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Agricultural News

Expanded Biofuels Use and New Market Opportunities Top the List of Concerns for Corn Growers

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 20:25:57 CST

Expanded Biofuels Use and New Market Opportunities Top the List of Concerns for Corn Growers Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Associate Farm Director Carson Horn sat down with National Corn Growers Association Chief Executive Officer Chris Novak this week at the 2018 Commodity Classic to discuss some of the policy issues pertaining to the corn industry and agriculture as a whole. As the leader of one of the major charter organizations behind the Commodity Classic, Novak says the meeting is a perfect venue for grain farmers to come together to talk policy, share ideas and learn from one another. You can listen to Novak’s full remarks by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the story.

“This is democracy in action,” Novak said. “Almost 8,000 people have come from across the country, more than half of those being the farmers who have come to set the policies and directions for not just the National Corn Growers Association, but the American Soybean Association, Wheat Growers, Sorghum producers and others… This is where farmers have a voice in determining what our organizations will lobby for in DC; what our priorities will be for the next year.”

One of the major priorities this year, though, is of course the upcoming Farm Bill. But at the end of the day, says Novak, even before we get to the Farm Bill the challenge is how producers build demand for these large corn crops that farmers continue to produce.

“The answer for us, is the Renewable Fuel Standard,” Novak said. “In Washington this week, meetings were held between the administration and members of the Senate to talk about the future of the Renewable Fuels Standard. Also, trade is at the top of our agenda.”

Novak alluded to the significant role the trade treaty NAFTA has played in the corn industry’s success over the last two decades. According to him, Mexico has become the No. 1 importer for US corn. For that reason, Novak says the corn industry’s message to the administration has been ‘Do No Harm.’ He insists the NCGA is certainly in favor of modernizing certain aspects of the trade agreement but is adamant that for the good of corn farmers and all those in agriculture, we must stay in NAFTA. He says he has communicated that message to US Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. In addition, Novak says he is excited to see Bill Northey confirmed by the Senate as Undersecretary of Farm Production and Conservation. He says his appointment will be critical moving into Farm Bill negotiations.

“We’re so thrilled to have him in that position at USDA,” Novak said. “Clearly, it is a critical time with the Farm Bill being written and new conservation programs being deployed. We need him on the job.”

Currently, though, Novak says NCGA’s priorities lie with securing new markets for its growers through expanded biofuels use and additional trade opportunities.


Carson Horn talks with Chris Novak of the National Corn Growers Association
right-click to download mp3


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