NEWS STORIES

JANUARY 2020

USGC/NCGA Joint Officer Mission Celebrates Long-Time Trade Relationship with Vietnam, Explores Market Potential in Myanmar

(Posted Fri. Jan 31st, 2020)

Keywords: Trade

The breadth and depth of the Southeast Asian market for U.S. corn and co-products are hard to imagine, but the incredible innovation and regional demand potential is plain to see once on the ground - as the leaders of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) learned firsthand last week during a joint officers mission to Vietnam and Myanmar.   “Southeast Asia is a dynamic, growing region for U.S. coarse grains and co-products,” said Darren Armstrong, USGC chairman and farmer from North Carolina. “Witnessing the technological advancements of the Vietnamese industry and the growth expectancy of feed demand in Myanmar allowed these industry leaders to gain the perspective of our customers and end-users on the ground in Southeast Asia.”   The Council delegation included Armstrong; Jim Raben, USGC vice chairman and farmer from Illinois; Chad Willis, USGC Secretary/Treasurer and farmer from Minnesota; Jim Stitzlein, USGC past chairman; and Ryan...

Corn Farmers Expand Leadership Skills in Nation’s Capital

(Posted Fri. Jan 31st, 2020)

Corn farmers from across the country traveled to Washington this week to take part in the second phase of the annual Leadership Academy sponsored by NCGA. While in town, the group visited numerous congressional leaders and got an inside look at parliamentary procedure and how lobbying works on Capitol Hill.   “For three decades, our leadership programs have played an important role in helping corn growers become leaders at the state and national level,” said Kevin Ross, NCGA president and a LAIB graduate himself. “In Washington, our farmer leaders saw firsthand how decisions made in our nation’s capital impact us all back on our farms. Using the skills developed here, these farmer-leaders’ voices will benefit NCGA and all of agriculture through their current and future endeavors. NCGA will continue to invest in making our leaders the most effective they can be as they are a critical piece in keeping positive corn policies at the forefront in D.C. and state politics.”   The...

(Posted Thu. Jan 30th, 2020)

Keywords: B\iotechnology

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today thanked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for following the science demonstrating the safety of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. Safety is a priority for all corn growers. All products in use today have been tested by EPA, and many of which have been used for decades with no findings of harmful effects to human health or the environment when used properly. Each product is thoroughly reviewed by the EPA every 15 years to ensure continued safety and account for any new information or data. The availability of safe products is critically important and allows farmers to continually improve the sustainability of their operations, while supplying a safe, secure supply of food for a growing population.  

RFA & NCGA Co-Title Sponsorship of 2020 Crappie Masters Tournament Trail Begins This Week

(Posted Thu. Jan 30th, 2020)

Keywords: Ethanol

The 2020 season of the Crappie Masters Tournament Trail begins later this week, with the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association signed on as co-title sponsors for the fourth consecutive year. The first tournament begins Friday, Jan. 31 at St. Johns River in DeLand, Fla.   “We are excited to get the 2020 season kicked off in DeLand, Fla.,” said Crappie Masters President Mike Vallentine. “The St. Johns River is such a unique fishery that allows participants to try several methods to catch fish plus you can always expect to see some big weights. We are also thrilled to be representing the Renewable Fuels Association and American Ethanol by sharing the truth about ethanol and educating our anglers, listeners, viewers and followers. For five straight seasons, all winning teams with Crappie Masters have been running E10 fuel in their boat with no reported problems. We understand there is more work to do and we are honored to take on this...

NCGA: USMCA a Win for Agriculture

(Posted Wed. Jan 29th, 2020)

Keywords: Trade; USMCA

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today declared President Trump’s signing of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) a big win for American agriculture. Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market; 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products, valued at $4.56 billion, were exported to Mexico and Canada in 2018. The signing follows overwhelming Congressional support for the trade deal.   Ross made the following statement.   “This is a big win for America’s farmers, our rural communities and the American economy. USMCA builds on our already successful trading partnership with Mexico and Canada. This agreement should serve as a template for opening the door to new market opportunities for U.S. corn. Corn farmers are grateful for the hard work done by the President, the U.S. Trade Representative and everyone in the Administration who made today’s signing possible.”   Ross attended today’s White House...

NCGA Welcomes Anne Thompson to DC Office

(Posted Tue. Jan 28th, 2020)

Anne Thompson recently joined the NCGA Washington, D.C. office as the new Director of Political Strategy. Thompson will also serve as director of NCGA’s CornPAC. Thompson comes to NCGA from Bunge, where she served as a Director of Governmental Affairs handling issues such as transportation, tax, and food security while also overseeing the Bunge PAC for the last five years. Prior to that, Thompson worked at CoBank and on Capitol Hill.   “We look forward to having Anne on board to help us build on the work that is being done to grow our CornPAC and lead our political efforts engaging with the states, Capitol Hill and our industry,” said NCGA Vice President of Public Policy Brooke Appleton.   Thompson is originally from Fort Worth, Texas and is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and has an MS from Colorado State University.

NCGA Announces Winners of the Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest

(Posted Tue. Jan 28th, 2020)

While 2019 was a challenging year for many farmers, photographers shared their stories in the sixth National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest.                                                      This year, NCGA awarded two Grand Prizes. One selected by a panel of judges, submitted by Harlen Persinger from Wisconsin with the photo titled “Solid Foundation.” A grand prize was also awarded for the single most popular photo, taken by Tricia Braid of Illinois, “Reflecting on 2019” which gained 1,272 likes on Facebook.   “These photos represent a combination of difficulty and optimism,” said NCGA Graphic Communications Manager Beth Musgrove. “With delays in planting and harvest for many, the contest was naturally off to a slow start, but the overall outcome gives us so much to look back on.”   “We continue to look at different ways to improve the contest by adding new categories. In 2018, we added the True Grit category to highlight the hard work...

Ep. 2 The Bud Light Corntroversy of 2019

(Posted Tue. Jan 28th, 2020)

With the Super Bowl just a few days away, many in the corn industry will be thinking about a Super Bowl ad that ran during last year’s big game. In it, Bud Light launched a year-long attack against the corn syrup that Coors Light and Miller Lite use during their brewing process.   This misleading smear campaign could have been a new low point in what was already a bad year for corn producers. But instead, the National Corn Growers Association teamed up with MolsonCoors, the company behind Coors Light and Miller Lite. Together, they hit back against Bud Light parent company Anheuser-Busch, and they made it hurt.   In this episode, NCGA CEO Jon Doggett relives the "Corntroversy" of 2019 with help from MolsonCoors CCO Adam Collins, NCGA President Kevin Ross, and NCGA VP of Communications Neil Caskey.     Direct Share   Transcripts   Kevin Ross:                  My reaction, though, it simply was that they just attacked my product. They just attacked corn directly, and...

Tenth Circuit Court Strikes Down EPA Small Refinery Exemptions

(Posted Mon. Jan 27th, 2020)

Keywords: Ethanol

In a decision that is expected to broadly impact the Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to granting small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit late on Friday struck down three exemptions that were improperly issued by EPA.   The court ruling stems from a May 2018 challenge brought against EPA by the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the American Coalition for Ethanol and National Farmers Union.   “We are extremely pleased with the Tenth Circuit’s decision to vacate the waivers granted by EPA to three refineries owned by CVR Energy and HollyFrontier,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The Court has affirmed our long-held position that EPA’s recent practices and policies regarding small refinery exemption extensions were completely unlawful. And while the decision addresses three specific exemptions, the statutory interpretation issues resolved by the court...

Winning the War Against Weeds Takes a Serious Strategy

(Posted Fri. Jan 24th, 2020)

Keywords: Biotechnology

Ok, let’s be honest, the last thing you want to think about this time of year are the weeds you will battle in the growing season ahead. But the truth is preparing for the weed pressures and building a management plan that is robust, as well as flexible, is every bit as important to your success as trait selection and nutrient planning. It’s about giving your crops a competitive advantage against weeds, delaying the evolution of herbicide resistance and preserving herbicide technology.   You should craft your weed management plan with the notion that it can and should influence multiple growing seasons. Long-term herbicide-resistance management requires an outlook that goes beyond minimizing crop loss in any one season to understanding how your strategy this year can also set you up for success in subsequent years. It requires long-term strategies focused on delaying the evolution of herbicide resistance and reducing weed seed in your fields.   Effective herbicide-resistance...

(Posted Thu. Jan 23rd, 2020)

Keywords: Farm Policy Risk Management

Farmers have until March 15, 2020 to complete the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) election and enrollment process for the 2019 crop year. As a reminder, you must select the same program for 2019 and 2020, but you may elect a new program each year for 2021, 2022 and 2023.   Visiting your local FSA office well before the deadline will ensure farmers have ample time to successfully enroll and participate in these risk management programs. Currently, you can fill out your paperwork for both 2019 and 2020 enrollment in one visit to your FSA office.   For more information on selecting the best program for your operation, the National Coalition for Producer Education (NCPE), led by the University of Illinois - fd-tools.ncsa.illinois.edu and the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University, in conjunction with the Food and Agricultural Policy Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri -

Commodity Classic Discounted Registration Fees End January 29

(Posted Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Only a few days remain to take advantage of registration discounts for the 2020 Commodity Classic to be held Feb. 27-29 in San Antonio, Tex.   Wednesday, January 29, 2020, is the last day the discounts will be in effect.    Registration fees vary depending on the number of days attended. Full registration covers all three days of the event, and one-day registrations are also available.  Members of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, National Sorghum Producers and National Association of Wheat Growers receive additional discounts on registration.    All registration and housing reservations should be made online at www.commodityclassic.com.  Experient is the official registration and housing provider for Commodity Classic.  In order to stay at an official Commodity Classic hotel, reservations must be made only through Experient to ensure favorable rates, reasonable terms and confirmed hotel rooms.   The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held at...

National Corn Growers Association Launches New Podcast to Tell the Stories Behind the Issues

(Posted Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020)

Get a behind the scenes look at the corn industry and corn issues in Wherever Jon May Roam, a new podcast launched today and hosted by National Corn Growers Association CEO Jon Doggett and a cast of friends.   Wherever Jon May Roam is a forum for big picture conversations about the future of farming and the corn industry. Wherever Jon May Roam launched today and can be found at ncga.com/podcast on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you get your podcasts.   “Punchy headlines and clever tweets may be easy to consume, but they don’t always foster understanding,” said Doggett. “The idea behind Wherever Jon May Roam is to have real conversations with the many disparate players that are shaping the world of corn so that we can get to know who they are as people and see how that affects what they want to get done for our industry. They say good conversation starts with good listening, and I’ll be doing a lot of that as host of our new podcast.”   New episodes of Wherever Jon May Roam...

Ep. 1 - Hello, My Name is Jon

(Posted Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020)

Jon Doggett, the CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, travels thousands of miles each year in his mission to protect the future of the American corn-growing industry. And he's got the stories to prove it.   But in this age of quick sound bites and snappy tweets, Jon believes it's time to have a real conversation again. And so he's launching "Wherever Jon May Roam," a podcast dedicated to telling the story behind the headlines and exploring the issues that impact corn producers' bottom lines.   In this episode, Jon shares some stories about growing up on a ranch in Montana, laments the changing nature of politics in Washington D.C., and shares his plans for the podcast with NCGA VP of Communications Neil Caskey.       Direct Share     Show Transcript     Jon Doggett:                  I roam a lot and I'm looking forward to bringing this podcast to different places around the country and having different conversations with different people. I'm going to roam...

Coming Trade Schools to Encourage Farmers, Others to Become Trade Champions

(Posted Tue. Jan 21st, 2020)

Keywords: Trade

The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) are partnering with nearly a dozen state corn organizations this winter to put on five trade schools in farmers’ local areas, aiming to educate and empower grower-leaders on trade topics.   The regional events build on similar workshops held in Washington, D.C., in 2016 and 2019 and in St. Louis in 2018. Each offered wide-ranging information demonstrating the importance of trade to the agriculture industry and farmers’ profitability; details on hot topics on the trade agenda; and training on how participants can talk about trade issues in their communities.   Negotiations on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a trade agreement with Japan and a trade deal with China dominated much of agriculture news in 2019, spurring interest among those in the ag sector and creating demand for more and more detailed information on trade topics.   “In the last several years, we’ve really seen the interest in...

NCGA Statement: Senate Passes USMCA

(Posted Thu. Jan 16th, 2020)

Keywords: Trade; USMCA

National Corn Growers Association President Kevin Ross today thanked members of the U.S. Senate for their bipartisan approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Ross made the following statement.   “Nearly a year ago, NCGA’s farmer members, recognizing the importance of our trading relationship with Mexico and Canada, declared passage of USMCA their top legislative priority. Since that time, corn farmers have been using every opportunity to urge members of Congress to support the new trade agreement and we are incredibly thankful for the strong bipartisan support it has received in the Senate today.   “NCGA thanks the U.S. Senators who voted to ensure corn farmers will continue to have access to our largest and most reliable markets and is especially grateful for the leadership of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley who has been a steadfast supporter of corn growers and committed to getting USMCA across the finish...

NCGA at White House for U.S.-China Phase One Signing

(Posted Wed. Jan 15th, 2020)

Keywords: Trade

NCGA President Kevin Ross today attended a White House ceremony, commemorating the signing of the phase one deal between the United States and China. Ross made the following statement.   “Signing the phase one agreement with China is a step in the right direction to resolving the trade dispute with China and restoring the trading relationship between our two countries. China holds tremendous opportunity for American corn, ethanol and DDGs and NCGA looks forward to learning further details of what phase one will mean for these products. As more specifics become available, we will closely monitor implementation to ensure that the commitments are upheld and that U.S. corn farmers resume trading with Chinese customers. NCGA urges the Administration to quickly commence phase two negotiations and work to resolve retaliatory tariffs.”

(Posted Fri. Jan 10th, 2020)

Keywords: Production

America’s corn farmers are projected to produce the smallest corn crop since 2015 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports released today. The production decrease is the result of a national average yield forecast of 168.0 bushels per acre, the lowest since 2013. Notably, the corn acreage harvested in 2019 very slightly, by less than one percentage point, than was in 2018.   Significant decreases in year-over-year average yields were seen in many states, with Illinois down by 29 bushels per acre and Ohio and Indiana also more than 20 bushels per acre below state averages from 2018. The yield decreases were partially offset by states with increased year-over-year averages such as Texas, which was up by 23 bushels per acre and Maryland and Missouri, which both saw 15 bushels per acre increases over the previous year.   The largest overall production decrease was seen in Illinois, which is forecast to have produced 421,800 less bushels than the year prior. South...

Dustin Brucker joins SHP as western Iowa Field Manager

(Posted Fri. Jan 10th, 2020)

Keywords: Soil Health Partnership

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is pleased to announce Dustin Brucker as the new Field Manager for western Iowa, joining the team of nine SHP Field Managers.   Dustin grew up on his family’s corn and soybean farm in Illinois.  He earned his undergraduate degree in Agriculture Business and his master’s degree in Seed Technology and Business from Iowa State University.    After graduation, he accepted a position with Monsanto in their Maui, Hawaii corn trait integration facility. Upon returning to Iowa, Dustin worked in corn yield trial testing and eventually landed in logistics where he was responsible for the data collection, management, and quality assurance of the corn trials.    “I have grown up around agriculture and have spent my career in agriculture. I look forward to working with growers to maximize their soil potential and establish great quality soil for years to come. I’m eager to get started and begin problem-solving with the team,” said Brucker.    “Dustin...

Develop a Corn Rootworm Plan for Best Results in 2020

(Posted Thu. Jan 9th, 2020)

Keywords: Production

As you plan for another growing season you likely have a long checklist of things to consider. Proper and efficient control of corn rootworms should also be on that list. Even with control measures available to farmers, this pest is responsible for a billion dollars in crop damage each year.   NCGA Director of Biotechnology and Crop Inputs Nicole Hasheider says a good place to start developing a rootworm strategy is to consider your level of risk.   Did you plant the same CRW traits for consecutive years in the same fields? Did you notice large populations of CRW beetles? Did you observe root injury from CRW larvae? Are your fields planted to continuous corn?   If the answer to any of the questions above is yes, you are likely at an increased risk for corn rootworm damage.   “Bt traits are an invaluable tool for defending plants from corn rootworm,” says Hasheider. “But it’s important to take steps that preserve their effectiveness long-term and use management...

Wherever Jon May Roam… Roaming Soon on a Streaming Service Near You

(Posted Wed. Jan 8th, 2020)

Have you ever wondered, “What in the world are they thinking at NCGA?” If you have, you’ll be pleased to know we’ll be answering that very question by going behind the headlines of our priorities with NCGA’s new podcast, Wherever Jon May Roam. Hosted by CEO Jon Doggett, Wherever Jon May Roam will provide listeners an insider's view of corn issues, the thinking behind them and the people behind the thinking. Episode 1 will be available on ncga.com/podcast, iTunes, Google Play and wherever you get your podcasts on Jan. 22.    Watch the trailer.

USMCA Moves Ahead in U.S. Senate

(Posted Tue. Jan 7th, 2020)

Keywords: Trade

Members of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee today voted 25-3 in support of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), a critical step to moving the new trade agreement toward final passage in the U.S. Senate.   “USMCA will bring much-needed certainty, and real benefits to America’s farmers, workers, and businesses. Farmers are getting better and more reliable market access, which they badly need,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in his opening remarks.   Members of the House of Representatives in December overwhelmingly approved USMCA. The agreement is critically important to corn farmers. Mexico and Canada are the U.S. corn industry’s largest, most reliable market. In 2018, 21.4 million metric tons of corn and corn co-products were exported to Mexico and Canada, valued at $4.56 billion.   The trade agreement will next need to be approved by the full Senate which could occur as early as next week.

New Year. Same Focus.

(Posted Mon. Jan 6th, 2020)

Happy New Year. Creating demand for corn remains our focus as we turn the page on a new calendar year. In 2020, these specific areas of focus include:   Increasing sales of higher ethanol blends by introducing legislation to establish a federal low carbon, high octane fuel standard for automobiles. Securing top export markets for U.S. corn by completing USMCA and riding that momentum to build new markets.  Building consumer trust in corn production methods so that we can continue to be the supplier of choice to our customers. Contact Jon Doggett to learn more about our plan of work to drive results in these three focus areas. 

Commodity Classic Offers Wide Range of Unique San Antonio Area Tours

(Posted Mon. Jan 6th, 2020)

Keywords: Commodity Classic

Attendees at the 2020 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas, can make their experience even more memorable by signing up for one or more of the fascinating tours available during the event.  These optional tours provide the opportunity to discover even more about the history, attractions and culture of the San Antonio area and beyond—and this year’s tour schedule is among the most varied ever offered.   A tour of the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, once known as the “Texas White House” A day trip to Magnolia Market in Waco, the home improvement/décor store owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s Fixer Upper A tour of the 2.2 million square foot Toyota Tundra manufacturing plant A cooking class in San Antonio’s Central Market focused on Southwest cuisine A “sample” tour of San Antonio on a privately chartered barge through the city’s famous waterways A visit to Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard for a tasting and culinary tips An inside look at gin and vodka...

(Posted Thu. Jan 2nd, 2020)

Keywords: Production

The Atrazine Preliminary Interim Decision (PID) document published today in the federal register supports EPA’s commitment to use credible scientific research in setting a reasonable aquatic ecosystem Level of Concern (LOC) for atrazine. The interim decision is positive for growers who rely on the atrazine for weed control, according to the Triazine Network, a coalition of agricultural organizations that advocates for science-based regulatory decisions regarding the triazine herbicides including atrazine.   The PID corrects a recommendation made in the 2016 Ecological Risk Assessment to set the LOC at 3.6 parts per billion, an ultra-low level that would have banned the use of atrazine in much of farm country. The lower LOC was based on questionable research, including studies that had been turned down by EPA’s 2012 Science Advisory Panel (SAP). Relying on several points of information, including EPA’s SAP recommendations, the agency modified the LOC to 15 parts per billion over a...

Commodity Classic Early Registration Discount Ends January 9

(Posted Thu. Jan 2nd, 2020)

Keywords: Commodity Classic 2020

Thursday, January 9th is the deadline for the early registration discount for Commodity Classic—America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural and educational experience.   The 2020 Commodity Classic will be held Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, Feb. 29 in San Antonio, Texas. To register, reserve hotel rooms and sign up for email updates, visit CommodityClassic.com.  A complete schedule of events is also available on the website.   Established in 1996, Commodity Classic is unlike any other agriculture event, featuring a robust schedule of educational sessions, a huge trade show featuring the latest technology, equipment and innovation, top-notch entertainment, inspiring speakers and the opportunity to network with thousands of farmers from across the nation.