Grain News & Updates

U.S.-Mexico Reverse Trade Mission

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently hosted a reverse trade mission with Mexico. The Mexican grain industry delegation that came to the U.S. was comprised of five representatives of some of the largest grain importers and animal feed organizations in Mexico. Together, these important customers accounted for approximately 80% of the U.S. grains imported in Mexico. Chip Councell, Maryland grain farmer and USGC chairman, joined the team in Washington, D.C., for meetings with the House Ways and Means Committee, House Agriculture Committee, Senate Finance Committee, Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and USDA. Key officials included Chairman Pat Roberts, Chairman Michael Conaway, Rep. Collin Peterson, and Brian Klippenstein, Senior Adviser to Secretary Perdue.

At every session, Mexican team members emphasized why they prefer to purchase U.S. grains as well as their concerns related to the NAFTA renegotiation. The grain industry team expressed that uncertainty over the future of trade between Mexico and the U.S. has already impacted the grains market and has led the Mexican government and industry to open the door to importing more grain from Argentina and Brazil. They shared that after the meetings, hearing from key decision makers who share their views on the value of NAFTA, they will return home with a sense of relief and security about the future of the relationship. The mission also provided a great platform for NCGA members to advocate for a constructive NAFTA modernization process that preserves corn’s access to the Mexican market.

President’s Proposed FY18 Budget

The White House recently released its detailed proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018. The budget proposal includes the following: Cutting the federal crop insurance program by $28.56 billion over the 2018-2027 period; Eliminating funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) ($200 million/year) and Foreign Market Development (FMD) program ($34.5 million/year); and Reducing conservation program funding by $5.8 billion over the 2018-2027 period.

“MAP and FMD are successful programs that build global demand for U.S. farm products, and increase income and jobs in our communities. MAP and FMD create an average return on investment of $28 for every $1 spent, and account for 15 percent of all U.S. ag export revenue—making them a solid investment. At a time when the farm economy is struggling, we should be investing more in these programs, not less,” said NCGA in a statement released following the announcement. They are encouraging growers to reach out to their members of Congress to protect critical export programs. Follow the link below to take action now. 

Don’t Eliminate the MAP & FMD Programs

UMD-BAM Hops/Grain Trials Field Day

Interested in growing commercial hops or grains for the craft brewing industry? The University of Maryland and Brewers Association of Maryland will be hosting a field day on June 21, offering a hands-on look at the University's hops, barley and rye trials. Currently they're growing 24 varieties of hops, 4 varieties of barley and 1 variety of rye. The Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board awarded funding for these research trials.

The day will start with a wagon ride around the farm to see the progress of the trials, and then head over to the adjacent grain handling facility. Lunch and the afternoon will include presentations from local maltsters, a discussion on post-harvest handling, and a conversation with local brewers as to what they're looking for in locally-produced hops and grains. Samples of beer from Maryland breweries will also be offered. Registration, including tours, lunch, and beer samples, is $30. Space is limited, pre-registration is required; ticket sales will not be offered at the event.

Register Now

Expansion of E15 Helps Consumers Save at the Pump

Growth Energy announced last week that American consumers have helped E15 - a fuel containing 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline - reach a significant milestone. According to Growth Energy's ongoing analysis of fuel sales and consumption data reported by major gasoline retailers, drivers across the United States have logged more than 1 billion miles on E15 - attesting to the fuel's performance, safety, and value. The availability of E15 could save consumers up to $72 million by the end of 2017, based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data. 

Today, E15 is sold at more than 800 retail outlets across 29 states, and its availability continues to grow each day because 21st century drivers are demanding 21st century fuels.The Maryland Grain Producers Utilization Board, along with Sustainable Energy Strategies, is working under a USDA Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership Grant to install additional E15 and E85 pumps throughout the state. They are expected to be installed this fall. 

Find E15/E85 Pumps Near You

Where to Find the Ag Money & How to Get it!

The LEAD Maryland Alumni Committee will be hosting a workshop on Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 at the Fisherman’s Inn in Grasonville, MD full of educational classes and networking. The event will focus on where to find ag grants and loan funds, how to get the funds, and advice with Q&A. The event is open to all, however space is limited. Registration is $15 per person (includes workshops and dinner) and closes on July 19. 

Register Now

Fields of Corn Photo Contest

Do you have pictures of spring planting? NCGA reminds photographers that they can help tell the story of farming field corn in America through the fourth annual Fields-of-Corn Photo Contest. Through this contest, NCGA captures high-resolution photos of corn growth from seed to harvest and the families that grow it. While the contest opened recently, interested participants will be able to submit multiple entries until November 30, 2017.

Open to all, the Fields-of-Corn photo contest offers a free opportunity for photographers to share their work while competing for 25 cash prizes, including a $500 grand prize. Prizes include cash awards for the top three entries in eight categories including:  Corn, Growing Field Corn, Farm Family Lifestyle, Scenery/Landscape, Farming Challenges, SHP Conservation, Little Farmers and one for the most popular as determined by Facebook “likes.”

Enter Online