(Posted Wed. Mar 28th, 2018)
Abraham Lincoln famously said, “the best way to predict your future is to create it,” and that’s the goal of the inaugural Corn Research Ideation Workshop on March 28-30, 2018 in St. Louis. With growth in corn production and especially during continued low corn prices, U.S. corn farmers need to be more efficient with inputs while also working to discover new and novel markets for corn.
“America’s corn farmers like me are entering our fifth year of low prices and net farm losses in 2018. Farmer income dropped almost 9 percent last year and net farm income is half of what it was in 2013,” said Dennis Maple, chairman of NCGA’s Corn Productivity & Quality Action Team. “So, building robust new markets for corn and optimizing production inputs are critical. NCGA is working hard to expand existing markets such as exports, livestock and ethanol, but this workshop is about identifying how to enhance corn productivity, grain/silage quality and sustainable production practices in the next 5-10 years?”
The Ideation Workshop brings together a group of 25 U.S. corn producers and 65 corn production and sustainability experts from public universities, the United State Department of Agriculture, and private seed, chemical, and feed/food companies to identify:
- Problems experienced by U.S. corn producers and downstream users of grain;
- Solutions to overcome factors limiting sustainable corn production, grain quality and composition, or remove producer/user pain points in corn production and downstream grain use;
- Partnerships to develop research to test ideas, validate solutions, and define ROI to corn growers.
These discussions aim to define potential research needs and R&D partnerships in four targeted areas: Digital/Precision Ag, Germplasm/Breeding, Agronomy/Crop Protection and Sustainability.