In The News

Mar 22, 2023

Senators Reintroduce Next Generation Fuels Act

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Next Generation Fuels Act was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate today, drawing praise from the National Corn Growers Association. The legislation, which has been one of NCGA’s top advocacy priorities, would lower fuel prices, reduce carbon emissions and help shore up America’s energy security.   Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) led the bipartisan Senate reintroduction along with Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).   “We’re very grateful to Sen. Grassley, along with Sens. Klobuchar, Ernst and Duckworth, for taking the lead on this priority legislation for corn growers,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “The Next Generation Fuels Act addresses some of the country’s most pressing concerns by providing consumers with more options in the transition to cleaner fuels and vehicles and supporting our long-term energy security.” The Next Generation Fuels Act would clean up our nation’s fuel supply and transition new vehicles to use cleaner, more...

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Mar 21, 2023

NCGA President to EPA: Ensure Consumer Access to Higher Ethanol Blends

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Bryan Goodman

The president of the National Corn Growers Association urged EPA officials today to implement a petition from Midwest governors that would remove barriers to higher blends of ethanol and avoid further delay.   EPA’s public hearing reviewed the agency’s recent proposal to implement a plan from eight Midwest governors to require lower-volatility gasoline so drivers in those states continue to have year-round access to fuel with 15 percent ethanol, often marketed as Unleaded 88. EPA has proposed delaying implementation of the governors’ plan until 2024.   Haag took issue with the delays to date and urged EPA to avoid further delays in implementation. He also highlighted the emissions reduction benefits of E15 and the current cost savings of up to 20 cents or more per gallon when drivers choose E15.   “We are disappointed with EPA’s delayed response to states,” Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Tom Haag told EPA officials during the public hearing. “Governors submitted their...

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Mar 15, 2023

NCGA Joins Letter to Congress Calling for Sufficient Resources for the Next Farm Bill

Key Issues: Farm Bill

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association joined a letter, signed by 400 national, regional, and state agriculture associations this week, which was sent to the Senate and House Budget Committees regarding budgetary resources needed to craft a comprehensive farm bill this year. Over 20 corn state grower affiliate associations also signed the letter with NCGA.   “We write to express our strong support for providing the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry and House Committee on Agriculture with sufficient budgetary resources to write a new bipartisan, multi-year, comprehensive, and meaningful piece of legislation,” the letter read. The letter noted that farm bill budget resources are needed for “protecting and enhancing crop insurance to assist with volatile weather and crop loss, improving access to voluntary conservation incentives, addressing rural development needs, investing in research for innovation and competitiveness, providing opportunities to help the...

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Mar 14, 2023

Bills Providing Permanent E15 Fix Introduced in House and Senate

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association today applauded members of the House and Senate for reintroducing legislation that would provide a permanent, nationwide solution to ensure uninterrupted market access for low-cost, low-emission E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88.   Led by Sens. Deb Fischer (Neb.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Reps. Angie Craig (Minn.), Adrian Smith (Neb.) and Dusty Johnson (S.D.), 35 bipartisan Senate and House members introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, which has again drawn support from a wide range of agriculture, fuel and retail stakeholders.   “The choice of cleaner and less expensive E15 at the pump saves drivers millions of dollars a year and increases the fuel supply to improve our energy security,” said Tom Haag, National Corn Growers Association President. “We thank these bipartisan members of Congress for once again leading on this needed solution to resolve an outdated barrier to consumer choice. There’s no reason for market...

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Mar 9, 2023

Ag & Bioscience Groups: It’s Time for Action on Mexico’s Biotech Corn Ban

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association, along with a broad coalition of national and state agriculture and bioscience organizations, sent a letter to President Biden this week to thank the administration for beginning technical consultations with Mexico concerning its action to ban imports of biotech corn. The letter calls for those consultations to start without delay.   “We support your administration’s request for consultations with Mexico regarding its treatment of agricultural biotechnology and denying the use of certain crop protection tools, to provide a framework and timeline to resolve this issue,” the 62 groups wrote. “We look forward to these consultations beginning promptly.”   Technical consultations bring leaders from the involved countries, which now includes Canada as well, into formal discussions to resolve the dispute. If the talks are not successful, the U.S. can initiate a dispute settlement under USMCA.     The organizations expressed appreciation for the...

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Mar 6, 2023

U.S. Trade Representative Initiates Consultation with Mexico Over Biotech Corn, Putting U.S. Closer to Dispute Settlement Under USMCA

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Trade Representative today initiated a technical consultation with Mexico, a move that puts the U.S. one step away from filing a full dispute settlement under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement over the aggressive steps Mexico has taken to ban biotech corn. Mexico is a top market for corn, the number one agricultural export from the U.S.   The National Corn Growers Association, which along with affiliated state associations, has been leading calls for the Biden administration to act, applauded the development and urged USTR to expedite the process. “We are pleased USTR is taking the next step to hold Mexican officials accountable for the commitments they made under USMCA, which include accepting both biotech and non-biotech commodities,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “Mexico’s position on biotech corn is already creating uncertainty, so we need U.S officials to move swiftly and do everything it takes to eliminate this trade barrier in the very near future.” A technical...

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Mar 2, 2023

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack Joins 2023 Commodity Classic as Keynote Speaker

Author: Bryan Goodman

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will be the keynote speaker during the General Session at the 2023 Commodity Classic held March 8-11 in Orlando, Florida. The General Session is scheduled for Friday, March 10, at 8:30 a.m. at the Orange County Convention Center – West Concourse.   During his remarks, Secretary Vilsack will highlight USDA’s efforts to create more, new and better markets;  increase competition, lower costs, and add value; and create new revenue streams for producers and their communities.   The General Session will also include a panel discussion with leaders of the five associations that present Commodity Classic: American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Sorghum Producers, and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.   Secretary Vilsack was confirmed in February 2021 to serve as the 32nd U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He returned to the role he previously filled for eight...

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Mar 1, 2023

NCGA Expresses Concern with Delayed Implementation of Governors’ Effort to Ensure Year-Round E15

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to implement a plan from eight Midwest governors to require lower-volatility gasoline in their states aimed at ensuring drivers in those states continue to have year-round access to fuel with 15 percent ethanol. However, EPA proposed to delay implementation until 2024.   The National Corn Growers Association supported the governors’ plan and expressed serious concern over the one-year delay in implementation and the market uncertainty the delay creates for E15 in 2023.   “These governors took the initiative and used authority under the law to ensure their consumers could maintain access to low-cost, low-emissions E15,” said National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag.  “These governors did the right thing, but EPA’s proposal delays this solution. Higher ethanol blends lower emissions, save drivers money and allow for consumer choice. With the proposed delay in implementation, we now urge EPA to use existing...

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Feb 28, 2023

Senators to Biden: Direct EPA to Prevent Disruption in Consumer Access to E15

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

A group of bipartisan U.S. senators, led by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), sent a letter today asking President Biden to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to use existing authority to prevent the disruption of sales of E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, again this summer.   NCGA expressed strong support for the senators’ request and urged the Biden administration to take this needed action to bring certainty to the fuel marketplace.   “We appreciate the senators getting ahead of the problem and proposing a solution to prevent a disruption in E15 availability this summer,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “Ensuring continued availability of low-cost, low-emission E15 increases our domestic supply in the face of ongoing global energy uncertainty. The Biden administration took the same action last year, successfully boosting the fuel supply while lowering costs for drivers. We support the senators’ timely request for this no-cost energy security...

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Feb 22, 2023

Neil Caskey Named CEO of National Corn Growers Association

Author: Bryan Goodman

Neil Caskey, a long-time professional in the agricultural arena, has been tapped to lead the National Corn Growers Association as its new CEO, according to the organization’s board of directors. Caskey will assume the role on Monday, February 27.   NCGA board members say they are pleased to name someone of Caskey’s caliber to the top job.   “Neil’s experience in agriculture is extensive, and he is well known as someone who gets the job done well,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “The board and I are certain that Neil will usher in new ideas and take the organization to new heights.”   Caskey has served as NCGA’s vice president of communications and industry relations for over four years and spent over a decade promoting agricultural issues as executive vice president at OBP Agency, a leading advertising and public relations firm. His professional background also includes work for the American Soybean Association and as a legislative aide for a U.S. member of Congress.   Caskey...

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Feb 22, 2023

Coalition Releases Farm Bill Policy Recommendations to Help Create Economic Opportunities and Address Climate Change

Key Issues: SustainabilityFarm Bill

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance today released policy recommendations for the 2023 farm bill. The National Corn Growers Association serves on the alliance’s steering committee and was active in the development of the recommendations.   NCGA said that the report couldn’t have come at a better time. “Corn growers are committed to helping advance a farm bill this year,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “These recommendations will help members of Congress working on the farm bill understand the types of voluntary conservation and climate policies that can support growers and help us maximize our stewardship efforts.”   FACA’s recommendations, developed by the 23-member Steering Committee, are divided into six categories:   Conservation, risk management and credit Energy Food waste Forestry Livestock and dairy Research, extension and innovation The farm bill is essential legislation that impacts not only farmers but every family in America and has enormous...

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Feb 14, 2023

As Mexico Implements New Decree, NCGA Amplifies Call for Biden Administration to Initiate Dispute Settlement Under USMCA

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

Mexico officials issued a new decree on Monday calling for a ban on imports of biotech corn used for certain purposes, effective today. The decree also indicated the Mexican government would continue to allow imports of biotech corn used as animal feed while exploring substitutes.   NCGA expressed serious concern with the accelerated implementation timeline. “The Biden administration has been more than patient with Mexico as U.S. officials have sought to enforce a rules-based trading system and stand up for American farmers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag. “The integrity of USMCA, signed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador himself, is at stake. Singling out corn – our number one ag export to Mexico – and hastening an import ban on numerous food-grade uses makes USMCA a dead letter unless it’s enforced.” President López Obrador initiated a decree in late 2020 that would ban imports of biotech corn effective January 31, 2024. The Biden...

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Feb 13, 2023

NCGA to EPA: Higher Renewable Fuel Volumes Good for Economy, Energy Security and Environment

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Bryan Goodman

Higher renewable fuel volumes over the next three years would go a long way in improving energy security, lowering gas prices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to recent comments the National Corn Growers Association submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.   The Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, requires that U.S. transportation fuel contain a minimum volume of renewable fuel each year. NCGA’s comments were in response to EPA’s proposed volume requirements for 2023, 2024 and 2025.   “NCGA supports EPA’s proposal of annual increases in volumes, including an implied conventional biofuel volume of 15.25 billion gallons, and recognition that ethanol plays a critical role in cutting GHG emissions and our energy security,” stated NCGA President Tom Haag in the comments. “With continued pressure on energy security and costs, and the need to accelerate GHG emission reductions, however, biofuels can contribute even more. We ask EPA to continue working with us...

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Feb 1, 2023

NCGA to Corn Growers: 2022 Census of Agriculture Due Next Week Feb. 6

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association is reminding corn growers that the deadline to respond to the 2022 Census of Agriculture is Monday, Feb. 6. Producers can respond online at agcounts.usda.gov or by mail.   NASS mailed the Census of Agriculture questionnaires to every known ag producer in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Conducted just once every five years, the ag census provides a complete account of the nation’s farms and ranches and the people who operate them.   The Census of Agriculture informs decisions about policy, programs, rural development, research, and more. The survey results are the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state, county and U.S. territory. U.S. farm operations of all sizes, urban and rural, which produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products in 2022, are included.   NASS will release the results of the ag census in 2024. Visit nass.usda.gov/agcensus, for more...

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Jan 31, 2023

Corn Grower Leaders, Joined by Administration and Congressional Officials, Warn of Consequences from Mexico Decree, Call for Swift Action

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

During a congressional briefing today, corn growers told members of Congress and their staff that U.S. officials should continue to hold the line with Mexico over a proposed ban that would block most U.S. corn imports into that country. During the discussion, growers emphasized that the ban would land a significant blow to the American economy.   The statements included praise from corn growers for the Biden administration’s most recent action, which took a tough position with Mexico over the proposed ban. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced in late 2020 that he would implement a decree banning biotech corn into the country beginning in early 2024. The vast majority of U.S. corn is biotech. The briefing, hosted by the National Corn Growers Association, was held on the one-year mark from the decree’s effective date. “This decree would cut most American corn growers off from what has historically been our largest export market,” NCGA President Tom Haag noted...

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Jan 30, 2023

NCGA Joins Effort to Protect Crop Insurance as a Critical Risk Management Tool

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association joined over 60 groups in sending letters to key decision makers in the Biden administration and Congress opposing cuts to the federal crop insurance program during the upcoming fiscal year 2024 budget and appropriations processes.   “The last several years have brought an onslaught of uncertainty for America’s farmers and ranchers – from weather extremes to the disruptions of international markets to COVID-19 and all of its unique challenges,” the letter explains. “During this tumultuous time, one of the few certainties that farmers could rely on was the protection provided by the federal crop insurance policy purchased with their hard-earned dollars.”   Protecting crop insurance continues to be a top issue for NCGA and our grower members. NCGA President Tom Haag has provided congressional testimony on the importance of the program.   “Our number one priority for the farm bill is to protect crop insurance from harmful budget cuts and...

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Jan 23, 2023

Corn Growers Praise Biden Officials for Stance on Biotech Corn

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association praised the Biden administration today for issuing an official rejection of a recent proposed compromise from Mexico on biotech corn imports into the country.   The development came during a meeting between Mexican officials and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s chief ag negotiator Doug McKalip.   In a statement that came after the meeting, USTR and USDA said the changes offered by Mexico “are not sufficient and Mexico’s proposed approach, which is not grounded in science, still threatens to disrupt billions of dollars in bilateral agricultural trade, cause serious economic harm to U.S. farmers and Mexican livestock producers, and stifle important innovations needed to help producers respond to pressing climate and food security challenges.”   The statement also said that the U.S. officials made it clear to their Mexican...

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Jan 19, 2023

Sadie Lackey Joins NCGA’s Staff

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association is pleased to announce that Sadie Lackey has joined the organization as the manager of grassroots advocacy and leadership development. In this role, she will foster grower activism, execute grassroots advocacy campaigns and oversee NCGA’s slate of leadership development programs. She will also work closely with staff focused on public policy, policy communications and CornPAC.   Lackey has served several members of Congress in recent years, most recently as a legislative aide to Rep. Jerry Carl (R- Ala.) and as a press assistant to Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) Prior to her time on the Hill, Sadie worked at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement.   “Sadie is a welcome and valuable addition to NCGA’s public policy staff,” said Brooke S. Appleton, NCGA’s vice president of public policy. “Her impressive experience on Capitol Hill has positioned her well to serve in her new role as a key advocate for...

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Jan 11, 2023

NCGA Applauds USDA Secretary for Stand on Biotech Corn Trade with Mexico, Urges Quick Action to Resolve Trade Impasse

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

As President Biden wraps up meetings with his counterparts in Mexico and Canada, NCGA is praising a key administration official for taking a tough stand on the trade impasse and encouraging quick action to resolve the issue.   Secretary Tom Vilsack indicated on Monday that there would be no compromise on Mexico’s proposal to ban biotech corn. The secretary’s statement came as Biden met with Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.   The National Corn Growers Association weighed in on the developments.   “We appreciate Secretary Vilsack for taking a firm stand on this issue,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “We would encourage the Biden administration to keep this issue front and center and push for a quick resolution, as farmers have already made their purchasing decisions for the 2023 crop year. We also continue to urge the Biden administration to file a dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.” Talks between the two countries started in the fall of last year, as...

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Jan 10, 2023

NCGA President to EPA: Biofuels Can Contribute More to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Reduce Fuel Prices and Improve Energy Security

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

In the face of high fuel prices and global uncertainties, expanding access to renewable fuels may be even more relevant today than it was almost two decades ago when the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was enacted, the president of the National Corn Growers Association told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today. His comments came during an EPA public hearing on the proposed RFS volume rule for 2023-2025. “We support the growth trajectory in EPA’s proposal; however, with continued pressure on energy security and costs and the need to accelerate carbon emission reductions, biofuels can contribute even more,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “We ask EPA to continue working with us on complementary policies that advance higher ethanol blends, enabling ethanol to do more to cut both emissions and costs.”   Haag said corn growers also urge EPA to simply adopt the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab GREET model for lifecycle GHG assessment to most accurately account...

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Jan 3, 2023

NCGA Expresses Disappointment in EPA WOTUS Rule

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers released a final rule on December 30 that determines what constitutes Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, under the Clean Water Act.   The rule was released as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide a case, Sackett vs. EPA, which will provide more clarity on the issue.     “We are disappointed that EPA moved ahead with its final rule when the Supreme Court will soon render a decision on this matter,” said National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag. “The Court’s ruling could negate major elements of this WOTUS rule and will create even more uncertainty for farmers.” This year, NCGA submitted comments to EPA and encouraged corn growers to do the same as the rule was being considered. The group also participated in regional hearings held by EPA.   NCGA has made it clear that farmers are committed to the objectives of the Clean Water Act and the protection of water quality around agricultural...

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Dec 23, 2022

President Signs Water Resources Development Act into Law

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

Today President Biden signed the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 into law. WRDA 2022, which remains on a biennial schedule in Congress, includes a policy provision that makes permanent the 65% general revenues/35% Inland Waterways Trust Fund cost-share for lock and dam construction and major rehabilitation projects. Congress established a 65%/35% cost-sharing formula in WRDA 2020 that was set to expire in 2031, at which time the cost-share would return to the former formula of a 50%/50% split between the general fund and IWTF. The 65%/35% ratio would allow IWTF dollars to help finance more projects than under the 50%/50% cost-share.   NCGA will push to pass a 75%/25% cost-share and WRDA 2024 in the 118th Congress.

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Dec 22, 2022

McKalip Confirmed as Ag Negotiator with USTR

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Senate today voted to approve the nomination of Doug McKalip to serve as chief agricultural negotiator with the United States Trade Representative. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) supported approval of the nomination.   “We are pleased that the Senate voted to confirm this nomination,” said National Corn Growers Association Vice President of public policy Brooke S. Appleton. “We look forward to working with Mr. McKalip as we address Mexico’s looming decree that would ban imports of biotech corn.”   McKalip has worked on agricultural policy and trade for over 28 years. He most recently served as senior advisor to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. The position is charged with conducting and overseeing international negotiations related to trade in agricultural products.

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Dec 21, 2022

NCGA Praises Approval of Alexis Taylor as Undersecretary for Trade and U.S. Agricultural Affairs

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauded the U.S. Senate for approving the nomination of Alexis Taylor today as undersecretary for trade and U.S. agricultural affairs at USDA.   “This is an exciting development,” said NCGA Vice President of public policy Brooke S. Appleton. “Getting Alexis’s confirmation through the Senate has been one of our top priorities, as she is someone with a deep understanding of agricultural issue and is widely respected by policymakers on both sides of the aisle. Approval of this nomination comes at a pivotal time for us as we work to address a pending decree that would block biotech corn imports into Mexico.”   Taylor, who most recently served as the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, has worked as a policy expert on ag issues for several members of Congress and managed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services.   An Iraq veteran, Taylor grew up in Iowa on her family’s 160-year-old...

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Dec 21, 2022

Final Funding Bill Allocates Millions of Dollars to Key Ag Initiatives

Author: Bryan Goodman

Congress passed legislation today that will fund the government through September 2023 and allocate millions of dollars to support key agricultural initiatives.   The bill funds several of the National Corn Growers Association’s (NCGA) top priorities, including research to address aflatoxin, a mycotoxin that has been costly to U.S. corn growers, disaster mitigation efforts and climate change initiatives.   “We are very pleased to see that Congress and the president have prioritized programs that are important to corn growers,” said NCGA Vice President of public policy Brooke S. Appleton. “We are appreciative of our allies who made sure these important initiatives were included in this legislation.” One of the biggest wins for corn growers was the allocation of $1 million to fund aflatoxin research through NCGA’s Aflatoxin Mitigation Center of Excellence, in conjunction with Texas A&M. Aflatoxin can cost corn growers between $52.1 million to $1.68 billion in annual losses,...

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Dec 21, 2022

NCGA CEO Set to Depart Organization at Year’s End

Author: Bryan Goodman

Jon Doggett, a forceful and highly successful advocate for agriculture during his 35-year career as a lobbyist and chief executive, is preparing to depart the National Corn Growers Association at the end of the month. While Doggett has said it’s not a retirement, he has indicated he will use his free time to explore some of his passions, including spending more time with his grandchildren and kayaking.   Those who have worked closely with Doggett say his legacy will live on in the nation’s capital. “Anyone who knows anything about agriculture and Washington knows that Jon is one of the best lobbyists and leaders in the city,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “He has left his mark through tremendous policy accomplishments, such as the passage of the Renewable Fuels Standard and through his mentorship of up-and-coming lobbyists and leaders in Washington.” Doggett began his career in 1987 as a legislative aide to the late Rep. Ron Marlenee (R-Mont.). After an 11-year stint at the...

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Dec 14, 2022

Corn Grower Leaders from Across the Country Call on Biden to Set Quick, Firm Timeline While Pressing Case on Biotech Corn with Mexico

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The presidents of 23 state corn grower groups, joined by the president of the National Corn Growers Association, sent a letter to President Biden today calling for him to take additional steps to address the pending decree by Mexico that would block imports of biotech corn.   The letter encouraged the president to raise the issue during upcoming trade talks and to file a dispute under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement if Mexico doesn’t act expeditiously to withdraw the decree.   “Corn farmers are right now in the process of making planting decisions for next spring, and any additional uncertainty in the market affects their ability to appropriately respond to multiple market signals,” the corn grower leaders said. “If the decree is not completely withdrawn by the established deadline, we ask that your administration initiate a case under USMCA.”   The letter is in response to a promise by President López Obrador to end imports of biotech corn beginning in early 2024....

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Dec 8, 2022

Bipartisan Members of House Ways and Means Committee Call on USTR to Act on Trade Dispute with Mexico

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

Twenty-four members of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee sent a letter today to Ambassador Katherine Tai, calling on her to act to resolve a lingering trade dispute with Mexico over biotech corn imports. Reps. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) led the bipartisan effort.    “We have been working closely with Congress on this issue, and it’s inspiring to see congressional champions from both parties faithfully taking up the mantle,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Tom Haag. “These members of Congress are now looking to Ambassador Tai to uphold the integrity of USMCA.”   The letter is the latest development and response from U.S. officials as the ag community braces for the fallout if President Andrés Manuel López Obrador follows through with a promise to ban biotech corn shipments beginning in early 2024. Ninety percent of U.S. corn is biotech corn.   NCGA has been sounding the alarm on this issue for months. USDA...

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Dec 8, 2022

NCGA Advocates for Corn Growers in Comments Submitted to USDA and IRS

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) recently filed two sets of comments to help shape implementation of key biofuel provisions from the Inflation Reduction Act IRA major legislation that was passed by Congress and signed into law earlier this year. One set of comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture addresses the IRA’s $500 million biofuels infrastructure program, and the other set of comments provides recommendations to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service for their pending guidance for new tax credits for sustainable aviation fuel and clean fuel production, which will include ethanol. Both sets of comments highlighted the positive role farmers and ethanol play in saving drivers money and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.   NCGA’s input for USDA’s biofuels infrastructure program was developed with feedback from state corn grower associations based on states’ on-the-ground experience with prior programs. NCGA President Tom Haag also noted...

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Dec 8, 2022

NCGA Applauds U.S. House Members for Introducing Bill Ensuring Consumer Access to E15

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

U.S. Representatives Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), with the support of 21 bipartisan co-sponsors, introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022, new legislation that would enable the year-round, nationwide sale of ethanol blends higher than 10%. The legislation would help lower fuel prices and improve stability and certainty in the U.S. fuel market.   “We applaud Reps. Angie Craig and Adrian Smith, along with their bipartisan cosponsors, for introducing new legislation to keep higher ethanol blends accessible, saving consumer money at the pump and enhancing our energy security,” said Tom Haag, President of National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). “This bill provides a commonsense resolution to a long-standing outdated barrier to ensure drivers across the country continue to have year-round access to safe, low-cost, low-emission E15.”   The new House legislation, H.R. 9455, is a companion to legislation introduced last week by Sens. Deb Fischer...

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Dec 1, 2022

NCGA Applauds Passage of Bill that Blocks Rail Strike

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Senate voted 80-15 today to pass a bill that would head off a potential rail strike that could have disrupted the movement of grain and input shipments. The vote comes a day after the House approved similar legislation.   The National Corn Growers Association applauded the development.   “We are extremely relieved that Congress took action to head off a strike that would have had serious consequences for America’s farmers, who are grappling with an increase in input costs and barge rates due to severe drought conditions on the Mississippi River,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “Today’s actions are an excellent example of Congress working together to get things done on behalf of the American people.”   A deal to avert a strike appeared imminent in recent months, but a disagreement over paid sick days put the country back on the pathway to a strike, which could have begun as early as Dec. 9. Left with no other options, Pres. Biden urged Congress to act.   The bill will now...

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Dec 1, 2022

NCGA: Mexico’s Proposed Ban on Biotech Corn Illegal Under USMCA; Banning White Corn a Non-Starter in Negotiations

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

This week, Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Mexico City to meet with Mexican Pres. Andrés Manuel López Obrador to discuss Mexico’s promise to block biotech corn imports beginning in 2024. During the meeting, Vilsack spoke of the importance of finding an acceptable resolution on the matter.   Pres. López Obrador indicated this week that there might be room for compromise, suggesting the country could allow imports of yellow corn, used for livestock, while blocking white corn, which is imported mainly for human consumption.   The idea that white corn is for food and yellow corn is for feed overlooks the fact that yellow corn is also food grade and a nutritious ingredient in hundreds of products consumers enjoy. From bakery products to chewing gum, aspirin to antibiotics, condiments to corn bread, yellow corn also feeds the world.   In response to these developments, Tom Haag, President of the National Corn Growers Association released the following statement:   “Any decision to...

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Dec 1, 2022

EPA Proposes Annual Growth in Renewable Fuel Volume Requirements

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released proposed renewable fuel volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2023, 2024 and 2025, proposing annual growth in volumes. The RFS requires annual volumes of renewable fuels, such as ethanol, be used in the fuel supply to reduce emissions, expand and diversify the fuel supply, improve energy security and lower costs.   “We are pleased with EPA’s forward-looking approach of annual increases in the proposal,” said National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag. “EPA clearly recognizes that renewable fuels like ethanol play a critical role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing U.S. energy independence and providing long-term relief to consumers at the pump. With continued pressure on energy security and costs and the need to accelerate carbon emission reductions, biofuels can contribute even more, and we will make that case to EPA for the final volumes.”   For 2023, EPA’s proposal includes an...

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Nov 30, 2022

NCGA: Congressional Vote on Rail Strike a Welcome Development

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. House of Representatives voted today to block a national rail strike that would have dire consequences for the nation’s economy. The vote comes as the country continues to struggle with supply-side issues and problems with key transportation hubs, including low-water levels along the Mississippi River.   The National Corn Growers Association said the vote was a welcome development.   “Rail is crucially important to America’s corn growers, who rely on it to ship grains and fertilizer,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “We are pleased to see that Congress is taking the necessary action to ensure that rail service continues to operate.”   A deal to avert a strike appeared imminent in recent months, but a disagreement over paid sick days put the country back on the pathway to a strike, which could have begun as early as Dec. 9. Left with no other options, Pres. Biden urged Congress to act. The House passed a separate bill that would give rail workers seven sick days. Both...

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Nov 29, 2022

NCGA Applauds New Legislation Resolving E15 Uncertainty

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and 13 bipartisan Senate cosponsors, introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act today, which would ensure permanent, full-market access to E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88. The National Corn Growers Association applauded the new legislation, which has drawn support from a wide range of agriculture, fuel and retail stakeholders as a new opportunity to address a persistent issue.   “Ethanol saves Americans millions of dollars a year at the pump and is a critical part of our nation’s energy security,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “We thank Sens. Fischer and Klobuchar and their cosponsors for introducing legislation today that will ensure drivers across the country continue to have year-round access to safe, low-cost, low-emission E15 and provides a commonsense resolution to a long-standing outdated barrier to consumer choice.”   Despite EPA approving E15 for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles and a 2019 update to...

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Nov 28, 2022

NCGA Applauds USDA Secretary for Outreach Efforts with Mexican President Over Corn Imports

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador today to discuss a looming decree proposed by the Mexican president that would ban imports of biotech corn into the country. The talks come on the heels of an aggressive campaign by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) encouraging the Biden administration to intervene in the dispute.   “We are very appreciative of Secretary Vilsack for taking the lead on this issue that is so important to American corn growers,” said NCGA CEO Jon Doggett. “Today’s meeting shows that the Biden administration is listening to NCGA and American corn grower leaders and that Secretary Vilsack is willing to go to the mat for America’s farmers. This is an extremely important development.”   A statement released tonight by USDA showed how strongly Secretary Vilsack feels about this issue.   “We must find a way forward soon and I emphasized in no uncertain terms that – absent an acceptable...

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Nov 4, 2022

After Calls for Action Over Dispute on Biotech Corn Exports, USTR Discusses Issue with Mexican Counterpart

Key Issues: TradeBiotechnology

Author: Bryan Goodman

Following repeated calls from the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) asking the Biden administration to respond to plans by Mexico to block imports of biotech corn, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai met virtually on Thursday with Mexico’s Secretary of Economy, Raquel Buenrostro. During the meeting, Tai talked about the importance of avoiding a disruption in U.S. corn exports.   “We applaud Ambassador Tai for listening to corn grower leaders and sharing our concerns with the leadership in Mexico,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “But, given the magnitude of Mexico’s threats and the fact that the embargo is set to be fully implemented by 2024, we need USTR to resolve the impasse as soon as possible by filing a dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).”   The dispute centers around Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s decree that would end imports of corn grown using biotech and certain herbicides by 2024. Biotech corn makes up...

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Oct 24, 2022

Calls Increase for U.S. Trade Representative to Act on Mexico’s Pending Decree on Corn Imports

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

Calls from corn grower leaders are growing louder for the United States Trade Representative to intervene in a trade dispute with Mexico over corn imports.   The response from corn growers comes as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s promises to enact a decree that would end imports of corn grown using biotech and certain herbicides by 2024. Biotech corn makes up over 90% of U.S. corn crops.   An opinion piece by NCGA President Tom Haag was published over the weekend in The Hill, a newspaper widely read by Congress and other Washington decision-makers, calling on USTR to file a settlement dispute under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement over the matter.   “If the decree is enacted, the negative impact will be felt by farmers in the U.S. and by the people of Mexico,” Haag noted. “We’re now looking to the Biden administration to intervene to ensure that corn exports to Mexico don’t come to a sudden stop.” NCGA has been at the forefront of this issue. In a major

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Oct 19, 2022

Bipartisan Senators to EPA: “Biofuels Are Ready to Meet the Moment”

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Thirteen senators wrote U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan today urging him to set strong volume requirements for 2023 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The bipartisan group, led by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), also encouraged the administrator to use the pending rulemaking to optimize the RFS to deliver greater environmental and economic benefits from renewable fuels such as ethanol. In a change from prior years, EPA will now determine RFS volumes based on a set of environmental and economic factors and guardrails in the statute. Biofuels such as ethanol cut greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions and lower prices at the pump, benefitting the environment and consumers.   As senators stated in their letter: “Through this rulemaking, EPA has a historic opportunity to not only reinforce its efforts to restore integrity to the RFS, but chart a new course for biofuels that will help meet America’s diverse energy demands while...

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Sep 28, 2022

USDA Expands PACE Coverage

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture today for expanding the Post-Application Coverage Endorsement insurance option for corn farmers who “split-apply” nitrogen. The expansion will include most counties in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin where non-irrigated corn is insurable. “PACE provides an additional risk management tool for corn growers who split-apply nitrogen,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “We believe in this crop insurance product and are glad that the Risk Management Agency is expanding access to PACE for the next crop year.” PACE provides coverage for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the post-nitrogen application due to field conditions created by weather. It is available as supplemental coverage for Yield Protection, Revenue Protection, and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion policies. PACE was developed by the Illinois Corn Growers Association,...

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Sep 27, 2022

NCGA Calls on Farmers to Contact EPA Regarding Atrazine

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is encouraging growers to join its call-to-action and submit comments to the EPA on the important role atrazine, a popular herbicide, plays in their work. The call-to-action was launched over the summer as EPA began revising its registration for atrazine. EPA is proposing a level of concern for atrazine at 3.4 parts per billion, down from the current level of 15 parts per billion. The move would significantly impair the effective use of atrazine on farms, according to NCGA. “Atrazine allows corn growers to experience higher yields using less land with fewer inputs, which is good for the environment and saves growers money,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “Reducing the effectiveness of this important herbicide will hinder the work of farmers and turn the clock back on our conservation efforts.” Since the organization launched the call to action on July 20, more than...

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Sep 22, 2022

NCGA Expresses Support for Alexis Taylor Nomination After Ag Senate Hearing

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) praised the credentials of Alexis Taylor today and encouraged the Senate to act quickly to confirm her as undersecretary for trade and U.S. agricultural affairs at USDA. NCGA’s comments came after Taylor testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee as it considers her nomination. “Alexis is someone with a deep understanding of agriculture, and she is widely respected by policymakers on both sides of the aisle,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “We are very excited by the prospect of having someone of Alexis’s caliber serving in this role.”   During her testimony, the nominee told the committee that “ag is not just what I do, but who I am.” Taylor, who currently serves as director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, has served as a policy expert on ag issues for several members of Congress and managed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Foreign...

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Sep 15, 2022

NCGA Applauds Efforts to End Rail Crisis

Key Issues: Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) on Thursday said a tentative agreement between union leaders and rail workers is a positive development for farmers and the agricultural community. “We are thankful that the White House has announced a tentative agreement between rail carriers and union leaders and applaud the efforts from all parties to avoid this crisis.” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “It is critical to farmers, who are approaching harvest season, that rail service remain fully functional and reliable. The agreement, announced by the Biden administration on Thursday morning, appears to end a months-long stalemate between union leaders and the rail industry. The dispute prompted President Biden to establish a Presidential Emergency Board to broker agreement between the two sides. As the Friday deadline for agreement approached, preparations were being made for major disruptions to the nation’s...

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Sep 14, 2022

NCGA Applauds USDA for Climate-Smart Funding for Farmers for Soil Health

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today applauded a decision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allocate up to $95 million in funding to help farmers accelerate cover crop adoption.   The funding will support Farmers for Soil Health, which works to advance conservation practices to improve soil health across the U.S. The collaborative is comprised of commodity groups, including the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, the National Pork Board, and the United Soybean Board. The group also includes the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Association of Conservation Districts, the Sustainability Consortium, the Soil Health Institute, the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and DTN.   “We are appreciative of the USDA for recognizing the important role farmers play in combatting climate change,” said NCGA Vice President of Production and Sustainability Nathan Fields. “These funds will help us identify and support practices that...

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Sep 13, 2022

NCGA: Rail Disruption Would Affect Farmers, Congressional Involvement Needed

Key Issues: Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

As the country braces for a possible large scale interruption on Friday to freight rail service over a dispute between unions and industry, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is reminding leaders that the agricultural sector relies heavily on a consistent and reliable rail service and calling for Congress’s involvement. “Rail is an essential piece of the agricultural supply chain, particularly as we approach harvest season, so any disruption to rail services would have a negative and lasting impact on our growers,” said Brooke S. Appleton, the vice president of public policy at NCGA. “Given the effect this could have on farmers and the nation’s economy, we urge both sides to do whatever it takes to resolve this issue by the end of the week. If an agreement is not reached soon, Congress needs to act.” Appleton noted that NCGA has spent the summer actively encouraging industry officials and members of Congress to resolve the dispute. NCGA has also partnered with other...

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Aug 25, 2022

NCGA Sees Missed Opportunities in California’s New Vehicle Requirements

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The California Air Resources Board today approved standards for model-year 2026 and later vehicles. In response to this development, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) released the following statement:   “California regulators missed an opportunity to allow for more innovation and broaden low- and zero-emission solutions, additive to electric vehicles, to maximize emissions reductions while improving equity for consumers. As NCGA told regulators during the rulemaking process, constraining the vision of a zero-emission future prevents the state from tapping into the immediate and affordable environmental solutions that come from replacing more gasoline with low-carbon and low-cost ethanol, in both current and new vehicles, including new plug-in hybrids. Ethanol is on a path to net zero emissions, and NCGA will continue to work with and urge California to use all the tools in its toolbox as it addresses climate change and cuts harmful tailpipe emissions. As recent...

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Aug 23, 2022

NCGA Applauds New Round of USDA Grants to Extend Infrastructure for Biofuels

Key Issues: EthanolFarm PolicyHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Bryan Goodman

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA is now accepting applications for $100 million in competitive grants to increase the sale and use of higher blends of biofuels like ethanol. The funding, made available through USDA’s Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, will help more fuel retailers and distributors offer consumers lower-cost and lower-emissions fuels, like E15 and E85, by sharing the cost to expand infrastructure such as pumps, dispensers and storage tanks.    “Higher blends of ethanol, like E15 and E85, are homegrown fuels that save consumers money at the pump while cutting emissions and improving the nation’s energy security,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “That is why corn growers applaud USDA for investing in additional infrastructure to help more retailers reach more consumers with clean, affordable biofuels.”    USDA will provide cost-share grants of up to 50% of total eligible project costs and expects...

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Aug 22, 2022

Corn Growers Encouraged to Complete USDA Surveys

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

  The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is in the process of surveying growers on key farm issues. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) encourages growers to complete the following upcoming surveys:   Now – through Early September… 5 NASS’s Conservation Practice Adoption Motivations survey No one knows the story of conservation in U.S. ag better than farmers and ranchers. Don’t miss your chance to tell that story! Respond to USDA NASS’s Conservation Practice Adoption Motivations Survey by Sept. 5. Survey data will guide the implementation of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service programs in the future. Respond online at www.agcounts.usda.gov.   In the mail… September Grain Stocks Report Grain Stocks Report survey is in the mail. Survey data help the industry evaluate export potential and calculate supply of the crops available for the marketing year. You can respond securely online at www.agcounts.usda.gov. This survey collects...

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Aug 16, 2022

President Biden Signs Bill Providing New Support for On-Farm Conservation and Biofuels as Climate Solutions

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

President Biden today signed a bill into law that addresses issues ranging from health care to the environment and includes new funding to encourage agricultural conservation programs and advance biofuels.   “Through this legislation, Congress and the administration recognize that farmers’ voluntary climate-smart agricultural practices are an important part of addressing climate change,” said Brooke S. Appleton, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) vice president of public policy. “We are also particularly pleased to see Congress and the administration acknowledge that low-carbon biofuels like ethanol are needed to help decarbonize transportation and improve energy security.”   The law allocates $19.9 billion in funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s conservation programs and $1 billion for additional conservation technical assistance. These allocations include:   $8.45 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program $6.75 billion for the Regional...

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Aug 8, 2022

Inflation Reduction Act Passes U.S. Senate

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Senate on Sunday, voting along party lines, passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.   The bill, which includes domestic energy incentives and other provisions aimed at reducing carbon emissions, would provide significant investments for agriculture, including over $20 billion in funding to support farmers’ implementation and expansion of voluntary on-farm conservation practices and $500 million to provide greater market access for higher blends of biofuels.    “We appreciate Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and the other members of the Senate Agriculture Committee who worked to include provisions in the legislation that will support farmers as they provide solutions that address climate change,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “From cleaner, low-carbon fuels, like ethanol and sustainable aviation fuel, to on-farm practices that improve soil health, corn growers are on the front lines of the fight to cut carbon...

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Jul 26, 2022

National Corn Growers Association Applauds Senate Introduction of Next Generation Fuels Act

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

In a step forward for energy security and the nation’s consumers, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), with the support of Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), today introduced the Next Generation Fuels Act in the U.S. Senate. “The Next Generation Fuels Act would lower fuel prices, reduce carbon emissions, and shore-up America’s energy security for the long run,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. “We are very grateful to Sens. Grassley, Klobuchar, Ernst and Duckworth for their leadership on this important issue.”   The bill would establish a clean, high-octane standard for gasoline and require that sources of additional octane result in at least 40% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, allowing automakers to significantly improve vehicle fuel efficiency through advanced engines. Because corn growers have a vested interest in the future of transportation, NCGA began laying the groundwork...

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Jul 20, 2022

NCGA: Farmers and Biofuels Combat Climate Change

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) disputed a lawsuit filed today in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against the U.S. EPA over recently finalized volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard.   The lawsuit, filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), made erroneous assertions about the impacts and benefits of farming.   “Claims like these show that CBD’s leadership hasn’t visited a modern corn farm,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “I invite them to visit my farm so they can learn about the sustainable practices we employ daily. The corn we produce is not only helping feed the world during a very difficult time, but it is also used for clean and affordable biofuels that lower costs for consumers while cutting both carbon and toxic tailpipe emissions.”   Edgington noted that corn growers are leading when it comes to increased yields that produce more corn with less land and fewer resources, meeting market demand...

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Jul 20, 2022

Federal Crop Insurance a Top Priority to Farmers, NCGA Grower Leader Tells Congress

Key Issues: Farm BillFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Federal crop insurance is essential to farming and should be protected from harmful budget cuts and reforms in the 2023 farm bill, a National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) leader told House Agriculture Committee members today.   “Federal crop insurance is a major pillar of risk management for the vast majority of corn growers,” Minnesota farmer and NCGA First Vice President Tom Haag told the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. “Simply put, the public-private partnership of crop insurance works and plays a significant role for agriculture in the wake of natural disasters.” Haag’s testimony comes as Congress continues to review implementation of the 2018 farm bill ahead of debate and reauthorization of the farm bill next year. During development, passage, and implementation of the 2018 farm bill, NCGA’s top priority was to maintain support for a robust crop insurance program. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees were able to defeat attacks...

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Jul 18, 2022

International Trade Commission Rejects Fertilizer Duties in Win for Farmers

Key Issues: TradeProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled today against imposing tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers imported from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. “This comes as a welcome relief,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. “We have been sounding the alarms and telling the ITC commissioners that tariffs will drive up input prices to even more unaffordable levels for farmers and cripple our supply. I am so glad they listened.”   The decision comes after CF Industries filed a petition with ITC in late 2021, requesting that the commission place tariffs on urea ammonium nitrate, which is used in liquid fertilizers. Shortages and prices have since increased exponentially.   NCGA has come out strongly against the tariffs. It was the only commodities group that testified at ITC’s public hearing, and it forcefully raised the issue in the press. NCGA also engaged in an aggressive advocacy campaign with elected officials. ITC’s decision takes effect...

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Jul 14, 2022

Corn Growers, Working to Feed and Fuel the World, Call on Biden Administration for Help with Skyrocketing Input costs, Burdensome Regulations

Key Issues: TradeFarm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

As farmers work to feed and fuel the world, filling the void left by the war in Ukraine, national corn grower leaders unanimously passed a sense of the Corn Congress today calling on President Biden to maintain grower access to crop inputs.   The vote came during the National Corn Growers Association Corn Congress meeting, which is being held this week in the nation’s capital.   The measure, which is included in its entirety below, notes that “the world is facing skyrocketing fuel prices and potentially devastating food shortages, both of which can be addressed in part by America’s corn farmers, and America’s corn farmers have demonstrated a commitment to environmental sustainability through decades of documented reductions in soil erosion, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.”   It then asserts that “the ability to address the crises facing our world today in a sustainable manner cannot be achieved without fair access to the inputs necessary to raise a crop each year,...

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Jul 14, 2022

Grassley Honored by Corn Growers for Contributions to Agricultural Community

Author: Bryan Goodman

National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington presented the organization’s prestigious President’s Award to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today during the group’s Corn Congress meeting in Washington, D.C. “Sen. Grassley has spent his career advocating on behalf of corn growers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “Whether it’s taking a stand on regulations burdensome to farmers, advancing agricultural exports through trade or supporting legislation that will extend access to higher ethanol blends, we would not have secured the policy successes we have over the years were it not for the contributions of the senior senator from Iowa. As an Iowan, it’s my honor to recognize Sen. Grassley with the NCGA President’s Award for his tireless work on behalf of the agricultural community.” Sen. Grassley accepted the award and reflected on his work on corn issues. “I am honored and humbled to receive this lifetime achievement award,” Grassley...

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Jul 12, 2022

Ohio Corn Grower Appointed to Board of International Trade Group

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

Anthony Bush, an Ohio farmer, has been appointed to serve as a director on the board of MAIZALL, the international alliance of maize growers and exporters from Argentina, Brazil and the United States. He joins John Linder, NCGA’s chair, representing NCGA to the board. Bush, a fourth-generation grain farmer, is also a board member for Ohio Corn and Wheat.   “Anthony is a nationally respected agricultural leader who will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the MAIZALL board,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “I can think of no one better to represent the American agricultural community as we collaborate with other farmer leaders from Brazil and Argentina to position the Americas for new trade opportunities overseas.”    Combined, MAIZALL’s three countries account for over 50% of global corn production and 70% of world exports. Bush will begin serving on the board, effective...

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Jun 30, 2022

NCGA Expresses Disappointment in EPA’s Revision to Atrazine’s Registration

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

A Move that Could Restrict Access to a Critical Crop Protection Tool   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is revising its registration for atrazine, a well-studied herbicide essential to farming.   “We are disappointed by EPA’s decision,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. “We can feed and fuel the world and fight climate change, but we can’t do these things without modern farming tools, and atrazine is a tool that is critical to our work.”   The new labeling requirements will impose arduous new restrictions and mitigation measures on the herbicide, limiting how much of the product farmers use. The latest development marks a step backward in EPA’s commitment to transparency and the use of the best available science, Edgington said. However, he noted that EPA listened to growers’ requests and agreed to additional scientific review. Edgington said NCGA is committed to working with EPA in...

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Jun 29, 2022

As NCGA Raises Alarms about Tariffs, Court of International Trade Begins Asking Tough Questions of Fertilizer Companies

Key Issues: TradeProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

Fertilizer companies have been under scrutiny this week as the Court of International Trade considers an appeal of the U.S. International Trade Commission’s decision to place duties on phosphorus fertilizers from Morocco and Russia. These developments come after the National Corn Growers Association has worked for months to eliminate tariffs on nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizer imports.    “We have been banging on the doors in Washington, sounding the alarm and telling federal officials that tariffs are hurting farmers,” said NCGA President Chris Edgington. “This week, we saw some results as a judge with the Court of International Trade began asking tough questions about the assertions made by fertilizer companies.” The appeal came after the U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission last year ruled in favor of a petition by the U.S.-based Mosaic to impose duties on phosphorous fertilizers imported from Morocco and Russia. Mosaic had claimed that...

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Jun 23, 2022

Farmers Can’t Farm with One Hand Tied Behind Their Backs, NCGA Says After Ruling on Fertilizers

Key Issues: TradeFarm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a final determination this week, saying that urea ammonium nitrate fertilizer exported to the U.S. was subsidized and sold at less than normal value in the U.S. market during its period of investigation.   While an important step in the process, the ruling will not on its own lead to the placement of duties on nitrogen fertilizers shipped into the country. The final stage in the process is expected later this summer when the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes a final ruling on the matter.    “Placing tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers will land yet another blow to farmers, who are already dealing with a host of issues,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “Farming is hard enough in the current environment. Farmers can’t do what they do with one hand tied behind their backs. And actions like these, pushed by fertilizer companies, will tie the hands of farmers.”...

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Jun 16, 2022

Legislation that Would Tap Ethanol to Lower Gas Prices Secures Passage in U.S. House

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation today that would expand consumer access to higher biofuel blends that save consumers money at the pump and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.     NCGA supports two biofuels provisions in the “Lower Food and Fuel Costs Act.” The provisions offer a permanent solution for maintaining year-round market access to fuels with a 15% ethanol blend, called E15, and provide additional support for infrastructure for higher biofuels blends. NCGA also endorsed the PRECISE Act, which was included in the package.       “NCGA thanks Members of Congress, including Reps. Angie Craig and Cindy Axne, for advocating for biofuels as an energy security solution,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke S. Appleton. “We are also appreciative of the bipartisan House members who voted in favor of this bill to keep these solutions moving forward in Congress.”     Renewable fuels add billions of gallons to the nation’s fuel supply every year,...

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Jun 16, 2022

Fertilizer Tariffs, Shortages Taking Toll on American Farmers and Relief is Needed, National Corn Grower Leader Tells International Trade Commission

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Shortages in nitrogen fertilizers are placing an undue burden on farmers and could eventually be detrimental to the global food supply, according to testimony provided today to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Commission (ITC).   The hearing comes after CF Industries filed a petition with ITC in late 2021, requesting that the commission place tariffs on urea ammonium nitrate, which is used in liquid fertilizers imported from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago. Shortages and prices have since increased exponentially.   “Some farmers are electing not to use UAN at recommended rates and, therefore, sacrificing yield because of the shortages,” said Nebraska corn grower Andy Jobman, who represented the National Corn Growers Association during the hearing. “As a farmer and agronomist, I can assure you that we study the optimal rate of UAN that should be applied and are cutting back given the shortages in the market.” This is an incredibly important issue for...

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Jun 3, 2022

2022 Renewable Fuel Volume Rule Will Lower Fuel Prices and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The final 2022 renewable fuel volumes released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will support access to higher blends of ethanol, saving consumers money at the pump and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.   For 2022, the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume of 20.63 billion gallons includes an implied 15 billion gallons of ethanol, following the law. EPA also added a supplemental 250 million gallon requirement for 2022, responding to a 2017 Court decision finding EPA improperly waived past volumes. EPA finalized the delayed 2021 volume at 18.85 billion gallons, including an implied 13.79 billion gallons for ethanol, tracking retroactive renewable fuel consumption for the year.   In a separate action, EPA finalized denial of 69 pending RFS exemption petitions. Closing the books on RFS exemptions helps restore much-needed integrity to the forward-looking volumes set today.   “More ethanol in the fuel supply saves Americans money at the pump and lowers...

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Jun 1, 2022

Extended Access to Higher Ethanol Blends Will Save Consumers Money at the Gas Pump

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

A recent decision by the Biden administration to extend access to higher blends of ethanol through the summer months will begin today, resulting in cost savings for Americans at the gas pump.   “Gas prices are crippling American consumers,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. "Having access to higher levels of ethanol will save drivers money this summer.”   Biden’s action came after a 2021 court decision – resulting from oil industry efforts to limit the growth of higher ethanol blends – was set to end full-market access fuel with a 15% ethanol blend this summer.   Ethanol has been priced at least 80 cents less per gallon than unblended gasoline at wholesale throughout the spring, and drivers currently save up to 20 cents or more per gallon where E15 is available. E15 is lower in carbon, tailpipe and evaporative emissions.   Drivers can find retail fuel locations that offer E15, often marketed at Unleaded 88, and compare prices using

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May 24, 2022

NCGA President Provides Input on Pending Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

A strong 2022 volume requirement under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is important as American leaders seek to lower gas prices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deal with inflation, said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington to federal agency staff during a Monday meeting on the final RFS volume rule currently under review.   Corn growers support the proposed 2022 RFS numbers, Edgington told the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency staff. But he reiterated NCGA’s concerns with EPA’s proposal of retroactive 2021 volumes below actual use and the proposed reopening and revising already final 2020 standards.   “It’s important to share our perspective on corn supply and corn growers’ increasing productivity and sustainability, which allow us to meet demand for food, feed, fuel and exports with bushels to spare,” said Edgington. “Americans are feeling the effects of inflation, and they see the connection between...

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May 23, 2022

Corn Growers Weigh-In on Redefining WOTUS

Author: Bryan Goodman

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are holding ten regional roundtables to gauge the implications of recently proposed changes to the definition of Waters of the U.S.   Megan Dwyer, Director of Conservation and Nutrient Stewardship at Illinois Corn Growers Association, is participating in one of the agency’s roundtables today.   “Farmers and ag groups have embraced the need to tackle challenges around conservation and are more than ready to continue our efforts,” she said. “I plan to ask EPA to work collaboratively with farmers to address actual, real on the ground needs as a practical and realistic alternative to making  these features Waters of the United States and getting in the way of farmers’ efforts.”   Last November, EPA released a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “Waters of the United States,” often referred to as WOTUS. The proposed rule removes the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, eliminating the long-overdue certainty and clarity for...

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May 23, 2022

Ag Groups Call For Withdrawal of Solicitor General’s Supreme Court Brief on Glyphosate That Would Create a Patchwork of Problems

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

In a letter to President Biden, 54 agricultural groups expressed grave concern with a recent amicus brief submitted by the U.S. Solicitor General to the Supreme Court advising the court against taking up a case regarding pesticide labels. The groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cotton Council, and American Sugarbeet Growers Association, listed in full here in the letter, called on the president to swiftly withdraw the brief. They warned the new policy would set a dangerous precedent that threatens the science-based regulatory process. The groups are worried this new policy, along with having environmental impacts, could ultimately hinder the ability of U.S. farmers to help meet growing global food needs intensified by the invasion of Ukraine.   In the May 10 brief, the Solicitor General advised the court against taking up a case concerning whether...

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May 13, 2022

NCGA on Ag Undersecretary Nominee Taylor: No Better Person for Position

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

President Biden announced today that he is appointing Alexis Taylor as undersecretary for trade and U.S. agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   Taylor, currently the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, has extensive experience working on agricultural issues.   “I have known Alexis in a professional capacity for well over a decade, and she is someone with a deep understanding of agriculture, particularly as it relates to foreign markets, and she is widely respected by policymakers on both sides of the aisle,” said Brooke S. Appleton, vice president of public policy at the National Corn Growers Association. “I cannot think of a better person to represent the Biden administration on this issue.”   Taylor has served as a policy expert on ag issues for several members of Congress on Capitol Hill and managed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. An Iraq veteran, Taylor grew up in Iowa on her family’s...

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May 11, 2022

In Visit to Illinois Farm, Biden Commits to Helping Growers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Appearing on an Illinois family farm, President Biden announced today that his administration would be giving farmers additional tools and resources to boost crop production and maintain global food security.   The announcement comes as the administration is working to help farmers, American consumers and food insecure communities around the globe who are feeling the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.   “American corn growers continue to feed and fuel the world even as they face challenges stemming from the war in Ukraine and high input costs,” said National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett, who attended the announcement. “We’re appreciative of the efforts that President Biden and USDA are making to help farmers navigate these challenges, and the recognition of the key role farmers play in providing solutions.”   During his announcement, Biden committed to:   Increase the number of counties eligible for double cropping insurance, which will allow farmers to...

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Apr 12, 2022

Corn Growers Thank President Biden for Counting on Biofuels to Lower Costs, Boost Energy Independence

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

President Biden announced today that his administration would use existing authority to prevent drivers from losing access to lower-cost and lower-emission E15, a higher ethanol blend often marketed as Unleaded 88.   The president made the announcement at a POET ethanol production facility in Menlo, Iowa, and NCGA President Chris Edgington participated in the event.   “Corn growers thank President Biden for ensuring drivers continue to have access to a lower-cost fuel choice and acknowledging how renewable ethanol helps reduce prices, lower emissions and improve our nation’s energy security,” said Edgington. “Farmers are proud to contribute to cleaner, less expensive fuel choices.” A 2021 court decision resulting from oil industry efforts to limit the growth of higher ethanol blends was set to end full-market access for E15 beginning this summer, absent action from the Biden administration or Congress.   With a host of factors driving up gas prices, including Russia’s invasion...

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Apr 8, 2022

Biofuel & Ag Leaders Respond to EPA Decision to Reverse Refinery Exemptions, Decry Lack of Real Market Impact

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Top farm and biofuel leaders responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to reverse 31 controversial small refinery exemptions (SREs) granted in August 2019 and expressed disappointment with EPA’s decision to allow refineries with previously-granted SREs to not have to take additional actions to meet their obligations under the RFS by blending more biofuel or purchasing additional Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Biofuel and farm advocates had challenged the exemptions in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, forcing the agency to reevaluate its approval for select oil refiners to avoid their obligations under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Leaders at Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn Growers Association, Clean Fuels Alliance America, American Coalition for Ethanol, and National Farmers Union released the following statement on yesterday's decision from EPA:      “While today’s decision is an important step in reversing...

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Mar 29, 2022

Growers Welcome EPA Decision on Enlist, Hope for Continued Progress and Lessons Learned

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

Grower groups including the American Soybean Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Corn Growers Association, and National Cotton Council welcomed and expressed appreciation for an announcement from EPA that will restore use of Enlist herbicides to many U.S. counties. This label amendment, prompted by new data submitted to EPA, lifts county-level bans on use of Enlist and Enlist Duo in 134 counties across multiple states, including those where the American Burying Beetle is alleged to be present.   Brad Doyle, soy farmer from Arkansas and president of the American Soybean Association, welcomed the announcement, stating, “County-level bans had growers in these areas anxious and frustrated when the announcement came out in January – especially in this market where inputs are scarce and costs are sky high. We appreciate EPA hearing our concerns and working to quickly restore access in many counties where science and data support doing so.”   "On behalf of corn...

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Mar 25, 2022

Bipartisan Members of Congress to U.S. International Trade Commission: This Is No Time for Tariffs on Fertilizers

Key Issues: TradeFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Nearly 90 members of Congress sent a letter recently to the U.S. International Trade Commission calling on it to reconsider the tariffs placed on phosphate fertilizer products imported from Morocco and suspend the current process to impose new duties on nitrate fertilizers from Trinidad and Tobago. The effort was spearheaded by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Rep. Tracey Mann and Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa).   “We are deeply appreciative of these leaders for their efforts to protect farmers who have felt the crippling effects of high fertilizer prices and shortages,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will no doubt worsen these problems.”   Alluding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and many of the supply-side issues plaguing the country, the letter noted that conditions surrounding on-farm expenses in the U.S. have dramatically changed since the ITC made its determinations and that tariffs are making a bad...

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Mar 24, 2022

Corn Growers Call on the Biden Administration to Use Emergency Authority to Maintain Consumer Access to Lower-Cost Fuel

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Corn grower leaders from 19 states sent an open letter to President Biden today calling on him to use the administration’s existing emergency authorities to tap more homegrown renewable fuels, like ethanol, to help stabilize energy markets and lower the price of fuel for consumers.   The letter comes as Russia’s attack on Ukraine has impacted energy markets, increasing oil and gas prices.   The letter called on the president to prevent consumers from losing the choice of E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, a higher ethanol blend that costs less and reduces emissions. A 2021 court decision resulting from oil industry efforts to limit the growth of higher ethanol blends reversed year-round market access for E15, beginning this summer, absent action from the Biden administration or Congress.   “We urge your administration to act to prevent consumers from losing access to a lower-cost fuel option on June 1,” the letter read. “As gas prices have increased following the rise in oil...

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Mar 22, 2022

Farm Life Comes to the Nation’s Capital on National Ag Day

Author: Bryan Goodman

The nation’s capital looked a lot like rural America this week as farmers, organizations, and companies representing and serving farmers took to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to celebrate National Ag Day.   “National Ag Day provides farmers with an opportunity to raise some of our key issues with policymakers and their staff in a fun and engaging way,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chris Edgington. “The event attracts everyone from people strolling the Mall to senators and leaders at USDA.” Staff standing at the NCGA booth stayed busy talking with visitors. At one point, NCGA staff spoke with Robert Bonnie, USDA undersecretary for farm production and conservation, while curious tourists looked on and joggers breezed by. Congressional staff also walked over to the booth as U.S. senators spoke at various events and moved quickly to greet people at various places on the mall. Farm equipment was placed strategically across the...

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Mar 16, 2022

House Agriculture Committee Receives Feedback on the Role of USDA Programs in Addressing Climate Change

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing today to review the role USDA programs can play in addressing climate change. Several coalitions that the National Corn Growers Association participates in were invited to provide testimony, including the AGree Economic and Environmental Risk Coalition, Bipartisan Policy Center’s Farm and Forest Carbon Solutions Task Force and the Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance.   “We believe that policies should be voluntary, and incentive-based; that they should advance science-based outcomes; and that they should promote resiliency and help rural economies better adapt to climate change,” said Charles F. Conner, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and co-chair of FACA.   The witnesses told committee members that there are several ways that the USDA could help address climate change, including by:   Strengthening the agency’s commitment to agricultural and forestry research to help provide farmers,...

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Mar 15, 2022

Illinois’ Tarmann Recognized for Advocacy to Update Vital Locks and Dams on Upper Mississippi River System

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association recently recognized Illinois Corn’s Managing Director Jim Tarmann for his work to secure vital funding for locks and dams along the Upper Mississippi River System.   The recognition came at the end of Commodity Classic in New Orleans.   “Jim spent years educating public policymakers about the importance of the locks and dams along the Upper Mississippi River System,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “Thanks to his efforts, billions of dollars are going to update this system that is so vital to farmers.”   More than 60% of the nation’s corn and soybean exports are transported on the Mississippi River. Yet, many of the locks and dams along the river system have not been updated since the 1930s, leading to breakdowns that have delayed shipments along the river. Knowing that breakdowns along the system would lead to costly delays for farmers, Tarmann began decades ago advocating for updates to the system’s locks and...

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Mar 10, 2022

Bill Introduced in Congress Would Provide Relief on Fertilizer Tariffs

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

Sen. Roger Marshall, M.D., and Rep. Tracey Mann introduced the Emergency Relief from Duties Act today. The bill would create emergency waivers for duties levied on fertilizers by the U.S. International Trade Commission.   “Fertilizers and other inputs have been at an all-time high, and the war in Ukraine promises to drive up the price of products even more,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “Fertilizers have become increasingly hard to secure and pay for because of tariffs or the threat tariffs on imports. That’s why passage of this legislation would come as a welcome relief to farmers across the country.” The bill comes as the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) levied tariffs against imports of phosphate fertilizer at the behest of a U.S. fertilizer company. A petition for additional tariffs on urea ammonium nitrate is also being considered by ITC. This bill would introduce a pathway to establish a waiver of countervailing duties or anti-dumping...

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Mar 8, 2022

Deadlines Near for Enrollment in Farmer Safety Net Programs

Author: Bryan Goodman

The deadlines for enrolling in USDA commodity and crop insurance programs are quickly approaching.   Farmers have until March 15 to enroll in the Farm Service Agency’s Agriculture Risk Coverage or Price Loss Coverage programs for the 2022 crop year. These safety-net programs provide financial support to farmers who experience substantial declines in crop prices or revenues.   To qualify for the 2022 Pandemic Cover Crop Program, producers must file a Report of Acreage form (FSA-578) for cover crops with FSA by March 15, 2022. Producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit if they planted cover crops during this crop year.   To learn more and enroll in FSA programs, visit: https://www.farmers.gov/working-with-us/program-deadlines.    Many crop insurance policies for corn growers also have a sales closing date of March 15. Contact your local crop insurance agent for more information. 

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Mar 4, 2022

Biofuel & Ag Leaders Call on White House to Provide Relief at the Pump Through Higher Blends of Biofuels

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

To provide relief at the pump in response to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions from the transportation sector, six farm and biofuel organizations wrote to President Biden urging his administration to use existing authority to allow for the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol (E15).   In a letter to the White House, American Farm Bureau Federation, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, and the Renewable Fuels Association explained that an immediate move to restore year-round sales of E15 can ease the impact of oil market disruptions and surging gas prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.   “As American families continue to confront skyrocketing gas prices, we write today to urge the Administration to take a simple action that can provide immediate relief at the pump while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions from the transportation...

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Mar 1, 2022

NCGA President Provides Testimony on Farm Bill Commodity Programs

Key Issues: Farm BillFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The president of the National Corn Growers Association spoke today before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture about the key challenges corn growers are facing and offered reflections on existing farm bill commodity programs.   “NCGA has a long history of advocating for market-orientated farm policies, including commodity and crop insurance programs that help growers manage their risks,” Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington told the committee. “Our focus continues to be on accessible and defensible tools geared towards revenue, which factors in both yield and price risks that growers may face throughout the growing and market seasons.”   Edgington was invited by the committee to speak at the hearing, entitled “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: Commodity Group Perspectives on Title 1.”   During the 2018 Farm Bill, NCGA supported increasing the opportunities for producers to choose between the commodity programs, Edgington noted. Thanks to that work, producers were...

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Feb 16, 2022

Senators Highlight Environmental, Economic Value of Ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard

Key Issues: EthanolFarm PolicyHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Bryan Goodman

Three U.S. senators today highlighted the environmental and economic benefits of corn ethanol during a hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) held before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.   During the hearing, Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who serve on this important committee, discussed the transportation emission reductions that result from renewable fuels, ethanol’s contribution to lowering fuel prices and agriculture’s role in producing and improving renewable fuels, among other issues.   “We appreciate Sens. Duckworth, Ernst and Stabenow for setting the record straight when it comes to agriculture and ethanol,” said National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) president Chris Edgington. “We were very pleased to have them highlight and include NCGA’s statement, which shows the environmental benefits of ethanol, into the hearing record.”   NCGA’s statement to the committee explains how...

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Feb 11, 2022

NCGA Leader Appointed to MAIZALL Board

Key Issues: Research

Author: Bryan Goodman

John Linder, a past president and current chairperson of the National Corn Growers Association, has been appointed to serve as a director on the board of MAIZALL, the international alliance of maize growers and exporters from Argentina, Brazil and the United States.   Linder is a fifth-generation farmer. Together with his wife and his brother, Linder grows corn, soybeans, soft red winter wheat and soybeans for seed. In addition to traditional row crop farming, he also has experience raising livestock.   “I am humbled and honored to serve on behalf of U.S. corn farmers as a director for MAIZALL,” said Linder. “I look forward to collaborating with my family farmer counterparts in Brazil and Argentina to tell our farming story and advance the adoption of agricultural innovation to provide safe and abundant food and fuel for the world.”   As of January 1, 2022, John Linder replaced Pamela Johnson as the NCGA’s representative on the MAIZALL Board. Pam Johnson was a founding...

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Feb 11, 2022

USDA’s Risk Management Agency Announces Pandemic Cover Crop Program for 2022

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

USDA’s Risk Management Agency just announced the continuation of the Pandemic Cover Crop Program for 2022. Agricultural producers who have coverage under most crop insurance policies are eligible for a premium benefit from USDA if they planted cover crops during the 2022 crop year. To receive the benefit from this year’s Pandemic Cover Crop Program, producers must report cover crop acreage by March 15, 2022. The premium support is up to $5 per acre, but no more than the full premium owed. It was first offered in 2021, and producers received $59.5 million in premium subsidies for 12.2 million acres of cover crops. For more info and FAQ, visit: https://www.farmers.gov/cover-crops  

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Feb 9, 2022

NCGA President Applauds EPA for Attempt to End RFS Waiver Abuse, Calls on Agency to Commit to Timely Release of Strong RFS Volume Standards

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association submitted comments this week applauding the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to rein in exemptions provided to small oil refineries while calling on the agency to commit to the timely implementation of strong blending requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).   “The RFS is a successful energy and economic policy for consumers, our environment and for farmers,” Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington said. “A return to consistent and timely RFS administration in 2022 is key to maximizing carbon and pollutant reductions, expanding our energy supply to lower consumer costs, and supporting rural economic growth.”   Edgington indicated in his comments that NCGA strongly supports the proposed 2022 RFS volumes, which include an implied volume of 15 billion gallons for conventional renewable fuel and an increase in total renewable fuel, while expressing opposition to proposed retroactive reductions from final 2020...

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Feb 7, 2022

NCGA to EPA: New Definition of WOTUS will Hurt Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should refrain from moving forward with its rule that would expand the definition of the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), under the Clean Water Act (CWA), to include water on farmland that’s removed from major waterways, the National Corn Growers Association told the agency today. “NCGA and its farmer members are committed to the objectives of the Clean Water Act and the protection of water quality around our agricultural operations and downstream,” Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington said in comments filed with EPA. “We firmly believe that achieving these objectives does not require drainage and water features that are distant from relatively permanent flowing tributaries be made subject to the mandatory controls of the CWA’s regulatory measures.   Edgington told the agency that such expansive jurisdictional claims will create enormous and pervasive uncertainty and confusion in the agricultural community as to how farmers manage...

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Feb 7, 2022

USDA Announces $1 Billion Investment to Support Farmers, Climate-Smart Initiatives

Author: Bryan Goodman

The United States Department of Agriculture will allocate $1 billion to help farmers across the country develop ways to address climate change, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today.   “As farmers, we are committed to being good stewards of the land and to addressing environmental issues,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “We are pleased that USDA is addressing climate challenges with a voluntary, incentive-based approach that recognizes the need to provide flexibility for farmers.”   USDA’s Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities will use funding from the Commodity Credit Corporation, to stand up pilot projects that implement climate-smart conservation practices on farms.  A climate-smart commodity is defined as an agricultural commodity that is produced using agricultural (farming, ranching or forestry) practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.   State and local governments, commodity groups,...

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Feb 2, 2022

Key U.S. Senators Call on EPA Administrator to Prioritize Renewable Fuels Standard as NCGA Calls on Farmers to Weigh In on Rule

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Allies of corn growers in the U.S. Senate sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan today calling on him to prioritize the Renewable Fuels Standard.   Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), with the support from a bipartisan group of 12 senators, called on the administrator to maintain proposed blending requirements for 2022; deny all pending Small Refinery Exemptions; eliminate proposed retroactive cuts to the 2020 renewable volume obligations; and set 2021 RFS volumes at the statutory levels.   “The RFS is a significant tool for EPA to reduce the carbon footprint of our transportation sector,” the senators wrote. “By taking the above actions, the EPA can quickly restore integrity, stability, and growth to the RFS and the U.S. biofuel sector while ensuring that the program continues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, diversify our fuels, drive down gas prices, strengthen our national security, and drive rural economic opportunity.” NCGA’s leadership...

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Jan 27, 2022

Farmers are Key to Successful Federal Environmental Mitigation Efforts, Ohio Farmers Tell Federal Agencies

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should look to farmers as it works to mitigate pesticide issues, a corn grower told members of a federal interagency working group (IWG) today.    “We respect EPA’s responsibility in protecting the environment, including endangered species,” said Patty Mann, a corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Jackson Center, Ohio. “We ask that the agency work closely with growers, the ones who often know the land the best, in developing and enacting mitigation measures.”   Mann’s remarks were made to the IWG, which is composed of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. The IWG was established under the 2018 farm bill to identify and implement improvements to the federal government’s pesticide consultation process.   Mann, who has worked with the National Corn Growers and Ohio Corn and Wheat on these...

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Jan 25, 2022

With Reauthorization of the Farm Bill on the Horizon, Grower Leaders are Positioned to be Valuable Resource

Key Issues: Farm PolicyTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

As Washington prepares to debate the reauthorization of the farm bill in 2023, one group of grower leaders is well-positioned as a valuable resource for corn growers and policymakers.    The Risk Management and Transportation Action Team (RMTAT) – which oversees much of NCGA’s public-policy work on transportation, the farm safety net and federal taxes – will play an active role in preparing NCGA for the 2023 farm bill.   “NCGA will soon roll out key findings from our nationwide risk management survey of fellow corn growers,” said RMTAT Chairman Bill Leigh.” We are also spending time evaluating current farm bill commodity and crop insurance programs, continuing to support strong risk management tools, and looking for areas of improvement. And implementation of disaster assistance will once again be on the team’s agenda for the year.”   The team is building off a successful year, which saw historic federal investments in domestic infrastructure. Implementation of the bipartisan...

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Jan 19, 2022

Historic Investment to Repair Nation’s River Infrastructure

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

Appropriations from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed in 2021 with bipartisan support, will soon be funding upgrades to infrastructure projects important to corn growers.   The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today it would allocate $2.2 billion from the infrastructure legislation to repair and update the following locks along the Upper Mississippi River System:   Kentucky Lock along the Tennessee River, near Grand Rivers, Kentucky. Montgomery Lock on the Ohio River, 30 miles south of Pittsburgh. Lock and Dam 25 on the Upper Mississippi River, north of St. Louis. Three Rivers Lock along the Ohio River, southwest of Pittsburgh. T.J. O’Brien Lock and Dam along the Illinois River. “Corn growers depend on America’s rivers to import supplies, like fertilizers, which play an important part in planting and harvesting our crops,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “These rivers are also important in shipping our products to key...

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Jan 19, 2022

NCGA Expresses Concern that Proposed Waters of the U.S. Rule Could Extend Federal Regulatory Control of Farmland

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association cautioned EPA on Tuesday about moving forward with a rule that could give the federal government sweeping regulatory power over America’s farmlands.   The testimony from Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington comes as EPA considers a proposed rule revising the definition of “Waters of the United States,” under the Clean Water Act. The proposed rule would give the federal government leeway to assert jurisdiction over features that are remote from and carry only minor volumes of water to downstream navigable waters.   “The Clean Water Act simply does not allow the agencies to insert themselves into local and farmer land-use decisions in the manner that has been proposed,” Edgington said. “There is a limit under the Clean Water Act to the direct federal control over land-use decisions and policies. Such Clean Water Act policy properly respects the roles of each of the principal players in this system: the private landowner, citizen...

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Jan 12, 2022

New Economic Analysis Has Farmers Raising Concerns about Looming Tariffs on Nitrogen Fertilizers

Key Issues: Production

Author: Bryan Goodman

A new economic analysis released today by researchers at Texas A&M University has corn growers raising concerns that pending tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers will create shortages and cause prices to increase even more for farmers, according to the National Corn Growers Association.   “As part of this study, we conducted a historical analysis going back to 1980 and found that fertilizer costs tend to go up when corn revenues increase,” lead researcher Joe Outlaw, Ph.D., noted. “Notably, these prices tend to go up exponentially even after accounting for natural gas prices and higher demand.”   The study notes that the price of one type of nitrogen fertilizer, called anhydrous ammonia, increased by $688 per ton – $86,000 for a 1,000-acre farm – from the end of 2020 through the end of October 2021.   The study has farmers raising concerns about a petition by CF Industries, one of the country’s major nitrogen producers, with the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose...

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Jan 6, 2022

USDA NASS ARMS Survey Extended to Mid-January

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Farmers are encouraged to respond to the USDA’s Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS). Phase II of the work has been extended to January 14. The survey asks about production practices and data from corn producers. Your response helps ensure corn growers are represented in key research and analysis by USDA. This portion of the survey asks questions about fertilizer, pesticide, cropping practice and technology management.    It is important to respond to make sure you are represented in your state. Phase II is primarily conducted by phone and is the best way for USDA to get the information it needs to make sure your operation is counted. Corn producers in Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Colorado, and Texas have been contacted to participate in the survey. For more information about this survey, visit www.nass.usda.gov/go/arms .

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Jan 5, 2022

USDA Announces Details for Pace Coverage

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today released the details and coverage of the new crop insurance Post Application Coverage Endorsement, or PACE, for non-irrigated corn.   Farmers in select counties in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are eligible for the endorsement.   PACE, available to farmers who split-apply nitrogen, provides coverage for the projected yield lost when producers are unable to apply the post nitrogen application during the V3-V10 corn growth stages due to field conditions created by weather. It is available as supplemental coverage for Yield Protection (YP), Revenue Protection (RP), and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion (RP-HPE) policies.   “PACE is an important addition to the risk management toolbox for corn growers,” said National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “We are appreciative of our industry partners and the Risk Management Agency...

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Jan 4, 2022

NCGA to EPA: Renewable Fuel Standard Important to Farmers, Helps Lower Emissions

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Timely implementation of meaningful Renewable Fuels Standard volumes provides certainty in agriculture markets, reduces emissions and lowers fuel prices, NCGA told U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials today during the agency’s public hearing on proposed RFS volume standards for 2022 and 2021 and proposed reconsideration of 2020 volumes.   “Corn farmers produce low-carbon feedstock for low-carbon ethanol, offering immediate and affordable emissions reductions and a vital pathway for agriculture to help address climate change,” NCGA President Chris Edgington told EPA. “But our success helping you meet these commitments depends on EPA sending a clear and firm message that volume requirements will be enforced.”   Edgington urged EPA to move quickly to finalize the strong 2022 volume proposal and the denial of pending RFS waiver petitions, actions that would put more clean fuels in the market and repair RFS integrity. He also told EPA that proposed retroactive cuts to 2020...

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Dec 17, 2021

Corn Growers to Mosaic: Stop Engaging in Irresponsible Corporate Behavior and End Fertilizer Tariffs

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

One of the nation’s leading fertilizer companies has erected an insurmountable tariff barrier to keep its top competitors out of the U.S. market at the expense of America’s farmers, according to a letter released this week by the National Corn Growers Association.   Leaders from NCGA and its state affiliates signed the letter, which was sent to executives at Mosaic Co., one of the nation’s largest fertilizer producers. The letter takes Mosaic to task for the tariffs that were imposed in March by the U.S. International Trade Commission at the fertilizer company’s behest. Fertilizer prices have since skyrocketed.    “Mosaic’s posture to date has been a masterpiece of irresponsible corporate social responsibility,” the letter says.     The letter highlighted the stranglehold Mosaic has placed on its customers and suggested the company’s monopoly is creating serious problems for farmers.   “…only 15% of phosphorous imports now come into the U.S. without tariffs,” the letter...

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Dec 10, 2021

New Report Details Work of Farmers in Addressing Water Quality Along Mississippi River Basin

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Bryan Goodman

A report released this week by the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council details the work of farmers to improve water quality issues along the Mississippi River Basin. The National Corn Growers Association, a member of ANPC, has played an active role in these efforts.    “This report demonstrates the unique approaches ag groups and farmers are employing to protect water quality,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “Corn growers are committed to being good environmental stewards as we feed and power America.” ANPC was initiated in 2010 to help state and local agricultural trade associations and companies work with farmers to improve water quality issues along the Mississippi River Basin. This latest report stems from interviews with state agricultural trade associations and highlights the work of farmers in 16 states.    The report will be presented at the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force on Virtual Meeting on Dec. 14. “We encourage our...

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Dec 7, 2021

NCGA Reacts to EPA Proposed Biofuel Blending Volumes

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today released delayed proposed biofuel blending volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The agency proposed an increase in the total biofuel blending requirement for 2022 of 22.77 billion gallons, which allows for an implied ethanol volume of 15 billion gallons. EPA also proposed to add 250 million gallons in response to a 2017 court decision, with the remainder of that 500-million-gallon court remand pledged to come in next year’s rulemaking.   The proposal includes a total renewable fuel volume of 18.52 for 2021, and a 2.96-billion-gallon reduction from the previous final 2020 volume requirement, the first time EPA has proposed a retroactive RFS volume reduction.   In addition, EPA proposed denial of the 65 pending RFS refinery waiver petitions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture separately released COVID assistance funding for biofuel producers that Congress approved last year and committed an additional $100 million to...

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Dec 6, 2021

NCGA Mourns Sen. Robert J. Dole’s Passing

Author: Bryan Goodman

In response to the passing of Sen. Robert J. Dole of Kansas, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett released the following statement:    “We are deeply saddened by the death of Sen. Dole. A champion for farmers, Sen. Dole was crucial in forging important and long-lasting coalitions to pass Farm Bills through Congress, at times having to navigate steep budget cuts to do so. As Senate Republican Leader, he worked with colleagues across the aisle to promote disability rights and address hunger in America and abroad. The senator was a war hero and true statesman who cared deeply about America. Dole’s legacy should remind us all that when we connect through humor and work together we can tackle major issues for this great country.”     

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Dec 3, 2021

Government Grants Reprieve on Potash Sanctions Providing Win for Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Controls this week agreed to provide a reprieve through April of next year on sanctions on potash fertilizers imported to the U.S. from Belarus.    “This is a win for the American farmer,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington. “Farmers are having a very hard time securing fertilizers, so a positive development like this couldn’t come at a better time.”    NCGA and other groups initiated dialogue in November with the Treasury Department expressing concern that sanctions on potash were resulting in fertilizer shortages across the country.    As farmers have struggled to secure and pay for fertilizers and other inputs, NCGA has been sounding the alarm saying that tariffs and sanctions on imports only make a bad situation worse.  “The American farmer should not have to suffer for the trade practices of foreign governments or for disagreement between multi-national corporations,”...

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Dec 1, 2021

NCGA: Deeply Disappointed Fertilizer Companies, U.S. Commerce Department, Continue to Press for Tariffs at Expense of Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Department of Commerce today made a preliminary determination in favor of a complaint filed by CF Industries that urea ammonium nitrate (UAN) imports from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago are unfairly subsidized by their governments. As a result, the Department of Commerce is recommending countervailing duties on fertilizers from these countries. The decision comes on the heels of a decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission in March to grant a petition by the Mosaic Company to place tariffs on phosphorous fertilizer imported from outside the country. Those tariffs were also recommended by the Commerce Department. In response to this development, the National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington released the following statement:   “Farmers across the country have spoken publicly over the last several weeks about the severe impact fertilizer shortages are having on the budgets of family farms. While there are a host of issues that contributed to this...

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Nov 30, 2021

NCGA: Remember to Submit Ballot for FSA Committee Positions

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

NCGA reminds corn growers that the deadline is approaching to submit ballots for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections. Voters should return their ballots to their FSA county office by Monday, Dec. 6. Those wishing to mail-in ballots must make sure envelopes are postmarked by the ballot deadline.   Committee members represent local farmers at USDA and play an important role in shaping FSA programs.   Each committee has from three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office, and at least one seat, which represents local administrative areas, is up for election each year. Newly elected committee members will take office on Jan. 1, 2022.   Eligible voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail can request one from their local FSA county office. To find your local USDA Service Center, visit farmers.gov/service-locator. Visit fsa.usda.gov/elections for more information. 

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Nov 19, 2021

House Passes $1.7 Trillion Build Back Better Legislation, Allocating $82 Billion in Funding For Agriculture to Address Climate Change

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Bill Steers Clear of Harmful Tax Changes for Farmers   The House of Representatives voted today on a party-line basis to approve the $1.7 trillion budget reconciliation and spending bill, H.R. 5376, referred to as the Build Back Better Act.   NCGA worked with allies of farmers and rural communities in Congress to ensure that the bill did not remove important tax provisions that would directly affect family farms.   “Our number one concern has been proposals to remove stepped-up basis,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “That will continue to be our focus as the legislation moves to the Senate.”   The House version of the bill makes no changes to stepped-up basis, the current tax provision important to corn growers. Stepped-up basis and the estate tax provisions in the current tax code help protect family farms that are transferred from generation to generation.   In an acknowledgment of the role farmers can play in addressing environmental issues,...

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Nov 18, 2021

NCGA: Proposed Rule on Waters of the U.S. A Step Back, Confusing for Farmers

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Today, The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Army released a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS). The proposed rule would remove the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which was finalized in 2020 and provided long-overdue certainty and clarity for farmers affected by the scope of WOTUS jurisdiction.   In response to this development, NCGA President Chris Edgington released the following statement:   “We are extremely disappointed that this administration is taking us backward by removing a rule that has provided certainty for farmers who are working to feed and power America.”   "NCGA will continue to work with the agencies and advocate for a WOTUS definition that provides farmers clarity about their obligations under the Clean Water Act."  

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Nov 18, 2021

NCGA Urges EPA to Issue Delayed Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposal today to further extend Renewable Fuel Standard compliance deadlines for 2019 and later because the agency has yet to propose and finalize 2021 and 2022 RFS volume requirements.   National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington made the following statement on the proposal:   “Through this year, we’ve heard from EPA that its intent is to uphold the law and put the RFS back on track following the waiver abuse of recent years. With 2022 just around the corner, EPA has yet to propose RFS volumes for the coming year, adding uncertainty to the renewable fuels marketplace. Rather than prolong the uncertainty, we urge the EPA to follow the statute by issuing RFS volumes that continue to provide for 15 billion gallons of ethanol. This will allow consumers to take advantage of the economic and environmental benefits of clean, renewable fuel like ethanol, which lowers fuel prices for drivers today.”

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Nov 16, 2021

NCGA Congratulates Robert Bonnie on Senate Confirmation

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today congratulated Robert Bonnie for receiving Senate confirmation to serve as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation with the Department of Agriculture. In response to the development, NCGA President Chris Edgington made the following statement:   “As production agriculture continues to face multiple challenges from climate to markets, Mr. Bonnie will play an important role in responding to farmer needs. Having previously served as the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, he has experience working with a variety of stakeholders and overseeing important USDA agencies. These experiences, his commitment to bipartisanship, along with his ongoing work with farmers, ranchers, and conservationists, are all reasons NCGA looks forward to working with Robert Bonnie in his new role.”    

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Nov 16, 2021

NCGA: EPA Didn’t Use Best Available Data in Popular Herbicides Used by Farmers

Key Issues: Farm PolicyProduction

Author: Bryan Goodman

NCGA said today that the EPA did not use the best available science and data in the recently released endangered species biological evaluations for glyphosate, atrazine, and simazine, and, as a result, EPA’s final assessment for these chemistries vastly inflate the number of species and habitats found likely to be adversely affected.   “The assumptions EPA made in drafting this biological evaluation are not based on the real-world use of these products,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “It vastly overestimated the volume of herbicide farmers use and instead relied on inflated levels that resulted in this evaluation.”   In its evaluation, which was released on Friday and conducted as part of the Endangered Species Act, EPA looked at the effects of glyphosate, atrazine and simazine on endangered species when used at the highest legal limits rather than at levels typically used by farmers. EPA’s determination is also based on the assumption that the...

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Nov 6, 2021

NCGA Praises Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation Important to Farmers, Rural Communities

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

The House of Representatives voted 228 to 206 Friday night to approve the bipartisan infrastructure package, which the Senate passed in August by a vote of 69 to 30, clearing the way for legislation to become law.   The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes funding important to corn growers, including $17.3 billion for the nation’s ports and inland waterways and $2 billion specifically for rural broadband access. New spending in the bill is paid for through unused Covid relief funds, bonds and extensions of various government fees, and the bill does not include tax increases for individuals or farms.   “We are pleased to see the House act on this legislation which was developed in a bipartisan manner and allocates funding for initiatives that are extremely important to corn growers and rural America,” said NCGA President Chris Edgington. “This is a once in a generation infrastructure investment that will help farmers for years to come.”    As 60% of corn exports...

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Nov 4, 2021

NCGA Staff Member Named to National Waterways Foundation

Author: Bryan Goodman

A National Corn Growers Association staff member was recently elected to a national organization focused on the inland waterways system.   Anne Thompson, who has served as director of PAC and political strategy at NCGA since January of 2020, was elected as a trustee for the National Waterways Foundation. Her three-year term will begin immediately. “Our members stand to benefit from Anne’s involvement with the foundation,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy, Brooke Appleton. “Anne understands the importance of our nation’s inland waterways system to the ability of our members to remain internationally competitive, and she has a deep understanding of the types of data policymakers need to see as they are considering laws and regulations impacting the inland waterways.”   The foundation’s focus is on research addressing public policy issues related to America's inland waterways system. The waterways are of great importance to the agriculture sector, which relies heavily on...

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Nov 3, 2021

NCGA Applauds New Agreement to Lift E.U. Tariffs on U.S. Corn

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

On the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit this past weekend, European Union officials and the Biden administration brokered a deal that will ease tariffs on E.U. steel and aluminum imports into the U.S. while eliminating retaliatory duties from the E.U. on several U.S. goods, including U.S. Corn.     “This is an important step for America’s corn farmers and a step toward restoring our trading relationship with the European Union,” said NCGA President Chris Edgington. “We were dragged into a trade dispute that did not involve us, and we are highly appreciative of the Biden administration for this development.”     In May of this year, the Biden administration announced the start of discussions with the E.U. to address global steel and aluminum excess capacity, which originally prompted the U.S. to apply tariffs on European steel and aluminum imports under the authority of Section 232. This action was met by the E.U. imposing retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports, including a...

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Nov 1, 2021

U.S. Farmers Report Concerns of Shortages, Crippling Prices Due to Tariffs on Fertilizers, NCGA and Other Ag Groups Tell U.S. Court of International Trade

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association joined four other agricultural groups on Friday in encouraging the U.S. Court of International Trade to overturn an earlier decision by the International Trade Commission, which imposed tariffs on imported phosphate fertilizers from Morocco. “Farmers are feeling the pain from these tariffs,” said Iowa farmer and NCGA President Chris Edgington. “We’re facing severe cost hikes on our fertilizers, and we are worried about fertilizer shortages next year. We desperately need the U.S. Court of International Trade to remedy this situation.”    The U.S. Department of Commerce recommended in February 2021 that the ITC implement tariffs over 19% on imported fertilizers from Morocco after the Mosaic Company, which manufactures fertilizers used in the U.S. and abroad, filed a petition with the department seeking the levies. The ITC voted in March to impose the tariffs while adding similar levies on Russian imports. As a result, critical sources of...

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Oct 22, 2021

NCGA, Other Ag Groups, Comment on Disruptive Factors Facing U.S. Supply Chain

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association joined 51 other agricultural groups in submitting comments this week to the U.S. Department of Transportation addressing the many disruptive factors facing the U.S. supply chain. The comments provide recommendations on how to alleviate these challenges through legislative and regulatory actions.    “To be successful, farmers must have a reliable and fully functioning national transportation system that will allow us to receive our fall fertilizer shipments and deliver our products to consumers in a timely fashion,” said NCGA President Chris Edgington. “That’s why NCGA, along with other groups, are making our voices heard in these discussions.”    The comments address several key areas of concern to corn growers, including:   Inland Waterways. The inland waterways system is vital to the American supply chain and gives U.S. producers a significant advantage in terms of cost and efficiency over international competitors. The comments urge...

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Oct 15, 2021

NCGA to Administration Officials: Use of Higher Ethanol Blends Will Cut Gas Prices

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

As the White House met this week with executives from the oil and gas industry seeking help with high fuel prices, NCGA reminded administration officials that corn growers offer an immediate solution for lowering fuel prices.     NCGA issued a response on social media, saying: “@WhiteHouse Trying to cut gas prices? How about blending more biofuels – homegrown ethanol costs less than gasoline, and even the small step of choosing a 15% ethanol blend at the pump today saves drivers 10 cents or more per gallon while cutting carbon emissions too.”   This latest action is part of a larger campaign by NCGA to demonstrate the benefits of ethanol to policymakers. When it comes to fuel price concerns, ethanol currently costs less per gallon than gasoline, so blending more ethanol lowers fuel prices while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.   NCGA has been working closely with Washington policymakers, reminding them that they can address these issues by:   Ensuring consumers...

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Sep 30, 2021

Matthew Ziegler Joins NCGA as Manager of Public Policy 

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to announce that Matthew Ziegler has joined NCGA as the Manager of Public Policy and will lead the organization’s efforts on transportation, research and new uses policy.    Matt spent two years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture briefing Secretary Sonny Perdue on key policy issues, such as rural development, inland waterways and rural broadband. He was also responsible for preparing the Secretary for all domestic and international travel, and representing USDA leadership with key stakeholders in Congress and in states and rural communities. Prior to his time at USDA, Matt interned for Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX).   “Matt’s experience working for a member of Congress and someone at the highest level of government has positioned him well for this role, said Vice President of Public Policy Brooke Appleton. “His experience and connections will be of great value to NCGA as we advocate on behalf of farmers.”   A Texas...

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Sep 29, 2021

USDA Announces New Climate Project

Key Issues: SustainabilityFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The Secretary of Agriculture announced today that the administration will launch a new initiative to help farmers address climate change.   In a speech at Colorado State University, Secretary Tom Vilsack said USDA is investing in a series of pilot projects, as part of the “Climate Smart Partnership Initiative,” which will provide incentives to implement climate smart conservation practices on working lands and to quantify and monitor the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices.   USDA will receive stakeholder input over the next 30 days to determine how the partnerships will be structured and will then initiate a series of partnerships over the next six months.   “Today’s announcement underscores the fact that farmers are part of the climate solution,” said NCGA President John Linder. “We look forward to working closely with USDA in the coming weeks to provide input from corn growers.”   Vilsack also announced $3 billion in additional funds and...

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Sep 27, 2021

NCGA to EPA: Ethanol Needed to Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should focus on opening pathways for all low-carbon fuels and technologies, such as ethanol, as it seeks to lower greenhouse gas emissions, the National Corn Growers Association explained to EPA in comments submitted today.   The agency’s written comments come as EPA hears from stakeholders on its proposed rule to set more stringent greenhouse gas emissions standards for vehicles for model year 2023 to 2026. Unfortunately, the role that higher blends of low-carbon ethanol can play in meeting new standards was conspicuously absent from EPA’s proposal.   “EPA missed an opportunity in this proposal to broaden the solutions that reduce transportation emissions by beginning a transition to low-carbon, high-octane fuels to advance climate, air quality and environmental justice goals with these and future standards,” NCGA President John Linder stated in the comments. “Furthermore, alternative fuel vehicles such as flex-fuel vehicles, which have...

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Sep 13, 2021

Corn Growers React to Proposed Tax Changes

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The House Ways and Means Committee today released its draft bill, which includes tax provisions that would pay for portions of the proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation legislative package. While the bill would preserve stepped-up basis, there are several provisions impacting family farms, including lowering the current estate tax exemption. Stepped-up basis and the estate tax in the current tax code help protect family farms that are passed down from generation to generation.    In response to these developments, NCGA President John Linder released the following statement: “We are very pleased to see that the House Committee did not include the elimination of stepped-up basis within its initial text. However, we are concerned with the provisions on the estate tax in the Committee draft that could impact family farms. NCGA will continue to work to preserve stepped-up basis and the current estate tax exemption as this process moves forward. “Family farms produce crops...

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Sep 10, 2021

Corn Growers, Farm Organizations, and Small Businesses Tell Congress Tax Proposals Would Hurt the Economy

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association continued this week to fight to protect tax priorities for farmers ahead of the release of Congress’ $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. As part of these efforts, NCGA joined hundreds of state and federal agricultural organizations in sending three coalition letters urging Congress to preserve important tax provisions.     Letters that were sent to Congress this week with corn growers support: NCGA and state corn growers were part of a letter with 327 national, regional and state trade associations highlighting agricultural tax priorities including stepped-up basis, like-kind exchanges, the Sec. 199A small business deduction and current estate tax provisions. NCGA and state corn grower associations were part of over 160 signatories in the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition letter, focusing on the importance of preserving stepped-up basis and potential issues that could come with setting exemptions on inherited property. NCGA...

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Sep 9, 2021

NCGA, RFA, Growth Energy Statement on RVP Rehearing Petition Denial

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

Today, Growth Energy, the National Corn Growers Association, and the Renewable Fuels Association released the following statement after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals denied their petition for rehearing regarding the recent American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, et al. vs. EPA decision, in which the court vacated a 2019 regulation allowing year-round sales of a fifteen percent ethanol fuel blend (E15).   “Our petition for rehearing was an opportunity for the D.C. Circuit to remedy a decision that runs counter to legal precedent and which, if maintained, threatens our nation’s rural economy and progress on moving toward a clean energy future.   “Today’s petition denial is another hurdle to ensuring year-round access to low-carbon E15, however, due to timing, American drivers and retailers will be able to finish out the E15 summer driving season without disruption to their access to cleaner fuel choices at the pump. Moving forward, we continue to push for a permanent...

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Sep 2, 2021

USDA Approves Crop Insurance Option for Corn Growers Who ‘Split-Apply’ Nitrogen

Key Issues: Production

Author: Bryan Goodman

In response to an announcement today from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that it will offer Post Application Coverage Endorsement (PACE) in certain states for non-irrigated corn, NCGA released the following statement:   “PACE will play an extremely important role in helping farmers navigate changing weather conditions. We applaud the Illinois Corn Growers Association and our other partners for working to develop this new insurance product and are appreciative of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for seeing its value and approving its use. We look forward to working with USDA as it rolls out this new product.”   PACE was developed by the Illinois Corn Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association, Ag-Analytics Technology Company, LLC, Meridian Institute, and others and submitted to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation under provisions in the law allowing for private development of new crop insurance products. More details on PACE will be made available...

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Aug 31, 2021

NCGA to EPA: Don’t Saddle Farmers with Unnecessary Water Regulations

Key Issues: Farm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

Federal regulations on remote bodies of water will hurt farmers without providing any significant improvement to water quality, an NCGA leader told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today.   “They [EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] must not assume that achieving desired water quality outcomes means that remote water features must be made waters of the U.S.,” said Andy Jobman, chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team. “The facts simply do not support this assumption as it applies to farms, conservation practices and farmland water management.”   Jobman’s remarks were made during a public meeting hosted by the EPA to hear from stakeholders on their perspectives on defining "waters of the United States" under the Clean Water Act, in light of the agency’s intention to revise the definition.   During the hearing, Jobman expressed support for the goals of the Clean Water Act to restore and protect the water quality integrity of jurisdictional waters.   “Corn farmers...

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Aug 27, 2021

NCGA’s Linder Tells EPA to Turn to Ethanol to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

Policymakers can meet their ambitious goals of quickly lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by turning to biofuels like ethanol, National Corn Growers Association President John Linder told the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week.   “EPA’s proposal for vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards for 2023 through 2026 is an ambitious increase,” Linder said. “The good news is we don’t have to wait to reduce emissions. Thanks to today’s ethanol, we can use fuel available right now to make a difference.”   His comments came as EPA conducted public hearings on proposed revised emission standards for light-duty vehicles for model year 2023 through 2026 and as the Biden Administration announced a goal of achieving a 50% to 52% reduction in greenhouse gas by 2030. Linder was one of several stakeholders providing input to EPA at the virtual public hearing.   Looking at all possible solutions will ensure the country can take advantage of not only the low-carbon benefits of...

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Aug 26, 2021

Next Generation Fuels Act Provides Key Piece of the Clean Energy Solution

Key Issues: EthanolHigh-Octane Low-Carbon

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today welcomed the reintroduction of The Next Generation Fuels Act (H.R. 5089), legislation to transition gasoline and vehicles to low-carbon, higher octane fuel to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and meet future needs of more advanced vehicles by taking advantage of the benefits of higher ethanol blends. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill).   “Ethanol is uniquely positioned to immediately and affordably decarbonize transportation, including through paving the way to future vehicles with greater fuel efficiency and fewer emissions,” said NCGA President John Linder. “The Renewable Fuel Standard was a game-changer for corn farmers, and the Next Generation Fuels Act builds on that success in advancing our commitment to providing the cleanest, most efficient and lowest cost energy solution.”   The bill would require that automakers phase in higher levels of clean, low-carbon octane by model year 2031. The...

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Aug 10, 2021

NCGA: Passage of Senate Infrastructure Bill a Positive Development that Would Benefit Farmers

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauds the U.S. Senate for today’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package, which includes investments in important areas to corn growers.     “This is a once-in-a-lifetime investment in America’s infrastructure, and we are extremely pleased that it includes funding for priorities that are important to farmers and rural America,” said President of the National Corn Growers Association John Linder. “The legislation will benefit agriculture for years to come, and it is encouraging for corn farmers to see Senators working together on a bipartisan basis.”   Among the items included in the bill:   $17.3 billion for the nation’s ports and inland waterways. With 60% of corn exports utilizing these waterways, NCGA and coalition partners have a track record of advocating for these key resources.   $65 billion for broadband internet access, including $2 billion specifically for rural broadband, which will provide more farmers...

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Aug 10, 2021

Angus R. Kelly Joins NCGA as Director of Trade and Biotechnology

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to announce that Angus R. Kelly has joined NCGA as the Director of Public Policy, Trade and Biotechnology. In his new role, Angus will be responsible for lobbying Congress and providing expert counsel to NCGA leaders, members and key stakeholders.   “Angus’s experience and expertise will be extremely valuable to us as we advocate on behalf of corn growers,” said Brooke Appleton, NCGA’s Vice President of Public Policy. “He is steeped in the intricacies of international trade and has extensive experience working on biotechnology, both of which are crucial issues to farmers. He will play an important role in helping us navigate these issues on Capitol Hill and with international stakeholders.”   Angus spent over a decade with Syngenta, a leading global provider of agricultural science and technology, working first as a lobbyist in the nation’s capital and then in leadership roles with the company in the European Union, Hawaii...

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Aug 5, 2021

NCGA: Ethanol Crucial in Helping President Meet Emission Reduction Goals

Key Issues: Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

President Biden today announced proposed revisions to the vehicle fuel efficiency and emissions standards through model-year 2026 and a non-binding executive order setting a goal of making half of new vehicles sold in 2030 electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Automakers have previously announced similar goals.   “Time is of the essence if we’re going to meet the President’s ambitious goals for reducing emissions,” said John Linder, president of the National Corn Growers Association. “The good news is we don’t have to wait until 2030 for new vehicles and technologies to reduce emissions. Thanks to today’s ethanol, we can use fuel available right now, in the vehicles we’re all driving today, to make a difference.”   Using higher volumes of ethanol is an immediate way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and more low-carbon liquid fuels will be needed to decarbonize transportation on a timely and affordable basis, Linder added.   “We encourage policymakers to focus more...

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Jul 30, 2021

NCGA: Passage of Bill to Fund Improvements on the Upper Mississippi River System Will Help Farmers

Key Issues: Transportation and Infrastructure

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would allocate millions of dollars in funding to improve the navigability of the Upper Mississippi River System, a vital national artery for the shipment of corn and other crops.   “Corn growers depend on the Mississippi River to deliver corn to key markets. When barges are delayed because of problems on the river, farmers are economically affected,” said Brooke Appleton, Vice President of Public Policy for the National Corn Growers Association. “That’s why we have worked closely with members of Congress to get funding for this project passed.” The House bill, which includes appropriations funding on other issues, provides $8.66 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Mission. From those funds, $22.5 million will go toward construction funding for the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP). NESP funding will be used to construct new locks on the river and help address efficiency issues with...

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Jul 20, 2021

NCGA Expresses Opposition to Anti-Ethanol Legislation

Key Issues: EthanolFarm Policy

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association strongly opposes a bill that was introduced in the U.S. Senate today, referred to as the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” which would remove the implied conventional biofuel blending requirement from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), increasing harmful emissions and use of fossil fuels.   “This bill is ill conceived and would have a devastating impact on air quality, the diversity of our energy supply, fuel prices and rural economies,” said NCGA president John Linder. “Blending ethanol into the fuel supply is one of the most effective ways to lower carbon emissions to combat climate change and replace the most toxic components of gasoline.”   Today’s corn growers sustainably produce more corn on less land with fewer resources than when the RFS was enacted and are committed to further improvements in sustainability. These extraordinary results have been accomplished as food price inflation has decreased as ethanol production has...

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Jul 20, 2021

Bryan Goodman Joins NCGA as Director of Policy Communications

Author: Bryan Goodman

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is pleased to announce that Bryan Goodman joined NCGA as the Director of Policy Communications on July 19. He will provide strategic communications counsel on NCGA policy priorities, work closely with reporters covering farm policy and implement communications tactics that will help advance NCGA’s advocacy priorities on Capitol Hill.   Bryan has spent years working on policy issues for some of Washington’s leading associations. At the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, he devised and implemented communications plans to shape public policy on a range of issues, including electric vehicles, trade and data privacy. At the American Chemistry Council, Bryan provided communications counsel to executives from some of the country’s leading chemical companies, while supporting the work of ACC’s federal and state lobbyists.   “Bryan’s experience will be incredibly valuable as we work with Congress on policy issues that are important to corn...

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