Dow-DuPont is Done Deal

cindy zimmerman

The “merger of equals” between The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) and E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (“DuPont”) became official on Friday, now operating as a holding company under the name “DowDuPont™” with three divisions – Agriculture, Materials Science and Specialty Products. Moving forward, DowDuPont intends to separate the divisions to stand within their own legal entities by the end of 2018.

The intended companies include a “leading Agriculture Company that brings together the strengths of DuPont Pioneer, DuPont Crop Protection and Dow AgroSciences to better serve growers around the world with a superior portfolio of solutions, greater choice and competitive price for value.”

The combined capabilities and highly productive innovation engine will enable the intended Agriculture Company to bring a broader suite of products to the market faster, so it can be an even better partner to growers, delivering innovation and helping them to increase their productivity and profitability. The intended Agriculture Company will be headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, with global business centers in Johnston, Iowa, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Agribusiness, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Dow AgroScience, Dupont

American Ethanol Earns Top Gun 3Peat

Cindy Zimmerman

For the third year in a row, Don Onken’s American Ethanol Mystic Powerboat recorded the fastest time to earn “Top Gun” honors at the recent 2017 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.

The boat’s crew hit a top speed of 204-mph run on a course that was shortened from 1 mile to 3/4 of a mile. “I’m very proud of the entire American Ethanol team. From the many people who put in valuable time and effort working on the boat, to Tony Battiato and John Cosker who are consistently breaking 200-mph speeds on the water, everyone on our team plays a role in the success we have had these last few years,” said American Ethanol boat owner Don Onken.

The 51 foot Mystic powered by dual V-16 engines was designed to run on 90 percent ethanol by Onken, who is also an Illinois farmer who believes in supporting the ethanol industry.

“We are extremely proud of the American Ethanol Mystic racing team and the amazing job they continue to do year after year. Earning three first-place finishes in a row is truly an impressive feat that deserves celebration,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. American Ethanol is a partnership created by Growth Energy with the support of the National Corn Growers Association.

American Ethanol, Ethanol, Growth Energy

Methane Concept Tractor from New Holland

chuck zimmerman

ZimmCast 557Tractors running on alternative fuels are not new. But what is new is a concept tractor from New Holland that is powered with methane or CNG. The tractor was on display during the Farm Progress Show. Pictured with the tractor is Carlo Lambro, New Holland Brand President. We had a chance to visit and talked about the new machine as well as other products the company is bringing to the market.

“The new concept tractor powered by methane or CNG is the latest development in New Holland’s pursuit of sustainable and efficient technology through innovation,” said Carlo Lambro, New Holland Agriculture Brand President. “Its groundbreaking engine delivers the same performance and has the same durability as its standard equivalent, but with much lower running costs. It combines alternative fuels and advanced agricultural technology to create a vital link that closes the loop in the Energy Independent Farm™’s virtuous cycle by running on the energy produced from the land and waste products.”

Learn more about the concept tractor here. And listen to my conversation with Carlo to learn more about what is new and his thoughts on a slowly improving market.

I hope you enjoy the program and thank you for listening!

Listen to the ZimmCast here: ZimmCast with Carlo Lambro, New Holland

Subscribe to the ZimmCast podcast here. Use this url in iTunes or your favorite news reader program/app.

The ZimmCast

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Agribusiness, AgWired Energy, Audio, biofuels, Farm Progress Show, New Holland, Tractor, ZimmCast

Northey and Two More Nominated for USDA Posts

cindy zimmerman

Three more nominations for key posts at USDA were made Friday as Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue remains the only Trump nominee approved in the department.

“I’m hoping that the Senate can move very quickly on the ones before them when they get back,” said Perdue during a stop at Farm Progress Show last week. “I need some help and I hope we get it sooner rather than later.”

On Friday, President Trump announced Gregory Ibach as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP), Bill Northey as Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC), and Stephen Vaden as USDA’s General Counsel. They join the previous three nominees announced in July – Steve Censky for Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretaries Ted McKinney for Trade and Foreign Affairs, and Sam Clovis for Research, Education, and Economics.

Audio file: Perdue comments on need for Senate confirmations

It was reported in May that Northey would be nominated for the newly created Farm Production and Conservation mission area to oversee FSA, RMA, and NRCS.

During an interview at Farm Progress Show two days before he was officially nominated, Northey said he hoped the Senate approval process will move forward soon. “It’s been a slow process,” said Northey. “Hopefully there will be three more here pretty soon.”

Northey is a farmer from Spirit Lake, Iowa who has served as Iowa ag secretary for three terms and is a former president of the National Corn Growers Association. Greg Ibach has been Nebraska’s Director of Agriculture since 2005, and Vaden has been serving as Acting General Counsel at USDA since March.

Audio file: Northey comments on need for Senate confirmations

2017 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

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EPA Waiver Should Relax Other E15 Restrictions

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is pleased with the EPA waiver this week of the summer low volatility gasoline requirement for 12 states due to concerns about fuel shortages from Hurricane Harvey, but they believe the agency should go further to relax other restrictions on the sale of 15% ethanol blended fuel (E15).

In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, RFA requested that EPA clarify that its waiver includes the requirements such as EPA pre-approval of Misfueling Mitigation Plans (MMPs) prior to selling the fuel. “Compliance with such requirements would make it virtually impossible for E15 blends to help alleviate the current supply shortages,” RFA explained in its letter.

“The impacts of Hurricane Harvey will soon be felt along the Atlantic Coast as refinery closures and pipeline disruptions are beginning to affect the region’s gasoline supply,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “The U.S. ethanol industry has ample supplies already stored throughout the country and our supply is not dependent upon pipelines. Ethanol is also about $0.50 per gallon less expensive than gasoline at the terminal today, and the spread is widening every hour. If marketers have the option to begin offering E15 immediately, without having to wait for months while EPA reviews and approves Misfueling Mitigation Plans and other regulatory hurdles to E15’s commercial availability, consumers will be given an important relief valve to gasoline supply disruptions.”

E15, Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA, RFS

Biofuels Voices Comment on RFS Rule

Cindy Zimmerman

The comment period for the EPA’s proposed volume obligations for biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has officially ended and stakeholders in both the biodiesel and ethanol industries made their voices heard.

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) submitted comments “urging the agency to finalize the RVOs that were included in EPA’s first draft of the proposal that was submitted for interagency review in May.” EPA’s initial draft proposed RVO requirements of 384 million gallons for cellulosic biofuel, 4.38 billion gallons of advanced biofuel; and 19.38 billion of total renewable fuel, higher than what the agency ultimately proposed in July.

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) comments emphasized the economic benefits of the RFS, use of the general waiver authority, the potential of a future “reset” of the RFS, and the advanced and cellulosic biofuel levels.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) called for higher volumes of advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel, which were cut or frozen in the proposal. NBB asked EPA to increase the advanced biofuel volume for 2018 to at least 4.75 billion gallons and the biomass-based diesel volume for 2019 to at least 2.5 billion gallons.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) comments asked EPA to maintain the proposed amount of conventional ethanol blended into the nation’s gas supply for 2018, and to raise the amount of cellulosic, advanced, and total biofuels.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association commented that EPA should “follow the law” and set a 2.75 billion gallon biodiesel level and a 384 million gallon cellulosic level in the final rule.

ACE, advance biofuels, Biodiesel, corn, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NBB, RFA, RFS

House Ag Committee at #FPS17

cindy zimmerman

LtoR: Reps. Glenn Thompson, Mike Bost, Mike Conaway, Darin LaHood, Collin Peterson, Cheri Bustos, Rodney Davis

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) and members of the committee hosted a farm bill listening session at the Farm Progress Show Thursday in Decatur, Illinois. It was the fifth such session the committee has held so far.

“This was a terrific listening session that will benefit us as we write the next farm bill,” said Chairman Conaway at a press conference following the session.

“Today’s listening session was a continuation of the Agriculture Committee’s efforts to hear directly from the varied interests, across all regions of the country, who are impacted by the farm bill,” said Ranking Member Peterson.

Others who took part in the listening session were Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania, and Illinois Representatives Mike Bost, Darin LaHood, Cheri Bustos, and Rodney Davis.

House Ag Committee presser

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

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AgWired Animal, AgWired Energy, AgWired Precision, Audio, farm bill, Farm Policy, Farm Progress Show, Government

Secretary Sonny Visits Farm Progress Show

jamie johansen

It was a packed house for our Secretary of Agriculture as he was hosted by WGN and ADM during the 2017 Farm Progress Show. Sec. Sonny Perdue visted with ag and local media prior to taking the stage. Naturally, trade was a hot topic followed by Hurricane Harvey and an update from D.C.

Listen to or download the complete press gaggle here: Sec Sonny Talks w/ Media

Then the Secretary joined farm broadcasters Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong on the ADM stage to record a segment for this weekend’s episode of This Week in Agribusiness. Listen to their chat here: Orion & Max Chat w/ Sec Sonny

View and download photos from the event here: 2017 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

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EPA Emergency Waiver Expanded

Cindy Zimmerman

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expanded an emergency fuel waiver of the summer low volatility gasoline requirement to 12 states on Wednesday in response to concerns about fuel shortages from Hurricane Harvey.

EPA has waived requirements for reformulated gasoline and low volatility gasoline through September 15 in Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Louisiana and Florida, as well as the District of Columbia. The waiver means that those states will be allowed to sell 15 percent ethanol before the September 15 end of the summer volatility requirement.

Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen wrote a letter to EPA Administration Scott Pruitt on Monday requesting the waiver. “This allows for the sale of E15 in those conventional gasoline areas of the states covered by the waiver and is effectively what we asked of the agency on Monday,” said Dinneen. “Retailers must still meet or be deemed complaint with other regulatory requirements associated with selling E15, such as the Misfueling Mitigation Plan (MMP). But consumers facing likely gasoline supply issues as a result of Hurricane Harvey are one important step closer today to a high octane, low cost alternative.”

RFA and other ethanol interests have been working to get a permanent waiver for E15 in the summer months or a legislative fix to allow it.

Ethanol, Ethanol News, RFA

Bayer and 4-H Launch Science Matters Collaboration

cindy zimmerman

Bayer and 4H alums celebrate Science Matters partnership

Opening day of the Farm Progress Show, Bayer and the National 4-H Council announced a new partnership for future innovators in science and technology to help feed a growing population. The nationwide collaboration, Science Matters, is designed to address the need for an enhanced STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce by planting a love of scientific exploration in young people around the nation.

Alumni of the youth organization within Bayer joined to celebrate the announcement. “The ability to reach out to youth across America and have a conversation about science and its connection to food and agriculture, there really is no better partner than 4H,” said 4H alum and Bayer North American Vice President of Communications Darren Wallis.

“In 4-H, we believe in the power of young people, and we are thrilled to join with a company like Bayer that also sees the potential when you equip youth with the skills and opportunities they need to be true leaders,” said Artis Stevens, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, National 4-H Council.

Learn more about the partnership in this interview with Wallis and Stevens:
Interview with Darren Wallis, Bayer and Artis Stevens, 4H

2017 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

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