Farmers to Grow Mustard Seed for Bio Jet Fuel

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Canadian-made yellow Carinata mustard seed to be grown by Australia farmers for bio-fuel production (CNW Group/Agrisoma Biosciences)

Farmers in Australia will soon be growing a Canadian oilseed to make bio jet fuel thanks to a new “farm to flight” deal between Quebec-based Agrisoma Biosciences and Qantas Airlines.

Agrisoma will work with Australian farmers to grow the Carinata seed, a non-food type of mustard seed that produces high-quality oil ideal for renewable aviation jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel.

“Our long-term goal with this partnership is to grow the crop at a target of 400,000 hectares which will ultimately produce more than 200 million litres of bio jet fuel for the airline, says Steven Fabijanski, Agrisoma’s Ph.D. President and CEO.

In 2018, to demonstrate the benefits of Agrisoma’s biofuel, Qantas will operate the world’s first bio-fuel flight between the United States and Australia. “We are constantly looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions across our operations but when it comes to using renewable jet fuel, until now, there has not been a locally grown option at the scale we need to power our fleet,” says CEO Qantas International, Alison Webster.

Carinata requires no special production or processing techniques and uses little water. It is sown either in fallow areas where crops fail or as a cover crop. When crushed, the seed also produces a high protein feed for Australian livestock, dairy and poultry producers.

aviation biofuels, biojet fuel

Representatives Support Advanced Biofuels

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Representatives Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), and Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), along with 16 other members of the House, last week wrote a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt supporting increased blending targets for cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel in the final 2018 Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs). The members represent largely urban and minority populated districts around the country.

“Cellulosic ethanol is the lowest carbon biofuel in the world today…reducing greenhouse gas emissions over 90 percent,” they wrote to Administrator Pruitt. “Urban areas and communities of color are disproportionately affected by air pollution and will withstand the worst of the effects of your proposed rule.”

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor thanked the “champions in Congress who are working hard to ensure that the RFS continues to deliver savings and health benefits to communities in all regions of the country. Increasing the volumes for cellulosic and advanced biofuels is essential to ensure that producers and stakeholders will have the certainty they need to continue to invest in cellulosic technology.”

EPA is expected to release the final RVO numbers by the end of this month.

advance biofuels, Biodiesel, biofuels, Cellulosic, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy

Thanksgiving Dinner Less Than Last Year

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This year’s Thanksgiving dinner should cost slightly less than last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation‘s 32nd annual price survey of items traditionally used in the Thanksgiving meal. The cost of the dinner is the lowest since 2013 at $49.12, down 75 cents, or one and a half percent from last year, according to Dr. John Newton, AFBF director of market intelligence. The price decrease is primarily driven by the lower cost of the turkey, which is priced at two cents less per pound than last year. The price of Thanksgiving Dinner is

“This holiday season we have plenty of turkeys available for the consumer,” said Newton. “USDA estimates turkey production is going to be up about one percent from where we saw it last year, and whether you’re consuming a fresh bird for Thanksgiving or a frozen bird, there should be plenty of supplies on hand.”

The shopping list for Farm Bureau’s informal survey includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a veggie tray, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with plenty for leftovers.

Learn more from Dr. John Newton: Dr. John Newton, AFBF

AFBF

Outlook Shows Need to Increase Use of Biofuels Globally

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The latest World Energy Outlook shows a clear need for the increased blending of biofuels in global transport fuels, according to Bliss Baker, the President of the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA).

“The WEO’s projections of current and announced national energy policies illustrates clearly that far more aggressive, and immediate, action must be taken to mitigate GHG emissions to achieve the targets laid out in the Paris Agreement” Baker said. “With the transportation sector being a major driver of global energy demand growth, world leaders must embrace biofuels as a key policy solution to reduce GHG emissions.”

The WEO’s projections are based on models using existing and officially announced national energy policies around the world, and reaffirms past projections that found global energy demand would rise by 30% to 2040.

Energy, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Biofuels Groups Hopeful EPA Keeps RFS Strong

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Biofuels organizations are anxiously awaiting the release of the final Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the 2018 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as they remind the White House and EPA of the promises they’ve made to rural America.

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) placed a full page ad in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call this week featuring South Dakota farmer Marietta Lakness, with the message “Mr. President, tell EPA to stand with rural America and keep the promise to protect the RFS.”

Meanwhile, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) sent a letter to President Trump this week thanking him for his leadership and support of the RFS program and explaining the industry’s capacity to produce biodiesel as an advanced biofuel.

“The base numbers contained in EPA’s original, July proposal—4.24 billion gallons for advanced biofuels and 2.1 billion gallons for biomass-based diesel—are themselves so low that, if finalized, they will halt the growth of the biomass-based diesel industry. The 4.24-billion-gallon number is a reduction from the previous year’s 4.28 billion gallons, which sends a starkly negative signal to the industry as a whole.”

The NBB reiterated its request for at least 4.75 billion gallons for advanced biofuels for 2018 and at least 2.5 billion gallons for biomass-based diesel for 2019 in the upcoming RVO.

EPA is scheduled to release the final RVOs by the end of this month.

ACE, Biodiesel, biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFS

2nd Annual Pink at the Pump Doubles Donations

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Drivers across six states last month helped raise a record $11,500 for breast cancer awareness and research as part of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association’s (IRFA) second-annual Pink at the Pump™ campaign.

“It is exciting to see how much Pink at the Pump™ has grown in only its second year,” said IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “We’ve doubled the number of retailers and the amount of funds raised from 2016. Drivers are really catching on to what a great option E15 is for all 2001 and newer vehicles because it burns cleaner, reduces the amount of cancer-causing chemicals in the air, and is higher octane.”

Sixty-four E15 retail stations across Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas, and Virginia donated three cents of every gallon of E15 sold from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 to National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) and The Hormel Institute. Participating E15 locations featured pink E15 nozzle guards and other pink point-of-sale materials as part of the campaign, sponsored by IRFA and the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Iowa RFA

Tindal Joins Advanced Biofuels USA’s Board of Directors

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Advanced Biofuels USA welcomes Chris Tindal to its board of directors. Tindal spent 40 years in the United States Navy, working in facilities management, operations, and energy management.

In 2008, Chris became the Director for Operational Energy working for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy. In this position, Chris was in charge of setting energy policy and direction for the Department of the Navy and promoting the adoption of alternative fuels and renewable energy resources. Tindal led the Great Green Fleet effort, overseeing the planning and logistics, discussing interoperability concerns with alternative fuel use by the U.S. Navy with many countries.

Tindal retired as a Captain in the Navy Reserves in 2010.

AgWired Energy

Ecuador Livestock Producers Visit MN Ethanol Plant

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A delegation of livestock producers from Ecuador visited the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company (CVEC) plant in Minnesota this week to get a better understanding of dried distiller’s grains (DDGs) production.

“We were honored to welcome the delegation from Ecuador. DDGs are an important co-product in ethanol production and we produce about 120,000 tons of DDGs a year,” said Chad Friese, CEO of CVEC and board member of the Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association.

The delegation, comprised of small to mid-size poultry, swine and dairy producers from five provinces in Ecuador, were on a visit organized by the U.S Grains Council and Minnesota Corn Growers Association to learn about DDGs and the possibility of using it for their respective operations. The delegation was also given an extensive briefing on ethanol production at CVEC as well as the ethanol industry in Minnesota.

“The DDGs we produce are generally used in Minnesota or shipped out to the west coast to be fed there. A small portion is exported overseas,” said Friese.

In 2016, Minnesota’s ethanol industry produced 3.5 million tons of DDGs, which was sufficient to meet the annual feed requirements of over 2.5 million beef and dairy cattle or the entire inventory of cattle and calves in Minnesota.

AgWired Animal, Distillers Grains, Ethanol, Ethanol News, livestock feed

Trade, Farm Bill & Taxes…Oh My!

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Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst represented the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) at last week’s NAFB Trade Talk. As you can guess, trade, 2018 farm bill and tax reform we key issues we discussed.

When it comes to NAFTA renegotiations, Hurst said, “U.S. agriculture can see some benefits from this renegotiation. We can see changes to phytosanitary rules. We can see improvements in dairy trade with our Canadian neighbors. So, there is hope.”

Last week we had confirmation that we will not see a vote on the 2018 farm bill this year. No surprise there. State Farm Bureau’s are working on their own resolutions which will be presented at the AFBF Convention in January. Hurst said three key issues he believes will be priorities are county to county differences in ARC payments, dairy and cotton programs.

We wrapped up our chat talking taxes. Listen to my complete interview to hear that and more on infrastructure and the need for wide-spread rural broadband. Interview with Blake Hurst, Missouri Farm Bureau

2017 NAFB Convention Photos

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AFBF, Ag group, AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, farm bill, Farm Bureau, Government, NAFB, Trade

Biodiesel Documentary Premieres

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NBB’s Jessica Robinson (second from right) poses with Hot Grease film team

Grease is the word of the day for the National Biodiesel Board, with tonight’s on-air debut of the new Discovery Impact documentary “HOT GREASE”.

NBB Director of Communications Jessica Robinson says HOT GREASE showcases what the biodiesel industry is about and the challenges it faces. “At the end of the film I felt like the audience was really rooting for biodiesel,” said Robinson, who was interviewed for the documentary and attended the premiere at the DOC NYC festival earlier this week. “The documentary crew did a great job of telling the story of an entrepreneur spirit and a blue collar workforce that joined forces to put this industry together.” Interview with Jessica Robinson, NBB

The Discovery Impact documentary HOT GREASE debuts tonight, November 16 at 9pm ET/PT on Discovery and will be available on Discovery Go and Discovery On Demand on tomorrow. In addition, the producers of the documentary will be at the 2018 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in January to discuss how the story came to be and how their impressions of the biodiesel industry evolved as they invested nearly 18 months in making the film.

Audio, Biodiesel, NBB