Iowa Corn farmer leaders headed to New Orleans, La. in early March to take part in the 2016 Commodity Classic. The delegation from Iowa consisted of both the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board directors, farmer leaders, Premier County Achievement winners and the Collegiate Advisory Team.
A main task for ICGA at the Commodity Classic held March 3-5 was speaking in support of policies the National Corn Growers Association should promote to benefit Iowa farmers. ICGA policy is set annually by grassroots farmer members from across the state. This starts with a membership survey and local roundtables then moves to the ICGA annual meeting in August where the state policies are finalized, voted on and then placed in the Iowa Corn Growers Association policy book. From there, national policy resolutions are to be brought forward for consideration during the NCGA Corn Congress at the Commodity Classic, which is the conclusion of this policy development process.
Iowa resolutions passed by NCGA’s delegate body at 2016 Commodity Classic include:
• USDA's preparedness for wide scale animal disease outbreaks such as the high path avian influenza ("bird flu") that struck Iowa in 2015
• Preserving current 100-year floodplain standards
• Continued support for involvement in the MAIZALL coalition, which addresses international market access related to biotechnology and other agricultural technologies
• Mandatory point-of-sale disclosure of seed variety ID numbers for all hybrids
"ICGA delegates presented resolutions and in turn voted on these and other resolutions and policies brought forward by NCGA and other states," says Bob Hemesath, president of ICGA. "These policy positions set the framework for our federal legislative efforts and directly influence our direction for years to come."
The new NCGA policy document will be posted at iowacorn.org/policy when it becomes available. For information on upcoming policy development meetings in your area, contact the Iowa Corn office 515-225-9242 or email [email protected].
ICGA and ICPB leaders met with U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack
On March 4 at the Commodity Classic, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met with ICGA president Bob Hemesath and ICPB president Mark Heckman to discuss several key issues impacting Iowa's corn farmers. At the start of the meeting, Hemesath and Heckman thanked Secretary Vilsack for his many years of service and for addressing Commodity Classic attendees every year of his tenure as USDA chief. "We commended Secretary Vilsack for his work in championing issues important to Iowa's farmers, especially his support of ethanol," says Hemesath.
The meeting with Vilsack focused on: Federal voluntary biotech labeling, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, biotech market access, the Biofuels Infrastructure Program, and transportation infrastructure. "We had a robust conversation on many topics that will directly impact our ability to create demand for U.S. corn," says Heckman. "We appreciate the secretary taking time to hear from us on these issues."
Iowans recognized for 2015 National Corn Yield Contest entries
Also at the recent 2016 Commodity Classic, the National Corn Growers Association recognized four Iowa Corn Growers Association members as winners of the 2015 National Corn Yield Contest. These farmers accepted honors for their ability to produce the most corn per-acre, which lends itself to fueling and feeding the world. The national corn yield contest not only grants the participants the recognition they deserve, it also gives them the opportunity to learn from their peers.
Top yield winners from Iowa include:
• Mike Kaufman of Dysart, 328.68 bushels per acre in the AA Non-Irrigated division
• Tim, Dan and Joe Durick of Council Bluffs, 317.74 bushels per acre in the AA No-Till/Strip-Till Non-Irrigated division
• Greg Lynott of Hawarden, 280.87 bushels per acre in the No-Till/Strip-Till Irrigated division
• David Bockman of Everly, 264.97 bushels per acre in the Irrigated division
Contest winners will also receive national recognition in publications such as the National Corn Yield Contest Corn Yield Guide, as well as cash trips and other awards from participating sponsoring seed, chemical and crop protection companies. The National Corn Yield Contest, now in its 51st year, remains one of NCGA's most popular programs for members. In 2015, a total of 7,729 members participated and recorded an all-time high yield at just over 532 bushels per acre. For a complete list of national and state winners, visit ncga.com.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association is an 8,000-member strong grassroots-driven organization, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, serving members across the state, and lobbying on ag issues on behalf of its farmer members to create opportunities for long-term Iowa corn grower profitability. For information, visit iowacorn.org.