Relying on a weather scare as the best hope to fix the current weak prices for corn, as suggested by some market analysts, is not an acceptable business model. So, farmer leaders of the National Corn Growers Association have recommitted to boosting corn utilization as a key strategy in achieving a healthy and viable corn industry long term, the association recently noted.

"To successfully address farmer's income you have two paths, either decreasing input costs or growing demand," said NCGA Research and Business Development Action Team Chairman Larry Hoffmann, a farmer from Wheatland, N.D. "We will continue to work on both, but with a renewed focus on new uses for corn as a means of raising the price per bushel."

NCGA's Corn Board, action teams and committees convened in St. Louis earlier this month to delve into the issues and opportunities that will impact corn farmers across the country during the coming year.

The Research and Business Development Action Team explored possible changes to team policies and activities that could help their respective programs improve efforts to create and maintain opportunities for growers in using check-off funds.

"If it grinds another bushel of corn we are going to evaluate its potential," Hoffmann said. "If it uses 25 million bushels or 100 million bushels it will put us one-step closer to our goal."