The 2012 Corn Utilization Technology Conference is underway, the ribbon has been cut. Cutting the ribbon are (l-r) Garry Niemeyer, President, National Corn Growers Association and Dr. Mike Ladisch, Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University and our keynote speaker this afternoon. Once again at this every other year conference I’ll be conducting interviews and posting them on the NCGA award winning Corn Commentary blog.
To get a preview of this year’s CUTC I sat down with Garry and we talked about the program as well as the corn crop and farm bill. Garry says this conference provides a great opportunity to hear about new technology and the research that’s being done. He’s got his research glossary out so he can keep up with the terminology! From a farmer perspective he says it is very important to know if this new technology will help him maintain a sustainable and profitable operation. He also says that the importance of holding a conference like CUTC is becoming more apparent to farmers “as they need to step up to the plate so that we know what will happen with our investment in our future and our livelihoods.” He says technology has taken us from a culture of scarcity to one of abundance and he wants to share that with world. That means more research.
Speaking of research, we turned to the farm bill which is coming back up for work on the Senate side. He says they’ve worked very hard on this version since it’s the first one up. He thinks that the ARC program (Agriculture Risk Coverage) is very compatible to most farmers however it represents a $23 billion decline from where we currently are. But the money just isn’t there which is why we don’t have direct payments. There’s optimism that this will move through the full senate soon.
When it comes to the corn crop he says, “I have never ever seen corn grow like it has this year.” He left home with corn that he planted in March that was shoulder high on him. So that sounds pretty optimistic to me. Hopefully the weather will cooperate for the rest of the season.
Listen to my interview with Garry here: Interview with Garry Niemeyer
You can find photos from the 2012 CUTC in my online photo album: 2012 CUTC Photo Album