NEWS STORIES

DECEMBER 2018

Commodity Classic Offers Wide Range of Unique Orlando Area Tours

(Posted Fri. Dec 21st, 2018)

Attendees at the 2019 Commodity Classic in Orlando, Fla., can make their experience even more memorable by signing up for one or more of the fascinating tours available during the event.  Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, February 28 through Saturday, March 2 in Orlando.   Optional tours are offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday of that week and are available on a first-come basis until they are sold out. Options include:          •  A visit to the Kennedy Space Center        •  A tour of historic Winter Park        •  A “Behind the Seeds” tour at Epcot        •  A cruise on the St. Johns River through Blue Spring State Park         •  An afternoon of family fun at Gatorland        •  A visit to Orlando Tree Trek Adventure        •  A tour of Leu Gardens and shopping on Park Avenue   “These optional tours are a great way for families to make the most of their time in Orlando and to have one-of-a-kind experiences they can’t have anywhere else,” said Wesley...

2018 Farm Bill Signed

(Posted Thu. Dec 20th, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

President Donald Trump today signed the 2018 Farm Bill (the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018) into law with NCGA President Lynn Chrisp and Chairman Kevin Skunes in attendance. Today’s action follows last week’s overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill in both the House and Senate.   “NCGA is very pleased that our farmers will be able to look forward to a new year with the certainty of a new farm bill. Between depressed commodity prices, record low farm incomes and tariffs and trade uncertainty, today’s signing is very welcome news."   NCGA’s members took an active role in the 2018 Farm Bill’s development, ensuring organization priorities like continued support for crop insurance and improvements to the ARC-CO program, were included in the final legislation. Members visited with their representatives and sent emails and made phone calls to Capitol Hill offices stressing the importance of getting a new farm bill signed into law this year.   Chrisp thanked NCGA members...

(Posted Thu. Dec 20th, 2018)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Key agricultural and farm groups today praised the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) public release of the final rule implementing the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.   Designed to inform consumers about the presence of bioengineered genetic material in their food for marketing purposes, USDA’s disclosure standard stands firmly with science in that it validates the fact that there is no health, safety or nutritional difference between bioengineered crops and comparable conventional or organic crops. This is a position held by nearly every major national and international scientific and health organization, including the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization.   “America’s corn farmers need a consistent, transparent system to provide consumers with information without stigmatizing important, safe technology. Thus, we are pleased with the issuance of these rules and look forward to reviewing the...

NCGA Sponsorship with DigestData Connects Start-Ups with Trusted Partners

(Posted Wed. Dec 19th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol

In a first of its kind partnership, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has joined with Biofuels Digest to support the creation and launch of DigestData, an online database designed to help facilitate networking and the transfer of information between interested parties working in the bio-based industry.  NCGA’s sponsorship provides DigestData users with free access to search research and pilot scale facilities along with facility details such as certifications, available equipment, and primary contact information.   “The goal was to bring more visibility to these facilities and projects in the United States,” said Feed, Food and Industrial Action Team Chair Dan Wesely. “Our sponsorship ensures that this information is always available for free to those who sign up and subscribe. We want companies to recognize the number of facilities that are located right here in the Midwest, close to the untapped potential that corn can provide as a feedstock. DigestData provides a...

Register for the Soil Health Summit While There’s Still Time!

(Posted Tue. Dec 18th, 2018)

The clock is ticking for registering for the Soil Health Summit, January 15-16 in St. Louis. For the first time ever, this Soil Health Partnership event is open to any farmer, agronomist or educator. But don’t wait another day! You must book your room by 2:00 p.m. Central on Dec. 21 for block pricing.   “Our farmers are facing unprecedented headwinds creating tremendous challenges for many,” said Shefali Mehta, Soil Health Partnership executive director. “People have asked me why farmers should think about sustainability in a climate when they are not sure if they can keep their farms afloat to next year. Sustainability means weathering these shocks and ensuring your farm and your land are healthy and viable moving forward.”   Mehta added that this marks the first year for a fully analyzable set of year-over-year data.   “We will be sharing these initial insights and our data and analysis plan at our Summit,” she said.   Peer-to-peer learning opportunities complement the...

(Posted Mon. Dec 17th, 2018)

Keywords: Trade Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association today expressed disappointment that corn farmers impacted by trade tariffs and ongoing trade uncertainty would receive virtually no relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Facilitation Program (MFP).   NCGA’s comments follow USDA’s announcement of the second round of MFP payments, again setting the payment rate for corn at just one cent per bushel, despite the fact that corn farmers have suffered an average 44 cent per bushel loss since tariffs were first announced.   “Farmers of all crops have felt the impact of trade tariffs,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “NCGA appreciates the progress the administration has made to advance ethanol, reach a new agreement with Mexico and Canada and move forward on negotiations with Japan, but the benefits of these efforts will take time to materialize and farmers are hurting now.”   “One cent per bushel is woefully inadequate to even begin to cover the losses being felt by...

NCGA Announces 2018 Yield Contest Winners

(Posted Mon. Dec 17th, 2018)

With improved seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices, corn growers achieved impressive yields despite weather-related adversity in the National Corn Growers Association 2018 National Corn Yield Contest.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 54th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   “While participating in friendly competition, yield contest participants create and share information that shapes the future of the industry,” said Roger Zylstra, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “Contest winners, at the state and national levels, find innovative ways to help their fellow farmers excel in a variety of situations. Emphasizing innovation both from growers and technology providers, our contest enables us to meet the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”   The 18 winners in six production categories had verified yields averaging more than 349 bushels per acre, compared to the projected national...

(Posted Thu. Dec 13th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association Nominating Committee reminds interested members that it is now accepting applications for the 2020 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.   “As a true grassroots organization, we rely upon farmers to volunteer to lead, helping to shape policy and drive efforts,” said NCGA Chairman and Nominating Committee Chair Kevin Skunes. “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. Their willingness to step forward as volunteer leaders play a crucial role in building NCGA’s future successes. 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...

NCGA Statement on Farm Bill Passage

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2018)

Keywords: farm policy farm bill

December 12, 2018 – National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp today made the following statement after Congressional approval of the 2018 Farm Bill, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (H.R. 2). The legislation passed the Senate 87-13 Tuesday and the House 369-47 today. It now goes to President Trump to be signed into law.   “The certainty of a new farm bill is very welcome news for farmers as they begin to look toward the new year. NCGA is pleased to see a return to the bipartisanship that has been a hallmark of past farm bills and we look forward to the President quickly signing the bill into law.   “To put it bluntly, the farm economy stinks. Between depressed commodity prices, record low farm incomes and tariffs and trade uncertainty, farmers are facing difficult decisions. Getting the farm bill passed, and signed into law, is one less thing they need to worry about.   “NCGA is most pleased to see the bill maintains support for a robust crop insurance...

Tennessee Corn Farmers Vote in Favor of Statewide Checkoff

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association congratulates corn farmers in Tennessee on the passage of a referendum to establish a corn checkoff program. The statewide vote authorized a one cent per bushel assessment of corn sold to support in-state promotions of corn. NCGA, along with several state affiliates, supported the efforts in Tennessee and are pleased to have provided assistance.   “Tennessee Corn is excited to have passed the checkoff. The checkoff will allow us to fund research, market development and promote increased production and sales of Tennessee corn,” said Tennessee Corn Growers Association President Mike Holman. “We thank NCGA Director of State and Industry Relations and Development Joe Hodes and all of NCGA for their support. We couldn’t have done it without them and look forward to working together into the future.”   Funds collected through the newly established checkoff will support research, promotion and education activities designed to increase corn grind...

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance® Elects New Chairman and Launches Farm, Food, Facts Podcast

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2018)

Keywords: usfra

With U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) new 2.0 focus of elevating farmers and ranchers as the solution for sustainability, the organization is proud to announce National Corn Growers Association Past President Chip Bowling as its fourth Chairman.   Since USFRA’s inception in 2010, Chip’s predecessors include Bob Stallman, Nancy Kavazanjian and Brad Greenway. Also announced at the fall board meeting in Kansas City, coinciding with NAFB Convention, was USFRA’s new Farm, Food, Facts, which is the exclusive podcast on food and agriculture for retailers, CPGs, sustainability supply chain leaders and food trade media.   Elected at the USFRA board meeting on November 8, Chip Bowling will be joined by a new executive committee, including:   Vice Chairman: Scott VanderWal, representing American Farm Bureau Federation Treasurer: Blair Van Zetten, representing American Egg Board Secretary: Anne Meis, representing Nebraska Soybean Board At-Large: Jennifer Houston,...

Decreased Ethanol Market Demand May Lead to Higher Ending Stocks for U.S. Corn

(Posted Wed. Dec 12th, 2018)

Keywords: production

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and demand Estimate (WASDE) report released today, decreased demand forecasts for U.S. corn from ethanol markets will impact ending stocks, which are projected 45 million bushels higher than the previous month.   Notably, ethanol demand forecasts reflect data showing that corn use during the quarter from September through November fell relative to prior years for the first time since 2012.   The corn price forecast remained at $3.60 per bushel at the midpoint while the range narrowed to between $3.25 and $3.95.   Click here to read the full report.  

NCGA Statement on WOTUS Rule

(Posted Tue. Dec 11th, 2018)

Keywords: wotus policy

National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp made the following statement on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of the new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The new rule replaces the 2015 WOTUS rule that would have increased regulatory burdens and costs for farmers.   “Farmers rely on clean water and are committed to protecting our environment and the communities where we live and work. With a clear understanding of what is and is not jurisdictional under the Clean Water Act, farmers can implement stewardship practices such as grass waterways and buffer strips without the burden of bureaucratic red tape or the fear of legal action.   “NCGA looks forward to fully reviewing the new WOTUS rule to ensure that it provides clear jurisdictional boundaries to farmers, protects our nation’s water and can be implemented without confusion.”

NCGA Testifies in Support of RFS

(Posted Tue. Dec 11th, 2018)

Keywords: ethanol policy rfs

Texas farmer and National Corn Growers Association past president and chairman, Wesley Spurlock, today testified on behalf of NCGA at a House Energy and Commerce Environment Subcommittee hearing to review a discussion draft of the 21st Century Transportation Fuels Act.   Spurlock told the Subcommittee of the significant opportunities the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has created for farmers.   “The RFS is one of the most ambitious and successful energy, environmental and economic policies Congress has enacted, not only for farmers and rural communities but also for drivers, our air quality and our nation’s energy security. As use of homegrown renewable fuels has grown and as farmers have become more productive using fewer resources, the benefits of the RFS have exceeded those Congress projected,” Spurlock said.   Spurlock’s testimony cited farmers’ increased productivity, increasing their average yield by more than 25 bushels per acre, or 17 percent, since 2007, as well as...

Don’t Forget to Complete End of Year USDA NASS Crop Production Surveys

(Posted Mon. Dec 10th, 2018)

Keywords: NASS ARC

During the first two weeks of December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service asks farmers for their final harvest information including harvested acreage, production and storage. The Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency, among many others, use this important information to serve farmers and ranchers with farm and risk management programs while NASS uses FSA data, in combination with remote sensing and survey data, to compile their reports.   The data compiled by NASS impacts many farms directly as it will be used to determine county crop yields for the ARC County program under the current farm bill.   NASS provides confidential, consistent, comparable data on a routine schedule year in and year out for use by USDA and by any farmer, rancher, researcher, educator, market analyst, agribusiness, commodity association or member of the public equally and at no cost, for their unique needs.   As always, individual responses to...

NCGA Proudly Announces Stemme Promoted to COO

(Posted Thu. Dec 6th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association proudly announces that Fred Stemme has been promoted to the office of Chief Operating Officer. Previously, the Vice President of Marketing and Development, he leads a nine-member team responsible for accounting, administration, diversity, facilities, fundraising, grassroots advocacy, human resources, IT, industry relations, leadership training, membership recruitment, retention and services, organizational meetings and state relations.   “Fred has provided more than a decade of distinguished service to our association and, over the years, his responsibilities have continually increased to better capitalize on his talents and enthusiasm for this work,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett. “Certainly, this promotion comes as a well-deserved recognition of the work that he already does. We are grateful for the work that he already does and feel confident that he will continue to serve farmers in even more impactful ways in years to come.”   During...

Soil Health Partnership Expands New Program to Grow Network and Data
Phase 2 of pilot Associate Program announced on World Soil Day

(Posted Tue. Dec 4th, 2018)

Keywords: sustainability soil health partnership

Just in time for World Soil Day on December 5, the Soil Health Partnership announced it is expanding a pilot project to give more farmers access to the soil health network.    As the organization launches phase 2 of its pilot Associate Program, it will invite 75 farmers to enroll in 2019. This will enable more farmers to join SHP in its mission of using science and data to support farmers in adopting agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.    The economic component of soil health has taken on an increasing level of urgency during a difficult farm economy, said Shefali Mehta, executive director of the Soil Health Partnership.   “We’ve seen increasing demand from farmers who would like to join our network,” Mehta said. “Expanding the pilot phase of our Associate Program provides a great number of farmers with access to a scientific platform to evaluate soil health as part of a comprehensive management strategy.”   Joining...

General Session at Commodity Classic  Promises to Inspire and Inform

(Posted Tue. Dec 4th, 2018)

The General Session at Commodity Classic is one of the most highly-rated experiences during the three-day farmer-driven event—and the 2019 version promises to be as well.   The 2019 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 28 through Saturday, Mar. 2 in Orlando, Fla.   Keynote speaker for Friday’s General Session will be Christine Cashen, known worldwide for her ability to entertain and energize audiences.  Cashen will deliver a fast-paced, hilarious program on handling conflict and reducing stress—as well as tips on life, love, work and happiness.   U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has also been invited to speak.    The session will also include the nation’s commodity association leaders who will discuss the hottest issues facing the nation’s corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum producers.  Additionally, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers will provide an update on their industry.   “The General Session is where the true spirit of Commodity Classic...