The Kentucky Corn Growers Board of Directors and the Members of the Corn Promotion Council met July 8 and 9 in socially-distanced fashion at the UK Research and Education Center (the Kentucky Corn Growers Conference Room, actually).
They had an agenda packed with discussion about how to remedy the corn profitability crisis that has been presented to farmers in the midst of demand interruptions from a myriad of reasons, such as ongoing trade disruptions, COVID-19 impacts, oil price wars and other black swan events.
On the first day of the meeting, the Council directed checkoff investments to efforts to expand trade for grain, and products made from grain such as ethanol, livestock and poultry. Global trade, particularly of ethanol, is a proven strategy for improving markets.
As EPA and the state of Kentucky have clarified the regulatory environment for retailers on E-15, the Council placed significant checkoff investment for retailer partnerships to bring E-15 to Kentucky consumers. This product, branded as Unleaded 88, will be available in a handful of fuel filling stations once the dispenser conversions are completed, a timeline for which is late-summer.
The board members also took a deep dive into the history of farm policy relative to the large carryout corn stocks and current deteriorating market conditions. Jonathan Coppess with farmdoc daily attended virtually to discuss potential farm policy options that would work best for Kentucky grain farmers in an ever-changing market landscape.
Below, Dr. Chad Lee led a brainstorm session about production research strategies and direction that is laser focused on profitability.