Jim Reed has taken over as the newly elected president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association.

Reed has extensive experience growing corn and soybeans. The sixth-generation farmer from Monticello, who started farming in 1981, has been in production agriculture nearly 30 years.

The Reeds also were early adopters of conservation tillage in the 1980s. “The majority of our farm is in conservation tillage today,” he said.

Reed says ICGA members are dealing with the looming estate tax issue, and that he'll need to get involved in discussions about the next farm bill. He also plans to attempt to secure appropriations for new locks and dams on the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.

“One of our long-term goals will be looking at the upcoming farm bill,” Reed told FarmWeekNow.com at the Illinois Commodity Conference in Bloomington. “But we’ve also got a lame-duck session (of Congress) that poses some immediate concerns. We’ve got tax issues that have to be dealt with.”

Reed, who operates an 1,800-acre cash grain farm in Piatt County, also is concerned about the possibility of the “blend wall” limiting future expansion in the ethanol industry. He believes corn growers can continue to increase yields at a pace that will keep up with demand.

“We all recognize the (yield) gains from technology,” Reed said. “I think the gains will be even larger in the next decade and biotechnology will be a key component of that. We can double corn yields without doubling inputs.”