NEWS STORIES

MARCH 2015

(Posted Tue. Mar 31st, 2015)

American farmers expect to plant 1.4 million fewer acres of corn in 2015, a two percent decrease from 2014, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report released today.   If realized, total corn plantings in the United States would total 89.2 million acres for the lowest planted acreage since 2010. Notably, it would still be the sixth-largest U.S. corn acreage planted since 1944.   “U.S. farmers produced a record crop in 2014 with supplies abundant enough to meet all needs and provide an ample carry over into 2015,” National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling said.  “While many factors may change the reality on the ground as planting progresses, Americans can rest assured that generous stockpiles and adequate plantings will ensure our corn security for the year to come.”   The USDA’s estimate for 2015 is for 89.2 million acres to be planted in field corn.  Assuming the five-year average 91.4 percent harvest rate and the projected...

(Posted Mon. Mar 30th, 2015)

Leaders from MAIZALL, the international alliance for maize, were in Washington last week for discussions with senior U.S. officials from the Department of Agriculture, State Department and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding ongoing cooperation with the governments of Argentina and Brazil on market access for crops derived from biotechnology.  “The National Corn Growers Association, working with the U.S. Grains Council and their counterparts in Argentina and Brazil, established MAIZALL to address concerns common to the three major corn exporting countries of the Americas,” said NCGA Pam Johnson, who represents the association at MAIZALL. Along with NCGA and USGC, ABRAMHILO in Brazil and MAISAR in Argentina, work together through MAIZALL on shared interests of corn farmers from across the hemisphere. While the three countries are vigorous competitors in world markets, producers in all three are committed to trade, modern agricultural technology and improved market...

(Posted Mon. Mar 30th, 2015)

Farmers who have not yet updated their base acres or signed up for ARC or PLC should contact their local FSA office to schedule an appointment no later than Tuesday, April 7. Producers who request an appointment April 7 will be able to make an election between ARC and PLC, even if the actual appointment is after the deadline. To find your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.

Help Put Austin Dillon in the NASCAR All Star Race

(Posted Fri. Mar 27th, 2015)

If you would like to put American Ethanol spokesman Austin Dillon in the 2015 All-Star Race, the polls are open for the Sprint Fan Vote. You never know who will win. That's what makes voting so important.  The race is May 16, so vote early and often…well at least once per day as allowed. Voting closes at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 15, one day before the American Ethanol green flag waves in Charlotte, NC. For the first time in program history, votes shared via Facebook and/or Twitter will count as double towards a driver's total. Fans can vote daily with a maximum of one vote per day per unique email address by downloading the NASCAR MOBILE application or visitingNASCAR.com/SprintFanVote. Eligible voters can also enter into the Sprint Fan Vote sweepstakes, in which one lucky Sprint Fan Vote participant will win a trip for two to any 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The winner of the Sprint Fan Vote will be announced in Victory Lane following the conclusion of the Sprint...

(Posted Fri. Mar 27th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association now offers its fifth 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 Indiana farmer and blogger, Brian Scott. While his planters still sit waiting for a warm, dry day, Scott busily prepares to take advantage of the planting window when it comes.   “We have our planter all tuned up, and it is ready to get in the field,” he explained. “We still have another tractor to look at and check tire pressures and things like that. We also still have to get some things ready on the software end by getting our maps and prescriptions together.”   Scott, like many farmers across the country has adopted many precision agriculture techniques that, by...

(Posted Fri. Mar 27th, 2015)

Farmers, like most Americans, generally view the word sweet in a positive light. When it comes to high fructose corn syrup, this certainly holds true. HFCS not only provides an affordable, safe sweetener option; it provides steady demand for U.S. grown corn. In 2014, more than one and three-quarters billion dollars’ worth of corn went into the production of high fructose corn syrup.   Accounting for 490 million bushels worth of demand, or approximately 3.6 percent of overall demand, HFCS provides an important market to U.S. corn farmers, and it has for decades. Actually, every year since 1994, HFCS production created demand for more than 450 million bushels of U.S. corn.   Given the benefits this market offers corn growers, it is important that they know the facts about the oft-maligned sweetener. In a society obsessed with the latest fad diets, factual information about food frequently falls to the wayside as well-meaning consumers receive inaccurate information from...

FARMLAND Brings Home Top Honors in Entertainment at PR Week Awards

(Posted Fri. Mar 27th, 2015)

Against strong competition, including Chipotle’s negative Farmed and Dangerous campaign, leading industry publication PR Week recently awarded its prestigious Arts, Entertainment and Media Campaign of the Year award to the consumer campaign surrounding the 2014 documentary FARMLAND. The film debuted in more than 170 theaters, enjoyed ticket sales that were 84 percent above initial expectations – and with the assistance of USFRA partner organizations, has been screened more than 1,000 times.   The film has also earned a 94 percent positive audience rating on review site RottenTomatoes.com. The related website FarmlandFilm.com garnered 322,280 unique visitors and helped attract more than 100,000 Facebook fans, with media efforts generating about 62 million impressions total. Surveys revealed that 53 percent of the primary target audience was aware of the documentary, and 46 percent were familiar with the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance – a 91 percent increase from 2013. “USFRA...

(Posted Thu. Mar 26th, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy

With less than one week until the sign-up deadline, 77 percent of farmers have made their election into the farm bill risk management program, according to USDA Farm Services Agency officials testifying today at a hearing of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. Ninety-four percent have completed their base acre reallocations. Farmers have until Tuesday, March 31 to update their base acres and choose between Ag Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage at their local FSA office.   At the hearing, FSA officials said county offices will remain flexible during program sign-up. Farmers who are unable to complete the process by the deadline are encouraged to go to their local FSA office as soon as possible (before March 31) to sign a document of their intent to enroll. This will allow the farmer to come back into the FSA office to complete the enrollment process. Producers failing to enroll in either ARC/PLC are by default enrolled in the PLC...

(Posted Thu. Mar 26th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

As of March 12, the Western Hemisphere claimed nearly 708.6 million bushels in outstanding sales and accumulated exports of U.S. corn for the 2014/2015 marketing year, 102 million bushels more than last year at the same time, the U.S. Grains Councol reported this week.    With domestic consumption of U.S. corn expected to remain flat for the current marketing year, there is an abundant supply available for export. The Western Hemisphere is a natural market due to its proximity to U.S. export channels.   Canada, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela are generally among the top 10 export markets for U.S. corn, and the countries of Central America are generally among the top 20 export markets. New growth throughout the region is occurring due to grain availability, competitively priced U.S. corn and policies that enable open, liberalized trade of goods and services.   “The increase in sales in this region demonstrates clearly what can happen when, working together, the National Corn...

(Posted Wed. Mar 25th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association applauded the introduction today of legislation to create a national, science-based labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms and urged Congress to quickly pass the bill.   The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), will ensure that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration remains the authority on food safety and labeling in the United States.   Additionally, by establishing federal standards around a voluntary GMO-free label, this bill strikes an important balance between providing consumers choice and clarity in the grocery aisle and protecting a technology that is vital to American farmers.   “Farmers and consumers agree on the need for clear, consistent labeling. Labels should be science-based and uniform in all 50 states,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Maryland. “In the absence of a national solution to GMO labeling, we...

UAS Would Lower Costs and Environmental Impact of Farming

(Posted Wed. Mar 25th, 2015)

Unmanned Aerial Systems will make farming more efficient, lower operating costs, and reduce their environmental impact, NCGA Manager of Public Policy Clint Raine told a group of policymakers and reporters today during a panel about the applications of UAS technology to the agricultural industry.   “I’m optimistic about the possibilities for UAS technology and what it could mean for farmers,” said Raine. “These devices will make farms more efficient and sustainable. Lowering the costs and environmental impact of farming is good not only for farmers, but also consumers.”   While unmanned aerial systems have many commercial applications, they are expected to have the greatest impact on the agriculture industry – by one estimate, adding more than $75 billion to the economy by 2025. UAS are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, and are currently banned for commercial use. NCGA and other agricultural organizations hope to see that changed.   “If this technology were...

(Posted Tue. Mar 24th, 2015)

NCGA Agribusiness Council Cultivates Cooperation on Key Issues   Last week, representatives from agribusinesses gathered with National Corn Growers Association leadership in Washington for NCGA’s Agri-Industry Council’s biannual meeting.  Over the course of two days, attendees received updates on key NCGA programs, heard from several outside speakers and discussed topics of special importance to the entire agricultural community.   “The discussion in AIC meetings helps NCGA fulfill its mission of creating and maintaining opportunities for corn growers,” said NCGA Chairman and AIC Co-Chair Martin Barbre. “Only through sharing NCGA’s position throughout the industry will we make our voices loud enough to reach the best possible outcomes for growers as we face an ever-changing political landscape.”   Dr. Keith H. Coble, Giles Distinguished Professor at Mississippi State University, presented an overview of the federal crop insurance system. Covering important information about...

(Posted Mon. Mar 23rd, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling issued the following statement in response to the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s recent movement to reclassify glyphosate:   “The movement to reclassify glyphosate as a class 2A probable carcinogen ignores the findings of more than four decades of credible scientific research. In doing so, this decision creates unnecessary fear and confusion over the proven safety record of this important agricultural tool.   “It is irresponsible to reclassify glyphosate in such a capricious manner as this decision both creates panic and has the potential to impact access to one of farmers’ main methods of combatting weeds. While glyphosate is one of the most studied, trusted crop protection products available today, it is under political attack currently, and it is possible this impacted IARC’s decision.   “We urge IARC to release the scientific evidence upon which they claim to have based this decision as well as to...

(Posted Fri. Mar 20th, 2015)

Farmer leaders and staff from the National Corn Growers Association and its state affiliates met in Chicago last week to discuss water quality issues. During the two day conference, participants shared lessons learned from state policy efforts and reviewed NCGA’s 2015 national policy priorities on agricultural nutrients and water quality.   “NCGA’s goal is to ensure these policies are not dictated by Washington, D.C.,” said NCGA Chairman Martin Barbre. “Given the way EPA operates and how these issues are shaping up, the best defense corn growers have against overly aggressive national regulatory policies is a good offense at the state level.”   The conference facilitator, agricultural environmental consultant Tom Hebert, outlined the evolution of the national discussion on water quality.   “The public wants to believe something so critical to life is being well taken care of,” said Hebert. “Just saying something does not mean people understand you, because they are listening...

CommonGround Volunteers Shine a Spotlight on Sustainability

(Posted Fri. Mar 20th, 2015)

This Ag Week, CommonGround volunteers took the story of American farming, their story, to people across the country through a series of interviews with television and radio stations. Answering questions focused on the incredible innovation in sustainability practices adopted by today’s farmers, Kellie Blair of Iowa, Kim Bremmer of Wisconsin, Joan Ruskamp of Nebraska and Kristie Swenson of Minnesota opened the barn doors, offering themselves and their fellow CommonGround volunteers as a resource for consumers with questions about where their food comes from and how it is grown.    Over the course of the morning, the four women took part in 25 interviews, both live and taped, which will reach a national audience through both television and radio.   As sustainability issues have drawn media attention, consumer interest in the environmental impact of their food has also risen.  Volunteers answered many common questions, explaining how farmers constantly aim for improvement, as they...

(Posted Thu. Mar 19th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association invites graduates of the Leadership At Its Best Program the opportunity to further refine their leadership skills through the Advanced Leadership Program, co-sponsored by Syngenta. With two sessions, Advanced Leadership provides intensive training that will hone their media, leadership and lobbying skills, and prepare participants to lead the industry.   “We are excited to offer this program through which another class of leaders will elevate their skillset and help further their work on behalf of U.S. farmers,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling.  “NCGA depends upon grassroots leadership, and, as a graduate of the program, I personally understand the important role this program plays in helping develop the skills and build the relationships necessary to lead such a dynamic organization in an ever-changing environment.”   Advanced Leadership training aims to help develop top-notch state and national leadership that is empowered to elevate the...

(Posted Wed. Mar 18th, 2015)

I'm glad I don't have to make a living farming. Too much hard work. Too many variables you don't have control over, like, is it going to rain? All I can say is, god bless the real farmers out there.” Professional golfer and back nine philosopher - Fuzzy Zoeller.   Spoken like a golfer who grew up in the midst of the corn fields of Indiana, because those are Fuzzy’s roots. National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is big on advocating for some of the most significant resources and critical assets in our nation too. Things like clean air, fertile soil and the family farmers who tend it every day. And today seems a good time to give them a shout out because it’s National Ag Day.   To help make people aware of the importance of agriculture to their lives, we wanted to share this fun interactive quiz put together by the Nature Conservancy. Can you get all 10 right?   Frankly, it’s easy to take agriculture for granted and for farmers to take their customers for granted. Ag Day is...

(Posted Wed. Mar 18th, 2015)

Although increasingly more women have pursued careers in agriculture over the past decade, today they still account for just 14 percent of farm operators. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden hopes to change that with a new mentoring initiative aimed at getting more women involved in agriculture and cultivating future female industry leaders.   The Women in Agriculture Mentoring Network, announced in February, was created to support and engage women in all areas across agriculture and foster connections between people with shared backgrounds, interests, and professional goals. National Corn Growers Association Past President Pam Johnson applauded the Deputy Secretary’s efforts.   “Deputy Harden has always been a champion for women throughout her career, and I am excited about this new initiative as a way to bring more women into the fold,” said Johnson, an Iowa farmer and the first female president of NCGA.   “I have benefitted from having strong mentors, and I have...

(Posted Tue. Mar 17th, 2015)

Keywords: Biotechnology Trade

As planting season gets underway in southern parts of the country, the National Corn Growers Association reminds growers to visit its updated version of the “Know Before Your Grow” website. The newly revamped site offer growers important new information to help inform planting decisions in light of the release of new seed varieties currently unapproved in some export markets.   “In a globalized agricultural economy, it is important that farmers understand the delicate balance that must be struck between ensuring access to the technologies while also safeguarding export markets remain open to U.S. corn,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair John Linder, an Ohio farmer. “Both biotechnology and export markets play a key role in maintaining profitability. Making decisions based in solid information will be key to maintaining profitability moving forward.”   NCGA stands solidly true to its policy in maintaining all new events must have approval in the United...

(Posted Mon. Mar 16th, 2015)

Keywords: Ethanol

The Urban Air Initiative has filed a new petition with the Environmental Protection Agency challenging agency models relating to ethanol emissions from automobiles.   The non-profit organization, dedicated to reducing harmful emission from gasoline to improve public health, takes issue with EPA’s Motor Fuel Emission Simulator model, which it says “wrongly blames ethanol for creating harmful tailpipe emissions.”   One of the biggest factors currently holding domestically produced ethanol back from reaching its full potential is bad information. This includes focused misinformation campaigns like the tactics used by big oil for years and bad computer modeling basing assessments on erroneous or inaccurate information.   “Many Americans are not aware of the very real and dangerous consequences of our dependence on foreign oil,” said Michigan farmer Jeff Sandborn, who is chairman of the NCGA Ethanol Committee. “Much of the time the focus has been on jobs and ethanol’s economic...

(Posted Fri. Mar 13th, 2015)

Odometers are not standard equipment on the race cars competing in NASCAR but if they were, collectively they would surpass a momentous milestone this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. NASCAR began running Sunoco Green E15 in its three top national series back in 2011 and this coming Saturday during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 race, NASCAR will hit and surpass seven million miles of racing, the equivalent of almost 30 trips from the earth to the moon or 281 laps around the earth!   “Drivers across the United States have a long and successful history with 10 percent ethanol blended fuel,” said Jon Holzfaster, a farmer from Nebraska and National Corn Growers Association board member. “Frankly, they like the cost savings provided by ethanol and the fact it comes from family farmers. Automotive technology has changed and so have the needs of the public. Cars made since 2001 are designed to run on E15, and NASCAR has proven to be a great way...

(Posted Thu. Mar 12th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

As corn farmers look to increase demand in the face of abundant supply, the importance of Trade Promotion Authority to U.S. farmers has gained particular importance. By passing TPA, the President gains the necessary means for negotiating the trade agreements that facilitate access to important export markets and thus helps ensure American farmers remain competitive in meeting the world’s need for food, fuel and fiber.   The National Corn Growers Association asks that farmers consider the historical context, explore the importance and actively support TPA as an important means for opening markets for U.S. corn.   Simply, Trade Promotion Authority does three things. It allows Congress to give direction to the Executive Branch on trade policy priorities while providing negotiating objectives for trade agreements.  It also establishes Congressional requirements for notifying and consulting stakeholders and the public before and during negotiations. Finally, TPA renews the...

(Posted Thu. Mar 12th, 2015)

Keywords: ethanol

National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling issued the following statement Wednesday in response to a proposal by the Advanced Biofuels Association to make changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard:   "According to any measure, the Renewable Fuel Standard works. It has reduced dependence on foreign oil. It has helped clear the air from toxic emissions. It has boosted rural economies, and it has saved consumers money at the pump. Going back to the drawing board will undoubtedly give Big Oil an opportunity to eliminate their only real competition. Any attempt to restructure the RFS will start a chain of reactions that will lead to what America doesn't need: dirtier air, more foreign oil, a declining economy, and an oligopoly in charge of our energy future. That's the future that awaits when the RFS is reopened and all the benefits of the biofuels revolution are lost."

(Posted Wed. Mar 11th, 2015)

Helping farmers choose the right farm bill risk coverage package will be the topic of a free DTN webinar March 12, co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association.   Farmers and ranchers will have to decide soon which risk coverage package is right for them of three options: Price Loss Coverage (PLC) or one of two Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) packages (county or farm level).   DTN's webinar, titled “ARC or PLC: Which Safety Net Fits You?”will include presentations from University of Illinois Economist Gary Schnitkey; University of Illinois Assistant Professor of Law and Policy and former FSA administrator Jonathan Coppess; and Mississippi State Economist and former advisor to the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee Keith Coble.   “This is the first time farmers have a choice of 3 risk management programs, and it’s a big decision that will affect their operations for years to come,” said Jim Reed, an Illinois corn grower and chairman of NCGA’s Public Policy Action...

(Posted Wed. Mar 11th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

Easing trade restrictions and building a two-way relationship between the U.S. and Cuba should be a key priority for U.S. farmers, according to National Corn Growers Association representatives who visited Cuba last week.   John Linder, an Ohio farmer who chairs NCGA’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team and NCGA communications manager Jennifer Myers were among the nearly 100 representatives from U.S. agricultural organizations who visited Cuba March 1-4. The visit included meetings with Cuban officials and visits to farms and agricultural facilities.   “American farmers will lead the way in building a relationship between our two countries,” said Linder. “To do that, we need a level playing field and two-way trade – and that means an end to the embargo.”   U.S. corn exports to Cuba have decreased from nearly 800,000 metric tons in 2008 to 200,000 tons in 2013, largely due to financing and trade restrictions that competitors such as Argentina and Brazil do not face....

(Posted Tue. Mar 10th, 2015)

The amount of corn necessary to make a gallon of ethanol is less than previously believed according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today. In lowering the projected demand by the ethanol market for U.S. corn by 50 million bushels, the agency cited “a higher rate of conversion than previously assumed” as the reasoning for the adjustment. The information upon which this analysis was based came from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s new Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report.   “What is most remarkable about this supply and demand report is the light it sheds on a topic of great concern to U.S. corn farmers- recognition of the growing efficiencies in the ethanol industry,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a Maryland corn farmer. “For many years, we have strongly asserted that the ethanol industry continues to improve and those productivity gains should be taken into consideration. With the simple justification offered for the analysis,...

(Posted Mon. Mar 9th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to become a part of the change they desire by actively honing their leadership skills through the Leadership at Its Best Program, co-sponsored by Syngenta.  Growers must be nominated by their state corn association.  With applications due April 10, interested members should contact their state associations now for further information and get completed applications in to state offices by April 8.   “Since it began in the mid-1980s, 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,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling.  “We again ask farmers to act upon their desire to give back to their peers. NCGA depends upon grassroots leadership and, I personally can attest that the time and effort dedicated are repaid in full through the relationships built with like-minded individuals while doing work crucial to the success of...

(Posted Thu. Mar 5th, 2015)

Helping farmers choose the right farm bill risk coverage package will be the topic of a free DTN webinar March 12, co-sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association.   Farmers and ranchers will have to decide soon which risk coverage package is right for them of three options: Price Loss Coverage (PLC), or one of two Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) packages (county or farm level). It is important for growers to be educated on this topic because the one-time choice they make will have an impact on their operations for years to come.   DTN's webinar, titled “ARC or PLC: Which Safety Net Fits You?”, hosted by DTN Executive Editor Marcia Taylor, will include presentations from University of Illinois Economist Gary Schnitkey; University of Illinois Assistant Professor of Law and Policy and former FSA administrator Jonathan Coppess; and Mississippi State Economist and former advisor to the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee Keith Coble.   “This is the first time farmers have a...

(Posted Wed. Mar 4th, 2015)

With nearly 8,000 total attendees, the 2015 Commodity Classic convention and trade show, which took place last week in Phoenix, Arizona, shattered previous records for the landmark event.   “The 2015 Commodity Classic was a terrific event for our growers and all involved,” said Commodity Classic Co-Chair Sam Butler. “We know it wasn’t just getting away from the weather for a sunnier climate. Our farmers were actively engaged in everything the landmark event had to offer, with many arriving early for policy sessions and coming to association meetings on a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon in Phoenix.”   Total attendance was 7,936, more than 600 over the previous record, 7,325, set in 2014. Other records broken were the number of growers, at 4,328 (compared to 3,874 in 2014); and the number of first-time attendees, at 1,409 (compared to 1,261 in 2014).  Additionally, the trade show featured an all-time high of 355 participating companies, representing a record 170,500 net square...

(Posted Wed. Mar 4th, 2015)

Each year at the Commodity Classic convention and trade show, the National Corn Growers Association rewards recruiters and state affiliates for their terrific efforts in driving membership – in the case of 2014, that hard work included reaching a record of more than 42,000 in August.   “I am extremely proud of the efforts our state associations and individual growers take to build membership in our association,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a Maryland corn grower. “As a grassroots-led organization, we cannot hope to achieve very much without a large and active membership base, and our growth in 2014 was and will continue to be a sign of our success in helping farmers back home, and our effectiveness in our nation’s capital.”   The 2014 Marketing Awards presented at the NCGA Awards Banquet included two Top Association Recruitment Awards, presented to the two NCGA affiliates with the largest increase in membership, as a percentage or as a specific number. Recipients were the...

(Posted Tue. Mar 3rd, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association, in conjunction with cosponsor BASF, honored five college students with scholarships last week at Commodity Classic 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  This year, the William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture scholarships, created to foster promising agricultural leaders for the future, provided five winners with $1,000 for use in pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field.   “These students are already showing a lot of promise and potential to have a positive impact on American agriculture,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “BASF’s support for this program allows us to ease the financial burden on these students, so they can more readily focus on their education and their lives after college.”   The program awarded scholarships of $1,000 each to the following students: Caleb Brannon of Puryear, Tennessee – a winner of last year’s ASA SOY scholarship, Caleb is a sophomore at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, studying...

CommonGround Starts Conversations at Commodity Classic

(Posted Tue. Mar 3rd, 2015)

Commodity Classic attendees wanting to find out more about CommonGround, a program supported by the National Corn Growers Association, the United Soybean Board and their state affiliates, enjoyed an hour of first-hand accounts and interactive learning during the Learning Center “Finding CommonGround.” With more than 125 people in attendance, CommonGround volunteers Sara Ross and Joan Ruskamp showed attendees how CommonGround, a grassroots movement of farm women who want to foster conversations between the women who grow and raise food and those who buy it.   Drawing upon the power of their personal experiences, Ross and Ruskamp explained how farm women across the country are sharing their experiences and helping consumers feel confident about American ag today. The volunteers shared insight into the program’s real, inclusive, positive and credible approach to conversations while showing the approach in action through anecdotes about their personal experiences. Both active in the...

(Posted Mon. Mar 2nd, 2015)

U.S. corn farmers smashed many records in 2014, growing the largest crop on record, at 14.2 billion bushels, with a record national average yield of 171.0 bushels per acre. To highlight this achievement, the National Corn Growers Association delves into the facts about corn production, use and offers a historical comparison in its newest edition of the World of Corn. This statistical look at the corn industry, both domestic and worldwide, features a wide array of information on corn production and usage. In addition to the traditional statistics guide, this year’s distribution included two compendium pieces which highlight the benefits of two of the hottest topics in corn today – ethanol and biotechnology.   “America’s corn farmers worked tirelessly in 2014 to grow a record crop,” NCGA President Chip Bowling and Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak note in the introduction. “The unparalleled abundance has positive implications for every American. From a driver filling up a car to...

(Posted Mon. Mar 2nd, 2015)

Keywords: Sustainability

  The National Corn Growers Association named Mike Shuter from Frankton, Indiana, as this year’s honoree for the NCGA’s Good Steward Recognition Program during last week’s 2015 Commodity Classic convention and trade show. The award recognizes one U.S. farmer annually who is demonstrating leadership in sustainable corn production.   The program and award funding was provided by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation as part of its Harvesting the Potential campaign to raise awareness among U.S. farmers of the importance of conservation agriculture.   “When it comes to finding practical solutions to conserve and better natural resources on the farm, Mike Shuter has a mind you want to make sure you tap,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “His tireless enthusiasm for discovering new methods for improving his soil, preserving water quality and improving the profitability of farming makes everyone take notice.  Mike has really proven a superior commitment to sustainability through...