DuPont Pioneer Economist Talks Ethanol

At last week’s American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA) Annual Meeting and AgroNomics conference in Indianapolis, the Economics Director for DuPont Pioneer gave an overview on the outlook for global agriculture and part of that discussion included a look at ethanol and what might happen if the Environmental Protection Agency decides to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“We’ll find out on November 14,” Steve Elmore told the conference. “What they EPA says in that waiver and what it is going forward is going to make a big difference on how the markets view it and everything else…that will be a big guiding factor in the markets and in acres for 2013.”

However, Elmore says the RFS “doesn’t matter as much as people think.” What matters more is the inclusion rates for ethanol in fuel. “We’re producing more than the 10% inclusion rate right now,” he said. “We need to worry about the inclusion rates and agriculture will have to work with the auto industry and Big Oil to make it happen.”

Elmore says Brazil is coming back on line with its sugar crop which will impact the export market for U.S. ethanol which has been up in recent years.

Listen to Elmore’s comments here: Ethanol Comments from Steve Elmore

Pioneer Studies Residue Removal for Cellulosic Ethanol

DuPont businesses Pioneer Hi-Bred and DuPont Industrial Biosciences are collaborating with Iowa State University in performing studies on residue to establish best practices in harvesting, storage and transportation, with an eye toward its use in cellulosic ethanol production in the near future.

Agronomic benefits of residue removal include preventing stand establishment concerns in the following crop and avoiding nitrogen tie-up to reduce additional applications. Good residue management practices are crucial to overcoming some of the challenges associated with reduced-tillage systems.

While these best management practices can help growers today, DuPont Industrial Biosciences is developing solutions for tomorrow that address the residue itself, planning to build one of the world’s first commercial cellulosic ethanol biorefineries in Nevada, Iowa, which will require thousands of tons of stover from Iowa fields.

“Currently, the most plentiful agricultural source of ligno-cellulosic biomass for ethanol production in the U.S. is corn stover,” says Steve Mirshak, business director for DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol program. “We’re currently working with an exclusive group of growers in a pilot program to collect stover in support of the biorefinery. When completed, the plant will be fueled almost exclusively by cornstalks.”

University research suggests that at a high yield level of 200 bushels per acre or more, growers can remove up to 40 percent of stover without negatively impacting soil organic matter. DuPont officials believe that cellulosic ethanol production could become a common form of residue management in the future while providing additional value to growers for their crops.

Pioneer DPP Goes Mobile

Pioneer was demonstrating the new mobile app for their Dynamic Pricing Platform during the just concluded 2011 International Fuel Ethanol Workshop. I spoke with Steve Crowe, Pioneer Business Manager, Biofuels about the new method of interacting with your DPP account. That’s his iPhone in the photo in front of the monitor showing the desktop version.

Steve says that smartphones have become so prevalent that they created both iPhone and Android versions of the app. You’ll need a DPP account to use the app but the app is free. He says producer feedback has been great. It allows ethanol plants a way to reach out directly to local farmers to purchase grain. No seed purchase is necessary btw. Steve Crowe Interview

2011 FEW Photo Album

Our coverage of the 2011 Fuel Ethanol Workshop is made possible by the Renewable Fuels Association.

IRL Moving To E85 In 2012

The CEO of the Indy Racing League is Randy Bernard, seen shaking hands with Iowa Corn Growers CEO, Craig Floss, during last weekend’s Iowa Corn Indy 250 activities. I spoke with Randy who says that the League has been working to create a lot more buzz and excitement this year. Judging by the sell out crowd for the Iowa race, things must be working.

I asked him to comment on the relationship with Pioneer and the Iowa Corn Growers. He said, “The fact that we’ve got a great title sponsor here with Iowa Corn Growers and that we run ethanol . . . this is the type of sponsor that we love to be working with because ethanol is a very important part of our business and next year we’re going to E85 to show pump relevancy.”

You can listen to my interview with Randy here: Randy Bernard Interview

2011 Iowa Corn Indy 250 Photo Album

Pioneer Presenting Iowa Corn Indy 250

Here’s what the hood of the Iowa Corn Indy 250 official pace car looks like. It’s proudly displaying the Pioneer logo as the presenting sponsor.

Todd says the relationship with the Iowa Corn Growers in sponsoring the Iowa Corn Indy 250 has been very beneficial. As he puts it, “It’s a great event for the state of Iowa. It’s great for agriculture.” All of the cars racing this evening will be running on 100% corn ethanol showing how well the fuel performs in an engine. Pioneer brings in a lot of their customers for the event. In fact, I’ve heard that there will be approximately 2,500 farmers at the race track today. I’ll be out on location this afternoon in advance of tonight’s race. Let’s hope the weather improves. Todd Frazier Interview

2011 Iowa Corn Indy 250 Photo Album

DF Cast: Flying at 200 MPH on Ethanol

Indy cars recently tore up the track running on clean-burning ethanol, right next to the Iowa corn fields where the feedstock for the green fuel is grown.

In this edition of the Domestic Fuel Cast, we bring you some of the sounds and interviews from the Iowa Corn Indy 250 presented by Pioneer, and the Iowa Corn Growers Association. Our own Chuck Zimmerman had the chance to talk to Ron McQueeny, director of photography for the Indy Racing League and a nearly 40-year veteran photographer of the sport, who says the clean, green fuel has made a world of difference in clearing the haze that used to accompany the start of each race. In addition, we catch up with farmer and President of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Don Elsbernd, and Todd Frazier with Pioneer Hi-Bred. They see the Iowa Corn Indy 250 as a great showcase for the green fuel and are glad that so many corn farmers are able to see the fruit… a very high-performance fruit… of their labors in corn-based ethanol in these fantastic racing machines.

It’s a great conversation, and you can hear more of it in the player below.
Domestic Fuel Cast

You can also subscribe to the DomesticFuel Cast here.

High Tech Indy Engines, High Tech Pioneer Corn

Iowa Corn Indy 250It’s going to be a happy Father’s Day for Iowa corn growers and Pioneer Hi-Bred when the Iowa Corn Indy 250 gets underway Sunday. The race is being presented by both organizations again this year.

I met Pioneer’s Joe Foresman, Senior Marketing Manager, Biofuels and MarketPoint Resource, during the Kum & Go E-85 pump promotion yesterday. He says the story this race tells for Iowa and for farmers is a very exciting one. It sends a great message to the state and the nation about how we can use the renewable fuel, ethanol. Pioneer has 3,000 employees in Iowa who are very proud of their involvement in the race. I asked him if he liked the analogy between the high tech engines powering the Indy cars and Pioneer’s seed technology. He did.

By the way, if you’re tweeting the race or want to follow the Twitter conversation then please use #indycorn in your tweets. You can use Twitter Search to see who’s tweeting.

You can listen to my interview with Joe below.

Iowa Corn Indy 250 Photo Album.

Iowa Corn Indy 250 Celebrates Homegrown Ethanol

Even though the Indy Car Series races this year are sponsored by the Brazilian ethanol industry, the Iowa Corn Indy 250 will still feature homegrown fuel. The race will be held June 21 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa and sponsored once again by Pioneer Hi-Bred and the Iowa Corn Growers Association.

According to Craig Floss, CEO of the Iowa Corn Growers, the race is an excellent opportunity to inform the general public about the benefits of corn and ethanol. “Our reach has moved well beyond the state of Iowa to a national and even a global audience,” said Floss. “We are able to have the sponsorship opportunities on television this year which is a great way for us to talk about corn, all the places corn goes, and all the products that include corn.”

Pioneer Director of End Use Markets Russ Saunders says sponsorship of the Iowa Corn 250 is a great opportunity to show that support for ethanol and corn growers. “When we look at how fuel prices seem to be headed back up and we have economic challenges all around us, it’s more important than ever that we tell the story of ethanol,” said Saunders.

Saunders says Pioneer has been working to provide new technologies for growers to produce more and better corn to provide the food, feed and fuel needs of the nation and the world, including higher yielding varieties and grain that yields more ethanol per bushel. In addition, they are working on corn varieties that use less nitrogen fertilizer and less water and Pioneer’s parent company Dupont is actively involved in the development of second generation cellulosic ethanol.

The Iowa Corn 250 will be broadcast live on ABC starting at noon central time on June 21 with race time at 12:30 pm.