"All eyes are on Washington, D.C.," says Gary Niemeyer, president of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). "We want a farm bill in 2012," he stated at a press conference during the Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tenn.
Niemeyer noted to most important aspect is crop insurance. "Farmers face a lot of volatility. We are in a more vulnerable situation than any time in history if we don't manage risk. That's why we need crop insurance as a risk management tool. In 2007 we led the way to develop a safety net – Agriculture Risk Management or ARM. Corn farmers are ready to do their part. We will be fighting to keep it at current levels."
2011 NCGA president Bart Schott added, "Young farmers especially need risk management tools such as crop insurance. We do not want to see [D.C] cut crop insurance at all.
The corn grower from Illinois said NCGA has four major programs in place to help communicate the importance of crop insurance. "First, the Corn Farmers Coalition is its fourth year educating consumers.
"The U.S. Farmers Alliance is working to restore consumer confidence. The Common Ground program with the United Soybean Board has spread and a new ethanol and NASCAR partnership is its second year."
When asked NCGA's position on target prices, Niemeyer said, "We want to farm for the market, not for the government."
He also stated NCGA "is going to fight to maintain the Renewable Fuels Standard. We hope weather this year will be like 2004 so we can meet the 15 billion gallon s of ethanol needed by 2015."
Niemeyer also noted that NCGA will sit down with the leaders of the American Soybean Association, National Sorghum and American Wheat Growers to "discuss common ground. One thing is certain, we all want a farm bill in 2012 and our highest priority is crop insurance."
Niemeyer also announced 37,160 members in NCGA, 8,424 entries in the national corn yield contest, and an increase in membership in 232 states – all records.