In The News

Sep 17, 2020

CommonGround Takes Cooking, Conversations to Kitchens Across the Country

Key Issues:Consumer Engagement

CommonGround hosted a virtual cooking class for consumers, made possible through St. Paul, Minnesota-based Cooks of Crocus Hill. Last week, more than 50 attendees from across the country welcomed CommonGround into their kitchens to learn about preparing great food from professionals and to find out more about their food from the women who grow it.   Two farmers involved in raising or growing of ingredients spotlighted for each of the three courses, shared their story with influential and interested consumers. Through an interactive discussion, attendees found out not just about cooking but also about farming and how to continue dialogue that is honest and open between the farm and their families.   With participants from California bloggers to DC-based leaders in food non-profits, the impacts of the event will continue to spread on social media over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out!   Thank you so much to all of the awesome state staff and volunteers who came together to...

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Sep 16, 2020

Upcoming Cattlemen to Cattlemen Episode on Sustainability and Next Generation DDGs Features Corn Farmers

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

Beef and Corn: Working Together in a Sustainable System is the topic of the upcoming panel show on the National Cattlemen Beef Association’s series Cattlemen to Cattlemen on RFD-TV. Panelists will discuss sustainability practices on their farms, the benefits of next-generation feed products, how the ethanol industry has impacted corn and beef producers, and more.   “1.25 billion bushels of corn plus the majority of distillers grains goes towards feeding beef cattle,” said NCGA President Kevin Ross. “Adding corn into the cattle diet increases feed efficiency reflected in the rate of daily gain. It also promotes faster growth, reduces days to finish, and produces steaks with a higher marble score.”   One out of four bushels of added corn demand is due to beef and pork, with the beef industry providing $5.7 billion in corn value. DDGs account for nearly 8 percent of total domestic corn usage.   “It’s important for us to collaborate with our animal ag partners because they are...

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Sep 16, 2020

Peterson Effort to Address RFS Waivers Moves Forward

Key Issues:EthanolFarm Policy

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce Tuesday released legislation containing provisions of legislation led by House Agriculture Committee Chairman and Congressional Biofuels Caucus Co-Chair Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to provide transparency into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) granting of small refinery exemptions (SREs), or waivers.   The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act (H.R. 4447) would set an annual deadline for refiners to request exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and require EPA to publicly release the name of refiners requesting a waiver, the number of gallons requested to be waived and the number of gallons of biofuel that will not be blended as a result of the waiver. These provisions mirror the policies contained in Peterson’s Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act (H.R. 3006).   Providing more transparency to EPA’s waiver process will give farmers, biofuel producers and the public a clearer understanding of EPA’s justification for...

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Sep 15, 2020

Agriculture Organizations Tell Congress USDA Needs Tools to Help Farmers

Key Issues:Farm Policy

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today joined the American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 40 other agriculture organizations asking Congress to ensure the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has the tools necessary to help farmers in times of crisis. The group sent a letter to House and Senate leadership requesting they immediately provide replenishment for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) through the continuing resolution. Without immediate replenishment, funding for farm bill programs could run out while farmers struggle against low commodity prices, natural disasters and the coronavirus pandemic.   “For decades, CCC has been regularly replenished to fund programs integral to the farm safety net that Congress has worked tirelessly to craft,” the letter states. “Producers count on programs like Agriculture Risk Coverage, Price Loss Coverage, Dairy Margin Coverage, Marketing Assistance Loans, conservation programs, and many others as they provide food,...

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Sep 15, 2020

Next Generation DDGs and the Potential for Corn and the Animal Ag Sector

Key Issues:EthanolAnimal Agriculture

Opportunities for new corn fractionation technologies at dry mills create value by further separating out the various components of corn to allow differential utilization of the subsequent product streams. Feed for animals is optimized by separating corn into its most valuable components.   Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGs) are a co-product of the ethanol production process and used 1.2 billion bushels of corn in 2019. DDGs are a feed ingredient for cattle, swine, poultry, and aquaculture, rich in protein, fat, minerals, yeast, and vitamins.   DDGs were never initially engineered, as they were an accidental discovery derived from the ethanol manufacturing process. As these next generation DDGs products become increasingly competitive in their nutritional composition, ethanol manufacturers have the opportunity to diversify their portfolio, plugging into newly created revenue sources. If an ethanol plant is experiencing a lull in liquid fuel demand, they could offset...

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Sep 14, 2020

NCGA: Denial of Gap-Year Waiver Petitions Positive, Pending Current-Year Waivers Yet to be Addressed

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) denial of 54 of 68 pending past-year (2011-2018) small refinery exemptions (SREs), or waivers, to oil refiners. However, 14 gap-year waivers remain under required review at the Department of Energy (DOE). The EPA also has 31 waivers under consideration for 2019 and 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance years. NCGA President Kevin Ross made the following statement:   “Asking for waivers for nearly ten years ago was a new low by the oil industry to undermine the RFS and rewrite history. Denying these petitions was the obvious answer and farmers are pleased to begin to move past this distraction. We thank our bipartisan supporters in Congress, including Senator Ernst, for their advocacy in upholding the RFS.   “While denial of these past-year waivers is obviously positive news for farmers and biofuel producers, we’re never going to have the certainty we need until the...

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Sep 14, 2020

Brazil Tariff Rate Quota for Ethanol Extended for 90 Days

Key Issues:EthanolTrade

After expiring on August 31 and a 20 percent tariff was temporarily applied to all U.S. ethanol, Brazil’s tariff rate quota (TRQ) has been extended for a further 90 days starting on Sept. 14. National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) CEO Jon Doggett joined Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO, U.S. Grains Council; Emily Skor, CEO, Growth Energy; and Geoff Cooper, President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association in the below statement:   “The U.S. Grains Council, Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association believe the 90-day extension of the TRQ serves neither Brazil’s consumers nor the Brazilian government’s own decarbonization goals, especially while Brazil’s ethanol producers continue to be afforded virtually tariff-free access to the U.S. market. The extension falls during Brazil’s annual inter-harvest period when U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil are traditionally low, causing greater uncertainty for U.S. exporters looking to make selling...

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Sep 10, 2020

Brummette Joins NCGA Washington Office

Key Issues:EthanolNew Uses

Rosy Brummette has joined NCGA’s Washington, D.C. office as Manager of Public Policy for Market Development and Renewable Fuels. Brummette will play a vital role in NCGA’s efforts to expand market opportunities for corn and advocating for the organization’s ethanol and trade policy goals.   Brummette most recently served as a Policy Analyst for the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry under Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., where she focused on biofuels, energy, agriculture conservation and climate issues. She played a key role during the 2018 Farm Bill, leading staff-level conference negotiations on the conservation title for the Senator.   “NCGA is pleased to welcome Rosy to our Public Policy team,” said Kathy Bergren, NCGA Public Policy Director, Renewable Fuels. “She brings a wealth of agriculture policy experience that will enable her to hit the ground running and play a key role in advocating for NCGA policy priorities.”   Brummette grew...

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Sep 9, 2020

Ethanol Coalition Welcomes Reports of ‘Gap-Year’ Waiver Petition Denials, Denounces Refiners’ Supreme Court Petition

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), Farmers Union (NFU) and American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) today welcomed news reports that President Trump has directed the Environmental Protection Agency to reject dozens of so-called “gap year” small refinery exemption petitions intended to circumvent the Tenth Circuit Court’s decision in RFA et al. v. EPA.   Meanwhile, the groups denounced CVR Refining and HollyFrontier Corporation’s last-minute request, filed late on September 4, for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit Court’s ruling. The decision in question overturned three improperly granted small refinery exemptions under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   NCGA, RFA, NFU and ACE were the four petitioners in the successful Tenth Circuit Court case, in which a panel of judges unanimously found EPA abused its authority by granting small refinery exemptions to CVR Refining and HollyFrontier that were not extensions of...

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Sep 8, 2020

CFAP Sign Up Deadline is Friday

Key Issues:COVID-19

Farmers have until this Friday, September 11, to sign up for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).   CFAP provides much-needed assistance to begin to help farmers and their customers recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $16 billion program is intended to support farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of the food supply chain, and ensure Americans continue to receive and have access to food. As of August 31, the program has provided $9.44 billion in direct payments to farmers, including corn farmers.   Corn farmers have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. NCGA analysis projects an $89 per acre average revenue decline for 2020, compared to pre-COVID-19 projections.   Farmers who have yet to sign up can visit farmers.gov/cfap to apply or can call the Farm Service Agency office at their local USDA Service Center.   Details regarding the second round of CFAP could be announced by USDA later this...

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