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Monday, June 30, 2014

Corn Crop Condition - Week of June 30

According to today's USDA-NASS report, 18% of the Kentucky corn crop is silking, compared to 4% last year. Crop condition remains unchanged; 26% is excellent, 53% is good, 17% fair. and 4% poor to very poor.

Dry Pattern Starting to Stress Corn

(UK College of Agriculture) - Many parts of Kentucky have settled into a dry pattern the past 30 days, and it's starting to stress out some of the corn crop.

"The week before and the week after pollination is the time when corn is most susceptible to the weather," said Chad Lee, extension grain crops specialist for the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. "We really need rain right now in Central and Eastern Kentucky for successful pollination."

In the past month, the state has averaged 3.36 inches-more than an inch below normal.

"While this does not seem like a lot, Central and Eastern Kentucky counties have shown a more extensive deviation, with both being around 2 inches below normal," said Matthew Dixon, UKAg meteorologist.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly 53 percent of the state is now revealing signs of abnormally dry conditions and a small portion of southeastern Kentucky is in moderate hydrologic drought.

Lee explained that the above-average temperatures are compounding the dry conditions.

Read more

KyCorn Showcases American Ethanol at Kentucky Speedway

With the help of the National and Iowa Corn Growers Associations, KyCorn had a successful weekend educating Kentucky Speedway's NASCAR fans about American Ethanol. Staff with the Biofuels Mobile Education Center exhibit answered many questions and provided a positive message about renewable ethanol. Owensboro Community and Technical College also brought their student-built E85 Cobra to promote the OCTC Alternative Fuels Program and flex fuel vehicles. During the race, fans witnessed Sunoco Green E15 power every race vehicle with the clean burning, high-powered consistency that has been the hallmark of American Ethanol.

View more photos on our Facebook page at

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Bardstown Bourbon Company to Open Distillery in Nelson County

BARDSTOWN, Ky. - Governor Steve Beshear joined company officials and local leaders to announce The Bardstown Bourbon Company LLC plans to build a distillery in Bardstown.

The Bardstown Bourbon Company will create 35 jobs and invest $25 million into the project.

"This is another exciting day for one of Kentucky's signature industries," said Gov. Beshear. "The world's thirst for bourbon continues to grow, and The Bardstown Bourbon Company's announcement will help satisfy that demand. I look forward to seeing this distillery up and running and the positive impact it will have here in Nelson County and across the Commonwealth."

The Bardstown Bourbon Company plans to build a 45,000-square-foot distillery on 100 acres in the Nelson County Industrial Park, where it will produce bourbon and other spirits using local ingredients. The company also plans to build a visitor center and warehouses. 

"The Bardstown Bourbon Company will be a celebration of the Bardstown community, from the local ingredients we use to produce our product and the team that designs and builds our distillery, to the employees that distill, barrel and store our bourbons," said David Mandell, president and CEO of The Bardstown Bourbon Company. "It was the people and community of Bardstown that attracted us. We are here today because of the exceptionally strong leadership at both the state and local levels, and we want to thank these leaders for their tremendous work."

The distillery will be a destination experience, bringing bourbon enthusiasts as close as possible to the bourbon making process. There also will be a culinary dimension to the distillery and the company plans to partner with restaurants in the community to incorporate local flavors.

The Bardstown Bourbon Company has brought on Steve Nally as its master distiller. Nally has more than 40 years of experience in the industry and is a member of the Bourbon Hall of Fame.

"Simply put, we will make great bourbon," Mandell said. "We will be innovative, and our campus and distillery will present the craft in a very approachable and educational fashion."

Construction on the project is expected to begin this summer, and the facility is expected to be open in 2016. Once operational, The Bardstown Bourbon Company will mark the fifth distillery in Nelson County. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

KyCorn Participates in Mission to Open Dialogue and Doors for EU Trade

KyCorn Executive Director Laura Knoth
stands in front of an Irish wheat field.
KyCorn Executive Director Laura Knoth and several other corn association executives traveled to Belgium, Spain, and Ireland last week with the US Meat Export Federation and the US Grains Council on a mission to discuss issues pertaining to meat and crop production, adoption of technology, and trade issues. Knoth said the dialogue with European farm organizations, food processors, and corn buyers was interesting and promising.

"GMO production and importation was a primary topic of discussion," said Knoth. "Farmers and farm organizations said they were frustrated with the rules and regulations in their countries, which were primarily based on public opinion, not science. They recognize that they are 25 years behind in technology, which presents many barriers to trade."

While the team was visiting, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack also met with agriculture and trade officials in Europe to discuss expanding trade opportunities, specifically the importance of agriculture's role in the U.S.-European Union (EU) Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), and the benefits the trade agreement will have to both the American and European economies. An agreement was reached to allow importation of Irish beef into America, and the ministers from the trade bloc's 28 member countries agreed in principle the prior week to empower any EU country to prohibit or restrict the growing of genetically modified crops on its territory. (Read more or

Iberian hams produced by Joselito in Guijuelo, Spain.
The pigs are finished on acorns to produce a unique flavor.
Several stops provided unique insight into the culture of EU food production. One meeting that was particularly promising for the US corn industry was with the group Abengoa, Spain's leading ethanol producer. Knoth said they were required to import corn that was certified sustainable by EU standards, as were many agricultural end users.

"End users must certify that they buy and use food produced with sustainable practices in order to reduce their carbon footprint," said Knoth. "These are practices that our farmers have been using for years, and we explained that some American elevators are providing sustainability certifications on grain. They are adopting programs similar to our Field To Market, and we could provide the corn they are looking for."

KyCorn directs corn checkoff annually to support US Grains Council and US Meat Export Federation programs to enhance trade of corn, corn co-products, and corn-fed meats.

Friday, June 20, 2014

KyCorn Gears Up for Ethanol Promotion at Kentucky Speedway

The NASCAR Series races will be run next week, June 26-28, at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, and KyCorn will be attending to share the good news about American Ethanol to thousands of race fans.

KyCorn is working with the National and Iowa Corn Growers Associations to bring in a mobile biofuels education center and race simulator for the three-day event. American Ethanol flags and information will also be provided to fans, showcasing the benefits of our corn-based fuel. 

For more information about the races, visit For more information about the American Ethanol program, visit

Excellent FFA Programs Begin with Excellent Agriculture Teachers

KyCorn Supports New Kentucky Master Ag Teacher Program

If you ask anyone who had a life shaping FFA experience, most all of them will credit their agriculture teachers. Ag teachers introduce students to agriculture and FFA, they are truly the ones raising up the next generation of KY Agriculturalists. That's why the Kentucky FFA Foundation is partnering with KyCorn to make an investment in our teachers called Kentucky Master Ag Teacher Program (KMAT).

KMAT is a new program designed for teachers with 5-10 years experience in the classroom. Teachers will have quarterly meetings for two years.

"KMAT is the next step in relevant professional learning in agricultural education," says Kentucky FFA Advisor Brandon Davis. "This is more than just talking about best practices in the classroom. While we will help participants develop their classroom effectiveness, we are also focusing on effective advocacy, becoming leaders in their school/community/profession, and acting as a mentor to other teachers. By engaging teachers in these kinds of programs we can ensure Ag-Ed will continue to be the premier career and technical education option in the state."

This new and exciting program is made possible by KyCorn, which has made a $10,000 annual commitment to ensure the program's success.

"KyCorn is excited with the opportunity to support the future of agriculture education through the Kentucky FFA," said Russel Schwenke, president of KyCorn. "We realize the importance of not only providing education programs to our farm youth, but providing leadership training to our farm educators to strengthen Ag education programs."

The program just announced its first class of 15 teachers, who will be in the program through the summer 2015:

Daniel Bustle, Locust Trace
Lindsey Davie, Henry County
Dustin Estridge, North Laurel
John Hammond, Thomas Nelson
Jarrod Hankins, Webster County
Miles Hargrove, Carlisle County
Krista Hayslip, Rowan County
Ed Hendrick, Warren Central
Bradley McKinney, Todd Central
Janella Miller, Pulaski County
Tracy Probst, Woodford County
Nathan Sewell, Scott County
Matthew Simpson, Jessamine County

"Our hope is that this program will turn good Ag teachers into great Ag teachers who have the knowledge and skills needed to impact the lives of their students and the agriculture industry in their community," said Matt Chaliff, KY FFA Executive Secretary.

The Kentucky FFA Foundation is proud of Kentucky agriculture teachers and we are thankful for the support of KyCorn as they champion this cause.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

KyCorn Showcases New Agriculture Curriculum at Kentucky Farm Bureau Teachers Workshops

Kentucky Farm Bureau is holding its Regional Teacher Workshops this week across the Commonwealth, and KyCorn was invited to provide information about the association's latest curriculum offerings.

Communications director Jennifer Elwell recently developed a Passport Program as a companion to the Kentucky Farms Feed Me Virtual Field Trips that were created in 2012. The curriculum encourages teachers to show each video in the classroom, discuss what they saw, and have the students complete activities that reinforce what they have learned. The curriculum aligns to current Kentucky Core Academic Standards, a feature that is critical for today's educators.

Teachers were also introduced to a Corn in the Classroom economics game that provides students a lesson in supply, demand, and the risks of farming. Students must make decisions about a theoretical corn crop, as well as take risk cards on weather, market prices, and pests. Their cost per acre, yield, and price changes along the way. The object of the game is to have the highest net profit once it is delivered for sale. Because of factors farmers cannot control, however, producing profitable crop is not as easy as it looks.

"Both programs have been very well received, and teachers are taking these resources to use in their classrooms for the next school year," said Elwell. "I am extremely thankful that KFB provides these workshops to showcase how teachers can use agriculture to teach every subject available, from math and science, to social studies and practical living."

The teacher workshops will run through Thursday, and KFB's Scott Christmas anticipates 300-400 will participate in this professional development opportunity. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is also showcasing their education programs such as the Mobile Science Activity Centers and the Ready, Set, Grow program. Award-winning Louisville educator Darlene Horton is headlining the workshops by giving teachers a wealth of agriculture-infused ideas for classrooms.

To learn more about the Kentucky Farms Feed Me Virtual Field Trip Series and curriculum, visit The program is jointly funded by KyCorn and the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association. The Kentucky Livestock Coalition provided funding support for the Passport Program materials.

Additional teaching resources can be found at

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tractor Team Success Goes Beyond Tradition and Trophies

Cody Rakes grew up on a Marion County farm and quite naturally found a home in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment three years ago. As a freshman, he joined his peers on a very successful team that built the national champion quarter-scale tractor that year. The next year, they took second, and now in 2014, they've reclaimed the top spot at the recent American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers International Quarter Scale Tractor Student Design Competition. Read more

KyCorn has been a long-time supporter of the UK 1/4-Scale Tractor Team and international competition by providing fuel ethanol to power the tractors. Congratulations, UK team, for your honors this year!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Spotted at the McLean County Fair

This grain trailer owned by Miles Enterprises was parked at the entrance of the McLean Co. Fair this past weekend, sharing the good news about corn and our Kentucky farmers. KyCorn provided funding assistance to place these messages on grain trailers in 2012. A similar program is available this summer to provide smaller signs on grain trailers and pick-ups. Anyone interested in either of these programs should contact us at 800-326-0906.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Corn Utilization and Technology Conference Under Way in Louisville

CUTC 2014 Kristin Meadors of the Kentucky Distillers Association. 
Photos courtesy of ZimmComm New Media. 
The biennial Corn Utilization and Technology Conference is now underway through Wednesday in Louisville, Ky. The 2014 CUTC features cutting-edge technologies and new uses that continually improve and dynamically change the corn industry.

Kristin Meadors with the Kentucky Distiller's Association opened the conference by giving an overview of Kentucky's bourbon industry, a substantial and growing market for local corn. The keynote address was followed by a welcome and bourbon tasting reception sponsored by KyCorn.

Conference session topics address genetics, biotechnology, and grain quality. There will be additional sessions covering new technologies and products from wet and dry processing, enzyme technology, and products from biorefineries. Attendees will hear presentations on new starch uses, resistant starch and nutrition, biopolymers and higher valued products such as nutraceuticals.

Be sure to check the KyCorn website and social media for conference updates featuring the #CUTC14.

KyCorn's Jennifer Elwell giving a brief welcome to Kentucky and the bourbon tasting reception

Meadors and NCGA President Martin Barbre make a toast.