New Iowa E15 Station Having $1.99/Gallon Event

kum-and-go1Not only does it burn green, but this coming Monday at Iowa’s newest E15 station, the higher blend of ethanol will save you some green. The Kum & Go in Windsor Heights near Des Moines will sell E15 for $1.99 per gallon from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Monday, May 11. This news release from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) says the promotion also coincides with Kum & Go’s announcement last week that the company plans to add E15 to an additional 65 locations in Iowa and six other states over the next two years.

“We have a strong tradition in our company to implement sustainability within our business and at our locations. From our 100 LEED-certified stores, to our selection of alternative fuels, E15 was a natural addition to our fuel offering,” stated Kum & Go Vice President of Fuels Jim Pirolli. “Having E15 in our portfolio allows Kum & Go to offer our customers a quality product at a great value.”

“Motorists have been clamoring for wider availability of E15, and we applaud Kum & Go for providing Iowans with yet another low-cost, cleaner-burning fueling option,” stated IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “E15 is the most extensively tested fuel in history, is safe for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles, and will be priced at a great money-saving discount through this special promotion. That’s a win-win-win for Iowa’s motorists.”

“The American farmer is a backbone of the renewable fuels industry. Thanks to partners like Kum & Go, Iowans can fill up with more American-grown fuels like E15 and E85 that are better for our environment, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and create new Iowa jobs,” stated Iowa Corn Promotion Board Director of Marketing and Communications Shannon Textor. “E15 is five percent more Iowa-grown fuel that supports Iowa’s farmers.”

The Kum & Go Windsor Heights store is located at 7229 University Avenue.

Brazil Ethanol Group Moves Summit Dates

unica1A group representing sugarcane ethanol producers in Brazil is rescheduling its biennial meeting. The Union of Sugar Cane Industry Association (UNICA) has moved its Ethanol Summit 2015 to July 6-7, 2015 at the Golden Hall of World Trade Center to accomodate Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who will be in Washington, D.C., on the original dates at the end of June.

The meeting brings together businessmen from various levels of government authorities, researchers, investors, suppliers and academics in Brazil and abroad.They are expected about 1,500 participants to follow nearly a hundred lectures, presentations, discussions and debates that will take place in large plenary sessions, thematic panels and opening and closing ceremonies as well as parallel events.

“This is a significant year for the sugarcane industry. Key decisions and very important measures that can contribute to a better future of agribusiness, are underway, both in Brazil and on the world stage, increasing the importance of the Summit as the main forum for discussions on the most relevant topics for the energies and products renewable coming from sugarcane “said the president of UNICA, Elizabeth Farina.

Registration for the event opens in the coming days.

EIA: Ethanol Production, Stocks Down

Weekly ethanol production numbers, as well as stocks are down. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports ethanol production averaged 921,000 barrels per day (b/d), about 38.68 million gallons daily. That is down 9,000 b/d from the week before. The four-week average for ethanol production stood at 928,000 b/d for an annualized rate of 14.23 billion gallons. Stocks of ethanol were down 2.6 percent from a week earlier at 20.8 million barrels.

The Renewable Fuels Association added that ethanol production is accounting for a good amount of corn usage in the country.

Ethanol producers were using 13.965 million bushels of corn to produce ethanol and 102,786 metric tons of livestock feed, 91,635 metric tons of which were distillers grains. The rest is comprised of corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal. Additionally, ethanol producers were providing 5.42 million pounds of corn distillers oil daily.

Canadian Canola Growers Want More Biodiesel

ward-tomaCanola growers in Canada want politicians to prove they are truly dedicated to addressing climate change – by voting for biodiesel. This article from the Alberta Farmer Express says Ward Toma, the general manager of Alberta Canola Producers Commission, wants them to start by hiking Alberta’s biodiesel mandate.

“In their election platforms, almost all political parties talk about climate change and greenhouse gas reduction,” said Ward Toma. “Biodiesel is a low-carbon fuel, compared with some of the other ones, so it does help with greenhouse gas and carbon emissions.”

And Toma is quite specific about what government should do: Hike the percentage of biodiesel blended with regular diesel to five per cent (up from the current two per cent) by 2020; set tougher greenhouse gas reduction and biomass production targets; and extend the bioenergy producer credit program (set to expire in March 2016).

Those changes would be a win-win for both the province and growers, he said.

“One of the things biodiesels can do is create another demand stream for the crop sector, but we can also help with greenhouse gas target reductions and have a sustainable biomass,” said Toma.

Toma says that they’ll have to see where the politicians truly stand on biodiesel… after the elections are over.

Study Shows Ethanol’s Positive Economic Impact

neethanolboardA new study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows Nebraska’s ethanol production capacity growth over the last 20 years is tenfold. This news release from the Nebraska Ethanol Board says the “Economic Impacts of the Ethanol Industry in Nebraska” also reveals ethanol in the state is producing 2,077 million gallons per year with 1,301 full-time employees at 24 facilities, and with the green fuel and dried distillers grain with solubles (DDGS) from the ethanol production, it is putting $4 billion to more than $6.6 billion into the economy.

“The quantifiable economic impact of ethanol production on the Nebraska economy is clear,” said Paul Kenney, chairman of the Nebraska Ethanol Board. “But we should also understand the enormous savings in health and environmental costs associated with displacing toxic petroleum products with cleaner burning biofuels like ethanol. Choosing ethanol fuels brings additional cost savings in terms of our health.”

Nebraska’s large ethanol production results in 96 percent (1.805 billion gallons) being shipped out of state and makes Nebraska one of the largest exporters of bioenergy. In addition, 58 percent of DDGS produced in 2014 were shipped out of state. These out-of-state shipments result in a net positive for the state and represent a direct economic impact by bringing new money into the state economy.

The study noted that Nebraska’s ethanol industry could be affected by emerging trends and at least four are worth watching – the recovery of carbon dioxide (CO2), the extraction of corn oil, and world export markets for both ethanol and DDGS.

Many of these upcoming trends will be discussed later this week during the annual Ethanol 2015: Emerging Issues Forum in Omaha April 16-17.

Va Tech Scientists Turning Corn Husks into Hydrogen

vatechzhang1Scientists at Virginia Tech have found a way to get hydrogen from corn husks. This article from Yahoo says the husks and stalks are not only a plentiful feedstock for the potential car fuel, but they’re cheap, too.

“We have demonstrated the most important step toward a hydrogen economy — producing distributed and affordable green hydrogen from local biomass resources,” said study co-author Percival Zhang, a professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech.

The study was led by Joe Rollin, a former doctoral student of Zhang’s at Virginia Tech. Together they co-founded a start-up company called Cell-free Bioinnovations.

The process builds on previous research using xylose, “the most abundant simple plant pentose sugar, to produce hydrogen yields that previously were attainable only in theory,” said the PNAS report.

Other hydrogen fuel production methods rely on highly processed sugars, but the Virginia Tech team used corn husks and stalks, which are known as dirty biomass, to cut costs and make the fuel easier to produce locally.

The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Farm Bureau Offers Ag-Based Energy Info Online

american-farm-bureau-logoThe American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is offering free, online educational materials on ag-based energy to middle- and high-school educators and volunteers. This news release from the group says the curriculum shows the unique connections between agricultural literacy and alternative energy and align with the Next Generation Science Standards.

The middle-school unit introduces students to energy generation, energy input in food production and distribution, and careers in energy while providing students an opportunity to evaluate a fictional agricultural operation’s energy use. Students use the process of making applesauce throughout the unit to contextualize learning.

The high-school unit introduces energy flow and challenges students to identify energy inputs for agricultural products. Students evaluate renewable energy sources, conduct a biodiesel lab and research farms using renewable energy.

The middle-school unit and eLearning experience are special projects of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, made possible by the generous support of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. The high-school unit was funded by the Agriculture Department’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to foster an appreciation for agriculture, reinforce STEM skills and abilities and create an awareness of agriculture-related careers.

More information is available here.

Thank a Farmer Today

Today is National Agriculture Day. People around America are taking time today to learn something about ag, and many are also taking an opportunity to thank the farmers who produce our food, feed and fuel.

National Ag Day“American farmers are to be admired. They are stewards of the land who ensure sustainability for future generations. They are innovative, dedicated and produce an abundance of food and fuel for our nation and the world. Efficient and hardworking, American farmers are the backbone of our nation. They help to bolster rural economies while growing our nation’s economy, providing economic security for all. It takes a lot to get food from the farm to the table and we all have America’s farmers and ranchers to thank for it,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

“Additionally, American agriculture is at the forefront of biofuel development. Farmers are helping produce homegrown, sustainable biofuels that are reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, creating jobs that cannot be outsourced and improving our environment, all while providing consumers with a choice and savings at the pump.

“American consumers pay less per capita than any other country for food. Our grocery stores are well stocked and American agriculture is the envy of the world. Agriculture creates economic security for our rural communities and has allowed hardworking Americans to secure a place in the middle class. As we celebrate National Ag Day, Americans nationwide should be proud to acknowledge the many contributions agriculture has made to society and the leading role farming communities will continue to play in our country’s economy,” Buis concluded.

Syngenta Ups Ethanol Output, Growers’ Profits

syngenta1Agribusiness company Syngenta is working with ethanol producers to have a variety of corn that produces more ethanol at the refinery and makes more profit for the feedstock growers. The company says that growers of its Enogen variety of corn, specifically engineered to increase ethanol production, will receive some more incentives to grow the grain.

According to Chris Tingle, head of Enogen and Water Solutions for Syngenta, ethanol plants are increasingly seeking not just clean, dry corn with little or no damage or foreign material, but also grain with quality characteristics that can help maximize ethanol production.

“A growing demand for high-quality feedstock is creating opportunities for growers to increase their income per acre,” Tingle said. “By supplying the quality grain that ethanol plants want all year long, growers can maximize profitability, while helping to support the ethanol industry.”

Syngenta designed the Ethanol Grain Quality Solution specifically for growers who plant Enogen®, Golden Harvest® and NK® Corn hybrids. Its goals are to raise yields and drive grain quality through effective insect control, early-season weed management, glyphosate weed-resistance management, and Crop Enhancement (the Syngenta global business focused on minimizing the effects of nonliving factors, such as heat, wind and rain, on plants). The Ethanol Grain Quality Solution provides the ethanol plant and its growers more high-quality grain, while improving return on investment.

“Growers with an Enogen contract can receive an additional 10 cents per bushel premium above the current Enogen contract premium by following agronomic protocols outlined in the Ethanol Grain Quality Solution,” Tingle said. “Plus, growers who have purchased Golden Harvest or NK Corn can receive 10 cents more per bushel for any additional bushels of corn produced under the Ethanol Grain Quality Solution protocol, provided those bushels are delivered to the ethanol plant.”

Ethanol producers say Syngenta’s Ethanol Grain Quality Solution is providing a better ethanol feedstock for their plants, and since the farmers get the premium for growing Enogen, they are also able to achieve higher yields because they can afford some of the inputs that maximize production.

USDA Gives Biomass Energy Development $8.7 Mil Boost

usda-logoUp to $8.7 million in federal funding is being made available for next-generation bioenergy development in biomass. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is funding the bioenergy research and education efforts and will be publishing the final rule for a program that provides incentives for farmers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy.

“USDA’s support for innovative bioenergy research and education supports rural economic development, reduces carbon pollution and helps decrease our dependence on foreign energy,” said [Agriculture Secretary Tom] Vilsack. “These investments will keep America moving toward a clean energy economy and offer new jobs and opportunities in rural communities.”

USDA will publish the final rule on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) in tomorrow’s Federal Register. BCAP provides up to $25 million each year in financial assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and non-industrial private forest land who wish to establish, produce, and deliver biomass feedstocks to a qualifying energy facility. The rule includes modifications to cost sharing, eligible types of biomass and other definitions. Stakeholders are encouraged to visit to review program details and provide comments during a 60-day public comment period. Comments are due by April 28, 2015. The full program will resume in 90 days on May 28, 2015. Additional information on application dates will be announced this spring. For more information on the program, visit the web at

USDA is also looking for applications for research and education grants through the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI), a joint program through NIFA and the U.S. Energy Department (DOE) to develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass, increase the availability of renewable fuels and biobased products to help replace the need for gasoline and diesel in vehicles, and diversify our energy portfolio.