NEWS STORIES

APRIL 2015

(Posted Thu. Apr 30th, 2015)

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 more than 150 attendees including state association executives, program directors and communicators, the conference also provided a forum to discuss pressing issues facing farmers including increasing demand for corn, communications on GMO issues and ethanol promotion.   The week began as state association staff joined with national staff from both the St. Louis and Washington offices to begin an in-depth look at some of the exciting activities and programs that have achieved success since they last met in April 2014.  Each state took a chance to share some of their accomplishments, knowledge gained from the process of implementing tactics and to provide a glimpse of projects on the horizon.  In turn, national staff deeply involved in various legislative and...

(Posted Tue. Apr 28th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

The U.S.-Peru trade promotion agreement has been instrumental in boosting bilateral trade in food and agricultural products since it went into force on Feb. 1, 2009, including spurring new sales of U.S. commodity corn, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Global Agricultural Information Network report released April 8. “The increase in the export of U.S. corn to Peru provides another outstanding example of how free trade agreements can open markets, creating real opportunity for America’s corn farmers,” said John Linder, an Ohio farmer who chairs the National Corn Growers Association’s Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team. “With NCGA pushing for policies like Trade Promotion Authority and favorable trade agreements and, once those policies are in place, USGC building markets abroad, the possibilities for farmers are growing by the day. These markets not only help build demand for U.S. corn but also support American jobs and benefit the U.S. economy as a...

(Posted Mon. Apr 27th, 2015)

U.S. corn farmers made significant planting progress this week according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With 19 percent of total corn acres planted by April 26, growers progress increased by 10 points over the week but still fell further behind the five-year average.   “While farmers are planting during any windows that they see open, the weather continues to hinder overall progress,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “It is important to keep in mind that early progress is not a concrete indicator of what we will find at harvest though. Last year, corn planting started off even more slowly, and we harvested a record corn crop in the fall. Many opportunities and obstacles still lies ahead as a long growing season has only just entered growers’ horizons.”    Progress lagged the five-year average by six points this week, up two points from one week prior. Planting lagged 43 points behind the five-year average in...

(Posted Mon. Apr 27th, 2015)

Last week, the National Corn Growers Association submitted comments to both the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration about proposed rules regarding the commercial usage and privacy best practices of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).   In the letter to DOT, NCGA notes that unmanned aerial systems have widespread potential applications for farmers, and will ultimately reduce costs, improve efficiency, and make farming operations more sustainable. For example, when scouting fields, an unmanned aerial system could provide real-time snapshots, taken from better vantage points that allow farmers to better spot and treat irregularities – all at a fraction of the cost and time it would take to do so on foot.   Click here to view the letter.   The letter also notes that UAS technology would “increase chances of early detection of irregularities, [and] farmers are able to treat specific areas of...

(Posted Fri. Apr 24th, 2015)

For five years and more than seven million miles, American Ethanol and NASCAR have worked together to increase horsepower and decrease greenhouse gas emissions in the sport by 20 percent with Sunoco Green E15, a renewable fuel blended with American Ethanol. This weekend, American Ethanol driver Austin Dillon will drive the No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet SS in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.   “Away from the track the ethanol we use in our family cars cuts greenhouse gas emissions so well it’s equivalent to taking more than 20 million vehicles off the road. That’s a contribution to society that makes farmers proud, but E15 gives us a means to do even better,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “E15 American Ethanol turns our unrivaled ability to produce corn into a national asset. Consumer demand for ethanol is good for family farmers and fans appreciate that. We have grown the 12 largest corn crops in...

(Posted Fri. Apr 24th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association today applauded members of the House Ways and Means Committee who voted to advance the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) out of committee Thursday evening and urged Congress to quickly pass the bill.   “Thank you to the House Ways and Means Committee members who voted to advance Trade Promotion Authority out of committee and keep this important legislation moving forward,” said NCGA president Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Maryland.   “Trade Promotion Authority will help the U.S. to reach major international trade agreements that support American farmers, businesses, and rural communities. It’s time to act. We urge the Senate and House to bring this legislation to a floor vote as soon as possible.”

(Posted Fri. Apr 24th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

The National Corn Growers Association expressed its disapproval of the new proposal by the European Commission to amend legislation on its genetically engineered food and feed approval process. Under the amended legislation, EU member-countries could ignore science-based safety and environmental determinations made by the European Union and further restrict or even eliminate imports of GE food and feed.    “The regulatory proposal announced this week would move the EU further from a reasonable, science-based approach to biotechnology approvals, making international trade partners subject to the whims of agenda-driven, emotionally charged activists,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “If enacted the policy would not only harm potential markets for U.S. growers, it would harm consumers across the EU. Potential restrictions would deepen the divide between markets and create a patchwork system of laws which, much like proposed state restrictions in the United States, would be a train...

(Posted Fri. Apr 24th, 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.   Field Notes met with a new participant in the series this week, Illinois farmer Chad Kleinschmidt. Along with his wife, Jessica, Kleinschmidt raises corn, soybeans and cattle in the center of the state.   Like many farmers, Kleinschmidt has had to delay his planting plans this year.   “With the cold weather and the moisture, we are running a little behind,” he explained. “There were a few guys in the field near us planting corn last week, but we got six-tenths of an inch of rain over the weekend. So, with only five percent of the corn planted, it has been at a standstill all week.”   In addition to...

(Posted Fri. Apr 24th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association today announced changes to strengthen the organization’s efforts to build new corn market demand.  NCGA will begin an immediate search for a Vice President of Market Development, who will be responsible for managing marketing initiatives to build demand for ethanol, livestock feed, biobased products and food uses of corn.   “Farmers constantly work to increase yields using fewer resources,” said NCGA CEO Chris Novak.  “Looking to the future and continued productivity increases from our corn farmers, we need to be looking for new markets to create sustainable opportunities for today’s farm families.”   As a part of a restructure that brings greater focus on building corn demand, NCGA announced additional personnel changes:   Fred Stemme is promoted to Vice President of Marketing and Operations as he takes over new management responsibilities; Paul Bertels will continue to serve the organization as Vice President of Production and...

(Posted Fri. Apr 24th, 2015)

Keywords: Transportation

As the new tax quarter began, the Waterways Council and its allies remind effected parties of the 9 cent per gallon barge diesel user fee increase that went into effect April 1. The fee increase and other changes were the result of a broadly supported effort, backed by the National Corn Growers Association, to improve the U.S. inland waterways infrastructure to handle forecasted increases in traffic.   “NCGA and other agriculture groups have advocated for this increase for many years,” said Garry Niemeyer, Illinois farmer and NCGA representative to the Waterways Council. “More than 60 percent of the nation’s grain exports are transported by barge. Shippers and barge operators both lobbied for changes to the system, due in large part to farmers bringing in record grain harvests.”   The fees go toward the Inland Waterways Trust Fund, which finances construction and major rehabilitation on the nation’s inland waterways. An estimated $260 million is expected to be generated over...

(Posted Thu. Apr 23rd, 2015)

As many parents begin to debate graduation gifts and turn attention to the school year next year, the National Corn Growers Association reminds members they can save when purchasing electronic tools and gifts. By using the benefits NCGA offers, members can purchase Dell products at a significant discount.   “In today’s world, technology is essential to success in school and the workplace,” said Tom Haag, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “Discounts on Dell products provide savings on the tech tools many of our farmers and their families need, but when shopping for a child entering a new schooling environment, they can really come in handy. Using the Dell partnership can help members save while purchasing the electronics that will help kids succeed at school and to enjoy over the summer.”   The NCGA Member Purchase Program with Dell allows members to receive significant discounts on many Dell products as well as a variety of other high end electronics including...

(Posted Thu. Apr 23rd, 2015)

Keywords: trade

The National Corn Growers Association today applauded members of the Senate Finance Committee who voted to advance the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) out of committee and urged Congress to quickly pass the bill.   “On behalf of America’s corn farmers, our customers, and the one million Americans whose jobs depend on agricultural trade, I want to thank the Senate Finance Committee members who voted to advance Trade Promotion Authority out of committee,” said Chip Bowling, a Maryland farmer and president of NCGA. “We now call on members of the House Ways & Means Committee to pass a clean TPA bill out of committee, and for both the House and Senate to bring this important legislation to a floor vote as soon as possible.”   “American family farmers depend on trade. Congress, we are now depending on you to pass Trade Promotion Authority. Let’s remove trade barriers, expand our access to global markets, and ensure farmers get the...

(Posted Wed. Apr 22nd, 2015)

Keywords: ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association today applauded Reps. Rod Blum (R-Iowa), Ken Buck (R-Col.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and David Young (R-Iowa) for introducing the Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act of 2015. The House legislation, which mirrors a bill introduced in the Senate in March by Senators Chuck Grassley and Rand Paul, would ultimately increase the availability of E15 ethanol in the marketplace.   “We thank Representatives Blum, Buck, Peterson, and Young for their leadership in the House to expand consumer choices at the pump and give people year-round access to clean, renewable fuel,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling.   Reid Vapor Pressure measures the evaporation rate of gasoline. The Environmental Protection Agency has granted a volatility waiver to E10 blends, allowing year-round sales throughout the country. The EPA has refused to grant E15 the same waiver, despite some legal analysts who say it is within their authority to do so. Without the waiver,...

(Posted Wed. Apr 22nd, 2015)

Today, the world commemorates Earth Day. Around the globe, communities will take part in activities, campaigns and events on this day to promote awareness of environmental issues. However, for farmers, promoting the health and stability of nature resources happens every day.   “Our farmers understand they have a great and enviable connection with the earth,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chairman Don Glenn, an Alabama corn grower. “Each day, farmers are busy implementing solutions that will allow us to produce food more sustainably, while protecting and preserving the environment. This job requires constant dedication to improving our operation and the land we work. Our livelihood depends on it.”   Since the first Earth Day in 1970, American corn farmers have made great strides.  Based on the Field to Market Environmental Indicators report, since 1980, corn yields have increased by a remarkable 88 percent. Corn farmers have significantly reduced the...

(Posted Tue. Apr 21st, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

The U.S. Grains Council has released the 2014/2015 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, the fourth in a series measuring U.S. corn quality by looking at grade factors, moisture, chemical composition and physical composition in corn samples ready to be loaded for overseas shipment.   This information is valuable for U.S. international corn customers, many of whom have come to anticipate its findings each year. USGC’s global staff and membership will begin presenting the report’s results to interested customers during the coming month. “The United States is the only country that releases such a comprehensive report on the quality of its corn crop,” said USGC Manager of Global Trade Manuel Sanchez, who will use the report’s results in his work with overseas customers. “International customers know this and eagerly await its release. This year is no exception.”   This year’s report is based on 411 yellow commodity corn samples collected from corn export shipments as they underwent...

(Posted Tue. Apr 21st, 2015)

Did you miss a session at the 2015 Commodity Classic? Do you want to revisit a session you attended? Were you unable to attend Commodity Classic and want to see what you missed? Video recordings of the 2015 Educational Sessions and General Session are now available!   Full-registrants to 2015 Commodity Classic receive complimentary access to view video recordings of the 2015 educational sessions. Non-attendees may purchase access to the educational sessions, and 2015 one-day registrants may purchase access at a discounted rate. Purchase access now and have the opportunity to watch the videos at your leisure from now until March 1, 2016.   To access the recorded content, please follow these steps:   Access the Video Library from the Commodity Classic website at http://www.commodityclassic.com/videos/videos15. This will take you to the ProLibraries hosting portal for the Commodity Classic videos, where you can browse and preview more than 25 videos to see which ones interest...

(Posted Mon. Apr 20th, 2015)

Corn planting progress continues to lag according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With nine percent of total corn acres planted by April 19, progress lags behind the five-year average for this point by four percentage points.   “Planting continues to progress slowly due to wet, cool conditions this year,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “But, it is important to keep in mind that the season has only begun in many parts of the country. Last year, corn planting started off slowly, and we harvested a record corn crop in the fall. Many opportunities and obstacles still lies ahead as a long growing season has only just entered growers’ horizons.”   Progress surpassed the five-year average in four of the top 18 corn-producing states, with Minnesota surpassing the average planting progress by the largest margin at six percentage points. States in the lower portion of the Corn Belt and south, which would have normally seen...

(Posted Mon. Apr 20th, 2015)

Keywords: Ethanol

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month entered into a consent decree agreeing to a court-enforced timeline for establishing the Renewable Volume Obligation numbers for 2014 and 2015 for the Renewable Fuel Standard, the delayed timeline – especially for 2014 – were a reflection of the problem the EPA set up for itself by numerous delays.   “Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standard to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to provide cleaner domestic fuel choices for consumers,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, “and the EPA has finally provided additional clarity about their timeline for announcing the 2014 through 2016 renewable fuel requirements. We have expressed our concerns about the continued delays to the EPA, and we will be taking them at their word that they will adhere to this new deadline. NCGA will continue to work with the EPA to ensure the numbers are consistent with the statute passed by Congress and put the RFS back on...

(Posted Fri. Apr 17th, 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.   Field Notes caught up with Texas farmer Jay Beckhusen, who is located about an hour from Austin. While he was concerned with the short planting window for corn a few weeks ago, he saw unexpected progress prior to the April 15 deadline for corn plantings to be covered by crop insurance in his area.   “After visiting with my neighbors, I think that the corn crop was about 95 percent planted before the deadline,” said Beckhusen. “With the warm temperatures we recently had, the corn emerged from the ground in six or seven days, which is amazing. Even though we planted much later than normal, the crop...

(Posted Fri. Apr 17th, 2015)

Lifetime TV welcomed CommonGround Iowa volunteer Julie Kenney to its morning program The Balancing Act this morning to further an ongoing conversation between the American moms on and off of the farm. Kenney answered questions and addressed concerns about food safety and the benefits of GMOs while clearing up myths surrounding organically grown foods and conventionally grown foods.   This was the first of a two-segment mini-series in which The Balancing Act features conversations with volunteers from CommonGround, an effort designed to get women talking about farming and food. It builds upon a previous four-part series that ran in the winter of 2014. CommonGround provides a way for moms looking for answers about food to connect with moms who grow and raise it and get real, credible information.    “I want mothers to know that I feed my family the same foods that they do. The Balancing Act provides a great forum to connect with moms across the country and let them know that...

(Posted Thu. Apr 16th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

The National Corn Growers Association applauded the introduction today of bipartisan legislation to renew and modernize Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and urged Congress to quickly pass the bill.   The Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) introduced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will help open the door to new markets for U.S. goods and services, grow the U.S. economy and support jobs in all 50 states. TPA was last enacted in 2002 and expired in 2007.   “Trade benefits American corn and livestock farmers, workers and consumers. Agricultural exports are already a major driver of the U.S. economy, supporting more than one million American jobs. If we remove trade barriers and expand our access to global markets, American corn and livestock farmers can do even more,” said Chip Bowling, a Maryland farmer and president of...

NASCAR Benefits Available to NCGA Members

(Posted Thu. Apr 16th, 2015)

Keywords: NASCAR

Waiting to plant the 2015 crop and pacing the shed? Why not take a minute to plan to attend a NASCAR race this summer and see E15 American Ethanol on the track. The National Corn Growers Association reminds members that they are entitled to exclusive online NASCAR news and discounts as part of the association’s American Ethanol partnership with the sport.   Through the NASCAR Fuel For Members online portal to all things NASCAR, members can access a customized site that offers the best deals on NASCAR tickets, discounts with other NASCAR partners and a vast assortment of other fun extras. In the “Deals” section of the website, members have access to exclusive offers on the latest gear and unadvertised offers from Official NASCAR Partners and Licensees such as:   Bank of America Exide Batteries New Holland Sprint Wireless UPS   Additionally, the NASCAR Fuel for Members website offers many other exciting and valuable benefits. The “Race Tickets” section hooks NCGA members...

(Posted Thu. Apr 16th, 2015)

Fans of the World of Corn interested in a similar resource in metric measurements can now access this information online. Posted this week, the National Corn Growers Association’s World of Corn Metric Edition provides a look at corn production, use and offers a historical comparison in a compendium piece tailored for audiences more familiar with metric measure. This statistical look at the corn industry, both domestic and worldwide, features a wide array of information on corn production and usage.   To view the metric edition, click here.   The original World of Corn, released in February, is also available on the site. With an easy “share” function, users can now download high resolution files for all graphs to share on social media or for use in presentations.   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. Digital...

(Posted Wed. Apr 15th, 2015)

Keywords: Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association today applauded Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) for recently introducing legislation to extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to E15, and ultimately increase the availability of E15 in the marketplace.   “We applaud Congressman Smith for leading the effort in the House to expand consumer choices at the pump. This legislation would give people access to higher blends of clean, renewable fuel year-round,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling.   RVP measures the evaporation rate of gasoline. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted a volatility waiver to E10 blends, allowing year-round sales throughout the country. Although some legal analysts say EPA has the authority to grant E15 the same waiver, they have refused to do so. Without the waiver, approximately 60 percent of the country can only sell E15 from June 1-September 15. If the bill passed, more retailers would be expected to offer E15.   “We urge Congress to...

(Posted Wed. Apr 15th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association announced important rule changes for the upcoming 2015 National Corn Yield Contest. For the upcoming year, contest rules have been altered to ensure a more even field upon which all contests may participate and, thus, to highlight the incredible accomplishments of so many of our entrants.   In 2015, each NCGA membership used to register for the NCYC must have an individual’s name on it, and each individual may have only one membership number. Each membership number may be used on as many contest entries as desired but, as in previous years, each number will only be awarded official placement for one state and one national level entry.   “Over the past few years, NCGA has seen so many incredible entries to the yield contests, and we truly wish to recognize as many as possible,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn. “We hope that this rule change will allow us to showcase more of the breadth of talent and...

(Posted Tue. Apr 14th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

As the U.S. dollar strengthens, making U.S. grain relatively more expensive in the global marketplace, the importance of the impact of favorable trade policies on sales gains further importance.   Over the last year, the U.S. dollar has strengthened against most currencies, including 15 percent against the currencies of most major corn customers since 2012. In the time between 2001 and 2009, the dollar strengthened but did not significantly affect the price of U.S. corn to customers. This year will likely follow that pattern.   However, the effects of a stronger dollar are more pronounced in comparison with the United States’ corn export competitors, with U.S. dollars strengthening by 42.5 percent against an index of major competitor currencies.   “The most important implication of a strong dollar will be for U.S. market share as competitor countries will be able to export corn at lower prices than the United States,” said U.S. Grains Council Vice President Erick Erickson....

(Posted Tue. Apr 14th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association is seeking applications from members interested in working on an NCGA action team or committee in the 2016 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. This service provides growers an opportunity to play an active role in shaping the future of their industry and to become a part of the national agricultural leadership community.   “As a grassroots organization, NCGA relies on its members to step forward and take an active role in developing the policies that will lead our industry forward,” said NCGA First Vice President Rob Elliott. “We have opportunities this year in all of the areas the organization touches, thus allowing members to take their involvement to the next level while exploring in great depth the areas which interest them the most. I encourage those interested to apply prior to the August 14 deadline to ensure consideration.”   Positions are available on all teams and committees: CornPAC, Ethanol Committee, Grower Services Action Team,...

(Posted Mon. Apr 13th, 2015)

Corn planting is off to a slow start again in 2015 according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With only two percent of total corn acres planted by April 12, progress lags behind the five-year average for this point by three percentage points and one percentage point behind of where it sat at this time in 2014.   “Corn planting has seen a slow, wet start in many places this year,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “But, it is important to keep in mind that last year planting season started off slowly, and we harvest a record corn crop in the fall. Farmers realize that the planting season has only just begun, and a long growing season, which may present opportunities and obstacles, still lies ahead.”   Progress surpassed the five-year average in only one of the top 18 corn-producing states, Kansas, which exceeded average planting progress by six percentage points. Southern states which would have normally seen the most...

(Posted Mon. Apr 13th, 2015)

Keywords: Conservation

Last week, the National Corn Growers Association represented corn farmers’ interests during the Keystone Monarch Collaborative meeting held in ­­­­­­­­­­­­ St. Paul, Minn.  This meeting brought together farm organizations, farmers, government agencies, monarch researchers, companies in the agricultural supply chain and conservation organizations to discuss the need for more collaboration and public private partnership on monarch recovery and conservation efforts.   During the meeting, participants shared information about existing efforts underway, including research and monitoring. After identifying areas for immediate engagement for those already taking active measures, the group explored the usefulness of a more comprehensive planning process.   “NCGA came to the table for these discussions to learn about the type of conservation efforts recommended for farmers to improve the health of monarch populations,” said NCGA Director of Public Policy Ethan Mathews. “While our...

(Posted Fri. Apr 10th, 2015)

Keywords: ethanol

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a timeline for releasing the Renewable Fuel Standard targets for 2014 through 2016 and addressed pending litigation. National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling issued the following statement:   “Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standard to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to provide cleaner domestic fuel choices for consumers. The EPA has provided additional clarity about their timeline for announcing the 2014 through 2016 renewable fuel requirements. We have expressed our concerns about the continued delays to the EPA, and we will be taking them at their word that they will adhere to this new deadline. NCGA will continue to work with the EPA to ensure the numbers are consistent with the statue passed by Congress and put the RFS back on track.”

(Posted Fri. Apr 10th, 2015)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Lifetime TV welcomes CommonGround Iowa volunteer Julie Kenney to its morning program The Balancing Act next Friday to further an ongoing conversation between the American moms on and off of the farm. Kenney will answer questions and address concerns about food safety and the benefits of GMOs while clearing up myths surrounding organically grown foods and conventionally grown foods.   This is the first of a two-segment mini-series in which The Balancing Act features conversations with volunteers from CommonGround, an effort designed to get women talking about farming and food. It builds upon a previous four-part series that ran in the winter of 2014. CommonGround provides a way for moms looking for answers about food to connect with moms who grow and raise it and get real, credible information.    “I want mothers to know that I feed my family the same foods that they do. The Balancing Act provides a great forum to connect with moms across the country and let them know that...

(Posted Fri. Apr 10th, 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.   Field Notes caught up with Maryland farmer Jennie Schmidt, who blogs as “The Foodie Farmer.” While she has begun work on other crops, she is still a few weeks away from planting corn.   “I haven’t seen anyone begin corn planting here yet, but I have seen some doing ground work and running soil tests already,” said Schmidt. “We have had a lot of rain and, last time I check the soil temperatures they were in the low 40s. We won’t begin planting corn until the soil temperatures hit a good 50 degrees or better. We do not normally start planting corn until April 25 at the earliest, and that is our target...

(Posted Thu. Apr 9th, 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 grown. Today, NCGA Director of Public Policy Zach Kinne sat down to explain why TPA is important not only for agriculture but also for all Americans.   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Kinne began by explaining what exactly Trade Promotion Authority is, and what it does.   “Trade Promotion Authority is legislation that does three things,” said Kinne. “First, it allows Congress to give direction to the executive branch on trade policy priorities and objectives for any trade agreements that are being negotiated. Second, it establishes Congressional requirements for consulting stakeholders and the public before and during negotiations to ensure that those objectives are being met. Finally, and most importantly, it renews the president’s authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for an up or down vote without amendments. This...

(Posted Wed. Apr 8th, 2015)

With significant media attention being paid to the health of pollinator communities, it is important to recognize the breadth of scientific opinion on this topic. Though many take an alarmist stance based in misinformation, strategies to move forward and ensure a healthy future for our environment and pollinators in particular must be based in sound scientific information.   One new paper released today,”’Beepocalypse’ Not,” provides perspective on how potential bans and restrictions on a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids could do more harm than good for honeybees as more toxic chemicals will likely be used as a replacement. The papers author, Dr. Angela Logomasini, posits that:   “Honeybee health issues can and will be managed largely by beekeepers themselves along with some collaboration with farmers and even home gardeners. But we won’t reach such solutions if we focus on the wrong issues.   “The best solutions will strike a balance that recognizes the value of...

(Posted Tue. Apr 7th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to become a part of the change they desire by actively honing their leadership skills through two leadership programs co-sponsored by Syngenta. Deadlines loom for these programs, and growers must be nominated by their state corn association.    Leadership At Its Best   Open to all NCGA membership, Leadership At Its Best provides training to interested volunteers of all skill levels.  The first session, held in August in Minneapolis, Minn., addresses personal communications skills, public speaking and association management.  The second session, which will be held in January 2016, addresses public policy issues, working with the Hill and parliamentary procedure.  Through this program, participants build the skill set needed to become a more confident public speaker with a solid background in the procedures and processes used by NCGA and many state organizations.   With applications due April 10, interested members should...

(Posted Mon. Apr 6th, 2015)

As summer quickly approaches, members of the National Corn Growers Association can save when purchasing supplies for themselves and all of the outdoors enthusiasts in their lives. By using the benefits NCGA offers, members can purchase Cabela’s gift cards at a 10 percent discount.   “We always look for benefits that match the interests of our growers, and this partnership is perfect for their active outdoor lifestyle,” said Tom Haag, chairman of NCGA’s Grower Services Action Team. “As many of us prepare for a variety of exciting outdoor activities this summer, these benefits hold even more value. Using the Cabela’s partnership can help members save on the items that they need to enjoy the activities that they love.”   Gift cards valued at $25, $50 and $100 are available in any quantity. NCGA members may purchase cards by calling their state association or the national office at (636) 733-5520.  Amounts larger than $100 are available by contacting the national office.  

(Posted Fri. Apr 3rd, 2015)

National Corn Growers Association Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak received Purdue University College of Agriculture’s highest honor for achievement, the Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award, during a ceremony in West Lafayette, Indiana today.   Novak is one of eight alumni to receive the 2015 award, which recognizes Purdue Agriculture alumni who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments, made significant contributions to their professions or to society in general, and exhibit high potential for future professional growth.   “Everyone at NCGA is extremely proud to have Chris as a part of our team,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “He is a strategic, visionary leader who we believe will help our association continue its tradition of success into the future.  Additionally, has done great work not only for our growers but for all of American agriculture in a long career of service. This award is well deserved.”   Novak joined NCGA in October of 2014. He previously...

(Posted Fri. Apr 3rd, 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.   Field Notes caught up with northern Iowa farmer, April Hemmes, on Thursday. While she hoped to begin planting next week, recent weather may have changed her plans.   “We were really pretty dry until we got an inch and two-tenths of rain Wednesday night,” said Hemmes. “We are hauling grain today. It is a little bit mushy on the gravel but the sun is shining, and I am little surprised by how quickly it is drying out.”   Hemmes spoke with Field Notes while taking a break from loading corn. While harvest ended months ago, marketing her crop requires her attention throughout the year.   “I was just...

(Posted Thu. Apr 2nd, 2015)

Keywords: Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association applauds Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) for recently introducing the Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act, a bill that would ultimately increase the availability of E15 in the marketplace.   A key component of the Grassley/Paul bill is the extension of one pound waiver to E15 fuel.   “Consumers should have access to higher blends of clean, renewable fuel year-round. This legislation would remove a regulatory hurdle to that access, and give consumers more choices at the pump,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Maryland.   Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) measures the evaporation rate of gasoline.  EPA has granted a 1 p.s.i. waiver to E10 blends allowing year-round sales throughout the country.  Although E15 has a slightly lower RVP than E10, EPA refuses to grant E15 the same waiver.  Without this waiver, approximately 60 percent of the country can only fuel FFVs with E15 from June 1 – September 15.  If the bill...

(Posted Wed. Apr 1st, 2015)

With rapidly shifting weather across the country, farmers have to work extra hard to stay updated on what to expect while they prepare for planting. The NCGA-FMC Ag Weather Advisor, prepared by Blue Water Outlook, is a free benefit for members that can help them stay a step ahead.   “The NCGA-FMC Ag Weather Advisor provides valuable insight, analysis and information not easily found elsewhere on the key factors shaping the weather right now and well into the future,” said John Feldt of Blue Water Outlook.  “This information can help growers make critical weather-related decisions throughout the entire year.”   Among the offerings subscribers to the free service receive each week, the BWO Agriculture Weather Outlook will help farmers understand how much rain to expect, days in advance. The AWO is a 10-minute video briefing discussing precipitation and temperature trends for the up-coming week. Also each week, the BWO Agricultural Advisor will provide updates that keep growers...