Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) solidified U.S. corn farmers’ commitment to environmental, economic and social sustainability with the release of U.S. Corn Sustainability Goals and the first U.S. Corn Sustainability Report. The report documents a long history of continuous improvement by U.S. corn farmers and the goals set targets for further progress over the next decade.
“Corn farmers have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability for decades through their adoption of practices to defend against soil erosion, improve water quality and water use, and management of resources through modern farming advancements,” says John Linder, a farmer from Edison, Ohio, and NCGA President. “NCGA is celebrating this commitment and sharing our story through our Sustainability Report. By setting future goals, we’re both demonstrating our dedication to continued improvement and setting targets to measure this progress.”
Farmer-leaders of NCGA are setting five environmental national efficiency goals to further enhance corn production sustainability in the United States by 2030:
- Increase land-use efficiency by 12%.
- Increase irrigation water use efficiency by 15%.
- Reduce soil erosion by 13%.
- Increase energy use efficiency by 13%.
- Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 13%.
The release of both the report and the sustainability goals is the culmination of an 18-month, farmer-led process. NCGA formed a Corn Sustainability Advisory Group in 2019 to proactively drive the U.S. corn sustainability story and ensure continued demand for the crop. Members of this group--primarily corn farmers from across the U.S.--were involved at every step of the process and made all decisions, including setting the sustainability goals. The goals were ultimately approved by the NCGA Corn Board earlier this year.
“Sustainability is and will continue to be an incredibly important part of what we do, and I’m proud that my fellow leaders at NCGA have led our industry in taking these important steps,” says Linder. “As our country and the world examine risks associated with climate change, our commitment to sustainability positions us to play an even bigger role in mitigating these risks in the future.”
NCGA is holding an open comment period for farmers, customers and others to provide feedback on the report and sustainability goals. To learn more about NCGA’s sustainability goals and report or submit a comment, go to ncga.com/sustainability.