Once again this year I’m working with Enogen, Syngenta’s Corn for Ethanol. I have some interviews scheduled and will be taking photos as the opportunity presents itself. In fact, I’m about to do a walk around to see what I can find.
If you’d like to hear more about what Enogen is all about then listen in to my interview earlier this week at the Fuel Ethanol Workshop with Jeff Oestmann, Bio-fuels Operations head, Enogen at Syngenta.
Enogen® is a win for corn growers, ethanol plants and rural communities, and its footprint just keeps growing.
Syngenta now has agreements with more than 30 ethanol plants with a combined production capacity of approximately 3 billion gallons. As new plants come on board, Syngenta expects ethanol produced with Enogen® corn enzyme technology to be approximately 2.5 billion gallons this year alone.
“Across a growing number of ethanol plants, Enogen corn is helping to fuel enzyme innovation,” said Jeff Oestmann, Bio-fuels Operations head, Enogen at Syngenta.
Oestmann says Enogen was generating a lot of interest at the Fuel Ethanol Conference in Omaha this week. “We’re getting a lot of people here talking to us about the value of Enogen and what it does for their plants,” he said.
“The end game is to increase their margins, and that’s what we’re doing here.”
And speaking of winning, Syngenta is sponsoring NASCAR® racing at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa this weekend for the sixth year in a row. This year’s featured event is the Iowa 250 presented by Enogen, a 250-lap NASCAR Xfinity Series race, on Sunday, June 17.
With over 653,000 student members belonging to over 8,500 FFA chapters, FFA is the largest student-run organization in the United States. This year the Culver’s FFA Essay Contest focused on this idea by asking members to write about the 2017 National FFA Convention theme, “I can. We will.” FFA members were asked to share what the theme means to them and how they’ll apply it to their future career. The winners’ chapters listed below received a total of $15,000 from Culver’s to help fund educational experiences, like a trip to the 2018 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Oct. 24–27. First place ($7,500) went to Luke J.’s Felicity-Franklin FFA Chapter in Ohio. Second place ($5,000) was awarded to Kaitlyn H.’s Mt. Vernon FFA Chapter in Illinois. Third place ($2,500) went to Clayton B.’s Burley FFA Chapter in Idaho.
The Upper Midwest Listening Session for the project, What’s on the Horizon for E-Connectivity in Rural America, will be Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at the Rice County Fairgrounds, Faribault, Minn. This is the second in a series of listening sessions planned across the nation to gather insights into the tools that are needed to improve e-connectivity in rural America. This event will focus on hearing from rural stakeholders about the need for, and solutions for obtaining, quality broadband services for the economic health of rural America.
The new website, Crop Insurance In My State, offers an interactive map that provides visitors with access to state-specific information such as: number of crop insurance policies, acres insured, value of insurance protection, how much farmers paid for coverage, how much insurers paid to cover losses, and hail protection coverage. The website was recently unveiled by National Crop Insurance Services.
Salford Group, manufacturer of tillage, seeding and fertilizer application equipment and attachments, has selected Charleston|Orwig, Inc. as its marketing communications partner.
Pork producers visiting the World Pork Expo each year are often looking for new innovations and technologies that can help them to be more profitable.
“When they look at production, they want sows that have good litters, healthy litters,” said Lori Stevemer, species marketing manager with Hubbard Feeds. “They want pigs to get going in the nursery, to grow well, grow efficient. And then when those pigs get into the finisher they want them to grow well, have low mortality, and then really reach full value.”
Stevemer said Hubbard Feeds provides nutrition programs and technical information to help producers reach those goals. In addition, the fact that new innovations have been tested in research facilities provides a low risk situation for producers.
Show-Rite® Show Feeds has made winning a habit for its customers and, as part of the Alltech Feed Division and Hubbard Feeds, the company is part of an even bigger winning team.
“Our team is second to none and in some way all of our specialists are tied to the industry,” says Show-Rite regional representative Mari Palacio. “Then the opportunities Alltech opens for us with their products and innovations – we incorporate that into our feed line.”
Palacio spent a lot of time at World Pork Expo last week visiting with participants in the Junior Nationals, like 6-year-old Grady Poliska, who took the title of Champion Overall Team Purebred Gilt.
The results of the 2017 harvest analysis with regard to mycotoxin levels show that the 2017 crop was similar to the 2016 crop, and levels were possibly a bit less than in 2015.
Alltech‘s Dr. Max Hawkins said analysis is important as swine producers try to mitigate the risk of mycotoxin exposure in feed.
“We need to get an idea of what risk is present in the corn, present in the feed from mycotoxins,” said Hawkins, who was at the 2018 World Pork Expo. “Then once we know what that risk is, we can look at adjusting formulations, we can look at monitoring storage, and we can look at employing a more total mycotoxin management program to mitigate the most amount of risk possible to the pigs.”
Hawkins said one way to do that is with the Alltech RAPIREAD program, which provides not only the necessary testing, but also the ability to look at diet formulations and evaluate potential risk to the animals.
“The Senate Agriculture Committee’s bipartisan Farm Bill process is a reminder of how things should work in Washington – listening to the folks back home, working through issues with the other side of the aisle, then writing a good bill,” said Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). “Today marks another important step in the road to getting an on-time Farm Bill enacted into law. We urge our colleagues to support this bill.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was the sole dissenting vote, continuing his long-time crusade for payment limitations.
“Setting sound, enforceable limits to farm safety net payments is a straightforward way to exercise fiscal responsibility and close loopholes that exploit the intent of farm programs that allow some non-farmers to game the system and take resources away from real, working farmers,” said Grassley in a statement after the vote. “I’ve been an advocate for making these reforms for more than a decade, so you can imagine my disappointment that they weren’t included in the committee’s legislation. I intend to offer an amendment on the Senate floor to include commonsense payment limits in the 2018 Farm Bill.”
Grassley also opposed including the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the farm bill. The legislation to remove federal roadblocks to industrial hemp was included. “By securing my hemp provision in the Farm Bill, we are building upon the successes of the hemp pilot programs and encouraging the great potential of this versatile crop,” said McConnell.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has been on a tour of farm country this week, meeting with corn farmers and ethanol producers in Kansas and South Dakota already and next to Nebraska.
At the East Kansas Agri-Energy ethanol plant in Garnett, Kansas, Pruitt sat down with a roomful of farmers and ethanol supporters who told him they were “mad as hell” about EPA efforts they believe undermine the RFS law.
Kansas Corn Growers Association President Ken McCauley says the group pressed Pruitt on EPA’s granting of small refinery exemptions which Pruitt claims he must do for refineries who claim financial hardship. “We asked him what constituted financial hardship and I can’t say we got an answer,” McCauley said.
The corn farmers also pointed out to the administrator that they were experiencing financial hardship themselves right now and EPA is making it worse for them. “I told him that EPA’s attacks on ethanol don’t just hurt ethanol plants, they hurt farmers, rural communities and American consumers who benefit from ethanol with lower prices and cleaner air,” said McCauley.
Farmers and ethanol producers in South Dakota held a good old fashioned tractor rally in Sioux Falls as Administrator Pruitt met with farmers in Reliance about 200 miles west. “Corn prices right now are at breakeven or below and we’ve lost 1.5 billion gallons of ethanol to exemptions that EPA has granted to refiners,” said South Dakota Corn Growers president Troy Knecht. “That equals about 570 million bushels of corn.”
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says they just want Administrator Pruitt to do his job. “He needs to uphold the RFS as the law of the land and stop the secret waivers and he needs to make good on the president’s promise to allow E15 use year round,” said Jennings.
Click on the audio files below for interviews with McCauley and Jennings and Knecht’s remarks at the rally:
According to the study, “Plant Microbiome, The Next Wave in Agriculture?,” more than $5 billion has been invested in this space in the past five years. “We have seen multinationals form new alliances, well known crop protection and nutrient companies purchase startups, and an explosion of innovators, all trying to be a part of the action” said Nathan Danielson, one of the report’s authors.
While the use of biologics in specialty crops and the organic industry are ahead of row crops, with over 250 million acres planted annually this is a huge potential market. “One of our study goals was to look at the five primary field crops in the U.S. (corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and sorghum) and analyze their unique barriers to entry and potential delivery systems for biologics,” stated co-author Paul Bertels. “We have talked with a number of growers and commodity organizations to get their perspectives on what do want to enhance adoption.”
The authors have created an interactive cost-benefit model for each crop to help assess the value of a new product and those models indicate value creation in excess of $8.5 billion in farm gate revenue for these five crops in the US alone.
Ron Cascone (right) is wearing a corn hat he won in the trade show door prize drawings, pictured with (also Golden Mic Club member) Ken Skunes, who conducted the drawing.
Participants in the 2018 Corn Utilization & Technology Conference in St. Louis were largely interested in expanding the market for ethanol, and not necessarily in conventional ways.
“We’re hoping to provide alternatives to the sale of ethanol into the fuels market,” said Ron Cascone, principal with Nexant, Inc. “The theme of what I’m doing here is to show that there are options for converting ethanol to chemicals and materials that compete with the petroleum based materials.”
Cascone said his company can offer corn growers knowledge of the chemical industry and the energy industry, recognizing that corn has always been food and feed, but now has grown into an important fuel and chemical raw material resource. He said the analysis of operations and markets his company has been able to provide to the petrochemical industry can also be applied to the bio-based industry, which is largely led by ethanol production.
Cascone chaired a panel on making chemicals from ethanol during this year’s conference, discussing early chemicals made including ethylene for polyethylene, ethylene oxide, and ethylene glycol, and butadiene. Other options discussed included multiple optional routes to butadiene, acetic acid, and various esters.