NEWS STORIES

APRIL 2013

(Posted Tue. Apr 30th, 2013)

Apr. 30: Today, The Hill published a blog authored by Michigan State University Professor Bruce Dale on how the oil industry aims to protect its control on our nation’s fuel supply by attacking the Renewable Fuel Standard. The post outlines how this orchestrated assault uses “misleading claims and outright falsehoods” to obscure its true goal of “undermining renewable fuels.” Directly combatting common claims made against the RFS, Dale shows how the oil industry draws attention away from the fact that the petroleum supply is “both limited and disappearing” to solidify its stranglehold on our fuel supply at the expense or our environmental and energy security. The post comes in direct response to an anti-ethanol op-ed authored by Bill Klesse which ran in that publication yesterday. Dale sums up his argument with a call to support the RFS and, in turn, our nation’s economy and environment. “In short, renewable fuel is here and it’s working. That fact is why the oil industry’s...

(Posted Tue. Apr 30th, 2013)

Apr. 30: The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that the compliance date for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Oil Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule is May 10, 2013. By that time, farmers subject to the rule must prepare and implement an SPCC plan. Farmers who already have such a plan in place must maintain that plan. The SPCC rule regulates farms that meet all three of the following criteria: The farm stores, transfers, uses or consumes oil or oil products, such as diesel fuel, gasoline, lube oil, hydraulic oil, adjuvant oil, crop oil, vegetable oil or animal fat. The farm stores more than 1,320 U.S. gallons of the aforementioned products in above ground containers or more than 42,000 U.S. gallons in completely buried containers.  The farm could reasonably be expected to discharge oil to waters of the United States or adjoining shorelines. A farmer must only count containers of oil that have a storage capacity of 55 U.S. gallons or more....

(Posted Fri. Apr 26th, 2013)

Apr. 26: The National Corn Growers Association has launched its third season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities. Today, Field Notes catches up with Jennie Schmidt and Jay Beckhusen. While their farms are located in very different parts of the country, both farmers discuss how cool weather has impacted the farms around them. Schmidt, who farms in Maryland, says that, while planting is on schedule at her farm, many farmers in her area have delayed planting corn due to continually cool temperatures. She notes that this delay may actually prove beneficial, so long as it does not drag on too long. “You don’t want to have too early emergence and then have a frost where you end up having to go and replant...

(Posted Thu. Apr 25th, 2013)

Apr. 25: The National Corn Growers Association was represented by two corn growers at Field to Market’s first board meeting as an independent non-profit organization, held earlier this month in Memphis, Tenn. Along with receiving updates on current projects and activities, participants engaged in discussions to identify shared values within the agricultural commodity supply chain, metric and tool development, and communications. “Our food industry is looking for opportunities throughout the supply chain to use metrics to promote continuous improvement in commodity agriculture,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team member Gary Edwards of Iowa. “We are taking what we’ve learned from Field to Market’s early pilots to refine program guidelines, and at the same time expanding the metrics in the Fieldprint Calculator.” The Fieldprint Calculator’s new water quality metrics are in the final stages of third-party testing before release. It uses the U.S. Natural Resources...

(Posted Thu. Apr 25th, 2013)

Apr. 25: The impact of China's bird flu outbreak on poultry production, and thus feed demand, remains uncertain but may be less than initially feared. In mid-April, China's bird flu incidents resulted in the closing of live bird markets around the Shanghai region and in South China. As cases spread to other regions such as Beijing and Henan, the effects of these closings and the reduction of poultry inventories will reduce feed consumption in the poultry industry. However, if consumers switch to pork instead of poultry meat, this will offset the losses in the poultry sector and reduce the net effect on feed demand. "Since hogs are less efficient converters of feed to meat and use a higher proportion of energy feeds like corn, any substitution of pork for poultry that occurs will dampen the negative effect of reduced poultry production on feed demand, particularly corn," said Bryan Lohmar, U.S. Grains Council director in China. "Conversely, fish are more efficient converters and...

(Posted Wed. Apr 24th, 2013)

Apr. 24: Today, the National Corn Growers Association hosted a webinar for grower leaders and state corn association staff to offer an in-depth look at the effort to promote better communication throughout the biotechnology value chain.In cooperation with the American Soybean Association, NCGA launched a series of biotechnology and trade forums in the fall of 2011. In February of 2012, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to solidify the value chain’s commitment to improving the transparency and frequency of communication about agricultural biotechnology products.NCGA remains encouraged by the shared goals of our industry partners in this endeavor. During the session, participants received an overview of the progress made at previous forums, as well as future plans for NCGA to conduct industry consultations through the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. Industry representatives from the National Grain and Feed Association and the American Seed Trade Associations...

(Posted Wed. Apr 24th, 2013)

Apr. 24: This summer vacation, 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 Grower Services 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. Summer vacations often build memories that last a lifetime, and we want to provide discounts that make these magical moments more affordable.” The...

(Posted Tue. Apr 23rd, 2013)

Apr. 23:  The U.S. District Court of Northern California issued an order yesterday dismissing a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that alleged the EPA violated the Endangered Species Act when registering hundreds of compounds. The National Corn Growers Association is pleased with the decision and supports farmers’ ability to use products that have already been approved within EPA’s rigorous registration process. The suit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Pesticide Action Network of North America, claiming that EPA failed to undertake consultations with the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service, as required by the Endangered Species Act. “The dismissal of the case is a sweeping victory for growers who were faced with the possibility of major restrictions on previously approved crop protection products,” NCGA President Pam Johnson said. “This offers reassurance to America’s farmers that they are free to use...

(Posted Tue. Apr 23rd, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol Biofuels Energy

Apr. 23: Late yesterday, the National Corn Growers Association submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency supporting the Renewable Fuel Standard and incentives issued to auto manufacturers for Flex Fuel Vehicle production. These comments, which were submitted in response to EPA’s Draft Guidance for E85 Flexible Fuel Vehicle Weighting Factors, expressed concern that the Agency’s proposal does not adequately incentivize the automobile manufacturers to continue building FFVs after the 2016 model year. To read the full comments as submitted, please click here. “NCGA’s 38,000 members, along with the nation’s corn farmers, firmly support the RFS and strongly believe that it has successfully increased our country’s energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that would pollute our air,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chair Chad Willis, a farmer from Willmar, Minn. “Ethanol can play a key role in working toward further reductions and meeting future energy...

(Posted Tue. Apr 23rd, 2013)

Apr. 23: With planting across much of the Midwest finally underway, 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 Pam Johnson. “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 planting or harvest. By maintaining safety equipment, farmers can best make certain that, should an emergency occur, they are fully prepared. Next, it is essential that farmers utilize protective gear, including...

(Posted Mon. Apr 22nd, 2013)

Keywords: Crop Progress

Apr. 22: Cool, wet conditions again delayed planting progress across most of the country according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With only four percent of total corn acres planted by April 21, progress lags far behind this time last year when 26 percent of U.S. corn acres were already in the ground and now trails the five-year average for this point by 12 percentage points. Last week, planting progress was only five percentage points off the five-year average. “It is still early in the planting season and slow progress at this point should not cause alarm,” said National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Martin Barbre, a grower in Illinois. ”In 2012, we saw how quickly rapid planting progress can wither away under a hot, dry summer sky. The precipitation may be keeping farmers out of the fields for now, but it is providing much needed moisture in many cases. In 2011, I had nothing planted and 3,000 acres under water on May 3, and I...

(Posted Mon. Apr 22nd, 2013)

Apr. 22: Yesterday, NASCAR™ launched a national commercial promoting its efforts to care for the environment. The NASCAR Green™ video, released to coincide with Earth Day, highlights all that the sport has done to reduce emissions by 20 percent and become the largest recycler in all of professional sports. In particular, the video highlights the important role that corn-based American Ethanol, an important component in Sunoco Green E15 powers every car in every race, plays in helping NASCAR continue its tradition of excellence while working toward a better tomorrow. “We are excited to see this message, which will air for the rest of the NASCAR season, because it highlights the commitment that both NASCAR and U.S. corn farmers have to acting as good stewards of our environment,” said National Corn Growers Association Corn Board Member Jon Holzfaster. “Every day, corn farmers rely on the land, air and water to grow a healthy, abundant crop which, through ethanol fuel blends, goes on...

(Posted Fri. Apr 19th, 2013)

Apr. 19: The White House on Tuesday issued its final plan for managing the oceans, outlining a strategy that aims to coordinate the work of more than two dozen agencies and reconcile competing interests including fishing, offshore energy exploration and recreational activities. The National Oceans Policy was created by an Executive Order from President Obama on July 19, 2010. This week’s publication of the implementation plan comes on the heels of more than two years of outreach to various stakeholders, including engagement with USDA and farm groups. The National Corn Growers Association issued the following statement in response: "The National Corn Growers Association appreciates the administration’s outreach to the agriculture community during the development of the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan. We welcome the Plan’s emphasis on voluntary conservation programs and nutrient trading pilot opportunities, as well as expanded research to better understand the complex...

(Posted Fri. Apr 19th, 2013)

  April 19: The National Corn Growers Association has launched its third season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities. Today, Field Notes meets Andy Jobman, who farms with his family in central Nebraska. In addition to growing a wide variety of crops, including corn for chip production, and ranching, Jobman also helps other farmers through his work as a crop consultant. Through his crop consulting work, Jobman plays a role in agriculture across his area by helping other farmers spot potential problems and improve the efficiency of their input use. Stressing that the role he plays is collaborative, he explains how a dialogue informed by agronomic knowledge and awareness of the newest advancements in production...

(Posted Fri. Apr 19th, 2013)

Apr. 19: In honor of Earth Day, racing season shifts gears this April to focus national attention on environmental awareness with the NASCAR RACE TO GREEN™ campaign. As part of this effort, American Ethanol is joining NASCAR in further bolstering the industry’s sustainability efforts to help reduce the sport’s carbon footprint. Over the course of April, the RACE TO GREEN campaign is hosting a National Tree Planting initiative for in which industry partners and fans can participate. Racing teams, tracks, drivers, partners and fans are encouraged to pledge to plant a tree – or several - on Earth Day, Monday, April 22 to help offset carbon emissions produced over the three national series over the season. Through the course of one mature tree’s lifetime, it absorbs about one metric ton of carbon dioxide - the same amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a NASCAR Sprint Cup™ car driving 500 miles. American Ethanol has pledged to plant a tree for every mile raced in April. With almost...

(Posted Thu. Apr 18th, 2013)

Apr. 18: American Ethanol will be showcased at the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway this Sunday, April 21, when fan-favorite Jeff Burton sports the black and green paint out on his No. 31 car. “It is fitting to feature American Ethanol on Earth Day because ethanol is the only viable renewable fuel in the marketplace today, and NASCAR made the switch to Sunoco Green E15- a fuel containing 15 percent ethanol- three years ago because of its environmental benefits and superior performance,” said Jon Holzfaster, a farmer from Paxton, Neb. who serves on the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board. “Part of American Ethanol’s goal is to remind the public of the jobs created by domestic ethanol, the significant economic benefits and of its contributions to our energy security.” American Ethanol will also be an Associate Sponsor for Austin Dillon’s No. 3 car in the Nationwide Series all season. "We're excited that Jeff Burton is lending his star power to American Ethanol with the paint...

(Posted Thu. Apr 18th, 2013)

April 18: National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson will take part in a special Food Dialogues panel discussion on biotechnology next week in Chicago, hosted by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance in conjunction with the BIO International Convention. The April 22 USFRA program, “The Straight Story on Biotech in Agriculture: The Media and its Impact on Consumers,” will consist of a panel of experts from multiple disciplines, including farmers, media, industry and academia, who will answer some of the toughest questions surrounding GMOs. Panelists will also discuss what more can be done by all sides – including those who are not in favor of this technology – to give consumers access to information that matters. “GMOs are one area where we are seeing a lot of questions from consumers, and a lot of misinformation in the news media and newer social media,” Johnson said. “As a farmer, I see the value of crop technology every day in the field, and it’s important that...

(Posted Wed. Apr 17th, 2013)

April 17: Today, Fuels America hosted an informational session for the media that provided an all-encompassing look at the sustainability of the biofuel supply chain. “From Farm to Fuel Tank: Sustainability in Renewable Fuel” featured a series of presentations from industry experts on the impressive strides in sustainability that the U.S. renewable fuel industry, in partnership with American Farmers, has made, allowing them to provide feed, fuel and fiber for the country in an environmentally sensitive manner. Despite impressive gains in water use, energy efficiency, and soil and land conservation, renewable fuel opponents continue to spread falsehoods about the sustainability of oil alternatives. This briefing provided information about sustainable farming practices, new harvest technologies, innovations in renewable fuel production processes, and cutting-edge partnerships leading the way. The first speaker, National Corn Growers Association Past President and Presidential...

(Posted Wed. Apr 17th, 2013)

Apr. 17: According to a new survey, American moms may be building their grocery lists based on misinformation about how their food was grown and raised. The Gate-to-Plate survey of more than 1,000 moms was commissioned by CommonGround, a grassroots coalition of farm women who want to foster conversations among all women – on farms and in cities – about where our food comes from and how it is raised. Survey results, which have been distributed nationally to a wide variety of media outlets, highlight the amount of confusion surrounding the labels attached to certain foods and what some production practices actually mean. CommonGround is a grass-roots movement to foster conversation among women — on farms and in cities — about where our food comes from and how it is grown. The National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and their state affiliates developed CommonGround to give farm women the opportunity to engage with consumers through the use of a wide range of...

(Posted Tue. Apr 16th, 2013)

Apr. 17: The National Corn Growers Association understands that many farmers must change planting plans to accommodate for the changing circumstances around them. To make updating refuge planting plans easier, NCGA now offers the Insect Resistance Management calculator in a handy mobile application. To find out how the calculator works and why complying with refuge requirements is important to all farmers, Off the Cob spoke with NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmermann, a farmer from Rosendale, Wisc. A strong advocate of the responsible use of biotechnology, he began by explaining what the tool actually does. “The IRM Refuge calculator is a tool that allows growers to develop a resistance management plan for corn rootworm and corn borer traited products they use on their farm,” he explained. “By selecting the traits they plan to use, farmers can determine the refuge amount that is required with the proper consideration and distance.” As a farmer,...

(Posted Mon. Apr 15th, 2013)

Keywords: Planting Progress Production

Apr. 15: A cool, wet spring has delayed planting progress across much of the country according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With only two percent of total corn acres planted by April 14, progress lags far behind this time last year, when 16 percent of U.S. corn acres were already in the ground and trails the five-year average for this point by a full five percentage points. “Planting is running somewhat behind normal in most areas, but slow progress this early in the season should not be seen as a cause for alarm,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson. “Last year, planting flew by quickly, but the severe drought that plagued much of the country damaged the overall crop. With many areas getting much needed rain, a slight delay at this point could still produce an excellent crop which will be buoyed by the near-record acreage farmers intend to plant to corn.” Progress lagged behind the five-year average in all of the top...

(Posted Mon. Apr 15th, 2013)

Keywords: Crop Insurance Farm Bill Risk Management ACRE

Apr. 15: As Congress has extended the 2008 farm bill for one year, farmers have an opportunity to enroll in the Average Crop Revenue Election program and Direct Cyclical and Counter-Cyclical programs in 2013. With sign-up for the programs closing on June 3 for ACRE and August 2 for DCP and CCP, those interested are urged to consider which option better suits their risk management needs and proceed accordingly. “It is important for farmers to remember that, while a new farm bill has yet to pass, they still have a variety of options to manage risk during the 2013 crop year,” said National Corn Growers Association Public Policy Action Team Chair Jim Reed. “As farmers, we all understand the importance of formulating a strategy to manage risk and selecting the right tools. While you work in the fields , we will continue our work in Washington to ensure that the best possible risk management tools are available for farmers and our safety net remains strong.” For those considering these...

(Posted Fri. Apr 12th, 2013)

Keywords: Trade Exports Japan

Apr. 12: The National Corn Growers Association applauds today’s announcement that the United States has concluded preliminary consultations to approve Japan’s participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. Japan announced its intention to join TPP last month. Since November 2011, U.S. negotiators have held discussions with Japan regarding the comprehensive, high-standard agreement. Japan must secure the approval of all current TPP members before it can participate in future rounds of talks. NCGA has consistently expressed support for Japan joining TPP negotiations as a full partner. In March, NCGA joined more than 70 agriculture organizations to send a letter to President Barack Obama urging the administration to work with Japan to facilitate Japan’s full participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership. “Japan’s interest in joining TPP represents a historic opportunity for U.S.-Japan trade relations,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chairman Jim...

(Posted Thu. Apr 11th, 2013)

Apr. 11: The National Corn Growers Association congratulates Past President Fred Yoder today as he is recognized by President Obama as a “Champion for Change.” The official recognition, which takes place in the White House on a weekly basis, honors 12 ordinary Americans are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. “As we take action to reduce carbon pollution and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy, we must also take action to prepare for the impacts of climate change we are already seeing, including more frequent and severe extreme weather,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “This week, we look forward to welcoming Champions of Change who are doing smart, innovative work to protect the health, safety and prosperity of their communities in the face of climate change.” A fourth-generation farmer, Yoder has been an advocate for many years,...

(Posted Wed. Apr 10th, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol RFS

Apr. 10: Today, a group of House members introduced legislation calling for changes to the renewable fuel standard. Led by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the legislation, called the "RFS Reform Act," would eliminate the corn-based ethanol requirements and would cap the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent. It would require the EPA to set cellulosic biofuel levels at production levels. National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, a farmer from Floyd, Iowa, issued the following statement in response to this legislation on behalf of the organization and the 300,000 corn farmers which it represents: “NCGA stands firm in its support of the Renewable Fuel Standard and will strongly oppose legislation to alter or repeal the RFS. “In 2005, Congress originally passed the RFS to enhance energy security, reduce consumer fuel prices by diversifying our energy portfolio, create jobs and stimulate economic activity, and improve the...

(Posted Tue. Apr 9th, 2013)

Apr. 9: On March 27, President Obama signed into law a bill funding the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. This appropriations bill included a provision to mitigate the effects of repeated and future procedural lawsuits from anti-biotechnology activists aimed at driving that technology from the marketplace. Section 735 of the bill was widely supported by many in agriculture including the National Corn Growers Association. Since the Farmer Assurance Provision was signed into law, it has faced attacks in the media which have been largely based on a mischaracterization of its provisions. Off the Cob spoke with NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman to find out what this provision accomplishes, why it is important and how it will protect America’s corn farmers. “What the Farmer Assurance provision does is temporarily protect growers who plant biotech traited crops that have already been approved by the U.S. regulatory system so that...

(Posted Mon. Apr 8th, 2013)

Keywords: Field Notes

April 8: The National Corn Growers Association has launched its third season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities. Today, Field Notes meets Rob Korff, who farms in central Missouri. An active participant in state and national corn organizations, Korff serves his fellow farmers as an advocate for agriculture. While planting was well underway at this time last year, he notes that planters are just beginning to roll in mid-Missouri. “We have had a late spring this year, and the winter really held on, bringing quite a bit of snow in early March and rain after that,” Korff explained. “The fields have been wet and cold, unlike last year when it was already almost 90 degrees. Last year at this point, a lot of...

(Posted Fri. Apr 5th, 2013)

April 5: This week, the National Corn Growers Association launches the third season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities. Today, Field Notes meets Jennie Schmidt, who farms a diversified operation with her husband on the eastern coast of Maryland. While her grandfather-in-law began the farm when he emigrated to the United States from Germany in the 1920s as a more traditional farm and ranch, the Schmidts now have moved from raising hogs and cattle to raising vineyard vines, green beans and tomatoes alongside their soybean and corn fields. This week, Schmidt began planting the vineyard, which she custom grows following the specifications outlined by her clients. Explaining that the process is more similar to...

(Posted Fri. Apr 5th, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol

Apr. 5: Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the proposed “Control of Air Pollution from Motor Vehicles: Tier 3 Motor Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards” as an update to the Tier 2 fuel emission regulations released in 2000. These standards increase the level of stringency with which vehicle emissions are regulated with the goal of decreasing air pollution. While these more stringent regulations on sulfur, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter innately benefit Americans by providing cleaner air, they also represent an opportunity to increase the use of renewable, high-octane ethanol. “While no one is sure at this point of every implication and ramification of the Tier 3 recommendations, farmers have always understood the importance of clean air, clean land and clean water,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chair Chad Willis. “Ethanol offers a variety of benefits to America, from increasing the octane in fuel to helping reduce air pollution. We hope that, as we...

(Posted Thu. Apr 4th, 2013)

Keywords: Trade Biotechnology

Apr. 4: This week, the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association convened key industry stakeholders to continue a dialogue on ways to improve cooperation and communication on biotechnology and trade issues. The discussions highlighted a broad array of opportunities to establish improved, more transparent communication regarding issues that potentially threaten the development, production or delivery of products derived from modern crop biotechnology. “We are encouraged that all parts of the biotech value chain are committed to cooperative discussions that ensure growers have the tools they need to deliver a reliable product that meets our customers’ needs,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman. Attendees discussed challenges and opportunities from both a domestic and international viewpoint. As agricultural biotechnology becomes an increasingly critical component of our nation’s bioeconomy, representatives...

(Posted Thu. Apr 4th, 2013)

Keywords: Trade Crop Production Quality US Grains Council

Apr. 4: The U.S. Grains Council, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, released the second annual USGC Corn Export Cargo Quality Report yesterday. Despite the severe drought in 2012 that reduced the projected size of the U.S. corn crop, testing indicated the 2012 crop was superior in quality across a number of key variables to the U.S. 2011 harvest, which was already a high quality crop. “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, we have produced one of the ten largest corn crops on record and continued our commitment to improving the...

(Posted Wed. Apr 3rd, 2013)

Apr. 3: This week, the 25x'25 Alliance, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a member, issued a report offering recommendations that will enable the U.S. agriculture and forestry sectors to meet the challenges posed by increasingly variable and unpredictable weather. Through this report, 25x’25 aims to help our nation’s agriculture and forestry industries not only meet tomorrow’s challenges, but also thrive in the midst of them. "These are recommendations that mitigate risks posed by changes in our climate while strengthening production, cutting input costs and improving the quality of the land - even in the context of weather-related disasters like those experienced in 2011 and 2012," said Work Group Chairman, Steering Committee Member and NCGA Past President Fred Yoder. "This document offers producers, foresters and policy makers various pathways in the areas of research, production systems, risk management, decision tools and outreach for building a more resilient...

CommonGround Brings Story of Farming to Homes across the Country

(Posted Wed. Apr 3rd, 2013)

Apr. 3: Yesterday, CommonGround volunteers Kristin Reese and LaVelle Winsor took the story of American farming, their story, to people across the country through a series of interviews with blogs and television and radio stations. Answering questions on issues such as organic foods and biotechnology, Reese and Winsor opened the barn doors, offering themselves and their fellow CommonGround volunteers as a resource for consumers with questions about where their food comes from and how it is grown. “It is natural for people who aren’t involved in the raising or growing of their food to have questions about how that is done,” said Reese, who farms in Ohio. “What I want to do, along with my fellow volunteers, is start a conversation with people who have these types of questions so that we can share and learn from one another. No one should have to fear their food, but if someone has concerns, we are there to share our experience as farmers.” Over the course of the morning, Reese and...

(Posted Tue. Apr 2nd, 2013)

Apr 2: The National Corn Growers Association has today opened online entry for the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest. The online format allows farmers to quickly and easily submit all necessary entry forms while taking advantage of the special early entry discount available until June 15. With fees reduced to $80 until that time, NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer. “The online entry option makes taking advantage of the early entry discount easier than ever,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Dean Taylor. “As planting season gets underway in many parts of the country, I encourage members to take advantage of the discount, use the easy online form and become a part of the contest. Also, I encourage non-members to explore the many benefits that NCGA members enjoy and consider joining both the association and entering the contest.” The online entry software allows growers to enter the contest and join NCGA and their...

(Posted Mon. Apr 1st, 2013)

  Apr. 1: With debates over ethanol heating up on the Hill again, the National Corn Growers Association offers a comparison the environmental impacts of ethanol and petroleum as transportation fuels. Scientifically examining a wide array of environmental factors, this side-by-side evaluation offers insight into the important differences between these fuels. Which fuel is renewable and why is that important? Today, ethanol is primarily made from corn, which is produced annually and thereby renewable. When corn grows, it takes carbon dioxide from the air and converts it into glucose and then starch, from which ethanol is produced. Corn production returns nutrients to the soil through its roots and decomposing stalks, thus giving back to the land used in its production. Petroleum and natural gas were made over millions of years ago from decayed plants and animals. The amount present in the earth is limited, and it cannot be replenished. As it takes tens of thousands of years for...