Grain News

Michigan Corn Growers Assn. Urges Yes Vote on Checkoff Increase

Date Posted: April 15, 2014

Lansing—The Michigan Corn Growers Association (MCGA) today urged corn growers to approve a proposed change to the corn check-off program.

If approved, the referendum would enact a one-penny-per-bushel increase in the check-off.

This is the first time in the 20-year history of the program that corn growers have been asked to increase the check-off amount.

“Investing in the check-off pays off for growers because it expands their business and improves their bottom line,” said Jim Zook, executive director of MCGA.

“The check-off is the only organization that exists solely to promote our industry to consumers, lawmakers and the media.

"Increasing the check-off program will allow us to expand market access for Michigan corn growers and push back on attacks and misinformation about our products and practices.”

All of the additional funding will be used to expand marketing and educational programs and fund cutting-edge research that improves yields and finds new profitable uses for corn.

“In terms of our total budget, Michigan’s corn check-off is near the bottom compared to other states,” said Zook.

“This increase will bring our program in line with other, smaller corn-producing states and give us the means to effectively market and promote our industry.

"With the support of growers, we can proactively educate the public about how our industry is creating jobs, protecting the environment and producing food and fuel for the world.”

Zook highlighted two examples of the kinds of efforts that will be expanded by the increased check-off:

• Supporting and protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard, a policy that has created a return on investment of 36 cents for every bushel of corn sold

• Developing useful tools for farmers, such as the trend yield option on crop insurance that helps growers better manage risks

Voting takes place April 14-25 by mail. Corn growers will receive a ballot in the mail from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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