NEWS STORIES

DECEMBER 2016

(Posted Thu. Dec 22nd, 2016)

Mississippi River Basin states should be given a chance to address nutrient pollution first, before the federal government steps in, a federal court ruled late last week.   “This decision is a clear victory for agriculture and farmers specifically but our work is far from over,” said Brent Hostetler, Chairman of National Corn Growers Association’s Stewardship Action Team. “Although the court ruled in our favor, the ball is back in our court and we must continue to pursue productivity while ramping up resource conservation.”    Gulf Restoration Network (GRN), lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, and other environmental groups released a report last month faulting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the 1.1 million-square-mile Mississippi River Basin. GRN wanted EPA to use its authority under the Clean Water Act to force states to adopt numeric water quality criteria for rivers, streams and lakes.   U.S. District Judge Jay...

American Ethanol Driver Among NASCAR’s Most Improved

(Posted Thu. Dec 22nd, 2016)

The close of any year is not complete without carving out time for reflection and review, celebrating accomplishments and preparing for new adventures. For American Ethanol Sponsors Growth Energy and National Corn Growers Association and their driver Austin Dillon, the 2016 NASCAR racing season was a year filled with memorable moments.   In this season’s first American Ethanol paint-out, Dillon won the pole position in the Sprint Cup race at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. He later went on to advance to the Round of 12 in his first Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, and celebrate surpassing 10 million miles of successful racing on E15 fuel sporting an American Ethanol paint-out of his #3 Chevy at Phoenix International Raceway. Last week, Dillon closed out the season by being named among the nine most improved drivers of the 2016 NASCAR Premier Sprint Cup Series season this week by FOX Sports.   The high profile racing series saw a number of drivers make...

(Posted Mon. Dec 19th, 2016)

Improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices helped corn growers achieve ever-higher yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2016 National Corn Yield Contest. Additionally, a record five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 52nd year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members. Participation in the contest remained strong in 2016, with 7,972 entries received.   “The contest provides farmers more than just an opportunity for friendly competition; it generates data that impacts future production practices across the industry,” said Brent Hostetler, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “The techniques first developed by contest winners grow into far-reaching advances, helping farmers across the country excel in a variety of situations.  Our contest emphasizes innovation both from growers and technology providers, thus enabling us to meet the...

(Posted Wed. Dec 14th, 2016)

Keywords: Research

Corn farmers’ ongoing quest to manage and mitigate the fungus aflatoxin received a boost this week with the announcement that the Aflatoxin Mitigation Center for Excellence has approved seven new research projects for 2017.   AMCOE’s mission is to investigate biological controls, aflatoxin resistance via transgenic and traditional breeding, best management strategies for harvest, handling and storage and improved testing procedures. AMCOE, managed by the National Corn Growers Association, is now in its sixth year supporting aflatoxin research.   “Aflatoxin is a critical issue for corn growers who want to provide consumers with the best quality and safest product possible,” said Charles Ring AMCOE Committee Chairman of Sinton, Texas. “AMCOE is committed to making continued progress toward solving this problem and helping southern corn farmers remain profitable.”   Aflatoxin in corn can be at dangerously high levels especially during periods of drought. The toxin, a byproduct...

(Posted Tue. Dec 13th, 2016)

This week, you don’t need to scout your field or even leave the shop or your living room to learn how to improve your soil. Just grab your laptop and spend an hour with the Soil Health Partnership learning more about cover crops, conservation tillage and nutrient management. The virtual field day takes place Thursday, December 15, 2016 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST. Best of all, it’s free! Register here.   The presentation is framed under the umbrella of Iowa’s progressive water quality leadership but is open and relevant to producers in ANY state. You’ll also hear from an Iowa farmer about his experience in changing the way he farms. Speakers during the webinar include:   Elyssa McFarland, Soil Health Partnership field manager; Jim Jordahl, program manager, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Wade Kent, SHP farmer from Algona, Iowa; and Dave Muth, AgSolver.   The Soil Health Partnership is an initiative of the NCGA. For more information on the partnership, visit

(Posted Mon. Dec 12th, 2016)

The National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Grains Council are pleased to welcome Courtney Coe to their Washington, D.C., staffs as the organizations' new receptionist and administrative assistant.   In this position, Coe will serve as the first point of contact for visitors and callers, will greet and direct guests to the appropriate staff members and assist with office projects in both organizations.   Previously, Coe worked as an associate manager at Pottery Barn, and she has said she is looking forward to putting her excellent customer service skills to use while providing administrative support to both NCGA and USGC.   Her first day was Dec. 5. Please join us in welcoming her to the team!

(Posted Fri. Dec 9th, 2016)

The National Corn Growers Association welcomed a group of government officials from the Philippines this week for discussions on the U.S. corn industry, the role associations play in promoting farmers’ interests and on ongoing projects in their country’s Department of Agriculture. The team, which was led by Philippines Department of Agriculture Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Federico E. Laciste, Jr. and organized by Monsanto, will also visit a variety of sites related to corn production and transportation in the Untied States and Mexico.   The delegation shared an overview of corn farming in the Philippines. During discussions about government-led efforts, they noted one particularly interesting program involving corn and human health. Currently, their Department of Agriculture is implementing plans to increase white corn consumption by promoting the inclusion of white corn grits along with a dietary staple, rice. By substituting a portion of the rice consumed with the...

(Posted Thu. Dec 8th, 2016)

Keywords: Biotechnology

The National Corn Growers Association was pleased with today’s release of “A Framework for Local Coexistence Discussions.” This document, produced by the USDA’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology & 21st Century Agriculture (AC21), provides guidance on improving communications and ensuring the future success of the American system of agricultural coexistence.   For the full report, click here.   NCGA applauds the work of AC21 and recognizes the important role such cross-industry groups can play in achieving successful outcomes without the creation of unnecessary regulation.  Through this dialogue, many stakeholders involved in diverse agricultural production systems came together to better identify ways to foster communication and collaboration to further agricultural coexistence.   Furthermore, NCGA supports Secretary Vilsack’s attentive consideration of the issue of coexistence and his steady work to see this through to completion.   The continued coexistence of different...

(Posted Thu. Dec 8th, 2016)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Today, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology released a report and literature review looking at problems caused by the current system of asynchronous approvals for biotech crops. The paper focuses on the economic effects in countries that are major global commodity exporters and importers. Overall, it concludes that asynchrony in the global approval of new biotech crops and the resultant risk of low level presence puts large volumes of trade worth billions of dollars at risk.   The increasing disparity in the biotech product approval timelines between exporting countries that utilize new technologies and large grain importing countries, in particular, is a significant and growing impediment to trade, specifically in the European Union and China.   As Task Force Chair Dr. Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes said, “How the world’s regulatory systems operate in the area of biotech crops is critically important to producers and consumers.”   The paper shares research...

(Posted Wed. Dec 7th, 2016)

The 2017 Commodity Classic website is now open for event registration and housing reservations. Rooms are expected to book quickly, so those interested should register as soon as possible.   For registrations and housing reservations, go to the Commodity Classic website at www.commodityclassic.com.  Experient is the official registration and housing provider for Commodity Classic.  In order to stay at an official Commodity Classic hotel in San Antonio, Texas, reservations must be made only through Experient to ensure favorable rates, reasonable terms and confirmed hotel rooms.   Full Commodity Classic registration includes:   Access to the Trade Show, including a fiesta reception on Thursday, lunch on Friday and a morning snack Saturday in the Trade Show Main Stage presentations in the Trade Show A General Session Friday morning that will be enlightening and entertaining A full schedule of educational sessions, including Learning Centers, What’s New Sessions, Mini What’s...

(Posted Tue. Dec 6th, 2016)

The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee reminds members that only one month remains to apply for the 2018 Corn Board.  Through the Corn Board, members can become an integral part of the organization’s leadership.  Click here for the application, which provides complete information on requirements, responsibilities and deadlines.   “I have had the privilege of working with so many talented, dedicated volunteers who step forward to lead this organization during my years on the Corn Board,” said NCGA Chairman and Nominating Committee Chair Chip Bowling. “Their willingness to step forward as volunteer leaders plays a crucial role in building NCGA’s future successes. As a true grassroots organization, we rely upon farmers to volunteer to lead, helping to shape policy and drive efforts. Serving on the Corn Board empowers farmers to play a proactive role in determining the collective future of our industry.”   The NCGA Corn Board represents the organization on all...

World Soil Day: Celebrate a Day that Matters to Farming Success!

(Posted Mon. Dec 5th, 2016)

These days, it seems like there’s a designated day to celebrate anything and EVERYTHING! And yes, there’s even a day to celebrate something that’s actually critical to the success of farming: soil. World Soil Day is today, Dec. 5.   The Soil Health Partnership, an initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, is encouraging farmers to take some time on this day to consider ways they can improve soil health. Not sure where to start? Take a few minutes to watch this fun and informative white board video, “Farmers to the Rescue: How Healthy Soil Can Save the Planet.”   The SHP also will host a Virtual Field Day Webinar on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 11:00 a.m. Central.   “Soil health is the next frontier in agricultural sustainability,” said SHP director Nick Goeser, who also serves as NCGA’s director of soil health and sustainability. “Restoring organic matter through practices like growing cover crops will help soil sequester more carbon while making it more resistant to...

(Posted Thu. Dec 1st, 2016)

As the holidays approach, members of the National Corn Growers Association can save when purchasing gifts for 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 Paul Taylor, chairman of NCGA’s Engaging Members Action Team. “As the holidays approach, these benefits hold even more value. Using the Cabela’s partnership can help members save while purchasing a gift that many of the people on their lists are sure to love.”   Gift cards valued at $25, $50 and $100 are available. NCGA members may purchase cards by calling the national office at 636-733-5520.   Cabela’s is the world's largest direct marketer, and a leading specialty retailer, of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise. Since its founding in 1961, Cabela’s has grown...