Alabama Soybean & Corn Association

As a farmer, you work from dawn to dusk. You plan.  You  budget. You worry. You sweat. You hope. You pray. And yet, one stroke of a pen in Washington, DC can do as much to make or break your profitability as the thousands of hours you devote to your crop each season.

If you believe...


the future of the soybean and corn industry is critically important to the success of US farmers...


Congress has a lot to say about whether or not you make money...


grain farmers need to have strong representation on Capitol Hill...

News from NCGA

NCGA Joins Launch of AgTalks Town Hall Series on the Future of Agricultural Trade and Supply Chains (Thu, 09 Jul 2020)
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) today joined Farmers for Free Trade, the National Milk Producers Federation, the Corn Refiners Association, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), the Iowa Soybean Association, Minnesota AgriGrowth, the Plant Based Products Council, KCoe Isom and World Strategies to announce that they would be jointly launching a series of town hall discussions starting this summer focused on the future of agriculture. The AgTalks series will focus specifically on the big challenges American agriculture faces on trade, international supply chains and global competitiveness. The Town Halls will be led by ag leaders in five states vital to American ag’s role in feeding the world – Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Iowa (Moderated by Sara Wyant, President of Agri-Pulse) – July 30th Minnesota – August 6th (tentative date) Michigan – August 13th (tentative date) Pennsylvania – August 27th (tentative date) Wisconsin – TBD September 2020 The ag organizations behind AgTalks released the following statement on the Town Hall series: “American competitiveness in agriculture has been seriously impacted by the surge in non-US trade agreements with key customers, the trade war and the failure of supply chains strained by COVID-19. This has impacted commodity pricing, increased input costs, derailed relationship with trading partners and impacted the broader economy. “We believe it is past time for a national conversation focused on solutions to help American ag rebound. Turning the tide, will require a comprehensive effort from producers to customers – those that plant, make, deliver and sell American products around the world. The health of rural America and the hope of economic resiliency will only occur if we can create a non-political dialogue that brings the pillars of production, processing and logistics together to help redefine trade policy to best enable the most productive, safe and secure delivery of food.” In the absence of state ag fairs and conventions, where farm and ag leaders typically engage in dialogues on industry-wide challenges, the AgTalks series will provide a chance for insightful discussion on trade and its importance to the health of rural economies. The town halls will be ninety-minute to two-hour events that will include panel discussions about the impacts of the trade disruptions and recommendations for steps to help American agriculture moving forward. The Town Halls will also include input and questions from audience members and will gather input through online polling and other web-enabled tools. Town halls will be recorded for viewing after the event has concluded and news media will be invited to participate. If feasible, some of the events may be held in person or with panelists joining in one or two locations from suitable backdrops for the event. The first two Town Hall meeting will focus on Iowa and Minnesota and will be held in July and August. Specific dates will be released soon.

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Soil Health Partnership Releases Cover Crop Planting Report (Thu, 09 Jul 2020)
The Soil Health Partnership’s Cover Crop Planting Report shows that farmers are using diverse strategies to plant cover crops and a variety of plant species to accomplish their soil health goals. SHP is the flagship sustainability program of the National Corn Growers Association. They conducted a detailed survey on cover crops with more than 80 farmers across 11 states in the SHP network about cover crop usage on their trial sites in the fall of 2019. “We know farmers in our network are innovators, and that there is a huge range of cover crop management practices across our network depending on the farmer’s management goals, where they are located, their soils, and cropping systems,” said Dr. Maria Bowman, Lead Scientist for the Soil Health Partnership. Bowman says the most significant finding was that although more than half of farmers planted their cover crops between the middle of September and the beginning of November, almost 40% planted before or after these dates. In addition, 25% of farmers responding to the survey interseeded or overseeded the cover crop into a standing cash crop. “This means that farmers are using a wide range of strategies to get cover crops out on their fields, especially in higher latitudes where there are timing and labor constraints to getting a cover crop in after harvest,” said Bowman. The intent is to provide SHP farmers as well as those outside the network context on cover crop usage, practices and cost. The dataset will help answer important questions about what type of management practices lead to successful outcomes. The most widely planted cover crop species was cereal rye. Of the farmers who planted a single species, 80% planted cereal rye, and it was also present in 50% of cover crop mixes. “Cereal rye is popular because it produces a large amount of biomass, which can keep soil in place, scavenge residual nitrogen, or provide weed-suppressing residue depending on the cover crop goals,” said Jim Isermann, SHP Field Manager in Illinois and Wisconsin. “It also is winter hardy, allowing for a wide planting window, relatively easy to chemically terminate, and seed is rather cheap.” Fifty-three percent of farmers reported planting a cover crop mix of two or more species. The five most popular species in mixes included in order: cereal rye, oats, rapeseed, radish and clover. When it comes to cost, the median cost of cover crop seed was $15 per acre and to apply it was $12 per acre. Those costs vary according to the mix and seeding method used. Additional data are being collected this year to see how the cover crops developed and the impact on agronomic outcomes for the 2020 cash crop. The entire SHP Cover Crop Planting Survey Report can be downloaded at https://bit.ly/CoverCropReport

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News from ASA

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