NEWS STORIES

DECEMBER 2017

(Posted Wed. Dec 20th, 2017)

The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Katharine Emerson as Director of Public Policy and Political Strategy and Colleen Willard as Director of Public Policy to their DC team.  Emerson leads NCGA’s political strategy development and PAC duties while also heading lobbying efforts on conservation and domestic biotech issues. Willard will be handling water quality and ag chemical issues.    “In adding both Katharine and Colleen to our team, NCGA gains a wealth of experience and unique perspectives that will serve our efforts to advance opportunities for America’s corn farmers well,” said NCGA Executive Vice President Jon Doggett. “It is with great enthusiasm we welcome these respected industry-leading professionals. I look forward, and I believe our membership should as well, to seeing the new...

(Posted Tue. Dec 19th, 2017)

Ten years ago today, Dec. 19, President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act, greatly expanding the scope and impact of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In the decade since passage, significant progress has been made towards greater energy security, cleaner air and boosting local economies, according to a new analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association, “The RFS2: Then and Now.”   The RFS requires oil companies to blend increasing volumes of renewable fuels with gasoline and diesel, culminating with 36 billion gallons in 2022.   “A decade after the RFS2 was adopted, tremendous progress has been made toward achieving the objectives of this landmark policy,” according to the analysis, which compares...

(Posted Mon. Dec 18th, 2017)

Keywords: Research

This piece originally ran as a press release issued by the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.   Tis’ the season many corn farmers finalize their seed decisions for the coming season. Armed with past year’s weather and field conditions data and information from seed companies, university extension, and others, they weigh their options in making their seed selections. One consideration often outweighs all others in this decision-making process: yield.   Thanks to selective corn breeding techniques and modern production practices, we have achieved remarkable productivity in last 100 years. But, has the last century of hybridization to increase yields changed the corn plant’s ability to adjust to new or stressful situations? This is the question that University of Wisconsin...

(Posted Mon. Dec 18th, 2017)

Improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices helped corn growers achieve ever-higher yields in the National Corn Growers Association 2017 National Corn Yield Contest. Again, this year, five national entries surpassed the 400-plus bushel per acre mark.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 53rd year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   “The contest provides farmers more than just an opportunity for friendly competition; it generates data that impacts future production practices across the industry,” said Roger Zylstra, 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...

(Posted Thu. Dec 14th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

Members of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), USA Rice, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) and the National Barley Growers Association (NBGA) welcomed a joint statement issued this week from 17 countries participating in the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, emphasizing the importance of supporting farmer access to the full range of tools and technologies available and opposing regulatory barriers lacking sufficient scientific justification.   “Having in mind the importance of transparency and predictability to international trade, we call on all Members to strengthen the implementation of...

Two new field managers join Soil Health Partnership team
Illinois, Indiana staff additions aid expansion of data collection program

(Posted Wed. Dec 13th, 2017)

Keywords: Soil Health Partnership SHP

Two new field managers have joined the Soil Health Partnership, a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Abigail Peterson and Alex Fiock will help manage the growing number of farmers enrolled in the program in Illinois and Indiana.   “As we have expanded to 111 farms in 12 states a year ahead of schedule, our need for additional staff has grown as well,” said SHP Director Nick Goeser. “We welcome Abigail and Alex to the partnership and look forward to their expertise and enthusiasm.”   SHP field managers help new farmers get started in the program with identifying the practices that will work best for them to improve soil health on their farms, and assist with implementation, soil sampling, and education. Common practices...

Share Photos to Share Your Story!
Fields-of-Corn Social Media Segment Open Through New Year's Eve

(Posted Wed. Dec 13th, 2017)

Keywords: Fields of Corn Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest

The Fields-of-Corn.com Photo Contest entry period closed at the stroke of midnight Nov. 30th, everyone is encouraged to take part in the process by sharing or “liking” their favorite entries. Entrants are urged to share/link their photos from the Photo Contest to Facebook.  The “likes” collected on their post will automatically collect to the contest site.  Entrants can also tag the share with #fieldsofcorn on their Facebook page for additional exposure. Voting closes at the stroke of midnight (CST) Dec. 31.   The 2017 contests received a record-breaking number of entries with 469 photos submitted, an increase of 150 entries over the number submitted in 2016. Since its launch four years ago, Fields-of-Corn has accumulated an archive of more than 1,400 photographs spread over seven categories: Scenic...

(Posted Tue. Dec 12th, 2017)

While U.S. corn production remains on track to set another record, increased demand from the ethanol sector is expected according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. Given increased ethanol demand, ending stock forecasts were lowered and prices were raised slightly.   "Despite the mildly positive changes to demand shown in this report, America’s corn farmers need further market growth to positively impact the ongoing pricing situation so negatively affecting rural economies," said National Corn Growers Association Chairman Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Texas. "While growth in the ethanol market is essential, our farm families also need growth in the livestock and export markets to improve market conditions. Whether it be promoting the trade...

(Posted Mon. Dec 11th, 2017)

Insect pests can have a devastating impact on a corn crop. Many farmers turn to in-plant insect protection traits to help protect yield potential and profitability. Now, the industry is announcing the expansion of the Take Action program to help farmers fight insect resistance and preserve the long-term effectiveness of Bt technology.   “If we lose the tools we have, there’s a financial risk of facing insects we can no longer control,” says Don Duvall, farmer from Carmi, Illinois, and chairman of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Freedom to Operate action team. “Now is the the time to take action before insects become resistant to Bt technology like weeds have become resistant to herbicides.”   Through the Take Action program, farmers will have access to the latest tools...

(Posted Thu. Dec 7th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

More than four decades of partnership and a free trade agreement have benefitted agribusinesses in both the United States and South Korea. But the preservation of past success must be coupled with an innovative look at the future in order for that positive trading relationship to continue in years to come, South Korea customers told a delegation of leaders and staff from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) last week.   The joint mission visited with local cooperatives, a grocery store, a major port and a Korean farm using U.S. grains in addition to other activities. South Korea is a highly developed country with an equally highly developed food and feed market. The country has state of the art and efficient...

(Posted Thu. Dec 7th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

Mexican Market Is Growing, But Will the U.S. Capture That Demand?   Increasing demand in Mexico could mean big business for U.S. agriculture, but U.S. farmers and agribusinesses may have to work harder to capture a share due to the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).   Mexican customers and government officials conveyed that message to officers and staff leaders from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) who traveled to Mexico last week as part of a joint officers’ mission.   The group met with agriculture officials, grain association representatives and top buyers of U.S. grain products.  Mexican customers emphasized the United States will always be an important supplier, but organizations are moving...

(Posted Thu. Dec 7th, 2017)

Keywords: Trade

Farmers and ranchers across the country took to Twitter on Wednesday to let the  President and other administration officials know that staying in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a win for farmers.  Corn growers from around the United States tweeted about the economic benefits of NAFTA, which supports 25,000 corn industry jobs and stimulates the rural economy.   For the past twenty-three years, NAFTA has been a landmark trade success story for U.S. agriculture, particularly grains. U.S. corn and corn products (ethanol, DDGs and corn gluten feed) have duty free access to Mexico and Canada under NAFTA.  Mexico has become the number one trading partner for U.S. corn, buying 25 percent of all exports.  Since 1994, U.S. corn exports to NAFTA partners have increased more than...

Grant will help more farmers commit to farming methods to protect land, environment

(Posted Tue. Dec 5th, 2017)

A new grant will support research and education that accelerate adoption of soil health practices on farms nationwide, benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment alike. The Soil Health Partnership, an initiative of the National Corn Growers Association, is one of three recipients of the grant and matching funds, which total nearly $20 million – one of the largest ever public/private investments in soil health.   The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit established through bipartisan support in the 2014 Farm Bill, announced a $9.4 million grant on Dec. 5 – World Soil Day. The recipients are the Soil Health Institute, the Soil Health Partnership and The Nature Conservancy. It will be matched by General Mills, Grantham Trust,...

(Posted Mon. Dec 4th, 2017)

The National Corn Growers Association urges farmers to take part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture, which will be hitting mailboxes soon.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) began mailing the Census to the nation's producers last week. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by farmers, ranchers, trade associations, researchers, policymakers and many others to help make decisions in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development and more.   "The Census of Agriculture is USDA's largest data collection endeavor, providing some of the most widely...

(Posted Fri. Dec 1st, 2017)

The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee reminds interested members that it is now accepting applications for the 2019 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 Wesley Spurlock. “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...