NEWS STORIES

MAY 2014

(Posted Fri. May 30th, 2014)

Keywords: ethanol

The American Ethanol Chevrolet will be on prominent display this weekend at Dover International Speedway as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Austin Dillon pilots the historic No. 3 car in full American Ethanol paint. Start time is noon CDT Sunday.   American Ethanol spokesman Dillon took the pole at Dover’s Monster Mile in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last year. The 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion had two starts at the same track in the Truck Series, earning his best finish of fourth place in the May 2011 event. He also finished ninth at the track in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.   Dillon ranks 15th in the championship point standings entering this weekend’s event. He gained a point last weekend on Kyle Larson, who remains in 13th place as they jockey for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.   The American Ethanol promotions and marketing team, including corn growers from Maryland, will be engaging fans all weekend at the Biofuels Mobile Education Center, as...

(Posted Fri. May 30th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association announced the participants who will constitute the 28th class of NCGA’s Leadership at Its Best Program, which is co-sponsored by Syngenta.  This year’s class includes 17 aspiring leaders from 10 states and covers a broad swath of the nation with participants from as far east as New York and as far west as Colorado.   “We are excited to see such great interest in the program and strongly believe the quality of the applicants bodes well for the future of our industry,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre.  “Since the first class in 1986, Leadership at Its Best has helped train strong, confident volunteers who have helped shape the industry through their subsequent work at the state and national level. NCGA depends upon grassroots leadership. As a graduate of the program, I personally understand the importance role this program plays in helping develop the skills and build the relationships necessary to effectively lead such a dynamic...

(Posted Fri. May 30th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fourth 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 caught up with April Hemmes, a farmer from just outside of Hampton, Iowa.    “Most of the corn crop around my area has been planted now, and we have gotten a good start on soybeans,” she said. “It looks like my corn weathered the cold snap and heavy rains well. It is up and out of the ground.”   While the crop may have emerged, there are still many tasks to which she must attend to ensure a successful crop.   “Now, I am keeping an eye out to see when I need to start post-spraying,” Hemmes explained. “I did put down pre-emergents before I planted this year in an attempt to fend...

(Posted Thu. May 29th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association applauds today’s announcement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding $6 million to universities and cooperative state extension services to develop online decision tools and other materials and train experts to educate producers about several key farm bill programs. These tools, which NCGA advocated for along with other commodity organizations, will help farmers and ranchers determine which programs established by the 2014 farm bill will be best suited for their operations.   “We are pleased with USDA’s selection of universities to develop these important tools, and we feel they took our growers’ concerns into consideration in making this important decision,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “The solid representation of land-grant universities with outstanding reputations in our community will ensure the web-based tools are relevant to farmers. The choice of commodity and crop insurance...

(Posted Thu. May 29th, 2014)

Keywords: trade

The Philippines has been the target of rampant smuggling, fraud and price and quantity mis-declaration in commodity imports. To address these issues, the Philippine Bureau of Customs recently announced new regulations, effective June 1, 2014, requiring inspection and certification of all bulk and container imports at the port of loading, to be performed by one of a limited number of BOC-approved inspection companies. Importers are expected to absorb the costs of inspection, which are estimated to be $5-15 per metric ton, depending on the surveyor and the volume.   Most of this smuggling and fraudulent activity originates in South and Southeast Asian countries. There have been no smuggling incidents originating in the United States. Unfortunately, however, the BOC elected to impose a blanket inspection requirement on cargos from all countries of origin. This one-size-fits-all approach effectively deems the United States as a potential origin of smuggled goods, despite the clean...

(Posted Wed. May 28th, 2014)

Keywords: biotechnology

Last week, the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, held its inaugural board meeting in Washington. The culmination of years of effort, USBCA members elected a formal executive committee and adopted its Business Plan and Operating Structure during the meeting.   The original Executive Committee was expanded in the formation of the official structure to include additional representation for growers and representation for processors. The 2014-2015 Executive Committee now includes eight: Barry Bushue, American Farm Bureau Federation; Andrew LaVigne, American Seed Trade Association; Steve Censky, American Soybean Association; Cathleen Enright, Biotechnology Industry Organization; Rick Tolman, National Corn Growers Association; Tom Hammer, National Oilseed Producers Association; Gary Martin, North American Export Grain Association; and Tom Sleight, U.S. Grains Council.   Through the business plan, USBCA formalized its...

(Posted Tue. May 27th, 2014)

Corn farmers closed the gap and tied the five-year average for corn acres planted by this point in the season, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As of May 25, 88 percent of the nation’s corn crop has been planted, compared to 73 percent a week ago and 59 percent the week prior. While progress far surpassed the five-year average in many Corn Belt states, 10-plus point planting delays in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania persisted.   “Modern farm technology allowed farmers across the country to spring into action and plant at a pace unimaginable just a few decades ago,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “America’s corn farmers can plant faster, taking better advantage of shorter windows of time, and this definitely benefits America’s economy and consumers in the end. Today, we can produce abundance in the face of adversity. While we do not yet know what the summer may bring, we know that farmers will use the best practices and most...

(Posted Fri. May 23rd, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fourth 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.   Thursday morning, Field Notes caught up with Brian Scott, an Indiana farmer who began sharing his story with NCGA in 2012. In addition to farming, Scott helps cultivate public understanding of agriculture through social media on his blog, www.thefarmerslife.com, and through Twitter using the handle @thefarmerslife.   “We just finished planting late Tuesday night. It went pretty well, with no major equipment breakdowns,” said Scott. “Now we are going to be out applying nitrogen fertilizer. We just purchased a new precision applicator. I am really excited to put that on the ground and learn how to use...

(Posted Fri. May 23rd, 2014)

Fuels America, a biofuels coalition that includes the National Corn Growers Association and its allies, launched a robust inside-the-beltway advertising campaign this week, touting the lower prices that American renewable fuels deliver to consumers at the gas pump, and encouraging Americans to ask the Obama Administration to protect America's Renewable Fuel Standard. The campaign consists of substantial paid media buys on Washington’s popular WTOP Radio and on gas station monitors – the video screens on many gas pumps – in the Washington vicinity.   The advertisement playing on gas station monitors, conveniently positioned to highlight the gas prices consumers are paying just as the advertisement is playing, points out that “supporting clean energy production here in America is better for the environment, is better for your wallet, and because biofuel is higher octane, it’s actually even better for your engine.” The ad also celebrates the benefits that the RFS is already...

(Posted Thu. May 22nd, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association praised the U.S. Senate for its vote today passing the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 with a 91-to-7 vote. Now, NCGA urges the President to sign this final reauthorization bill into law and thus improve the reliability and efficiency of the U.S. inland waterways system.   “Today, our representatives in the Senate took a concrete step toward repairing and improving our inland waterways through a vote that again showed overwhelming bi-partisan approval for WRRDA,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “We must improve our infrastructure, and we must do it now. Our locks and dams transport our cargoes today but were built in the 1920s and 1930s to accommodate far smaller loads and far less river traffic. For farmers in particular, it is crucial as more than 60 percent of the nation’s grain exports are transported by barge. The need is urgent; U.S. farmers and businesses rely upon this transportation channel to create economic...

(Posted Thu. May 22nd, 2014)

Succession planning is, or should be, a high priority for most American farmers. According to the USDA, 70 percent of farmland will change hands in the next 20 years. If a farm family has not adequately planned for succession, the farm is likely to go out of business, be absorbed by a large farming neighbor, or be converted to non-farm use. This crisis-in-the-making comes at a time when land prices are out-stripping some farmers’ ability grow their operations and fewer members of the family are involved in day-to-day farming.     Because the National Corn Growers Association is dedicated to strengthening member farmers, maintaining a healthy organization and continuing prosperity for the industry, NCGA offers an exclusive discount when using eLegacyConnect, a dynamic online succession planning community.   “NCGA always strives to provide a rich portfolio of membership benefits that helps farmers maximize their opportunities today and to build a better tomorrow for their...

(Posted Thu. May 22nd, 2014)

Keywords: biotechnology

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 past few months. In the interview, Gardiner explained the newest project that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service-supported database in Ames, Iowa, has undertaken to develop translational data.   Gardiner begins with an explanation of what translational data actually is.   “We always have lots of projects to choose from at MaizeGGDB. So, we try to focus on projects which will be of most use to our user community, which is primarily composed of maize breeders and geneticists,” said Gardiner. “Since we are primarily supported by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and the National Corn Growers, we try and further narrow our focus on data sets that we hope will translational.  By translational, I mean data sets that will hopefully translate into real world solutions such as...

(Posted Wed. May 21st, 2014)

Keywords: CommonGround

This month, CommonGround Colorado launched a series of farm tours for dieticians, nutritionists, mommy bloggers and media. The first tour, on May 17, visited CommonGround volunteer Mary Kraft’s Quail Ridge and Badger Creek dairy farms. Over the afternoon, attendees saw Kraft’s kitchen, where she mixes feed for her herd of 5,500 cows, as well as the milking and nursery facilities.   During the tour, Kraft addressed questions from the group using analogies to off farm life to which they could easily relate. Explaining the technology used to monitor each cow, thus ensuring it receives the highest quality care, Kraft asked them to think of it as a necklace that works like popular fitness bands than record health and activity information.    Attendees asked a variety of insightful questions about dairy farming and common production practices. Already highly informed on human dietary and health issues, they examined the diets of dairy cows, operation size and the challenges facing...

(Posted Tue. May 20th, 2014)

Our nation’s corn growers are sustainably producing corn to meet all needs for food and fuel, National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Chip Bowling told members of the Energy Future Coalition at a meeting this week.   Bowling, a Maryland farmer, documented for the group not only how much corn yield, or production per acre, has increased over time, but how some of today’s growers are more than doubling the U.S. average yield.   “Each year, NCGA holds a national corn yield contest where growers can compete with their peers. The contest has different categories that reflect some of the different planting scenarios, but what is remarkable is that the average for national winners is more than 350 bushels per acre,” he noted, comparing that with the average yield nationwide of 158.8 bushels per acre in 2013. “In fact, five farmers reached 400 or more bushels an acre. We’re seeing tomorrow’s yields today.”   What this means, he added, is that farmers are growing more...

(Posted Tue. May 20th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association praised the U.S. House of Representatives for its vote today passing the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 with a 412-to-4 vote. Now, NCGA urges the Senate to swiftly follow suit, passing this final reauthorization bill to improve the reliability and efficiency of the U.S. inland waterways system.   “We thank our representatives in the House for their near-unanimous support and work to ensure passage of this important legislation, which makes concrete steps toward repairing and improving our inland waterways,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “WRRDA is crucial to farmers as more than 60 percent of the nation’s grain exports are transported by barge. The locks and dams we depend upon to transport our cargoes today were built in the 1920s and 1930s. It is imperative that we improve this crucial infrastructure. The need is urgent; U.S. farmers and businesses rely upon this transportation channel. Infrastructure improvements...

(Posted Mon. May 19th, 2014)

Corn farmers continued steady planting progress last week, increasing planted corn acreage by 14 percentage points, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As of May 18, 73 percent of the nation’s corn crop has been planted, compared to 59 percent a week ago and 29 percent the week prior. While progress surpassed the five-year average in many Corn Belt states, planting delays in the north caused overall planting progress to fall three points behind.   “It has been a cold, long winter for many farmers in the northernmost states, and it’s still having a marked impact on planting progress there,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “It is important to keep in mind though the favorable conditions in many states that have allowed farmers to work tirelessly for two weeks now, getting a crop in the ground. Now, so many see their labors begin to come to fruition with emergence. A long summer still lies ahead, but farmers across the country remain...

(Posted Mon. May 19th, 2014)

With the generous support of the Nebraska Corn Board, a college student from the Cornhusker State and a graduate student originally from Nebraska are joining the National Corn Growers Association as interns this summer to learn more about the industry.   NCGA’s headquarters office in suburban St. Louis is hosting Joseph Conrad as its third summer intern supported by a partnership between NCB and NCGA. Conrad will be a senior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, where he studies political science and economics. Conrad is assisting NCGA with communication and agricultural economics programs, as well as participating in committee meetings. He brings writing experience gained as an opinion contributor at The Gateway, his university’s newspaper. Previously, Conrad has interned as campaign staff for Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri).   The NCGA Washington office is hosting Morgan Nelson, a native of Norfolk, Nebraska, as its summer intern. Nelson is a graduate student at the...

(Posted Mon. May 19th, 2014)

Officials for Gateway Motorsports Park announced today that American Ethanol will serve as the NASCAR™ Camping World Truck Series “Drivin’ for Linemen 200” official presenting sponsor. The event marks NASCAR’s first visit to the St. Louis area since the 2010 racing season.   “We’re pleased to bring the farmers behind American Ethanol to Gateway Motorsports Park here in the heart of America’s corn country,” said Larry Hasheider, Okawville, Illinois, farmer and chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board. “This race provides a great way to remind race fans that they have a choice in fuel with more retailers offering higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85.”   In 2010, NASCAR embraced the desire for greener, American-job-producing fuels when it announced its decision to move to an ethanol racing fuel called Sunoco Green E15 for NASCAR’s three national series. American Ethanol was established by Growth Energy in partnership with the National Corn Growers Association to increase...

(Posted Fri. May 16th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fourth season of Field Notes, a series that takes listeners 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.   On Wednesday, Field Notes caught up with Brian Scott, an Indiana farmer who began sharing his story with NCGA in 2012. In addition to farming, Scott helps cultivate public understanding of agriculture through social media on his blog, www.thefarmerslife.com, and through Twitter using the handle @thefarmerslife.   “Things are going pretty well out here,” said Scott. “We have been done with corn and popcorn for almost ten days now, which is pretty normal in our neighborhood. I am seeing corn up in just about every field. Now, we just need it to dry out so that we can move on to planting...

(Posted Fri. May 16th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association praised the final House-Senate conference committee for completing negotiations on and yesterday issuing its agreement for a Water Resources Development Act 2014. Now, NCGA urges Congress to swiftly approve this final reauthorization bill to improve the reliability and efficiency of the U.S. inland waterways system.   “We are happy to see the committee come to agreement, issue the report and make concrete steps toward repairing and improving our inland waterways,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “With more than 60 percent of the nation’s grain exports transported by barge, WRRDA is crucial to farmers. Most of America’s locks and dams were built in the 1920s and 1930s, yet are used to transport 21st century cargoes. Improving this crucial infrastructure will provide U.S. farmers and businesses a reliable transportation channel. By improving our ability to compete in export markets, we fuel our domestic economy as well.”   NCGA...

(Posted Thu. May 15th, 2014)

This week, New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association President Steve Van Voorhis testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business’s Subcommittee on Health and Technology during a hearing on the benefits of partnership in small agriculture business development. During his testimony, Van Voorhis told the story of how growth in corn and soybean production has benefitted not only New York’s family farmers but also the state’s overall economy.   “What do the corn and soybean industries mean for New York's economy?” said Van Voorhis. “In 2012, the direct value of corn was over $600 million, and the direct value of New York's soybean crop was $195 million. This makes corn the second most valuable commodity, only following to dairy in New York, and soybeans come in at number six. Add in the indirect value of equipment purchases, fertilizer, seed, labor and more, and the value of these grains multiplies exponentially.   “Given the fact that farmers are...

(Posted Wed. May 14th, 2014)

Farming entails more paperwork than many might initially imagine. That is why the National Corn Growers Association reminds members that they can save on their office supply needs through the association’s partnership with Office Depot. Online and in-store, NCGA members are eligible for special discounts on the products necessary to keep the farm office running smoothly.   “As farmers, NCGA leadership understands the significant amount of office work necessary to keep a farm running and government filings current,” said NCGA Grower Service Action Team Tom Haag. “While we can’t complete the forms for you, we can make office work a bit less painful on our members’ pocketbooks through our partnership with Office Depot. Every day, we look for ways to make life easier for our members, be it through opening markets, representing their interests to the federal government or taking their message straight to the public. Offering ways to save on the products necessary for farm life just...

(Posted Wed. May 14th, 2014)

Farming entails more paperwork than many might initially imagine. That is why the National Corn Growers Association reminds members that they can save on their office supply needs through the association’s partnership with Office Depot. Online and in-store, NCGA members are eligible for special discounts on the products necessary to keep the farm office running smoothly.   “As farmers, NCGA leadership understands the significant amount of office work necessary to keep a farm running and government filings current,” said NCGA Grower Service Action Team Tom Haag. “While we can’t complete the forms for you, we can make office work a bit less painful on our members’ pocketbooks through our partnership with Office Depot. Every day, we look for ways to make life easier for our members, be it through opening markets, representing their interests to the federal government or taking their message straight to the public. Offering ways to save on the products necessary for farm life just...

(Posted Tue. May 13th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association reminds potential attendees that preregistration for the 2014 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference ends on May 25.  The biennial event will be held June 2-4 in Louisville, Ky., and those unable to meet the May 25 deadline will be able to register onsite. 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.   “As the conference approaches, it is exciting to see the number of people planning to attend and join in discussions that will lead our industry forward,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chair Tom Mueller. “CUTC is a must-attend event for many because it stands 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....

(Posted Mon. May 12th, 2014)

Corn farmers in most growing states kicked their planters into high gear this past week, planting nearly one-third of the 2014 corn crop in the last seven days, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports. As of May 11, 59 percent of the nation’s corn crop has been planted, compared to 29 percent a week ago. The new number is also one percentage point above the five-year average.   “All it takes is good weather, good equipment and long hours for our farmers to be able to catch up,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “Unfortunately, a few key corn states to the north are struggling to catch up, but things are looking good overall for our growers.”   The prime example of a strong planting was Iowa, nearly half the state’s corn acreage was planted last week, with the state going from 23 percent to 70 percent planted. On the other hand, North Dakota remained especially challenged, at 3 percent, with Michigan and Wisconsin following at 20 percent.   Corn emergence also continues to...

(Posted Mon. May 12th, 2014)

With planting well underway in much of the country, the National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to register early for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 16, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer.   “While it may still seem a ways out, we all know how quickly the time passes once planting season starts,” said Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn. “Every year, we gain valuable data from the contest that help develop the production practices of tomorrow. I urge those who haven’t entered before to become NCGA members and try their hand at high-yield techniques as contest entrants in 2014.”   To enter today using the online form, click here.  NCGA will also release a version of the online form suitable for use on mobile devices in the near future.   Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through August 1. All harvest forms will be...

(Posted Mon. May 12th, 2014)

With planting well underway in much of the country, the National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to register early for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 16, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer.   “While it may still seem a ways out, we all know how quickly the time passes once planting season starts,” said Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn. “Every year, we gain valuable data from the contest that help develop the production practices of tomorrow. I urge those who haven’t entered before to become NCGA members and try their hand at high-yield techniques as contest entrants in 2014.”   To enter today using the online form, click here.  NCGA will also release a version of the online form suitable for use on mobile devices in the near future.   Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through August 1. All harvest forms will be...

(Posted Fri. May 9th, 2014)

This year U.S. farmers are on track to produce a record corn crop for the second consecutive year in 2014, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture projections released today. Higher yield expectations more than offset reductions in planted acreage, thus farmers are expected to produce a record total corn crop of 13.9 billion bushels, slightly more than in 2013, with national average yields forecast to be 6.5 bushels per acre higher than last year at 165.3 bushels per acre.   “America’s corn farmers continuously strive to improve and, in 2014, they certainly will make their achievements evident should these projections be realized,” said National Corn Growers Association Chairwoman Pam Johnson. “As farmers, we take great pride in our work and feel that the projections recognize our efforts. Yet, our optimism is tinged caution as we have all seen conditions change quickly and a crop shift course in a few short weeks. We remain diligent in our work, striving to produce that...

(Posted Fri. May 9th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association launched KernelQuest today, a game for smartphones featuring beloved character Captain Cornelius. KernelQuest is a game of skill, maneuverability and all-around corniness. Join Captain Cornelius, our a-maize-ing superhero in green spandex, as he defies gravity and weaves his way across the Midwest. Just don't get creamed... Beware the mob of cobs! Set a new high score, challenge friends and learn corny facts along the way.   KernelQuest was developed in response to the overwhelming popularity of the 2014 World of Corn comic book Captain Cornelius: Corn Day Celebration. This piece, which was released earlier this spring in Farm Futures, reintroduces the Captain and takes readers on an exciting and educational journey to explore a variety of topics including biotechnology, ethanol, livestock feed and sustainability. The new video game component will introduce a larger audience to Captain Cornelius and, in spreading his popularity, inspire new...

(Posted Fri. May 9th, 2014)

National Corn Growers Association members benefit from significant savings on Ford vehicles through the association’s participation in the Ford X-Plan vehicle pricing program. With a unique NCGA partner code, members can access a special website that gives them a reduced price on dozens of Ford and Lincoln vehicles.   “NCGA constantly looks for opportunities to help farmers save on the tools they need,” said NCGA Grower Services Action Team Chair Tom Haag. “By partnering with Ford to gain substantial discounts for our members, we know that we are offering savings on something essential to so many members – reliable, well-built trucks. Our membership consistently shows support for NCGA’s work on its behalf, and we want to offer unique opportunities to support them in their daily work as well.”   By logging in to www.fordpartner.com and members can: See and research the full range of vehicles available (very few models are excluded). Determine the special pricing available to...

(Posted Thu. May 8th, 2014)

Keywords: ethanol

In a letter to President Obama today, the National Corn Growers Association and others urge the Administration to rethink its proposal to weaken the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard – a proposal that is at odds with the National Climate Assessment the White House released earlier this week.   In addition to NCGA, the letter is signed by Abengoa Bioenergy, the Advanced Ethanol Council, the Biotechnology Industry Association, DuPont, DSM, Growth Energy, Novozymes, the Renewable Fuels Association, and POET.   The companies and organizations write that the Administration’s proposal to reduce the amount of renewable fuel in gasoline and diesel would “make us more oil dependent, effectively gut the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard, strand billions of dollars in private investment, and send emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants sharply higher.”   The letter notes that the impact of the Administration’s proposal would increase carbon pollution by an estimated 28.2...

(Posted Wed. May 7th, 2014)

Keywords: ethanol

Interested growers are invited to participate in a survey currently being conducted by Iowa State University Assistant Professor Dr. Kurt Rosentrater on how the use of distillers grains has changed in the United States over the past several years. The survey findings will create a better overall picture of the roll distillers grains play in the livestock industry today and provide important insight into possible points of improvement in the future.   The survey is funded, in part, by the National Corn Growers Association Ethanol Committee as part of the team’s efforts to increase understanding of how this ethanol co-product benefits farmers, ranchers and ethanol producers alike.   “I encourage anyone who might be able to provide information on how they use distillers grains on their operation to take a few minutes and complete this survey,” said NCGA Ethanol Committee Chair Jeff Sandborn, a Michigan farmer. “As the use of distillers grains continues to grow and evolve, data...

(Posted Wed. May 7th, 2014)

Keywords: trade

The highly sophisticated Korean market, which has the ability to diversify sourcing and reformulate rations in response to pricing, has once again returned to purchasing U.S. corn. Driven by the record 2013 U.S. corn crop, so far this marketing year (Sept. 1 through April 24), U.S. corn exports to Korea have totaled almost 3.3 million metric tons (130 million bushels) versus 359,000 tons (14 million bushels) over the same period last year.   In hopes of sustaining U.S. market share in Korea, the U.S. Grains Council has been actively promoting the advantages of sourcing corn from the United States. Furthering this effort, Alvaro Cordero, USGC manager of global trade, recently presented the Council's 2013/2014 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report to Korean importers and end-users.   "The attendees expressed concern about variations in test weight between export catchment areas," said Byong Ryol Min, USGC director in Korea. "They also were concerned about the broken corn and foreign...

(Posted Tue. May 6th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association proudly congratulates Senior Director of Public Policy Sam Willett for his selection as a 2014 Top Lobbyist by the CEO Update newsletter. This honor, conferred by the publication, was conferred in light of Willett’s hard work that contributed to the final passage of the 2014 farm bill.   “Sam works tirelessly as an advocate for corn farmers, and nowhere can the fruits of his efforts be better seen than in the 2014 farm bill,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett. “Year after year, Sam fights against inertia in Congress to improve the crop insurance options and risk management tools available to farmers. His dedication, perseverance and deep understanding of the issues are always readily apparent to those with whom he works. Public recognition of his work is a tribute to the excellence he exhibits every day.”   CEO Update highlights staff lobbyists whose advocacy work achieves significant goals for the betterment of...

(Posted Tue. May 6th, 2014)

National Corn Growers Association membership climbed to even higher heights setting yet another membership record at the end of April, with 40,797 active members. This membership record replaces the former records, of 40,793, set in March of 2014 and 40,287, set in February of 2014.   “We’re elated to set yet another membership record and steady growth as we move through 2014,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “Our members recognize the value NCGA offers through its work to create and increase opportunities for all U.S. corn farmers. They understand and appreciate that grassroots efforts have been the strength and driving force behind their organization, pushing us to greater heights year after year.”    NCGA has members across the contiguous United States and works in cooperation with grower associations and state corn checkoff boards from 28 states, representing the interests of its members and the more than 300,000 growers who contribute corn checkoff funds in their...

(Posted Mon. May 5th, 2014)

U.S. corn farmers have planted 29 percent of the 2014 crop as of Sunday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this afternoon. While that is 18 percentage points higher than the same time last year, it is 13 points behind the five-year average of42 percent.   “We’re still feeling the effects of the cold and wet beginning to the spring planting season,” said National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre, a grower in southern Illinois who kicked off corn planting on his farm today. “We realize, however, that there is still plenty of time to plant, just as last year’s delayed planting eventually led to a record-breaking harvest come fall.”   Southern and central states continued to see success in planting, while those in the northern Corn Belt were most significantly delayed. North Dakota is the only state of the 18 tracked by USDA where measurable planting has not gotten underway; its average planting completion at this time of year is 19 percent.   USDA also...

(Posted Mon. May 5th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association has extended the deadline for submission to the Gary Lamie Graduate Student Poster Competition, sponsored by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, until May 7. Interested graduate students should hurry to take advantage of this special opportunity to present their research to an audience of potential employers and funding organizations. Entries will be featured June 2 through June 4 during the poster session of the 2014 Corn Utilization and Technology Contest in Louisville, Kentucky.   “The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to lend our support and encouragement to young researchers,” said NCGA Director of Research and New Uses Dr. Richard Vierling. “Corn offers a variety of solutions for many of today’s problems, and we are honored to play a small role in recognizing the scholarly efforts that will help create entirely new ways to utilize this amazing resource.”   A panel of industry and academic experts will evaluate the posters...

(Posted Fri. May 2nd, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association hosted International Negotiations on Agriculture Foundation Chief Economist Agustin Tejeda Rodriguez today for discussions on U.S. farm policy, trade policy, the corn sector and the basic structure of NCGA.   “As always, we are glad to welcome international visitors interested in learning about our nation’s agricultural industry,” said NCGA Vice President of Production and Utilization Paul Bertels. “The open discussions and productive dialogue provided an accurate, honest portrayal of American agriculture that will help further understanding of the policies and practices which impact U.S. corn farmers amongst top Argentine policy makers.”   Bertels and NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Economic Analysis Nathan Fields discussed the many similarities between the corn producing nations, including their shared support of further free trade for agricultural products. The meeting came as part of a larger tour during which Rodriguez is meeting...

(Posted Fri. May 2nd, 2014)

The final installment in a six-video miniseries debuts today at the National Corn Growers Association’s YouTube page, sharing how and why work NCGA’s work in the federal policy arena is important to our nation’s corn farmers.   “NCGA’s Public Policy Action Team helps develop policy within the farm bill, crop insurance and tax policy,” said PPAT Chair Jim Reed. “Our committee acts as an in-between, as a research arm and a development arm of our grassroots members. They can’t always come to Washington and be in the meetings so it is very important that our team members volunteer the time and the resources to help make their voices heard and bring their message forward.”   Reed noted the team benefits from having members from a diversity of corn growing areas. He explained that sharing their insights provides a multifaceted understanding of the complex issues impacting farmers today.   “We work closely with federal legislators and, when they have questions which they cannot get...

(Posted Thu. May 1st, 2014)

This week, staff from the National Corn Growers Association and state corn associations across the country met in St. Louis to share insights gained over the past year and coordinate efforts for the next.  With a record of nearly 150 attendees including state association executives, program directors and communicators, the conference also provided a forum to discuss pressing issues facing farmers including implementation of the farm bill passed earlier this year, communications on GMO issues and ethanol promotion.   “By working together seamlessly and effectively, our state and national organizations magnify our effectiveness and, subsequently, our ability to create positive change for farmers,” said NCGA CEO Rick Tolman. “While each state organization faces unique opportunities and challenges resulting from their particular circumstances, America’s farmers share many common issues.  Working collaboratively allows us to address these areas of commonality with the full force of...