In The News

Feb 22, 2024

Corn Growers Welcome Decision by EPA on Access to Year-Round E15 While Calling for Legislation to Eliminate Nationwide Patchwork on Ethanol

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will grant the request by eight Midwestern governors to allow the year-round sale of fuel with a 15% ethanol blend, or E15, in their states beginning in the summer of 2025. The announcement was welcomed by the National Corn Growers Association, which has been fighting to break down barriers to the environmentally friendly biofuels. “We are glad to hear this decision from EPA, as it puts us on the road to providing more certainty to America’s corn growers and consumers who will save money at the pump,” said NCGA President and Minnesota Farmer Harold Wolle. “However, given that this decision will not take effect until the summer of 2025, we question and are concerned about the implications of the timeline for growers and consumers this summer.” The sale of E15 has been banned during the summer months to meet federal clean air standards that have been shown to be unnecessary and outdated. The U.S. EPA has granted waivers...

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Feb 22, 2024

Embark on Ag Odyssey: Commodity Classic 2024 Awaits in Houston!

Author: Stacey Stiens

Get ready to blast off into "New Frontiers in Agriculture" at Commodity Classic 2024! We're just days away from the event of the year, and excitement is reaching astronomical levels. As we gear up to welcome you next week, the National Corn Growers Association can't wait to embark on this memorable journey together.   Houston, known as Space City, is the perfect backdrop for our exploration of new frontiers. Just like NASA pioneers push the boundaries of space exploration, we're pushing the boundaries of agriculture with cutting-edge technology and innovative practices. And what better place to draw inspiration from the stars above than at the NASA Space Center, right here in Houston?   This year's Classic is bringing the spirit of exploration and discovery to the forefront. From the trade show floor to the educational sessions, you'll find yourself immersed in a world of possibility. Just as astronauts boldly go where no one has gone before, we're venturing into uncharted...

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Feb 21, 2024

Arians Joins NCGA as VP, Sustainable Production

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Nicole Hasheider

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced today that Sean Arians has joined the organization as vice president of Sustainable Production.     Arians brings to the role 20 years of experience working in the agriculture industry in a variety of production- and sustainability-focused roles.     “Sean has deep agricultural roots and has earned the reputation of being a strategic thinker and innovative problem solver,” said NCGA CEO Neil Caskey. “We’re thrilled to welcome him to the NCGA team to lead and elevate our efforts to support the long trajectory of sustainability gains made by U.S. corn farmers.”   Prior to joining NCGA, Arians worked for some of the biggest brands in agriculture, including roles at Advanced Agrilytics, Bayer, The Climate Corporation and Precision Planting. His past experience spans on-the-ground work with farmers to implement sustainable solutions for their farms to roles in strategy to drive big-picture solutions across companies.   “I’m...

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Feb 16, 2024

Breaking Down 5 Projections in the USDA 2024 Corn Outlook

Key Issues: Production

Author: Krista Swanson

USDA released the Grains and Oilseeds Outlook this week providing an initial look at the 2024/25 marketing year projections that include lower production, greater domestic use, increased exports, and higher ending stocks as compared to the current 2023/24 market years. The following is a summary and some additional context for five projections from the latest outlook.   Yield Corn yield is projected at 181 bushels per acre. Yield projections depend on the modeling approach and time series used. While a 3.7 bushel per acre increase over the 2023 record 177.3 bushels per acre may seem like a stretch, a regression on annual yields from 2023 to several different historical points including 1934, 1980, and 1996 all predict 2024 yields within about one bushel of the USDA projection.   Trendline yields are a reasonable expectation at this point. Adverse weather is generally thought to have a negative impact on yields but in 2023 a record yield was achieved in a year with widespread...

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Feb 16, 2024

2024 Commodity Classic: Double the Opportunity to Hear Directly from the Country’s Key Leaders on Agriculture Priorities

Author: Kris Martinez

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack & EPA Administrator Michael Regan Confirmed for General Session   In an unprecedented opportunity for Commodity Classic attendees, both United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan will keynote the General Session of this year’s event, fast approaching Feb. 28-March 2 in Houston. The General Session is Friday, March 1, 8:30-10:30 a.m. (CST) at the George R. Brown Convention Center.   The 2024 show, entitled “New Frontiers in Agriculture,” will also feature Mike Massimino in the esteemed General Session speaker lineup. Massimino is a former NASA astronaut, New York Times bestselling author, and Columbia University professor, in addition to media and television personality. Retaining a longstanding crowd-pleaser, the session will again include a panel discussion with leaders of the five associations that present Commodity Classic each year: American Soybean Association,...

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Feb 15, 2024

NCBA Cattle Con 2024: Strengthening Industry Bonds and Promoting Corn's Role

Key Issues: Animal Agriculture

Author: Michael Granché

Two weeks ago, the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) Market Development Action Team (MDAT) converged with industry leaders at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) annual convention in Orlando, Florida. During the week Matt Frostic, Troy Schneider, Denny Vennekotter, Sarah McKay, and Michael Granché engaged in crucial discussions with NCBA's executive leadership, highlighting shared priorities and emphasizing the significance of bolstering their symbiotic relationship.   On Wednesday morning, Troy Schneider joined Cattlemen to Cattlemen show host Kevin Ochsner for an exclusive RFD-TV interview. Together, they illustrated the integral partnership between beef and corn, showcasing how these industries collaborate to drive progress and maintain profitability for farm operators. Then, on Thursday morning, Michael and Kristen Schneider took part in the annual #BeefIt5k race, a vibrant event symbolizing the energy and dedication within the industry fueled by the...

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Feb 14, 2024

Bet Your Boots We Want to See You in Houston!

Author: Stacey Stiens

Yee-haw, partners! Love is in the air, and so is the excitement for the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston! Don't let Valentine's Day slip by without securing your spot at the biggest agricultural event of the year. Saddle up and register now before it's too late!   Just like a cowboy needs his trusty steed, you need to be at Commodity Classic to stay ahead of the herd. This year's event promises to be a rodeo of innovation and education, with two levels of trade show exhibits showcasing the latest ag technology. It's your chance to lasso in new ideas and techniques to drive your business forward.   Forget flowers and chocolates – this holiday, give yourself the gift of knowledge and networking. Join us in Houston from February 28 to March 2 for a Wild West adventure you won't soon forget. With exciting events like the Wednesday Welcome Reception and many unique tours in Houston, there's something for every cowboy and cowgirl in attendance.   So don't be a lone ranger – round...

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Feb 12, 2024

Consider Corn Challenge IV Spotlight: Bluestem Biosciences

Key Issues: New Uses

Author: Stacey Stiens

Bluestem Biosciences—one of four grand winners of the National Corn Growers Association's (NCGA) Consider Corn Challenge IV—stands at the forefront of renewable chemicals innovation in the Midwest. Harnessing the power of programmable biology, Bluestem is revolutionizing the biomanufacturing sector by developing sustainable solutions for commodity chemicals. Their groundbreaking decarbonized chemical platform promises far-reaching benefits, from mitigating climate impact to revitalizing agricultural economies and domestic supply chains, thus paving the way for a bio-based future across the chemical sector.   At the heart of Bluestem's success lies their pioneering work in developing novel yeast biology for the anaerobic bio-production of 3-Hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP). This chemical intermediate, with a substantial $25 billion total addressable market, serves as a strategic platform molecule with applications across diverse consumer end markets, including personal care products,...

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Feb 9, 2024

Climate, Conflict, & Currency Impact Cost Competitiveness for U.S. Corn Exports

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Krista Swanson

A combination of climate, conflict, and currency values are factors in cost competitiveness that impacts transits and overall U.S. corn exports.   Climate Climate conditions brought widespread drought to the United States Corn Belt in 2023. Dry conditions in the Mississippi River basin led to record low water levels. As a result, barge weight and traffic restrictions were imposed, and the 7.7 million tons of corn moved by barge on the Mississippi River in 2023 was 30% lower than 2022 and 54% lower than 2021. Ultimately, the cost of added time and weight restrictions were factors contributing to a higher corn price at port but also meant pace of getting grain to the port was slowed.   Climate-induced waterway challenges for U.S. corn don’t end at the Gulf. Extreme drought has forced substantial scaleback of shipping through the Panama Canal, a key global maritime channel. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has reduced traffic to 24 ships a day, about two-thirds of the normal...

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Feb 8, 2024

Iowa Farmer and NCGA Board Member Bob Hemesath Tapped to Serve as President of Trade Advocacy Group

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

National Corn Growers Association board member and Iowa corn grower Bob Hemesath was recently elected to serve as president of the international agricultural advocacy group Farmers for Free Trade. “I am honored to assume this leadership role at an organization that has been so effective in advocating on behalf of farmers and their trade priorities,” Hemesath said. “I look forward to leading the organization in a direction that will allow us to build on our successes and further advance the trade goals of America’s farmers.” The U.S. exported 1.8 billion bushels of corn in 2023 valued at $13.1 billion, according to the latest data by the U.S. Census Bureau. Additionally, exports of ethanol and its co-products were exported that year at a value of $7.1 billion.   Corn is also exported in the form of animal protein when corn-fed, U.S.-raised beef, pork and poultry is shipped overseas. Shipments of these products resulted in $23.6 billion in export value in 2023.   With export...

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For media inquiries contact Bryan Goodman, goodman@ncga.com