Transportation, trade, biotechnology, regulations, and soil health were just a few of the issues on the mind of National Corn Growers Association president Chip Bowling at the recent National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention.
Talking transportation first, Bowling says they were surprised when the Army Corps of Engineers told them earlier this month that they would be closing the Mississippi River for at least two weeks to make some repairs. “We would love to have known about it a little sooner than we did,” he said. “We need them to get that work done as soon as possible….we’ve got a big crop coming out of the fields and we’ve got to get it down river to the port.”
Bowling says corn growers are very concerned about the growing number of initiatives nationwide called for labeling of GMO products, and passage of a temporary ban on biotech crop production in Maui where many agribusiness companies do research on new traits. “The issue in Hawaii is critical,” he said. “We Hawaii is a place we can grow crops all year long and the companies that test their traits out there needs to have the accessibility to those areas.” Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences have filed suit over the ban, which was passed by a slim margin, and a judge has blocked its implementation.