CORN: AMERICA’S CROP
Corn is the most abundant crop produced in the United States.
In 2022, U.S. corn farmersplanted 88.6 million acres of corn, producing over 13.7 billion bushels with an estimated value of $90.6 billion.
The USDA March Prospective Planting Report indicates farmers intend to plant92 million acres of corn in 2023.
Each year, corn growers make planting decisions based on markets, growing conditions, andrisk calculations. Growers know firsthand the high-risk nature of the business of agriculture, asthey face challenges with natural disasters and unexpected market volatility and disruptions. The farm bill plays a critical role in helping growers navigate risks outside of their control.
Corn growers are invested in developing forward-looking, market-orientated farm policies. NCGA’s farm bill recommendations seek to make existing USDA programs more effective, efficient, and responsive through strategic investments and policy enhancements that will protect and bolster America’s Crop.
PROTECT CROP INSURANCE
Federal crop insurance has a proven track record of helping producers quickly respond to natural disasters. In 2022, corn farmers insured $66.5 billion in liabilities through the purchase of over 384,000 policies nationwide.
As the most important program and title of the farm bill for corn growers, crop insurance must be protected and strengthened as the cornerstone of the federal safety net.
Increase the affordability of crop insurance for producers.
Oppose efforts to cut crop insurance programs or restrict producer accessibility to risk management tools.
BOLSTER MARKET DEVELOPMENT
Dynamic USDA trade programs boost U.S. agricultural exports, are vital to the prosperity of U.S. agriculture and related business, and provide a return of $24.50 for each dollar invested.
The Market Access Program (MAP) helps producers, trade groups, private companies, and other organizations finance promotional activities for agricultural products from the United States.
Foreign Market Development (FMD) is a joint government and agri-industry effort to develop markets by acquainting potential foreign customers with U.S. farm products.
Double funding for MAP and FMD by increasing MAP funding from $200 million to$400 million annually and the FMD program funding from $34.5 million to $69 million annually.
STRENGHTHEN THE SAFETY NET
Key risk management tools and USDA programs continue to be stress tested by natural disasters, economic challenges, and black swan events. Corn growers support improvements to the farm safety net through strengthening the commodity programs Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). These programs provide farmers with a safety net when they face significant drops in crop prices or revenues.
Increase the ARC County maximum payment rate above 10%.
Increase the ARC County coverage level above 86%.
Strengthen the PLC effective reference price
Oppose lowering payment limits and adjusted gross income limits below current levels.
SUPPORT VOLUNTARY CONSERVATION PROGRAMS
U.S. corn growers are committed to implementing successful conservation practices on their farms. USDA conservation programming plays an important role in advancing the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices, which help corn growers continue to be good stewards of the land.
Create a USDA initiative to use conservation programming to reduce development of weed resistance to protect viability of conservation tillage and cover cropping practices.
Create a USDA Natural Research Conservation Service (NRCS) grant program to cover total costs of retaining a full-time coordinator for farmer-led collaborative watershed projects to reduce nutrient losses.
Expand and strengthen the NRCS Interim Conservation Practice Standards initiative to speed up the development and adoption of innovative conservation practices.