NEWS STORIES

FEBRUARY 2019

The Bottom-Line Benefits of Sustainability

(Posted Tue. Feb 26th, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability Conservation

In today’s economic environment it’s more important than ever to focus on business survival as a key element of all the management decisions you make, and this is true of efforts to make the farm more sustainable too.   As agriculture and society become more focused on sustainability, efforts that emphasize the bottom-line benefits of moving to more sustainable practices are on the rise. And, this week, that’s the focus of a special Learning Center session at this year’s Commodity Classic sponsored by National Corn Growers Association.    So, join Shefali Mehta, executive director of soil and sustainability, NCGA; Nathan Fields, NCGA vice president of production and sustainability and Suzy Friedman, senior director of agricultural sustainability, Environmental Defense Fund on March 1 from 2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. in room W208 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.   Fields says there is an emerging pathway to cleaner water, healthier soil and a potential income...

NCGA Announces Brooke Appleton, VP of Public Policy

(Posted Fri. Feb 22nd, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association today welcomed Brooke Appleton back to the NCGA Washington, D.C. office as the organization’s new Vice President of Public Policy.   Appleton served as the Chief of Staff to USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky since September of 2017, assisting the Deputy in leading operational change throughout USDA as well as serving as a senior advisor to both the Deputy and the Secretary on biofuels. Prior to her work at USDA, Appleton was the Director of Public Policy and Political Strategy for NCGA.   “I am excited to be returning to the corn family and eager to get to work,” Appleton said. “America’s corn farmers feed and fuel the world and it is an honor and a privilege to advocate for them in Washington, D.C.”   “It’s a pleasure to welcome Brooke back to the NCGA office,” NCGA CEO Jon Doggett said. “Corn farmers will be well-served by Brooke in this leadership role.”   Appleton has prior experience at the National Association of Wheat Growers,...

NCGA USMEF Study Highlights the Value to Corn Producers through Red Meat Exports

(Posted Thu. Feb 21st, 2019)

Keywords: exports animal agriculture livestock

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) partnered with the U.S. Meat Export Federation to update a study on the value of red meat exports to domestic U.S. corn growers. The original study was conducted in 2015. In 2018, the study showed beef and pork exports used a combined total of 14.9 million tons of corn and DDGS, which equates to an additional 459.7 million bushels of corn produced – an increase of 29 percent over the 2015 projections.   Other highlights from the updated study:   Since 2015, one in every four bushels of added feed demand for corn is due to beef and pork exports. About 11 percent of the price of corn this year will be derived from red meat exports. Red meat exports’ impact on corn price is 39 cents per bushel (based on the annual average price of $3.53 per bushel). There would be a loss of $5.7 billion in corn value without red meat exports.   “It’s important to continue to foster these types of relationships to continue to grow demand for red...

Planting is Coming and So Are the Pests. Are You Ready?

(Posted Wed. Feb 20th, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability Conservation production

If you haven’t looked into the innovative and proactive Take Action initiative of late, it might be a great time to give the widely expanded program supported by National Corn Growers Association and a host of partners a closer look.   The great news is the educational campaign is evolving and growing at a fast pace and now provides information on dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds, and fungicide and insect resistance.   Finding a clearer path to a more sustainable and profitable way to farm is made much easier thanks to Take Action. The mission here is to choose the best available tools and technology for the environment, your balance sheet and all with an eye on preserving access to these important tools. Informed management is just smart farming.   Take Action on Weeds, which the National Corn Growers Association promotes as a resource of farmers combating herbicide resistance issues, was developed by the United Soybean Board. Based on that success new technical...

Collaborative Program Brings Ag Leaders Together to Sharpen Skills

(Posted Tue. Feb 19th, 2019)

Corn farmers joined with their counterparts from other ag-focused organizations in Raleigh, N.C. and Washington, D.C. last week for the revised Leadership At Its Best Program, sponsored by Syngenta. The new structure of the program allows leaders from eleven associations to network and hone their leadership skills in a collaborative environment.   During their time in Raleigh, the class explored how to increase their efficacy as advocates both in the public policy and media arenas. In addition to training sessions, the group delved into emerging topics such as gene editing, maximum residue limits and the future of digital ag. The latter part of the week when the attendees were in Washington, their focus shifted to building their personal advocacy plan and learning about the increasing role of social media in public policy.  Program participants also held meetings with their representatives and senators.   “Last week was a very good example of ag groups coming together to look...

USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue Will Be Keynote Speaker of 2019 Commodity Classic

(Posted Tue. Feb 19th, 2019)

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Commodity Classic, held Feb. 28-March 2 in Orlando, Fla. Commodity Classic is one of the largest agriculture industry events, with close to 10 thousand attendees annually the past three years.  Perdue will speak during the General Session, which is open to registered event attendees and is scheduled for Friday, March 1, at 9:00 a.m. at the Orange County Convention Center.   Secretary Perdue is expected to share current news and perspectives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), with topics including international trade, farm bill implementation, rural development and the role of agriculture in America’s food security and economic health.   Before Secretary Perdue, the General Session will include comments from leaders of the five associations that present Commodity Classic each year: American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers,...

We Love Ethanol

(Posted Thu. Feb 14th, 2019)

Keywords: ethanol

Happy Valentine’s Day! No matter how you celebrate the day, if you celebrate at all, we here at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) are thinking about the top 10 reasons why we love ethanol.   Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40-45% compared to conventional gasoline. 16.1 billion gallons of ethanol was produced in 2018 in the United States, along with 41.3 million metric tons of distillers grains, a value-added animal feed ingredient. Ethanol is homegrown and displaces roughly 580 million barrels of oil. Exports of ethanol grew in 2018, with exports increasing 20% to 1.6 billion gallons, a new record. 5.5 billion bushels of corn is used for ethanol and distiller’s dried grains (DDGS) production. The ethanol industry contributes $46 billion to the GDP. Consumers have driven more than 7 billion miles on E15 without a single reported negative impact. There are 1,700 stations in 30 states offering consumers...

New Study Reaffirms the Environmental Benefits of the RFS

(Posted Thu. Feb 14th, 2019)

Keywords: ethanol

The growing body of research on the environmental benefits of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) just got bigger. A study released last week highlights some of these benefits including improved air quality and public health.   Since the enacting of the pro-biofuel policy in 2007, the use of biofuels in our transportation fuel supply has reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 600 million metric tons. This is roughly equivalent to shutting down 154 coal-fired power plants or removing half of our nation’s cars from the road for an entire year!   The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) contracted with Life Cycle Associates, a California-based scientific consulting firm, to update its 2014 GHG analysis to see how actual CO2 reductions match up with the expectations set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The use of biofuels—predominantly corn ethanol—reduced emissions far more than what the agency expected (422 million metric tons).   The report attributes the...

Soil Health Partnership Call for Proposals

(Posted Wed. Feb 13th, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability Conservation

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) announced it is accepting proposals for partnerships and collaboration for 2019. SHP encourages any organization or individuals who have an interest in working together to submit ideas.   “At the SHP, we collaborate with a diverse network of partners ranging from universities to industry and government groups to non-profits,” said Dr. Shefali Mehta, executive director of the Soil Health Partnership. “These broad partnerships enable SHP to maximize the impact of our work. This year we are making this specific call for proposals to ensure that we continue to seek out diverse partners and include a fuller range of ideas.”   Applicants are required to complete the Request for Partnership form on the SHP website. The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 15, 2019.   “Whether working with soil science or agronomy experts, developing a partnership in a new state as we expand our farmer network, or fueling a graduate student’s passion for soil...

RFA Outlines 2019 Priorities at National Ethanol Conference

(Posted Tue. Feb 12th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

The Renewable Fuels Association kicked-off their National Ethanol Conference today, looking back at the many battles that the ethanol industry has fought the past year.   RFA President & CEO Geoff Cooper opened the conference with the State of the Industry report. “Our industry made significant strides in 2018 to expand the market for E15 and flex fuels like E85. Thanks to the persistent and vocal advocacy efforts of our industry, our partners in agriculture, and our champions in Congress and the Administration, we got a firm commitment from President Trump in October to eliminate what he called an “unnecessary and ridiculous” regulatory barrier to year-round E15 sales before this summer driving season begins.”   “The U.S. ethanol industry produced a record 16.1 billion gallons of high-octane, clean-burning renewable fuel in 2018, up about 200 million gallons from 2017 and the sixth straight annual increase in production. Meanwhile, you churned out 41.3 million metric tons of...

The Next Wave: Growth Energy Celebrates 10 Years

(Posted Mon. Feb 11th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

Last week, the annual Growth Energy Executive Leadership Conference was held, celebrating their 10-year anniversary. The conference focused on 2019 priorities, E15 and retailer expansion.   On Friday, National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Market Development Jim Bauman moderated a panel with Kansas Corn’s CEO Greg Krissek, Illinois Corn’s Executive Director Rod Weinzierl and Nebraska Corn’s Director of Market Development Roger Berry.   The panel focused on bolstering demand for biofuels. The group talked about current state and national initiatives and outlined their priorities for the next year. “U.S. corn yields continue to grow by almost 2 bushels per acre.  If this growth continues, our industry will produce around 2 billion additional acres every 10 years,” said Bauman. “The need for new U.S. corn demand is clear.  Expanding ethanol demand represents an essential pathway to grinding additional corn.  Corn farmers have and continue to support the ethanol...

NCGA Remembers Congressman John Dingell

(Posted Fri. Feb 8th, 2019)

Former Congressman John Dingell, who represented Southeast Michigan in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 60 years passed away on Thursday. He was 92 years old.   Dingell was the longest-serving member of Congress, holding office from 1955-2014. He played significant roles on landmark pieces of legislation impacting health care, environment, food safety and civil rights. He was also a major player in enacting both the RFS1 and RFS2, increasing market demand for U.S. corn.   “Congressman Dingell was successful, in part, because he took full stock of the issue at hand, bluntly asking those visiting his office what the problem was and how it could be solved, and then using the legislative process to find a solution,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett.   “He was a great American. We don’t have many like him in Congress now, and our nation is poorer for it,” Doggett added.

Annual Report Highlights NCGA’s Farmer-led, Farmer-driven Work in 2018

(Posted Mon. Feb 4th, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association’s annual report for the 2018 fiscal year is now available online.  Themed “Deeply Rooted,” the 2018 report spotlights efforts made by NCGA throughout the year to reach long-term, strategic goals to improve the future of the industry by creating opportunities through trade and ethanol as well as a strong support system through the farm bill. 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.   “Our mission, to create and increase opportunities for corn growers, and vision, to sustainably feed and fuel a growing world, are deeply rooted in all we do. You’ll find on the pages of this annual report the highlights of how National Corn Growers Association fulfilled its mission and vision over the past year,” said NCGA Chairman Kevin Skunes, a grower from North Dakota, in a joint letter to readers co-authored by NCGA CEO Jon...

NCGA Farmer Leaders and Staff Attending #CattleCon19

(Posted Fri. Feb 1st, 2019)

Keywords: LIvestock

This week, beef producers from across the country are in New Orleans for the annual Cattle Industry Convention and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show.   National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) board member and Missouri farmer Gary Porter serves as the liaison between NCGA & NCBA and is attending the event this week. “Beef is one of the largest customers of the U.S. corn crop,” said Porter. “It’s important to engage with this large end user of corn. In fact, more than one billion bushels of corn are consumed each year by beef production in the U.S.”   “Since 2015, corn utilized in U.S. beef and pork exports has grown by 29 percent,” Porter added. “Corn farmers see a return of 39-cents per bushel from red meat exports, so this is an important industry to support.”   Last year, NCGA & NCBA announced a partnership to offer the Cattlemen’s Education Series to state beef affiliates. The Feed, Food and Industrial Action Team (FFIAT) is sponsoring the program...