NEWS STORIES

MAY 2017

(Posted Wed. May 31st, 2017)

The National Corn Growers Association reminds photographers that they can help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the fourth 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. While the contest opened recently, interested participants will be able to submit multiple entries until November 30, 2017.   Open to all, the Fields-of-Corn photo contest offers a free opportunity for photographers to share their work while competing for 25 cash prizes, including a $500 grand prize. Prizes include cash awards for the top three entries in eight categories including:  Corn, Growing Field Corn, Farm Family Lifestyle, Scenery/Landscape, Farming Challenges, SHP Conservation, Little Farmers and one for the most popular as determined by Facebook “likes.”   For more information on prizes and on these categories, click here.   It is important to note that the...

(Posted Tue. May 30th, 2017)

As corn planting nears completion, corn emergence remains within two percentage points of the five-year average according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. While progress remains on track, this first report showing information on crop condition indicates that acres rated in good or excellent condition sit seven percentage points lower than it did at this time last year.   With 91 percent of total corn acres planted and 73 percent emerged by May 28, progress fell only two percentage points short of the five-year average in both categories.   Emergence progress surpassed the five-year average by the largest margin in North Dakota, with emerged acres 12 percentage points over the five-year average. MIchigan saw the greatest lags in progress with acres emerged totaling 16 percentage points lower than the five-year average.     Crop condition forecasts appeared strongest in Southern states with Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee showing more...

(Posted Tue. May 30th, 2017)

Keywords: Ethanol

Late Sunday night, American Ethanol driver and spokesperson, Austin Dillon captured his first Monster Energy Cup Series win, driving the celebrated No. 3 car to victory at the Coca-Cola 600. Dillon’s win came at his home track, the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and is the first for the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 car since October 15, 2000, when Dale Earnhardt won at Talladega.   “NCGA is obviously thrilled by the win because it further validates the abilities of ethanol fuel on the road and on the track. Specifically, it provides great positive exposure for E15 at a time when the fuel is beginning to make significant gains in consumer retail space, said Paul Jeschke, Chairman of NCGA’s Ethanol Action Team and Mazon, Illinois farmer.  “Corn farmers tasked NCGA with building support for ethanol with consumers outside its traditional Midwestern customer base and our partnership with Growth Energy, under the American Ethanol banner, has raised the profile of E15...

(Posted Tue. May 30th, 2017)

The National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers that time is running out to become a part of the change they desire by actively honing their leadership skills through the NCGA Leadership Academy, part of Syngenta’s Leadership At Its Best Program.  Growers must be nominated by their state corn association. Interested members should contact their state associations now for further information and get completed applications into state offices by the end of this week.   “Since it began in 1986, Leadership At Its Best has trained strong, confident volunteers who have helped shape the industry through their subsequent work at the state and national level,” said NCGA President Wesley Spurlock.  “Having met so many farmers who feel similarly, I know that the desire to give back to their peers motivates an incredible number of farmers to look for service opportunities. NCGA depends upon this grassroots leadership, and I can personally attest that the time and effort dedicated are...

Starbuck Retires from NCGA

(Posted Fri. May 26th, 2017)

It is with mixed emotions that the National Corn Growers Association announces the retirement of Max Starbuck, Director of Market Development, after nearly 13 years of professional and dedicated service to the organization and to corn farmers nationwide.   During his tenure with NCGA Max wore many hats, from managing mycotoxin research efforts and the National Corn Yield Contest, to stewardship programs and most recently, focusing on key demand initiatives including building relationships with the livestock industry and building capacity in surface and river transportation.   “Max’s background in farming, working as a nutrition consultant and with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency provided him with a valuable skill set to advocate on behalf of farmers on a diverse set of issues,” said Amie Gianino, NCGA Vice President of Market Development. “NCGA owes him a debt of gratitude for the energy, dedication and expertise he brought to bear on behalf of all corn...

(Posted Fri. May 26th, 2017)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its seventh 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.   Earlier this week, Field Notes caught up with April Hemmes, who farms in north central Iowa. Even in late May, she is dealing with weather more indicative of early spring   “It is about 50 something degrees although it is the 20-something of May,” she explained. “We are getting tired of cold, wet weather. When you see geese swimming in a pond and realize it is a bean field, that isn’t good.”   Not one to complain, Hemmes takes the unseasonable conditions in good stride while keeping up hope for improved weather.   “Honestly, the corn has turned a bit yellow. We could use some warmer,...

(Posted Thu. May 25th, 2017)

The National Corn Growers Association commended the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 953, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017. This bipartisan legislation states that National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permits are not required when applying pesticides according to their EPA-approved labels.   “We are pleased the House of Representatives recognizes this permit requirement for what it is: expensive, duplicative, and unnecessary red tape,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, Vice Chair of the Freedom to Operate Action Team and a farmer from Giltner, Nebraska. “As it currently stands, the NPDES permitting system only adds to farmers’ regulatory burdens, without actually improving water quality.”   The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act would reverse a 2009 court ruling that forced the Environmental Protection Agency to require pesticide applicators to get permits to spray in or near “navigable waters,” as defined in the Clean Water Act. Although NPDES...

(Posted Thu. May 25th, 2017)

With just over one month remaining, the National Corn Growers Association reminds 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.   “While the early entry deadline may seem a ways out, we all know how quickly times goes by at this time of year,” said Stewardship Action Team Chair Brent Hostetler. “Through the contest, we gain valuable data that helps 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 2017.”   To enter today using the online form, click here.    Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through July 31. All harvest forms will be due by November 17. Contest winners will be announced on December 18.   As a reminder, entry forms must be submitted to NCGA through...

(Posted Wed. May 24th, 2017)

Last weekend, farmers and consumers came together to enjoy corn-based spirits and conversations about sustainability at the Heartland Craft Spirits Festival. The Illinois Corn Marketing Board organized the event, held in Chicago, as a pilot project to test the learnings gained through the National Corn Growers Association’s corn reputation research. A number of state corn associations, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin, sponsored state-specific categories in the juried tasting competition preceding the event.   The event, which took place in Bucktown’s Concord Music Hall, truly brought the farm to the city. With dozens of living corn plants, virtual reality farm tours and farmer volunteers, craft spirit enthusiasts looked beyond their local distillery to find out more about the men and women who grow corn. This proved particularly relevant as this specific competition, due to the partnership with ICMB, featured...

(Posted Tue. May 23rd, 2017)

Keywords: Farm Policy

  The White House today released its detailed proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget proposal includes the following: Cutting the federal crop insurance program by $28.56 billion over the 2018-2027 period Eliminating funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) ($200 million/year) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program ($34.5 million/year) Reducing conservation program funding by $5.8 billion over the 2018-2027 period   The following is a statement from the National Corn Growers Association:   “The time and place to debate farm bill programs is during the farm bill reauthorization, not the annual budget process. The farm bill represents a 5-year commitment to America’s farmers and ranchers, which Congress made in 2014. We are counting on Congress to honor that commitment, and reject cuts that would be harmful for rural America. These proposed budget cuts would hurt farmers’ ability to manage risk, grow their revenues, and farm more...

(Posted Mon. May 22nd, 2017)

Corn planting progress and emergence are within one percentage point of the five-year average according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With 84 percent of total corn acres planted and 54 percent emerged by May 21, progress fell only one percentage point short of the five-year average in both categories. Notably, the percentage of acres planted at this point equaled progress in 2016 while the percentage of acres emerged trailed by four percentage points.   Progress surpassed the five-year average furthest in North Dakota, with planted acres nine percentage points over the five-year average. Kansas saw the greatest lags in progress with acres planted totaling 16 percentage points lower than the five-year average.     To view the full report, click here.

(Posted Fri. May 19th, 2017)

Keywords: livestock

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) staff met with the U.S. Meat Export Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), and Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) this week to discuss trade, policy, and opportunities for collaboration in the future.   At USMEF topics covered included the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement to both meat and corn exports, current beef and pork export trends, challenges, and future opportunities for international trade. Also, ideas were shared for partnering on future projects.   Discussion continued at NCBA and CBB where staff considered partnering on research projects to improve feed efficiency and decrease the environmental impact of meat production.  New corn traits that might be of benefit to livestock producers because of feed quality and price efficiency were also discussed.   An ongoing dialogue between the organizations to compare goals and current policy priorities is critical to collaboration, said Chris Novak,...

(Posted Thu. May 18th, 2017)

Keywords: Conservation

Agricultural and conservation leaders are amplifying the drum beat on the importance of soil health in 21st Century land management. The National Corn Growers Association showed its support for this effort today, participating in the Soil Health Institute’s unveiling of its new Soil Health Action Plan in Washington, D.C.   Speakers at the event said soil health must emerge as the cornerstone of land use management decisions, in part due to increased extreme weather events, the growing population, and the decrease in arable farmland.   Keith Alverson, a sixth-generation farmer near Chester, South Dakota, who serves as a member of the Corn Board of the National Corn Growers Association served on the panel at the event. He noted he participated because of his personal commitment to healthy soil and to reflect NCGA’s commitment to soil health via its support of the Soil Health Partnership.   Healthy soil prevents erosion, is more resilient to flooding and drought, and more...

(Posted Thu. May 18th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico have quintupled since the ink dried on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) more than 20 years ago. And Mexico’s animal agriculture and feed manufacturing industries want to keep buying even more U.S. corn, sorghum, distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and other products, according to a team of Mexican grain buyers, livestock and feed processing representatives who traveled to Nebraska and Washington, D.C. this week.    The agribusiness industry team, organized by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) with support from Nebraska Corn, spoke directly with farmers in Nebraska at a roundtable on Tuesday, followed by a press conference with Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. The team then traveled to Washington, D.C., for meetings with the House Ways and Means Committee, House Agriculture Committee, Senate Finance Committee and Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and...

(Posted Thu. May 18th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

Today U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress of the Trump Administration’s plans to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.   National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock urged Lighthizer to remember the interests of U.S. agriculture as they begin modernizing the agreement.   “The Trump Administration understands that NAFTA has been an unequivocal success story for American agriculture,” said Spurlock.   “Exports are one pillar of a strong farm economy, accounting for 31 percent of farmer income. Nowhere is the importance of trade stronger than right here in North America. Since NAFTA was implemented, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have tripled and quintupled, respectively. We export billions of dollars of corn and corn products to these countries each year.”   “The National Corn Growers Association will work closely with the Trump Administration and Congress to build on...

(Posted Wed. May 17th, 2017)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its seventh 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 Kyle Kirby, who farms in the southwestern part of Missouri. While Kirby had been optimistic about his corn crop a few weeks prior, he has been disappointed by how things have gone since then.   “I hate to tell you, but this part of the country has gotten every single rain that has come through since Easter. We got a big rain event on Easter morning that caused us to replant about 1,500 acres,” said Kirby. “We got started doing that earlier this week, and, wouldn’t you know, we caught another three or four inches of very hard rain. We didn’t finish our replant,...

(Posted Wed. May 17th, 2017)

With another growing season underway across corn country, the National Corn Growers Association encourages farmers to complete a mental check list and assess your farming operation and any potential impact for pollinators like honey bees.   If you are using treated seed, remember to consider the following five basic steps for stewardship of treated seed during planting season:   Follow Directions: Follow directions on treated seed container labels for handling, storage, planting and disposal practices.    Eliminate Flowering Weeds: Eliminate flowering plants and weeds in and around the field prior to planting.   Minimize Dust: Use advanced seed flow lubricants that minimize dust.   Bee Aware: Be aware of honey bees and hives located near the field, and communicate with beekeepers prior to planting when possible.   Clean and Remove: Completely clean and remove all treated seed left in containers and equipment used to handle harvested grain and dispose of it properly....

(Posted Tue. May 16th, 2017)

Keywords: Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association filed comments yesterday with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on ethanol and the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulations, following President Trump’s executive order, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.”   NCGA urged the EPA to use its authority to give drivers year-round access to higher blends of ethanol such as E15. EPA has previously issued a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for 10 percent ethanol blends. Providing E15 with the same waiver would lead to more choices at the pump and cleaner air.   NCGA also encouraged EPA to update its lifecycle analysis for corn-based ethanol. EPA last updated its lifecycle analysis in 2010, projecting that corn-based ethanol would produce 21 percent fewer GHG emissions when compared to gasoline by 2022. Other federal government agencies have issued updated GHG lifecycle analysis for ethanol based on actual corn and ethanol production experience. Most recently, USDA analysis released in 2017...

(Posted Tue. May 16th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been a boon for America’s farmers and ranchers, and we must maintain a strong partnership between the U.S. and Mexico, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and national and state grain industry leaders told Mexican officials today at a press conference highlighting the importance of Mexico to U.S. agriculture.   “Bilateral trade with Mexico has helped grow agriculture in our state over the years,” said Governor Ricketts. “Mexico is Nebraska’s largest export market for corn, dairy, sugar, and sweeteners, and second largest market for soybeans, wheat, sorghum and distiller’s grains. All of this combined accounts for thousands of Nebraska jobs. I’m encouraged by local and national discussions to expand trade, and am committed to helping grow our trade relationship with Mexico so we can continue to grow Nebraska.”   The Nebraska Corn Board, the U.S. Grains Council and the National Corn Growers Association are hosting a team of Mexican...

Nominations for NCGA’s Good Steward Recognition Program Open Today

(Posted Fri. May 12th, 2017)

Do you have a farmer friend, neighbor or family member who always does their job with a keen eye on improving the productivity of the soil and the viability of the farm for future generations? The National Corn Growers Association thinks their special too, and we want to meet them. Furthermore, we want to put them in the spotlight and reward them for their stewardship.   The fifth year of the NCGA’s Good Steward Recognition Program launches today and we need your help to expand awareness of best practices in sustainable corn production. Let’s face it, most farmers today understand that clean water and healthy soil can and should go hand-in-hand with profitability, and farming practices are changing rapidly to accelerate sustainability goals. If you know someone who is doing a stellar job on their farm of demonstrating the economic and conservation value of soil management, it’s time to toss their hat in the ring.   NCGA affiliate states and organizational partners may submit...

(Posted Fri. May 12th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

The Canadian government has set an aggressive goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 megatons by 2030 - and U.S. ethanol is a proven and economically viable tool to help achieve that objective. A U.S. ethanol industry mission delivered that message and more information about the benefits of U.S. ethanol during a mission to Canada in April, followed by formal comments on the proposed Canadian Clean Fuel Standard.    One-third of all U.S. ethanol exports are destined for Canada, making it the top export market for U.S. ethanol for the past four marketing years. In the first six months of the 2016/2017 marketing year, U.S. ethanol exports to Canada have already increased 40 percent year-over-year, totaling 166.2 million gallons or 1.51 million metric tons (59.4 million bushels) in corn equivalent.  “The U.S. ethanol industry applauds Canada’s desire to reduce the carbon intensity of its transportation fuel market, and we see our northern neighbor as a strong partner in...

(Posted Fri. May 12th, 2017)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its seventh 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.   Tuesday, Field Notes checked in with Dan Erickson, who farms in Minnesota. Taking a moment to chat as he worked, Erickson reported that planting conditions have recently become more favorable.   “We have finally had a nice stretch of weather,” he explained. “Some in my area were out planting about two weeks ago, but then we had to sit it out for a week because of rain and cold temperatures. Now, things have started heating up for about a week. So, in my area, we are making good progress on their corn.”   With many farmers across parts of the Corn Belt impacted by unseasonable weather,...

(Posted Thu. May 11th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the creation of a USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs as part of a broader reorganization of the department. The following is a statement from Wesley Spurlock, president of the National Corn Growers Association:   “The National Corn Growers Association has long advocated for a dedicated position at USDA focused on increasing U.S. agricultural exports, and we pushed for this provision in the 2014 farm bill. We are pleased to see that post finally become a reality today.   “Secretary Perdue’s announcement signals to farm country that the Trump Administration is listening to America’s farmers and ranchers. In this farm economy, trade is more important than ever to farmers’ incomes. Overseas markets represent 73 percent of the world’s purchasing power, 87 percent of economic growth, and 95 percent of the world’s customers. Now is the time for U.S. agriculture to fully capitalize on growing...

(Posted Thu. May 11th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

Join the National Corn Growers Association and the U.S. Grains Council in highlighting agricultural exports during World Trade Month this May.    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, agricultural exports reached $134.8 billion in 2016, and imports totaled $114.6 billion, creating a trade surplus of $20.3 billion.    Exports remain a bright spot in a challenged farm economy. More than 26 percent of U.S. corn in all forms, including 30 percent of distiller's dried grains with solubles, as well as more than 60 percent of U.S. sorghum are now exported.   The United States exported 863 million gallons of ethanol in 2015/2016, representative of increased international opportunities for not only U.S. feed grains, but also value-added products.   Much of this success is due to the push by the U.S. farm sector for strong trade agreements and long-term market development work supported by farmers and the federal government through USDA’s Market Access Program and Foreign...

(Posted Thu. May 11th, 2017)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its seventh 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.   Tuesday, Field Notes checked in with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. Stopping his planter to chat, he noted that recent weather conditions in the area were causing some concern.   “About ten days ago, we were within 150 acres of being finished with corn planting. Then, we got three or four inches of rain over four or five days,” he explained. “I can’t really complain about the moisture, but the temperatures that came with it scared us. We worried the cold moisture would hurt the corn that was already planted. Hopefully, everything will be okay.”   Neitzel walked listeners...

(Posted Wed. May 10th, 2017)

The U.S. corn industry may see strong, but not record setting, production according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. With increased domestic demand offset by lower export forecasts, corn use is projected to see high, but not record, levels at 14.3 billion total bushels in 2017/18.    This report, the first forecasting overall U.S. corn supply and demand for the next marketing year, projected ethanol use to increase 50 million bushels from the previous year due, in part, to increased fuel consumption and decreased use of sorghum as a feedstock. Projected feed and residual use is 75 million bushels lower than the previous year as ethanol co-products continue to play an important role in livestock feed markets.  In addition, USDA is projecting U.S. corn exports to decrease by 350 million bushels next year due to strong competition from Argentinian and Brazilian suppliers.   At the same time, U.S. corn farmers could produce the third-largest corn crop on...

VIDEO: NCGA Showcases Technology and Sustainability at Field Day

(Posted Wed. May 10th, 2017)

The National Corn Growers Association joined with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and the American Seed Trade Association in late April to host officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture for demonstrations on planting practices, seed treatments, and equipment innovations that are bringing continuous improvement to sustainable farming practices.   To view a video from the event, click here.   The field day took place on the working farm of NCGA Chairman Chip Bowling in Newburg, Maryland.   “Farmers care deeply about keeping America’s land, water, and air safe for our families, our neighbors, and our communities. The National Corn Growers Association is committed to farming sustainably and protecting those resources for future generations,” said Bowling. “Technology is key to making farming even more sustainable. That’s why it’s important that the people who regulate our industry understand how we use these tools...

Free Trade, Relationships Key to Market Competitiveness in South Korea

(Posted Tue. May 9th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

Recent events in foreign policy and the ongoing conversation about the value of U.S. trade agreements have put a spotlight on South Korea as a close U.S. ally and an important customer for U.S. products, including grains.  South Korea is now the fifth largest market for U.S. agricultural exports, totaling $6.2 billion in purchases in 2016. The country was the fourth largest importer of both U.S. corn and distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS) as well as the seventh largest importer of U.S. barley in the 2015/2016 marketing year.    The U.S. Grains Council (USGC), of which the National Corn Growers Association is a founding member, has worked in South Korea since 1972, providing technical assistance and expertise on how to best utilize corn and value-added products like DDGS, educating government officials on the advantages of biotechnology and promoting free trade between the United States and South Korea.  Those investments, using both member dollars and matching grants...

(Posted Tue. May 9th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

The National Corn Growers Association, along with the Coalition to Promote U.S. Agricultural Exports and the Agribusiness Coalition for Foreign Market Development, welcomed the introduction late last week of a bill to gradually increase investment in the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) programs, ultimately improving the competitiveness of the U.S. agricultural community in the global economy.   H.R. 2321, the Cultivating Revitalization by Expanding American Agricultural Trade and Exports (CREAATE) Act, was introduced by Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Washington) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and is co-sponsored by Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-Illinois), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Jimmy Panetta (D-California), and Thomas Rooney (R-Florida).   The MAP and FMD programs match dollars contributed by U.S. farmers and ranchers for programs that create, expand and maintain access to foreign markets. Independent evaluations have shown that MAP and FMD and the activities...

Turn Your Smartphone Into an Ag Advocacy Power Tool

(Posted Mon. May 8th, 2017)

Want to play a more active role in the future of agriculture? Download the National Corn Growers Association’s Action app today. Featuring tools that help growers engage and influence elected officials on Capitol Hill and at home in their legislative districts, the app puts NCGA’s legislative issues, grassroots action alerts and social media channels at your fingertips.   The legislative issues facing farmers have grown increasingly complicated. No longer will following the actions taken by the agriculture committee or on the farm bill yield the results farmers desire. NCGA’s team of public policy professionals monitor nearly every committee and work with broader coalitions trying to build broad support for evolving issues.   The application allows you to: Easily access talking points on national issues such as trade, ethanol and biotech; Connect with NCGA’s stewardship initiatives; Be matched up to your state and federal legislators; Email your federal legislators on...

(Posted Thu. May 4th, 2017)

Keywords: Stewardship

Whether you are a longtime advocate of cover crops—or have never even considered using them—the Soil Health Partnership is encouraging all farmers to participate in the USDA’s 2017 Cover Crop Survey.    In its fifth year, the survey helps the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program understand why farmers choose to use cover crops, or the reasons that they don’t. The information will help guide cover crop research, policy and education nationwide.   “The experienced voices of all farmers are critical to the effectiveness of this survey,” said Nick Goeser, director of the Soil Health Partnership, and National Corn Growers Association director of soil health and sustainability. “We are encouraging our farmers enrolled in the Soil Health Partnership to participate in the survey, but all farmer views and experiences are relevant to USDA in understanding the real-life benefits and challenges of cover crops.”   An NCGA initiative, the Soil Health...

(Posted Tue. May 2nd, 2017)

Larry Byrd will rejoin NCGA and the Council in Washington this week as the receptionist and administrative assistant. In this capacity, Byrd will serve as the first point of contact for visitors and callers, as well as greet and direct guests to the appropriate staff members and assist them with office projects.   Prior to NCGA and the Council, Byrd worked for Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company as an agribusiness underwriting intern. In this position, he helped the organization identify various industry opportunities for growth and research.   Byrd earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in consumer affairs. Through his studies and internships, he was exposed to policy issues in the farm bill and other agriculture priorities.

(Posted Mon. May 1st, 2017)

With planting 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 the early entry deadline may seem a ways out, we all know how quickly the time passes once planting season starts,” said Stewardship Action Team Chair Brent Hostetler. “Every year, we gain valuable data from the contest that helps 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 2017.”   To enter today using the online form, click here.    Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through July 31. All harvest forms will be due by November 17. Contest winners will...