The National Corn Growers Association entered a new fiscal year Monday and seated the 2013 Corn Board with Pam Johnson of Floyd, Iowa, assuming the presidency.
In an NCGA interview, Johnson explained that there will be many challenges for corn growers in the 2013, one of them being drought recovery.
"We certainly will have a lot on our plate in the coming year," she said. "We are coming through the worst drought in my lifetime, which in and of itself presents many challenges. I think that we need to remember that this drought is a near-term challenge, and we must keep our eye on the big picture and our long-term goals as we build for our future."
Johnson said the drought has brought another issue to the forefront that must be addressed – demand.
"Of course, the drought has also raised concern over demand destruction in all of our major markets, from ethanol to livestock to exports," she explained. "We are going to have to work very hard to get that demand back and make sure that, when we do turn this ship around, we have increasing demand for corn."
Johnson said the farm bill was also a key priority for the coming year, and stressed the importance of crop insurance.
"I think that the first thing on everyone's mind is getting a five-year farm bill passed," she said. "It has been laying there in Congress this year, and we are keeping federal legislators' feet to the fire to get that passed. We must remember that the farm bill is of such importance because crop insurance is part of the farm bill. This year in particular, we have seen how important crop insurance is to farmers and ranchers. We need this key legislation complete as soon as possible- no excuses, no extensions. Farmers need the certainty of knowing what risk management tools will be available in the years ahead before heading back into their fields."
To listen to the NCGA interview with Johnson, click here.