NEWS STORIES

DECEMBER 2013

(Posted Tue. Dec 31st, 2013)

Dec. 31: The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee is accepting applications for the 2015 Corn Board, but interested members need to act quickly to meet the January 10 deadline.  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 and Nominating Committee Chairwoman Pam Johnson. “The willingness of our volunteer leadership plays an integral role in ensuring NCGA’s continued success, and I urge anyone interested to further explore this opportunity. As a true grassroots organization, we rely upon farmers to volunteer for leadership, helping to shape policy and drive efforts. Serving on the Corn Board allows farmers a chance to build...

(Posted Mon. Dec 30th, 2013)

Dec. 30: U.S. corn exports to Latin America continue to grow. According to the USDA, the Western Hemisphere's accumulated U.S. corn imports are more than 67 million bushels ahead of last year at this same time. Mexico, the second-largest U.S. corn market, is the largest contributor to this market change, importing 39.4 million bushels more than last year.   “It is exciting to see how free trade agreements lead to increased exports for farmers,” said National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman. “The work done on a policy level is having a direct impact upon markets for corn. Right now, farmers clearly understand the importance of fostering all markets, particularly given the incredible abundance grown in 2013. Tearing down the barriers that allow our customers abroad access to our supply only makes sense for American agriculture and America’s economy.”   While Mexico dwarfs other importers, both Colombia and Peru show...

(Posted Thu. Dec 26th, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol RFS

Dec. 26: A group of Midwestern governors, all members of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, have sent letters to President Barack Obama expressing their support for the Renewable Fuel Standard. These letters come in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal which would scale back the volume of renewable fuels required under the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2014.   In a joint letter to the president, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple and South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard argue in defense of the ethanol standard. The letter stresses the importance of ethanol as it diversifies America’s energy portfolio, gives consumers choices at the pump, supports economic development in rural communities and reduces harmful emissions across the nation.   Providing evidence of...

(Posted Tue. Dec 24th, 2013)

Keywords: CommonGround Biotechnology GMO

Dec. 24: Lifetime TV welcomes CommonGround Iowa volunteer Sara Ross to its morning program The Balancing Act this Thursday to further an ongoing conversation between the American moms on and off of the farm. Ross will answer questions and address concerns about food safety and the benefits of GMOs while clearing up myths surrounding organically grown foods and conventionally grown foods.   This is the third of a four-segment mini-series in which The Balancing Act features conversations with volunteers from CommonGround, an effort designed to get women talking about farming and food. CommonGround provides a way for moms looking for answers about food to connect with moms who grow and raise it and get real, credible information.    “I want mothers to know that I feed my family the same foods that they do. The Balancing Act provides a great forum to connect with moms across the country and let them know that farmers just like me want to share the story behind how American food is...

(Posted Tue. Dec 24th, 2013)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Dec. 24: From soil health, succession planning and weed management—to the importance of the Renewable Fuel Standard and transportation infrastructure—experts will cover these and several other agriculture topics during educational sessions at the 19th Annual Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.   Learning Center sessions are offered at Commodity Classic from Feb. 27-March 1, 2014. The 19 sessions offer in-depth discussions of current issues and topics that have a direct impact on a grower’s bottom line, with speakers from around the country.   “Commodity Classic Learning Centers are the place to experience a first-hand look at the latest in new agriculture technology and information” said Commodity Classic Co-Chairman ­­­­­Rob Elliott. “It’s a chance to hear from others in the ag industry from around the U.S. and share ideas and best practices.”   Commodity Classic features a line-up of world-class speakers from all around the U.S. to discuss timely, relevant topics....

(Posted Mon. Dec 23rd, 2013)

Keywords: Trade US Grains Council

Dec. 23: Record production, high quality and minor weather-related impacts are the top-line findings of the 2013/2014 Corn Harvest Quality Report, released last week by the U.S. Grains Council, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member.   "After a record drought last year, the world has been watching intently the 2013 U.S. corn crop," said USGC President and CEO Tom Sleight. "Production has rebounded, and quality is high despite some weather challenges. It's good news all around."   Total U.S. corn production of 13,989 million bushels set a new all-time record, and the average yield of 160.4 bushels/acre is the second highest on record. Weather was again the challenge, as a cold and wet spring delayed planting across much of the Corn Belt. Some areas also experienced flash-drought conditions in mid-summer, although this was generally offset by cooler temperatures.   These weather adversities slightly reduced planted acreage and yield, while harvest...

(Posted Fri. Dec 20th, 2013)

Keywords: NCYC

Dec. 20: Advanced production techniques, informed growing practices and improved seed varieties helped corn growers achieve high yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2013 National Corn Yield Contest. Entrants continued to far surpass the national average corn yield, setting a contest record with a new all-time high yield of 454 bushels per acre. Additionally, a record five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.   The National Corn Yield Contest is in its 49th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members, setting a new participation record this year with 8,827 entries. This surpasses the previous record of 8,431 entries, set in 2011, and far outstrips the 8,263 entries received in 2012.   “While this contest provides individual growers a chance for good-natured competition with their peers, it also advances farming as a whole,” said Don Glenn, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques and practices...

(Posted Thu. Dec 19th, 2013)

Dec. 19: As the Maize Genetics and Genomics Database project moves forward, Off the Cob caught up with MGGDB 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 recruiting its first proteomics data set.  While this is an ongoing effort, it should reach completion over the next few months.  This data comes from a recently published paper in the prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences by a group of maize researchers at the University of California San Diego.    Gardiner begins with an explanation of what proteomics actually are.   “Scientists now know that the maize genome encodes about 40,000 genes that are the instructions for making proteins,” said Gardiner. “These proteins do the actual work of the cell; they are what actually make the corn plant grow and develop....

(Posted Wed. Dec 18th, 2013)

Keywords: Trade Biotechnology

Dec. 18: Members of the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance, a collaborative effort to improve the environment for technology innovation and the market for U.S. crops produced through modern biotechnology, met in Washington this week to discuss recent progress and plan for the future. In addition to examining the next steps necessary toward achievement of overall goals, the group invited additional commodities to attend and is considering expanding to include canola, cotton and wheat representation and others in the value chain.   “USBCA represents the culmination of a sustained, targeted effort to ensure better communication throughout the value chain, and it is exciting to be at a point where we can consider even further expanding our scope to benefit an even broader section of U.S. farmers,” said National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman, who attended the meeting along with Corn Board Liaison Kevin Skunes. “In today’s global...

(Posted Wed. Dec 18th, 2013)

Keywords: CommonGround Biotechnology GMOs

Dec. 18: Lifetime TV welcomes CommonGround Iowa volunteer Sara Ross to its morning program The Balancing Act tomorrow to further an ongoing conversation between the American moms on and off of the farm. Ross will answer questions and address concerns about food safety and the benefits of GMOs while clearing up myths surrounding organically grown foods and conventionally grown foods.   This is the third of a four-segment mini-series in which The Balancing Act features conversations with volunteers from CommonGround, an effort designed to get women talking about farming and food. CommonGround provides a way for moms looking for answers about food to connect with moms who grow and raise it and get real, credible information.    “I want mothers to know that I feed my family the same foods that they do. The Balancing Act provides a great forum to connect with moms across the country and let them know that farmers just like me want to share the story behind how American food is grown...

(Posted Tue. Dec 17th, 2013)

Keywords: Water Sustainability Regulations

Dec. 17: This week, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency convened a Scientific Advisory Board to conduct a peer review of the Water Body Connectivity Report draft released by that agency in September. The panel, which includes a broad variety of independent scientific experts, is assessing the scientific validity of that report, upon which the agency will base their rule defining Waters of the United States. This rule seeks to expand EPA’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act. The review, which began on Monday, has thus far proceeded in a constructive yet inquisitive manner that the National Corn Growers Association hopes will lead to findings that positively impact the final rule.   “While the debate going on in Washington may seem academic and ephemeral, it will have real-world implications for farmers in their fields,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn, who farms in Alabama. “Farmers take their responsibility to care for natural...

(Posted Mon. Dec 16th, 2013)

Keywords: NASCAR American Ethanol

Dec. 16: The National Corn Growers Association congratulates American Ethanol spokesman Austin Dillon who announced last week that he will return to the track next season in the elite-level NASCAR™ Sprint Cup Series. Still driving the famed No. 3 car, Dillon makes his move into the elite-level race series with the backing of Richard Childress Racing.   “The National Corn Growers Association had an incredible year as its message about the environmental and performance benefits of renewable, domestically produced ethanol gained greater attention as its spokesman rose to even greater fame,” said NCGA NASCAR Advisory Committee Chair Jon Holzfaster, a farmer from Paxton, Neb. “We certainly wish Austin even greater success in the future and offer our gratitude for his work in bringing ethanol into the national spotlight.”   Dillon won the Camping World Truck Series championship in 2011 driving the No. 3 for Richard Childress Racing, which is owned by his grandfather, and continued to...

(Posted Mon. Dec 16th, 2013)

Keywords: Corn Board Leadership

Dec. 16: The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee reminds members that it is accepting applications for the 2015 Corn Board, but less than a month remains for submission.  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 and Nominating Committee Chairwoman Pam Johnson. “The willingness of our volunteer leadership plays an integral role in ensuring NCGA’s continued success, and I urge anyone interested to further explore this opportunity. As a true grassroots organization, we rely upon farmers to volunteer for leadership, helping to shape policy and drive efforts. Serving on the Corn Board allows farmers a chance to build a...

(Posted Mon. Dec 16th, 2013)

Keywords: Trade

Dec. 16: Timely action by the U.S. Grains Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative averted a patently protectionist seasonal market closure in Panama, keeping this important market open for U.S. corn exports.   “U.S. corn farmers increasingly understand the importance of working diligently to maintain all markets for our product both at home and abroad,” said National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman. “The determined efforts of farmers, through the Council, and of our government have resulted in a real victory that will allow this valuable market to remain open and for U.S. corn exports to stay on track.”   In September, the Panamanian government published regulations governing quota administration for U.S. corn imports under the Panama – U.S. Free Trade Agreement. Unfortunately the Panamanian government decided to exploit a loophole in the FTA and closed the imports of corn from January...

(Posted Thu. Dec 12th, 2013)

Dec. 12: The National Corn Growers Association announced its strong opposition to a bill introduced today by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and eight cosponsors which would eliminate the corn ethanol mandate within the Renewable Fuel Standard. The bill, titled the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2013, not only finds basis in the fallacious food versus fuel and blend wall arguments but also would deny America the environmental benefits of biofuels.   NCGA President Martin Barbre directly addressed the proposed legislation saying:   “The bill introduced today by Senators Feinstein and Coburn rehashes arguments which have long been proven false and continues a relentless attack upon domestic, renewable ethanol. This attack on corn ethanol and our nation’s farmers would negatively impact the advancement of second generation renewable fuels.   “Furthermore, the actions proposed in this bill would not only decimate rural America but also wreak...

(Posted Wed. Dec 11th, 2013)

Keywords: RFS RVO Ethanol

Dec. 11: National Corn Growers Association Corn Board Member Jon Holzfaster represented the interests of American farmers today during a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Committee and Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety oversight hearing on domestic renewable fuels. The two panel session included testimony from government officials and industry leaders on the environmental and economic impacts of the Renewable Fuel Standard and increased use of domestically produced biofuels such as corn ethanol. In his testimony, Holzfaster stressed the importance of the RFS in supporting jobs, reducing dependence on foreign oil, lowering fuel prices for consumers and improving the environmental footprint of our nation’s transportation fuels.   Additionally, he attested to the important role distillers dried grains have come to play in the beef, dairy, swine and poultry industries thus further negating arguments against increased ethanol use based in the false dichotomy...

(Posted Wed. Dec 11th, 2013)

Keywords: RVO RFS Ethanol

Dec. 11: For 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a 1.4 billion gallon reduction in how much corn ethanol will be required under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal law that helps get domestic, renewable, cleaner-burning corn ethanol blended in the nation’s fuel supply.  This will reduce already-low corn prices and negatively affect planting decisions in 2014. Last week, dozens of corn growers and other supporters of ethanol raised their voices about the potential for grave economic impacts should the EPA implement this reduction during a Washington hearing that ran late into the night.   Off the Cob caught up with Virginia Grain Producers Association President Bryan Taliaferro to discuss his testimony during the event. Recounting his message, Taliaferro recounted the economic troubles many corn farmers faced before corn ethanol became widely used in automotive fuels.   To listen to the full interview, click here.   “I started farming in 1973 with...

(Posted Wed. Dec 11th, 2013)

Dec. 11: Lifetime TV welcomes CommonGround Ohio volunteer Kristin Reese to its morning program The Balancing Act tomorrow to further an ongoing conversation between the American moms on and off of the farm. Reese will share special family holiday recipes from while also helping consumers learn more about how the food on their tables was grown and raised.   This is the second of a four-segment mini-series in which The Balancing Act features conversations with volunteers from CommonGround, an effort designed to get women talking about farming and food. CommonGround provides a way for moms looking for answers about food to connect with moms who grow and raise it and get real, credible information.    “The Balancing Act provided a unique opportunity to share my passion for both farming and cooking, really connecting with moms across the country. It only makes sense that people want the best for their families, and I hope that I can help them gain a better understanding of how...

(Posted Wed. Dec 11th, 2013)

Dec. 11: Only two days remain to apply for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program. These five scholarships, offered by the National Corn Growers Association and BASF Corporation, will award $1,000 each 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 year of graduate study, and they or a parent or legal...

(Posted Tue. Dec 10th, 2013)

Dec. 10: U.S. farmers remain on course to produce a record corn crop if forecasts hold, but increased demand will result in lower ending stocks than previously anticipated according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates released today. Harvest projections remained stable at 13.98 billion bushels as demand for corn for use in ethanol, food, seed and industrial use and for corn exports increased by a total of 150 million bushels. The crop would still solidly set a new production record and result in ending stocks of more than 1.7 billion bushels if projections hold.   “While the market responded to the abundance corn farmers grew in 2013, this abundance continues to create a difficult situation for many farmers as prices have continued to drop,” said National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre, a farmer from Carmi, Ill. “With many growers finding prices lower than their cost of production at this point, it is imperative that we work diligently to build and...

(Posted Tue. Dec 10th, 2013)

Dec. 10: This holiday season, members of the National Corn Growers Association can save on travel expenses by using discounts available exclusively through NCGA. Through partnerships with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the exclusive NCGA Worldwide Hotel Discount Program, NCGA offers members valuable savings on car rentals and hotel bookings whether they travel across the country or even to many locations around the world.   “NCGA works hard to increase opportunities for farmers in the market place, but we also strive to offer a wide array of benefits to our members,” said NCGA Growers Service Action Team Chair Tom Haag. “Growers benefit from our work to grow the market for corn and maintain their freedom to operate, but we also want to provide special opportunities for our members that reward their support of our organization. Seeing friends and family makes the holidays a special time, and we want to provide discounts that make these magical moments more affordable.”   The...

(Posted Tue. Dec 10th, 2013)

Dec. 10: This week, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board, Action Teams and Committees will convene in St. Louis to delve into the issues and opportunities that will affect corn farmers across the country during the coming year.    Gaining information from presentations by leaders from industry and government, the team members will explore possible changes to team policies and activities that could help their respective programs improve efforts to create and maintain opportunities for growers. Additionally, they will help NCGA update the strategic plan that governs the association’s policies and programs for the next several years.   “I am continually inspired by the dedication to agriculture that our farmer leaders show as a whole and by the depth of subject area knowledge they bring to team discussions,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre.  “By dividing the variety of issues facing our industry into subject areas, we allow growers to delve deeply into a single...

(Posted Mon. Dec 9th, 2013)

Keywords: CUTC

Dec. 9:  The National Corn Growers Association announced today that registration for the 2014 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference is now open.  The biennial event will be held June 2-4 in Louisville, Ky. The 2014 CUTC will feature the cutting-edge technologies and new uses that continually improve and dynamically change the corn industry with a focus on wet and dry milling.   “While June may seem a ways away, registering now for CUTC provides an opportunity to save with valuable early registration discounts,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chair Tom Mueller. “The 2014 conference remains a must-attend event on calendars of many throughout the industry. The conference maintains its position at the forefront of technology, fostering innovative ideas and the important networking connections necessary to move the industry forward.”   The conference session topics will address genetics, biotechnology, and grain quality. There will be additional...

(Posted Mon. Dec 9th, 2013)

Dec. 9: Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service released its highly anticipated Conservation Effects Assessment Program report outlining the extent of conservation adoption and corresponding water quality benefits within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  The report, which contains very good news for the agriculture industry, shows how farmers have adopted a record number of voluntary conservation practices on cultivated cropland, leading to significant environmental improvements.    The CEAP report, based on National Agricultural Statistics Service data collected from a sampling of farms from 2009 through 2011, includes the results of more than 900 surveys collected by USDA to model basin wide outcomes. This report builds upon the initial CEAP publication, released in 2006, and shows the impact of voluntary conservation measures. Notably, the data from the newly released report shows major water quality improvements during a period in...

(Posted Mon. Dec 9th, 2013)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Dec. 9: Risk management, shifting market conditions and participation in a national television program are on this year’s menu for early risers at Commodity Classic. Always a popular and eye-opening start to the day, the Early Riser sessions begin at 7:00 a.m. with complimentary coffee, breakfast pastries and energy-packed presentations.   Thursday, February 27 from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., DTN/The Progressive Farmer Senior Analyst Darin Newsom will discuss a changing market structure at a time when agriculture appears to be most vulnerable. He will highlight how supply and demand is evolving and investment is moving elsewhere, raising the question, “What will become of our industry in the future?”  Newsom’s presentation, Agriculture's Shifting Sands, is sponsored by DTN/The Progressive Farmer.   Friday, February 28, from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m., Farm Journal Media will be producing its national television program U.S. Farm Report on-site with participation from Commodity Classic’s early...

(Posted Fri. Dec 6th, 2013)

Keywords: Sustainability

Dec. 6:  The National Corn Growers Association announces the creation of the Good Steward Recognition Program to expand awareness of best practices in sustainable corn production. The focus of the program will be to demonstrate the economic and conservation value of soil management.   “Success stories abound in agriculture in the areas of precision application and timing of inputs, improved seeds and large advancements in tillage and other practices, “said Don Glenn, chairman of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair. “However, some of these successes remain untold, and this program will help deliver the message loud and clear. “   To increase attention to the sound science behind sustainable yield growth, NCGA wants to tell the story of an innovative grower who demonstrates that there is no trade-off between production and stewardship. One award recipient will be selected from a field of nominees submitted by NCGA state affiliates and other corn industry and...

(Posted Fri. Dec 6th, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol

Dec. 6:  At a day-long public hearing that ran into late Thursday night in Washington, dozens of corn growers and other supporters of ethanol raised their voices about the potential for grave economic impacts should the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency slash the amount of corn ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard next year.   In his testimony, National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Chip Bowling, who drove up to the capital from his Maryland farm, stressed how the proposal runs counter to the intent of the Renewable Fuel Standard.   “As the organization that represents the nation’s corn farmers, we were extremely angry after hearing the proposed 2014 RFS volume obligations,” he said. “The EPA’s latest proposed rule has undercut exactly what the system was designed to do, which was to move the market towards the production and consumption of ethanol, and away from oil’s monopoly.”   Bowling also cited the fact that the EPA’s proposal states that the...

(Posted Thu. Dec 5th, 2013)

Dec. 5: Lifetime TV welcomed CommonGround Ohio volunteer Kristin Reese to its morning program The Balancing Act today, to further an ongoing conversation between the American moms on and off of the farm. Reese shared special family holiday recipes from while also helping consumers learn more about how the food on their tables was grown and raised.   This is the second of a four-segment mini-series where The Balancing Act is featuring conversations with volunteers from CommonGround, an effort designed to get women talking about farming and food. CommonGround provides a way for moms looking for answers about food to connect with moms who grow and raise it and get real, credible information.    “The Balancing Act provided a unique opportunity to share my passion for both farming and cooking, really connecting with moms across the country. It only makes sense that people want the best for their families, and I hope that I can help them gain a better understanding of how comfortable...

(Posted Wed. Dec 4th, 2013)

Keywords: Ethanol

Dec. 4:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to cut the amount of corn ethanol required under the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard by 10 percent will affect corn prices and rural economies, farmers plan to tell the agency at a hearing set for Thursday outside the nation’s capital.   More than 30 corn farmers and their allies from around the country are traveling to Washington for the important public hearing. Growers from NCGA will be present representing 13 states -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.   “It’s great to see so many people willing to leave their farms at this time of year for an important opportunity to give the EPA a piece of their mind,” said NCGA First Vice President Chip Bowling, a Maryland corn grower scheduled to speak at the hearing. “This has already had a negative effect on our farms, and if the EPA gets its way, it could cause serious harm to the...

(Posted Tue. Dec 3rd, 2013)

Dec. 3: National Corn Growers Association Chairwoman Pam Johnson took a moment to sit down with Off the Cob to discuss her recently completed mission with MAIZALL to China and South Korea. The mission, which was the first activity jointly conducted by the alliance, provided Johnson with insight into the effectiveness of the alliance, which she was fundamental in creating, and into the opportunities for corn farmers as export markets open abroad.   “MAIZALL is an alliance of corn growers in the United States, Argentina and Brazil and their respective corn grower associations,” Johnson began. “We came together because we realized that even though we are competitors, we share common challenges as exporters. Since we all value our global corn markets and smooth, efficient trade, we decided to work on issues impacting the global corn trade together.”   She went on to explain why MAIZALL selected these specific markets as the first it would visit jointly.   “All of the participants...

(Posted Mon. Dec 2nd, 2013)

Dec. 2: The founding organizations of a broad-based group known as the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance today announced that Dr. Michael J. Phillips has been selected as its first secretariat to spearhead collaborative efforts to improve the environment for technology innovation and the market for U.S. crops produced through modern biotechnology.   Established under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012, the USBCA already has developed and is working to implement consensus positions on key policy issues designed to improve the introduction, stewardship, domestic and international regulatory policy, and distribution in U.S. and export markets of commodities and processed products containing or derived from modern biotechnology.   In his capacity as secretariat, Phillips will be the focal point of the group’s efforts to further advance the reach, work and wide range of activities being pursued under the expanding broad-based national initiative that currently consists of 11...

(Posted Mon. Dec 2nd, 2013)

Keywords: ethanol RFS RVO EPA

Dec. 2:  Citing severe economic and environmental ramifications, the National Corn Growers Association today called on all its members and friends to submit comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, opposing its proposal to slash the amount of corn ethanol required in the Renewable Fuel Standard.   “It’s critical that our growers and all those concerned about the rural economy stand up for corn ethanol and urge the EPA to keep the volume obligations as they are now written in the law,” said  NCGA President Martin Barbre. “The impacts of the EPA’s proposal, if enacted, will ripple throughout communities where America’s family farmers live, shop and do business. Rural America cannot afford this and neither can the environment.”   For 2014, the EPA has proposed a 1.4 billion gallon reduction in how much corn ethanol will be required under the RFS, the federal law that requires the blending of domestic, renewable, cleaner-burning corn ethanol in the nation’s fuel...