New Holland Loans Tractors to BioCentury Farm

fps-cnh-jj-54-editedThis morning during the Farm Progress Show, New Holland hosted a tour of the Iowa State BioCentury Research Farm. New Holland got involved with the project when they saw a need for the use of some of their equipment and loaned them two tractors, which provided new options for their biomass research projects.

The BioCentury Research Farm combines biomass feedstock production, harvesting, storing, transporting and biorefinery processing into a complete system to develop the next generation of biofuels and biobased products. A New Holland large square baler also was provided for a corn stover research project conducted by Matt Darr, an associate professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering.

“Providing the use of this equipment to the Iowa State BioCentury Research Farm helps us strengthen the relationship between New Holland and Iowa State,” says Ron Shaffer, New Holland’s North American Director of Growth Initiatives, Institutional & Specialty Sales. “The participation furthers New Holland’s commitment to the biomass industry and our position as the Clean Energy Leader.”

fps-cnh-jj-24-editedThe New Holland Agriculture loan arose from a tour Andy Suby, manager of the research farm, gave to company officials last year.
“We appreciate the equipment and research funding provided by New Holland Agriculture,” Johnson said. “The BioCentury Research Farm was intended to be a partnership with private companies.”

New Holland Agriculture provides the use of a model T8.330 and a T5.115 tractor with a loader to be used in research and education projects conducted at the facility. The tractors will be replaced with similar models when they reach 200 hours of operation.

The company provided the baler and funding to evaluate its use in baling corn stover for supplying to cellulosic ethanol plants. This “Leading the Bioeconomy Initiative” project was supported by an appropriation from the Iowa legislature. Suby said the possibility for funding more projects with gifts or loans of other equipment has been discussed.

2014 Farm Progress photo album.

Ethanol NASCAR Driver at Farm Progress Show

While at the 2013 Farm Progress Show, NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace stopped by to talk about ethanol and why he’s so passionate about helping farmer’s get their message out about E-15 and using it, not only in race cars, but in cars traveling up and down the highway as well.

Wallace loves to help spread the message about how ethanol blends can help increase the performance of all types of vehicles, because he knows how E15 performs in the race cars he drives on the NASCAR circuit.  He teamed up with the Illinois Corn Growers Association as a sponsor several years ago and never gets tired of talking about the home-grown fuel.

“I get to educate people that ethanol is a high performance fuel, it burns really clean and all it did was do good.”

You can listen to Leah’s interview with Kenny here Interview with Kenny Wallace

Kenny is pictured here at Farm Progress Show with Leah Guffey to his right, Tricia Braid with Illinois Corn Growers Association to his left, Jeff Nalley with Cromwell Ag Radio, Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen and Domestic Fuel editor Cindy Zimmerman.

STAR Energy Keeping Fuel Tanks Cleaner

A dirty tank can make even the best of fuel less than optimum, which is why GROWMARK STAR energy was demonstrating a high efficiency fuel tank cleaning process at the 2012 Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.

Curt Snyder with STAR Energy demonstrated the cleaner, which can run in any size tank from 500-1000 gallons. “It has a pressurized nozzle that sprays throughout the tank, scours it inside. Meanwhile, in the back, it’s sucking up the fuel and running it through our filtering system to take out all the impurities,” he explained. “We’re able to get down to even the smallest pieces of sand.”

Snyder says it’s good to go into harvest season with a clean tank. “It’s very important that we don’t get any grit from an old tank into your fuel system,” he said, noting that growers at the Farm Progress Show showed a lot of interest in the tank cleaning process that many did not even know existed. He said that more information is available from STAR Energy in Iowa or any FS fuel delivery service.

Watch Curt demo the tank cleaner in this video:

STAR Energy Powers Farm Progress Show

The star of the recent Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa was the fuel that kept all the engines running – and that was supplied by STAR Energy, a retail division of GROWMARK that covers northwest Iowa.

“What’s unique with us is we’re an all energy company,” STAR Energy representative Jason Stauffer said. “We solely stay focused on the energy products of propane, diesel fuel, lubricants and the retail service stations.”

Acquired by GROWMARK in 2007, STAR Energy offers a complete line of refined and renewable fuels, lubricants, additives and propane to residential, commercial and industrial consumers and operates more than 20 retail fuel locations.

STAR Energy is also the official fuel supplier for the Farm Progress Show in Iowa, which Stauffer says is a big job. “There’s a lot of work that goes into it,” he said. “There’s a lot of generation units, the shuttles that run people up and down the roads and the field demonstrations where we’re running our flagship GROWMARK product, Dieselex Gold.

It was the first time for the Farm Progress Show to get the new Dieselex Gold reformulation just introduced in February. “These guys put a lot of time, effort, money and resources into these shows. The last thing they want is to go out there and do field demonstrations in front of thousands of people and have the equipment not perform to the standards they want,” said Stauffer. “We know the Dieselex Gold package is the best fuel to power and protect that diesel engine.”

Listen to an interview with Jason here: Jason Stauffer interview

Iowa Teacher Gets Ethanol Rocks Boost

The National Corn Growers Association gave an Iowa teacher a bit of a lift in its Ethanol Rocks video contest, an effort to highlight corn ethanol in this country. Mediapolis High School ag instructor and FFA Advisor Alaina Holdgrafer picked up an NCGA backpack filled with goodies, including a Sony HandyCam and a lot of information about ethanol at the recent Farm Progress Show.

“Promoting the Ethanol Rocks video contest at Farm Progress was a great way for NCGA to interest high school and college students in taking part in supporting America’s leading source of domestic renewable fuel,” said Chad Willis, chairman of NCGA’s Ethanol Committee. “The drawing for the video camera, literature on the benefits of ethanol, along with presentations by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, turned Iowa Corn’s booth into the one-stop-shop for information on corn grower contributions to our economy.”

Ms. Holdgrafer was delighted to learn of her windfall. Now that the tools to do so are available, she said she is confident that her students will want to take part in the contest.

The students… and of course, you too… have until 5 p.m. CDT, Monday, October 15 to get in entries for the contest. NCGA wants short videos (2 minutes or less) from active high school and college students that highlight the benefits of ethanol fuel blends to the U.S. environment and economy. First prize receives $1,500 and $500 for second place at each at of the two levels, high school and college. More information is available on the Ethanol Rocks Video Contest website.

Getting to Know POET’s New CEO

During the Farm Progress Show, Cindy Zimmerman had the opportunity to sit down with new POET Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jeff Lautt. Although he has been with the company for nearly eight years, he took the helm as president two years ago and several months ago was tapped as CEO.

Lautt has taken over in a tough year for the ethanol industry as it deals with a major drought that has affected the U.S. corn crop. The main feedstock for all POET ethanol plants is corn. Lautt said the plants are doing well but they are feeling the same pains as other ethanol producers. However, he said, the bigger problem for them is not the high corn prices but access to the market. The industry is currently capped at 10 percent of the fuel market and they are working hard to get equal access in the marketplace. A first step toward this is E15 and the first two stations selling E15 in the country are located in Kansas.

Similar to others in the ethanol industry, Lautt said his company is not in favor of a waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). He said that the legislation is working, the market is working, and knew-jerk decisions shouldn’t be made during a drought. Lautt noted that the RFS includes advanced biofuels, biodiesel and cellulosic fuels and implementing a waiver would not just hurt corn-based ethanol but all biofuels. He added that the industry doesn’t need a government solution.

Lautt also gave an update on Project Liberty, the company’s project to commercialize cellulosic ethanol using corn stover. One of the things they are learning right now is how to harvest the stover as well as store the stover, which may vary based on the environmental state of stover (i.e. wet, dry, etc.).

Listen to Cindy’s interview with Jeff Lautt where he also discusses some new technologies in the pipeline: Getting to Know POET's new CEO

2012 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Tell Governors No to RFS Waiver

As the political frenzy heats up leading into the Democratic and Republican Conventions, the ethanol industry’s campaign to stop a waiver to the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is heating up as well. This week, several ethanol organizations have sent out letters to key legislatures including governors explaining why there is no need for a waiver. The governors who are advocating for a waiver include Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, and New Mexico.

The letter from Growth Energy supports statements made by others in the industry including an explanation of the inherent flexibility built into the RFS and how obligated parties can easily meet the volume requirements this year. The letter also debunks the fallacy of the total corn crop that is actually used in ethanol production. In addition, the letter explains that waiving the RFS would not have any significant impact on corn prices; rather, commodity prices are affected by speculation and Mother Nature.

Growth Energy
CEO Tom Buis dropped by the Farm Progress Show Tuesday just before heading to Tampa for the Republican convention and Cindy Zimmerman was able to speak with him in more detail about why a waiver for the RFS would not help, but hurt farmers, the ethanol industry and most important consumers.

You can listen to the full interview with Tom Buis here: Tell Governors No to RFS Waiver

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen said in his organization’s letter, “The rash of governors rushing to appease the pleas of the livestock and food processing industries are ignoring the damage a waiver would do to consumers at the pump. Removing ethanol from our fuel mix would drive oil and gasoline prices higher, adding pain at the pump and increased cost at the checkout counter due to higher energy costs for farmers, food processors, and food transporters. These increases in gas prices would far outpace any negligible relief to food prices from a waiver. The alleged economic harm cited by these governors does not rise to the kind of economic harm EPA determined necessary to waive the RFS. The facts cited in support of their case also fail to pass muster.”

“Ethanol Rocks” Farm Progress Show

The annual Farm Progress Show is heading back to Iowa this week and Boone, Iowa will be swarming with thousands of attendees checking out the latest and greatest in agricultural and energy technologies and products. One group who will be showcasing its work is the Iowa Corn Growers Association (ICGA), a state affiliate of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA). Organizational employees will be educating members about what they are doing to help Iowa corn growers just inside the gate at booth 26N.

ICGA will also be promoting the “Ethanol Rocks” video contest open to high school and college students. Those students who attend the Farm Progress Show along with their coordinators can enter to win a Sony Handycam and NCGA backpack filled with just the right loot to get them started on their film career.

“With school starting, NCGA is taking this opportunity to reach out to high school and college students, along with FFA and Ag Club coordinators to sign up for our “Ethanol Rocks” video contest,” said NCGA First Vice President Pam Johnson. “In addition to finding out more about this program, show attendees can stop by the Iowa Corn Growers Association booth, visit with corn growers and learn what NCGA and Iowa Corn are doing to promote our industry at the national and state levels.”

The short videos should be two minutes or less and should highlight the benefits of ethanol fuel blends to the U.S. environment and economy. The first place winner will pocket $1,500 and the second place winner to take home $500. There will be winner for two categories: high school and college students. Videos must be received by 5:00 pm CDT, Monday, October 15, 2012.

In addition to getting the low-down on 411 for the Ethanol Rocks video contest, Farm Progress attendees can also stop by the ICGA booth to sign a petition to keep the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in place. There is also an opportunity to win free registration to the 2013 Commodity Classic and visitors can walk away with educational materials on programs, topics and policies affecting the corn industry.

Each day during the show, at 2:00 pm, ICGA will host membership VIP educational sessions where speakers from the Iowa Corn Collegiate Advisory Team, CommonGround along with industry spokespersons will discuss how to involve the next generation in agriculture, discuss the economics of corn stover and learn about feed feasibility trials using corn stover.

The ZimmComm team will be posting live this week from the Farm Progress Show so don’t miss out on the one-of-a-kind coverage only Chuck and Cindy can bring.

NASCAR Popular at Farm Progress Show

farm progress show 2011There were quite a few race cars mixed in with the tractors and combines this year at the 2011 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois.

In addition Richard Childress and the American Ethanol NASCAR Sprint Series car at the Growth Energy exhibit, over at the Illinois Corn Growers exhibit, the Illinois Family Farmers NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Kenny Wallace was signing autographs and doing interviews.

Wallace said he was “blown away” by the Farm Progress Show. “This is like our Daytona 500! I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said in an interview with Domestic Fuel’s Chuck Zimmerman. The Farm Progress Show is the biggest outdoor agricultural equipment show in the country, which rotates between permanent sites in Illinois and Iowa and boasts over 500 exhibitors.

Listen to Kenny Wallace interview from Farm Progress Show here. NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace

The next big races for Wallace and all of NASCAR are coming up Chicagoland on September 16-18. Speedway president Scott Paddock, who was also visiting Farm Progress Show last week, says that triple header NASCAR weekend is a the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – the first of ten ‘playoff’ style NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in pursuit of the 2011 championship. “NASCAR was looking for a major media market and a big platform to kick off their playoffs and they chose Chicagoland and we’re honored to have that designation,” he said, noting that the corn growers will have a very visible presence at the races.

Paddock says the partnership between NASCAR, ethanol and the corn growers was a good move. “I think it’s a compliment to the (15%) ethanol fuel blend that NASCAR believes in it enough to want to put it in their race cars.”

Listen to interview with Scott Paddock here. Chicagoland Raceway president Scott Paddock

The Fast Five 225 truck series will kick off the weekend on Friday, September 16. The Dollar General 300 Nationwide series, Kenny’s race, will be Saturday, Sept. 17 and the three day weekend will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 18 with the GEICO 400 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

2011 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

American Ethanol Partners at Farm Progress Show

farm progress show 2011The partnership between American Ethanol and NASCAR was on display at the 2011 Farm Progress Show, where racing fans got a chance to meet with former driver and current team owner Richard Childress.

Pictured here with Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis, Childress said his team’s partnership with American Ethanol and the NASCAR series using a 15% ethanol blend this year is good for the country. “I’m a huge supporter of everything we do in America, from our farmers to our military,” he said. “This country has to quit depending on so much foreign energy and resources. We gotta do better.”

Childress says that NASCAR has had no problems making the transition to 15% ethanol fuel and next year they will go to fuel injection. “The fuel injection and the American Ethanol is really going to work out great,” he added.

Listen to or download interview with Richard Childress here: Richard Childress at Farm Progress Show

Buis says the partnership with the National Corn Growers Association to spotlight ethanol at NASCAR has been reaching a great audience. “We get a great reaction from the fans and people who watch it at home on television,” he said. “We couldn’t be happier. I think we’re getting our message out there.”

Listen to or download interview with Tom Buis here: Tom Buis at Farm Progress Show

farm progress show 2011Pam Johnson, an Iowa farmer who will become first vice president of National Corn Growers Association next month, says the partnership with NASCAR is exciting. “With NASCAR we’re reaching people outside the Midwest, all over the country from Richmond out to California,” Pam said at Farm Progress Show. “So we are getting the message out to a whole new group of people who need to hear the story told and we think NASCAR’s a great vehicle for that.”

Johnson added that the Illinois Corn Growers were also highlighting their partnership with NASCAR and driver Kenny Wallace. “When you get a driver out there talking about the speed and the extra power they get driving and then bringing it back to the consumer,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll all have access to E15 as those NASCAR drivers are putting in their vehicles.”

Listen to or download interview with Pam Johnson here: Pam Johnson with NCGA at Farm Progress Show

2011 Farm Progress Show Photo Album