Posts Tagged ‘Ethanol’

Certification advances corn ethanol

April 21, 2010

A new ethanol limit in standard gasoline has been certified for two national fuel dispensers. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent product-safety certification organization, approved a new industry allotment of E-25 fuel for Dresser Wayne and Gilbarco Veeder-Root – two leading fuel-facility service providers.

Twenty-five percent of fuel composition dispensed from these petroleum pumps at retail stations throughout the world can contain ethanol – an increase from the established E-10 limit (10-percent ethanol blended with petroleum) that is customary at retail stations throughout the country. E-25 can be used in standard engines without any adjustments.

“Motorists continue to call for ‘greener’ fueling solutions and retailers are demanding technologies that will help them stay in front of the market opportunity while managing regulatory changes,” said Scott Negley, director of alternative energy products at Dresser Wayne in a MarketWatch story. “Our Eco Fuel dispenser is in use across North America and is designed to handle the higher blends without modifications.”

The certification will help expand corn ethanol’s important role in America. Increased ethanol limits in standard gasoline will increase ethanol production for everyone’s benefit.

Domestic corn-ethanol production is not only good for our country’s agriculture sector, but it also stimulates rural communities by creating high-paying jobs, boosting local tax revenues and creating partnership opportunities for local businesses. In addition, it decreases our dependency on foreign oil, which is vital to our nation’s security and economy.

“Increasing consumer demand for ethanol-based fuels, combined with incentive programs to encourage the development of an infrastructure to deliver these fuels, is helping to create demand for a range of products,” said Chad Johnson, product manager at Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

Ethanol production makes fuel cheaper for consumers and is essential to achieving the requirements of the Renewable Fuels Standard that was enacted in the Energy and Security Act of 2007, which states that the U.S. must use 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022.

This certification helps prompt important legislation currently residing in Congress that urges the EPA to adjust ethanol’s standard-blend allowance.

Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA) and other ethanol-related groups, including the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), support measures that increase the allowable amount of ethanol in standard gasoline. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently considering allowing blenders to increase the industry standard from E-10 to E-15. This past year, UL certified the use of E-15 for all domestic fuel pumps.

Ethanol awareness and education is important. Knowledgeable consumers and lawmakers can shape the direction of a more energy-secure, environmentally conscious and economically productive nation.


D.C. Discussions Advance Corn Issues

March 10, 2010

I recently joined several Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA) board members on a trip to Washington, D.C. The goal was to engage legislators in discussions about issues central to Ohio’s 20,000-plus corn farmers in our nation’s capital.

During our visit, we met with all 20 members of the Ohio delegation (18 representatives and two senators) including special events with Rep. Marcy Kaptur and Sen. Sherrod Brown. We also met with administrators of organizations such as the EPA, USDA and Risk Management Agency.

Driving home the fact that agriculture is Ohio’s No.1 industry, it was important for me to reiterate that voters in rural and urban districts alike are directly affected by its continued growth and success.

On behalf of OCGA and Ohio agriculture at large, we participated in constructive discourse about three integral issues:

  • Extension of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) – This blender’s tax credit provides $.45 for each gallon of ethanol blended with gasoline and expires at the end of this year. The credit provides thousands of jobs, fuels economies and helps the U.S. to meet its mandated biofuels-production standard. The elimination of this credit will result in a 38-percent jobs and production loss. VEETC brings dollars back to the U.S. Treasury in the billions, eliminates more than $22 billion in oil imports and has led to a reduction of farm payments of more than $10 billion. Despite the success of the ethanol industry, some members of the Ohio delegation want its advancement to end – even delegates from areas where corn represents the largest economic portion of their district.
  • Indirect Land Use – Corn is unfairly blamed for the destruction of rainforests in countries such as Brazil for the production of corn ethanol. Our own research and travels to Brazil brazenly dispute these facts. Corn farmers are utilizing technology and innovation to grow more corn using fewer acres. The public needs to be educated about these truths to bolster the reputation of our farmers.
  • Expanding International Markets – OCGA supports a one-way trade expansion to provide food to Cuba. This in no way reflects a support of the Cuban government. Instead, it provides significant economic opportunities for our nation by easing simple restrictions on food, medical supplies and travel to allow for easier exports.

OCGA will continue to advocate its stance regarding these issues, and we will also continue to be a resource for legislative issues concerning agriculture. Ohio policymakers must support the interests of the industry that is the foundation of the state.

In the coming weeks, OCGA will be kicking off a grassroots-activism plan that will encourage consumers to get involved in the legislative process. We cannot let D.C. policymakers take farmers for granted.

Ohio Corn Growers Association’s priorities in sync with U.S. priorities

January 19, 2010

After reviewing an informal poll about our farmer-board members, I’ve recognized one thing: The goals of OCGA in 2010 coincide with the goals of the nation—with an overarching result to revive the economy.

The Washington Post and numerous other media outlets say now that the health-care debate is wrapping up in D.C., the focus is back to jobs.

While I won’t comment about the health-care debate, I can tell you that the farming industry is in the business of providing jobs to Americans, even as segments of other industries ship out jobs overseas.

Agriculture in Ohio is nearly a $98 billion industry. It supports an array of jobs both for farmers and businesses that support farming, such as equipment dealers, fertilizer suppliers, ethanol plants and seed companies. Ohio’s ethanol plants have invested hundreds of millions of dollars into providing new jobs and new uses for the abundant corn crop grown here in the Buckeye State.

In February, we will accompany our farmers on a mission to Washington, D.C., to talk about how farming contributes to the economy and why votes in favor of agriculture help all Americans.

For example, ethanol production has spurred job growth not only in Ohio but also in many other states; we need to continue to provide information showing the economic, environmental and national security benefits of this domestic fuel. We are educating lawmakers about the need for higher blends and advocating for an increased ethanol-blend requirement as ethanol production creates green jobs, stimulates corn demand and reduces foreign sources of energy.

Food is vital for survival. Therefore, OCGA will continue to focus on the issue of safeguarding livestock production to ensure a safe, reliable food supply. As corn growers, we provide feed to livestock and poultry in Ohio and overseas that maintains this food supply. Numerous studies and reports show that more and more people will go hungry in the coming years because they lack access to this abundant supply. By advocating for improved trade agreements that open foreign markets to U.S. agriculture products, we can continue to feed the world while keeping and creating jobs in the U.S. And by protecting livestock production in America, we can keep up with demand for food in our own country.

Another way we’re guaranteeing our economic climate is to be at the table in talks about greenhouse gas legislation. Year after year, farmers are producing more with less and reducing emissions. OCGA will remain visible in this debate to ensure that agriculture is seen as a solution to increased emissions worldwide and at the same time, is not penalized by any legislation that could negatively impact our industry.

Come February, our grassroots advocates—your farmer neighbors—will have materials in hand to show legislators what agriculture means to the economy in Ohio.

Corn’s portion of economic success is secure and continues to grow with the nation’s needs.

I look forward to blogging about my experiences in D.C. as I campaign for corn’s increased role in supporting America’s economy.

Agriculture and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Look Back at Copenhagen

January 12, 2010

My recent visit to the Copenhagen Climate Conference was a great opportunity for me to represent Ohio farmers with a global community. It allowed me to discuss the position of American agriculture as it relates to global climate policy with professionals throughout the world.

And though Copenhagen has come and gone, I’m still considering how climate-change discussions impact agriculture, specifically how agriculture and greenhouse gas reductions are tied together more than ever.

The number of opinions on both sides of the climate debate seems endless and will remain up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is agriculture’s role in reducing GHGs through precision farming, methane digesters, nitrous oxide emission reductions and new technology.

The agriculture industry includes a variety of players – scientists, farmers, politicians and more – and each has something to say about the state of our environment.

The variety of voices at the Copenhagen Climate Conference underscored the following:

• World agriculture accounts for only 14 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, yet it disproportionately receives a lot of blame.
• Agriculture can play a substantial role in greenhouse gas reductions when its members utilize advanced technology and techniques.
• Attention to renewable fuels has been re-emphasized and the corn industry should pay attention to how it can leverage ethanol

The significance of greenhouse gas mitigation will only increase as we all search for ways to better the space we live and breathe in every day. Now more than ever, it’s important to become a voice for our country in dispelling the myth of the negligent farmer and replace that stereotype with the truth of the thousands of farmer’s nationwide practicing responsible farming.

I look forward to continuing my knowledge in this subject matter and also to relaying more information about the corn industry to you. I hope you visit often.

‘Til next time,


OCGA Will Continue To Provide Factual, Unbiased Information in 2010

December 29, 2009

Corn farmers experienced a number of highs and lows in 2009 and have much to look forward to in 2010. OCGA vows to continue to be the voice of corn farmers in Ohio throughout all modes of communication, through personal visits with lawmakers to blogs, e-newsletters and district meetings.

The organization has established a track record of being a reputable source of information on a multitude of topics and we will continue to provide quality data analysis and information to lawmakers, media and consumers. (See our updated Reports Downloads section for even more information on our industry.)

I bring this up as OCGA was recently questioned in an e-mail about statements we have made in the press regarding ethanol’s impact on food prices. The sender of the e-mail cited a recent blog that contradicted OCGA’s statement: The blog author reported that the Congressional Budget Office found that ethanol raised food prices 10 – 15%, which contradicts OCGA’s statements of 0.5 – 0.8%. The e-mail asked who should people believe and where do we get our information to make such statements.

Here was our response: The blog you cited seemed to conveniently leave out the CBO number of 5.1%, which happens to be the percentage rise in food prices between April 2007 and April 2008 … this is the timeline the report focused on. Based on the entire data, expanded ethanol production during this time contributed between 0.5 and 0.8 percentage points of the increase in food prices measured by the consumer price index. In comparison, the CBO found that the increase in the CPI attributed to increase in energy prices, specifically crude oil, was more than double corn ethanol’s impact.

Our assessment of the CBO report was based on its entirety, whereas the blogger misinterpreted the information to fit his own agenda. Our goal is to provide factual, constructive information for our farmers, consumers and lawmakers. We work closely with government offices, universities and those in the industry to better educate our members and friends.

The e-mail did bring a couple of observations to the forefront: Who should people trust for information, and are blogs just a convenient method of finding “facts” to support one’s personal views?

The staff at OCGA and at the National Corn Growers Association will continue to provide analysis on trends, data, markets and economics without personal opinion sprinkled in and you can continue to count on our organizations to share quality information based on facts.

OCGA has become a reputable source for information, with quotes in large daily newspapers such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Columbus Dispatch, and many have acknowledged that OCGA does not revert to inserting personal opinions in information but does utilize the sound data analysis with reputable sources throughout the world.

I will continue to discuss agriculture issues in this blog on a regular basis, so I encourage you to check back. I also hope that you take the time to comment below to promote constructive discourse.

OCGA wishes everyone a Happy New Year.


Greetings from Copenhagen

December 7, 2009

Welcome to the Ohio Corn Blog.

As executive director of the Ohio Corn Growers Association (OCGA), I am thrilled to offer you this regular blog to offer our insight into some of the most pressing issues facing today’s corn farmer and modern agriculture. OCGA is active in several issues regarding the environment, energy and the economy, so this provides a great arena for discussion and information sharing.

Starting Thursday, I’ll be blogging from the Copenhagen Climate Conference. I am honored to represent the American corn industry at the international Copenhagen Climate Conference. Along with OCGA board member Fred Yoder, we are part of a six-person delegation from the National Corn Growers Association who have been given a seat at the table on how discussions about environmental issues impact the agriculture community in the U.S. and abroad, including the Waxman-Markey energy, climate and cap-and-trade bill and many other issues that will have long term implications for corn farmers. Today’s corn farmer invests a lot of time and resources into environmentally responsible farming technology and techniques, so we’re glad we have the opportunity to participate along with other U.S. agriculture interests from the dairy industry and the American Farm Bureau Federation in these far-reaching discussions that will impact farmers in Ohio.

With upcoming posts to this blog, I am happy to give you a summary about the developments that occur each day we’re at the conference. This blog will offer you an insider’s look at these high-level discussions, as well as some other observations from the conference.

I hope my posts inspire dialogue among everyone who takes an interest in energy, the environment and agriculture.

Talk to you soon.

Dwayne Siekman
Executive Director
Ohio Corn Growers Association