NEWS STORIES

OCTOBER 2013

(Posted Thu. Oct 31st, 2013)

Keywords: NASCAR Ethanol

Oct. 31:  American Ethanol will be front-and-center at the Texas NASCAR race this weekend as spokesman Austin Dillon closes in on a championship and ethanol supporters from three states journey to the Lone Star State to educate and interact with fans about ethanol.   Dillon is known for his signature cowboy hat, but he wouldn’t mind trading in his hat for a new one at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday. Because what else would they give you as a trophy in Texas except a cowboy hat and a boot trophy?  Dillon, who has never finished outside the Top 10 at Texas Motor Speedway in NASCAR Nationwide Series  competition, currently leads the series standings by eight points over Sam Hornish Jr. As always, he will proudly display the American Ethanol logo on the side of his car.   Corn farmers...

(Posted Wed. Oct 30th, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol

Oct. 30:  Possible federal legislation that dismantles the Renewable Fuel Standard is the wrong policy at the wrong time, the National Corn Growers Association said today. According to news reports, the bill drafted by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., would remove corn ethanol from the RFS and adjust the RFS for advanced biofuel at 16 billion gallons.   “Just in time for Halloween, Sen. Feinstein is proposing a bill designed to play on the worst fears of Big Oil by gutting the RFS,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “Removing corn ethanol from the Standard makes no sense whatsoever at a time when growers are harvesting what may be a record corn crop. The fact is, we are on track to meet all demand for food and fuel, with a surplus at the end of this marketing year of nearly...

(Posted Wed. Oct 30th, 2013)

Oct. 30:  CommonGround volunteers hit the studios of Lifetime TV’s popular morning show The Balancing Act this week, to tape a four-segment miniseries discussing food topics most important to today’s farmer. The segments, which will air throughout the next three months on Lifetime, will acquaint women across the country with the farm women who grow and raise the food for all of America’s families.   “We are thrilled to work with The Balancing Act to create television that will really dig deeper into some of the hottest food topics,” said Sara Ross, a CommonGround volunteer who farms in Iowa. “All of us have so many common bonds; we all have a particular interest in food, in sharing our story, and in doing what is best for our families. There is such a strong desire here to really delve...

(Posted Tue. Oct 29th, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol

Oct. 29:  At a Capitol Hill briefing this morning on the Renewable Fuel Standard and the concerns of sportsmen and boaters, National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Chip Bowling shared his story as a corn grower, ethanol advocate, boater, hunter and fisherman who lives and farms alongside the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.   In his remarks, Bowling talked about how the RFS and ethanol have helped corn farmers, and how this economic boon has spread beyond the corn field – supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America; helping drive more conservation, not less; and helping clear the air while decreasing dependence on foreign oil.   “Corn farmers have responded to increased demand of ethanol from the RFS by producing more corn on roughly the same amount of...

(Posted Tue. Oct 29th, 2013)

Oct. 29:  With harvest running a little later and growers in the field longer than expected, the first session of the NCGA DuPont New Leader Program, previously scheduled for November, has been moved to January by the National Corn Growers Association. The application deadline for the program has been extended to Dec. 6, to allow more growers the opportunity to get involved.   “We hope that this will lead to fuller participation by all NCGA affiliated states for an excellent communications and leadership training program after a corn harvest that is running late in several areas,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “This program was developed to help our state affiliates identify emerging leaders and recruit potential board members, we especially appreciate the support of our program...

(Posted Mon. Oct 28th, 2013)

Oct. 28:  In its weekly report on crop progress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the corn harvest is only three percentage points under the five-year average and the crop condition is improving, with nearly two-thirds in good or excellent condition.   “Corn growers are on pace to bring in an excellent crop this fall, despite many challenges earlier in the season,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre, a corn farmers in southern Illinois. “We’re excited about the prospect of rebuilding the supply after 2012, but at the same time we know that lower prices will put the squeeze on farmers who have had to deal with increased costs in raising their crop.”   According to the USDA report, 59 percent of the crop has been harvested in the top corn states. The five-year average is 62...

(Posted Mon. Oct 28th, 2013)

Oct 28: Today, the National Corn Growers Association welcomed Zach Kinne to the Washington D.C. office as Director of Public Policy.  He will lead the public policy efforts for trade and biotechnology issues and serve as staff on the Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team.   “Zach brings a wealth of experience both personally and professionally to this position,” NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett said.  “With his background growing up on his family’s farm in Missouri to being the National President of FFA and his work on Capitol Hill, he will be a great addition to our staff.  We are pleased to welcome Zach to NCGA’s Washington office.”   Kinne most recently worked as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Roy Blunt in his Washington office where he advised the Senator and...

(Posted Fri. Oct 25th, 2013)

Oct. 25: With less than a month remaining, the National Corn Growers Association reminds entrants that online harvest forms for the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest are 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 harvest season is quite busy, we do ask all 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 Don Glenn, chairman of the NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team. “NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest plays an important role in recognizing excellence and finding new, innovative production practices. We hope that...

(Posted Thu. Oct 24th, 2013)

Oct. 24: CommonGround volunteers and staff from state corn and soy associations gathered in St. Louis yesterday for the CommonGround Biotechnology Communications Workshop which was graciously sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. The day-long event, held at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, featured internationally respected experts on biotechnology and a tour of the independent research facility.   “The energy and desire to learn that these women brought to the conference was inspiring,” said NCGA Chairwoman Pam Johnson, who also attended. “They took full advantage of the opportunity to delve more deeply into the science behind common myths about biotech and GMOs, both actively...

(Posted Thu. Oct 24th, 2013)

Oct 24: Late Wednesday evening, the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, H.R. 3080, by a vote of 417-3.  The National Corn Growers Association congratulates members on advancing the bill with strong, bipartisan support.    “A nearly unanimous vote on legislation rarely occurs these days on Capitol Hill,” NCGA President Martin Barbre said.  “This just goes to show how important WRRDA is not only to agriculture, but to the American economy.  Every year more than one billion bushels of corn, or roughly 60 percent of all corn exports, move to export markets via our nation’s inland waterways. Unfortunately, investments in the system have not kept pace with the needs of the transportation sector.”   The bill authorizes the U.S. Army...

(Posted Wed. Oct 23rd, 2013)

Oct. 23: Yesterday, the National Corn Growers Association hosted a Chinese agricultural delegation for a morning of informative presentations and discussions about the U.S. corn crop, agricultural associations and the seed and biofuels industries. The group, organized by Monsanto, included officials from China’s Seed Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture and 16 officials from provincial seed administration stations.   “While NCGA hosts a number of teams interested in biotechnology and the corn crop outlook, this breadth of topics in which this team showed interest was somewhat unique,” said NCGA Marketing Manager Joe Hodes. “Working together, our staff was able to provide them with insight into a number of sectors which influence U.S. corn production and...

(Posted Tue. Oct 22nd, 2013)

Oct. 22: The National Corn Growers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the American Soybean Association announce a new collaborative venture that joins two leading industry trade show experiences - Commodity Classic and AG CONNECT Expo & Summit - to provide an even better world-class experience and gathering place for all segments of agriculture.    Commodity Classic is a joint venture owned by the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association, with National Association of Wheat Growers and National Sorghum Producers participating as affiliates. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) owns and produces AG CONNECT Expo & Summit.   The inaugural event will be held March 3-5, 2016, in New Orleans. The Commodity Classic shows...

(Posted Mon. Oct 21st, 2013)

Oct. 21: Corn harvest progress continues to lag far behind the five-year average according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today. With 39 percent of the crop harvest in the top 18 corn producing states as of October 20, progress now trails the five-year average by 14 points. The previous report, released on September 30, indicated only an 11 point gap at that time.   “Planting came late this year as farmers dealt with wet, cool conditions and, accordingly, harvest will be later than normal also,” said National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre. “While some anecdotal evidence points toward a more robust crop than some had predicted in rural America, it is important to note that these instances may not be representative. Right now, we need...

(Posted Fri. Oct 18th, 2013)

Oct. 18: The National Corn Growers Association has finalized its agenda for the 2014 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference (CUTC), to be held June 2-4 in Louisville, Ky.   Presentations will feature new uses and products, inputs, processing and biorefinery advances in wet and dry grinding. The conference session topics will address genetics, biotechnology, grain quality and mycotoxin research. There will be additional sessions covering new technologies and products from wet and dry processing, enzyme technology, and products from biorefineries. Attendees can also expect to hear presentations on new starch uses, resistant starch and nutrition, biopolymers and higher valued products such as nutraceuticals.   “CUTC is critical for the sustainability of the...

(Posted Thu. Oct 17th, 2013)

Oct. 17:  Farm size will be the key topic at the next Food Dialogues event, to be held on Thursday, Oct. 24 in Boston by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance and streamed live online. The National Corn Growers Association is a proud founder and affiliate of USFRA, with NCGA board member Mike Geske serving on the USFRA board.   Noted food author and Bloomberg News reporter Alan Bjerga will moderate the discussion and farmers, ranchers, and food pundits will address the differences and similarities between large and small farms, farm ownership and sustainability practices and the effect these issues have on consumer perceptions. It will be held in conjunction with Food Day events around the country and help share the perspective of farmers and ranchers to a largely urban and suburban...

(Posted Wed. Oct 16th, 2013)

Oct. 16: This week, National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman will be representing U.S. farmers in the 8th annual Global Farmer Roundtable.   In 2013, farmers and producers from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Ghana, India, Kenya, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Ukraine, the United States, Uruguay and Zimbabwe will participate in this event in support of freer trade and farmers’ freedom to choose the tools, technologies and strategies they need to maximize productivity and profitability in a sustainable manner.   The discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Robert L. Thompson, and events began yesterday with tours of Kemin Industries in Des Moines and the Couser Cattle Company in Nevada,...

(Posted Tue. Oct 15th, 2013)

Oct. 15: The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee is now accepting applications from members for the 2015 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 my years on the Corn Board, I have had the pleasure of working with the wealth of talented, dedicated volunteers who step forward to lead this organization,” said NCGA Chairwoman and Nominating Committee Chair Pam Johnson. “The willingness of our volunteer leadership 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...

(Posted Fri. Oct 11th, 2013)

Oct. 11:  With the harvest well underway, the National Corn Growers Association reminds entrants that online harvest forms for the 2013 National Corn Yield Contest are 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.   “Harvest season is quite busy, so we do ask all 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 Don Glenn, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest plays an important role in recognizing excellence and finding new, innovative production practices. We hope that growers continue to...

(Posted Thu. Oct 10th, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol

Oct. 10:   When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency releases the 2014 volume requirements for the Renewable Fuel Standard, the statute currently calls for corn starch ethanol to account for 14.4 billion gallons, an amount that corn farmers and the ethanol industry can easily provide, the National Corn Growers Association noted.   “Across the country right now, our nation’s corn farmers are harvesting what the USDA and others are estimating to be the largest corn crop ever,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “We’re looking forward to not only meeting all needs for food, feed and fuel, but to ensure ending stocks, or surplus, of nearly 2 billion bushels. Those who want to reduce how much corn ethanol is in the RFS for 2014 need to realize the tremendous productive capacity of the American...

(Posted Wed. Oct 9th, 2013)

Keywords: Research

Oct. 9:  The National Corn Growers Association participated earlier this week in an inter-commodity research meeting hosted at Cotton Incorporated in Cary, N.C. Along with corn, national research staff from soy, wheat, sorghum, and cotton associations met to exchange ideas and discuss potential collaborations among the groups.   “One common area of concern expressed by attendees was regarding the data utilized in lifecycle analysis,” said Richard Vierling, NCGA Director of Research and New Uses. “The historical data applied to the lifecycle analysis models which policy is often derived from does not reflect current production practices or recent improved efficiencies.”   This fall, NCGA is starting a project to gather production data that accurately describes current corn production practices....

(Posted Tue. Oct 8th, 2013)

Oct. 8:  National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre released the following statement after filing a notice to appeal the September 13 ruling which upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s Total Maximum Daily Load for the Chesapeake Bay:   “NCGA feels it is in the best interest of farmers to appeal the district court’s decision which upheld the TMDL for the Chesapeake Bay.  Our organization understands and supports the need to protect water quality but we don’t support a wrongfully decided case when it has a profoundly negative impact on agricultural production and innovation.        “We continue to believe the policies and science behind Chesapeake Bay TMDL are wrong and that it goes beyond the scope of Clean Water Act authority.  We hope the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will...

(Posted Tue. Oct 8th, 2013)

Oct. 8: The National Corn Growers Association and BASF Corporation will again award five $1,000 scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field during the 2014-15 school year.   “NCGA understands that to remain successful as an industry we must focus on education and keeping our best and brightest interested in ag,” said Tom Haag, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “This program is an important component of NCGA’s commitment to fostering youth in agriculture and to the future of our rural communities.  It is an investment in not only their future but also our own.”   Applicants for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program must be entering at least their second undergraduate year or any...

(Posted Mon. Oct 7th, 2013)

Oct. 7:  Space remains available for farmers in some states to become involved in the NCGA/DuPont New Leader Program, kicking off next month in Des Moines,  which was created to empower growers to share the story of their farms and the benefits of a robust agriculture system with key audiences, including consumers, media and decision-makers. The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont first announced this program in July, designed for farming couples.   “This is the first year of an entirely new program for us, and we’ve got an exciting agenda planned to help turn our farmers into capable spokespersons for American agriculture and provide them with support they need for considering a leadership role in their corn association,” said Tom Haag, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action...

(Posted Mon. Oct 7th, 2013)

Oct.7:  The National Corn Growers Association is now wrapping up 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 Indiana farmer Brian Scott to see how the 2013 corn harvest is coming along. Momentarily pausing the combine for a brief chat, Scott explained that what he has seen in the fields so far.   “When we ran out of soybeans dry enough to cut last week, we started harvesting corn,” said Scott. “It’s going really well so far. In the field right by...

(Posted Mon. Oct 7th, 2013)

Oct.7:  The National Corn Growers Association is now wrapping up 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 Indiana farmer Brian Scott to see how the 2013 corn harvest is coming along. Momentarily pausing the combine for a brief chat, Scott explained that what he has seen in the fields so far.   “When we ran out of soybeans dry enough to cut last week, we started harvesting corn,” said Scott. “It’s going really well so far. In the field right by...

(Posted Fri. Oct 4th, 2013)

Oct. 4: This week, National Corn Growers Association past president Garry Niemeyer brought a corn farmer’s perspective to the 10th Annual Waterways Symposium and Annual Meeting. The event was organized by the Waterways Journal, Informa Economics and the Waterways Council, the national public policy organization that advocates for a properly funded and well-maintained system of inland waterways and ports.   Niemeyer, who now serves on WCI’s Board of Directors, participated in a series of discussions and sessions designed improve understanding of the issues and opportunities faced by a broad array of groups dependent upon functional inland waterway infrastructure. Topics covered included the future of key legislation, a progress update, analysis of how economic changes could impact...

(Posted Thu. Oct 3rd, 2013)

Keywords: trade DDGS

Oct. 3: The strength of U.S. exports of distiller's dried grains with solubles has been bright spot in a tough year for U.S. feed grains, with particularly strong export growth in Southeast Asia contributing substantially to that growth. Through the first half of calendar year 2013, total U.S. DDGS exports rose six percent. At the same time, growth rose nine percent in Southeast Asia, with major gains in Thailand (53 percent) and Indonesia (42 percent) more than offsetting declines in Malaysia and the Philippines. Overall, U.S. exports to the region rose by 605,000 metric tons.   "In Southeast Asia, DDGS are a beachhead export commodity for the United States," said Adel Yusupov, U.S. Grains Council regional director in Southeast Asia. "While India and South America are our major regional competitors in...

(Posted Wed. Oct 2nd, 2013)

Oct. 2: When the National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year yesterday, Maryland farmer Chip Bowling assumed the role of first vice president.  Off the Cob spoke with the new officer to explore the issues he sees as needing the most immediate attention and his long-term goals for his term.   “We will still be facing the need to pass a new farm bill in 2014,” he said. “Passing this legislation is a necessity. It’s been an ongoing struggle for all farm commodities, and it doesn’t appear that a new five-year bill will be completed any time soon.”   He notes that, at the same time, it is imperative that NCGA, and all corn farmers, defend the RFS vigorously. “We will also continue to face the seemingly never-ending attack on the Renewable Fuel...

(Posted Tue. Oct 1st, 2013)

Oct. 1: Last week, National Corn Growers Association Director of Biofuels Dr. Pam Keck sat down with The Market Hour to discuss a new report released from researchers in the Netherlands. This study shows that current models assessing the impact of crops grown for biofuel production on land use do not accurately reflect current production and land use realities.   “The results of that study are actually great news,” Keck explained. “When corn and corn ethanol are produced, a particular greenhouse gas score is assigned to it. Sometimes referred to as a carbon footprint, these scores are assigned to other agricultural products and production processes also.   “These footprints are broken down into direct or indirect inputs. This particular study deals with indirect...

(Posted Tue. Oct 1st, 2013)

Oct. 1: The National Corn Growers Association enters a new fiscal year today and seated the 2014 Corn Board with Martin Barbre of Carmi, Ill., assuming the presidency.  Off the Cob spoke with the new president to explore his views on what lies ahead for corn farmers in 2014 and his goals for his term.   “My three main goals for the year are to get a farm bill passed, to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard intact and to get a Water Resources Reform and Development Act passed,” he said. “What I want is to see the association move forward. Going along with that, I would like to see incredible growth of membership continue. The 15 solid years of membership growth that we have seen proves that we are really doing a good job at NCGA. I want to continue that legacy.”   Looking at...