NEWS STORIES

MAY 2015

(Posted Fri. May 29th, 2015)

Keywords: ethanol

The following is a statement from Maryland corn farmer Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, in response to today’s announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of proposed  renewable volume obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard.   “Once again, the EPA has chosen to ignore the law by cutting the corn ethanol obligation 3.75 billion gallons from 2014 to 2016. This represents nearly a billion and a half bushels in lost corn demand. The only beneficiary of the EPA’s decision is Big Oil, which has continuously sought to undermine the development of clean, renewable fuels. Unfortunately, the EPA’s gift to Big Oil comes at the expense of family farmers, American consumers and the air we breathe.   “The Renewable Fuel Standard was working as intended, with no need to change. It has reduced greenhouse gas emissions, decreased our reliance on foreign oil, lowered gasoline prices for consumers, increased economic stability in rural...

(Posted Fri. May 29th, 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 checked in with Iowa farmer April Hemmes. While she completed planting corn for 2015, she worries about the possibility of replanting acres as cool, wet conditions hamper the growth of her crop.   “On my farm alone, we have gotten more than two inches of rain in the past few days,” said Hemmes. “Even though it is 80 and sunny today, we are headed back to the 60s and wet over the weekend. Those do not equal great corn growing conditions. “I know the last time we spoke, I mentioned needing heat units. But, as it stands, we need them even more now.”   To listen to the full interview,...

(Posted Thu. May 28th, 2015)

With the generous support of the Nebraska Corn Board, two college students from the Cornhusker State are joining the National Corn Growers Association as interns this summer to learn more about the industry.    NCGA’s headquarters office in suburban St. Louis is hosting Emily Scholting of Springfield, Nebraska, as their summer intern supported by a partnership between NCB and NCGA. Scholting will be a senior in political science with an emphasis in pre-law at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She will be assisting with production and stewardship projects, as well as participating in committee meetings and policy issues.   The NCGA Washington office welcomes Glen Ready of Scribner, Nebraska, as their summer intern. Ready will be a senior in agricultural economics with an emphasis in public policy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He will be involved with a variety of agricultural issues related to environmental regulations, transportation, free trade agreements, biotechnology,...

(Posted Thu. May 28th, 2015)

Keywords: Biotechnology Trade

Last week, the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance’s Board of Directors met in Washington to recommit to the alliance and update the business plan. During the meeting, representatives from all parts of the value chain worked together, reviewing working group findings and planning for a future meeting to address the future of biotechnology and potential market impacts.   Both the Domestic Working Group and the International Working Group reported back to the board on their progress over the past year. Progress by the International Working Group was found to be particularly encouraging, as it managed to elevate issues related to biotechnology and trade to the president’s agenda on his most recent trip to China. Additionally, it became evident that the group’s work has established USBCA as the go-to resource for the U.S. government on all issues related to agricultural biotechnology and trade.   Established under a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012, the USBCA already has...

(Posted Wed. May 27th, 2015)

The following is a statement from Chip Bowling, Maryland farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association, in response to today’s EPA announcement of a revised rule pertaining to the Clean Water Act:   “We cannot comment on the specifics of the revised rule until we have had a chance to fully review it. We especially want to ensure that the broad promises made in the EPA press release are carried out in the text of this comprehensive rule.   “With the earlier round of proposed rules, NCGA was concerned that the earlier proposed rule represented a significant expansion of federal Clean Water Act jurisdiction relative to anything that has ever been in rulemaking before. We especially will look closely at how on-farm ditches, ponds and puddles are treated in the rule.   “As in the past, we will work with EPA as much as possible to ensure we have rules in place that are clear and workable for farmers.”

(Posted Wed. May 27th, 2015)

On Thursday morning, a compelling group of citizen, government, farmer, environmentalist, and business leaders will convene in Toledo, Ohio to discuss how the 2014 Toledo water crisis changed the conversation about water and food.   Sponsored by the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio Corn Marketing Program, Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program, and Ohio Soybean Council, the event will be livestreamed from 9 to 10:45 CDT.   Gail Hogan, a retired Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist in Ohio, will moderate two panels at the event. The first group of panelists, holding a discussion entitled “Lessons Learned from Toledo Water Crisis,” will share their reaction to, and lessons learned from, 500,000 Toledo residents losing their water supply in August 2014. These panelists, who represent the farm and environmental communities, city government and local business interests, will talk about how they’re now thinking differently about agriculture and...

(Posted Tue. May 26th, 2015)

Keywords: Farm Policy Conservation

The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to make sure they have a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) on file with their local USDA service center by June 1, in order to be eligible for farm bill programs including crop insurance premium support.   USDA notes that most farmers already have an AD-1026 form on file. That’s because it’s required for participation in USDA programs such as marketing assistance loans, farm storage facility loans, and disaster assistance. Under the 2014 farm bill, the form is now required for farmers to receive support on their crop insurance premiums. Also new this year, everyone deemed having a “farming interest,” such as spouses, minor children, owners or other producers on the farm, must have an AD-1026 form on file.   Additionally, farmers who plan to conduct activities that may affect their highly erodible land conservation or wetlands conservation compliance, such as removing...

(Posted Tue. May 26th, 2015)

Corn farmers have nearly completed plantings for 2015 according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Advancing to 92 percent complete, growers’ progress now surpasses the five-year average for this time by four points.   “With planting nearly complete, farmers turn to best management practices and hopefully favorable weather to nurture the crop along,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “Despite the implications of a swift and successful planting season, a record-setting crop is not guaranteed by any means. A long summer still lies ahead and, as in many years, the fate of the crop will largely be decided by propitiously timed rains in the middle of the summer.”    Corn emerged also exceeded the average with 74 percent of all acres up by May 24. The five-year average at this point is 62 percent. Michigan and Wisconsin both achieved 35 or more points beyond the five-year average for maturity, the greatest margin seen last...

(Posted Tue. May 26th, 2015)

Keywords: biotechnology

The National Corn Growers Association is encouraged by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s positive initial review, released late Friday, of Monsanto 87411, a product utilizing RNAi technology to combat corn rootworm pressure. The initial reports, which indicated the product does not pose either a plant pest or environmental risk, are a first step toward getting this critical technology to market in a quick and safe fashion.   “We applaud the USDA for moving this new mode of action closer to availability to farmers,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair John Linder, a farmer from Ohio. “As insect pressures continue to grow, a new tool such as this will enable us to better combat pests while growing a healthy, abundant corn crop.”   USDA has suggested deregulation of this product based upon the positive results of this draft environmental assessment and plant pest risk assessment, thus helping ensure safety while also moving forward in an expeditious...

(Posted Sat. May 23rd, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

The National Corn Growers Association today praised the Senate for passing the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015) and urged the House of Representatives to quickly pass the bill.   “Thank you to the senators who voted in favor of Trade Promotion Authority,” said Chip Bowling, a Maryland farmer and president of NCGA. “This legislation is critical to removing trade barriers, expanding our access to global markets, and ensuring farmers get the best possible trade agreements.   “America’s farmers and ranchers are counting on the House of Representatives to step up and pass this important legislation as soon as possible.”

(Posted Fri. May 22nd, 2015)

With planting well underway in much of the country, the National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to register early for NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 30, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer.   “We are excited to announce that yield contest entry is now open. While it may still seem a ways out, we all know how quickly the time passes once planting season starts,” said Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Don Glenn. “Every year, we gain valuable data from the contest that help develop the production practices of tomorrow. I urge those who haven’t entered before to become NCGA members and try their hand at high-yield techniques as contest entrants in 2015.”   To enter today using the online form, click here.  The version of the online form released this year is suitable for use on mobile devices.   Entry will remain open at the full rate of...

(Posted Fri. May 22nd, 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.   This week, Field Notes caught up with farmers from Maryland, Texas, Iowa and Illinois, to get opinions on the outlook for the 2015 corn crop. Reports indicated interesting developments. Maryland has too little rain, while Texas has too much. Iowa and Illinois both have had a steady stream of showers, but farmers have taken advantage of short windows to get the crop in the ground. While all of these men and women see some challenges, their overall perspective shows the optimism and resilience that characterize the spirit of America’s farmers.   To listen to an interview with Jennie Schmidt, the Foodie...

NCGA Action App Makes Advocacy Easy

(Posted Thu. May 21st, 2015)

Trade Promotion Authority. Waters of the U.S. The Renewable Fuel Standard.  Several hot issues are now percolating in Washington that will directly affect the ability of corn farmers to grow and market their corn. Now is the time for a tool that helps farmers learn about the issues and take action on them wherever they are, whether it’s the from the seat of a tractor or a stool in the shed.   For this reason, the National Corn Growers Association is proud to promote its free and easy NCGA Action mobile app for smartphones and tablets. With this app, growers and others can be notified of urgent calls to action; review key messages, talking points and news from NCGA; and email members of Congress, the EPA or others to make their voice heard – all from their mobile device.   “Digital tools like this are being used more and more by farmers and others, and are critical when we need to make our voices heard on important matters quickly,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “As a farmer,...

(Posted Thu. May 21st, 2015)

Keywords: trade

The National Corn Growers Association urges the Senate to quickly pass Trade Promotion Authority legislation, and opposes any amendments that could prolong debate or jeopardize the legislation. NCGA President Chip Bowling issued the following statement:   “The livelihoods of America’s farmers and ranchers are dependent on trade. We need greater access to foreign markets and the ability to break down barriers so farmers to compete globally. Right now, the United States is negotiating major trade agreements in the Pacific Rim and the European Union. But the fact is, we have never passed a major trade agreement without Trade Promotion Authority.   “The Senate needs to pass a clean TPA bill as soon as possible and keep this critically important legislation moving forward.” 

(Posted Wed. May 20th, 2015)

Keywords: Transportation

After the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill late Tuesday to extend the United States Highway Trust Fund’s authorization only through July 31, National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling issued the following statement:   “We are disappointed in Congress’ repeated failure to pass a long-term highway funding bill. There isn’t a county in this country that does not have a road or bridge in need of work. Farmers need all available modes of transportation to safely and efficiently get our products to market and be globally competitive. It’s time to move past short-term stopgaps and toward a long-term strategy to invest in our national infrastructure.”   The Highway Trust Fund, established in 1956, is a federal transportation fund that pays for the construction and maintenance of highways, roads, and bridges. In the past eight years, there have been 32 extensions and five revenue shortfalls to transportation funding. Last July, Congress passed a measure to...

(Posted Tue. May 19th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association welcomed the announcement of the National Pollinator Health Strategy, released today by the White House Pollinator Health Task Force. NCGA applauded the Task Force for emphasizing the importance of public-private partnerships and called for continued discussion and collaboration between farmers, industry, and government about how to ensure a health and robust population of honeybees and other pollinators.   “Even though corn does not rely on pollinators, we recognize that they are critical to the overall health and vitality of our agricultural system,” said Don Glenn, chair of NCGA’s Production and Stewardship Action Team. “The National Pollinator Health Strategy underscores that everyone – farmers, beekeepers, conservationists, industry, and government – must work together to solve this challenge.”   NCGA has been a leading voice for farmers on pollinator issues since the Task Force formed last summer. Glenn testified at the Task Force’s...

(Posted Tue. May 19th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

Join the National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Grains Council, sister farmer organizations and the International Trade Administration in celebrating World Trade Month this May.   Here are some fun facts about trade according to the office of the U.S. Trade Representative:   Every billion dollars of goods and services exported supported more than an estimated 5,000 U.S. jobs in 2011. The five largest U.S. export markets for corn in 2014 were: Japan (466 million bushels), Mexico (412 million bushels), South Korea (196 million bushels), Colombia (136 million bushels) and China (108 million bushels). U.S. exports of agricultural products to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation countries totaled $104.7 billion in 2013.  Leading categories included: soybeans ($18.7 billion), pork and pork products ($5.6 billion), wheat ($5.5 billion), beef and beef products ($5.4 billion), and corn ($5.2 billion).   NCGA, in partnership with USGC, has been joining the Twitter discussion...

(Posted Tue. May 19th, 2015)

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, a consumer-facing organization dedicated to leading the national conversation about how food is grown and raised, is partnering with Brownfield on their Spring 2015 Cab Conversations farmer-led series. Each week, three U.S. farmers meet on Google+ Hangout, from the cab of their tractors, to share insights, challenges and tips relating to the planting season with host Meghan Grebner, Anchor/Reporter for Brownfield Ag News.    Notably, National Corn Growers Association Corn Board member Keith Alverson will be featured on June 8. Follow him on Twitter - @cornfarmerkeith.   “Brownfield’s Cab Conversations utilizes an innovative digital platform to bring farmers together. The result is an informative, educational and entertaining experience for participants and viewers alike,” said Cyndi Young Director of Brownfield and Ag Operations.   Conversations range from drought challenges facing the Western farmers to different challenges faced by...

(Posted Mon. May 18th, 2015)

Corn farmers exceeded the average in terms of planting progress again last week according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Advancing 10 more points since the previous week to a total of 85 percent planted, growers’ progress now surpasses the five-year average for this time by 10 points.   “Despite some areas where persistent rains have kept farmers out of the field, overall planting progress in 2015 certainly exceeds expectations,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “The ever-increasing ability of farmers to take advantage of shrinking planting windows clearly demonstrates the importance of modern technology and testifies to the determined nature of these men and women. Right now, the crop seems more mature and closer to full planting than it did in 2014, but this does not guarantee another record crop by any means. A long summer still lies ahead and, as in many years, the fate of the crop will largely be decided by...

(Posted Fri. May 15th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association reminds growers that it 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,...

(Posted Thu. May 14th, 2015)

Keywords: trade

Today the United States Senate voted to advance H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (TPA-2015). A final vote is expected to take place next week. National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling issued the following statement:   “Thank you to the bipartisan group of senators who voted to take up Trade Promotion Authority legislation. Trade is essential to the livelihoods of American farmers, as well as the one million people whose jobs depend on agricultural trade. TPA legislation is critical to removing trade barriers, expanding our access to global markets, and ensuring farmers get the best possible deal in trade agreements.   “American farmers are stepping up to meet the growing demand for our products abroad. Now we’re asking Congress to step up and pass Trade Promotion Authority as quickly as possible.”   Click here for more information on TPA.

(Posted Thu. May 14th, 2015)

Lifetime TV welcomes CommonGround Colorado volunteer Kelsey Pope to its morning program The Balancing Act this Friday to further an ongoing conversation between the American moms on and off of the farm. Pope will answer questions and address concerns about how she, and ranchers like her, care for livestock using tools such antibiotics.   This is the second piece 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 understand why moms have questions about what they feed their families, because I care about what I feed my family too. The Balancing Act provides a great forum to connect with moms across the country and let them know...

Preparing for Success: NCGA Provides Important Insight for Delegation Organizers

(Posted Wed. May 13th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

The National Corn Growers Association welcomed a group of Turkish seed association representatives arranged by the Consulate General of Turkey in Chicago’s Trade Commission. The group, an exploratory delegation arranging a larger tour of the United States for member companies later this summer, discussed how the U.S. seed industry functions and the association’s interaction with all parts of the value chain with NCGA Vice President of Production and Sustainability Paul Bertels, Director of Development Joe Hodes and Director of Biotechnology and Economic Analysis Nathan Fields.   “By actively contributing in the development stage, NCGA gains a unique opportunity to ensure this tour presents a clear, accurate view of American agriculture,” said Director of Development Joe Hodes. “We hope that the executives leave this summer with a better understanding of the incredible benefits and proven safety of biotechnology as well as a clearer view of the incredible variety of planting...

(Posted Tue. May 12th, 2015)

In its monthly report on world ag supply and demand, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided its first look at early expectations for the 2015 corn crop now being planted, with production down by just over a half-billion bushels and usage up slightly, compared to last year’s supply.   USDA projects farmers planting 89.2 million acres and harvesting 81.7 million acres, with an average yield of 166.8 bushels per acre and production of 13.6 billion bushels, down from 2014 corn production of 14.2 billion bushels. Total corn supply will be at a record 15.5 billion bushels, and corn utilization is projected at a record 13.8 billion bushels.   “These numbers for 2015 reflect the importance we are placing on building profitable demand for corn,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “They are still an early look at supply and demand, but with two record crops back-to-back and current stocks high, we’re committed to increasing the corn market here and abroad.”   In terms of corn...

(Posted Tue. May 12th, 2015)

Keywords: ethanol trade

A recent chart from the U.S. Grains Council illustrates the wide range of markets for U.S. ethanol exports in 2014. This is a change from just four years ago, when more than 80 percent of U.S. ethanol was exported to Brazil, Canada and the European Union.   Exports to the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and India experienced the strongest growth in 2014. While the UAE is largely importing U.S. ethanol to blend with its gasoline that is later re-exported, and India is importing for industrial purpose, the Philippines has a blend mandate in place. Domestic production in the Philippines has been unable to meet its 10 percent blend mandate making imports necessary.   Currently, the United States has a 55 percent market share in the Philippines and the Council is hopeful there is room to capture more. To help nurture this market, the Council and its partners, Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, have planned a busy summer with...

(Posted Mon. May 11th, 2015)

U.S. corn farmers continued to plant at a strong pace last week, with 75 percent of the nation’s corn acres planted by May 10, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Advancing 20 points since the previous week, growers’ progress now surpasses the five-year average for this time by 18 points.   “This planting season, farmers showed what is possible with technology and tenacity,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “While the progress over the last two weeks has been impressive, it is important to keep in mind that early progress is not a concrete indicator of what we will find at harvest.”    Progress continued its steady march with progress trailing the five-year average in only Colorado, North Carolina and Texas. Minnesota surpassed the five-year average by the largest margin, 45 points, to reach 95 percent completion.   As of May 10, 29 percent of all corn acres had emerged, an increase from only nine percent...

(Posted Mon. May 11th, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association today urged Congress to support a bill that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule and to collaborate closely with states and other stakeholders to develop a new rule.   The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015 (H.R. 1732), which was introduced by Rep. Bill Schuster (R-PA) and has 70 cosponsors, is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.   In a letter to Congress, NCGA President Chip Bowling noted that farmers support the Clean Water Act’s goal of protecting water quality, but that they need more clarity and certainty about their responsibilities under the law.   “Farmers have a responsibility to protect our nation’s water supply. As an organization, NCGA has long advocated for federal policies that are clear, consistent, and fair to the farming community,” said Bowling.   In the letter, Bowling notes...

(Posted Fri. May 8th, 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, who writes thefarmerslife.com.   Unlike farmers in other parts of the country, corn planting did not progress as quickly last week. He discussed how he is making up for lost time while taking a break to eat lunch.   “Last week conditions were a little wet,” he explained. “We don’t normally work on Sundays but, last Sunday we put 11 hours on the planter. We knew rain was coming, and we would be out of the fields again for two days. Now, we are catching up some.”   Find out more by clicking here to listen to the full...

(Posted Thu. May 7th, 2015)

Keywords: Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association today thanked Senators Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) for introducing a bill to expand the volatility waiver for E15 ethanol, ultimately increasing consumers' access higher blends of ethanol year-round.   "We applaud Senators Donnelly, Grassley, and Fischer for their bipartisan efforts to increase the market for ethanol producers and give consumers more choices at the pump," said NCGA President Chip Bowling. "June 1 is rapidly approaching, and we should ensure consumers will continue to have access to energy that is clean, renewable, and American-grown. We urge Congress to pass this legislation."   Reid Vapor Pressure measures the evaporation rate of gasoline. Under current regulations, summertime volatility restrictions are in place from June 1-Sept 15, but E10 receives a volatility waiver. This legislation would extend the same waiver to E15 blends. Similar legislation was introduced in the House...

(Posted Thu. May 7th, 2015)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association joined with other commodity groups to support testimony stressing the importance of the reauthorization of the U.S. Grain Standards Act during a hearing before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. The testimony, presented by American Soybean Association Director Bill Gordon, voiced farmers’ support the U.S. grain inspection and weighing system, as it offers certainty to buyers in overseas markets, while also asking the Committee to look at ways to minimize disruptions to this important federal service.   In addition to NCGA and ASA, the statement was also supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Association of Wheat Growers and the National Barley Growers Association.    In the testimony submitted, the group stated that “it is critical that the requirement for mandatory official inspection of exported grains and oilseeds under the Grain Standards Act be maintained.” Noting that the...

(Posted Thu. May 7th, 2015)

Keywords: Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association and ethanol allies today struck back hard against efforts by Big Oil to weaken the Renewable Fuel Standard as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency develops future volume obligations for the biofuels law.   “The RFS program was designed to force the oil industry to change the status quo—not to perpetuate it,” a letter sent to the EPA today states. “The entire purpose of this program would be subverted if the oil industry is rewarded for its failure to take the steps necessary to ensure that it is capable of distributing, blending, and dispensing the renewable fuel volumes required under the statute.”   Click here for the whole letter.   Corn growers and the ethanol industry have done their parts – producing more than enough corn for all needs and efficiently and sustainably producing ethanol for markets here and abroad. As EPA continues to develop its Renewable Volume Obligations for 2014 through 2017, NCGA will continue to work with...

(Posted Wed. May 6th, 2015)

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

(Posted Tue. May 5th, 2015)

Keywords: Trade

As U.S. corn farmers kicked their planters into high gear, signals on the ground, in the sky and in the markets look promising for the 2015 crop.   “Last week, farmers across the country made incredible planting progress,” said National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jon Linder, who farms in Ohio. “The percentage of corn acres planted surged ahead of the five-year average and, by now, many farmers already have their entire crop in the ground. While the growing season will certainly still hold many surprises, all indicators currently point to another excellent corn harvest in 2015.”   The spring weather outlook is also favorable for the 2015 crop. Most of the U.S. Corn Belt is currently drought-free, with the exception of the Dakotas and some of Nebraska and Kansas. Drought areas in Minnesota and Wisconsin are generally north of the prime corn producing regions.   Another positive signal is the weak El Niño currently in effect. Weak...

(Posted Mon. May 4th, 2015)

U.S. corn farmers took full advantage of last week’s favorable planting conditions, surging 17 points beyond the five-year average, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With 55 percent of total corn acres planted by May 3, growers progress increased by 36 points over the week and advanced to 17 points ahead of the five-year average of 38 percent at this point.   “The incredible progress that we saw over the past week is a testament to the old fashioned, hardworking nature of farmers as well as the incredible advantages offered by modern farming technology,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling. “While many are certainly relieved to have the crop in the ground, it is important to keep in mind that early progress is not a concrete indicator of what we will find at harvest. Many opportunities and obstacles still lies ahead as a long growing season has only just entered growers’ horizons.”    Progress surged to surpass...

(Posted Mon. May 4th, 2015)

The feature-length documentary “Farmland” is now available for streaming on Netflix.com. With 57 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix is considered a premium destination for documentaries and is an opportunity to extend the reach of the film across the United States and into Canada.   “I'm thrilled that ‘Farmland’ has found a new home at Netflix,” said Academy Award-winning director James Moll. “There's a lot of interest out there in the next generation of farmers and ranchers, and Netflix is a great venue to meet and be inspired by these six hard-working Americans.”    “Farmland” was produced with the support of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, and provides viewers with a firsthand glimpse inside the world of farming and ranching by depicting the lives of six young farmers and ranchers.  In addition to streaming on Netflix, the film is currently screening on major college and university campuses across the nation. Additional campuses interested in holding a screening...

(Posted Fri. May 1st, 2015)

Keywords: ethanol

Last week, a bipartisan group of 37 senators sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, asking her to keep the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard blending requirements in line with the original law passed by Congress.   “The RFS has already proven to be an effective driver of alternative fuels and economic development,” the senators wrote. “It has strengthened agriculture markets and created hundreds of thousands of jobs. … Setting strong biofuels volume requirements for 2014 and beyond will ensure this progress continues.”   Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Kolbuchar (D-Minn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-S.D.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) led the effort.   “We applaud these 37 senators for their leadership to move America’s energy future forward,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “We are encouraged to see broad, bipartisan support for the Renewable Fuel Standard. We agree with the Senators that the RFS has been a highly successful policy,...

(Posted Fri. May 1st, 2015)

The National Corn Growers Association calls on photographers to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the second 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, 2015.   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 Farm.   For more information on prizes and on these categories, click here.   The Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest is specifically geared toward photos of field corn and not sweet corn. If you...