NEWS STORIES

SEPTEMBER 2016

(Posted Fri. Sep 30th, 2016)

As the fiscal year comes to a close, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board will seat new members and officers this Saturday.  Among the changes: former NCGA President Chip Bowling, of Maryland, becomes Corn Board chairman, passing the role of president to Wesley Spurlock, of Texas.   The Off the Cob podcast series sat down with Bowling to discuss the priorities he sees as essential to success in the upcoming fiscal year, the Corn Board’s accomplishments over the past years and to ask his advice for farmers considering volunteering for leadership roles.    To listen to the full interview, please click here.   Looking out at the year to come, Bowling discussed the three priorities he sees as critical to creating and growing opportunities for corn farmers.   “We will need to make sure that we do not have more regulations put on farmers that will add to what are already high input costs in a time of low prices,” he said.   “The second priority, for me, would be...

(Posted Thu. Sep 29th, 2016)

As the fiscal year comes to an end, the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board prepares to seat new members and officers on October 1.  When the 2016 Executive Committee steps down, NCGA Chairman Martin Barbre will complete his term, passing the role of chairman to current president Chip Bowling.   The Off the Cob podcast series caught up with Barbre, who paused at his local elevator to share his thoughts. During the conversation, he discussed his perspective on his years in leadership, provided his insight into the future and explored how members can work together to make NCGA an even more effective advocate for farmers.    To listen to the full interview, please click here.   Reflecting upon his time on the Corn Board, Barbre explained that, while daunting, being an officer is a phenomenal experience.   “I have been very blessed to have this opportunity,” said Barbre. “It gives a feeling of accomplishment and of responsibility. You have the chance to meet movers...

(Posted Thu. Sep 29th, 2016)

Keywords: Transportation

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5303, the Water Resources and Development Act of 2016 (WRDA 2016), late Wednesday, by a vote of 399-25. The National Corn Growers Association thanks the House for making the bill a priority during the short September legislative session.   “Farmers and ranchers need to be able to get their products to market quickly and safely, and inland waterways are a critical part of that process for much of the country. The Water Resources Development Act helps maintain and modernize our inland waterways infrastructure and plays a vital role in moving corn to export markets,” said NCGA First Vice President Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Stratford, Texas.   A main focus of the WRDA 2016 bill is clearing the backlog of projects at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It also provides more than $10 billion in funding to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop, maintain and support the nation’s port and waterways infrastructures.   “We would...

(Posted Wed. Sep 28th, 2016)

The National Corn Grower Association is asking farmers to express their support for the herbicide atrazine at www.ncga.com/atz before the Oct. 5, 2016 deadline.   “Atrazine is a safe and effective crop management tool, and EPA should base their decisions on sound science,” said National Corn Growers Production and Stewardship Action Team Chairman Brent Hostetler, a farmer from Plain City, Ohio.  “That’s why I’m urging farmers to contact the EPA and make their voices heard.”   Farming without atrazine could cost farmers up to $59 per acre, according to a 2012 analysis by the University of Chicago. That could mean the difference between corn farmers making a profit or loss on their crop. Atrazine, a key ingredient in nearly 100 herbicide mixes farmers use, is one of the best tools on the market today for combatting resistant weeds that waste water and nutrients.   As part of the draft ecological risk assessment, EPA recommends reducing the aquatic life level of concern (LOC)...

(Posted Tue. Sep 27th, 2016)

After 40 events in eight states, the Soil Health Partnership field days are coming to an end for this growing season. Hosted mostly by farmers enrolled in the program, and often cooperating with local groups, these field days have spread the word about cover crops, reduced tillage and advanced nutrient management to more than 1,500 attendees this year.   “I’m so encouraged to see the interest from farmers taking time to attend these events and learn from their peers about advanced agriculture practices,” said SHP Director Nick Goeser. “Next year, we hope to add even more field days, while still keeping them informative and relevant for every level of interest.” Subjects covered varied by event, but often included:   Discussion on practical methods to improving soil Precision business management Cover crops—termination, early season vigor, herbicide interactions and what is working locally Strip-till demonstrations and equipment Late-season nutrient management A soil...

(Posted Mon. Sep 26th, 2016)

In a huge victory for American agriculture retailers and farmers, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violated the law when it changed its interpretation of regulations affecting agricultural retail facilities that supply anhydrous ammonia.   In July 2015, OSHA issued an enforcement memorandum that redefined the retail facility exemption to the Process Safety Management Standard. These changes would have subjected 3,800 agricultural retailers to regulations intended for chemical manufacturers, at a cost of more than $100 million. These compliance costs could have driven many facilities out of business, leading to higher costs for farmers as well as increasing travel distances to transport the product. The Agricultural Retailers Association and The Fertilizer Institute led the legal challenge.   “This court decision is a big win for farmers and the ag community,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling. “Not...

(Posted Fri. Sep 23rd, 2016)

The National Corn Growers Association announced the slate of new and returning farmer leaders who will serve their industry as members of the action teams and committees in the next fiscal year, which begins Thursday, October 1. These volunteer farmers will actively shape the future of their industry by guiding programs and carrying out the policies and priorities that guide NCGA.   “The year ahead will certainly offer many challenges and opportunities, but I am certain that the teams we have assembled will be both capable and wise in their leadership,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a corn farmer from Maryland. “As we refocus the organization in a way that will better serve the strategic plan, these men and women will provide excellent insight that will help guide us into a bright future for agriculture. Again, we enjoyed an incredible slate of candidates and strongly urge all interested to continue serving their state organizations and also look to serve NCGA in the...

(Posted Thu. Sep 22nd, 2016)

Keywords: Soil Health Partnership; SHP Sustainability

Top 5 Things Farmers Need to Know About Roots and Tiles   As cover crop acres increase throughout the Midwest, some farmers have questions about possible unintended consequences. Last spring, a few growers in Central Indiana reported tile blockages due to roots (See article).   Some assumed that cover crop roots were the culprit. Yet cover crop acres have increased the past five years, and almost no issues were reported in prior years. Cover crops significantly help reduce soil erosion, keep nutrients from leaching, and increase soil organic matter.   Here are the top 5 things farmers should know about potential roots in tile drains, according to the Soil Health Partnership:   Weather can be a major factor. The warm fall of 2015 and mild winter of 2016, followed by the very warm March and wet April resulted in more cover crop top growth and perhaps more root growth than normal.  An Ontario, Canada report suggested that roots grow downward in the soil profile to reach...

(Posted Wed. Sep 21st, 2016)

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released a report Tuesday detailing examples of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to expand their jurisdiction over U.S. waters beyond Congressional intent. The report is the result of the majority staff’s investigation into how EPA and the Corps are interpreting and implementing their authority under the Clean Water Act.   Although the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered a nationwide stay on enforcement of EPA’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, the report demonstrates that EPA is, in fact, enforcing the rule and expanding its jurisdiction.   The following is a statement from National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling.   “When Congress passed the Clean Water Act, their intention was to create balanced, practical policies to protect America’s water resources. NCGA supports the goals of the Clean Water Act, and we...

(Posted Wed. Sep 21st, 2016)

Keywords: Trade

To date, 6,325 corn farmers from across the country have written letters to Members of Congress, urging them to take up and pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in 2016. The National Corn Growers Association will be delivering them to Capitol Hill starting today.   “America’s farmers and ranchers need Congress to step up and pass TPP now,” said Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Newburg, Maryland. “At a time when the farm economy is struggling, exports represent a rare bright spot for American agriculture. America’s farmers and ranchers stand ready to share our bounty and meet the challenge of feeding and fueling a growing world. But we can’t do that without trade agreements like TPP.”   The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement between the United States and 11 Pacific Rim countries, representing 40 percent of the global economy and one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. President Obama signed the TPP...

(Posted Wed. Sep 21st, 2016)

With some parts of the country reporting extremely dry conditions this harvest, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to carefully follow proper safety procedures that minimize the possibility of a combine or tractor fire. Even if the weather has not been warm and dry, fuel sources such as leaves, stalks, husks, dust, oil and fuel come into constant contact with potential sources of ignition from farm equipment, such as exhaust, bearings and electrical wiring presenting an ever present fire risk.   “Equipment fires are not only dangerous but are often extremely costly for farmers,” said NCGA President Chip Bowling, a Maryland farmer who has seen dry conditions firsthand. “During this busy season, a fire can halt harvest work in an instant causing property damage and consuming valuable time. Building risk management practices into your harvest schedule could end up saving both time and money.”   First, keep farm equipment clean, particularly the engine...

(Posted Tue. Sep 20th, 2016)

Regulatory barriers facing agriculture are a major driver of agriculture industry consolidation, National Corn Growers Association Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak testified today at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on consolidation and competition in the U.S. seed and agrochemical industry.   “Domestic regulatory hurdles for crop protection chemicals and delays in international approvals for new seed traits represent significant barriers to market entry,” Novak testified.   “These barriers slow down innovation and drive up the cost of seed and chemicals. The process of developing and testing new products, and then securing regulatory approval to bring them to market, requires a substantial amount of time and money. As a result, fewer and fewer companies have the resources to be players in the market. This trend toward consolidation will continue unless and until Congress addresses these regulatory hurdles,” Novak told the Senate Committee.   Novak testified on behalf...

(Posted Mon. Sep 19th, 2016)

Keywords: Trade

The United States exported more than 1.8 billion bushels of corn in the 2015/2016 marketing year, a 1.8 percent increase from the prior year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly sales reports. Mexico, Japan and Colombia ranked in the top three for total accumulated exports of U.S. corn with more than 492.1 million bushels, 413.4 million bushels and 177.2 million bushels, respectively.   Export sales rose 16 percent to Mexico and 5 percent to Colombia from the previous year. Both of these markets have benefited from aggressive marketing and long-term development efforts by the U.S. Grains Council, of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member.   The weekly sales report issued Sept. 15 also showed that the 2016/2017 marketing year is starting off strong for corn with more than 55.1 million bushels in sales and carried over sales from the prior marketing year, an increase of 33 percent from a year ago.    USDA provides weekly export sales...

(Posted Fri. Sep 16th, 2016)

Keywords: Transportation

The National Corn Growers Association praised the U.S. Senate for passing S. 2848, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA 2016), and encouraged the House of Representatives leadership to make the bill a priority for the September legislative session.   “Inland waterways are a central part of our country’s transportation infrastructure, helping farmers and ranchers to get their products to market quickly and safely. The Water Resources Development Act is an important step forward in our efforts to maintain and modernize our inland waterways infrastructure,” said NCGA Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Brent Hostetler, a farmer from Plain City, Ohio.   This bill provides only minor policy tweaks and is focused on clearing the backlog of projects at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.   Additionally, S. 2848 will provide relief from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations by exempting farms with up to...

(Posted Fri. Sep 16th, 2016)

Keywords: Trade

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Asian Trade Mission completed meetings in Hong Kong last Friday that explored the many opportunities for America’s farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses in the region.   National Corn Growers Association Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team member Janna Fritz, who farms in Michigan, and Communications Manager Cathryn Wojcicki participated in three days of intensive briefings, meetings and exploratory visits designed to gain a better understanding of both the market in Hong Kong and the possibilities this regional trade hub offers.   “While Hong Kong may not come to mind as an obvious market for U.S. commodity corn, it certainly holds excellent potential for exporting a wide variety of products produced with ingredients made from U.S. corn,” said Fritz. “From their desire for increased food safety to their need for environmentally-friendly fuel options, Hong Kong’s growing economy and regional importance offer great opportunities for U.S....

(Posted Thu. Sep 15th, 2016)

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack celebrated the contributions farmers have made to improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay recently, proclaiming that the six states in the watershed lead the United States in conservation practices.   Vilsack made the announcement last Friday at Y Worry Farm in Davidsonville, Maryland, where he was joined by Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller, National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling, Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder, and other farmer-leaders and government officials.   "NCGA is proud to play a role in this event because it showcases the work of Maryland farmers in improving water quality, and serves as a model for conservation strategies nationwide," said Bowling of Newburg, Maryland, which is located in the watershed. "We are driving documented, positive change through our cooperative efforts and that is worth celebrating."   Vilsack noted that 95 percent of the watershed's...

(Posted Thu. Sep 15th, 2016)

The National Corn Growers Association and BASF Corporation announced today that it is now accepting applications for five $1,000 scholarships to be awarded to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a degree in an agriculture-related field during the 2017-18 school year.   "NCGA members are invested both on the farm and off the farm to build a successful industry based on productivity, stewardship and profitability. However, we must also help to cultivate the next generation of agriculture leaders," said Patty Mann, chairman of NCGA's Grower Services Action Team. "Our partnership with BASF helps ease the financial pressures these students face in pursuing their degree."   Applicants for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program must be entering at least their second undergraduate year or any year of graduate study, and they or a parent or legal guardian must be an NCGA member. Scholarship applications must be...

(Posted Thu. Sep 15th, 2016)

Cuba represents an important market for American agriculture, and the time has come to ease trade restrictions, witnesses testified Wednesday at a hearing of the House Agriculture Committee. The hearing focused on U.S. agricultural trade with Cuba as a part of the H.R. 3687, the Agricultural Exports Act, which is sponsored by Arkansas congressman Rick Crawford.   Representatives from Bunge North America and CoBank were among the five witnesses testifying at the hearing.   "Between 2013 and 2015, the Dominican Republic imported $1.3 billion worth of agriculture products from the United States," said Matt Gibson, vice president of agribusiness Bunge North America, pointing out that the two Caribbean islands have similar per capita incomes and populations. "During this same time, Cuba, however, imported only $262 million from the U.S. That is over $1 billion to U.S. agriculture left off the table due to the financing restrictions under which we must currently operate."   Karen...

(Posted Wed. Sep 14th, 2016)

Keywords: NCYC Corn Yield Contest

With harvest underway in some areas and soon to begin in others, the National Corn Growers Association reminds 2016 National Corn Yield Contest entrants to complete the online harvest forms. While the harvest information form deadline may seem distant, entrants are asked to report within seven business days of their final yield check or by Nov. 21, whichever comes first.   “While many may still have weeks before harvest begins, we remind entrants that they must submit harvest forms within one week of their final yield check to allow NCGA staff adequate time to thoroughly review each form,” said Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Brent Hostetler. “The National Corn Yield Contest plays a significant role in recognizing excellence and finding new, more productive techniques. We hope that growers continue to support the contest by seeing their entry through and submitting their completed harvest data forms.”   The online harvest form is available to both farmers and seed...

(Posted Wed. Sep 14th, 2016)

Keywords: Merger; Bayer; Monsanto

Chip Bowling, Maryland farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association   “The National Corn Growers Association is committed to protecting the best interests of our nation’s corn farmers. Our primary concern with respect to any merger is how it may affect input costs – particularly given the current farm economy. With respect to a previously announced merger, we completed a thorough analysis that informed the comments and information we provided to the US Department of Justice during their investigation into the merger. We would anticipate following a similar path with respect to this merger so that we can truly understand the merger’s impact on agricultural research, innovation, and competitive pricing of farm inputs.”  

(Posted Wed. Sep 14th, 2016)

Keywords: Photo Contest

The National Corn Growers Association invites photographers of all skill levels to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the third annual Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. Through this contest, NCGA captures high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it. Even those who have already submitted can enter additional photos as participants will be able to submit multiple entries until November 30, 2016.   Please make sure to submit the highest resolution version of each entry possible. The best submissions are featured in NCGA’s major publications such as the Annual Report.   To see the most recent edition, click here.   The Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest offers both amateur and professional photographers a free opportunity to share their work while competing for 19 cash prizes, including a $500 grand prize. Entries will also be considered for prizes with cash awards for the top three entries in five categories including:...

(Posted Tue. Sep 13th, 2016)

Keywords: Trade

Statement by Chip Bowling, President of the National Corn Growers Association:   “The National Corn Growers Association is committed to the development and maintenance of fair and open global trade practices and policies as part of our efforts to feed and fuel a growing world. We believe in both strong trade policy and market development.   As a facilitator and arbitrator of global trade, the World Trade Organization provides structure and accountability to the process.  We welcome USTR’s and USDA’s trade enforcement action, and will closely monitor these developments.   China is an important trading partner for U.S. agriculture, and we continue to support a trading relationship between our two nations that is long-term, stable, and mutually beneficial.”

(Posted Tue. Sep 13th, 2016)

The National Corn Growers Association is partnering with the National Grain and Feed Association to remind farmers of the importance of proper grain bin safety procedures this harvest. Jim Seibert, NGFA’s manager of training, safety and regulatory affairs, notes about 70% of grain entrapment happens on the nation’s farms.   The NGFA is pleased to introduce a new series - "Safety Tips" - that will be published periodically as part of the Association's continued commitment to safety in the workplace. These documents are designed to provide more information on certain types of hazards and suggested ways to protect employees through safety best practices. You will find lots of in-depth safety information on the NGFA site.   With farmers across the country hitting the fields in their combines, NCGA offers both a list of safety reminders and a video on the important topic of grain bin safety.     Safety Tips Road Safety Reduce vehicle width as much as possible and ensure...

(Posted Mon. Sep 12th, 2016)

Keywords: Production

Corn production is forecast at 15.093 billion bushels, down 61 million from last month, according to the World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates Report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Corn supplies for 2016/17 are lowered from last month, but are still forecast at a record 16.859 billion bushels.   USDA also reduced the average U.S. corn yield by 0.7 bushels per acre to 174.4. If realized, these figures would still represent record yield and production numbers. The average price was increased by 5 cents to $3.20 per bushel.   Chip Bowling, President of National Corn Growers Association, said the report is further evidence of the challenges family farmers are facing.   “The farm economy is in peril. If this trend continues, it means fewer family farms, fewer jobs, and fewer dollars being invested back into rural communities,” said Bowling, who farms corn, soybeans, and sorghum in Newburg, Maryland. “Farmers, industry, and government all have a...

(Posted Fri. Sep 9th, 2016)

Keywords: Trade

With the largest corn crop on record about to be harvested, the need for trade policies that open export markets even further has never been stronger. The 2014/2015 marketing year saw U.S. corn exports of more than 43 million metric tons, with total U.S. feed grains in all forms exports exceeding 91 million tons equivalent. Similar success is expected from the 2015/2016 marketing year, which ended last week.   Now that Labor Day is over and fall is here, it’s time to reach out and discuss the benefits of trade, trade agreements and the still-pending Trans-Pacific Partnership in your community. USGC and its sister grower organizations have ready resources to make this outreach easier and fun. The USGC Trade Toolkit page offers tweets, sharegraphics, useful links, videos and main messages for use online and in person.   Visit the page here at grains.org.

Project to develop model for large-scale greenhouse gas reduction incentives

(Posted Fri. Sep 9th, 2016)

Keywords: Sustainability SHP Soil Health Partnership

A $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help spur a groundbreaking effort to optimize farm enterprise profitability, reduce Greenhouse Gases and improve agronomic productivity. The National Corn Growers Association received the grant to develop a system for scalable carbon accounting in agriculture, to be developed through its Soil Health Partnership initiative.   Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this year's Conservation Innovation Grant recipients on September 8. The competitive grant "stimulates the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural land."   Under the NCGA project, the SHP and other project partners will develop a "greenhouse gas insetting framework." The framework will serve as a model for corporations and other entities to drive conservation adoption and achieve GHG reductions, as well as economic profitability benefits.   Carbon insetting is similar to "offsetting," in...

(Posted Fri. Sep 9th, 2016)

Keywords: Trade Biotech

  Representatives of the National Corn Growers Association, along with leaders from seven state departments of agriculture and 22 U.S. ag organizations and companies have embarked upon a trade mission to Hong Kong and Shanghai led by Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services Alexis Taylor. This mission extends activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Women in Agriculture initiative into foreign markets while working to grow export opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers.   "Women play an important role in U.S. agriculture, and they have a story that is powerful both for those in domestic and foreign markets," said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team member Janna Fritz, who is with the delegation. "This trade mission allows us to examine opportunities and strengthen relationships between the United States and China from a unique perspective. Together, we are working to grow trade for tomorrow while expanding...

(Posted Thu. Sep 8th, 2016)

Every four years, countries spanning the globe come together to compete on athletic fields, celebrating a spirit of sportsmanship that links us all – an exciting fortnight of sports like the one that recently concluded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The Olympics is truly an entertainment juggernaut, but that wasn’t always the case. Footage was hard to come by until 1960, when the Summer Games from Rome, Italy, were first broadcast on American television.  U.S. viewers were treated to 20 hours of coverage over the two-week period that year. Compare that to the 6,750 hours of coverage – plus countless Olympics themed commercials – that emanated from the recent games.  Evolutions like these are a testament to technology and the fact that the world is becoming more and more interconnected. And they can be seen just as vividly in America’s farm fields.  Did you know that 1959 marked the last time America had an agricultural trade deficit, making 1960 the first year of an...

(Posted Wed. Sep 7th, 2016)

In a case of supreme irony, a recent report from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is highly critical of atrazine, an herbicide that helps reduce soil erosion and runoff, keeping our soil healthy and our water clean.    EPA released its draft ecological risk assessment for atrazine in June 2016, as part of the re-registration process for the herbicide. If the recommendation in the assessment stands, it will effectively ban atrazine, which plays an important role in conservation cropping systems that reduce soil erosion.   Tillage, or turning up the soil, is an effective means to control weeds, but it disturbs the top layer of the soil, leading to a loss of as much as 90 percent of the crop residue from the top soil. The practice damages soil and leaves it exposed to erosion, particularly by wind and water. Soil erosion leads to more runoff of fertilizer and pesticides.    The introduction of atrazine and other herbicides significantly changed conservation tillage...

(Posted Tue. Sep 6th, 2016)

The Multi-Commodity Phenotyping Initiative kicked off joint activities by hosting an educational webinar for representatives from member organizations on the current state of phenotyping science and current U.S. government phenotyping programs. This first step, which was organized by the National Corn Growers Association, provided a strong foundation for the coalition moving forward.   “With this webinar, we took a first step together in a long journey toward a brighter future for so many farmers,” said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chair Larry Hoffmann, a farmer from North Dakota. “American agriculture as a whole needs strong work in the area of phenotyping to ensure both our farmers and environment continue to thrive. By collaborating in our efforts, we will reach our goals of ensuring sustainable food for families and a strong farming sector for our country.”   The Initiative brings together groups representing citrus, corn, cotton, fruit tree, peanut,...

(Posted Fri. Sep 2nd, 2016)

The National Corn Growers Association continues its sixth 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.   Yesterday, Field Notes discussed the corn crop condition with Jim Raben, who farms in southern Illinois.   “We have about 700 acres that were planted early that we are going to start shelling tomorrow,” he said. “The other acres, which were planted a bit later are also mature. For them, it is just a matter of drying down.   “We are seeing damaged ears and mold. Basically, we are seeing both damage on the butt end and damage to the tip of the corn.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms,...

(Posted Thu. Sep 1st, 2016)

With passionate farmers and ranchers across the country eager to share the story behind our food with consumers, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance announced the finalists in its third Faces of Farming and Ranching contest. This program searches for the men and women who grow and raise food, from row crops and veggies to beef and pork, to help put real faces on agriculture.   The following farmers and ranchers were named finalists:      Lauren Arbogast, Va. Jeremy Brown, Texas Emily Buck, Ohio Paul Lanoue, Minn. Katie Roth, Wis. Geoff Ruth, Neb. Lauren Schwab, Ohio Joy Widerman, Pa.   Finalists were selected from all eligible submissions based upon four main criteria. Judging criteria included: demonstration of initiatives that advance the field and show dedication to continuous improvement; proficiency in public speaking; active participation in creating dialogue about entrant’s work via traditional and social media channels; and demonstration of a deep...