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Friday, May 27, 2016

NCGA Yield Contest Online Entry Now Open

(NCGA) With planting well underway in much of the country, the National Corn Growers Association invites farmers to register early for NCGA's National Corn Yield Contest and save big on entry fees. Until June 30, fees will be reduced to $75. NCGA reminds growers that a small time investment now saves money later this summer.
"We are excited to announce that yield contest entry is now open. While it may still seem a ways out, we all know how quickly the time passes once planting season starts," said Production and Stewardship Action Team Chair Brent Hostetler. "Every year, we gain valuable data from the contest that help develop the production practices of tomorrow. I urge those who haven't entered before to become NCGA members and try their hand at high-yield techniques as contest entrants in 2016."
To enter today using the online form, click here.  The version of the online form released this year is suitable for use on mobile devices.
Entry will remain open at the full rate of $110 through July 29. All harvest forms will be due by November 21. Contest winners will be announced on December 16.
For access to contest information and a detailed list of the entry and harvest rules, click here.

Study Shows Corn Exports Add $47.9 Million to Kentucky Economy

U.S. corn exports generate $74.7 billion in annual economic output, with benefits that extend well beyond the nation's farmlands, according to a new analysis conducted by Informa Economics IEG.
"Whether in the form of feed, ethanol, meat or dairy, corn drives a large part of the U.S. farm economy. U.S. corn exports benefit not only farmers and ranchers but the nation's economy as a whole," Philip McCoun, KyCorn Promotion Council Chairman. "The far reaching impact of corn exports demonstrates why it is critical American farmers and ranchers have access to international markets; we need global trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership that enable us to compete on a more level playing field." 
The study, which was commissioned by the National Corn Growers Association, of which Kentucky Corn Growers is a member, and the U.S. Grains Council, quantifies the economic contributions and benefits of the export of corn, ethanol, the co-product dried distillers grains (DDGs), corn gluten feed and the corn equivalent of meats. Additionally, it shows these benefits not only at the national level but also the state and, in some cases, by congressional district. 
According to the analysis, the export of corn and corn products increased the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) by $29.8 billion over what would have occurred without such exports. The number of full-time equivalent jobs linked directly or indirectly to corn exports totaled 332,787. For every one job directly involved in the export of grain and grain products, an additional 6.9 jobs are created in the U.S. economy. Industries most impacted by this job creation include full- and limited-service restaurants, hospitals, employment services, real estate and wholesale trade.
For every $1 million in exports of corn, ethanol, DDGS, corn gluten feed and the corn equivalent of meat exports, 8 jobs and $0.6 million of Gross State Product (GSP) are added within Kentucky. The positive economic effects of corn exports benefit not only agriculture, but also wholesale trade, real estate, oil and natural gas production, banking and financial industries. 
There are also negative consequences to reducing exports of corn and ethanol. If U.S. corn and corn product exports were suddenly halted, more than 40,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in GDP would be lost at the farm, ethanol production and meat production levels alone - before accounting for losses in related industries.
This study underscores the need for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an international trade agreement that will expand farmers' market access to the Asia-Pacific region.
"Passage of TPP would open a world of opportunity to America's farmers and ranchers. Conversely, the failure to move forward would have negative consequences for our farm families," said Philip. "Let's grow America's economy again. The women and men who grow and raise our food lose markets every day we delay TPP, and the reverberations can be felt throughout the farm economy.

Friday, May 20, 2016

May Planting Progress

Kentucky experienced near normal temperatures and above normal rainfall over the past week. Precipitation for the week totaled 1.86 inches, 0.74 inches above normal. Temperatures averaged 63 degrees for the week, unchanged from normal. Topsoil moisture was rated 3 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 35 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 3 percent short, 69 percent adequate, and 28 percent surplus. Days suitable for fieldwork averaged 2.1 out of a possible seven. 

Primary activities this week included limited planting and spraying. Excessive rains and storms this week led to flooding, with standing water in many fields. Some fields will need to be replanted. There were also reports of crop damage due to large hail and strong winds; tornado touchdowns also occurred. For you full NASS report, click here

Winners Use E10!

Crappie Masters teamed up with the Kentucky Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol for the 2016 Kentucky/Tennessee State Championship on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes. Sixty nine teams from ten different states took part in this two day total weight tournament that stretched out well over two thousand miles of shoreline. Cold fronts, rain, and heavy winds were heavy factors in the outcome with several teams struggling to find productive fishable waters. In the end, one team stood tall and took home the hardware and thousands in prize money. 

Smith and Elliot Dowdy weighed in a two day total of 24.29 pounds to become first time winners and the 2016 Kentucky/Tennessee State Champions. The Champions took home a check for $6914.00 which included a $500.00 bonus, donated by the Missouri Corn Growers Association and American Ethanol, for using E10 gasoline in their boat plus a check for $414.00 for catching the second big crappie of the tournament at 2.42 pounds and two 10' Jenko HyperSense rods. Smith and Dowdy are sponsored by Cannon Packaging.

EPA's Proposed 2017 Renewable Volume Obligation: Time to Stand Up

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard 2017 RVOs Wednesday and has increased RFS volumes across the board. However, the proposed rule is still not at statutory levels and continues to cite waivers they don't have the authority to use.

The non-advanced or "conventional" fuels portion of total renewable fuels would increase by 300 million gallons between 2016 and 2017. The RVO for conventional/corn ethanol is 14.8 billion gallons, an increase from 14.5 billion gallons.

Chip Bowling, president of the National Corn Growers Association, responded to Wednesday's announcement by EPA.

"EPA has moved in a better direction, but we are disappointed that they set the ethanol number below statute. The Renewable Fuel Standard is working for America. It has made our air cleaner. It has spurred investment in rural communities and created high-tech jobs. It has given drivers more choices at the gas pump. And it has reduced our dependency on foreign oil. Any reduction in the statutory amount takes America backward - destabilizing our environment, our economy, and our energy security.

"In the past, the EPA has cited a lack of fuel infrastructure as one reason for failing to follow statute. Our corn farmers and the ethanol industry have responded. Over the past year, we've invested millions of dollars along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership to accelerate public and private investment in new ethanol pumps and fuel infrastructure. The fact is, today's driver has more access than ever to renewable fuel choices.

In the coming weeks, take time to contact EPA. They need to hear from everyone: farmers, neighbors, community leaders and anyone who cares about stability for our rural economy.  Ask the EPA to raise the RVO to statute.

EPA will hold a public hearing on this proposal on June 9, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo. The period for public input and comment will be open until July 11. The rule is expected to be finalized by November 30.

For more information on Wednesday's announcement, here

Friday, May 13, 2016

Philip McCoun Appointed to State Fair Board

Senate Bill 191 reorganized the Fair Board to add two members and dedicate more seats on the board to agricultural interests. The final version of the bill passed both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly unanimously, and Gov. Bevin signed the bill into law on April 27.

"The reorganization of the State Fair board, through Senate Bill 191, assures world-class agricultural events, such as the National Farm Machinery Show, the North American International Livestock Exposition, and the Kentucky State Fair, will continue for years to come," Commissioner Quarles said. "With solid agriculture representation on the board, members will play a key role in shaping future decisions that will advance Kentucky's agricultural economy and benefit all people of the Commonwealth.

Commissioner Quarles is one of three ex-officio members of the board, along with Nancy Cox, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment; and Don Parkinson, secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. The state presidents of the Kentucky FFA Association and the Kentucky 4-H Organization are non-voting ex-officio members.

The Fair Board oversees operations for the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, located at the Kentucky State Fairgrounds, and the Kentucky International Convention Center, located in downtown Louisville.

Appointed for one-year terms were:
  • Lynn (reappointment); 
  • Michael Poynter Sr. of Stanford, the former president of the Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows;
  • and Marshall Coyle (reappointment) of Owingsville, representing the Kentucky Farm Bureau. Coyle is a former president of the bureau.
Appointed for two-year terms were:
  • David Wallace of Verona, representing the state at large. Wallace is the former president of the Kentucky 4-H Foundation and vice-president of the Boone County Fair.
  • Mike Grisanti of Louisville (reappointment), representing the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. He is a businessman and investor.
  • Joe Goggin of Danville, representing animal agriculture. He is a cattle farmer, a member of the Kentucky Angus Association Board and president of the Boyle County Farm Bureau.
Bevin appointed these people to three-year terms:
  • David Williams of Danville, representing agribusiness. He is president of Burkmann Feeds.
  • Phil McCoun of Shelbyville, representing the state at large. McCoun is the chairman of the Kentucky Corn Promotion Council.
  • Hoppy Bennett of Shelbyville, representing the American Saddlebred Association. He owns Undulata Horse Farm.
Appointed to four-year board terms were:
  • Ryan Bivens of Hodgenville, past president of the Kentucky Soybean Association.
  • Sharon Furches of Murray, representing the state at large.  She is the former president of the Kentucky Women in Agriculture.
  • Jennifer Yue Barber of Louisville (reappointment), an attorney, representing the state at large.  

Kentucky Grower to Meet with South Africa Grain Buyers

Representatives of the U.S. Grains Council and Kentucky Corn traveled to South Africa this week on a mission to promote corn and assess barriers to increase sales there.
Philip McCoun, KyCorn Promotion Council Chairman, is participating in the effort on behalf of KyCorn and its members.
"I am excited about the networking opportunities the trip will create for U.S. Grains," said Philip. "I look forward to meeting with various key importers and officials to discuss the current corn deficit they are facing."
Under normal climatic conditions, South Africa is a net exporter of approximately 1 million metric tons of corn annually. However, the country is currently battling its worst drought on record, , and it's estimated that South Africa will have to import about 3.5 million tons of corn following declines in local production of more than 40 percent.  
The goal of mission traveling this week is to meet with the main grain importers, end users and government officials regarding South Africa's white and yellow corn deficit this marketing year.
The group's goal will be to help these key decision makers understand the benefit of importing U.S. feed grains to help alleviate the domestic shortage. The team will also explore biotech constraints limiting U.S. exports.
KyCorn will report on the outcomes of the mission following its conclusion in mid-May. 

KyCorn Awards Annual College Scholarships

Three recipients were selected for this year's Ky Corn Growers scholarships, two high school seniors and one college sophomore. The annual scholarship awards are $1,000 to each senior and $2,000 to a student in college.

KyCorn Hosts Media Day to Promote Ethanol in Marine Engines

As a part of a joint sponsorship of the Crappie Masters KY/TN State Championship, KyCorn hosted a Media Day yesterday, May 12, to promote the use of ethanol in marine engines. The panel available for interview included:
  • Richard Strode, KyCorn President, 
  • Joseph Sisk, KyCorn Board Member,
  • Mick Henderson, Commonwealth Agri-Energy Plant Manager,
  • Mike Valentine, Crappie Masters President, 
  • Brian Sowers, Crappie Masters Spokesman, 
  • Bradley Schad, Missouri Corn, 
  • Mike Holman, Tennessee Corn Growers President 
  • Various angler teams
All who attended were able to ask the panel questions, conduct individual interviews and were given a folder of materials. All materials given out can be found here. Fishing begins today and extends until tomorrow. Final weigh in is Saturday, May 14, 3:30 p.m. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Certified mechanics, engine performance experts, and professional fishermen briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday about the importance of ethanol in protecting the environment, preserving America's energy security, and providing a high-octane boost to marine engines.
The briefing, hosted by Fuels America, provided an important opportunity for experts to dispel myths about ethanol and make the case for full implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The National Corn Growers Association is a member of Fuels America.
"I want to take my grandkids fishing someday. That means having clean water and clean air. Mixing ethanol into our fuel is the best way to reduce the pollutants that fossil fuels leave behind, so our lakes and rivers stay clean and marine life can flourish," said Brian Sowers, Co-Host of Crappie Masters TV, covering the Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail.
The Clinton, Missouri-based Crappie Masters tournament trail is sponsored in part by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council. A major initiative of this partnership is to educate boaters and consumers on ethanol production, its performance in boat motors, and its impact on the economy. Most of the 12 million recreational boats in the United States are approved to operate on fuel blended with 10 percent ethanol (E10).
Sowers notes that 100 percent of Crappie Masters tournament winners use an ethanol blend in their tanks. That comes as no surprise to Keith Holmes, President and Owner of CK Motorsports in Nunica, Michigan and a Certified Mercury Marine Racing Technician.
"We work on a wide variety of racing engines for watercraft, and they run at their absolute best on a high-octane ethanol blend," said Holmes. "Ethanol burns cleaner and cooler. Since the introduction of E10, we find that many engine parts have a 25 to 50 percent longer lifespan. The National Boat Racing Association exclusively uses E10 for all their races."
"Decades of experience with modern engines shows that E10 is the best fuel for marine applications," said Marc Rauch, Executive Vice President and Co-Publisher at the Auto Channel, based in Louisville, Kentucky. "As an oxygen booster, ethanol replaces toxins like MTBE, which are notorious for contaminating water supplies. And it reduces CO2 emissions by 34 to 100 percent or more compared to gasoline."
Joel Hennen, president and owner of Hennen's Auto Service in Shakopee, Minnesota, which serves communities on the Minnesota River and Prior Lake, said his customers expect to have choices at the pump, including E10. "Companies like Kawasaki, Mercury Marine, OMC, Pleasurecraft, Tigershark, Tracker, Honda, and Yamaha all approve the use of E10 in their engines," said Hennen. "The labels are clear, and whether customers have a flex fuel vehicle or a race boat, we make it easy to pick the most affordable option with the lowest emissions."
"Whether you farm, fish, swim, or ride a boat, everyone who spends time on the water cares about clean water and clean air. Ethanol is the best way to preserve these resources today and for future generations," said Beth Elliott, NCGA Director of Public Policy. "Today's briefing was an opportunity for us to educate lawmakers on ethanol and its performance in maritime engines, while continuing to highlight that it's a renewable, clean energy source for both boats and cars."
The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is currently reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed blending requirements for ethanol and advanced biofuels in 2017.

Friday, May 6, 2016

RFA Launching Boating Campaign to Combat E10 Misinformation

(RFA) As Memorial Day weekend approaches later this month and people start heading out to the beaches and on the water, the Renewable Fuels Association is launching an ad campaign today to correct misinformation regarding ethanol usage in marine engines.

The campaign kicked off with a two-page ad in the latest issue of Marina Dock Age, which is delivered to nearly every marina in the United States. A copy of the ad can be found  here. The campaign will also feature educational outreach and further ad placement in news outlets throughout the country.

"There has been a lot of misinformation perpetuated by biofuel opponents surrounding boating and ethanol," said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. "For nearly 30 years, 10 percent ethanol (E10) has been used in all types of marine engines and the fuel blend is approved for use by all major marine engine manufacturers, including Honda, Mercury Marine, Kawasaki and Johnson/Evinrude. As a bonus, ethanol's higher octane ratings increase engine performance, in addition to it also being the lowest-cost, cleanest-burning fuel on the planet.

"E10 is safe for marine engines. Period. Any organizations that say otherwise are not telling the truth," Dinneen added.

It is important to remember that while E10 is approved for use in all marine engines, higher ethanol blends, such as E15, are not. EPA has approved the use of E15 in all 2001 and later model year vehicles, but only for on-road vehicles. But as EPA requires E15 and higher ethanol blends to be clearly labeled at the pump, and mandates that E10 also be available at any station offering E15, boaters need not be concerned. Through more than four years of E15 sales, there has not been a single case of E15 misfueling in a marine engine.

For more information on boating and ethanol, please check out this FAQ document that RFA has previously issued.

Kentucky Nominee Named National Farm Mom 2016

Congratulations Mary Courtney, a Kentucky farm mom, for being named National Farm Mom of 2016! Cheers to her and the other regional winners who were recognized for their excellence in business and agriculture. Learn more about Mary here.