Ethanol Education for Motorcyclists

sturgis-15-robertAn expanded schedule for free fuel happy hours at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip this year is giving the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) even more opportunity to educate motorcyclists about ethanol.

“We here on two different levels,” said RFA VP of Industry Relations Robert White. “The first is to make sure everyone knows they shouldn’t use more than 10 percent ethanol in their bikes.”

“On the next level, all of these people have engines at home – car, truck, SUV, lawn mower, chainsaw, weed eater, whatever – we want them to know that should be either 10 percent in their smaller engines, E15 in newer vehicles or E85 in flex-fuel vehicles,” said White. “Match the engine with the right fuel.”

sturgis-15-harleyWhile all motorcycles can use E10, White has a custom motorcycle of his own that can actually use higher blends. “My particular motorcycle is a 2009 Road King Classic Harley Davidson,” he said. “All I did was change the computer to allow a wider fuel ratio band so I can use anything from E0 to E85 intermittently, and the bike has run seamless.”

The reason White made the modification on his own bike was in part to show motorcycle manufacturers it could be done. “If they did this at the factory it would cost 100 bucks, just like a flex fuel vehicle,” said White. Additionally, it was to show that motorcycle engines are capable of running on higher blends. “I’ve run 85 percent ethanol on it for over 10,000 miles multiple years now,” he said. “These motorcycles are a lot stronger than people give them credit for.”

No matter what, White says all major motorcycle manufacturers warranty the use of 10 percent ethanol and that is the main message during the free fuel happy hours at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip Campground from 1-4 pm through Thursday this week.

Listen to White explain more in this interview: Interview with Robert White, RFA

2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with RFA at the Buffalo Chip Photos

Free 10 Percent Ethanol at Sturgis Buffalo Chip

sturgis-15-woodyThe Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has been providing free E10 fuel fill-ups for bikers at the Buffalo Chip Campground during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for the past four years, and every year Chip owner Rod “Woody” Woodruff is first in line.

“RFA has been here for a long time getting the word out about ethanol, that it is safe, because there’s all that false information going out there,” said Woodruff. “But, what’s important, when they’re at the Buffalo Chip, they’re extending the hand of friendship in good faith to anybody that wants to accept it and it’s very well received here.” Woodruff has been a strong supporter of ethanol since 1999 when he bought the motorcycle he rides all the time and he says he has never used anything but E10 in it.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota and the 34th anniversary of the Buffalo Chip Campground, the place where a big percentage of bikers call home during the rally. Woodruff says they made lots of improvements to the facility in anticipation of increased traffic this year. Early estimates were for a million plus visitors to the rally, which is called “one of” the biggest in the country – but probably really is the biggest.

In addition, earlier this year Buffalo Chip became South Dakota’s newest town. “The idea of the town was to be a town for bikers, by bikers, just to have as little regulation and government intervention as possible,” said Woodruff.

RFA will be providing free 93 octane premium E10 fuel from 1-4 pm through Thursday at the Buffalo Chip.

Listen to my interview with Woody here: Interview with Woody Woodruff, Buffalo Chip Campground

You can also watch Woody in action in this video:


2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with RFA at the Buffalo Chip Photos

#Biodiesel Supports #AgMedia

ams15-nbbThe National Biodiesel Board (NBB) was proud to once again be a part of the Ag Media Summit last week and share their positive message about the biodiesel industry.

“AMS is really a great gathering of a wide variety of publications across the ag industry,” said Jessica Robinson of NBB. “It’s a good opportunity to talk with people and let them know that biodiesel is growing and as we grow we’re playing a larger role in these spaces.”

NBB exhibited in the InfoExpo and also sponsored some of the professional improvement workshops at the event. They had a special focus this year on the livestock industry and how biodiesel is helping to make producers more profitable. “We know people are always looking for new and interesting stories and this is definitely a good one and one we’re happy to share,” said Jessica.

Interview with Jessica Robinson, National Biodiesel Board

2015 Ag Media Summit Photo Album

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis to Assume New Role

growth-energy-logo1Growth Energy has announced today that CEO Tom Buis has been named as co-chairman of the organization’s Board of Directors, joining POET Founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Broin in that role.

In his new role Buis will remain actively involved in member activities and policy matters important to the industry. Buis will continue overseeing the day-to-day operations of the organization until a new CEO has been appointed.

buis“I love this job and I love advocating for an industry that means so much for America,” Buis said. “As co-chair, I will remain engaged in growing membership and advocating for policies that benefit American farmers and consumers, but I’m also at a point in life where I’m ready to assume more of a guiding role as a leader on the board. I am proud of the accomplishments we have had at Growth Energy, as it has grown from a startup to the largest trade association representing the ethanol industry in America.”

Growth Energy has retained Korn/Ferry International, the world’s largest executive search firm, to lead a nationwide search for its next CEO.

New Holland Partners with SUNY on Biomass Project

sunyNew Holland Agriculture is partnering with the State University of New York (SUNY) on a U.S. Department of Energy funded research project to develop ways to reduce the cost of delivering biomass for refinement.

New Holland Agriculture will provide SUNY with an FR9080 self-propelled forage harvester with 130FB coppice header for use in the project. The forage harvester and header are used to harvest willow and other short rotation woody crops for biomass applications. The equipment was presented last week at the SUNY ESF Research Station to Dr. Timothy Volk, Senior Research Associate with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and his research team.

new-holland-forage“As a company committed to biomass and Clean Energy, New Holland is excited for the opportunity to continue our ten year relationship with Dr. Volk and the SUNY research team,” said Doug Otto, New Holland North America’s Forage Harvester Business Manager. “SUNY’s research played an integral role in our ability to develop the 130FB coppice header, so we are pleased that they will be able to use the header to further their biomass research efforts.”

The relationship between New Holland and SUNY dates back to 2004, when a team of company engineers and product development specialists, headed by John Posselius, Director of Innovations for CNH Industrial, set out to assist Dr. Volk with a research project to optimize the logistics of transporting biomass material. After unsuccessful attempts at modifying existing headers failed to improve logistic efficiencies, Posselius pushed his team to create an original design to efficiently and effectively chop woody biomass such as fast growing willows. Following the research and development phase, Posselius and his team passed the project to a design team headquartered in Belgium to finalize the design of the new header.

Learn more about the project from New Holland.

Ethanol to Help Fuel 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

rfa-sturgis14-fuelThe Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) will once again partner with the Buffalo Chip Campground at the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which will be held Aug. 3-9 in Sturgis, South Dakota. More than 1.5 million motorcycle enthusiasts are expected to attend the event this year for the big anniversary and RFA Vice President for Industry Relations Robert White the event offers a perfect venue to dispel some of the misconceptions about the use of ethanol blended fuel in motorcycles.

“We do that around the “Free Fuel Happy Hours,” said White. “From Sunday August 2nd through Thursday August 6 from 1 to 4 pm, any motorcyclist can come up and fuel for free with 93 octane 10 percent ethanol.” This is the fourth year that RFA has sponsored the free fuel happy hours and White says it also offers them the opportunity to talk one on one with bikers and provide them with information about ethanol.

sturgis-guideIn addition, White says messages about ethanol can be found throughout the Buffalo Chip Campground during the rally. “We have everything from banners to commercials on the Jumbotron at the main stage and we sponsor the Essentials Guide that goes out to every camper this year,” said White.

The event sponsorship has become more important in the last 2-3 years as the oil industry has worked with the motorcycle association to spread misinformation about 15% ethanol, which is not approved for use in motorcycles – a fact which is stated clearly on all pumps that sell E15. But White says the information they provide goes beyond motorcycles. “If there is 1.6 million or more people there, they all own lawnmowers, cars, trucks, SUVs, boats back at home,” he added.

Listen to this edition of “The Ethanol Report” where White talks about what they will be doing in Sturgis to connect with those attending and help them come away with a better understanding of ethanol. Ethanol Report Preview of 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Propane Holds Forum for School Transportation

propane-busAt this year’s STN Expo in Reno, Nevada, the Propane Education & Research Council is providing school transportation professionals with the information they need to build the business case for clean, American propane autogas.

“Propane autogas continues to gain traction as the leading alternative fuel in the school bus industry,” said Michael Taylor, PERC director of autogas business development. “Reinforced by the availability of propane autogas options from four major manufacturers, we’re finding that an increasing number of transportation directors have questions about adopting the fuel.”

Currently, Blue Bird, Collins, IC Bus, and Thomas Built each offer propane-autogas-powered school bus options. “We’re exhibiting at STN Expo this year to help school bus fleets and private contractors understand why propane autogas has passed the test for districts around the country: it’s clean, safe, and provides a lower total cost of ownership compared with diesel,” said Taylor.

The Expo is being held this week through July 19 at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno. Expo attendees are invited to stop by the PERC booth to talk with propane industry experts, and get answers to their questions about the fuel. Show attendees will also be able to see propane autogas refueling dispensers and learn more about the growing number of propane-autogas-powered school bus options.

Comment Deadline for RFS Proposal is Monday

The deadline for submitting comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on the proposed Renewable Fuel Standards for 2014, 2015, and 2016 is Monday, July 27.

EPA administrator Gina McCarthy encouraged members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) meeting in Washington DC last week to make their voices heard during the comment period. “Keep talking, keep communicating, take advantage of the public comment process,” she said. “This was a proposal, this was not a final rule, so tell us what you think. That way we’ll be able to produce a final standard that is based on all of the best information and data available.” EPA administrator encourages comments

rfs-mess-2NCGA has made it a priority to get growers involved in commenting on the EPA proposal, sponsoring rallies at the EPA’s public hearing last month in Kansas City, Kansas and on Capitol Hill last week. NCGA president Chip Bowling says they are doing everything possible to help their farmers make their voices heard. “Anyone out there in the countryside can send their comments to EPA,” said Bowling, who notes that they can also send your comments to the EPA through the corn growers website ncga.com/rfs. “We don’t have a whole lot of time to get your comments in but we could really use them.” NCGA president urges farmers to comment

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen says everyone who has a stake in the ethanol industry should send in comments on the proposal. “EPA needs to be hearing from farmers, from consumers, from renewable energy advocates across the country,” said Dinneen. “We made a difference before when we got EPA to not finalize a flawed program. We need to make a difference again.” RFA CEO on EPA comment deadline

Comments can be submitted directly to the EPA by going to the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

Senate Committee Advances Tax Credits Extension

The Senate Finance Committee Tuesday approved a two-year extension of various tax credits that expired at the end of 2014, including those for biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, and wind energy.

The bill contains a two-year extension of the Second Generation Biofuel Producer Tax Credit, the Special Depreciation Allowance for Second Generation Biofuel Plant Property, and the Alternative Fuel Mixture Excise Tax Credit.

rfalogo1Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen commended the committee’s leadership for recognizing how important these tax credits are for the continued growth and innovation of the U.S. biofuels industry. “Stability in the marketplace is crucial to encouraging development in second-generation biofuels, like cellulosic ethanol,” said Dinneen. “By extending these incentives, the Committee has helped to provide that needed stability. We look forward to working with the Senate Finance Committee specifically and Congress generally on comprehensive tax reform.”

Dinneen says passage of the tax credit extensions, which will be retroactive, still has a long way to go. “Still needs to get through the floor of the Senate and be conferenced with a bill from the House side,” said Dinneen. “But it’s progress.”

Last year Congress passed retroactive tax credits for 2014 in December, two weeks before they expired again.

Listen to Dinneen’s comments here: RFA CEO Bob Dinneen comments on tax credits progress

Mycogen Supports Ethanol at Brickyard 400

mycogen-nascarMycogen Seeds and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) have unveiled a new paint scheme for the No. 3 Mycogen Seeds Chevrolet SS, which Austin Dillon will drive at the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 26.

“Mycogen Seeds is proud to partner with RCR to support the legacy of the No. 3 car,” says Damon Palmer, U.S. Seeds marketing director, Dow AgroSciences. “As one of America’s fastest-growing seed companies, we’re excited to be at the Brickyard 400 to cheer on one of the quickest-rising stars in NASCAR, Austin Dillon.”

Palmer says the company’s support of the No. 3 Mycogen Seeds Chevrolet SS goes deeper than its new red paint scheme. The car runs on 15 percent ethanol-blended fuel, which has powered every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car since 2011. In 2014, ethanol production used more than 5 billion bushels of American-grown corn.

NASCAR drivers have traveled more than 7 million miles on the track with ethanol-blended fuel since its adoption. Ethanol use increases race car horsepower and reduces emissions.

“Just as NASCAR is improving efficiency on the track, Mycogen Seeds is improving productivity in the field,” Palmer says. “We provide American farmers with high-performance grain corn hybrids. Ethanol, which helps fuel the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, is an important market for U.S. corn.”

The 2015 Brickyard 400 is set for Sunday, July 26, at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is scheduled to air live on NBC Sports.