In The News

Apr 30, 2024

NCGA Economic Update 2024: 2Q

Author: Krista Swanson

The United States is a global leader in corn production, producing a record 15.3 billion bushels of corn on 94.6 million planted acres in 2023.    Founded in 1957, the National Corn Growers Association represents nearly 40,000 dues-paying corn growers and the interests of more than 300,000 farmers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 50 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to help protect and advance corn growers’ interests.    NCGA Quarterly Economic Report 2024: 2Q (pdf)  

Read More

Apr 8, 2024

Corn Demand Takes a Hit in EPA’s New Tailpipe Rule

Author: Krista Swanson

Motor gasoline use is expected to decline in the future even under a baseline case, but new tailpipe emissions rules really put the pedal to the metal – rapidly accelerating that process. This would be a major shock on demand for corn used to produce ethanol spurring potentially devastating impacts on farmers and the rural economy.       The New Tailpipe Emissions Rule The Environmental Protection Agency recently released its final rule for multi-pollutant emissions standards for model years 2027 and later light-duty and medium-duty vehicles with heavy reliance on the use of electric vehicles. The ruling dictates that sales of non-electric vehicles will drop from over 92% of new vehicle sales in 2023[i] to under 30% of new vehicle sales in 2032. In the EPA central scenario, that translates to a 6.9-billion-gallon reduction in motor gasoline use in 2032, a 5.7% decline from the baseline projection for that year. Motor gasoline use is expected to decline in the baseline, but...

Read More

Feb 16, 2024

Breaking Down 5 Projections in the USDA 2024 Corn Outlook

Key Issues: Production

Author: Krista Swanson

USDA released the Grains and Oilseeds Outlook this week providing an initial look at the 2024/25 marketing year projections that include lower production, greater domestic use, increased exports, and higher ending stocks as compared to the current 2023/24 market years. The following is a summary and some additional context for five projections from the latest outlook.   Yield Corn yield is projected at 181 bushels per acre. Yield projections depend on the modeling approach and time series used. While a 3.7 bushel per acre increase over the 2023 record 177.3 bushels per acre may seem like a stretch, a regression on annual yields from 2023 to several different historical points including 1934, 1980, and 1996 all predict 2024 yields within about one bushel of the USDA projection.   Trendline yields are a reasonable expectation at this point. Adverse weather is generally thought to have a negative impact on yields but in 2023 a record yield was achieved in a year with widespread...

Read More

Feb 9, 2024

Climate, Conflict, & Currency Impact Cost Competitiveness for U.S. Corn Exports

Key Issues: Trade

Author: Krista Swanson

A combination of climate, conflict, and currency values are factors in cost competitiveness that impacts transits and overall U.S. corn exports.   Climate Climate conditions brought widespread drought to the United States Corn Belt in 2023. Dry conditions in the Mississippi River basin led to record low water levels. As a result, barge weight and traffic restrictions were imposed, and the 7.7 million tons of corn moved by barge on the Mississippi River in 2023 was 30% lower than 2022 and 54% lower than 2021. Ultimately, the cost of added time and weight restrictions were factors contributing to a higher corn price at port but also meant pace of getting grain to the port was slowed.   Climate-induced waterway challenges for U.S. corn don’t end at the Gulf. Extreme drought has forced substantial scaleback of shipping through the Panama Canal, a key global maritime channel. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has reduced traffic to 24 ships a day, about two-thirds of the normal...

Read More

Dec 1, 2023

Drought & River Transport Impact on Corn Competitiveness

Key Issues: TradeTransportation and Infrastructure

Author: Krista Swanson

For the second year in a row, drought conditions are impacting transportation on the Mississippi River at the peak shipment point of the year. Shallower river levels mean barge weight restrictions, slower barge traffic, and higher costs to ship commodities on the river. Ultimately, this translates to a relatively lower price at the farmgate and higher cost for the world buyer.   Drought Slows Grain Barge Traffic in 2022 and 2023 The Mississippi River is an important channel for commodity transportation. The USDA reports the final mode of transport was barge for 13% of U.S. grains in 2020, and 46% of exported U.S. grains[i]. There are normally two peaks in grain barge movements, one in late summer leading up to the end of the marketing year for corn and soybeans, and the other emerging in the fall harvest season and into the post-harvest months.   The impact of low water levels on grain barge movements was notable in 2023, marking the second consecutive year of drought...

Read More

Jan 19, 2021

Data Integration and Management a Big Focus for NCGA in 2021

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mark Lambert

Agriculture has become an expert at collecting data but continues to fall short of the economic and environmental promise the information bonanza represents. The Sustainability Ag Research Action Team (SARAT) of the National Corn Growers Association has made integrating and managing the wealth of information coming from the farm a priority for 2021.   “Farmers have a ton of data on everything from fertilizer performance to machinery efficiency, but it remains difficult to link it all together in a way that makes sense,” said Randy DeSutter, SARAT chairman. “If farmers can integrate it all together on their own farm, so it aids decision-making, then the potential can be realized to become more efficient and more profitable.”   DeSutter is confident information management will only become more powerful in managing machinery, hybrid selection, input timing and overall farm management. However, integrating data from outside the farm is also critical such as in the research...

Read More

Jan 12, 2021

Relationships with New EPA Leaders a 2021 Goal

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mark Lambert

According to Illinois farmer Kate Danner, developing strong relationships with the new leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency will be an important goal for the Production Technology Access Action Team (PTAAT) of the National Corn Growers Association in 2021.   Danner, 2021 chairperson of PTAAT, says, “modern farming is a complicated, sophisticated and constantly changing profession. So, we will take a proactive approach to work on farmers' behalf, defending technology tools but also promoting steps that can be taken to improve the public dialogue.”   Making sure farmers have access to crop protection products that have proven to be safe and effective is critical to economic viability. In many cases, these products allow growers to use farm management practices that are better for the environment. Danner says PTAAT can play a key role in developing strong relationships with EPA and making sure farmers' voices get heard.   “A lot of the work we do revolves around...

Read More

Jan 7, 2021

NCGA to Rollout Several Major Sustainability Initiatives in 2021

Key Issues: Sustainability

Author: Mark Lambert

Showcasing farmers growing commitment to sustainability will be a major goal for the National Corn Growers Association in 2021. Several major initiatives by NCGA, as well as collaborative efforts with partners, will bear fruit in the new year.   “NCGA made a pioneering leap into the sustainability arena with the launch of the Soil Health Partnership. Since then, we have not let up. We have been working to take the next big steps showcasing our dedication to continuous improvement,” said Andy Jobman, Chair of NCGA’s Stewardship Action Team STAT. “Last year’s release of our U.S. Corn Commitment Statement opened the door for a very active 2021, starting with our upcoming Corn Sustainability Report and Environmental Sustainability Goals.”   The report will quantify accomplishments to date on the environment and climate change and chart a course that will create a more environmentally and economically sustainable world for future generations.   NCGA is working with the University...

Read More

Dec 14, 2020

Corn Yield Contest Reflects Resilience of Corn and Farmers Who Grow It

Key Issues: Production

Author: Mark Lambert

U.S. farmers not only planted and harvested a large crop successfully in 2020, but they also rolled out some impressive yields in the National Corn Growers Association’s National Corn Yield Contest despite weather challenges, wildfires, and a pandemic. Don Stall, Charlotte, Michigan, produced the highest yield in the contest with a yield of 476.9052 bushels per acre, reflecting farmers' resilience and the value of modern seed varieties, advanced production techniques and innovative growing practices.   The National Corn Yield Contest is now in its 56th year and remains NCGA’s most popular program for members.   “This contest brings farmers together to create, innovate and explore ways to optimize the nation’s largest and arguably most important crop,” said Debbie Borg, chair of NCGA’s Member and Consumer Engagement Action Team. “At both the state and national levels, contest winners find new ways to excel while using a variety of techniques. Ultimately, the invention and...

Read More

For media inquiries contact Bryan Goodman, goodman@ncga.com