NEWS STORIES

JUNE 2014

USDA Report Shows Fewer Acres Planted to Corn

(Posted Mon. Jun 30th, 2014)

American farmers planted 3.7 million fewer acres of corn in 2014, a four percent decrease from 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acreage report released today.   The report indicates only a slight decrease in acreage from the prospective planting report released in March. Total corn plantings in the United States total 91.6 million acres for the lowest planted acreage since 2010. Notably, it still represents the fifth-largest U.S. corn acreage planted since 1944.   “In 2014, U.S. corn farmers are well on the way to again growing an abundant crop,” National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre said.  “While critical points in the season remain ahead of us, Americans can be confident that bountiful stockpiles and adequate plantings will ensure our corn security...

(Posted Mon. Jun 30th, 2014)

This article and podcast are the sixth in a series profiling candidates for the 2015 Corn Board.   Kevin Skunes has dedicated his time and energy to leading as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board. With his current term nearly complete, he hopes gain reelection for a second term beginning in fiscal year 2015.  If reelected to the NCGA Corn Board, he would take pride in carrying on the great tradition of strong leadership within the agricultural industry for which he respects the organization today.   Skunes sees the corn industry as an ever-evolving business with many facets, several of which he has become familiar with through prior service.  As a member of the board, he brings a levelheaded, thoughtful perspective that values finding successful...

(Posted Fri. Jun 27th, 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 Brian Scott, an Indiana farmer and author of The Farmers Life blog. With the crop in the ground and growing, he pauses in a field, birds chirping in the background, to talk about the corn crop at this point.   “The corn is looking really great here,” he explained. “It has been 80 to 90 degrees for a couple of weeks, and we have had a little bit of rain every few days. I...

(Posted Fri. Jun 27th, 2014)

This article and podcast are the fifth in a series profiling candidates for the 2015 Corn Board.   Bruce Rohwer has served his fellow farmers extensively at the state and national level. Now, he hopes to continue to do so in a new capacity as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Bruce is running for election to the Corn Board in the hopes of bringing local perspective to the national level while working to find solutions that take the broader perspective into account. By focusing on the future, he believes the organization will best be able to work through evolving situations and effectively grow markets for corn at home and abroad.   “In addition to the technical work of helping develop new uses for corn or better...

(Posted Thu. Jun 26th, 2014)

This article and podcast are the fourth in a series profiling candidates for the 2015 Corn Board.   Jim Reed places a high value on the important role grassroots’ input plays in shaping every part of the National Corn Growers Association. With a keen awareness of the importance of valuing corn farmer input, he hopes to serve his peers as a member of the NCGA Corn Board.   Reed believes that a Corn Board member should strive to facilitate communications between NCGA, the grassroots membership and the key decision makers who have an impact on agriculture. To do this effectively, he would stay up-to-date on the wide array of issues confronting agriculture, investing the time necessary to investigate the issues fully before making policy decisions. As a member of the board, he...

(Posted Wed. Jun 25th, 2014)

This article and podcast are the third in a series profiling candidates for the 2015 Corn Board.   David Howell has proven experience with a record of exemplary service at both the state and national level. Now, he hopes to further deepen his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Howell decided to run for election to the Corn Board because he feels that he owes a debt of gratitude to the industry. As he has been fortunate enough to have children that have the desire and ability to take over management of the family operation, he wants to devote time back to the service of that industry and use his accumulated experience and leadership skills to the fullest of his ability.   “Agriculture and, in particular, the corn industry...

(Posted Wed. Jun 25th, 2014)

For the fourth year, the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program is offering grants to researchers for projects focused on solving aflatoxin issues. The grants have been structured by southern corn checkoff boards to favor research teams that include researchers from multiple universities, USDA research centers and states.   Texas corn grower Charles Ring chairs the program’s steering committee. “AMCOE’s goal is to leverage the dollars for solving aflatoxin issues through the development of strong regional teams competing for federal, public and private grants,” said Ring. “Preference will be given to pre-proposals based upon criteria demonstrating potential to develop, evaluate and transfer new technologies to corn producers, team or individual...

(Posted Tue. Jun 24th, 2014)

    This article and podcast are the second in a series profiling candidates for the 2015 Corn Board.   In addition to extensive experience, Lynn Chrisp brings an unwavering dedication to learning every aspect of multifaceted issues and a drive to delve into fellow farmers’ perspectives to his work in association leadership. As he completes a three year turn, he seeks to continue building a better future for America’s farmers and continue his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Over his years of service, Lynn developed a strong leadership philosophy.  As he believes his operation demonstrates, he is a strong advocate for collective wisdom, teamwork and dedication.  As a Corn Board member, he seeks to convey a professional image...

(Posted Mon. Jun 23rd, 2014)

This article and podcast are the first in a series profiling candidates for the 2015 Corn Board.   Bob Bowman offers a wide base of knowledge gained through years of experience in the service of other farmers. Having already completed his first term, he now hopes to gain reelection and continue his service of his fellow farmers across the country as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Bowman decided to run for reelection to the Corn Board because he sees association leadership as an important job that needs to be done.    “Many farmers may not have the time to step into leadership themselves,” he said. “Many may not even know that they need to take the time to be active in association business beyond the local level. For me personally, I am greatly...

(Posted Mon. Jun 23rd, 2014)

The market is rapidly adjusting to the new ground rules for U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles exports to China. While the government in China has yet to issue a formal announcement, traders have been told unofficially that no new DDGS import permits will be issued for the time being. Additionally, those accounts indicate that incoming cargoes of DDGS entering under existing permits will be subject to more stringent inspection for biotech events not currently approved in China.  Existing import permits are still valid, and contracts are still being written. With feed prices in China above world market levels, buyers are still eager to obtain DDGS if possible. However, financial loss if a cargo does not pass inspection at the port of entry remains a major issue. Trade sources indicate...

(Posted Fri. Jun 20th, 2014)

Yesterday, National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Chip Bowling testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Forestry and Energy at a hearing on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Interpretive Rule regarding the applicability of Clean Water Act agricultural exemptions. The interpretive rule was released in conjunction with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed rule for defining the waters of the United States that fall under EPA’s Clean Water Act jurisdiction.   The Interpretive Rule recently issued by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers specifies what farmers must do to qualify for the Clean Water Act’s normal farming exemptions from dredge and fill...

(Posted Tue. Jun 17th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association has added a new “Take Action on Weeds” section to its website as a resource of farmers combating herbicide resistance issues. This resource, developed by the United Soybean Board through its Take Action program, offers a wide array of information developed over several years to help farmers combat weed resistance through best management practices.   To explore “Take Action on Weeds,” click here.   “The increased exposure of this program comes at a fortuitous time as many herbicide resistant cropping systems are currently under consideration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman. “This program demonstrates the...

(Posted Fri. Jun 13th, 2014)

By Martin Barbre, NCGA President   A recent report entitled “Water and Climate Risks Facing U.S. Corn Production” attempts to link such risks with U.S. corn production. These statements are nothing new and such reports continue to fail in their intent, primarily by not seriously consulting those that actually produce corn.    Farmers are central to improvements in the nation's sustainable corn supply. The National Association of Corn Growers (NCGA) advocates for the cultivation of sustainable agricultural production. As corn growers, we are the ones continually promoting improved management practices that benefit the environment, rural communities and farmers’ bottom lines as a means to stay in business. NCGA is concerned with many aspects of the report from Ceres and will...

(Posted Thu. Jun 12th, 2014)

This week, CommonGround volunteer Laura Daniels, a dairy farmer from Cobb, Wisconsin, took to the Tampa airwaves for discussions on food prices, GMOs and sustainability. Over two days, Daniels participated in a radio panel on agriculture as well as television interviews with the local ABC affiliate station and the regional cable outlet.   During the interviews, which had particular relevance as June is National Dairy Month, Daniels provided her unique take as a farmer, focusing nutritious options she and many like her provide and on the benefits of biotechnology.   “GMOs are good for the environment, and I think that message is really getting lost in the conversation,” she explained. “At my farm, I use GMO seeds because it allows us to go over the field fewer times. We...

(Posted Thu. Jun 12th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association reminds 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.   “Only days remain for those interested to take advantage of this valuable discount,” said Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn. “Every year, we gain important 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...

(Posted Wed. Jun 11th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association is now seeking well-qualified candidates for the position of Chief Executive Officer. Reporting to the Corn Board, the NCGA CEO will have an opportunity to lead the organization, enable its members to continue being a highly respected voice in Washington, D.C., and internationally, and represent NCGA on all issues surrounding the safe, sustainable, and economic production of corn.   Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents more than 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide and the interests of more than 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 48 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to create and increase opportunities for their...

(Posted Wed. Jun 11th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board has elected Rob Elliott of Illinois to become the organization's first vice president for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.   “I am honored that my colleagues on the board placed their trust in my ability and dedication to leading our association forward in its mission of creating greater opportunities for corn growers across the country,” said Elliott. “I realize that farmers face many challenges right now as threats to the Renewable Fuel Standard abound and misinformation about our industry permeates public perception. I know that we have much to do, but I look forward to working with our grower leadership over the coming years to find innovative, impactful ways to not only meet these challenges but also...

(Posted Wed. Jun 11th, 2014)

U.S. farmers remain 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. Very favorable early season crop and weather conditions offset planting delays in May, thus farmers are still 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.   “Corn farmers in the United States work tirelessly to produce the most abundant, highest quality crop possible in a sustainable manner. In 2014, they certainly will make their achievements evident should these projections be realized,” said National Corn Growers...

(Posted Wed. Jun 11th, 2014)

Keywords: USFRA

In the latest of its Food Dialogues event series, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance this week held a panel conversation on integrity in food marketing, to explore how the entire food chain – from the farm field to the dinner table – can share information on complex food-production issues while not confusing, misrepresenting or alarming consumers.   “As a corn grower who has seen first-hand how quickly myths about farming and food can spread, I was very happy to see USFRA tackle this subject,” said National Corn Growers Association board member Mike Geske, who serves on the USFRA board’s executive committee. “It’s important for everyone to realize that farmers and their allies understand their concerns and are working hard to ensure that healthy food choices continue to be available for our...

(Posted Tue. Jun 10th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association thanked President Obama for signing the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. This final reauthorization bill, which will improve the reliability and efficiency of the U.S. inland waterways system, was passed by the House on May 20 and the Senate on May 22.   “This legislation provides an important step toward the infrastructure improvements vital to our nation’s inland waterway system, and we thank the President for signing this bi-partisan bill into law,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “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, this is crucial, as more than 60 percent of the nation’s grain...

(Posted Mon. Jun 9th, 2014)

Emergence of the 2014 corn crop pushed past the five-year average last week, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today. Despite strong storms with high winds and hail over the past week, the 2014 corn crop condition held nearly steady with 75 percent of all acres rated good or excellent as of June 8. This represents only a one-point decline from the prior week and remains 12 points ahead of the number of acres with the same rating last year at this point.   “Now that the crop has emerged and farmers are seeing it progress, the picture of the overall condition is bright,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “While the crop shows promise today, we are keenly aware of the many challenges which might lie ahead as the summer progresses. While many variables...

(Posted Fri. Jun 6th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association announced participants for the fifth class of NCGA’s Advanced Leadership Program, co-sponsored by Syngenta.  This year’s class includes six Leadership at Its Best graduates who will undergo intensive training in order to hone their media, leadership and lobbying skills and prepare to lead the industry forward.   “It is exciting to see another class of leaders who seek to truly elevate their skillset and further their work on behalf of U.S. farmers,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre.  “NCGA depends upon grassroots leadership. As a graduate of the program, I understand personally the vital role this program plays in helping develop the skills and build the relationships necessary to lead such a dynamic organization in an ever-changing...

(Posted Fri. Jun 6th, 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 Adam Bell, a Kentucky farmer who participates in NCGA’s New Leaders Program, which is co-sponsored by Pioneer. With the crop planted, he is still keeping a careful eye on his fields to ensure he acts quickly to prevent possible damage.   “We have finished fertilizing everything that needs to be fertilized and spraying everything that needs to be sprayed,” he explained....

(Posted Thu. Jun 5th, 2014)

Keywords: CUTC

A successful Corn Utilization and Technology Conference concluded yesterday with the presentation of awards recognizing the top entries in the Gary Lamie Graduate Student Poster Competition, sponsored by the Indiana Corn Marketing Council.   “The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to lend our support, encouragement and a cash stipend to young researchers,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chair Tom Mueller during the awards presentation. “Clearly, 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 expand corn utilization.”   This year’s contest attracted 22 student entries. A panel of industry and academic experts evaluated the posters...

(Posted Wed. Jun 4th, 2014)

This week, representatives from the three corn-producing countries which constitute the MAIZALL alliance are participating in a biotechnology mission to Europe. With meetings scheduled in Portugal, Spain and Belgium, the team will work to introduce MAIZALL to European farm, livestock and agribusiness organizations and advocate for biotechnology accessibility before European Union Commission departments on behalf of U.S., Brazilian and Argentine corn farmers.   The meetings launched Monday in Lisbon, where MAIZALL representatives met with embassy and ministry officials as well as industry representatives from Portuguese feed, farmer and agroindustry groups. Tuesday and Wednesday, the mission held meetings in Madrid with Agriculture Ministry officials, embassy officials, farmers and ranchers...

(Posted Wed. Jun 4th, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association today launched the second year of the Good Steward Recognition Program to expand awareness of best practices in sustainable corn production. The program, which demonstrates the economic and conservation value of soil management, is now accepting nominations.   “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. This program helps spread this incredible message. “   NCGA highlights an innovative grower who demonstrates that there is no trade-off between production and stewardship through this program thus...

(Posted Tue. Jun 3rd, 2014)

The Monster Mile lived up to its nickname this weekend as the infamous Dover, Delaware, NASCAR track literally spit concrete and devoured cars. In deference to nine-time Dover winner Jimmy Johnson, the good news is the most consistent performer over the weekend was American Ethanol.   More than 60,000 fans on-site got to see Sunoco Green E15 power the world’s best drivers through their paces with the clean burning, high-powered consistency that has been the hallmark of American Ethanol.   Austin Dillon’s No. 3 American Ethanol Chevy provided an undeniable reminder to fans of the fuel’s great record and nearly six million trouble-free miles since the program began in 2010. Dillon’s Chevy was decked out in American Ethanol green and black for the race that was seen by an additional seven million fans...

(Posted Tue. Jun 3rd, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association opened the 2014 Corn Utilization and Technology Conference last night in Louisville, Ky. The biennial conference will feature the cutting-edge technologies and new uses that continually improve and dynamically change the corn industry during a series of technical sessions over the next two days.   NCGA President Martin Barbre welcomed attendees to the conference and introduced keynote speaker Kristin Meadors of the Kentucky Distillers Association. Following Meadors fascinating talk on one of Kentucky’s unique corn uses, bourbon production, participants enjoyed the Exhibit Hall Grand Opening and a networking reception.   “There is already a great buzz about the conference as researchers, academics and industry gather to share innovations and explore ways in which they can work...

(Posted Mon. Jun 2nd, 2014)

With corn planting nearly complete and emergence keeping pace with the five-year average, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its first forecast for the condition of the 2014 U.S. corn crop. According to this report, the 2014 corn crop is in better condition than the record crop of 2013 was at this point in the year with 76 percent of planted acres in good or excellent condition. At this point last year, only 63 percent of acres fared as well.   “While some grew concerned only a few weeks ago as weather kept many farmers from their fields, hard work and determination have set us back on course” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “We are pleased to see the high level of crop quality this first assessment indicates, but simultaneously we are all too aware of the many...

(Posted Mon. Jun 2nd, 2014)

The National Corn Growers Association calls on photographers to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the first annual Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. Through this contest, NCGA hopes to capture high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it. While the contest opened today, interested participants will be able to submit multiple entries until November 30, 2014.   Open to all, the Fields-of-Corn photo contest offers a free opportunity for photographers to share their work while competing for a $500 grand prize. Entries will also be considered for prizes with cash awards for the top three entries in five categories including: Farm Family Lifestyle, Farming Challenges, Growing Field Corn, Scenery/Landscape, and Still Life from the...