Growth Energy’s Model Ethanol Plant

Growth Energy Model PlantDuring the Farm Progress Show last week several companies featured some cool technologies and displays featuring agriculture’s role in producing clean energy such as biofuels. One partnership that has been very successful is that between New Holland and Growth Energy. New Holland has very publicly shown its support for ethanol has developed equipment for farmers to more easily harvest their energy crops.

When visiting the New Holland booth not only could you see this amazing equipment, but you were able to see a model ethanol plant – thousands of Farm Progress attendees have never has the opportunity to visit an ethanol plant.

In this video with Kelly Manning, vice president of development for Growth Energy, you can get your own virtual tour of the ethanol plant. The educational display was under glass and the ethanol plant was built to scale demonstrating the role feedstocks play in the production process as well as how the products are delivered from the plant.

New Holland Loans Tractors to BioCentury Farm

fps-cnh-jj-54-editedThis morning during the Farm Progress Show, New Holland hosted a tour of the Iowa State BioCentury Research Farm. New Holland got involved with the project when they saw a need for the use of some of their equipment and loaned them two tractors, which provided new options for their biomass research projects.

The BioCentury Research Farm combines biomass feedstock production, harvesting, storing, transporting and biorefinery processing into a complete system to develop the next generation of biofuels and biobased products. A New Holland large square baler also was provided for a corn stover research project conducted by Matt Darr, an associate professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering.

“Providing the use of this equipment to the Iowa State BioCentury Research Farm helps us strengthen the relationship between New Holland and Iowa State,” says Ron Shaffer, New Holland’s North American Director of Growth Initiatives, Institutional & Specialty Sales. “The participation furthers New Holland’s commitment to the biomass industry and our position as the Clean Energy Leader.”

fps-cnh-jj-24-editedThe New Holland Agriculture loan arose from a tour Andy Suby, manager of the research farm, gave to company officials last year.
“We appreciate the equipment and research funding provided by New Holland Agriculture,” Johnson said. “The BioCentury Research Farm was intended to be a partnership with private companies.”

New Holland Agriculture provides the use of a model T8.330 and a T5.115 tractor with a loader to be used in research and education projects conducted at the facility. The tractors will be replaced with similar models when they reach 200 hours of operation.

The company provided the baler and funding to evaluate its use in baling corn stover for supplying to cellulosic ethanol plants. This “Leading the Bioeconomy Initiative” project was supported by an appropriation from the Iowa legislature. Suby said the possibility for funding more projects with gifts or loans of other equipment has been discussed.

2014 Farm Progress photo album.

Ethanol First Spotlight Topic for MyNewHolland.com

MyNewHolland.comToday is the launch of MyNewHolland.com. This new virtual community is set up to provide a meeting place to share information, contribute to farming related discussions and access premium contents and services. It is very simple to create your account by visiting MyNewHolland.com. Then you’ll have access to the features currently active.

A list of features includes:

  • My New Holland: a new online community for all
  • The Spotlight: discussions on a variety of topical subjects in the farming world
  • The first Spotlight: ethanol and renewable energy
  • Valuable information resources: instructional videos, white papers and more
  • Premium content: owners of New Holland equipment and Precision Land Management products gain access to useful materials that will help them get the most from their machines
  • Easy registration and log in through social networks

The Spotlight discussion is a key feature of MyNewHolland.com. Each discussion will feature a guest farmer or industry expert who supports a farming-related topic. All My New Holland members are invited to contribute their comments, opinions, material or images, driving the conversation forward. Each discussion will be open for a number of weeks; subsequently a white paper will be produced and made available for downloading.

Ron Clauson MyNewHolland.comThe first Spotlight discussion topic is “Ethanol: Renewable Energy for America – Profit for American Farmers.” Our guest is Indiana farmer Ron Clauson. His farm has produced corn for ethanol production for the last eight years and he’s passionate about it.

“One hundred percent of the corn and soybeans we produce go into ethanol and biodiesel,” Clauson says. “It makes me proud to be able to say we market our crops to produce fuel that reduces dependence on imports.”

There are several questions being posed in this first Spotlight discussion for you to respond to and your feedback is highly appreciated.

  • Are you producing a crop for ethanol production? If so, what type and why?
  • How would a change in the Renewable Fuel Standard impact your community and you personally?
  • What do you think about the misleading claims against ethanol by critics and what can farmers do about it?

I am very proud to be assisting our long time sponsor in the daily management of MyNewHolland.com in this startup phase. To get some more perspective on it I spoke with New Holland Director of Marketing for North America, Mark Hooper, while visiting headquarters in Pennsylvania recently. He says there are many more features planned for MyNewHolland.com as the community grows and develops.

You can listen to Mark talk about MyNewHolland.com here: Interview with Mark Hooper

So there you have it. The website is live and available for you to create your personal login and let New Holland know what you think, especially about the first Spotlight discussion. See you there.

Growth Energy Urge Producers to Get Involved

buis-absoluteGrowth Energy CEO Tom Buis was pleased to be part of the New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club event at Absolute Energy near Lyle, Minnesota last week to encourage the nearly 200 growers in attendance to continue the great progress ethanol has made for agriculture.

“It’s even farmers beyond just corn farmers,” Buis said. “A rising tide lifts all boats and all the data shows that and what a great run rural America has had after decades of struggling to make ends meet they finally have been able to get a decent price from the market place. And when farmers do well that money turns over several times in the local economy.”

Buis also talked about how important ethanol has been to the livestock economy with the co-product of distillers grains. “We’ve expanded the availability of feed, both here at home and worldwide, with the ethanol industry,” he said.

Buis thinks that with all Congress has on its plate right now calls to change or even repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are unlikely to go anywhere this year, but that is no reason for the industry to be complacent. “We have to keep telling our story,” he said. “If you don’t get in there and speak up for yourself, nobody’s going to do it for you…take two minutes and explain to the policy makers how important this is to your livelihood.” Interview with Tom Buis, Growth Energy

New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club photo album

New Holland Helping Farmers and Ethanol

cnh-club-kacherFarmers who provide corn for ethanol plants can get special discounts on New Holland equipment and help the ethanol industry at the same time.

New Holland district sales manager Bob Kacher says their American Ethanol Producers Club is an initiative they developed two years ago with Growth Energy to help both growers and the ethanol industry. “It offers the opportunity to reinvest back into the ethanol industry through the purchase of New Holland products,” he explained during an event this week at the Absolute Energy biorefinery near Lyle, Minnesota. “The producers are part of the club by their contracts and the amount of grain they sell to the ethanol producing plants and that membership allows them discounts off New Holland equipment that they purchase through their local dealer, and in turn New Holland reinvests back into the support and promotion of ethanol.”

Producers can qualify for club membership if they have a current contract with an ethanol plant for at least 10,000 bushels, supply at least 50,000 bushels per year or purchase at least 280 tons of distillers grain, or be a board member or major investor in an ethanol plant. Bob suggests producers contact their local ethanol plant or Growth Energy for more information.

Find out more in this interview: Interview with Bob Kacher, New Holland

New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club photo album

Absolute Energy Hosts New Holland Ethanol Producers Club

Nearly 200 area farmers attended a New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club event Wednesday at Absolute Energy, an ethanol biorefinery located near Lyle, Minnesota.

schwarkThe event, which was the 12th held at ethanol plants around the country this year, was designed to introduce producers who provide corn for the plant to the partnership between New Holland, Growth Energy and American Ethanol that offers equipment discounts. It also encouraged those farmers to communicate with their members of Congress the importance of maintaining the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association – they’re working tirelessly every day in support of agriculture and the ethanol industry,” said Absolute Energy president and CEO Rick Schwark. “But there’s nothing like the grower talking to his congressman. It really does have an impact.”

Absolute Energy is a 125 million gallon per year ethanol plant on the Iowa-Minnesota border. Schwark says they additionally produce about 350,000 tons of distillers grains and 4.5 million gallons of corn oil annually – and they help boost the local economy. “We started in 2006, we’re owned by 470 local residents – 75% of those folks are farmers – we’ve had great economic success here and we’re very proud that those economic dollars are staying here in our local community,” he said.

Listen to or download my interview with Rick here and watch the video below of his remarks at the event: Interview with Rick Schwarck, Absolute Energy

New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club photo album

American Ethanol Powered by New Holland

producers-clubNew Holland is proud to be powering American Ethanol as the premier equipment partner for Growth Energy and its member ethanol plants.

“We’re pushing forward with a positive message about ethanol and working together with not just the plants but also the producers,” said Luke Johnson, Growth Initiatives sales manager with New Holland, at the kickoff of a New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club event at the Absolute Energy plant in Lyle, Minnesota.

new-holland-mn-lukeThe producers club is a way for New Holland to show its support of the farmers who produce the corn that makes American ethanol. “We have a great discount structure program set up for them,” Luke said. “Our partnership is circular for everyone. The producer helps the ethanol plant and gets better prices in the corn market because of the industry, we support them with a fantastic discount program and support the industry at the same time to keep the positive message out there.”

The event at Absolute Energy is the 12th one that New Holland has held this year and Luke says they expect to do more next year. “Everything about it has been positive,” he said.

Listen to my interview with Luke here: Luke Johnson, New Holland

New Holland American Ethanol Producers Club photo album

Growth Energy Pleased with New Holland Support

Pictured left to right: Abe Hughes, New Holland; Wesley Clark and Tom Buis, Growth Energy

Pictured left to right: Abe Hughes, New Holland; Wesley Clark and Tom Buis, Growth Energy

At the 2013 Farm Progress Show, representatives from Growth Energy were pleased to be part of the New Holland Club Blue event for dealers and customers.

“New Holland is a fantastic company, they produce top notch equipment, but they also are willing to step up for rural America,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “What we’ve seen over the last few years is New Holland take the lead in promoting biofuels.”

Buis says Growth Energy members participate with New Holland on promotional deals – in fact, one will be held next week at the Absolute Energy plant in Lyle, Minnesota. Interview with Tom Buis, Growth Energy

Growth Energy co-chairman retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark praised New Holland’s support for national security. “New Holland is the first, most visionary and innovative company (that) saw what this ethanol movement means for America, for national security and for American prosperity,” said Clark, who adds that company vice president Abe Hughes, who serves on the Growth Energy board, has been a real leader in helping reach out to the American farmer.Interview with Wesley Clark, Growth Energy

2013 Farm Progress Show Photo Album

Spring Planting Delay

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Have you started spring planting”

Our poll results: Sixty-two percent said No, I’ve Been Delayed More Than One Week, twenty-three percent said Yes, I’m In the Field Right Now, and fifteen percent said No, I’ve Been Delayed by One Week. The late winter storms and heavy rain showers seem to have put a damper on the majority of farmer’s spring planting plans.

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Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “What is the #1 thing you look for on a food label?” Reading food labels has become more popular with media attention about health risks. What are some of the things you look for in the grocery store? Let us know.

ZimmPoll is sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.

Social Network Chaos

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “How do you combat social media overload?” We live in a new media world where we can communicate instantly with one person or the whole world. Does it ever bother you? Do you have to take a break from it all?

Our poll results: Twenty-five percent said Focus On 1 or 2 Social Networks, twenty-three percent said Physically Talk To People, thirteen percent Turn Devices Off For a While, ten percent Don’t Get Overloaded, eight percent Do Farm Chores and said Overload, What Overload?, five percent Set Time Limits, Read a Book, and Other. Based on poll results, focusing on one or two social media networks rather than all of them helps most people keep the chaos at ease.

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Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Have you started spring planting?” The weather has been less than predictable over the last month, this time last year many of you were already in the fields. Has it delayed your spring planting date? Let us know.

ZimmPoll is sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.

Is Drought Still a Concern for 2013?

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Has winter weather affected drought conditions in your area?”

Our poll results: Fifty percent said Yes, thirty-two percent said No, and eighteen percent said it’s Too Early To Tell. Seems the drought of 2012 may not be over. I heard once that weather cycles last 6 years. Sure hope that isn’t the case with this drought.

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Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “How do you combat social media overload?” With the weekly AgChat Twitter conversation turning 4 years old it is obvious that something is working when it comes to farmers and industry using social media to advocate for their industry. But even if you are not actively agvocating you’re probably using some form of social media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and there are many more. So our question comes out of this week’s AgChat. For many it is easy to get so engrossed by the online conversation, especially with mobile devices like smart phones and tablets, that they start feeling overwhelmed by it all. Let us know … Are you on social media overload?

ZimmPoll is sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.

Renewable Fuel Standard Working for Most

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Do you support continuing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)?”

Our poll results: Fifty-seven percent say Yes, It’s Working, Twenty-nine percent say No, It’s Not Working, twelve percent ask What is the RFS?, and a small portion at two percent say Other. Over half of you support the continuation of the Renewable Fuel Standard. For those who ask what is the RFS? The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program regulations were developed by EPA in collaboration with refiners, renewable fuel producers, and many other stakeholders. The RFS program requires 36 billion gallons of renewable- fuel to be blended into gasoline by 2022.

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Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Has winter weather affected drought conditions in your area?” Drought conditions coupled with below average snowfall is resulting in low topsoil moisture. Do you think this will impact the 2013 growing season? Let us know.

ZimmPoll is sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.

Supporting the Renewable Fuel Standard

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Have you recently purchased a gun?”

Our poll results: Thirty-three percent said Yes, Already Own Guns while twenty-nine percent said No, Don’t Own Any. Nineteen percent said No, Have Enough, Eleven percent said Planning To, five percent said Yes, First Gun Purchase, and three percent said Other. Looks like most of you have one or more guns. Let’s hope that ammo for those guns becomes available again soon! Right now it’s very difficult to find any and we all know that to be proficient in using a gun, it takes practice/practice/practice.

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Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Do you support continuing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)?” The Renewable Fuels Standard, or RFS, program was first created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, and established the first renewable fuel volume mandate in the United States. It was expanded in 2007 and increased the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022. The program includes ethanol, biodiesel and advanced biofuels with the goal of helping America become less dependent on foreign petroleum.

The RFS continues to be challenged by the oil industry, some livestock and poultry interests and food retailers for various reasons but the biofuels industry contends the program is working as intended and has resulted in lower imports of foreign oil. What do you think?

ZimmPoll is sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.

Impact of the Sequester Monster

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “Will the sequester monster impact you personally?”

Our poll results: Fifty-two percent said No it will not impact you. Twenty-one percent said Yes, Major Impact, seventeen percent said Yes, Minor Impact, and ten percent said I Don’t Know. So most of you do not expect to be affected by the sequester monster. Wonder what all the fuss was about.

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Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Have you recently purchased a gun?” The Second Amendment states that you have the “right to keep and bear arms.” Do you practice that right? Has all the talk about new gun laws stimulated you to go out an purchase that gun you’ve been wanting? Let us know.

ZimmPoll is sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.

Intentions for 2013 Corn

Our latest ZimmPoll asked the question, “What are your spring planting intentions for corn?”

Our poll results: Forty-four percent said More Than 50% and twenty-five percent said 50% Corn. Tying for 3rd, thirteen percent said less than 25% and Other. Six percent said 25% Corn. Even with the extreme drought conditions our poll shows that the majority of you are going to continue planting a lot of corn!

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Our new ZimmPoll is now live and asks the question, “Will the sequester monster impact you personally?” U.S. sequestration ordered by President Obama officially began Friday March 1st. Will sequestration impact you? Let us know.

ZimmPoll is sponsored by New Holland Agriculture.