In The News

Oct 20, 2020

EP. 12 - A Wild Ride: Outgoing NCGA President Kevin Ross on his Eventful Term in Office

Key Issues:Farm Policy

The NCGA’s outgoing President Kevin Ross had a term in office unlike any other. From a Twitter battle with the world’s largest beer brewer, to a public speech with President Donald Trump, to the NCGA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, his year at the helm was anything but boring.   In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett asks the Iowa grower to unpack all the highlights from his term and look to the future of the industry. And, in spite of all the uncertainty, Kevin shares his reasons for optimism and a love of farming that's stronger than ever.     DIRECT SHARE   TRANSCRIPT   Kevin Ross: Having that opportunity to speak to the leader of the free world about what you've got going on in your industry and it did hit me right as I was walking up onto the stage and like you said, you see that seal of the president of the United States on a podium and you're sitting there going, "Hmm, that's kind of a big deal standing behind that thing and give a speech."   Dusty...

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Oct 19, 2020

Consider Corn Challenge Aims to Grow Demand Through New Industrial Uses of Corn

Key Issues:New Uses

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) has held two Consider Corn Challenge contests, garnering nine winners with unique technologies that would improve a product or process by using field corn to produce biobased materials. If all nine of the Consider Corn Challenge winners reached full commercialization with products available in the marketplace, the potential for additional corn demand would be approximately 2.9 billion bushels.   “The team is discussing having another Consider Corn Challenge because we know there is still a lot of untapped potential out there, and researchers have new and innovative ideas to bring to the table using corn as an industrial feedstock,” said NCGA Market Development Action Team (MDAT) and Nebraska farmer Dan Wesely. “This is an important area of focus because it will set us up for driving corn demand long-term.”   Previous Consider Corn Challenge winners have recently received more funding for their technologies. ExoPolymer announced the...

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Oct 16, 2020

Barriers That Prevent Food from Reaching the Hungry Take Center Stage this Food Day

October 16 marks World Food Day, a day that has special significance in 2020, as COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on global food security and food systems. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that COVID-19 will drive an additional 130 million more people into food insecurity. Northwestern University recently estimated that the rate of food-insecure households, defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as, “household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food,” has more than doubled, from 10.5 percent of American households to 23 percent of American households, as a result of the pandemic.   It is no surprise that the recently announced 2020 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the World Food Programme for its efforts to combat hunger.   This week, the global community of NGOs, think tanks, academia, government, and industry leaders came together for the annual World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue....

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Oct 15, 2020

China Purchases More U.S. Corn

Key Issues:Trade

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced yesterday an export sale of 420,000 metric tons of U.S. corn to China.   “I saw the sale this morning and China could be our biggest customer this year,” said Lesly McNitt, director of public policy and trade for the National Corn Growers Association. “We are seeing tremendous purchases.”   Agri-Pulse reported that outstanding sales of U.S. corn – the amount of purchases that have not yet been shipped – to China as of Oct. 1 totaled about 8.9 million tons, according to the latest weekly trade data out of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. A year ago that total was zero. And the sales to China are significantly boosting overall U.S. export sales. Total outstanding U.S. corn export sales as of Oct. 1 were about 22 million tons. Physical corn exports to China are also continuing to surge. China was again the biggest corn importer during the Sept. 25-Oct. 1 period. The U.S. shipped 349,900 tons of corn to China in that week-long...

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Oct 14, 2020

Inland Waterways Vital to America’s Corn Farmers

Key Issues:Transportation

The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to export, with more than 60 percent of the grain produced in the U.S. being transported by barge. For the past few months, the Illinois River has been shut down to go through necessary upgrades, with a price tag totaling roughly $200 million.   “The waterway system is critical to all of agriculture,” said Bill Leigh, Illinois farmer and Vice Chair of the Risk Management and Transportation Action Team. “The work that’s gone into making the waterways viable transportation hubs to reliably move agricultural goods is what has made our grain so competitive around the world.”   The locks and dams on the Illinois River at LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, Marseilles, and Dresden Island have been closed for various construction projects, with a target completion date of all the projects by the end of October. For more information on the locks and dams undergoing construction on the Illinois River, click here.   Tracy Zea,...

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Oct 13, 2020

AgTalks: Taking the Town Hall Digital

Key Issues:Trade

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) joined other agriculture leaders this summer in hosting a series of Farmers for Free Trade town hall discussions focused on the future of agriculture.   The AgTalks town hall series focused specifically on the big challenges American agriculture faces on trade, international supply chain resilience and global competitiveness. With the cancellation of many state fairs and agriculture conventions where farm and agriculture leaders typically engage in dialogues on industry-wide challenges, AgTalks served as a platform for insightful discussion on trade and its importance to the health of rural economies.   “Farmers and Agribusiness leaders from across the country are leading the way in defining the future for their industry and communities. Expanded trade is key to revitalizing Rural America and it is incumbent upon our local leaders to play a critical role in shaping future policies that will not only open markets but also ensure...

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Oct 9, 2020

Sustainability Research to Drive Corn Demand and Collaboration Continues with Industry Partners

Key Issues:SustainabilityAnimal Agriculture

Sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand and that’s been the focus of a partnership between the National Pork Board (NPB), United Soybean Board (USB) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA).  Two years ago, the three organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a sustainability research platform that will benefit all three organizations and their producers.   Since the MOU was signed, the groups have been collaborating on sustainability goals and initiatives, as well as a feed sustainability blueprint project. This project intends to encourage on-farm and facility outcome-based goals that contribute to watershed and sustainability goals. The objective is to establish practices, definitions, and standards on how to measure and track the sustainability of feed ingredients, primarily soybean meal and corn, with a focus on water quality, water quantity, climate resilience and wildlife habitat.   “America’s pig farmers are committed to producing pork and...

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Oct 8, 2020

NCGA Joins Secretary Perdue Supporting Higher Blends of Ethanol

Key Issues:EthanolFarm PolicyHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) First Vice President Chris Edgington, along with Minnesota Corn Growers Association leadership, today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue for an Albert Lea, Minn., event in support of higher blends of ethanol.   Perdue announced today that USDA has invested $22 million out of the up to $100 million in grants available to increase American ethanol and biodiesel sales through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP).  According to USDA, the $22 million HBIIP investments are projected to increase ethanol demand by nearly 150 million gallons annually. USDA will announce the remaining grant recipients in the coming weeks.   Further developing the infrastructure needed for higher blends of ethanol continues to be a priority for NCGA. These cost-share grants will support more retailers offering E15 and E85 across the country. Increasing the availability of higher blends today also helps expand...

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Oct 7, 2020

Reaching Retailers to Foster the Adoption of Higher Ethanol Blends

Key Issues:Ethanol

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) has been a leader in retailer education when it comes to utilizing and accessing higher blends of ethanol like E15 and E85. ACE’s Flex Fuel Forward website is a resource for retailers by retailers.   Ron Lamberty, Senior Vice President of Market Development, says the organization launched a new tool for retailers, helping them determine the compatibility of existing station equipment with E15.   “A huge number of retailers have E15 compatible equipment and could sell it tomorrow without a big investment,” Lamberty said. “But they don’t know, and most haven’t even checked, because API, AFPM, oil companies and petroleum marketer groups have been telling station owners their equipment isn’t compatible with E15 since it was approved, and replacing it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We just want them to check because a lot of them will be shocked to find out they can add E15 for next to nothing.”   The National Corn Growers...

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Oct 7, 2020

Aflatoxin Mitigation Grant Program Accepting Research Applications

Key Issues:ProductionResearch

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announces a new round of research grants to help farmers manage aflatoxin issues. Letters of intent from principal investigators, co-principal investigators, and collaborators not exceeding the $75,000 per year limit will be accepted by AMCOE until October 30, 2020. For more information about the review process, evaluation criteria and program, click here.   The Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence Research Program will again offer researcher grants for projects focused on solving profit-robbing aflatoxin issues for farmers. These grants, which will be awarded to researchers focusing on six priority areas, were designed by southern corn checkoff boards to bring a unified approach to funding research projects across the region and will thus favor research teams that include members from multiple states.   “We have made significant progress in understanding and managing Aflatoxin and other mycotoxins in recent years through the...

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