dividing the variety of issues facing our industry into subject areas, we allow growers to delve deeply a...

(Posted Thu. Dec 13th, 2012)

Dec. 13: As the holidays approach, members of the National Corn Growers Association can save when purchasing gifts for the computer and electronics lovers in their lives. By using the benefits NCGA offers, members can purchase Dell products at a significant discount.  “In today’s world, technology is essential to success in school and the workplace,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “Discounts on Dell products provide savings on the tech tools many of our farmers and their families need, but during the holidays these discounts can really come in handy. Using the Dell partnership can help members save while purchasing a gift that many of the people on their lists are sure to love.”  The NCGA Member Purchase Program with Dell allows members to receive significant discounts on many Dell products as well as a variety of other high end electronics including televisions, cameras, printers and even gaming consoles. With brand names like Samsung,...

(Posted Thu. Dec 13th, 2012)

The National Corn Growers Association concludes the second 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.   Field Notes caught up with Donna Jeschke, an Illinois farmer who lives and works an hour south of Chicago. Through the year, she updated listeners on her operation, providing insight into issues including the severity of the drought in Illinois, the role biotechnology played in preserving yields and on her activities educating international commodity buyers about U.S. agriculture. Looking back on 2012, Jeschke keeps the damage done by the drought in perspective by comparing the results of a similar disaster in 1988. She notes that, despite the negative impacts of the hot, dry season, it could have been...

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology

By Rick Tolman  CEO, National Corn Growers Association  General Mills, the maker of Cheerios and other foods, is catching grief from a small group of Internet bullies because of its use of genetically engineered ingredients.  Oddly and ironically enough, these social media loudmouths have chosen a product that is predominantly made from oats, a commodity that is not genetically modified. But of course, Cheerios was not targeted because it may contain GMOs, but because it is the most popular cereal brand General Mills produces and they are trying to bully General Mills into an anti-GM stance.  Over on the Facebook page for Wheaties, there’s no GMO mention. Likewise at the Lucky Charms page.  One of the comments over on Facebook about the GMO labeling issue is that “The people have spoken.” The fact is, the people have spoken, but these extreme activists have not listened, nor are they listening now.  While there is no doubt that consumers do want transparency and to be informed...

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2012)

Dec. 12: Starting today, dozens of corn growers who are respected leaders in their industry and actively involved in the National Corn Growers Association are gathering in St. Louis for a round of meetings to discuss the issues that will affect farmers heading into 2013. Many growers from states in the northern and western Corn Belt are braving difficult weather conditions and delaying preparation for the upcoming growing year to attend these meetings.  “The December action team meetings help our organization explore upcoming issues and begin developing policy recommendations while providing a face-to-face forum for grower leaders to share ideas and build relationships,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson, a grower from Floyd, Iowa. “As team members meet, some for the first time, they cement the bonds that will help us move forward on a variety of issues and create cohesive leadership that draws upon the varied experiences inherent in a grassroots organization.”  The NCGA’s six...

(Posted Tue. Dec 11th, 2012)

Dec. 11: As the holidays approach, members of the National Corn Growers Association can save when purchasing gifts for the outdoors enthusiasts in their lives. By using the benefits NCGA offers, members can purchase Cabela’s gift cards at a 10 percent discount.  “We always look for benefits that match the interests of our growers, and this partnership is perfect for their active outdoor lifestyle,” said Brandon Hunnicutt , chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “As the holidays approach, these benefits hold even more value. Using the Cabela’s partnership can help members save while purchasing a gift that many of the people on their lists are sure to love.”  Gift cards valued at $25, $50 and $100 are available. NCGA members may purchase cards by calling the national office at 636-733-5520.  Cabela’s is the world's largest direct marketer, and a leading specialty retailer, of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise. Since its founding in 1961, Cabela’s...

(Posted Tue. Dec 11th, 2012)

The National Corn Growers Association concludes the second 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. Field Notes caught up with Don Rutledge, a Colorado farmer who also raises cattle and hogs. Through the year, he updated listeners on his operation, providing insight into issues including irrigation, cattle ranching during a drought and on educational activities acquainting residents of the Front Range with farming in their state. Looking back on 2012, Rutledge finds a number of high points even in a year that brought a record drought to much of the Corn Belt. “Our biggest challenge was keeping the sprinklers going,” he explained. “We turned them on about the first of June and didn’t turn them off until...

(Posted Mon. Dec 10th, 2012)

Dec. 10: This year, members of the National Corn Growers Association can make the kick off of the NASCAR® season in Daytona and Commodity Classic a doubleheader. With both events occurring only days apart in central Florida, fans of farming and of NASCAR can take in the excitement of the year’s first race in Daytona, where every car will again run on E15, on February 24 before joining in the camaraderie and collaboration at Commodity Classic in Kissimmee on March 1.  “The times and locations of these two major events have fallen in such a way as to offer farmers a unique opportunity that might not present itself again,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “For those with the time and an interest in really delving into what NCGA does on their behalf, planning a trip that includes both events offers the chance to explore American Ethanol’s educational efforts and to learn about the NCGA policies and programs that promote their interests every single day.”  Not only will NCGA members...

(Posted Fri. Dec 7th, 2012)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Dec. 7: You can’t control the weather, but you can learn more about how your peers are successfully tackling the challenges they face. One way growers are learning more so they can manage risk and succeed as farmers is by annually attending Commodity Classic, the only national agricultural convention and trade show put on by farmers for farmers.   This next year, farmers will meet in Kissimmee, Fla., to learn “what’s next” directly from the agricultural leaders who are making it happen. You can hear from those who have been there what they got out of the Commodity Classic experience in two new recently released videos. The Commodity Classic “Man on the Street” video gives viewers an overall perspective on what to expect when you get there. For those who haven’t been to Commodity Classic yet, you can see what those attending the show for the first time discovered in a second video that provides the perspective of first-timers.  “Today’s political, social, and financial...

(Posted Fri. Dec 7th, 2012)

Dec. 7: The National Corn Growers Association will host the 2014 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference June 2-4 in Louisville, Ky. The biennial event will focus on wet and dry milling technologies and products while again hosting sessions on mycotoxin, similar to those introduced at the 2012 conference.  “We are proud of CUTC’s position as the premier corn technology conference in the world and of the many learning opportunities that we will offer next year,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chair DeVonna Zeug. “But additionally, CUTC offers incredibly important networking opportunities. In the past, these relationships have led to exciting advancements that bring the latest in scientific advancement to the marketplace in real world applications. For those in agribusiness, milling industries and academia, the conference has become a ‘can’t miss’ event. So, mark CUTC 2014 on your calendar now and check NCGA’s website for more information as it becomes...

(Posted Thu. Dec 6th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Dec. 6:  The E15 blend of ethanol. Food and fuel. Energy security. Jobs in rural America. There is a lot of discussion about ethanol these days, and plenty of need for a look at the facts. That’s why the National Corn Growers Association has created the EthanolFacts.com website as a simple place to get the facts and links to a lot more information about our favorite domestic renewable fuel.  “For years, NCGA has been at the forefront of promoting ethanol as an important choice for today’s drivers, who are demanding fuels that are not only cleaner-burning, but powerful and made right here in the United States,” said Chad Willis, a Minnesota corn farmer who serves as chairman of NCGA’s Ethanol Committee. “EthanolFacts.com provides the key information to people who want to know the simple truth about a very complex subject so they can continue the conversation about how farmers are not only helping feed the world, but fuel it, too.”  EthanolFacts.com was designed for simplicity and...

(Posted Thu. Dec 6th, 2012)

Dec. 6: The overall quality of the 2012 U.S. corn crop is high and improves upon last year's very good marks across a range of test factors, according to the U.S. Grains Council's Corn Harvest Quality Report 2012/13. Total U.S. corn production fell in 2012 due to the worst drought in decades, but despite the drought, this year's crop showed a year-over-year improvement in average test weight, protein levels, and density, as well as lower moisture and BCFM than the 2011 crop. The full report is now available by clicking here.  “The National Corn Growers Association is extremely pleased with the findings of this report and, as farmers, we are pleased to be able to offer a quality crop,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “As a founding member of USGC, NCGA supports efforts like this report because we understand the importance of sharing accurate, current information with our customers. U.S. corn farmers have a great story to tell. Despite enduring the worst drought in five decades,...

(Posted Thu. Dec 6th, 2012)

Keywords: Trade

Dec 6: Today, the U.S. Senate passed legislation paving the way for Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia.  The National Corn Growers Association previously urged Congress to lift the decades old Jackson-Vanik restrictions.  Farmers will soon be allowed to take advantage of a more open and level playing field with Russia.  The House of Representatives passed the legislation before adjourning for Thanksgiving.  “We are pleased to see both chambers of Congress act quickly to pass legislation that will lift these outdated restrictions,” NCGA President Pam Johnson said.  “Russia has tremendous potential to be an important market for our farmers and livestock producers. We urge President Obama to sign the bill soon so other World Trade Organization members can’t take advantage of a more level trade playing field before American agriculture.”  Russia joined the WTO in August.  However, the United States Congress needed to take steps to lift the Jackson-Vanik amendment and grant...

(Posted Wed. Dec 5th, 2012)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Dec. 5: The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that early refuge planning helps ensure a smooth planting season. As many complete planting planning, the time to make concrete preparations is now.  “Refuge planning is important for all farmers because it supports the continued viability of important tools,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmermann. “While seed companies work hard to keep a pipeline of new products flowing, it is important that farmers keep up their end of the bargain too. Early planning makes meeting refuge requirements much simpler once planting season arrives.”  Farmers should first consider the type of refuge solution they will use next year. Most major technology providers now offer integrated refuge solutions that will ensure compliance. Farmers planning to plant refuge in a block should secure refuge seed now.  While proper refuge planning can be confusing given the host of differing requirements associated...

(Posted Wed. Dec 5th, 2012)

Keywords: Ethanol

Dec. 5: American Ethanol congratulates spokesman and driver Austin Dillon on being named 2012 NASCAR® Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Now, fans have an opportunity to congratulate Dillon personally too during the American Ethanol live Twitter chat which Dillon will host next week from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. CST Monday, Dec. 10.  “All of the American Ethanol partners are so excited for Austin,” said National Corn Growers Association NASCAR Advisory Committee Chairman Jon Holzfaster. “Rookie of the Year is a big win both for him personally and for farmers across the country. With all eyes on Austin, NASCAR fans also get to see the performance and benefits another homegrown winner offers when E15 fuels the race. Every car in every series races to the finish with E15 in the tank, but we are particularly proud that such a talented young driver speaks on our behalf.”  Austin Dillon was officially named the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year recently at...

(Posted Tue. Dec 4th, 2012)

Dec. 4:  Last month, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding affiliate, announced the finalists of its Faces of Farming and Ranching program, a nationwide search for agriculture spokespeople, at the Food Dialogues in New York City. The Faces of Farming and Ranching winners will become the faces of agriculture and will be tapped to share stories and experience on a national stage. By answering consumers’ questions about how their food is grown and raised, they will help shift conversations about food production and the way we feed our nation.  This is America’s chance to vote for the finalist that they believe best represents those across the country who bring food to the table.  This is America’s chance to vote for the finalist that they think can best answer its questions. However, voting ends Dec. 15, so people are encouraged to visit www.fooddialogues.com to watch a short video of each finalist’s farm or ranch. Your...

(Posted Tue. Dec 4th, 2012)

Keywords: Production

Dec. 4: Last week, the National Corn Growers Association’s Mycotoxin Task Force met in Houston, Texas to discuss questions concerning mycotoxin mitigation, testing methods and the task force structure moving forward. During these meetings, the task force moved to jointly fund a new project studying fumonisin research and to further explore the possibility of expanding consolidated aflatoxin testing methods currently used in Texas to other areas of the country.  “This year, growers across the country faced problems with mycotoxin previously common only to corn producing states in the South,” said MTF Chair Don Glenn, a farmer from Alabama. “The spread of these issues further emphasizes the importance of working to mitigate detrimental mold and fungus. NCGA has stepped forth, taking a leading role in this arena, to ensure that farmers across the nation have access to the best tools.”  The team began by exploring aflatoxin testing procedures currently used in Texas. United...

(Posted Mon. Dec 3rd, 2012)

Keywords: Corn Sugar

Dec. 3: A study released last week by researchers from the University of Southern California and Oxford University claiming to find a unique link between high fructose corn syrup and Type 2 diabetes is flawed both in its design and conclusions, according to the Corn Refiners Association.  Authored by Dr. Michael I. Goran, the report has met with severe criticism for failing to account for the widespread agreement among scientists and medical doctors that HFCS and sucrose (table sugar) are nutritionally equivalent.    "This latest article by Dr. Goran is severely flawed, misleading and risks setting off unfounded alarm about a safe and proven food and beverage ingredient,” said CRA President Audrae Erickson.  “There is broad scientific consensus that table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are nutritionally and metabolically equivalent.  It is, therefore, highly dubious of Dr. Goran--without any human studies demonstrating a meaningful nutritional difference between high...

(Posted Mon. Dec 3rd, 2012)

Keywords: Trade

Dec. 3: The U.S. Grains Council, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, demonstrated the importance of relationship-building during the recent Export Exchange 2012 in Minneapolis, Minn. The conference, which brought together a variety of groups including foreign feed millers and U.S. corn and ethanol coproduct providers, helped foster sales of feed ingredient distiller’s dried grains with solubles for years to come.  "The U.S. Grains Council has been able to identify the key people and put them all together," said Sebastien Lavoie of Agri-Marche at Export Exchange. "It's a big world but it's a small one when you concentrate all the key players together, and that's a tough job to do, to open doors like that."  Agri-Marche, based in Quebec, Canada, operates five feed mills and a loading facility for all ingredients the company distributes throughout eastern Canada, from Ontario to Newfoundland.  Lavoie said when he first came to Export Exchange in...