Diving into the Changing Nutrient Profile of Distillers Feed Products

(Posted Tue. Mar 26th, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) held the first Distillers Feed Products Nutrition Roundtable, bringing together animal ag partners, animal nutrition experts and ethanol technology providers to discuss the changing number and nutrient profile of distillers feed products.   “Our goal is to start a meaningful dialogue across segments of the supply chain,” said NCGA Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “This is just one of the many steps to better understanding how new corn fractionation technologies are being deployed in dry mills in the U.S.  These technologies create value by separating out the various components of corn to allow improved utilization of the subsequent product streams.  While this technology has a lot of potential for early adopters and could increase corn grind, it will require a change in how the value chain views and uses the products of ethanol plants.  Gathering stakeholder input and starting a dialog early should help the rollout of this...

China Purchases U.S. Corn

(Posted Mon. Mar 25th, 2019)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service announced Friday an export sale of 300,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to China.   “The corn purchase by China announced today in USDA’s export sales report is very welcome news for U.S. agriculture, and we see it as a positive sign for the U.S.-China relationship as intense negotiations continue. The outcome of these talks is crucial to U.S. grains and ethanol, and we appreciate continued engagement by our negotiators and their counterparts in China,” U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight said.   Sleight also discussed the purchases and ongoing trade negotiations with Agri-Pulse, telling the publication,  “This is very encouraging — that the negotiations have been going well and getting after some of the key issues that have been blocking trade with the U.S. and China on corn." 

Soil Health Partnership Announces Several Open Positions

(Posted Mon. Mar 25th, 2019)

As the Soil Health Partnership heads into its fifth year of long-term data collection on working farms, the organization is hiring for several roles to support its expanding footprint. Open roles include Development Director, a Michigan Research Manager, Soil Health Kansas-Nebraska Field Manager, and Soil Health Minnesota Field Manager.   The Development Director plays a critical role in leading the relationships and partnership development for the SHP. The Development Director will provide internal support to the SHP Executive Director and work closely with the team of National Directors. This position will partner with the SHP National staff to build a comprehensive partnership and relationship plan to ensure long-term support of our unique on-farm science program. The position will also provide oversight of and contribution to communication efforts.   The Michigan Soil Health Research Manager will provide technical assistance and research collaboration for the Soil Health...

Devastating Flooding Strikes Farmers, Highlights Generosity of Ag Community

(Posted Fri. Mar 22nd, 2019)

News reports showing the devastating flooding in Nebraska show the incredible tragedy facing so many farmers this spring and compounding the impacts of an already weak agricultural economy. As farm families face these hardships, the National Corn Growers Association extends its deepest empathy and support.   This already devastating situation appears likely to hit even more of America’s farm families. Farmers have been impacted by record flooding in the upper Mississippi and Missouri River basins including Minnesota and Iowa, as well as Nebraska, already this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts an elevated risk for flooding through May. Nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48 states face an elevated risk of flooding, with the potential for major or moderate flooding in 25 states.   While these times of crisis place so many at risk, they also serve to highlight the incredible generosity and resiliency in rural America. With many states coordinating...

Chinese Leaders Visit NCGA St. Louis Office

(Posted Wed. Mar 20th, 2019)

Two business leaders from the People’s Republic of China visited the National Corn Growers Association’s St. Louis office yesterday to discuss the U.S. corn industry and NCGA’s role in working to create opportunities for corn farmers.   Robyn Allscheid, NCGA director of Research & Productivity, said the visitors were intrigued by NCGA’s focused mission of sustainably feeding and fueling a growing world in a way that is profitable for our nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn farmers nationwide as well as the 300,000 growers who contribute through corn checkoff programs.   Rong Zhang and Rui Li are touring America as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The program connects current and emerging leaders who travel to the U.S. for programs that reflect their professional interests and U.S. Foreign Policy Goals.   Zhang, manager Dalian Yigu Information Consulting Co., Ltd., and Li, an Associate...

Consider Pollinator Plantings as You Gear Up for Spring

(Posted Tue. Mar 19th, 2019)

If you are a Monarch butterfly supporter buckle up because here’s some good news. The yearly count of the Eastern Monarch butterfly population that overwinters in Mexico was released recently, showing an increase of 144 percent over last year’s count.   After years of struggles with a host of challenges from bad weather to loss of habitat, the large butterfly count - the highest count since 2006 comes as welcome news. But not too fast, because Western Monarchs continue to struggle due to drought, wildfires, pesticides and loss of habitat.   Landowners and farmers are uniquely situated to support the Monarch and are already making a difference. Habitat plantings can fit into many niches on the agricultural landscape, including conservation lands, grazing lands, rights-of-way, field margins, field borders, pivot corners, conservation lands, ditches, buffers and other low-productive lands. Milkweed and other nectar-producing flowers planted in these areas yield multiple on-farm...

(Posted Mon. Mar 18th, 2019)

Keywords: Research

Corn researchers from around the world gathered in St. Louis last week for the annual Maize Genetics Conference. The conference covers a broad range of subject areas and allows attendees from academia, industry, and funding agencies to learn about the most current scientific and technical advances in the maize genetics community.   Program directors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation were also present to discuss the current priorities and budget levels for their research programs. This annual conference represents a unique opportunity to stress the importance of research in areas that have substantial promise in addressing the issues most important to corn farmers.   This year, many presentations and posters highlighted the importance of the Genomes to Fields research initiative, which has been financially supported through state and national corn grower organizations. This interdisciplinary program has created an invaluable network of...

CommonGround Invites Consumers to the Conversation in New Video

(Posted Fri. Mar 15th, 2019)

CommonGround launched a new video inviting mom with food questions to a conversation about farming and food. The short piece shows the many resources available to help cut through food conversation clutter and find peace of mind in their decisions.   Filmed at the St. Louis Science Center, the video showcases real families given the options of asking a CommonGround volunteer, a blogger, a dietitian, the internet or a friend their honest questions about food. Many of those who chose to participate were excited to learn that they could ask an actual farmer, one who shared their same desire to make the best food choices for their family, about issues ranging from the use of pesticides to the nutritional value of conventional versus organic options to how farmers treat livestock. Even those who expressed a desire to look at information online reacted positively to knowing they could find information shared by women in farming at   To see the video...

(Posted Thu. Mar 14th, 2019)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today, National Ag Day, granted five additional Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE) for the 2017 compliance year, waiving 366 million gallons of biofuels from RFS compliance.   EPA’s decision today brings the total waivers from 2016 and 2017 RFS obligations to 53, amounting to 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons.  In years prior to 2016, SREs totaled less than 300 million gallons per year.   This action continues to chip away at the RFS and corn demand, hurting America’s corn farmers. NCGA has called for EPA to account for these lost volumes and disclose which refineries receive these waivers and why the waivers are justified.   The five refineries receiving today’s exemptions produced approximately 3.4 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel in 2017, resulting in 366 million Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) being exempted.    Currently, EPA has two remaining refinery exemption petitions for...

CommonGround Volunteers Spotlight Farming at “Empower and Light” Conference

(Posted Wed. Mar 13th, 2019)

Farm women volunteers involved in the CommonGround outreach program, along with state and national staff met in Kansas City, Mo., to share their experiences with the program and welcome new members earlier this week.  Over the course of three days, the participants worked intensively to gain insight into consumer questions and hone the skills that they use to share their personal story and that of modern farming with urban and suburban moms.   In addition to social media training and panels focused on consumer questions, the volunteers hosted an event for women from the Kansas City area focused on food discussions. From entering through an exhibit designed to provoke thoughts on what sources they turn to for information to a closing panel discussion featuring volunteers, a local lifestyle blogger and a dietitian, the evening sparked conversations and built relationships to bridge the divide from the field to fork.    The conference offered the volunteers and staff a chance to...