One year ago the concern for the Indiana Corn Marketing Council was that revenue would be down since the yield would be down in Indiana. The Corn Marketing Council is responsible for overseeing checkoff funds raised in the state, and investing them in projects to promote corn and in research related to corn topics.
Dennis Maple, current president of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Greentown, says that with increased yields in 2013 in Indiana, funding should be up again for the Council. The council receives one -half cent per bushel for each bushel of corn sold. It is not tied to yield or price variations. In high production years income could increase, but it drops in low production years like 2012.
Mike Shuter, Frankton, was president of the Council as 2012 unfolded. He noted at the time that the Council tightened its belt and did what was necessary to survive with a reduction in income tied to lower yields.
Maple says funding did not drop a year ago because of changes in refunds requested by farmers. When the legislation setting up a checkoff was passed, a mechanism was included to allow farmers to request a refund of money collected in the checkoff if they did not want to participate.
"The refund rate continues to drop," Maple says. "It's at the lowest point since the checkoff started. Farmers are buying in and seeing what we're doing with their checkoff dollars."
One of those things is to fund research, largely at Purdue University. One of Maple's jobs is to make sure that the review process for possible new research projects continues as it should.
"We're in the negotiation stage now on several projects," he says. The projects will affect certain issues related to production, water quality improvement, and nutrient efficiency related to corn production. The Council typically supports several research projects at one time.