In The News

Mar 2020

Mar 31, 2020

Sustainability Focus Continues to Grow at NCGA

Key Issues:Sustainability

A new Corn Sustainability Advisory Group (CSAG) met recently to discuss how NCGA can focus on corn sustainability and advise the NCGA board on how to proactively tell corn’s positive story of change and constant improvement.   The group made up of farmer representation of NCGA’s Ethanol, Market Development, Sustainable Ag Research and Stewardship Action Teams, NCGA staff, and state corn staff – will also work toward building consumer trust and growing competitive market demand by offering a broad view of NCGA’s current initiatives as well as establishing goals for the future.   “We have a lot going on organizationally that links directly or indirectly to sustainability. CSAG will work to help to identify areas for strengthening, integration and expansion,” said Rachel Orf, NCGA director of Sustainability. “We will also step up our engagement with corn sector partners and value chain members to identify mutual goals, opportunities for collaboration and bring more cohesion to our...

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Mar 30, 2020

CARES Act Includes Support for Agriculture

Key Issues:COVID-19Farm Policy

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, H.R. 748, was signed by President Trump on Friday. The wide-ranging legislation provides emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.   The CARES Act provides $350 billion to help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from going under due to economic losses caused by COVID-19. The package includes a paycheck protection program, small business debt relief, recovery rebates for individuals, airline support, and the creation of a $150 billion coronavirus relief fund for states, territories and tribal governments.   For agriculture, the CARES Act includes $48.9 billion for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes $9.5 billion for the Secretary of Agriculture to assist agriculture producers, including specialty...

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Mar 26, 2020

Coronavirus Update: "Business As Unusual," with Nutrien Ag Solutions CEO Mike Frank

Jon and Mike examine the status of farm inputs availability amid the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.    In response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, the institution of social distancing protocols has left growers and ag stakeholders with questions as they head into planting season.   So we're interrupting your normal programming to provide a timely update with the CEO of Nutrien Ag Solutions, Mike Frank.   In this episode, Mike tells NCGA CEO Jon Doggett that Nutrien is on-track to deliver all the inputs growers need to get a jump on the season and enacting special protocols to keep staff and farmers safe.   Ultimately, the fate of the nation hangs on its uninterrupted food supply, and Jon has details on NCGA's efforts to ensure the supply lines remain open and farmers have the support they need.     You can stream Wherever Jon May Roam at NCGA.com/podcast, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podasts.

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Mar 25, 2020

Corn Farmers Welcome Administration’s Decision Not to Seek Re-Hearing of Tenth Circuit SRE Ruling

Key Issues:Ethanol

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today joined ethanol and farm groups welcoming the Trump administration’s decision not to seek a re-hearing of a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit that struck down certain small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). On January 24, a panel of Tenth Circuit judges unanimously ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had vastly exceeded its authority in granting exemptions from 2016 and 2017 RFS requirements to three refineries.   “EPA’s decision not to appeal the Tenth Circuit decision means EPA’s abuse of RFS waivers should be significantly reduced going forward, preventing further demand destruction. Ethanol is an incredibly important market for corn farmers that makes fuel cleaner, and it is imperative EPA now follow the Court’s direction and implement the RFS as intended. Farmers are pleased the Administration did not appeal the Tenth Circuit ruling and we urge...

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Mar 25, 2020

NCGA Thanks Governors, Encourages Support for Ag Supply Chain

Key Issues:COVID-19

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) yesterday joined a broad coalition of agriculture organizations in a letter to all 50 Governors, encouraging them to apply the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidance consistently to ensure that all workers, facilities and services in the ag supply chain continue to operate and provide necessary inputs.   The guidance, from the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is intended to help state and local jurisdictions and the private sector identify and manage their essential workforce while responding to COVID-19. Works in the food and agriculture supply chain are identified as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”   “To ensure a consistent approach across all 50 states and local governments, the undersigned organizations respectfully request that you incorporate the CISA list and any future amendments into your state response plan, and any critical shelter-in-place or shut down orders for your state,...

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Mar 24, 2020

NCGA Urges Congress Support CCC Authority

Key Issues:COVID-19Farm PolicyProduction

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) joined a wide range of agriculture organizations in a letter to Congressional leaders urging they provide support to farmers amid challenging times for agriculture.   “Farmers, ranchers and the supply chain that support them will not let Americans down during this unprecedented crisis and they are asking the same of you. Millions of producers will need help with cash flow given the rapid and unanticipated decline in commodity prices, the likely closure of ethanol processing plants, the effective elimination of direct-to-consumer sales and decline in full-service restaurants and school meal demand. Congress must have farmers’ and ranchers’ backs by expanding and replenishing USDA’s borrowing authority under the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC),” the groups wrote.   NCGA last week formed a Task Force to facilitate the collection of information and streamline the decision-making process to make recommendations and coordinate...

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Mar 24, 2020

Steps on the Farm to Manage COVID-19 

Key Issues:COVID-19

NCGA is committed to keeping you informed and passing along best practices as we move through the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. Preparations for Spring planting means activity levels are increasing on the farm for things like field preparation and on-farm deliveries. Limiting interactions and exposure is a good idea to limit exposure and risk related to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). It is critical to practice biosecurity for your family, your employees, the public, and animals.   COVID-19 Planning & Procedures   Identify and coordinate a drop-off location for supplier deliveries to the farm. If possible, set this up away from on-farm high traffic areas and housing.   Create specific instructions for drop-off deliveries. Provide the location and all procedures needed at the drop-off point. Create signage to easily identify drop-off points. List all point of contacts with contact information to assist with questions leading up to delivery and upon arrival. Practice...

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Mar 23, 2020

Corn Checkoff Assisting Teachers with Online Curriculum

Key Issues:COVID-19

If you are a teacher or a parent looking for teaching resources or activities during COVID-19, the National Corn Growers Association and Nourish the Future community network is here to help. The program made possible by farmer-funded state corn checkoff programs across the U.S. provides excellent teaching resources immediately as schools shut down across the country.     These difficult times remind us of how valuable and important teachers are. They are creative, quick to pivot, and able to keep students learning in tough circumstances. They have the skills needed to flourish while teaching our children during these uncertain times.    The Nourish the Future team has designed virtual resources that can be found at https://nourishthefuture.org/virtual. This is what their team is doing to help teachers during these difficult times:   Communication! Sending resources and offering help Packaging online curriculum collections in ways that makes them easy for a teacher to use...

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Mar 23, 2020

China Purchases U.S. Corn

Key Issues:Trade

A new report released Friday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows export sales of 756,000 metric tons (MT) of U.S. corn to China for delivery in the 2019-20 marketing year.   China holds tremendous opportunity for U.S. corn, ethanol and DDGs and NCGA welcomed this news.   The USDA report also showed Chinese purchases of 340,00 MT of hard red winter wheat for the 2020-21 marketing year.

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Mar 20, 2020

NCGA COVID-19 Task Force Convenes

Key Issues:COVID-19

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is moving quickly in its efforts to better understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s corn growers. In a letter to NCGA members Thursday, NCGA President Kevin Ross and CEO Jon Doggett announced the formation of an NCGA COVID-19 Task Force to facilitate the collection of information, streamline the decision-making process to make recommendations and coordinate activities with the broader corn value chain.   The Task Force held its first organizational meeting via teleconference Friday morning. The Task Force consists of state and national farmer leaders and staff, with support from Ross, Doggett and NCGA’s Management Team.   Task Force members are NCGA First Vice President John Linder (OH), Deb Gangwish (NE), Denny Maple (IN), Harold Wolle (MN), Robert Gordon (TX), Bill Leigh (IL), Evan Miles (MD), Paul Thomas (ND), Craig Floss (IA), Colleen Klein (NY), Gary Marshall (MO), and Lisa Richardson (SD). Linder will...

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Mar 19, 2020

NCGA Actions Related to Coronavirus

Key Issues:COVID-19

NCGA Family,   As we face the uncertainty surrounding the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) we wanted to provide an update on NCGA actions surrounding the pandemic.   While this situation is no doubt impacting our daily lives and personal interactions, it has also created much uncertainty for our industry. We understand that the impact is already being felt through lost dollars in cash price and demand destruction stemming from ethanol plant closures and weakened demand in the livestock sector.   NCGA is assembling a Task Force to provide recommendations on recovery efforts and facilitate coordination along the value chain. The Task Force will compile more information, coordinate with the industry and provide recommendations to mitigate the economic fallout.   And, to better understand the economic impact on agriculture, NCGA’s Board of Directors has commissioned an economic analysis of implications for corn farmers to evaluate how best to move forward on your...

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Mar 19, 2020

Renewable Fuels Coalition Launches Campaign Calling for EPA Not to Appeal 10th Circuit Decision

Key Issues:Ethanol

With the need for a decision only days away, the coalition that successfully won a unanimous court decision against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continued its call for the agency to not appeal the decision by launching a new social media campaign aimed at encouraging policymakers and the EPA to do the right thing. Click here for a video created by the four associations to drive this point home in Washington.   The coalition made up of the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union, took the EPA to court and won over several exemptions it granted to small refineries, releasing them from their renewable fuel obligations in 2016 and 2017. The Trump administration sought and secured an extension of the appeal deadline until Tuesday, March 24.   "With the renewable fuels industry reeling from coronavirus, trade disputes and small refinery exemptions, now is certainly not the time for the Trump...

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Mar 19, 2020

National Poultry Day

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

Today, March 19, is National Poultry Day! Consuming nearly 1.2 billion bushels annually, poultry is one of the top consumers of US corn. With poultry exports adding $.28 of value per bushel, a total of $4.1 billion in revenue, that’s nothing to squawk at. Whether you like them grilled, fried, or pecking around in your front yard; let’s all shake our tail feathers with some hen-thusiasm and celebrate these corn-converting protein machines! Learn more about corn and animal agriculture here.

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Mar 18, 2020

Webinar Series to Address the Impact of Corona Virus on Corn Belt Ag

The coronavirus is causing unprecedented disruptions in the U.S. and global economies, including the corn industry. You can get a better handle on developments by participating in a series of “live” webinar events starting Friday, March 20, beginning at 11 a.m.   The farmdoc webinars by the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will be happening the following dates and times:   Fri, Mar 20, 2020 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Tue, Mar 24, 2020 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Fri, Mar 27, 2020 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Mon, Mar 30, 2020 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT   The webinars are expected to be 30-minutes long but can be extended, if necessary. Each webinar will begin with brief presentations, with the bulk of the time available to answer questions from attendees.

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Mar 17, 2020

Get the Low Down on Weed Resistance from the Experts

Key Issues:Production

Welcome to the Take Action Webinar Series on new developments in herbicide-resistance management. If you have questions or concerns about herbicide resistance management you can get some answers Thursday, March 19, at 10 a.m.   The sixth installment of the Take Action Webinar Series features two presentations:   Part 1: Status of On-Combine Seed Destruction Technologies Kevin Bradley, Ph.D., University of Missouri Part 2: Chemical Control System Mixing Issues Joe Ikely, Ph.D., North Dakota State University.   Take Action is a farmer-focused education platform funded by soy checkoff and National Corn Growers Association through state checkoff support. The program is designed to help farmers and their advisors manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance.   The goal is to encourage the adoption of management practices that lessen the impact of resistant pests and preserve current and future crop protection technology.   The Take Action Webinar Series aims to bring you...

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Mar 13, 2020

Corn Checkoff Tackling the Challenge of Tar Spot

Key Issues:Production

Make no mistake, when it comes to corn diseases Tar Spot is a booger. Although largely ignored until 2018 in the U.S., the fungus is now generating interest driven by its ability to severely crush corn yields. In fact, some fields suffered yield losses ranging from 25-60 bushels an acre that year.   Especially concerning is the apparent lack of resistance in many hybrids and how quickly it has spread since its arrival. Tar Spot was first identified in Mexico and then the Caribbean before landing in Illinois and Indiana in 2015. Indiana and Michigan reported hot spots in 2019 with appearances reported in Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa and even Florida.   “Research is critically needed for rapid development of management strategies to reduce its impact and National Corn Growers Association with the support of state corn checkoff dollars and a FFAR grant is working to begin assessing germplasm for potential sources of resistance,” said Robyn Allscheid, NCGA Research and...

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Mar 12, 2020

Soil Health Network Broadens Reach with Podcast

Key Issues:Sustainability

The Soil Health Partnership will launch a new podcast called “The People of Soil Health” on April 7, 2020. The Podcast will provide a direct connection into the network of soil health professionals who are focused on the on-farm economic and environmental benefits of soil health.   SHP Senior Director John Mesko will serve as the host and will interview the best in the agricultural and environmental industries to discuss soil health practices and management systems, issues facing farmers, and insights from soil data sets.    During the first episode Mesko will be visiting with SHP Lead Scientist Dr. Maria Bowman to review SHP’s first business case about an Indiana farmer and the economic benefits of his wheat cover crop management practices. As the science of soil health continues to evolve, Maria has become a recognized leader in collecting and analyzing on-farm data to help farmers improve their decision making.   “At our core, SHP believes in the power of partnerships. The...

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Mar 11, 2020

NCGA National Yield Contest Stars Offer Tips to Increase Your Yields

Key Issues:Production

The National Corn Growers Association released a video last week offering tips from perennial high-yield entrants of the National Corn Yield Contest during a breakfast at Commodity Classic in San Antonio honoring the state winners of the 2019 contest. The new video, which accompanies the traditional online NCYC Guide, offers farmers across the country a chance to apply the tips learned through the contest to their own operations to improve their yields and their bottom line.   To view the video, click here.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 55th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   For more than half of a century, NCGA’s National Corn Yield Contest has provided corn growers the opportunity to compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre, helping feed and fuel the world. This has given participants not only the recognition they deserved but the opportunity to learn from their peers.   Watch NCGA News of the Day for further...

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Mar 11, 2020

Concern About Weed Control Keeping You Up at Night?

Key Issues:Production

Welcome to the Take Action Webinar Series on new developments in herbicide-resistance management. If you have questions or concerns about herbicide resistance management you can get some answers Thursday, March 12, at 10 a.m.   The fifth installment of the Take Action Webinar Series features two presentations. Part 1: Drift Reduction Agents: Influence on Drift Management, Weed Control, and Dicamba Volatility Bryan Young, Ph.D., Purdue University   Part 2: Key Considerations for Preplant Burndown and Postemergence Volunteer Corn Control Herbicide Tank Mixes Bill Johnson, Ph.D., Purdue University.   Take Action is a farmer-focused education platform funded by soy checkoff and National Corn Growers Association through state checkoff support. The program is designed to help farmers and their advisors manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance.   The goal is to encourage the adoption of management practices that lessen the impact of resistant pests and preserve current...

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Mar 10, 2020

Ethanol, Farm Groups Respond as Administration Mulls Appeal of Tenth Circuit SRE Ruling

Key Issues:Ethanol

On March 9, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit approved requests by the U.S. Department of Justice, HollyFrontier, and CVR Energy for an extension of the deadline to file motions asking for a rehearing en banc of Renewable Fuels Association et al. v. EPA, in which the Court found EPA vastly exceeded its authority in granting compliance exemptions to three refineries from 2016 and 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard obligations. The new deadline for requesting a rehearing in the Tenth Circuit is March 24.   The petitioners in the case—the Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union—offered the following statement:   “We are very disappointed that the Administration has opted to kick the can on deciding whether to appeal the court decision, as all initial indications suggested EPA would not appeal the ruling and would correctly apply the decision nationally. This delay just prolongs uncertainty...

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Mar 9, 2020

ARC-PLC Enrollment Deadline

This is the last full week for farmers to complete the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) election and enrollment process for the 2019 crop year. Applications are due Monday, March 16. Producers must visit their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in order to enroll and make program elections for the 2019 crop year.   FSA urges applicants to enroll soon to beat the rush as the deadline nears.   For more information on selecting the best program for your operation, the National Coalition for Producer Education (NCPE), led by the University of Illinois - fd-tools.ncsa.illinois.edu and the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University, in conjunction with the Food and Agricultural Policy Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri - https://www.afpc.tamu.edu/tools/farmbill/2018/ have developed online decision calculators.

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Mar 5, 2020

Record Number of Farmers Attend 2020 Commodity Classic

A record number of farmers converged on Texas last week for the 2020 Commodity Classic.  Total farmers registered was 4,678—the highest number in the show’s 24-year history, eclipsing the previous record of 4,595 set in 2016 in New Orleans.  Total registrations of 9,350 was also second only to the New Orleans event.   Held Feb. 27-29 in San Antonio, Texas, the 2020 Commodity Classic featured dozens of educational sessions, a huge trade show with nearly 400 exhibitors, a keynote address by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, a concert performance by Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry, policy meetings of the sponsoring commodity associations, a wide variety of presentations from well-known industry leaders and top farmers, and tours of area attractions.   Commodity Classic returns to San Antonio March 4-6, 2021, as the show celebrates its Silver Anniversary next year.  For information, visit CommodityClassic.com.   Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is America’s...

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Mar 4, 2020

World of Corn Explores 2019 Crop

U.S. corn farmers showed resilience in 2019 with a national average yield of 168 bushels per acre and 13.7 billion bushels of corn produced in the United States while facing a myriad of weather-related challenges.   To highlight these achievements and all they mean, the National Corn Growers Association delves into the facts about corn production, using a historical comparison in its newest edition of the World of Corn. This statistical look at the corn industry, both domestic and worldwide, features a wide array of information on corn production and usage. In addition to the traditional statistics guide, this year’s distribution includes a poster highlighting the many incredible ways in which corn makes our daily lives possible.   “Resilience. What word better embodied the spirit of America’s corn farmers in 2019?” NCGA President Kevin Ross and Chief Executive Officer Jon Doggett note in the introduction. “Facing persistent economic challenges, regulatory and legislative...

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Mar 4, 2020

Winning the War Against Herbicide Resistance

Key Issues:Production

If you are wanting to up your game in dealing with herbicide resistance management there’s a great opportunity Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 10 a.m. central time. Take Action, and National Corn Growers Association program, is offering a series of sessions each Thursday this month.   Tomorrow’s session will include two presentations by Thomas Peters, Ph.D., North Dakota State University Weed Control discussing Weed Control using High Voltage Electricity and John Wallace, Ph.D., Penn State University on Integrating Cover Crops for Herbicide-Resistance Management. The series is hosted by Bill Johnson at Purdue University and Mark Loux at The Ohio State University.   Take Action is a farmer-focused education platform designed to help farmers and their advisors manage herbicide, fungicide and insect resistance. The goal is to encourage the adoption of management practices that lessen the impact of resistant pests and preserve current and future crop protection technology. The Take...

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Mar 3, 2020

NCGA Welcomes USDA Action to Increase Biofuels Usage

Key Issues:Ethanol

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue last week announced plans to increase biofuels usage in USDA vehicles, directing the department to acquire alternative fueled vehicles when replacing conventionally fueled vehicles. Moving to vehicles that can use E85 or biodiesel will increase efficiencies and performances of the USDA fleet, one of the largest civilian fleets in the federal government.   Perdue also announced USDA will make $100 million in grants available this year for the newly created Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP), expanding fueling infrastructure to make higher blends like E15 more available nationwide. Last month, NCGA submitted comments to USDA outlining corn farmers’ recommendations for the HBIIP program.   NCGA is committed to growing demand for corn farmers and appreciated that Perdue shared these announcements directly with growers during his address to Commodity Classic in San Antonio on Friday. NCGA appreciates USDA’s leadership to...

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