NEWS STORIES

AUGUST 2013

(Posted Fri. Aug 30th, 2013)

Aug. 30: Today, the National Corn Growers Association sends off Sarah Gallo with gratitude for her service and best wishes for the future.  Gallo departs the position of Director of Public Policy after almost three years to pursue other opportunities promoting agriculture in our nation’s capital.  During her tenure, Gallo played a key role in organizing an ongoing dialogue among the entire agricultural value chain about biotechnology and exports, and saw the ratification of multiple key trade agreements including those in Korea, Panama and Colombia.    “Sarah led our efforts to educate members of Congress on biotechnology and trade, working tirelessly as an advocate both for corn farmers and for the tools and policies which they need to thrive,” said Jon Doggett, NCGA Vice President of Public Policy.  “She was directly involved in some of NCGA’s major accomplishments over the past three years, including the formation of Maizall, our value chain-wide discussions and worked as a...

(Posted Fri. Aug 30th, 2013)

Keywords: Trade

Aug. 30: The United States is on track to export $140 billion in agricultural exports in Fiscal Year 2013, which would set a new record, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Following the release of the Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement:   "Driven by the productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers, we have achieved five years of positive momentum for agricultural exports and today's forecast is another promising development. Agricultural exports have a real impact on Main Street and beyond, supporting more than one million good jobs here at home. We're counting on Congress to help keep up this momentum. With just a few weeks left before expiration of many Farm Bill programs – including trade promotion programs that return $35 in economic benefits for every dollar invested – producers and rural communities need passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as...

(Posted Thu. Aug 29th, 2013)

Aug. 29: As the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database project moves forward, Off the Cob caught up with MaizeGDB Curator Dr. Jack Gardiner for an update on the progress made over the last quarter. In the interview, Gardiner explained how the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service-supported database in Ames, Iowa has been exploring the possibilities for incorporating text mining functionality as it develops.   Recently, Gardiner attended a meeting that will help MaizeGDB become an early adopter, shaping this new technology to best benefit the scientists and corn breeders who will use it.   “I just got back from a workshop on text mining at the Information Sciences Institute at University of Southern California,” Gardiner said. “The Information Sciences Institute at USC is a group of about 350 computer scientists dedicated to information processing and communications technology.  At MaizeGDB, we are looking at text mining as a way to capture information...

(Posted Thu. Aug 29th, 2013)

Aug. 29: The National Corn Growers Association, together with the American Seed Trade Association, CropLife America, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association and Agricultural Retailers Association, released the “Seed Treatment Stewardship Guide.” This publication provides farmers and seed companies with critical information and up-to-date guidelines for managing treated seeds effectively to minimize the risk of exposure to pollinators and other non-target organisms.   “As public interest in pollinator health continues to increase, the guide will be an invaluable resource for our members,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “We encourage all corn growers to refer to it before, during and after the corn planting season.”   To access the guide online, click here.   “Today’s seed treatments allow America’s farmers to grow an abundant, healthy crop while reducing potential risks to the environment,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Dean...

(Posted Wed. Aug 28th, 2013)

Aug. 28:  National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson took advantage of one of the nation’s largest farm shows to talk about NCGA’s membership milestone and the need for corn farmers themselves to make themselves heard on such important issues as ethanol and the farm bill.   “Now is the time for action,” Johnson said at the Farm Progress Show, underway in Decatur, Ill. “I urge all of our 40,000 corn growers and those who support them to get involved – whether by reaching out to your lawmakers, getting active in social media like Facebook or Twitter, or volunteering time and talent with our state corn grower associations. Opportunities for engagement are numerous, and we cannot win the battles ahead without our grassroots getting more involved.”   Johnson and NCGA First Vice President Martin Barbre toured the show, met with scores of farmers and took part in numerous interviews with farm media at the annual event, which alternates between the Decatur and Boone, Iowa...

(Posted Tue. Aug 27th, 2013)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Aug. 27: This week, the National Corn Growers Association brought the corn farmers perspective on American agriculture to an international group of an agronomists and soil scientists hosted by the International Fertilizer Development Center in St. Louis. Addressing participants from 10 nations, NCGA Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels and Director of Biotechnology and Economic Analysis Nathan Fields shared an overview of American agriculture focusing on production techniques, crop conditions and biotechnology as part of an effort to help participants find farming advances which might be useful in their home countries.   “NCGA helps not only farmers abroad but also those here in the United States by engaging in dialogues such as this,” said Bertels. “As international agricultural leaders come to understand how modern techniques and technologies benefit our country and see the broad public acceptance of them, we foster greater acceptance internationally. These...

(Posted Tue. Aug 27th, 2013)

Aug. 27: Droughts have long tails. Last year's drought, the third and most severe in a three year string of declining yields, raised concern among international buyers about the reliability of U.S. corn export capacity. Thus, it also helped boost record imports from South American and Black Sea producers. The U.S. Grains Council, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, has worked hard to anticipate and address these concerns in order to position U.S. corn for a rebound in exports when yields return to normal.   "China is watching the U.S. crop very closely and this visit has helped inform some of the key players in China about the capacity and safety of the U.S. system,” said Bryan Lohmar, USGC Council director. “They have a better perspective, and that translates into a higher degree of confidence and trust."   This spring invited China's State Administration of Grain to organize a senior study team to learn firsthand about the U.S. production...

(Posted Mon. Aug 26th, 2013)

Aug 26: The U.S. corn crop continued to make steady progress toward full maturity last week while remaining in good condition, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today. The percentage of the corn crop doughing increased by 18 points last week, narrowing the amount by which this crop’s maturation lags the five-year average by four points.  Reports also indicate that the crop condition remains nearly unchanged from the previous week with 59 percent of the crop forecast to be in good-to-excellent condition. Last year at this time, only 22 percent of the crop still fared as well.   “While the crop condition remains strong, farmers understand how weather can play an important role at any point during season,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, a grower in Floyd, Iowa. “Despite wet, cool conditions this spring and, for some, this summer, farmers forged ahead to plant a near-record number of corn acres. Now, they face varied...

(Posted Mon. Aug 26th, 2013)

Aug. 26: The Corn Farmers Coalition educational program had another successful summer in the nation’s capital, accumulating more than 30 million media impressions during June and July. The fact-based campaign, now in its fifth year, continues to focus on members of Congress, their staffs, administration officials, and opinion leaders in the news media, think tanks and environmental groups inside the DC beltway.   “CFC is about putting a face on family farmers each year, even if only for a short time,” said National Corn Growers Association Grower Services Action Team Chair Brandon Hunnicutt, a farmer from Giltner, Neb. “We take the simplest of facts, mainly from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and let them tell the positive story of how farming is becoming greener, more efficient and more productive.”   Today, farmers are using technology to farm better and to start a dialogue about food with the non-farm public. The Corn Farmers Coalition is part of this effort to engage...

(Posted Fri. Aug 23rd, 2013)

Aug. 23: A proud member and sponsor of the St. Louis Agribusiness Club, the National Corn Growers Association took part in the club’s Agmazing 500 Educational AgriBusiness Tour for congressional staff members. Club members hosted 15 staff members from Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Iowa and Indiana congressional offices.   A highlight of the tour was a visit to Larry Hasheider’s farm in Okawville, Ill.   “We are thrilled and honored to open up our farm and share what we do with those responsible for educating their representatives on agricultural interests in their districts,” said Hasheider. “We know the political reality of declining rural populations means agriculture has less influence on Capitol Hill. We hope that efforts such as this tour will give these staffers the ammunition they need to convince their bosses that maintaining a prosperous agricultural industry is strategic to the well-being of this country.”   The tour not only showcased the benefits of advances in...

(Posted Fri. Aug 23rd, 2013)

Aug. 23: This week, a team of Colombian grain buyers, organized by the U.S. Grains Council, visited the National Corn Growers Association for discussions about the 2013 corn crop and U.S. corn markets. The discussion, part of an effort to enhance interest in sourcing feed grains from the United States, comes as a direct result of the distinct trade advantage the country now enjoys because of trade policies recently enacted.   The meeting, led by NCGA Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels, included analysis of the record crop forecast by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an examination of the reliability of U.S. corn suppliers and conversations about the advantages of sourcing corn from the United States.   In 2008, U.S. corn imports accounted for 80 percent of the Colombian corn market. The delay in ratification of the U.S.-Colombian Free Trade Agreement contributed to a decline in U.S. market share. By 2011, U.S. corn accounted for only 21 percent of that...

(Posted Thu. Aug 22nd, 2013)

Keywords: NASCAR

Aug. 22: Bristol Motor Speedway will see a familiar face and a familiar brand Saturday for the Food City 250, as American Ethanol joins forces once again with veteran driver Kenny Wallace.  Wallace climbs back behind the wheel of the No. 29 RAB Racing American Ethanol Toyota Camry.   "I'm so excited to be going to Bristol Motor Speedway, the ultimate short track, for grassroots racing just like I grew up on. The night race at Bristol is absolutely electrifying, and I'm really excited to be a part of it and looking forward to showing off our new American Ethanol paint scheme," said Wallace. "It's been almost a full year since I've raced an American Ethanol Camry, and I'm so happy to be debuting a brand new paint scheme for them on a very special day for me, my 50th birthday."   Wallace, a veteran of the .533-mile oval, has not only won at "Thunder Valley", but has finished in the top ten in half of his Nationwide Series starts (18 of 36). Additionally, Wallace has two...

(Posted Thu. Aug 22nd, 2013)

Keywords: USFRA

Aug. 22:  Following the success of the Food Dialogues event series, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers and some of its affiliates have kicked off a series of regional events to bring communities together to talk about food and farm issues.   “We’re very proud to be part of USFRA and bring the conversation about food and farming from our fields to homes across America,” said NCGA Corn Board member Mike Geske, a Missouri corn farmer and member of USFRA’s board of directors. “These regional events help us spread the dialogue so we can hear from more people and share our stories about farming and ranching.”   These events kicked off last week with The Food Dialogues: Ohio, held in Columbus. This event features two discussions focused on biotechnology and sustainability to be moderated by local talk radio host Joel Riley.   The first panel discussion, “Biotechnology (GMOs) And Your Food,” explored the role of science when it comes to issues tied to food. Experts addressed tough...

(Posted Wed. Aug 21st, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol

Aug. 21: The National Corn Growers applauds U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D - MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for their efforts to ensure consumers have access to homegrown, renewable biofuels. In a letter sent yesterday, the senators called on the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to investigate possible anticompetitive practices by oil companies that limit consumers’ access to biofuels, such as ethanol.   “NCGA firmly supports efforts to ensure that Americans have options at the fuel pump,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “America’s farmers work diligently to provide renewable, environmentally responsible biofuels, and we applaud the efforts of Senators Klobuchar and Grassley to help ensure that consumers can choose to use those government approved fuel options.”   In a bipartisan letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Senate Antitrust Subcommittee Chair Klobuchar and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Grassley urged the...

(Posted Wed. Aug 21st, 2013)

Aug. 21: While much of the Midwest experienced a cool, wet spring, farmers should still remain vigilant in monitoring for corn rootworm pressure. Last summer, the stress of the drought may have intensified stress on the corn crop and resulted in small root masses and heavy corn rootworm pressure, but the possibility of corn rootworm remains even under the less conducive circumstances of 2013.   Since adult corn rootworm beetles prefer to feed on pollen and fresh corn silks, late planted corn can act as a trap crop for adult corn rootworm beetles. The increase in beetles may lead to increased silk clipping, interfering with pollination and leading to a high number of egg-laying females. Diligent scouting remains the farmer’s best defense against this threat.   Farmers should consider scouting sooner rather than later as August marks the peak of adult corn rootworm beetle activity. Given the planting delays experienced this spring, continuing scouting into September is advisable...

(Posted Tue. Aug 20th, 2013)

By Pam Johnson President, National Corn Growers Association   As NCGA president, I was very proud when we announced last week that NCGA had reached a record membership of more than 40,000 active members. This milestone is the result of a lot of hard work, and the work of many hands – our recruiters who reach out across their fields to their neighbors and friends, our state and national staff who implement so many important programs, and our grower-leaders who have led NCGA and its state affiliates.   There could not be a better time, or a more important time, to have these new members. For if there is anything we have learned, it’s that farmer voices are respected and followed. And now is the time for us to raise our voices, as we face two significant challenges in the weeks ahead.   First, there is the farm bill; or, rather, the lack of a farm bill. The currently extended 2008 farm bill expires on September 30 and Congress is significantly split on a future direction. With...

(Posted Mon. Aug 19th, 2013)

Keywords: NCYC Yield Contest

Aug. 19: With the corn harvest underway in some areas and soon to begin in others, the National Corn Growers Association announces that online harvest forms for the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest are now available.  While the harvest information form deadline may seem distant, entrants are asked to report within seven days of their final yield check or by Nov. 22, whichever comes first.   “While a few areas have begun to harvest already this year, we ask contest applicants to submit harvest forms within one week of their final yield check to allow NCGA staff adequate time to thoroughly review each form,” said Dean Taylor, chairman of the NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The National Corn Yield Contest plays a significant role in recognizing excellence and finding new, more productive techniques. We hope that growers continue to support the contest by seeing their entry through and submitting their completed harvest data forms.”   The National Corn Yield Contest...

(Posted Mon. Aug 19th, 2013)

Keywords: Crop Condition

Aug 19: The U.S. corn crop continued to make steady progress toward full maturity last week while remaining in good condition, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today. The percentage of the corn crop doughing increased by 20 points last week, yet progress still lags behind the five-year average by 13 points.  Reports also indicate that the crop condition remains nearly unchanged from the previous week with 61 percent of the crop forecast to be in good-to-excellent condition. Last year at this time, only 23 percent of the crop still fared as well.   “As the summer passes, we are pleased to see that the crop condition across the country remains strong,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, a grower in Floyd, Iowa. “Despite wet, cool conditions this spring and, for some, this summer, farmers forged ahead to plant a near-record number of corn acres. Should favorable weather continue to fuel growth and maintain quality, U.S. corn...

(Posted Mon. Aug 19th, 2013)

Aug. 19: The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on an NCGA action team or committee in the 2014 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.   “As a grassroots organization, NCGA relies on its members to step forward and take an active role in developing the policies that will lead our industry forward,” said NCGA First Vice President Martin Barbre. “This year, we have opportunities in all of the areas the organization touches, thus allowing members to take their involvement to the next level while exploring in great depth the areas which interest them the most. I encourage those interested to apply prior to the August 30 deadline to ensure consideration.”   Positions are available on all teams and committees: CornPAC, Ethanol Committee, Grower Services...

(Posted Fri. Aug 16th, 2013)

Aug. 16:  The National Corn Growers Association is now in 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 checks in with Indiana farmer Brian Scott and Maryland farmer Jennie Schmidt to see if crop condition and yield reports released this week match up with what they see in their fields. In both cases, these farmers agree with forecasts indicating a bountiful crop in good condition this fall.   Scott notes that, despite a long stretch of days in the mid-70s, the corn he sees near his farm, which lies north of Indianapolis reflects USDA crop condition reports. In the most recently released, the report forecasts 29 percent of the Indiana crop to be in excellent condition and 48...

(Posted Fri. Aug 16th, 2013)

An Open Letter to NCGA Members   My fellow farmers,   August may be a busy month on your farm, as I know it is on mine, but I call upon you to move one very important task to the top of your to-do list. Meet with your Members of Congress for a conversation about the issues important to corn growers.    With Members of Congress in their home states over the August recess, it is imperative that each and every one of NCGA’s more than 40,000 members takes advantage of this opportunity and personally shares their story with their representative from the House and their Senators before they head back to Washington on September 8.   I would never call upon others to do what I would not do myself. Personally, I met with my Congressman already. Along with Mark Reichert, past president of the Sangamon County Farm Bureau, I sat down with Representative Aaron Schock to tell my story about how federal government policy directly impacts my farm. Together, we discussed how important...

(Posted Thu. Aug 15th, 2013)

Keywords: Sustainability Field to Market

Aug. 15: The Field to Market alliance is preparing to release a water quality metric to its Fieldprint Calculator. This update includes the integration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Water Quality Index and can help growers better understand how their farming systems and practices affect the quality of water flowing off their fields.    “The time, landscape and community in which farmers grow their crops, along with their management decisions and skills regarding inputs and production practices, all play a part in the profitability of a farming operation,” said Keith Alverson, NCGA’s board representative to Field to Market. “No farmer wants to leave dollars on the field, and the water quality metric in the Fieldprint Calculator will help determine if we are boosting yields enough to cover things like extra fertilizer costs or soil loss. While profitability is import, longevity is a greater priority.”   NCGA is involved in...

(Posted Wed. Aug 14th, 2013)

Keywords: AIC

Aug. 14: National Corn Growers Association officers and senior staff have gathered with representatives of 14 leading agribusinesses for the biannual NCGA Agri-Industry Council meeting to discuss vital issues facing agriculture, share information on their companies and sectors, hear from recognized speakers and learn from NCGA about its current initiatives.  The Agri-Industry Council was established in 2007 to facilitate dialogue between agribusinesses and NCGA to collectively address issues of mutual concern.   “U.S. agri-business works hard to improve farming by providing growers with innovative technology and ever-improving seed varieties,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “Through meetings such as this one, we bring key leaders from across the value chain together so that we move forward with a better understanding of the big picture and can coordinate to build a brighter future.”   Over the course of the meeting, attendees are hearing from government relations...

(Posted Tue. Aug 13th, 2013)

Keywords: American Ethanol NASCAR Ethanol

Aug. 13: Today, Austin Dillon unveiled a limited-time only display at the NASCAR® Hall of Fame commemorating his historic win at the inaugural Mudsummer Classic held at the Eldora Speedway on July 25. The exhibit features a jar of dirt Dillon scooped up near the finish line with the Eldora golden shove, his winner’s trophy and the No. 39 American Ethanol truck he drove to victory, becoming the first driver to win a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on dirt.   “Dillon’s win in Eldora was not only a victory for the up-and-coming star, it was also a victory for American Ethanol,” said National Corn Growers Association NASCAR Advisory Committee Chair Jon Holzfaster, a farmer from Paxton, Neb. “By making history in the American Ethanol truck, Dillon drew a bright spotlight to ethanol’s ability to fuel victory even under the toughest of conditions. This attention is now compounded as NASCAR Hall of Fame visitors will clearly see how ethanol is not only a winner for NASCAR but for...

(Posted Mon. Aug 12th, 2013)

Keywords: Crop Progress Production

Aug. 12: Despite slight decreases in the forecasts for overall production and national yield, U.S. farmers are still on track to produce a record corn crop, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates released today. The projected harvest of 13.8 billion bushels of corn fell 187 million bushels from the forecast a month prior as the first survey-based yield forecast fell to 154.4 bushels per acre. If this forecasts is realized, U.S. corn farmers would far exceed the production record set in 2009 of 13.09 billion bushels.   “Despite planting delays and somewhat cool, wet conditions across much of the Corn Belt, farmers have worked diligently to grow the best crop possible,” said National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Ill. “We are pleased to see that this work is coming to fruition in many of the fields surveyed by the USDA in order to produce this forecast. Farmers merge cutting-edge technology and ever-improving...

(Posted Fri. Aug 9th, 2013)

Aug. 9:  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 checks in with Missouri farmer Rob Korff to find out how about the condition of his corn crop. With the growing season well underway, Korff finds the corn to be in good condition but worries about how an early frost might impact its maturation.   “This year, we have had cooler temperatures and sporadic rains. Sometimes we have had more rain than others but, overall, the corn crop is in pretty good shape,” Korff explained. “It is coming along about three to four weeks later than normal. This means we do have a potential for an early frost when we would still need some more...

(Posted Fri. Aug 9th, 2013)

Keywords: Membership

Aug. 9: On July 31, the National Corn Growers Association reached a major milestone as membership rolls surpassed the 40,000 mark, reaching a total of 40,157. Off the Cob sat down this week with NCGA Grower Services Action Team Chair Brandon Hunnicutt, a farmer from Nebraska, to discuss why the association continues to grow.   “There are many reasons that NCGA continues to grow its membership,” Hunnicutt explained. “First, we have a great stable of benefits, which is something that a lot of people look at when they consider joining an organization. More importantly, I think that we have a strong organization that is looking out for the best interests of America’s corn farmers. Farmers realize that this is something that we need to be a part of. We realize that we don’t have the resources some organizations do or that some of our opponents do, but we have something more important – we have the voices of America’s corn farmers.”   Looking at what makes the association unique, he...

(Posted Thu. Aug 8th, 2013)

Aug. 8: Growers are gathered today in Minneapolis, Minn. for the first session of the NCGA Leadership Academy, co-sponsored by Syngenta. Upon completion of the program in January, the participants will join more than 500 colleagues who have graduated from this program in the past 27 years.   At the meeting, participants got up-close look at NCGA from President Pam Johnson, who is also a Leadership Academy alumnae. Fellow alumnus and NCGA First Vice President Elect Chip Bowling provided an insightful examination of the main issues facing the association, and the nation’s corn farmers, today.   The farmers attending took part in media training and public speaking exercises as well as association management skill building. In addition, the class enjoyed a look at the future trends that will impact the industry and a comprehensive economic forecast given by futurist Bob Treadway.   “As a Leadership Academy graduate, I have a deep appreciation for the confidence and skills...

(Posted Tue. Aug 6th, 2013)

Keywords: Biotechnology

It’s no secret: the biotechnology industry hasn’t done the best job communicating about GMOs. That’s about to change with GMO Answers, a new joint initiative by the agricultural and biotechnology companies that create genetically modified seeds, now endorsed by the National Corn Growers Association. The GMOAnswers.com website is a new resource committed to transparency about the use of GMOs in agriculture, research and data – all in one public place for the first time.   “As corn farmers, we recognize the important role biotechnology plays in providing healthy food choices for all,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson. “At the same time, we witness first-hand groundless attacks on biotechnology by extremists, and a deeper public interest in sincerely learning more about GMOs. GMO Answers goes a long way in helping today’s families understand today’s agriculture.”   New research shows that there is a need for this conversation: 49 percent of people surveyed either don’t know or are...

(Posted Mon. Aug 5th, 2013)

Aug. 5:  Membership in the National Corn Growers Association now surpasses the 40,000 mark, the organization announced today, signaling deep and continued support for the 56-year-old national agriculture association. As of July 31, membership in NCGA stands at 40,157.   “We’re thrilled at what this new milestone means and we salute the hard work of our membership recruiters, state and national staff, and all who have helped build this into such a respected and strong grassroots association,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson, a farmer in Floyd, Iowa. “At a time when many associations struggle to maintain strong member numbers and there are so many pressing issues on the table, our growing membership means a louder voice in our nation’s capital, standing up for corn farmers throughout our nation.”   Johnson credits the rise to the importance of some seriously debated issues in Washington, especially the delayed farm bill and attacks on the Renewable Fuel Standard for ethanol,...

(Posted Fri. Aug 2nd, 2013)

Aug 2:  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 checks in with farmers in Nebraska and Texas to find out how about the condition of the corn crop in their respective areas. With the growing season well underway in the Midwest, farmers in the South have already begun to harvest their corn.   For Andy Jobman, who farms and works as a crop consultant in Nebraska, sunny days and a warm September would help ensure that corn is plentiful when harvest time comes around there.   “In Nebraska, we have been working hard to grow the crop through careful monitoring of our irrigation systems,” Jobman explained. “Where the water is...

(Posted Fri. Aug 2nd, 2013)

Aug. 2: This week, leadership from the National Corn Growers Association traveled to Ottawa to participate in the U.S. Grains Council’s 53rd Annual Meeting. Representing the association, a founding member of USGC, were NCGA President Pam Johnson, Chairman Garry Niemeyer, First Vice President Martin Barbre and CEO Rick Tolman. They shared their insight into current conditions facing corn growers domestically while discussing the factors shaping overseas markets with leadership from across the industry.   “Our work with the Grains Council plays an important role in NCGA’s mission of creating and maintaining opportunities for corn farmers,” said Johnson. “As we work directly on domestic markets, our partnership allows us to capitalize on NCGA’s policy successes and find innovative ways to build and maintain export markets for U.S. corn and distillers dried grains. Cooperatively, we can most efficiently ensure that we are maximizing all markets for corn, whether they be at home or...

(Posted Thu. Aug 1st, 2013)

Aug. 1: For the third year, the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will offer grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on seven priority areas, were designed by Southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region, and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.   “The National Corn Growers Association, working with state affiliates, developed AMCOE to bring a unified approach to aflatoxin research that will yield results in a timely and more efficient manner,” said NCGA Mycotoxin Task Force Chair Don Glenn, a corn grower in Alabama. “Working together, we can improve the tools available for aflatoxin control and get real results that farmers can see in their fields.”   Projects funded for 2014 should focus on one of these seven priority areas: biological control, especially atoxigenic...