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Friday, December 12, 2014

CORE Students learn about Florida-Georgia agriculture through bus trip

Participants of KCGA’s third CORE class recently returned  from a six day bus tour highlighting agriculture in areas of Florida and Georgia.

The trip is part of the program’s curriculum, but the general location of the bus tour is decided by the class.

According to Adam Andrews, Programs Director of Kentucky Corn Growers Association, class-influenced curriculum is one of the things that makes this program different from others.

“As we go through the program we take notes on what they are interested in learning from sessions and build the program around that.”

Combining interests from Class III with the guidance of Andrews and UK Extension Specialist, Dr. Chad Lee, the bus tour visited the Gulf of Mexico, beginning in the Apalachicola River Estuary — the largest producer of oysters in the Gulf. Then traveled to Potash Corp, a phosphate mine in White Springs, Florida.
Brain Kilzer of Savannah Marine Terminal (SMT) explains to CORE participants how his company transfers DDGS, a co-product of ethanol, from a hopper railcar (originating from the Midwest) to a shipping container (for export to Asia).  SMT is a private company that was established in 2007, the same year the RFS was enacted.  The company initially specialized in DDGS but has since expanded to export other agriculture products, such as soybean meal.  SMT employs about 30 full-time workers at three facilities in Savannah.

After Florida, the bus made it’s way to Georgia for a stop in Valdosta the home of National Corn Yield Contest winner, Randy Dowdy. The next couple of stops focused on the cotton industry, with an educational overview at the Univ. of Georgia, and a look at the harvesting process at Ben Boyd’s farm in Sylvania.

The final stop was The Port of Savannah, where wheat and cotton are the two highest volume agricultural commodities to leave the Port.  

Class III participant and Taylor County farmer, Tyler Reynolds said his favorite stop was The Port of Savannah. 

“It was overwhelming the volume they deal with,” he said. “Trucks were constantly coming in and out, then with the containers and loading the vessels, it was just unbelievable.” 

Even though agriculture along the Gulf is different than Kentucky, Reynolds explained there were still aspects of farming that could be applied to both locations. 

“It was really interesting learning about how proactive Randy Dowdy is in his management practices. I think we could take some of that and apply those principles at home,” he added. 

Looking past the educational part of the bus tour and other CORE sessions, Reynolds expressed the most beneficial part of this program is the networking opportunities. 

“Getting to meet other farmers and ag industry people in Kentucky, and having those people you can talk to and pull information from is invaluable,” he concluded.  

If you are interested in participating in Kentucky Corn Growers next CORE class, contact Adam Andrews at

KyCorn farmers receive awards during KFB annual meeting

Three Kentucky Corn Growers Association board members were honored last week in Louisville during Kentucky Farm Bureau’s 95th annual meeting.

A KCGA board member for 11 years, Richard Preston of Hardin County, was awarded for his Distinguished Service to Agriculture. Preston grew up on a small hobby farm near Glendale, and while he aspired to become a farmer, life led him to the University of Kentucky to earn a degree in Chemistry. After UK, Preston continued his education on a graduate fellowship at Yale University, where he finished with a Doctorate in Physical Chemistry.
Richard Preston (center left) with his wife, Alana (center right), at the organization’s annual meeting, held in Louisville. 
The award was presented by Mark Haney, KFB President (left), and David S. Beck, KFB Executive Vice President (right). Photo Courtesey of KFB.

After working as a research physicist at the University of California, Preston decided to go back to his roots. He purchased some used equipment and 40 acres of cropland in Hardin County and started raising corn and hogs. Flash forward to 2014, Preston and his wife, Alana, have expanded into an intensive row crop operation.

Throughout his journey, Preston has left his mark in agriculture and his community. He has spent his life teaching and coaching youth and young farmers and continues to be a longtime advocate of using sound science on the farm.

“I can’t imagine a better volunteer leader than Richard Preston,” KCGA President Russel Schwenke said. “His contributions to the farming community, industry and our organization have been countless.

For KFB’s 2014 Outstanding Young Farm Family, KCGA board members were honored with first and second place. Chis and Rebekah Pierce were awarded first place in this division. This duo met 14 years ago while studying at UK — Chris, agriculture economics and Rebekah, interior design. Chris purchased his first piece of land in Pulaski County in 2003 while still in college.

Today, Chris and Rebekah are raising four kids and several thousand acres of row crop.

According to Chris, his goal is to leave the land better than they found it.

  While Rebekah takes care of the family and the farm office, Chris also holds an off-farm job teaching young farmer classes at a community college. He is also active with Farm Bureau, an advisor to the local Young Farmer Association and a member of the Farm Service committee and the County Agricultural Development Council.
Chris and Rebekah Pierce (center) joining the many sponsors of this contest to present the award are Mark Haney, KFB President (left) 
and David S. Beck, KFB Executive Vice President (center right). Photo Courtesey of KFB.

Runner-up in the 2014 Outstanding Young Farm Family was NCGA board member Dustin White and his wife, Tammy.

The White’s own and operate part of a large, multi-generational family farm in Union County, where they raise beef cattle, hay, straw, wheat, white and yellow corn, soybeans and seed beans.

Dustin is a Union County Farm Bureau board member and chair of the county’s Young Farmer Committee. The Whites were also finalists in KFB’s 2013 “Outstanding Young Farm Family” award competition.

“We are proud to see these outstanding farmer leaders honored and look forward to continuing to serve them as they face new challenges on their operations,” said Laura Knoth, Executive Director, Kentucky Corn Growers.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Have a Question About the Farm Bill?

The University of Kentucky and its partners have provided a number of resources available to answer your questions about the 2014 Farm Bill. There is also a widget that will allow you to ask extension experts specific questions.  Learn more by visiting:

USDA Farm Service Agency Announces Key Dates for New 2014 Farm Bill Safety Net Programs.
by Kent Politsch. (October 2014)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing key dates for farm owners and producers to keep in mind regarding the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC).

2014 Farm Bill Summary
by Aleta Botts, Joe Cain, and Will Snell
. (September 2014)
The Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law by President Obama on February 7, 2014 which establishes nutrition, commodity, crop insurance, conservation, and other ag/food programs for next five years (2014-2018). Currently USDA is busy with implementation details. Summary points of the bill are outlined in this publication.

Economic Outlook for U.S. Agriculture During the 2014 Farm Bill
by Will Snell. (September 8, 2014)
YouTube video of a PowerPoint Presentation by Will Snell on September 8, 2014 at a Farm Credit and Farm Bureau sponsored Extension meeting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Turkish Grain Buying Team Tours Kentucky for Harvest Assessment

A team of Turkish grain traders, buyers and shippers visited the Louisville area, October 23-24, to see U.S. coarse grains production and export systems first hand. This was one of 18 teams touring the Midwest as part of Export Exchange 2014, which wrapped up October 22 in Seattle, Washington.

Turkish grain industry representatives and KyCorn staff talk with Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. Commercial Manager Tim Baumgart (center) about operations and grain markets.
With assistance from KyCorn, the Turkish team visited the Consolidated Grain and Barge terminal in Jeffersonville, Indiana. CGB Commercial Manager Tim Baumgart discussed operations and markets and answered many questions the visitors had about crop prices, basis, and capacity. Turkey is a leading importer of U.S. corn, corn gluten meal, distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), and soybeans.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Corn Crop Forecast Moves Higher

Corn production in Kentucky is forecast at 222 million bushels, up 3 percent from the September forecast and down 9 percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 153 bushels per acre, up 5 bushels from last month and down 17 bushels from the 2013 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.45 million acres, up 20,000 acres from 2013. 

The U.S. corn production is forecast at 14.5 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the September forecast and up 4 percent from 2013. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average 174.2 bushels per acre, up 2.5 bushels from last month and up 15.4 bushels from 2013. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.1 million acres, down 1 percent from the September forecast and down 5 percent from 2013. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

KyCorn Welcomes New Communications Director

KyCorn is pleased to announce its newest team member, Danielle Beard Hayden, who was hired as communications director on Oct. 10.

An Oklahoma native, Danielle is a 2012 graduate of Oklahoma State University where she majored in Agriculture Communications and Agriculture Economics. After college she began work as the associate editor of Farm Talk Newspaper, a four-state weekly agriculture newspaper based out of Parsons, Kansas where she was eventually promoted to chief editor.

During her time in Kansas, she met her husband, a Kentucky cattle farmer, and now resides in Ohio County. Since moving to the Bluegrass state, she has worked as a freelance writer and photographer for several cattle publications.

“We are excited about bringing a new, talented, young person on board,” remarked Laura Knoth, KyCorn executive director. “Danielle is committed to agriculture and will help us tell the important story of Kentucky’s grain industry.”

Danielle is replacing Jennifer Elwell, who has been with KyCorn since 1998. Jennifer is now executive director of the Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom and pursuing additional interests in ag education and farm public relations projects to serve a broader agricultural community.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Grains Council Builds Export Markets

While price is an important consideration for buyers of corn and other commodities, the United States’ reputation for reliability and honesty is also a significant market asset. The U.S. Grains Council, a KyCorn-supported organization, has been promoting these benefits in top markets around the globe and will continue to do so as the United States begins harvest for another record corn crop.

The United States exported more than 11 percent of the U.S. corn supply in the 2013/2014 marketing year, which ended Aug. 31. More than 100 countries purchased the U.S. commodity.

U.S. corn exports to Japan enjoyed a powerful rebound, with USDA reports showing 2013/2014 exports and outstanding sales of 11.8 million metric tons (465 million bushels). The Council has been able to provide Japanese end-users with timely, reliable information to reinforce their traditional preference for U.S. corn. This included presentation of the Council’s 2013/2014 Corn Harvest Quality Report at the Japanese Outlook Conference last January.  Now in their third year, the Council’s Corn Harvest Quality and Corn Export Cargo Quality reports have become recognized benchmarks for Japanese buyers who monitor the U.S. crop with great care.

Colombia also saw a dramatic rebound in U.S. sales.  U.S. corn had become uncompetitive in recent years due to more favorable tariff treatment for South American producers. Implementation of the long-delayed U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA), recent policy changes and the Council’s promotion in that market resulted in dominant market share in the past year. In April 2013, the Colombian Price Ban System increased the duty on South American origin imports to 5.75 percent. Thanks to the U.S.-Colombia FTA, however, the first 2.1 million tons (82.7 million bushels) of U.S. corn imports have a zero percent duty. Overall, the U.S. provided more than 95 percent of the 3.4 million ton (134 million bushels) Colombian corn market, with expectations favorable for the coming year also.

The good news extends to North Africa.  For the 2013/2014 marketing year, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia took a combined 3.0 million tons (118.1 million bushels) of U.S. corn (accumulated exports plus outstanding sales), compared to nothing over the same period last marketing year.

“A year ago, North Africa dropped off the charts in terms of U.S. corn sales,” said U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight. “But this year, Egypt took nearly as much corn (whole grain) as China, and Morocco and Tunisia are again buying U.S. corn.”

Black Sea producers will continue to provide strong regional competition, but the rebound in U.S. sales this year demonstrates the importance of maintaining a strong and creative presence in rapidly evolving regional markets.

Heading into the 2014/2015 marketing year, the Council has more plans to develop new markets for U.S. corn.  Examples of this include the Council exploring markets for U.S. ethanol demand overseas, building demand for coarse grains and co-products across the globe, including Latin America, Tanzania, China and Japan, in livestock sectors through tours of U.S. facilities, and Export Exchange 2014, the premier international trade conference focused on the export of U.S. coarse grains and co-products.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

You Can Lead a Horse to Water

By Danielle Beard Hayden

Agriculturists across the nation rejoiced when Forbes released the article, “The Debate About GMO Safety is Over, Thanks to a New Trillion-Meal Study,” but is the debate really over?

Those who were adamantly anti-GMO are still touting ‘fish genes spliced into tomatoes’ and ‘infertility and tumors in lab rats’ propaganda. While the pro crowd waves flags of ‘but, we’re feeding the world’ and ‘because, science,’ leaving those left on the fence about GMO’s wondering what to believe.

Maybe it’s time agriculture, as an industry whole, takes a new approach to the GM-crop debate. Instead of reacting to those whose minds are made up, the industry becomes proactive in making facts readily available for those still trying to decide.

Some may argue, “the information is already out there, what more can we do?” Consumers are hungry for knowledge about their food, and they want it in elementary terms, and not only do they want it in an understandable fashion, they want it from sources they respect and relate to. They want to hear it from friends, mothers, doctors, bloggers, etc. With all that being said, how does the industry begin to get the facts to these sources?

Education without attitude.

Dropping the ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ edge and working non-confrontational information into everyday conversations is a good start. Most don’t even realize what comes from genetic modification and what doesn’t. Explain that there are currently eight crops commercially available from GMO seeds in the US — Corn (field and sweet), soybeans, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets, papaya and squash.

Another common misconception is that Monsanto is the only company producing GM seeds. Introducing an information tidbit that Bayer CropScience, BASF, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont and Syngenta are also companies that work with plant biotechnology can help to subtly dismiss some of the misinformation that is floating around about GMO’s.

Honesty without fear.

It’s important to not try to educate past your own knowledge. Have no idea when asked about GMO’s banned in some European countries? Admit that you don’t know. Better to stick with what you do know, than risk losing any credibility. Suggest researching together or asking someone who would know the answer. Also encourage asking for themselves at or looking for online sources that have .edu at the end.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. However, teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry. Share an article explaining that GMO’s are safe and they may or may not believe it, but educate the basics of what GMO’s actually are and you are giving consumers the seeds of knowledge they need to research their own conclusions.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What Does the Future Hold for Cash Rents?

By Lauren Turley, University of Kentucky Department of Agricultural Economics
Economic & Policy Update

If you have spoken with a farmer in the last month, I can almost guarantee one topic of conversation was the futures market. Cattle farmers are reaping the record high beef prices, while grain farmers are on the other side fretting, as grain prices have decreased to the lowest levels seen in several years. Grain producers have been projecting budgets for the upcoming years and realizing that something has to give. Expected returns are not high enough to cover all of the costs and provide a return to operators.

Most Kentucky grain producers have realized record returns the last three years and should have built equity in that time. However, it does not make it any easier to see the negative returns that are projected for the future. There may be some cost savings in 2015 if fertilizer price declines, as is expected. Other crop input prices are not expected to decrease. One major direct cost that should be examined is land rent, most likely the largest per acre cost for producers on ground that is not owned. In western Kentucky, competitiveness has taken rents to the next level. Many rents have been negotiated on a three or five-year term, thus the producer may be locked in at that level for the upcoming years. With slipping commodity prices, expectations would be a decline in rents going forward.

In Kentucky, from 2008 to 2013, average cash rents increased by 90%, according to USDA annual cash rent data. From 2009 to 2013, there was a 59% increase going from $93.50/acre in 2009 to $149/acre in 2013. Cash rents rose in recent years due to increases in land and operator returns, corresponding with the increased grain prices. Despite lower grain prices since fall of 2013, cash rents held steady for 2014. Throughout history, it has been demonstrated that rents may go down, but not usually by very much and not very often. Rents that are being negotiated now will likely be lower, and rightly so. Rent should decrease because of the projected lower returns; however, commodity prices are much more volatile than cash rents and farmers are at risk of losing farmland if landlords are not willing to accept lower cash rents. It is essential for producers to realize that not farming high cash rent farmland may be the best alternative to getting in a “bidding war”. There are some cash rents that may not need to be adjusted; either as a result of the rent being relatively low, or if the cash rent has lagged behind the increase in agricultural returns. Setting the cash rent for farms is difficult as the crop price and yield are unknown when the rental agreement is made. Rents will not always correspond to actual returns.

Other options to cash rents are crop-share agreements or flex leases. In the Ohio Valley area of Kentucky, crop-share rental agreements are the dominant rental agreement. In this arrangement, revenues, and sometimes direct costs, are shared between the land owner and the farmer. The share would depend on the type and quality of ground. With this agreement, the landowner is at risk just like the farmer, but there is an opportunity for the landowner to reap in the benefits of a stronger market or better production year. This year, farmers have become very interested in flex leases. With this type of lease, there is a floor, or minimum cash rent, and an opportunity for the landowner to receive a “bonus” under various circumstances. For example, a “bonus” may be paid if the gross revenue is higher than a trigger revenue, or if yields are higher than the trigger yields. If land owners are willing to share in some of the risk associated with production agriculture, they could receive higher average returns.

Grain producers need to begin looking at budgets for the upcoming years and determining if costs can be cut. Reality is setting in, and it looks like we will be seeing less than $4 corn for at least a couple of years. If rental agreements are up for renewal, conversations should be held with landlords to negotiate and talk about the options. The costs and returns should be analyzed. Cash rents have received much attention in the last couple of years, but as margins are squeezed, what will happen to cash rents is uncertain. If you have any questions about rental agreements, feel free to contact any KFBM specialist.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Grain Profitability 2014 and Beyond: How Bad Does it Look?

By Greg Halich, University of Kentucky Department of Agricultural Economics
Economic & Policy Update

The grain markets have dropped dramatically in the last 12 months, and the resulting effect on profitability may not be fully understood by farmers, landowners, and lenders. Figure 1 shows the December 2014 Futures contract from 2011 to 2014. Note that before early fall of 2013, this contract was trading mostly between $5-6/bu. This was the expected price for corn that most farmers were banking on during this time period. The current price for this contract is around $3.30/bu, or about $2/bu lower than the average contract price in 2011-2013. The price drop for soybeans (not shown) has been similar, coming down about $3/bu from its average in 2011-2013.The cash price for fall delivery has fallen under important psychological barriers in a number of locations: $3/bu for corn and $10/bu for soybeans.

Schwenke on Corn Prices, Food Prices and Opportunities

Russel Schwenke, KyCorn President
As the corn supply continues to grow, prices continue to drop. According to an AgriVisor analyst, the price of corn has dropped so much that an ounce of gold can now buy more than 370 bushels of corn, the most since 1975. So it goes with the laws of supply and demand. While many of us in grain production obviously see below breakeven prices as a detriment to our farm enterprises, this may provide us an opportunity to build our customer base. First, however, we must set the record straight about food vs. fuel.

Just two years ago, the corn industry was taking a real lashing from Mother Nature, corn buyers, and food retailers. The U.S. was suffering from one of the worst droughts in history. Corn prices rose dramatically, which is only beneficial if you have a crop to sell, and all fingers pointed toward ethanol as the culprit. Food processors and everyone else down the marketing chain pumped up their prices to follow suit and lobbied tirelessly, even still, to overturn the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kentucky Corn Crop Update

According to the September 28 USDA-NASS report, 47% of the Kentucky corn crop has been harvested, compared to 12% nationally. Corn condition in Kentucky has also improved, with 66% reporting good to excellent. Average crop condition for the top 18 corn producing states is 74% good to excellent. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

USDA Releases Details on New Risk Management Programs

Corn growers this week thanked U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack for rolling out regulations related to the new revenue-based Agriculture Risk Coverage program and other risk management options designed to help growers facing sharp declines in commodity prices or significant production losses.

Vilsack announced the online tools which will help farmers select whether ARC or PLC coverage provides the best risk management option for their operations under future scenarios. USDA helped create online tools that allow farmers to enter information about their operation and see projections about what each program will mean for them under possible future scenarios. The new tools are now available at

Monday, September 22, 2014

Precision Technology Workshop & Conference in November

KyCorn/KySGGA Precision Ag Technology Data Management Seminars
November 19-20, 2014
Daviess County Extension Office, Owensboro, KY

Day one will focus on developing skills for typical data management (yield data, soil sampling data, prescription map development) throughout the growing season for those who are beginning to work with these data sets.

Day two will be geared more towards experienced users who are looking to get more knowledge out of their data including profitability analysis, crop performance within different zones (soil, terrain, etc.) within their fields.

Interested individuals may choose to attend the day best suited to their needs or both. To register, or for more information, contact Adam Andrews at or 502-742-2036.

Ohio Valley Precision Agriculture Conference
November 21, 2014
Vanderburgh County 4-H Center, Evansville, IN

The University of Kentucky and Purdue University have coordinated a Precision Agriculture Conference for farmers and agri-business professionals on November 21 at the Vanderburgh County 4-H Center in Evansville, Indiana.

Topics include an overview of precision agriculture technologies, a data management hands-on software demonstration, strip verification, agriculture apps, site-specific input management, high-speed planters and multi-variety planting, utilizing data generated from specific management, telematics, and a drone demonstration. A panel discussion featuring Dr. Joe Luck, Dr. John Fulton, Jason Webster, Brian Arnall, and Davie Stephens is also on the agenda.

For more information or to pre-register, call the Daviess County Extension office at 270-685-8480.

View the agenda.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Enter the Kentucky Extension Corn Yield Contest - Deadline November 14

Any Kentucky corn farmer is welcome to enter the Kentucky Corn Yield Contest, administered by University of Kentucky Extension and sponsored by KyCorn.

Submissions must be received be postmarked by November 14, 2014.

Winners will be recognized at the Kentucky Commodity Conference in Bowling Green, on January 16, 2015.

Harvest Forms Available for National Corn Yield Contest

With harvest underway, the National Corn Growers Association announced that online harvest forms for the 2014 National Corn Yield Contest are now available. Entrants are asked to report within seven days of their final yield check or by Nov. 21, whichever comes first.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Send Comments to EPA on WOTUS before October 20

Dear Kentucky corn growers,

As grain prices continue to trend downward, it is more important than ever to ask the EPA to provide clarity on their proposed definition of "Waters of the U.S." We simply cannot afford this regulatory uncertainty that drives up costs.

To begin to understand how far this proposed rule would extend, take a look at the map below. There won't be a farmer in Kentucky who isn't impacted. It's time to let EPA know just how seriously we are taking this regulatory overreach.

Agriculture has been and will continue to be EPA's best ally in responsible care for our environment. The proposal they have laid out fails to recognize that and creates a negative dynamic. It's time for EPA to stop talking about working with us and actually prove that's what they want to happen.

Producers must speak up. Use the NCGA's suggested letter or write your own. And while you are at it, let your congressman and senators know your concerns as well.

The House of Representatives have already passed legislation to stop implementation of the proposed rule. EPA needs to recognize that they must take a different approach. Working together does not mean regulating everything and saying, "don't worry, many ag practices will be exempt." We aren't buying it, and the lawsuits will fly over such ambiguous language.

Laura Knoth
Executive Director

Click here for a larger image.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Corn Forecast Grows, Prices Shrink

With the USDA Sept. 11 report estimating a record corn supply of 15.5 billion bushels this coming year, the National Corn Growers Association is closely tracking corn prices and fighting back against efforts that will reduce demand for the bountiful supply.

"With a record crop on the way and prices continually sinking, it is critical our federal policymakers do not cut into the ethanol standard, impose undue regulations or go slow on trade agreements," said NCGA President Martin Barbre. "America's farmers are doing our part, working hard and smart on their farms to bring in a good crop. It is critical for Washington to remove obstacles and clear a path now so we can sell America's biggest and most versatile crop at a good and fair price."

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

UK research explores irrigation questions

BY KATIE PRATT, UK Agricultural Communications

Interest in irrigation is gaining momentum among Kentucky grain farmers. This is especially true after another prolonged dry spell during a crucial corn growth stage in Western Kentucky squashed many hopes for a bin-busting year. Agronomists with the University of Kentucky continue to research ways to provide added moisture for the soil.

Chad Lee, agronomist with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is in the second year of an irrigation study with farmers across the state. While the initial research in 2013 took place around Owensboro and Henderson, the study moved east this year with cooperating farmers in Hardin and Boone counties and with a plot at UK’s Spindletop Research Farm in Lexington.

Chad Lee, right, shows Bob Wade, left, and Richard Colvin the result of irrigation on the corn crop thus far.
PHOTO: Katie Pratt, UK Agricultural Communications
Glendale, Ky.
Irrigated acres have doubled in the past five years in Kentucky but still remain under 10 percent of the state’s total acreage. Lee’s 2014 study, funded by the Kentucky Corn Promotion Council and industry, focuses on corn’s response to irrigation, high seeding rates and different nitrogen rates. The ultimate goal is to find the most efficient and cost effective way for the state’s farmers to achieve better yields. UK graduate student Julie Baniszewski and undergraduate Lauren Settles are working with Lee on this study.

“One of our biggest limitations when it comes to higher (corn) populations is water,” Lee said. “If we have water to put on a field, then we can push corn populations higher and possibly get better yields.”

Hardin County farmer Bob Wade Jr. saw the value in irrigation and installed his first center pivots in fall 2011, right before the disastrous growing season of 2012. About 25 percent of his corn and soybeans are irrigated.

“The decision to invest in irrigation came about because of the high corn prices and the increase in land values and cash rental rates,” he said. “We were trying to figure out a way to add value to our existing ground versus buying or renting more land.”

While higher seeding rates seem like a logical way to boost yields, they may not always work in the farmers’ favor. Higher populations create a denser plant canopy, which favors disease development. It can also result in smaller stalks that are more prone to lodging.

Irrigation is not an option for every Kentucky farmer, as many lack water sources near their farmland. Those who do have access to water, however, may see the benefits of it, especially during hot, dry summers.

David Brannon is a crop scout for Wade and other farmers in the county. He’s noticed a big difference between irrigated and non-irrigated crops this year.

“You see such a tremendous response with irrigation,” he said. “A lot of times when Bob is making decisions about applying a fungicide or adding more units of nitrogen, he hopes to see a response from his investment that’s greater than the cost. With irrigation, especially in a year like this or in 2012, the responses are phenomenal.”

While this research is aimed at helping Kentucky farmers improve their efficiency and bottom lines, it could have worldwide impacts.

“If we look 10 to 20 years down the road, we will have to figure out how we can continue to feed the world on our existing acreage,” Lee said. “Irrigation is going to become more important in that overall concept of feeding people more efficiently and more sustainably.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Corn Fed Kentucky State Fair

For the 16th year, KyCorn served up a sweet time under the Great Kentucky Cookout Tent with the other commodity groups at the Kentucky State Fair. The association was extremely thankful for the help that students from the Martha Layne Collins High School FFA Chapter and UK's 1/4-scale tractor pull team provided during the 11-day run. KyCorn also engaged fair goers in their #CornFedKY social media promotion to encourage "corny" posts and tweets.

KyCorn also supported Kentucky FFA and 4-H by contributing to the purchase of the Reserve Champion Hog in the Sale of Champions. The hog was exhibited by Gary Nelson Barger, of Meade County FFA, and sold for $11,000. Others contributing to the sale price were Ed and Pat Jenkins, Farm Credit Mid-America, Judah Real Estate Group, and Friends of the Sale. Funds are divided among the winning exhibitor (60%), other hog class winners (30%), and the Kentucky 4-H and FFA programs (10%).

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kentucky Corn Production Down, but Better than Expected

While we knew reproducing last year's record 243 million bushel crop was not likely this year, the August 12 USDA-NASS crop report provided us a better prediction than expected.

Corn production in Kentucky was forecast at 200 million bushels, down 18 percent from the previous crop. Yield was estimated at 138 bushels per acre, down 32 bushels from the 2013 level. Acres for harvest as grain were estimated at 1.45 million acres, up 20,000 acres from 2013.

Rain has been scarce in much of our largest corn growing areas, especially along the southern tier.
Following an informal poll of growers from across the state, we anticipated the average yield for 2014 to be about 130 bushels per acre.

U.S. corn production was forecast at 15.2 billion bushels. If realized, this will be the highest U.S. production on record. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 167.4 bushels per acre, up 8.6 bushels from 2013. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.8 million acres, unchanged from June but down 4 percent from 2013.

Across the nation, the corn crop is rated 73% good to excellent. In Kentucky, USDA-NASS reported only 59% rating good to excellent.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@kycornfed) for the latest crop updates provided by USDA-NASS, University of Kentucky agronomists and producers. You can also watch the Twitter feed on our website at

Friday, August 1, 2014

Week Provided Intense Education for CORE Farmer Program and UK Field Day Participants

Participants of the CORE Farmer Program spent a few days this week with the best of UK's extension researchers and instructors at Princeton. This was Session 4, marking the halfway point of the current program.

Most of the curriculum for this session was spent in the field with hands-on demonstrations. The topics selected by the 17 classmates for this seminar included fragipan remediation, drought stress, pushing populations, controlling Palmer pigweed, and utilizing litter.

UK Extension Soils Specialist Lloyd Murdock presenting to CORE participants.

Come December, the class will take a bus tour of Georgia agriculture. The 6-day trek will include a visit to Randy Dowdy's perennial National Corn Yield Contest winning farm, and in-depth view of the cotton industry, exports and a water resources conversation in the Apalachicola estuary. Two more seminars will follow in January and February 2015.

The process to enroll Class 4 of the CORE Farmer Program is planned to begin in March. To inquire about how to apply for this program, contact Adam Andrews at or 502-742-2036.

On Thursday, the University of Kentucky held their annual Corn, Soybean and Tobacco Field Day at the Princeton Research and Education Center.

Several sessions proved to be of particular interest to KyCorn. Chad Lee provided an update on UK's corn population and yield study, showcasing the planter purchased by KyCorn to aid the research. Field day participants were also provided a variety of water quality and nutrient management issues sessions such as updates on hypoxia and TMDLs, water quality plans, and farmer engagement. KyCorn's Adam Andrews presented with Brent Burchett (Ky Soybean Association), Amanda Gumbert (UK College of Ag Environmental and Natural Resource Issues) and the newest UK extension specialist Josh McGrath.

"This area of the program allowed KyCorn the opportunity to showcase our involvement and share with producers the need to continue their engagement in the issues of Waters of the U.S. and nutrient strategies," said KyCorn Executive Director Laura Knoth. "It was also a good reminder that all farms 10 acres or greater need an Ag Water Quality Plan and the protections they provide if a water quality problem occurs."

KyCorn appreciates the cooperation with industry experts and professionals to provide critical and quality educational programs for Kentucky's farmers.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Educational Opportunities You Don't Want to Miss

KyCorn/KySmallGrains Precision Technology Workshop
August 4-5, 2014, Louisville, KY
Pre-registration required.

Grain Grading School & Fumigation Seminar
August 12, 2014, Owensboro Convention Center
Offered to members as part of the AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky Summer Meeting. Pre-registration required.

7th Annual Ohio River Lock Tour
September 5, 2014, Newburgh Locks and Dam (Evansville/Henderson area)
Free admission and lunch included - space is limited.

Advanced Concepts in Sustainable Crop Production & Disease Management: Insights from Nicaragua
This 2.5-week study abroad trip provided by the University of Kentucky is scheduled for February 7-22, 2015, and is open to KyCorn members and other interested parties. The experience is expected to be unforgettable to be unforgettable. Click the link above or contact Dr. Paul Vincelli at if you would like more information.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Young Kentucky Corn Farmer Honored as "Champion for Change" by White House and USDA

Tuesday, the White House and U.S. Department of Agriculture honored Quint Pottinger, a 25-year-old grain farmer from New Haven, and 14 others, as "Champions of Change."

Pottinger, who is also featured in the 2014 Corn Farmers Coalition campaign, was nominated for the honor by the Kentucky Corn Growers Association.

"I'm so grateful to be part of such an influential group of people," said Pottinger. "One of my goals is to have an effective change on the agricultural community that is helping feed the world. Being nominated and selected for this award is one milestone on the journey to achieving this goal."

The "Champion of Change" program recognizes leaders from across the country who are doing extraordinary things to build the bench for the next generation of farming and ranching. These champions lead in their industries and communities, inspiring others who want to find careers and a life on the land, and providing food, fiber, fuel, and flora around the world.

The program featured USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, who discussed efforts to ensure that beginning farmers and the growing ranks of agriculture - women, young people, immigrants, socially disadvantaged producers, returning veterans and retirees - have access to the programs and support they need. The event also included a discussion about how to continue growing and supporting the next generation of America's farmers and ranchers.

Pottinger, along with wife Leah, are the owners of Affinity Farms, a mixed row-crop and herb farm in Kentucky. He pursued his education at the University of Kentucky, majoring in agriculture economics and upon graduation connected with various agriculture groups in Kentucky, including Kentucky Farm Bureau Young Farmers, Kentucky Corn Growers, and Kentucky Soybean Association. Quint currently serves on the Kentucky Soybean Association board in a leadership education capacity.

The Pottinger family has been farming the land since Samuel Pottinger settled the town of New Haven in the late 1780s. Affinity Farms strives to combine the latest technology in growing row crops like corn and soybeans alongside vegetables. They sell their produce directly to consumers in local markets and see this as an opportunity to create a transparent dialog about the entire agriculture industry.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Corn Crop Condition - Week of July 28

According to Monday's USDA-NASS report, 84% of the Kentucky corn crop is silking, and 11% has reached dent stage. 66% of the Kentucky crop is in good to excellent condition.

UK's Chad Lee (@KentuckyCrops) tweeted this photo on July 25:

More #corn dropping ears from lack of water in KY.

followed by this one on July 28:

#hail destroyed this #corn at research farm. Quick guess is 90% or more yield loss.

For the latest on crop conditions and production updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Grain Grading School & Fumigation Seminar

August 12, 2014
Owensboro Convention Center
501 W. 2nd Street, Owensboro, KY 42301

Grain Grading School (9 a.m. to Noon CT):
  • Practical Procedures for Grading Corn, Soybeans and Wheat
  • Sampling and Grading Equipment
  • Instruction Provided by Eurofins Grain Inspection & Steve Peters Inc.
  • Applied for 3 hours CCA Credit CM
Fumigation Seminar (1 p.m. to 4 p.m. CT)
  • Fumigation: An Overview 
  • Risk Management, Safety, Monitoring, and Personal Protective Equipment
  • IPM Strategies
  • Pesticide Label Comprehension
  • Applied for 3 hours Pesticide License Credit, 3 hours CCA Credit PM

Provided during the AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky Summer Meeting in partnership with Ky Corn and Ky Small Grain Growers Associations.

Ky Corn and Ky Small Grain members may attend the workshop, lunch and afternoon fumigation seminar for the $60 ABAK member rate. Registration form and payment is required by August 6.

Grain Grading School and Fumigation Seminar Registration Form

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Corn Crop Condition - Week of July 21

According to Monday's USDA-NASS report, 75% of the Kentucky corn crop is silking, and 4% has reached dent stage. 75% of the Kentucky crop is in good to excellent condition.

UK's Chad Lee (@KentuckyCrops) tweeted this photo yesterday with the following message:

Poor #corn pollination from hot dry weather 1st week of July. Good time to check fields.

Be sure to follow KyCorn on Twitter for the latest updates:  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Waters of the US Update

Report by KyCorn Intern Ryan Halligan
The Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) state convention was held last week in Louisville. KyCorn Programs Director Adam Andrews and intern Ryan Halligan attended the convention.

National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) President Earl Garber of Louisiana spoke about the EPA's proposed clarification of Waterways of the United States (WOTUS) that could impact farmers all across the United States. This potential rule would redefine the waterways in the United States and could be defined so that regulation could impact farmers and ranchers. This proposal could regulate farm ponds, streams, wetland areas, and "ditches." There is a need for clarification of "ditches" and other wetland areas on farms. This clarification could really impact how jurisdiction and regulation impacts farmers. Either way the impacts on farmers could be increased regulation on all fronts.

There are several bills in Congress which would prevent this regulation from going into effect. We are unsure, however, of their progress at this time. The biggest problem is that this regulation could be left up to interpretation.

Kentucky Corn Growers is your voice in Frankfort and in Washington D.C. and is fighting on your behalf on these new potential regulations as well as others that could potentially rise up.

NCGA Report

NCGA's review of the proposed rule and the Interpretive Rule showed that neither provide the clarity needed and both greatly expanded the scope of the Act. NCGA has repeatedly stated its opposition to both rules in their current form. In June, NCGA First Vice President Chip Bowling testified before the Conservation, Energy and Forestry Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee on the proposed Interpretive Rule. His testimony strongly stated that the rule is unworkable for farmers.

Also in June, NCGA President Martin Barbre and Bowling met with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on this issue. The meeting was held at her request; during it, she listened to the officers' listing of concerns regarding the rules. She had a better understanding of these concerns and repeatedly stated she wants to work with NCGA on this issue in the coming months. The meeting was very direct and candid.

On July 7, NCGA submitted formal comments on the Interpretive Rule. NCGA shares the serious concerns raised regarding these rules with our partners in other agriculture organizations. We have been, are and will be working with them and others to achieve significant changes to the rules. While some organizations have been very vocal and confrontational in their approach, NCGA has chosen to work through the rulemaking process and to take Administrator McCarthy at her word and to engage with her and others at EPA to make sure the rules work for farmers.

Recommended Action: NCGA urges the EPA to withdraw the proposed Implementation Rule as it continues to work with the agriculture community on this issue.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Kentucky Corn Families Invade DC in More Ways Than One

A delegation of Kentucky corn farm family leaders made their rounds in Washington DC this week as the National Corn Growers Association held their bi-annual Corn Congress. While attending this meeting that shapes policy decisions for NCGA, the Kentucky delegation met with Kentucky's elected officials and their staff to discuss several critical issues: WOTUS, RFS, and GMO labeling among others.

From left to right: Adam and Megan Bell, KyCorn President Russel Schwenke and his wife Laura, KyCorn Executive Director Laura Knoth, Rene Kuegel with KyCorn Treasurer Mark Roberts, KyCorn Promotion Council Chairman Philip McCoun and KyCorn Board Member Michael Buckman.

The inaugural class of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) DuPont New Leaders Program also wrapped up last week in Washington, D.C. Adam and Megan Bell, of Mayfield, represented KyCorn in the program, which kicked off in Johnston, Iowa, in January. It was designed by NCGA and DuPont to build the communications and leadership skills of growers just starting leadership positions in American agriculture, with a special focus on farming couples. The Bells were able to attend NCGA action team meetings, Corn Congress, and made Capitol Hill visits with KyCorn leaders.

Adam and Megan Bell (right) completed the inaugural class of the NCGA DuPont New Leaders Program. Pictured with NCGA Chairman Pam Johnson, First Vice President Chip Bowling and a DuPont representative.

Also this month, another farm family, Quint and Leah Pottinger, have been seen across the Beltway in a number of political media publications and web sites. The Corn Farmers Coalition education program has returned to the U.S. capital this summer for the sixth year in a row with a message of innovation, efficiency and productivity.

The Pottingers (top middle photo), from New Haven, Ky. are one of six farm families representing corn farmers across the United States who will be featured in digital, print, and Metro Stations ads through September.

The goal of the campaign is to communicate a foundation of facts seen as essential to decision making, rather than directly influencing legislation and regulation.

"This direct outreach is putting a face on today's family farmers and raising overall awareness with legislators, leaders or governmental agencies from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of State, think tanks, lobbyists and environmental groups," said Martin Barbre, National Corn Growers Association president and a family farmer from Carmi, Illinois. "Awareness of the innovation, technology, and generations of accumulated knowledge on our farms today should be a part of our national dialogue about agriculture."

"As urban and suburban America gets further removed from the agricultural roots that made our nation strong, it becomes ever more important to reach out and maintain this connection," said Quint Pottinger. "Farming is something that we love. The dirt doesn't just stain our hands; it runs deep in our blood. We want to share our affinity for farming with our friends, neighbors, and community."

Web site:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Precision Ag Workshop - Seminar 3: Evaluating Crop Production and Management Decisions with Precision Ag Data

August 4-5, 2014
Marriott Spring Hill Suites, Downtown Louisville, Kentucky

Sponsored by the Kentucky Corn Growers Association and the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association through a research grant.

Subject-matter will be focused on the the following:
  • Field boundary entry and editing
  • Analyzing multiple years of yield data
  • Spatial versus temporal variability
  • Identifying potential fields for implementing VRA
  • Using as-applied planter data and yield data to analyze in-field plots (hybrids & seeding rates)
The seminar is open to all producers, but space is limited to 20 farms to ensure the best educational experience. Pre-registration is required and a registration fee of $25 per person will assist in meal and printing costs.

RSVP to Adam Andrews at 502-974-1121 or

If you will need a hotel room, please be sure to reserve before July 21 by clicking on the link below. A reduced room rate of $159 is offered for our group, but is 100% non-refundable.

Book your group rate: Kentucky Corn Growers Association >>

The first two Precision Ag Data Management Workshops have received very positive feedback from attendees. Comments from most have indicated two significant benefits from taking part in both training events. First, gaining practical knowledge on how to collect and use Precision Ag data for their cropping systems and second, gaining experience with the data analysis using actual field data in a hands-on training environment.

The upcoming workshop in August will continue to focus on expanding the skills of those interested in maximizing the use of the Precision Ag data collected from their operations. Initial topics will focus on basic boundary map entry and editing, highlighting cases where software sometimes doesn’t make the best decisions for us when determining field borders. We will also be discussing how to interpret multiple years of yield data to identify trends in spatial versus temporal crop variability. This will provide insights to help determine fields where site-specific crop management might be valuable versus fields that may not benefit from these practices.

Finally, we will be demonstrating how to use Precision Ag datasets (yield monitor and as-applied planting data) to evaluate management practices, in this case, hybrid selection and seeding rates. We will discuss best management practices (BMPs) for setting up and executing in-field trials during these final exercises. As with the previous workshops, we will be using Ag Leader SMS software on laptop computers for those in attendance. If you have a copy of SMS Advanced, you may bring your own laptop as well. Actual field data will also be used for the exercises.

I look forward to the workshop and hope that we’ll have good attendance as with previous training events. As usual, we will have plenty of time for other discussions and questions among the group. In my opinion, group discussions have been one of the most valuable parts of these workshops as we can all learn valuable lessons from one another. I hope to see you there!


Monday, August 4th, 2014
10:00 AM Registration
10:30 AM Welcome & Introductions
10:45 AM Boundary Mapping
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Multi-Year Yield Data Analysis
1:30 PM Spatial versus Temporal Variability
2:00 PM Identifying In-Field Variability
3:00 PM Break
3:30 PM Planning On Farm Research Studies

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
9:00 AM How to Setup Precision Ag Technologies for Data Collection
10:00 AM Field Trial Analysis: Hybrids
11:00 AM Field Trial Analysis: Seeding Rates
1:00 PM Lunch and Adjourn

Monday, June 30, 2014

Corn Crop Condition - Week of June 30

According to today's USDA-NASS report, 18% of the Kentucky corn crop is silking, compared to 4% last year. Crop condition remains unchanged; 26% is excellent, 53% is good, 17% fair. and 4% poor to very poor.

Dry Pattern Starting to Stress Corn

(UK College of Agriculture) - Many parts of Kentucky have settled into a dry pattern the past 30 days, and it's starting to stress out some of the corn crop.

"The week before and the week after pollination is the time when corn is most susceptible to the weather," said Chad Lee, extension grain crops specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. "We really need rain right now in Central and Eastern Kentucky for successful pollination."

In the past month, the state has averaged 3.36 inches-more than an inch below normal.

"While this does not seem like a lot, Central and Eastern Kentucky counties have shown a more extensive deviation, with both being around 2 inches below normal," said Matthew Dixon, UKAg meteorologist.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly 53 percent of the state is now revealing signs of abnormally dry conditions and a small portion of southeastern Kentucky is in moderate hydrologic drought.

Lee explained that the above-average temperatures are compounding the dry conditions.

Read more

KyCorn Showcases American Ethanol at Kentucky Speedway

With the help of the National and Iowa Corn Growers Associations, KyCorn had a successful weekend educating Kentucky Speedway's NASCAR fans about American Ethanol. Staff with the Biofuels Mobile Education Center exhibit answered many questions and provided a positive message about renewable ethanol. Owensboro Community and Technical College also brought their student-built E85 Cobra to promote the OCTC Alternative Fuels Program and flex fuel vehicles. During the race, fans witnessed Sunoco Green E15 power every race vehicle with the clean burning, high-powered consistency that has been the hallmark of American Ethanol.

View more photos on our Facebook page at

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Bardstown Bourbon Company to Open Distillery in Nelson County

BARDSTOWN, Ky. - Governor Steve Beshear joined company officials and local leaders to announce The Bardstown Bourbon Company LLC plans to build a distillery in Bardstown.

The Bardstown Bourbon Company will create 35 jobs and invest $25 million into the project.

"This is another exciting day for one of Kentucky's signature industries," said Gov. Beshear. "The world's thirst for bourbon continues to grow, and The Bardstown Bourbon Company's announcement will help satisfy that demand. I look forward to seeing this distillery up and running and the positive impact it will have here in Nelson County and across the Commonwealth."

The Bardstown Bourbon Company plans to build a 45,000-square-foot distillery on 100 acres in the Nelson County Industrial Park, where it will produce bourbon and other spirits using local ingredients. The company also plans to build a visitor center and warehouses. 

"The Bardstown Bourbon Company will be a celebration of the Bardstown community, from the local ingredients we use to produce our product and the team that designs and builds our distillery, to the employees that distill, barrel and store our bourbons," said David Mandell, president and CEO of The Bardstown Bourbon Company. "It was the people and community of Bardstown that attracted us. We are here today because of the exceptionally strong leadership at both the state and local levels, and we want to thank these leaders for their tremendous work."

The distillery will be a destination experience, bringing bourbon enthusiasts as close as possible to the bourbon making process. There also will be a culinary dimension to the distillery and the company plans to partner with restaurants in the community to incorporate local flavors.

The Bardstown Bourbon Company has brought on Steve Nally as its master distiller. Nally has more than 40 years of experience in the industry and is a member of the Bourbon Hall of Fame.

"Simply put, we will make great bourbon," Mandell said. "We will be innovative, and our campus and distillery will present the craft in a very approachable and educational fashion."

Construction on the project is expected to begin this summer, and the facility is expected to be open in 2016. Once operational, The Bardstown Bourbon Company will mark the fifth distillery in Nelson County. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

KyCorn Participates in Mission to Open Dialogue and Doors for EU Trade

KyCorn Executive Director Laura Knoth
stands in front of an Irish wheat field.
KyCorn Executive Director Laura Knoth and several other corn association executives traveled to Belgium, Spain, and Ireland last week with the US Meat Export Federation and the US Grains Council on a mission to discuss issues pertaining to meat and crop production, adoption of technology, and trade issues. Knoth said the dialogue with European farm organizations, food processors, and corn buyers was interesting and promising.

"GMO production and importation was a primary topic of discussion," said Knoth. "Farmers and farm organizations said they were frustrated with the rules and regulations in their countries, which were primarily based on public opinion, not science. They recognize that they are 25 years behind in technology, which presents many barriers to trade."

While the team was visiting, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also met with agriculture and trade officials in Europe to discuss expanding trade opportunities, specifically the importance of agriculture's role in the U.S.-European Union (EU) Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), and the benefits the trade agreement will have to both the American and European economies. An agreement was reached to allow importation of Irish beef into America, and the ministers from the trade bloc's 28 member countries agreed in principle the prior week to empower any EU country to prohibit or restrict the growing of genetically modified crops on its territory. (Read more or

Iberian hams produced by Joselito in Guijuelo, Spain.
The pigs are finished on acorns to produce a unique flavor.
Several stops provided unique insight into the culture of EU food production. One meeting that was particularly promising for the US corn industry was with the group Abengoa, Spain's leading ethanol producer. Knoth said they were required to import corn that was certified sustainable by EU standards, as were many agricultural end users.

"End users must certify that they buy and use food produced with sustainable practices in order to reduce their carbon footprint," said Knoth. "These are practices that our farmers have been using for years, and we explained that some American elevators are providing sustainability certifications on grain. They are adopting programs similar to our Field To Market, and we could provide the corn they are looking for."

KyCorn directs corn checkoff annually to support US Grains Council and US Meat Export Federation programs to enhance trade of corn, corn co-products, and corn-fed meats.

Friday, June 20, 2014

KyCorn Gears Up for Ethanol Promotion at Kentucky Speedway

The NASCAR Series races will be run next week, June 26-28, at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, and KyCorn will be attending to share the good news about American Ethanol to thousands of race fans.

KyCorn is working with the National and Iowa Corn Growers Associations to bring in a mobile biofuels education center and race simulator for the three-day event. American Ethanol flags and information will also be provided to fans, showcasing the benefits of our corn-based fuel. 

For more information about the races, visit For more information about the American Ethanol program, visit

Excellent FFA Programs Begin with Excellent Agriculture Teachers

KyCorn Supports New Kentucky Master Ag Teacher Program

If you ask anyone who had a life shaping FFA experience, most all of them will credit their agriculture teachers. Ag teachers introduce students to agriculture and FFA, they are truly the ones raising up the next generation of KY Agriculturalists. That's why the Kentucky FFA Foundation is partnering with KyCorn to make an investment in our teachers called Kentucky Master Ag Teacher Program (KMAT).

KMAT is a new program designed for teachers with 5-10 years experience in the classroom. Teachers will have quarterly meetings for two years.

"KMAT is the next step in relevant professional learning in agricultural education," says Kentucky FFA Advisor Brandon Davis. "This is more than just talking about best practices in the classroom. While we will help participants develop their classroom effectiveness, we are also focusing on effective advocacy, becoming leaders in their school/community/profession, and acting as a mentor to other teachers. By engaging teachers in these kinds of programs we can ensure Ag-Ed will continue to be the premier career and technical education option in the state."

This new and exciting program is made possible by KyCorn, which has made a $10,000 annual commitment to ensure the program's success.

"KyCorn is excited with the opportunity to support the future of agriculture education through the Kentucky FFA," said Russel Schwenke, president of KyCorn. "We realize the importance of not only providing education programs to our farm youth, but providing leadership training to our farm educators to strengthen Ag education programs."

The program just announced its first class of 15 teachers, who will be in the program through the summer 2015:

Daniel Bustle, Locust Trace
Lindsey Davie, Henry County
Dustin Estridge, North Laurel
John Hammond, Thomas Nelson
Jarrod Hankins, Webster County
Miles Hargrove, Carlisle County
Krista Hayslip, Rowan County
Ed Hendrick, Warren Central
Bradley McKinney, Todd Central
Janella Miller, Pulaski County
Tracy Probst, Woodford County
Nathan Sewell, Scott County
Matthew Simpson, Jessamine County

"Our hope is that this program will turn good Ag teachers into great Ag teachers who have the knowledge and skills needed to impact the lives of their students and the agriculture industry in their community," said Matt Chaliff, KY FFA Executive Secretary.

The Kentucky FFA Foundation is proud of Kentucky agriculture teachers and we are thankful for the support of KyCorn as they champion this cause.