As your advocate on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. and at the state capitol in Springfield, IL, all legislative priorities pursued by the IL Corn Growers Association (ICGA) begin with your influence. Our 4,000 members actively contribute their perspectives, ensuring a voice for Illinois corn growers. The agenda is shaped by you.
Our overarching goal is to promote policy that drives corn demand, as demand will ultimately help family farmer profitability.
The process initiates at the grassroots level, where members engage in discussions on pressing issues during round table meetings and surveys. These discussions lead to the elevation of top concerns to the ICGA Board of Directors. Subsequently, legislative priorities are formally established by the ICGA Board of Directors every year in November.
ICGA members are strongly encouraged to communicate these vital priority issues to their elected officials throughout the year, providing insights into how these matters significantly impact corn growers in Illinois.
Pass Carbon Capture and Sequestration Legislation
- In the last two years, carbon capture and storage (CCS) made headlines throughout the world as nations race to lower their carbon emissions. ICGA is active in CCS negotiations in Springfield and will continue to represent the priorities and concerns of our farmers regarding the use of eminent domain, CO2 safety, and the market opportunity for Illinois agriculture. Hear the top CCS questions from farmers across the state!
Secure fundings for retailers converting to higher ethanol blends
- This legislative session ICGA looks to secure funding for fuel retailers to provide higher blends of ethanol. A saturated ethanol market would provide consumers lower prices at the fuel pump and decrease carbon emissions.
Continued funding for NCERC
- ICGA crafted the idea of the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) in 1996 and have supported the facility since its creation in 2003. ICGA priorities continued funding for NCERC in FY24.
Clean Fuel Standard Discussions
- Last summer, ICGA began working with elected officials and industry leaders representing corn farmers in Illinois’s clean fuel standard discussions. IL Corn has a seat at Clean Transportation Fuel Standard conversations and will advocate for a lower carbon future that includes the extensive benefits agriculture brings to the table.
- Agriculture Impact Mitigation Agreements (AIMA) are guided by the Bureau of Land and Water Resources and create consensus between utility companies and agricultural landowners. The accord was created to help property owners alleviate the impacts of wind, oil/natural gas, and other utility projects. ICGA is working to strengthen the agreements to better support the agricultural industry.
Increase funds for Fall Covers for Spring Savings
- ICGA continues to support farmers and conservation practices through the Fall Covers for Spring Savings Program. The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) Cover Crop Premium Discount Program promotes additional acres of cover crops not covered by state and federal incentives. Currently applicants can receive up to $5 per acre on the following year’s crop insurance. The program is funded at $600 thousand per year. ICGA is investigating ways to expand this program and encourage farmer conservation practices.
Next Generation Fuels Act
- ICGA looks to pass the Next Generation Fuels Act as an avenue for consumers vehicle choice that invigorates the lifespan of the internal combustion engine. The legislation provides automakers the flexibility to create cars desired by consumers while meeting lower-carbon, climate goals. The bill was introduced in the House and Senate last spring and has over 30 co-sponsors. ICGA will continue advocacy for the legislation, a bill that would boost ethanol demand.
Lock and Dam funding
- ICGA supports passing the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA). The legislation reinforces lock and dam funding critical to the state’s extensive grain export market. In November 2021, the Biden administration signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The legislation funds updates to Illinois’ locks and dams. However, since the bill’s passage, cost increases have created a barrier to the projects progress. ICGA requests the IIJA be amended in the upcoming Water Resources Development Act 2024 (WRDA24) negotiations to fully fund all IIJA projects to completion as intended by congress.
- ICGA continues to advocate for a five-year farm bill after multiple extensions to the 2018 legislation. Our members top priorities include maintaining a robust crop insurance program, increasing funds for the Market Access Program (MAP) and Foreign Market Development Program (FMD), and creating more flexibility in the United States Department of Agriculture’s conservation programs.
- ICGA will monitor the release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Multipollutant Emissions Standard and request congressional intervention if the language is unfavorable to agriculture. In 2023, ICGA worked alongside the automotive industry to rally Congress and shared the negative impact the proposal would have on Americans. As a result, the House of Representatives passed a bill to defund the EPA’s rule. The administration will release their final mandate spring 2024.
- ICGA will monitor the release of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) final electric vehicle rule and request congressional intervention if the language is unfavorable to agriculture. ICGA submitted over 900 comments to the mandate requiring an industry fleet-wide average of approximately 58 miles per gallon for cars and light duty trucks by model year 2032. The proposal mirrors the multipollutant rule released by the Environmental Protection Agency. The administration will release their final mandate spring 2024.
Are you a member and have feedback for us on your priorities or how it's impacting your farm? E-mail us. Not a member and want to join in the conversation and let us save your seat at the table?