Update from ICGA and ISA CEO
March 20, 2020
Dear Indiana corn and soybean farmers,
We hope you and your families are healthy and safe during this uncertain time we are all facing surrounding the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
As the situation continues to evolve, so do our lives and our personal interactions. We’re in unchartered territory and it has created much uncertainty for not only our industry but others as well. The economic impact is likely to be huge, but we encourage you to be patient as we work together though this tough time.
Alongside the national organizations, we are working diligently on your behalf. National Corn Growers Association Board has commissioned an economic analysis of implications for corn farmers and is assembling a Task Force to provide recommendations on recovery efforts and facilitate coordination along the value chain. American Soybean Association circulated a letter among national and regional organizations whose members could be affected if matters are not considered now and invited those groups to sign on. The letter noted that farmers, ranchers, input manufacturers and suppliers, processors, retailers, grain handlers, feed and ingredient manufacturers, and many others contribute to the production, distribution and availability of U.S.-produced food, fiber, feed, and fuel supplies to consumers. Assuring those supplies remain available is an important, timely concern. In Washington, Congressional leaders and the Trump Administration have indicated there will likely be many federal efforts to address the economic fallout of COVID-19. We have joined Indiana livestock groups in the effort to ensure our state and federal officials classify the movement of agricultural products as “essential” activity during this crisis.
As far as checkoff dollars, Indiana Soybean Alliance and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council are evaluating how to move more of our promotion and education events to a virtual platform. We have shifted our annual Student Soybean Innovation Competition to an online event, and are providing educational activities for teachers and parents at home with their children through www.glassbarn.org and social media platforms.
Additionally, we are working with outside trade organizations to ensure your crop is still being exported. There is still a strong demand for U.S. corn in Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Colombia. China’s economy is beginning to come back to life and implementation of Phase 1 of the China Trade Deal is starting to kick in.
As things are moving quickly, we will do our best to keep you updated with the situation. Please visit the CDC website to learn more about the virus and its newest protocols. Additionally, the USDA has launched www.Farmers.gov/coronavirus, and will continue to provide the latest updates for farmers.
Through changing seasons, changing environments, and changing challenges, farmers never give up. Please know that we support you. and we are continuing to work on your behalf.
No checkoff dollars were used in the funding of this letter.