NEWS STORIES

JANUARY 2018

(Posted Wed. Jan 31st, 2018)

Keywords: Farm Policy

With only days remaining, the National Corn Growers Association reminds farmers to complete U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2017 Census of Agriculture before the February 5 deadline.   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 used statistics in the industry," said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. "Collected in service to American agriculture since 1840, the census gives every producer the opportunity to be represented so that informed decisions can support their efforts to provide...

Annual Report Shows How NCGA Lays the Groundwork for Success

(Posted Mon. Jan 29th, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association’s annual report for the 2017 fiscal year is now available online.  Themed “Groundwork,” the 2017 report spotlights efforts made by NCGA throughout the year to reach long-term, strategic goals to improve the future of the industry by increasing demand. A printed copy of the report, which also features current financial information, will also be sent to all active members.   Click here to view the full report.   “It could be applying fertilizer to ensure a healthy crop. Or applying crop protection products to reduce pressure from weeds and insects that steal a crop’s potential. Perhaps it’s adding a cover crop. Whatever practices you use on your farm, you understand the importance of laying groundwork- taking care of the little things that give you an opportunity for a successful harvest,” said NCGA Chairman Wesley Spurlock, a grower from Texas, in a joint letter to readers co-authored by NCGA CEO Chris Novak.     “Laying the groundwork is...

(Posted Thu. Jan 25th, 2018)

Keywords: Conservation

Family farmers face daily challenges from low prices to battling insect and weed pests but today they are digging deeper to find a new resiliency in their management tactics as they face weather extremes.  Heavier rainfall, more total rain, changing growing seasons, warmer night-time temperatures, shifting frost dates, and higher total CO2 levels frame the climate puzzle.   The National Corn Growers Association’s Climate Task Force is working to better understand these developments and conducted its third meeting this week in Chicago. However, the meetings follow months of study and engagement to have a clearer picture of emerging agronomic challenges.   “Attaining profitability and sustainability in tandem are key goals for corn farmers. Changes in climate patterns have short- and long-term implications for farmers who provide feed, food and fuel for the world,” said Keith Alverson, chairman of the Climate Task Force. “This producer-led, multi-disciplinary team is charged with...

NCGA Welcomes New Director of Accounting & Administration

(Posted Mon. Jan 22nd, 2018)

The National Corn Growers Association welcomes Marie Nelson as its new Director of Accounting and Administration.  Nelson, who began last week, will be working with current Director of Accounting Darcy Wolf to prepare to assume responsibilities for this crucial area of work prior to Wolf’s retirement, which will come in late June of this year.   “It is bittersweet that Darcy will be retiring, and thus leaving us, in June,” said NCGA Vice President of Operations Fred Stemme. “At the same time, I am thrilled to be adding someone with Marie’s experience and credentials to the NCGA team. We all look forward to working with her and look forward with excited anticipation to seeing the improvements she will make.”   Nelson most recently served as Chief Financial Officer for Galen Insurance Company in St. Louis. Prior to that, she worked as an internal auditor for AMC Entertainment in Kansas City. Her career also includes time with DST Systems, Nova Star Financial and MetLife. Nelson...

(Posted Fri. Jan 19th, 2018)

Last week, the National Corn Growers Association was recognized for excellence at the Region 2 National Agri-Marketing Association Awards Ceremony. The poster accompanying the association’s 2017 World of Corn publication took first place for the region in the Company- or Producer-Funded PR Campaign Element Directed Toward Consumers category. Additionally, the Missouri Corn Growers Association took a merit prize for its Missouri-specific outreach efforts on atrazine re-registration themed “Fight the EPA.” The South Dakota Corn Growers Association took first place in Region 3 in the category for Direct Mail - Directed at Farmers, Growers and Ranchers.   The World of Corn, a publication NCGA puts out annually, features a statistical guide that shows in a clear, graphic manner the facts about U.S. corn production and use. This publication, which is generously sponsored by Monsanto, includes unique additional components every year. In 2017, the publication, which is sent to members...

(Posted Thu. Jan 18th, 2018)

Keywords: Trade

A broad-based group of over 30 organizations representing growers, refiners, producers, transporters, retailers and consumers announced the formation of Americans for Farmers & Families (AFF), a coalition that will work to ensure President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders understand the importance of preserving and modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to America’s agricultural and retail economies.   Since taking effect in 1994, the positive impacts of NAFTA extend beyond America’s farming community, and have helped the food and agricultural industries to grow to support more than 43 million jobs.  But it is rural economies and communities that are among the biggest winners under NAFTA, the very same communities that powered President Trump to victory in 2016.   Under NAFTA, food and agriculture exports have more than quadrupled and account for 25 percent of American exports.  One in every 10 acres of American crops is for export to NAFTA partners. ...

(Posted Fri. Jan 12th, 2018)

America’s corn farmers are projected to produce a larger corn crop than previously expected according to U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. The increased production forecast is the result of increased yield projections, with the national average now projected at 176.6 bushels per acre. This new record-high yield projection accompanies record yield projections from major corn-producing states such as Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio.   "While the range of prices seen rose slightly, it is obvious that America’s farmers have supplied an abundance of affordable, sustainable corn," said National Corn Growers Association Chairman Wesley Spurlock, a farmer from Texas. "Given the incredible resource U.S. farmers supply consistently, it is imperative that we have public policies and farmer-led programs that ensure corn is utilized fully and that America’s farm families can return to a more favorable economic condition.   “From supporting export markets through important...

(Posted Wed. Jan 10th, 2018)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Southern corn growers will pull their planters out of the shed and into the field in only a few short weeks. Bt corn will be planted on millions of acres across the South, protecting plants from damaging insects like corn borer and corn earworm. But to ensure that the technology remains effective, farmers in cotton-growing areas must plant a structured refuge alongside their Bt corn.   “Planting a refuge is the single most important thing we can do to keep Bt traits working for years to come,” said Chad Wetzel, a farmer from Tom Bean, Texas, and member of the National Corn Growers Association Freedom to Operate Action Team. “If we lose Bt technology as a defense against insects, growing corn will change dramatically.”   Southern corn growers must plant their fields to include either a 20 or 50 percent refuge, depending on the Bt hybrid planted. The purpose of planting a refuge area is to prevent pests from developing resistance to the Bt technology. That refuge ensures that the...

(Posted Tue. Jan 9th, 2018)

For more than seven years, CommonGround volunteers have served as resources for consumers who have questions about how their food is grown. In a newly-released video, CommonGround Iowa volunteer Sara Ross shares her perspective on plant breeding innovation with the help of a fellow mom – and plant breeder – Jessie Alt.   “Plant breeding innovation will help us continue to be sustainable and improve on our sustainability so our sons can one day possibly step into the role of farmer on our family farm,” says Ross.   Changes in the earth’s climate, along with new pests and diseases can impact our food supply. For that reason, among others, farmers are focused on continuous improvement and new technologies that allow them to produce more with less. Plant breeding innovation is one example of agricultural progress that has benefits for farmers, consumers and the environment.   “Plant breeding innovation is about using our best technology to bring plants forward to help people grow...

(Posted Wed. Jan 3rd, 2018)

As we prepare to ring in 2018, “getting healthy” will be a common New Year’s Resolution among millions of people. But for farmers, the New Year is also an opportunity to set goals for getting their soil healthy, a practice taking on elevated importance for protecting natural resources, and helping farmers manage extreme weather, increase profitability and sequester carbon.   The Soil Health Partnership has developed the Top 5 Resolutions for 2018, from your soil’s point of view:   1. Watch my nutrient intake. Using science-based nutrient management strategies on the farm can help curb unwanted loss and improve farm economics. Split nitrogen (N) fertilizer applications, or dividing total nitrogen application into two or more treatments per year, can help growers enhance nutrient efficiency, promote optimum yields and protect the environment. PHOTO: Wes and Roger Zylstra, SHP farmers in Lynville, Iowa, are leaders in advanced nutrient management.   2. Cover new ground. Growing...