NEWS STORIES

JUNE 2019

(Posted Fri. Jun 28th, 2019)

American farmers planted 2.5 million more acres of corn in 2019 than they did the previous year, a three percent increase, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Acreage report released today. The report indicates a 1.1 million-acre net decrease from the prospective planting report released in March. At the same time, today’s report shows a 1.8 million-acre increase from the planted acre forecast issued in the June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Total corn acres planted in the United States are projected at 91.7 million.   Given the projected harvested corn acreage released in the report of 83.5 million acres and the most recent USDA estimated average national yield of 166.0 bushels per acre, farmers could harvest a crop of 13.861 billion bushels, slightly above the average over the past ten-year period.   The largest year-to-year acreage increases were seen in Kansas and North Dakota, where corn acreage increased by 530,000 and 520,000 acres...

(Posted Thu. Jun 27th, 2019)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on Wednesday released the Congressional District Profiles and Rankings from the 2017 Census of Agriculture.   “The profiles are a quick way to see what’s going on with agriculture in a particular area – to show its value at the local level,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “They provide an easy way to evaluate high-level data, compare characteristics of one district to another, and educate colleagues, policymakers, and non-farming neighbors about farming in that location.”   USDA announced the initial results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture in April. Corn is the #2 commodity by value, behind cattle and calves. The 2017 corn crop was valued at $51.2 billion.   The census is available to review in many formats on the NASS website.

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Dennis McNinch

(Posted Thu. Jun 27th, 2019)

Keywords: Corn Board Candidate

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   A life-long farmer with a deep passion for agriculture that has only grown stronger over time, Dennis McNinch gained unique experiences through off-farm work after graduating from college in the early 1980s. Now, he would like to share that combined experience in agricultural and rural finance and passion for farming to the service of others as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   McNinch decided to run for the Corn Board because he sees the need for a strong voice in agriculture to ensure that the farmers of today and generations to come are properly represented. With a passion for farming born as a small child tagging alongside his grandfather on the farm, he has gained valuable experience working both on the farm and off, with Farm Credit where he worked for 32-years. As a Corn Board member, he would listen to not only the farmers in his state but to farmers from all...

Sustainability: Making Dollars and Sense in Agricultural Sustainability Programs

(Posted Wed. Jun 26th, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability

Consumer interest in where and how their food is produced is on the rise, and many leading brands and retail companies have responded by setting ambitious sustainable sourcing commitments. However, plenty of challenges remain to make sure all participants, from farmer to retailer, share in the value from the evolving marketplace.   Better understanding this conundrum and finding solutions and incentives throughout the value chain is a key topic of discussion at the Field to Market Meeting in Oakbrook, Ill. this week. NCGA staff, including Rachel Orf, Director of Stewardship and Sustainability, are in attendance seeking opportunities to partner with other organizations and companies on projects.   Orf says many farmers are making substantive changes in their farming operations with sustainability goals in mind. But, for the progress to continue, there must be clear incentives to enhance farmers’ livelihoods such as protecting and maintaining farm productivity and better prices...

Coalition Asking Auto Manufacturers to Offer more Flex Fuel Vehicles

(Posted Wed. Jun 26th, 2019)

Keywords: ethanol

A recently formed coalition is hoping they can get enough signatures to convince auto manufacturers to offer more flex-fuel vehicles. Organizers are hoping to get at least 10,000 signatures.   Chris Schwarck of Iowa started the grassroots effort to let auto manufacturers know American drivers want more flex-fuel vehicle options, not less.   The petition states, “In recent months, auto manufacturers have signaled they are pulling back on the production of flex-fuel vehicles, which can run on a variety of higher ethanol blends, including E20, E30, and E85. If you want the option to purchase low-cost, higher-performing fuels like E30 and E85, sign the petition today and tell auto manufacturers not to limit your car and truck choices!” Click here to sign the petition today. You can read more about the petition here.  

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Mike Lefever

(Posted Wed. Jun 26th, 2019)

Keywords: Corn Board

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   After seeing the contributions of the Corn Board to the industry as a whole, Mike Lefever grew a deep respect for the work that these grower leaders do and what they accomplish for the industry as a whole. Currently chairing the Market Access Action Team, he hopes to grow his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Lefever decided to run for election to the Corn Board after his involvement with NCGA deepened his understanding of the importance of NCGA’s work to the well-being of the corn industry as a whole and the work it has done on his behalf over the years. As a Corn Board member, he would strive to be the eyes and ears of production, uses and world needs. An ambassador for the industry to both the government and the public, he would ensure that grassroots’ voices are taken into account in all NCGA’s actions regardless of the size and location of their...

SHP Testifies in Support of Investment and Collaboration in Soil Health Practices

(Posted Tue. Jun 25th, 2019)

Keywords: SHP

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) Executive Director, Dr. Shefali Mehta testified today at a House Agriculture, Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry hearing in support of investment in soil health practices.   The SHP, a program of the National Corn Growers Association, is a farmer-led effort that has built a network of over 220 farmers in 15 states and over 100 partner organizations at the federal, state and county levels over the past five years.    “Our partner farmers work with us over five years to measure the impacts of the practice change. We measure basic soil macro- and micronutrients every year on the field, as well as soil health indicators every other year. Through this process, we are creating an in-depth data set from which to support farmers’ decisions and to understand the long-term changes in soil health over time. We look for impacts on yield, input use, and the farmer’s profitability,” explained Dr. Mehta.   “The farmers we work with are exceptional...

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Tom Haag

(Posted Tue. Jun 25th, 2019)

Keywords: Corn Board Candidate; Leadership

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   Having served one term on the National Corn Growers Association, Tom Haag is running for re-election to continue serving his fellow farmers. A team-oriented leader with the ability to find real solutions, he sees Corn Board service as an important way to contribute to his industry in a concrete manner.   As a Corn Board member, Haag brings an ability to collaborate well while also acting as a strong voice on the association’s behalf to members and external stakeholders. By carefully considering the many strengths and weaknesses of all possible approaches to multifaceted issues, he consistently shares well-reasoned insights and adds depth to important conversations.   “NCGA’s strength comes from a combination of its excellent grower leadership, dedicated staff and consistent reliance upon a grassroots approach. Looking forward, we must not only continue to draw upon these strengths but push...

NCGA Ups Pressure on EPA to Follow President’s Lead on Ethanol

(Posted Thu. Jun 20th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association today will begin airing an advertisement calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow President Trump’s commitment to farmers and stop giving Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to big oil companies. These waivers negatively impact farmers by undercutting the RFS and reducing corn demand.   Watch Ad   The ad features NCGA First Vice President and Iowa farmer Kevin Ross who recently appeared at an ethanol plant with President Trump in recognition of the Administration’s support of year-round E15. During the event, Ross thanked the President for delivering on this promise but cautioned, “The EPA’s oil refinery waivers threaten to undo your good works.”   Since early 2018, EPA has granted 53 RFS small refinery exemptions (SREs), or waivers, totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. The 2017 RFS waivers effectively reduced the 15 billion-gallon implied ethanol volume to 13.18 billion gallons,...

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Chris Edgington

(Posted Thu. Jun 20th, 2019)

Keywords: Leadership Candidate

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   A committed and energetic leader, Chris Edgington does the homework necessary to contribute deeply to his service as a volunteer farmer leader. Having already served his first term on the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board, he wishes to continue this valuable work through re-election to a second term.   Having worked for many years for the betterment of agriculture, he is passionate about continuing the full range of work that NCGA carries out to benefit all farmers across the country. From the promotion of the versatility and value of corn to work in the policy and regulatory arenas, he aims to help farmers maintain the tools, policy and market opportunities that they need to thrive in the future.   As a leader, he believes strongly in doing the due diligence and coming to discussions thoroughly prepared, whether that work is a board meeting, a conference call or talking about the...

Virtual Reality Immerses Viewers in Monarch Butterflies’ 3000-Mile Migration
EDF and NCGA debut “The Monarch Effect,” an interactive experience about solutions that benefit farms and monarchs

(Posted Wed. Jun 19th, 2019)

Keywords: Pollinators

The Monarch Effect, an interactive, virtual reality experience, will debut today during National Pollinator Week in Washington, DC. Created by Environmental Defense Fund and the National Corn Growers Association, The Monarch Effect immerses viewers in monarch butterflies’ incredible 3,000-mile migration through North America. The journey begins in the oyamel fir forests of central Mexico, where tens of millions of monarchs spend the winter. Viewers then join consecutive generations of monarchs as they fly north into the American heartland looking for the milkweed and wildflower habitat they need to survive.   “Being surrounded by millions of monarchs during our shoot in Mexico was one of the most surreal and magical moments of my life,” said Eric Holst, associate vice president for working lands at EDF. “This technology transports people there, letting them feel that same sense of awe.”   Monarch populations have plummeted 90% over the past two decades due to habitat loss,...

Mesko joins SHP as Development Director

(Posted Wed. Jun 19th, 2019)

Keywords: SHP

The Soil Health Partnership is pleased to announce that John Mesko has joined as the Development Director, bringing vision and a breadth of experience to the SHP team.   Mesko grew up on a diversified crop and livestock farm in Minnesota, gaining a passion for farming and tremendous respect for farmers.  After graduating from Purdue University with a bachelor's degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in agricultural economics, Mesko’s diverse career in agriculture has centered around helping farmers become more financially and environmentally sustainable.    He served as a sales agronomist and technical information manager for Mycogen Seeds. As a County Extension Director for Purdue University, his work centered on farm management and developing new markets for farmers. In addition to raising and selling grass-fed beef and lamb for a dozen years, John has led two sustainability-minded nonprofits: The Sustainable Farming Association and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable...

Byerly Joins SHP as Kansas & Nebraska Field Manager

(Posted Wed. Jun 19th, 2019)

Keywords: SHP

Keith Byerly has joined the Soil Health Partnership as the Kansas and Nebraska Field Manager. Byerly brings a broad set of experiences and expertise to this role.     “I am really impressed with Byerly’s experience of communicating his agronomic knowledge to the growers in his region across various platforms,” said SHP Field Team Director, Jack Cornell. “SHP is dedicated to continually helping farmers make more informed decisions to become more productive in their operations, and Byerly is going to help us provide Kansas and Nebraska farmers with local support.”   Byerly graduated with a degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2001 and has been a Certified Crop Advisor since 2002. Byerly spent the last eighteen years working for a cooperative that served multiple states out of Nebraska. For fifteen years, he has been a precision ag manager focusing on data services, prescriptions and hardware.  Raised on the edge of the Nebraska Sandhills, Byerly holds a...

Michael Granche Joins NCGA as Market Development Manager

(Posted Tue. Jun 18th, 2019)

Keywords: NCGA Staff

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to announce Michael Granchè is joining the organization as market development manager. Granchè will serve as a contact for NCGA’s animal agriculture partners and will work on export and transportation issues.   “Michael’s leadership, experience, professionalism and background are a great fit for this position,” said NCGA Market Development Director Sarah McKay. “In this position, Michael will be an integral part of the team, providing staff support for the Market Access Action Team and liaising with many of our trade, transportation and animal agriculture industry stakeholders.”   Granchè was a policy and communications intern at the National Association of Wheat Growers in Washington, D.C. in 2016 and 2018. During his internship, he attended Commodity Classic, went to congressional hearings and analyzed policy that impacted the wheat industry. He was also a communications and marketing intern at Virginia Tech and has...

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Dan Cole

(Posted Tue. Jun 18th, 2019)

Keywords: Leadership Candidate

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   After more than a decade of involvement with the National Corn Growers Association, Dan Cole believes that the need for growers to stand up and be counted has never been greater. After serving on many teams covering a diverse array of topics, he hopes to grow his service also as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Cole decided to run for election to the Corn Board to help bring the perspective he has gained over the years, both through the people that he has met and from his unique experience as a small farmer. A man who has truly never met a stranger, he focuses on developing a deep understanding of his fellow farmers’ situations and, through his ability to communicate, he brings a grassroots voice to board conversations while also working to foster unity and cooperation through relationship building.   “NCGA’s greatest strength lies in its grassroots, federation...

Pollinator Week Is A Great Time To Think Small

(Posted Mon. Jun 17th, 2019)

Keywords: Pollinator

So many big things on a farm: buildings, equipment, fields, and even the scale of business decisions. So, sometimes it can be easy to forget the small things like honey bees, Monarch butterflies and other pollinators that play a critical role in the health of the environment and high yields on many crops.   “That’s why we have a National Pollinator Week – Junes 17-23, 2019 - which launches today. Pollinators are an indispensable natural resource in agriculture and healthy ecosystems,” said Roger Zylstra, a Lynnville, Iowa farmer who heads the National Corn Growers Association’s Stewardship Action Team. “There is a growing awareness amongst farmers that they are on the front line in playing a critical role for their survival and NCGA is trying to help.”   NCGA is working cooperatively with numerous groups like The Honey Bee Health Coalition, Farmers for Monarchs, and the Environmental Defense Fund to expand pollinator awareness through education and providing tools to assist in...

Meet the FY20 Corn Board Candidates: Russell Braun

(Posted Mon. Jun 17th, 2019)

Keywords: Leadership Candidate

This article is part of a series profiling candidates for the 2020 Corn Board.   Over the past six years, Russell Braun has seen how the economic downturn in agriculture has impacted corn farmers. Seeing Corn Board service as a way to actively create the changes needed to keep the industry that he is passionate about vibrant, he hopes to continue his service as a member of the National Corn Growers Association Corn Board.   Having served in a variety of capacities, Braun currently works as a member of the NCGA Ethanol Action Team at the national level. Through these experiences, he has developed insight into the skills needed to serve in this capacity effectively.   “A good leader needs to do a lot of listening and, at the same time, the ability to speak up when a subject needs more attention,” said Braun. “If a leader sees that something is not going the way it should, they need to raise that issue to create a discussion that allows others to see the issue from another...

(Posted Fri. Jun 14th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

NCGA today applauded legislation introduced by Sens. Deb Fisher, R-Neb., and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., to bring transparency and accountability to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs).   Similar to the Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act of 2019 introduced in the House, the Senate bill, S. 1840, would set a deadline for refineries to apply for Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers and bring much-needed transparency to the waiver process. The Senators’ bill also includes specific actions EPA must take within the annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume rule to account for and reallocate waived gallons and requires EPA to report to Congress with a justification for each waiver granted. Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, are original co-sponsors of S. 1840.   Within the past year, EPA has granted 54 exemptions to refineries, waiving 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel blending...

(Posted Thu. Jun 13th, 2019)

Social media is great to share stories and pictures of your kids, grandkids, or that amazing meal, but did you realize that it can be a powerful advocacy tool?  According to congressional staff, your Facebook comment or tweet is viewed as an authentic constituent message.  Over 60 percent of Hill staff agree that accessing information on social media is an important part of their daily work.   Below are some simple tips to help you be an effective advocate.   “Like” your elected officials on Facebook Like you, legislators will post content throughout the day to let the folks back home know that important work is being done and they are playing a key role. Legislators and their staff do read your comments and take them into consideration.  Posting your story about the impacts of a piece of legislation on your farm, family or community on your legislator’s Facebook page is just as valuable as a letter or phone call. Make sure that you identify yourself as their constituent....

NCGA Board Elects Linder as Next Farmer to Join Organization’s Leadership

(Posted Thu. Jun 13th, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Board has elected John Linder to become the organization's first vice president for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.   “I am honored my fellow Corn Board volunteers placed their trust in me and granted me the distinct privilege of becoming a part of the organization’s leadership,” said Linder. “Today’s American corn farmers face an ever-changing landscape with numerous challenges, as well as opportunities, on the horizon. It is imperative that we work with our partners in government, in industry and in the public to grow markets at home and abroad. I sincerely look forward to working with our grower leadership to find innovative, impactful ways to grow the markets and the future for U.S. corn farmers.”   Linder, along with his brother, Mike, and wife, Cheryl, run a fifth-generation farm raising corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat and soybeans for seed in central Ohio. In addition to traditional row crop farming, he also...

NCGA Applauds Administrations Efforts to Further Ag Biotech, Streamline Regulation

(Posted Wed. Jun 12th, 2019)

Keywords: Biotechnology

The National Corn Growers Association applauded the Administration after President Donald Trump signed the Modernizing the Regulatory Framework for Agricultural Biotechnology Products Executive Order yesterday. This important declaration will streamline the approval process for agricultural products produced through biotechnology while reinforcing the move toward a product and not process-based approach.   The order promotes a science- and risk-based program that will lay out a clear, predictable and efficient regulatory framework. This will offer cost savings to technology developers, open the pipeline for product approval to a larger sphere and allow farmers more rapid access to the tools that they need in the field.   This order also furthers policies important to farmers by expanding markets by urging USDA, along with USTR and the Department of State, to work with our trade partners abroad to synchronize approval processes internationally and help remove barriers to trade...

NCGA Joins President at Iowa Ethanol Plant

(Posted Tue. Jun 11th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

NCGA First Vice President Kevin Ross today represented NCGA in hosting President Trump for a tour of Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy, an ethanol plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Ross farms in nearby Minden and sells corn to the ethanol plant.   The visit was an opportunity for NCGA to thank the President for following through on the commitment to allow for year-round sales of E15, a priority for corn farmers. On May 31, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule for E15. In addition to increasing demand for farmers, higher blends of renewable fuels such as E15 reduce fuel prices for drivers by three to ten cents per gallon and result in lower emissions, improving air quality and providing greater greenhouse gas reductions.   Ross also urged President Trump to address EPA's waivers to large refiners that are undermining the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and work with members of Congress to pass an infrastructure bill.    Members of NCGA's board of directors,...

NCGA Joins Call for Ratification of USMCA

(Posted Tue. Jun 11th, 2019)

NCGA today joined more than 950 food and agriculture organizations representing to call on members of Congress to swiftly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).   In a letter to Congressional leaders, the groups reiterated that USMCA will benefit the U.S. agriculture and food industry while providing consumers a more abundant supply of high-quality, safe food at affordable prices.   “Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under NAFTA – growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018. NAFTA has significantly helped create a reliable, high-quality supply of food products for U.S. consumers, while supporting more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy. USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade. This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and...

(Posted Tue. Jun 11th, 2019)

Unprecedented planting delays seriously impacted corn crop forecasts issued today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. With the forecast number of acres both planted and harvested both revised down by three million acres and national average yield revised downward by 10 bushels-per-acre from last month, current forecasts show U.S. farmers producing the smallest corn crop since 2015/16 at 13.7 billion bushels.   In light of lowered production, and despite decreased demand, the season-average farm price raised by 50 cents over May estimates to $3.80 per bushel. While production forecasts were lowered, ending stocks are still forecast to exceed 1.6 billion bushels given the more than 2 billion bushels of beginning stocks forecast.   Export market demand forecasts were lowered by 100 million bushels. While price competitiveness and current outstanding sales caused export forecasts to lower, the ratification of trade deals such...

(Posted Mon. Jun 10th, 2019)

At this year’s Bio World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, Iowa, the Consider Corn Challenge II winners will be announced. The National Corn Growers Association is also a sponsor of the event and will be participating in a number of sessions.   “This is a great opportunity to be engaged with researchers, end users and leaders in industrial biotech and tell corn’s positive story around sustainability, abundance, and affordability,” said Director of Market Development Sarah McKay. “Announcing the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II at this event allows us to showcase all the various potential uses of corn as an industrial feedstock. The submissions this year were very diverse and further emphasized that corn is a versatile crop.”   BIO World Congress brings in roughly 900 attendees from 35 countries. Topics discussed vary from biobased chemicals to advanced biofuels to food ingredients and more.   NCGA is either participating in or sponsoring...

Ag Innovation and Sustainability on Display at DC Area Farm

(Posted Fri. Jun 7th, 2019)

Keywords: Conservation

Key staff from multiple government agencies are getting a crash course in the latest farming techniques and agricultural technology from industry experts at the Modern Ag Sustainability Field Day Demo Day outside of Washington, D.C. today.   The Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Pest Policy Management and Foreign Ag Service are all represented at the event on the family farm of Chip Bowling in Newburg, Maryland.   Bowling, a former NCGA president and current chairman of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, hosted the event along with NCGA, Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers, American Soybean Association, American Seed Trade Association, National Agricultural Aviation Association and the Fertilizer Institute.   The day featured in-field demonstrations of modern conservation tillage, precision planting, spraying and harvesting equipment. The group also saw drones and the latest in seed and fertilizer...

(Posted Fri. Jun 7th, 2019)

This week, the National Corn Growers Association continued its ninth season of Field Notes, a series that takes readers behind the farm gate to follow the year in the life of American farm families. While these growers come from diverse geographic areas and run unique operations, they share a common love for U.S. agriculture and the basic values that underpin life in farming communities.   Yesterday, Field Notes checked in with Lindsey Bowers, a farmer and grain merchandiser from southeastern Texas. Further along in terms of crop progress than her counterparts further north, she has experienced a mixture of conditions simultaneously similar to and quite different than those seen throughout the Corn Belt.   “Over the last four weeks, we have been too dry and too wet at the same time,” said Bowers. “It had dried out significantly, and some farmers in our area even started watering crops. Then, over just the past two days, a little disturbance built up in the Gulf of Mexico. We...

NCGA Highlights Negative Effect of Ethanol Waivers

(Posted Thu. Jun 6th, 2019)

Keywords: ethanol

NCGA Renewable Fuels Public Policy Director Kathy Bergren participated in a Capitol Hill briefing today for U.S. House of Representatives staff to help explain the damaging effects the EPA’s expansive Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to large, profitable refineries and recommend solutions.   Since early 2018, EPA has granted 53 RFS exemptions to refineries for the 2016 and 2017 RFS compliance years totaling 2.61 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. EPA currently has 39 waiver petitions pending for the 2018 RFS compliance year. These waivers have taken a toll on farmers by undercutting the RFS and reducing corn demand.   NCGA President Lynn Chrisp recently touched on the negative impact of these waivers, following the announcement that EPA had completed action to allow for year-round sales of E15. “While corn farmers are immensely grateful that the barrier to year-round E15 has been lifted, we won’t be able to reap the full benefits if EPA continues to...

NCGA Provides Input Into Future Mycotoxin Research at USDA Lab

(Posted Thu. Jun 6th, 2019)

Keywords: Research

Representatives of NCGA visited the Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology (MPM) research unit of USDA laboratory this week in Peoria, Ill. to gain insight and provide input into the group’s mycotoxin research.   The lab aims to enhance food safety and crop production in the U.S. and around the world. Researchers use information from genetics, microbiology, chemistry and plant biology to develop new ways to limit mycotoxin contamination, control foodborne diseases, and improve crop production.   Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence (AMCOE) chair Charles Ring, a producer from Texas, visited the MPM unit along with Texas Corn Producers Executive Director David Gibson and NCGA Director of Research & Productivity, Robyn Allscheid.   As the unit develops its next five-year plan, NCGA was invited to give feedback on priorities through both a survey and in-person meetings. “Mycotoxin research is critically important for food safety and security,” said Ring. “Choices are...

U.S. Farmers Should Take a Bow on World Environment Day

(Posted Wed. Jun 5th, 2019)

Keywords: Environment; Sustainability SHP

Today is World Environment Day and for U.S. farmers that makes it a great time to celebrate their success in modernizing agriculture and make it more environmentally sustainable. Improved soil management like no till and use of cover crops, precision farming tactics that better utilize nutrients and pesticides, and reducing trips across fields reduces fuel use and air pollution.   This list could go on, but suffice it to say, caring for the planet is vital to our survival. As caretakers of massive tracts of land farmers play a key role in improving our environment and they take this responsibility seriously.   From the Soil Health Partnership, which is building new soil for future generations; to the Take Action initiative that is constantly educating farmers on the latest and best ways to use crop products like herbicides and pesticides; to our efforts to save honey bees and Monarch butterflies, NCGA is working hard to keep farming profitable and assure environmental...

(Posted Tue. Jun 4th, 2019)

Farmers confronting weather-related challenges are one step closer to receiving relief.   The U.S. House of Representatives last night passed a disaster assistance package that will provide $3 billion to USDA to assist farmers confronting weather-related losses. The Senate passed the disaster bill on May 24, the legislation now goes to the President’s desk where it is expected he will sign it into law.   The disaster assistance covers expenses related to the losses of crops as a consequence of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, typhoons, volcanic activity, snowstorms and wildfires in the 2018 and 2019 calendar year. The term “losses of crops” includes on-farm stored commodities and crops prevented from planting in 2019.     The legislation gives the Secretary of Agriculture and USDA discretion to decide where and how to spend the $3 billion. These determinations will likely be made in the coming weeks.

(Posted Mon. Jun 3rd, 2019)

Check the weather, check the markets, check stored corn, check your planter, check emerging crops (if you have any planted.) There’s a good chance farmers are leaving a critical “to do” off the list...check on yourself!   In farming, there’s a lot out of your control, creating stress that can potentially lead to serious impacts on your well-being, even in a normal year. And there is nothing normal about the 2019 planting season. So, take a minute to assess your mental health, that of your family and even your employees.   After six years of low farm prices stress is at very high levels on the farm and it’s becoming harder to remain resilient with every new rain. Farmers and farmworkers recently surveyed said financial issues (91 percent), farm or business problems (88 percent) and fear of losing the farm (87 percent) impact farmers’ mental health. Other factors included stress, weather, the economy, isolation and social stigma.   The new national Morning Consult research poll...

NCGA Congratulates Corteva on Successful Spin-Off

(Posted Mon. Jun 3rd, 2019)

Today, Corteva AgriscienceTM became a standalone company completing the spin-off from DowDuPontTM by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp was in attendance, with senior leaders from Corteva and other agriculture commodity representatives.   “We congratulate Corteva AgriscienceTM on becoming a standalone company and look forward to our continued partnership moving forward,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp. “We’ve been fortunate to have their support for a number of our programs over the years and will work closely with Corteva on issues and programs important to U.S. corn farmers.”   Corteva has been a sponsor of leadership development and sustainability programs and is a vital sponsor of NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest and Commodity Classic.   “As Corteva Agriscience™ has made its journey to this important milestone, we have greatly appreciated the National Corn Grower Association’s advice, input...