In The News

Nov 2020

Nov 25, 2020

Last Call! Harvest Results Deadline Right Around the Corner

Key Issues:Production

Time is running out to submit harvest results for the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC). Entries are due Monday, November 30, 2020 at 5 P.M.CST.   “2019 was another record-breaking year and I am excited to see what yield results we get in this year,” said NCYC Manager Linda Lambur. “The corn yield contest serves as an opportunity for corn growers to not only learn from their peers, but compete with their colleagues to grow the most corn per acre while meeting the growing demand for food, feed, fuel and fiber.”   Harvest entries can be submitted online here. Login for the site is your membership number and postal code. The contest email address is ncyc@ncga.com if any assistance is needed. 2020 NCYC results will be released on Monday, December 14. Winners will receive national recognition in publications, such as the NCYC Corn Yield Guide. This is the 56th year of the Corn Yield Contest.

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Nov 23, 2020

NCGA and Checkoff Support FFAR Grant to Address Corn Tar Spot

Key Issues:Production

In 2018, an epidemic of corn tar spot plagued corn growers from Florida to Michigan. This plant disease, caused by the fungus Phyllachora maydis, reduced corn yields by as much as 60 bushels per acre. Compounding difficulties, the fungus cannot be grown in a lab, limiting scientists’ understanding of how to fight it. To combat its spread, the Foundation for Food & Agricultural Research (FFAR) awarded a $150,000 Rapid Outcomes for Agricultural Research (ROAR) grant to a group of plant pathologists to study and mitigate tar spot on corn.   This ROAR grant was matched by the National Corn Growers Association, Corteva Agriscience, Wyffels Hybrids, Illinois Corn Growers Association and Purdue University for a total investment of $300,000.   “Research is critically needed for rapid development of management strategies to reduce the impact of tar spot. The National Corn Growers Association, with the support of state corn checkoff dollars, is pleased to provide matching funding for...

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Nov 23, 2020

Farm & Biofuel Leaders Urge Courts to Hold EPA Accountable on Improper 2016 Waiver

Key Issues:Ethanol

Today, a coalition of the nation’s largest biofuels and agricultural trade groups filed a motion in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia asking the court to enforce its 2017 decision requiring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to address its improper waiver of 500 million gallons of biofuel demand in the 2016 renewable volume obligation (RVO).     The coalition, which includes Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, National Biodiesel Board, American Coalition for Ethanol, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers issued a statement following the filing:     “It is simply unconscionable that EPA would so brazenly ignore a federal court’s order. The agency must do right by America’s farmers and biofuel producers and supporters. Together, our coalition represents millions of rural families, who should not have to resort to more court proceedings to hold EPA accountable to the law. It’s well past...

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Nov 20, 2020

Illinois Waterway System Reopens to Traffic

Key Issues:Transportation

A major rehabilitation project on the Illinois River has been completed, allowing for the 12 million tons of food and ag commodities that leave the state to resume. This past summer, the Illinois River was shut down to go through necessary infrastructure upgrades with all of the newly completed work accompanied by a price tag totaling roughly $200 million.   This Week in Agribusiness recently featured the ongoing work from the Illinois Lock and Dam Project. Back in September, corn growers and NCGA staff toured four active construction sites along the Rock Island District including LaGrange, Peoria, Starved Rock, and Marseilles. The inland waterways system is essential to getting U.S. corn to the export market, with more than 60 percent of the grain produced in the U.S. being transported by barge.     Illinois corn grower Terry Smith told This Week in Agribusiness that waterways transportation isn’t just more efficient, it also makes the roads safer. “If you know some of the...

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Nov 17, 2020

Farm to Virtual Fair Contest Winners Highlight the Benefits of a Corn Fed Diet

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

This fair season, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) hosted a virtual contest to give 4-H and FFA members an opportunity to showcase their show animals and the benefits of using corn in the feed ration.    “There’s a lot of work that goes into caring for livestock, and with many local, county and state fairs being canceled this year, we wanted to celebrate the hard work that goes into a fair season with this contest,” said NCGA Market Development Manager Michael Granché. “This was an opportunity to get the next generation of farmers and livestock producers to incorporate and learn about the benefits of a corn-fed diet.”   Three winners were selected based on social media engagement, photo quality and the post text.  The first-place winner will win $300, second place will receive $200, and third place will get $100.   The following posts were the winners of the contest:   First-Place: “Sheep love corn and find it very palatable. It covers their nutrient...

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Nov 17, 2020

Chemical & Engineering News Partnership Highlights the Versatility of Corn as an Industrial Feedstock

Key Issues:New Uses

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is partnering with Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) to underscore the many uses of corn, including opportunities in plant-based packaging, chemicals, and nutraceuticals. The Market Development Action Team funded this effort.   “This is a way for us to enter into a conversation with an audience we don’t get to engage with on a day-to-day basis,” said Market Development Action Team Chair and Nebraska farmer Dan Wesely. “This is one of the many efforts we have in the new uses space. Being able to share corn’s story, that we are an abundant, affordable, sustainably grown and versatile crop with this audience is important to future corn demand.”   C&EN subscribers will test their knowledge on corn production and uses by taking a quiz with questions ranging from “How much corn does the U.S. produce each year?” to “Which organic acid produced from corn is used in shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals?”   An Read More

Nov 16, 2020

CommonGround Celebrates 10 Years of Breaking Barriers, Building Trust

Key Issues:Consumer Engagement

CommonGround, a group of women farmers planting seeds of trust through conversations with consumers about the food they grow, celebrates an impressive milestone this month: 10 years of service and impact.   With so many food choices available, the farmers of CommonGround serve as a resource to connect with families about food and farming. The organization’s farmers volunteer their time to share personal experiences, as well as science and research, to help consumers sort through the myths and misinformation surrounding food. What began as a handful of volunteers with a shared goal has flourished, growing into a grassroots movement with more than 200 volunteers across 20 states.   “I’m proud to be part of something so authentic in this crazy world,” said Lauren Biegler, a CommonGround farmer-volunteer from Minnesota. “All the women in the program have such genuine love and pride for their families, farms and the products that come off their farms.”   CommonGround was developed...

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Nov 13, 2020

NCGA Sustainability Efforts Have a Clear Focus Gaining Momentum

Key Issues:Sustainability

Over the last four years, the National Corn Growers Association has homed in on sustainability initiatives completing a full assessment of its checkoff-funded organizational efforts and initiatives, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett told attendees of Field to Market’s Fall Plenary & General Assembly Meeting in his Keynote Address.   The productive effort looked at what is happening on the ground at the state and national level, and what our customers along the value chain were doing on sustainability. The investigation asked what goals the industry is setting, what was driving those decisions and delved into corn growers evolving role in meeting these goals.   “For decades, corn farmers have been making advancements in how they grow their crops, but they never referred to it as sustainability. To them, it was just the right thing to do, so they were good stewards of their land,” Doggett said. “But now we are bringing our customers together to evaluate and explore the options and...

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Nov 12, 2020

NCGA Comments to EPA Focus on Future Access to Bt Technology

Key Issues:Biotechnology

The National Corn Growers Association submitted formal comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week to ensure future access and continued success with the use of Bt technology.   In September, the EPA published a proposal to update insect resistance management (IRM) strategies for lepidopteran pests, like corn earworm and fall armyworm. EPA went through a similar process several years ago for corn rootworm.   “The proposal offered what the EPA is calling “complex mitigation strategies” that would directly impact corn growers nationwide, not only in the south,” said Chad Wetzel, a Texas farmer and chairman of NCGA’s Production Technology Access Action Team. “EPA proposed phasing out certain Bt pyramids nationwide. NCGA did not support this for multiple reasons, as it would greatly limit grower seed selection and drastically increase the use of a select few Bt products and therefore increase the risk of resistance development for those traits.”   The EPA...

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Nov 12, 2020

Scholarship Programs Expanded: Apply Now!

The National Corn Growers Association will accept applications for a broad variety of college and graduate programs but act now. Applications are due on December 4, 2020.   NCGA will award five $1,000 scholarships to students attending technical school and community college. Students can be enrolled in any degree or certification program. The committee realized that not every student wants or needs to attend a four-year university to be successful in their community.   Students pursuing an advanced degree or working on their doctorate degree can apply for one $2,500 award plus the opportunity to attend NCGA’s Corn Utilization and Technology Conference in 2021.   The monetary award for the NCGA William C. Berg Academic Excellence in Agriculture Scholarship Program, which is sponsored by BASF, was expanded to $1,500 in 2019 and is available exclusively to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in any subject area.    To be eligible for all three scholarship programs, the...

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Nov 10, 2020

Watch now! Unleashing the Power of Ethanol: NCGA and Growth Energy Town Hall

Key Issues:EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and Growth Energy recently held a town hall, discussing exciting ethanol initiatives and other opportunities on the horizon for corn growers and biofuel producers. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor and NCGA President John Linder participated in the Town Hall with Farm Journal’s Chip Flory.   “We need all the markets we can, and we need market-based solutions,” Linder told viewers. Linder outlined the market potential of getting E15 in California, which is 750 million gallons of ethanol or 260 million bushels of corn. Linder also outlined the market potential of a high-octane low-carbon fuel with the Next Generation Fuels Act, telling viewers eventually the annual usage of corn would be 1.8 billion bushels   Linder and Skor outlined the latest policy priorities for the biofuel and ag industry, opportunities for growth in the domestic and global marketplace, the path to increased consumer choice at the pump via higher ethanol fuel blends,...

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Nov 10, 2020

Deadline to Submit Photos in the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest Nov. 30

Time is running out to submit your photos in the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. This is the seventh year of the annual photo contest of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), and the deadline to submit photos is November 30, 2020.   “This year, we added two new categories: Livestock and Farm Pets,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “In the past, the contest has received a number of submissions of livestock, and since the animal ag industry is the largest customer of corn, it made sense to have that as a category. And, farm pets are an important part of any operation, so we wanted to include them, too!”   The single, most popular photo with Facebook “likes” will be awarded a $500 prize. First ($300), Second ($200), Third ($100), prizes will be awarded for each of eight categories, and, as in prior years, judges will select a single Grand Prize winner to be awarded $500. A total of 26 cash prizes will be awarded.   Visit Fields-of-Corn today to enter...

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Nov 9, 2020

New Study Highlights the Value of Corn in the Pet Food Industry

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

There are many benefits to including corn in your pet’s diet, but have you ever wondered about the benefits that your cat or dog brings to the corn industry? Fortunately, there is a new, comprehensive study available aimed at unpacking the $30 billion U.S. retail pet food industry, thanks to the Institute for Feed Education and Research (IFEEDER), the Pet Food Institute and the North American Renderers Association.   The study found that corn and corn gluten meal are the top two most used plant-based ingredients in pet food products. Corn is the dominant plant-based carbohydrate at 1,283,674 tons, and corn gluten meal is the dominant plant-based protein ingredient at 476,649 tons used on an annual basis. Thanks to Fido and Fluffy, the corn industry moved 1,958,061 tons of product, valued at a total of $438 million.   “Farmers and farm-product processors sell $6.9 billion worth of products to pet food manufacturers every year that are used as ingredients. Sales made by farmers...

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Nov 6, 2020

Corn Grower STEM Program Seeks Teachers for a National Leadership Experience

National STEM Day 2020 is Nov. 8, and it’s a holiday National Corn Growers Association celebrates every day. That’s because the intent is to recognize the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our schools and to the future of agriculture.   NCGA believes agriculture is a vital partner in engaging students in STEM concepts in ways that directly and indirectly impact their lives and the lives of farmers. Not only does teaching an ag-based curriculum in the science classroom inspire students to solve real-world science issues, reaching students is critical to address the job gap in agriculture-related careers, many of which go unfilled.   NCGA and its state corn checkoff programs began investing in making the latest teaching materials and teacher training available nationwide before COVID but quickly shifted gears to more virtual tools with the emergence of the pandemic. If you want to see how your checkoff support is helping teachers go to Read More

Nov 5, 2020

Harvest Results Deadline Approaching for 2020 Corn Yield Contest

Key Issues:Production

The 56th installment of the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) National Corn Yield Contest (NCYC) is drawing to a close, so you must submit your harvest results by November 30 to be included in the 2020 rankings.   Harvest entries can be submitted online here. Login for the site is your membership number and postal code. The contest email address is ncyc@ncga.com if any assistance is needed.   NCYC is where high yields meet innovative production methods and razor-sharp management skills. The contest also helps chart a course for how corn farmers will continue to meet future demand while integrating the drive for more sustainable production practices.   2020 NCYC results will be released on Monday, December 14.

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Nov 2, 2020

Updated Buyer’s Guides Provides Poultry Customers Around the World Information on the Value of American Poultry Products

Key Issues:Animal Agriculture

The poultry industry alone consumes over 1,200 million bushels of corn, making our feathered friends the largest consumer of corn grain within the animal agriculture sector. As the top export product by volume for the U.S. meat market, it’s no surprise that poultry exports add $0.28 of value per corn bushel, equating to $4.1 billion in revenue.   “The USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) is excited to announce that our new and improved buyer’s guides have officially launched,” says Shelby Watson, USAPEEC Manager of Allied Industry Relations. “NCGA’s initiative to update our buyer’s guides came just in time as the Covid-19 pandemic rocked the world and highlighted the need for updated digital resources. The existing guides for chicken, turkey, and eggs were PDF resources, originally designed in 1996, detailing U.S. poultry product offerings and have been used at almost all of our trade and marketing activities to ease the buying process for our foreign buyers around the...

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