NEWS STORIES

NOVEMBER 2019

Fun Turkey Facts for this Thanksgiving

(Posted Wed. Nov 27th, 2019)

Did you know the average American eats roughly 16 pounds of turkey each year and 46-million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving?   The poultry industry is the second-largest consumer of corn in the animal-ag sector and adds $.28 of value per bushel. That equates to $4.1 billion in revenue.   Todd Gleason, the host of WILL-AM-580’s Closing Market Report and Commodity Week at the University of Illinois Extension, compiled a list of fun turkey facts for Thanksgiving. You can listen to his audio report to learn more by clicking here.   To see more corn specific poultry facts, click here.

Montgomery Gentry to Perform at Commodity Classic During Saturday’s Evening of Entertainment

(Posted Tue. Nov 26th, 2019)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Award-winning Montgomery Gentry will put the c­­­­herry on top of the 2020 Commodity Classic with a crowd-pleasing performance during Saturday night’s Evening of Entertainment. The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas.  Commodity Classic is the nation’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.   Eddie Montgomery continues the band’s legacy after Troy Gentry’s tragic death in 2017. With 20-plus charted singles, the Kentucky native has earned CMA, ACM, and GRAMMY awards and nominations with undeniable blue-collar anthems like “Hell Yeah,” “My Town,” and “Hillbilly Shoes." The group has notched five No. 1 singles, "If You Ever Stop Loving Me," "Something To Be Proud Of," "Lucky Man," "Back When I Knew It All" and "Roll With Me." Montgomery Gentry was inducted as Grand Ole Opry members in 2009 and inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2015.   The Evening of Entertainment...

NCGA Calls on EPA to Follow Law, Keep RFS Whole

(Posted Mon. Nov 25th, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to EPA’s supplemental proposed rule for the 2020 volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.   Rather than addressing the impact of waived renewable fuel gallons based on exemptions actually granted by EPA, the proposed rule would use a three-year average of Department of Energy (DOE) recommended waivers. By using DOE recommendations, not actual waived gallons, EPA’s proposal to redistribute any future waived gallons is half of what President Trump previously committed to farm-state Senators.   “EPA’s proposal does not ensure sufficiently accurate projections for waived gallons and, therefore, will continue to shortchange the RFS when waivers are granted,” NCGA President Kevin Ross wrote. “Farmers are once again asking EPA to uphold the law and the integrity of the RFS.”   Since early 2018, EPA has granted 85 RFS exemptions to...

Soil Health Partnership Educates Hill Staffers on Soil Health

(Posted Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019)

Keywords: SHP

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today co-hosted a field day for U.S. Senate and House Agriculture Committee staff at Harborview Farms in Rock Hall, Md. Staffers had the opportunity to learn more about soil health management practices being implemented at Harborview Farms.   “This field day was a unique opportunity for legislative staffers to see first-hand the benefits and challenges farmers face adopting soil health practices. Farmers across the country invest in these practices because they believe in the indirect and long-term benefits such as healthy soils for their future generations, creating increased land resiliency and knowing they are giving back to the land that sustains us. It is an important story to tell, and we are thrilled to have legislative partners attend these educational events,“ John Mesko, senior director of SHP said.   Practices that improve soil health are taking on elevated importance as a means to...

Growing Trust A Key Development Driving Sustainability Efforts

(Posted Fri. Nov 22nd, 2019)

Keywords: Sustainability

The word “sustainability” may be a bit over-used in agriculture, but it is way more than a buzz word as evidenced by the 2019 Sustainable Ag Summit held in Indianapolis this week. More than 650 people converged on the event hosted by Field to Market, Pork Checkoff, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops and attended by representatives of National Corn Growers Association and the Soil Health Partnership.   “We had a lot of technical discussions with groups ranging from farmers, suppliers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, academics, conservation groups and public sector representatives. But to me a big take-away was the growing comfort level between these diverse participants,” said NCGA Stewardship and Sustainability Director Rachel Orf. “We’re trying to establish agriculture as a driver of large-scale, sustainable solutions that will meet consumer’s needs, but we...

Hitting the Road for Thanksgiving? Fill-up with E15!

(Posted Thu. Nov 21st, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

According to AAA, consumers traveling this Thanksgiving by automobile is up 2.8 percent from last year, with 49.3 million cars expected to be on the road. That is the highest number since 2005. With E15 now available at more than 2,000 stations nationwide, there’s no reason to not fill-up with the cleaner burning more cost-effective fuel.   A few benefits of filling up with E15 include:   E15 is between 3 and 10 cents less expensive than regular gas. Corn ethanol is cleaner burning and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45 percent. The number of E15 locations continues to grow and is available in 30 states. The number of locations offering E15 continues to increase!   Click here to view a Thanksgiving infographic with these E15 facts

Tell EPA to Follow Through on RFS Commitment

(Posted Wed. Nov 20th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol RFS

Corn farmers have until November 29 to tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to follow through on the President’s commitment to farmers and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   Since early 2018, EPA has granted 85 RFS exemptions to refineries, totaling 4.04 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons of renewable fuel. These waivers reduce demand for ethanol, lower the value of our crop and undermine the President’s support for America’s farmers. Waivers benefit big oil at the expense of corn farmers.   Despite an agreement announced by President Trump in early October that directed the EPA to follow the letter of the law and keep the RFS whole, the EPA proposal now available for comment falls well short of the 15 billion gallon RFS.   EPA is proposing to use a three-year average of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommended waivers, rather than the three-year average actually waived by the EPA as promised in the October 4 agreement. EPA has consistently waived nearly...

Commodity Classic Announces Main Stage Line-Up for 2020

(Posted Tue. Nov 19th, 2019)

Some of the nation’s leading agriculture experts and well-known personalities will be featured on the Main Stage during the 2020 Commodity Classic held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas. Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.   The Main Stage, presented by Successful Farming® and Commodity Classic, is located right on the trade show floor.  Presentations are scheduled during trade show hours. The Main Stage line-up for 2020 includes:   Brian Hefty and Darren Hefty of Ag Ph.D. speaking about the relationship between fertility and high yields A farmer panel discussing the challenge of transitioning a farm operation to the next generation A discussion of the economic factors impacting machinery purchases A panel discussion on nutrient stewardship and conservation An update on new regulations governing lighting and marketing standards for on-road ag...

Senators Speak in Opposition to Small Refinery Waivers

(Posted Fri. Nov 15th, 2019)

U.S. Senators Richard Durbin, D-Ill., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Tina Smith, D-Minn., on Tuesday, submitted statements for the record highlighting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) abuse of Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) or waivers. The Senators’ comments follow EPA’s proposed rule that would fail to meet parameters of a deal announced by President Trump to accurately account for the impact of SREs.   Durbin, whose efforts 14 years ago helped to enact the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) urged his Senate colleagues to, “support rural America by ending EPA’s efforts to issue these waivers without any transparency or economic impact.” Stabenow said, “The Administration’s continued abuse of refinery waivers undermine the integrity of the RFS program and hurt our farmers, biofuel producers, and rural communities in Michigan and across the country.”   Smith said, “Small refinery waivers from the EPA are wreaking havoc on our nation’s rural...

Waterways Symposium Moves to Pittsburgh for 2019

(Posted Thu. Nov 14th, 2019)

The annual Waterways Symposium and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) annual meeting was held last week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Michael Granché, manager of market development, along with Corn Board member and Illinois farmer, Kenny Hartman, attended the conference. While there, the two toured the United Associations Training Center and also had the opportunity to engage with WCI staff and other industry members discussing the opportunities and challenges along the inland waterways.   When asked about the relationship between corn and the inland waterways, Hartman said, “Corn farmers continue to work closely with the Waterways Council because we understand the competitive advantage a reliable and efficiently operated waterways system means to our industry.  However, to maintain our ability to compete globally, additional investments must be made to accelerate the modernization of the U.S. inland waterways. The inland waterways represent the safest, most environmentally...

Talking Trade at USMEF

(Posted Thu. Nov 14th, 2019)

Last week, November 6-8, was the U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Strategic Planning Meeting. NCGA’s Director of Market Development Sarah McKay attended the conference, along with growers and staff from various state corn associations. Trade dynamics, market trends, and sustainability were some of the main topics of discussion.   Purdue University Professor of Ag Economics, Dr. Allan Gray, kicked off the meeting with a presentation on U.S. agriculture’s great sustainability story and the need to highlight statistics such as a 203 percent increase in outputs with only 2 percent increase in major inputs since 1940.   On Thursday, attendees received a session on alternative proteins and their increasing popularity worldwide with commentary from South Korea, Russia, Eastern Europe, and the CIS region regarding current challenges in the space such as barriers to entry and adoption in their respective markets. Speakers at the meeting emphasized that the global demand for protein will...

NCGA Engages with the Next Generation of Leaders

(Posted Wed. Nov 13th, 2019)

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) had the opportunity to participate in the  Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference (AFALC) in Kansas City, Missouri. AFALC offers four different and distinct tracks for college students to assist them in developing both personally and professionally. The tracks vary based on where students are within their college journey.   “These are the future leaders of our industry and it is great to represent America’s corn farmers to talk about opportunities with NCGA and the industry,” said NCGA Manager of Market Development Michael Granché.   Granché helped staff a booth where he engaged with students about NCGA and student opportunities within the association. Granché also served on a roundtable, where he discussed his career path with students and answered their questions about association work as well as offering advice for navigating academia and career.   While there, Michael was reunited with NCGA former intern, Emily...

NCGA Thanks Senate Leaders for Weighing in on EPA Waiver Proposal

(Posted Fri. Nov 8th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol; RFS

U.S. Senators representing many corn states yesterday took action to press EPA to follow the law and adhere to the deal President Trump made with farmers and the EPA to address RFS waivers.   Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), each submitted comments to the Federal Register regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In individual letters to EPA Administrator Wheeler, the Senators expressed concerns about the way the agency plans to calculate the reallocation of biofuel gallons lost due to exemptions for oil refineries and asked EPA to fix the problem in the final rule.   NCGA greatly appreciates the Senators’ calls for EPA to provide more accuracy and certainty in the final rule and standing up for RFS integrity. Farmers are grateful for their continued support and advocacy.   Farmers...

(Posted Thu. Nov 7th, 2019)

Keywords: Ethanol

The Ag-Auto-Ethanol Work Group Annual Forum, held in Detroit, Michigan, took a deep dive into environmental issues, future engine technologies and the potential cost-benefit of high-octane low-carbon fuels at the pump. Representatives from state and national corn growers’ associations, government entities, automakers, the ethanol industry, and researchers were all in attendance.   “NCGA and state corn grower associations continue to educate members of Congress and their staffs on the fuel-efficiency benefits of high-octane fuel, along with the benefits of higher blends of ethanol,” NCGA Renewable Fuels Public Policy Director Kathy Bergren told attendees. “Higher blends of ethanol lower carbon emissions, reduce aromatic emissions and improve air quality and support rural economies.”   “This forum is an opportunity to bring together a cross-section of groups which span the entire value chain to talk about the future and provide updates on current research and initiatives,” said...

Commodity Classic Registration & Housing Opens Wednesday, November 13 at 10:00 a.m. Central

(Posted Thu. Nov 7th, 2019)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Registration and housing for America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience officially opens at 10:00 a.m. Central on Wednesday, November 13.   The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas. To register, reserve hotel rooms, and sign up for email updates, visit CommodityClassic.com.   Early discounts on registration end January 9, 2020.   Established in 1996, Commodity Classic features a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers, unique optional tours and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.   “Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event because every experience, every educational session, and every speaker at Commodity Classic is selected by farmers, for farmers,” said Bob Bowman, an Iowa farmer and co-chair...

Tell Congress to Pass USMCA

(Posted Tue. Nov 5th, 2019)

Keywords: Trade; USMCA

Passing USMCA remains a top priority for farmers across the country and NCGA. With the end of the year fast approaching, and a very limited number of Congressional workdays remaining, urging your representatives to support this important trade deal is more important than ever.   Waiting until 2020, when election-year politics will likely derail its passage, is not an option. Ratifying USMCA this year is our best chance of securing this agreement.   USMCA preserves and builds upon the corn industry’s successful relationship with Mexico and Canada.  In 2018, 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $4.56 billion. These exports generated $5.79 billion in economic activity, supported 36,480 jobs and 300,000 farms.   Passage would provide some certainty to farmers facing challenging times and instill confidence in other important trading partners that the United States is open for business. Members of Congress need to hear...

Deadline Extended! There’s Still Time to Enter your Corn Yield Contest Harvest Results

(Posted Tue. Nov 5th, 2019)

Keywords: NCYC

The weather has posed a challenge for farmers in many states this year, prompting the National Corn Growers Association to extend the harvest deadline for the National Corn Yield Contest. The new deadline will be Saturday, November 30, 2019, at 5 p.m. Central Standard Time.   Entrants need to upload weigh tickets and the yield calculation worksheet that outlines the number of rows harvested and the length of each pass. Both documents must be signed by the contest supervisor. For detailed contest information and harvest rules, click here. If you have specific questions, call the direct call line at 636-733-5518 or email ncyc@ncga.com.   The deadline extension is not expected to impact the announcement of winners on Monday, December 16. Winners will be recognized at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. This is the 55th year of the National Corn Yield Contest.

NCGA Joins Effort Calling on President to Support Farmers, RFS

(Posted Mon. Nov 4th, 2019)

NCGA today joined a unified biofuel and agriculture group letter to President Trump urging him to uphold his commitment to accurately account for refinery waivers and support the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   The letter is in response to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal that would account for waivers based on Department of Energy’s (DOE) recommendations, rather than the actual gallons waived by EPA. The proposal is half of what the President committed to in an October 4 deal with farmers.   “Mr. President, we share a common vision regarding the RFS. We want to reopen biofuel plants and restore demand for America’s farm products. We are asking for SRE accountability based on a rolling average of the actual volumes exempted by the EPA during the three most recently completed compliance years. This simple fix will provide the market and regulatory certainty necessary to bring back rural jobs and restore demand. The proposal – as written – will not provide the...

(Posted Fri. Nov 1st, 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.   Earlier this week, Field Notes caught up with Lowell Neitzel, who farms near Lawrence, Kansas. Still in his combine, he remains hopeful despite a harvest that is running long.   “If you look at a calendar, we are a little bit behind schedule compared with the last few years, but harvest is coming along pretty well,” said Neitzel. “Quality has been good. Yields have been all over the place.”   To listen to the full interview, click here.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks as Field Notes follows the growers who have opened their farms, families and communities up this year and meet the true...

Harvest Time and NCGA’s Annual Photo Contest are Coming to a Close

(Posted Fri. Nov 1st, 2019)

Each year growing season kicks off the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) annual online photo contest Fields-of-Corn.com. The entry period is coming to an end at the stroke of midnight CST on November 30, 2019.   Photographers compete for 21 cash prizes across 7 categories this year and two individuals will receive $500 grand prizes.   Voting continues through December 31. The winners will be announced in January.   You can learn more about the contest, review the rules and submit your photos today at Fields-of-Corn.com.   NCGA invites amateur and professional photographers alike to help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. NCGA seeks high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it.