Husker Ag Recognized for Ethanol Direct Marketing

Cindy Zimmerman

The Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB) recently recognized Seth Harder for his leadership at Husker Ag and the company’s success with fuel retailers.

Since 2012, Husker Ag in Plainview, Nebraska has contributed more than $250,000 to Nebraska’s fuel infrastructure by funding higher-blend ethanol pumps at stations across the state.

“The goal is not just to produce ethanol, but to give every Nebraskan the opportunity to use it,” said Seth Harder, Husker Ag general manager. “We truly believe that ethanol is the best option for our state, farmers, consumers and our nation going forward.”

Their efforts have resulted in 11 stations across northeastern Nebraska and Yankton, South Dakota, with pumps that could dispense a range between E15 and E85 fuel, including E20 and E30. “Recently, we funded new pumps in Yankton, South Dakota, and Pilger, Nebraska,” Harder said. “We are currently evaluating a few locations in northeast Nebraska, and will continue to look for prospects in the area. Generally, we choose non-branded parties that want to differentiate their product line to compete with chains.”

Husker Ag received 1st ACE Power by People Award in 2015

Harder will speak about his direct marketing experience at the American Coalition for Ethanol Conference in Omaha Aug. 15-17. He will present on how ethanol producers and fuel marketers improve the availability of competitively-priced ethanol through direct marketing.

NEB Administrator Todd Sneller believes Husker Ag is a leader for the state’s ethanol industry.

“Nebraska looks to companies that go above and beyond to show what’s possible for the future of ethanol,” Sneller said. “Husker Ag continues to push forward with higher-blends that benefit our economy and environment.”

Husker Ag now utilizes more than 29 million bushels of corn per year to produce about 85 million gallons of denatured ethanol, expected to be at 90 million gallons by the end of 2017.

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Ethanol, Ethanol News

Committee Hears Testimony on E15 Bill

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol supporters and retailers made their case before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works committee for a bill that would fix a frustrating and confusing situation and allow 15 percent ethanol to be sold year round.

The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, sponsored by Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), would extend the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent during the summer months to provide regulatory certainty and increase economic opportunity for fuel retailers. “Currently, it’s illegal for E15 to be sold during the busy summer travel season from June 1st to September 15th,” said Fischer. “As a result, fuel retailers are required to change fuel labels at the pumps before and after the summer season. This leads to increased costs and greater confusion for consumers.”

Listen to Sen. Fischer’s remarks here: Sen. Fischer E15 Hearing

Mike Lorenz with Sheetz, a Pennsylvania-based convenience store chain, testified that they recently started offering E15 at 190 of their store locations because consumers want to buy it. “And after millions of E15 transactions by thousands of customers purchasing millions of gallons, we have not had a single customer complaint or any cases of misfueling.”

Lorenz says their experience with E15 found that during the RVP months, they lose 40 percent of their customer base. “It makes no sense to make a fuel retailer see sales plummet during the summer driving months because of an outdated regulation in desperate need of a simple technical fix,” he said.

Listen to Lorenz’ comments here: Mike Lorenz, Sheetz, opening statement

Audio, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Retailers

30th Annual ACE Conference – Tested, Proven, Driven

Cindy Zimmerman

The 30th annual American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) conference is coming up Aug. 15-17 in Omaha with the theme of Tested Proven Driven and a big focus on marketing E15 and higher blends.

“This year’s conference again showcases people who are doing the actual work of developing new markets for ethanol,” said Ron Lamberty, senior vice president of ACE.

The conference will feature two fuel marketers talking about what they have had to do to make higher blends available to more consumers. Charlie Bosselman of Bosselman Enterprises and Pump & Pantry c-stores will be joined by JETZ Convenience Centers owner Bob O’Connor to explain how they’re adding E15 and flex fuel locations and how those new fuels impact their bottom lines.

“If you want to sell more ethanol, the easiest, most cost-effective way is by listening to the people who are already out there getting it done,” Lamberty said.

The conference also features a breakout session with Bosselman Enterprises and Husker Ag to explain how they are growing their volume by supplying ethanol directly to retailers by passing on Renewable Identification Number (RIN) value and promoting ethanol’s other marketplace advantages.

Registration is now open and you can listen to this interview to find out more of what’s in store at the 30th ACE Conference. Interview with Ron Lamberty, ACE on annual conference

ACE, ACE Ethanol Conference, Audio, blends, Ethanol

Ethanol Groups Urge Passage of RVP Waiver

Cindy Zimmerman

With the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holding a hearing today on the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, ethanol organizations are urging lawmakers to “expeditiously” pass legislation that would ensure consumers have year-round access to 15% ethanol (E15).

Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen “enthusiastically supports” the legislation which would resolve the issue by extending the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to ethanol blends above E10.

“The biggest remaining obstacle to E15 growth is the inequitable application of gasoline vapor pressure regulations,” Dinneen wrote in a letter this week to committee leadership. “Resolving the issue of RVP parity for E15 will remove the regulatory barrier that currently hinders stations from offering year-round access to E15 and other higher level ethanol blends,” he wrote.

“Senators Fischer (R-NE), Ernst (R-IA), and Duckworth (D-IL), all members of the EPW Committee, are providing timely leadership in making sure this priority issue gets the attention it deserves in Congress,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) executive vice president Brian Jennings. “Today’s hearing can be the first step toward enactment of legislation to give retailers the choice to offer E15 and higher blends to their customers year-round.”

Mike Lorenz of Sheetz Inc. will be among those testifying during the hearing to speak for retailers who would like to offer E15 year round. “This minor fix would be a major relief to retailers offering E15 today and would remove one of the biggest barriers for other retailers who want to offer E15,” Lorenz said. “Consumers should also benefit from this rule update, since E15 typically sells for less than regular unleaded gasoline and is cleaner burning and higher octane.”

The hearing begins at 10:00 Eastern time.

ACE, E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Polls: Small Engine and Motorcycle Owners Pick Right Fuel

Cindy Zimmerman

New polls commissioned by Growth Energy show that U.S. small engine and motorcycle owners are smarter than the oil companies think they are and the majority are quite capable of choosing the right fuel for their needs.

The polls, conducted by Quadrant Strategies, interviewed 500 homeowners who used small engine products such as lawnmowers, and 500 motorcyclists. They found almost identical results with 95-96 percent of owners saying they found it easy to pick the right fuel, 98 percent reporting satisfaction with their fuel’s performance, and 90 percent who considered it important to have options at the pump, including ethanol blends. This is contrary to ethanol critics who claim that higher blends of ethanol, such as E15 which is not approved for small engines or motorcycles, will cause confusion and misfuelling issues.

“Ninety-seven percent of all fuel sold in the U.S. contains 10 percent ethanol, which is a high-performance option for all common outdoor equipment,” said Donn Larson, President and CEO of Larson Sales, Inc., one of America’s premier outdoor power equipment distributors, with a network of hundreds of dealers, covering a large part of the north central United States. “Ethanol provides a non-toxic octane boost to fuel, and owners report that picking the right blend is as simple as reading the label on every pump. It also reduces the need for freeze-preventing additives, which is great for snow blowers.”

The Renewable Fuels Association has been sponsoring Free Fuel Happy Hours during the huge Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota for several years now as a way of educating bikers about ethanol. RFA also has information about ethanol in the official Buffalo Chip Campground guide to the rally and signage all around the campground and on the center stage jumbotrons where top name entertainers perform nightly.

Ethanol, Growth Energy, Motorcycle, RFA, Sturgis

Iowa Races Spotlight Corn and Ethanol

cindy zimmerman

The Iowa Speedway hosts two racing events this summer that put corn and ethanol in the spotlight on the track.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen is coming up Saturday, June 24. This is the fifth consecutive year of the American Ethanol partnership and the fourth consecutive year with Enogen at Iowa Speedway. Enogen corn was specially developed by Syngenta for ethanol production with an enzyme that breaks down corn starch into sugar, which when combined with Cellerate™ process technology can increase ethanol production by 20 percent.

In an interview at last year’s race, Chris Tingle, head of Enogen Commercial Operations with Syngenta, talked about the company’s support of ethanol. Interview with Chris Tingle, Enogen, at 2016 race

Next month it will be the 11th Iowa Corn 300, one of the major IndyCar racing events of the year, sponsored by Iowa Corn on July 9. “IndyCars, which run at speeds over 200 miles per hour, are powered by 85 percent ethanol, so fans can see firsthand the power and performance of cleaner-burning ethanol,” said Iowa Corn Promotion Board President Larry Klever.

This year’s race will be one of the premier events to celebrate Iowa Corn Growers Association’s 50th anniversary, according to President Kurt Hora. “Promoting Iowa Corn and homegrown ethanol, celebrating 50 years of ICGA and educating consumers will be all accomplished with this one great event,” Hora said.

Learn more from Iowa Corn.

AgWired Energy, Audio, corn, Ethanol, Indy Racing, NASCAR

Growth Energy Announces Ad Campaign for E15 Bill

Cindy Zimmerman

Growth Energy has announced a seven-figure ad campaign promoting legislation that will allow retailers to offer more 15 percent ethanol all year in all markets. The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517) would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol (E15), creating a level playing field for E15. A hearing in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled for June 14.

The Growth Energy campaign will feature TV and digital ads (examples here and here) in Washington, D.C., and in key markets across the country. The ads also encourage voters to lend their support to members of Congress who are fighting for a fix. The bill, which has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate would update laws that currently limit the sale of E15 from June 1 to September 15, often discouraging retailers from offering higher biofuel blends altogether.

E15, Growth Energy

June RFA Ethanol Safety Events

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association is offering several opportunities for ethanol safety training in June.

First, RFA and TRANSCAER® are jointly hosting this year’s third “Train the Trainer” ethanol safety webinar for ethanol emergency response teams on Wednesday, June 14 from 12–2pm ET/11am–1pm CT. Professional hazmat trainer Joel Hendelman will provide instruction on how to train others in ethanol emergency response tactics and procedures. This webinar is open to everyone but tailored toward ethanol production facility employees, ethanol and railroad safety professionals, and local emergency responders. Register at www.rfa.traincaster.com. Each class is capped at 100 participants but the webinar will be offered yet once more this year on August 2.

In addition, RFA is partnering with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), TRANSCAER® and short line Utah Railway Co. to provide free ethanol safety seminars in Ogden and Salt Lake City on June 20 and 21. These courses are tailored for ethanol plant safety, emergency responders, fire departments, EMTs, local emergency planning committees, police and fuel station owners in an instructional format based on RFA’s Training Guide to Ethanol Emergency Response. Participants will receive in-depth information on proper training techniques required of emergency responders and hazmat personnel to effectively respond to ethanol-related emergencies. Registration is required at www.rfa.traincaster.com and class size is limited.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, safety

DieselSellerz to Promote Biodiesel

cindy zimmerman

The DieselSellerz are going bio with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) to promote biodiesel.

The DieselSellerz is the “world’s largest diesel truck classifieds community,” with a crew that has become known for building and giving away tricked-out diesel trucks, as well as other antics, on the Discovery Channel show “Diesel Brothers.” The crew will take on the task of building a biodiesel truck for MSR&PC, with the build set to air during a future episode on Discovery. The Minnesota biodiesel truck will be unveiled August 2 during appearances by the DieselSellerz at Farmfest near Morgan, Minn., and at the 2018 MN Ag Expo in Mankato.

“Biodiesel is something I have been interested in for quite some time,” says DieselSellerz’ Dave “Heavy D” Sparks. “Years ago when the price of diesel fuel was extremely high, I began to plan a way to make my own ‘homebrew’ biodiesel fuel to power my personal truck. I put those plans on hold when the cost of diesel fuel went back down but the concept of renewable fuel has intrigued me ever since. I am beyond excited to work with the MSR&PC to show the world that there are many options to power your diesel vehicle outside of fossil fuels.”

The partnership is part of a larger biodiesel awareness campaign by MSR&PC. “In Minnesota, we depend on the extra 63 cents a bushel biodiesel adds to soybeans,” says MSR&PC Chairman Keith Schrader. “Partnering with the DieselSellerz helps us showcase biodiesel on a state and national level.”

AgWired Energy, Biodiesel, Soybean

Siouxland Ethanol Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Cindy Zimmerman

Siouxland Ethanol LLC is hosting an open house on June 13 at its plant near Jackson, Nebraska to celebrate a decade of ethanol production.

“We see the bigger picture even more now than when we started,” said Pam Miller, board chair and director of industry and investor relations at Siouxland Ethanol. “Back then, we were mainly concerned with producing the product, but we’ve expanded our offering of co-products and we’re actively involved in promoting the use of higher blends of ethanol such as E30 and advocating for less restrictions and regulations surrounding the sale of ethanol.”

Siouxland Ethanol’s 10-year anniversary event will include plant tours, a barbecue and remarks from ethanol industry dignitaries and public officials, including featured speaker Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen, American Coalition for Ethanol’s Brian Jennings and Todd Sneller with Nebraska Ethanol Board will be among the ethanol industry leaders who will be speaking.

Siouxland joins Redfield Energy of South Dakota in celebrating a decade this year. “Reaching this significant milestone represents the growth this industry has experienced over the past decade, and we’re grateful for the value these producers have been able to provide back to their shareholders’ year after year,” said Jennings.

Over the past year, Siouxland Ethanol has expanded the plant’s production to 80 million gallons per year and they use 27 million bushels of corn each year.

ACE, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA