With corn prices almost half of what they were a year ago, the National Corn Growers Association is making demand for corn a top priority in 2015. Chris Novak, executive director of NCGA, says increasing demand for corn is their #1 goal for 2015. This involves promoting exports, developing new uses, and protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard. “The RFS is our number one legislative priority in 2015. But we are also looking at ways we can begin sharing messages with consumers and begin building demand for clean, affordable-priced fuel,” he stated.
In addition to protecting the RFS, Novak told HAT corn growers will also need to protect the Farm Bill which some in Washington want to re-open, “We view the Farm Bill as a contract between the government and farmers. The program was built at a time when there was record profitability in the corn industry, but since that time we have seen two consecutive drops in farm income totaling a 32% decline in farmer income. That is why we need to have a Farm Bill in place.” He added that we have to insure that the farmers that are struggling with prices below the cost of production have the resources to stay in business another year and to produce food.
Novak stressed it is not all about policy and regulation, but means farmers must do a better job of telling their stories and educating the public on the benefits of growing corn, “I think, in the long run, we as farmers are going to have to do more to tell our story on the benefits and values of renewable fuel and growing corn sustainably.” According to Novak, in the past 50 years US farmers have had a 262% increase in productivity with a 2% decrease in inputs.