September 30, 2011

Ethanol powered drag races set for this weekend in Kearney

The Nebraska Ethanol Board and Nebraska Corn Board are co-sponsoring racing events this weekend at the Kearney Raceway Park in Kearney, including quarter-mile drag races with cars powered by E85.

As part of this weekend’s events, two Bosselman’s Pump and Pantry locations in Kearney will offer an 85 cent per-gallon discount on E85 and a free 32 oz. soft drink with a minimum 10 gallon purchase of E85. This special deal is good only on Sunday, October 2 from noon to 6 pm at the Pump and Pantry at 4311 N 2nd Avenue, and the Pump and Pantry at 1212 E 56th Street.

Tomorrow's events include Test and Tune, and NHRA Qualifying starting at 10 am, and Super Shootout and ST/SS Combo races beginning at 3pm.

Sunday’s events (Oct. 2) begin at 9 am with Time Trials and NHRA qualifying. Eliminations begin at 1 pm.

Check the Kearney Raceway Park website for entry and admission details.

To view the event flier, click here.

September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Packing Silage

A feed yard in Western Nebraska packs corn silage so that it can be used for feed later on in the year.

September 26, 2011

Harvest getting underway in Nebraska

With sunny, dry weather of late, some fields have dried down enough that farmers have started harvest, including Nebraska Corn Board farmer-director Mark Jagels of Davenport.

In fact, the photos on this post are from a video he posted on Facebook.

You can watch the videos on the Nebraska Corn Board's Facebook page:

As for specific numbers, in it's weekly crop progress report today, USDA said Nebraska farmers had harvested 6 percent of the state's corn crop as of Sept. 25. That’s on par with the five-year average and 3 points behind last year when the crop matured and dried down very quickly (and early).

USDA said 52 percent of Nebraska's corn crop was mature, off 5 points from average. Dry, warmer weather this week will advance that figure quickly.

As for crop condition, 76 percent of the state's corn crop was rated good to excellent, with 17 percent fair. Nationally, that figure stood at 52 percent, with 28 percent fair – a year ago the national ratings were 68 percent good to excellent and 21 percent fair.

For national harvest figures, 15 percent of the crop was in the bin, 1 point behind the five-year average and 9 points behind last year's early crop. USDA said 63 percent of the nation's crop was mature, 1 point behind average and 20 points behind last year.

September 24, 2011

Ethanol worth billions to Nebraska economy

The headline of this post comes from a Kearney Hub article by Lori Potter.

In it, she covers a Sept. 16 presentation to the Nebraska Ethanol Board by Ken Lemke, an economist with the Nebraska Public Power District.

According to the article, Lemke noted that Nebraska’s ethanol industry has $5.56 billion of direct benefits to the state economy and nearly $5.9 billion worth of total impacts.

His report also showed that the 25 ethanol plants in Nebraska provide 1,322 direct manufacturing jobs, with a total of 7,703 on-site and indirect jobs.

“It’s a huge wealth generator just in wages,” Lemke said.

Potter reported that Lemke said ethanol production had direct effects on household income of nearly $85.8 million and total impacts of nearly $251 million. That boosts annual retail sales by around $105.4 million.

Direct tax revenues were $19.6 million and the total with indirect additions was $32.2 million a year.

For more, be sure to check out the full article.

September 23, 2011

Podcast: RFS ensures we stay on path to increased energy independence

In this podcast, Joel Grams, a farmer from Minden and member of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, provides a bit of history and important thoughts about the Renewable Fuels Standard, known as the RFS.

The RFS dates back to 2005 when the initial legislation was signed into law. It was amended in 2007 through the Energy Independence and Security Act.

"Those words are key and something we must remember," Grams said. "After all, the RFS was created at a time of very high oil prices and turmoil in the Middle East."

He noted that Congress approved the Energy Independence and Security Act to help the United States move down the path toward using more domestically produced renewable energy. To help kick our foreign oil habit and keep hundreds of billions of dollars right here at home instead of sending them to countries who may not appreciate the freedoms we enjoy.

"The Nebraska Corn Growers Association strongly supports the RFS," Grams said. "We believe it is paramount for us to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We also strongly believe that corn farmers will produce more bushels of corn per acre in the future, and we’ll see more record crops."

Nebraska Corn Kernel podcasts are also available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.

The never ending story of atrazine...

As most may know by now, in 2050 our world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion people. That doesn’t just mean there will be 9 billion people on our planet, but that there will be 9 billion mouths to feed!

That is a lot of food for a lot of people. So how will we grow that much food for that many people? Well it is simple, we will continue to use and improve our technology and resources available today so that we can grow more food with fewer resources including land, fertilizer, and other chemicals.

Fortunately, our farmers and ranchers have several tools available to them today to increase their production and be better stewards of the land and natural resources. However, what if we took away one of their tools, such as atrazine, which is a herbicide used to reduce the competition for natural resources around the main crop. How would this affect the production of crops?

There are mixed opinions about this because some believe it could be devastating to farmers that use no-till or minimum till methods while others believe we would either find a new chemical or go back to the old ways of tilling up the land every year. The reason why it would be devastating to no-till and minimum till farmers is because atrazine is one of the ways to keep weeds out of their fields without having to till up the soil. In other words, this chemical allows farmers to leave the soil undisturbed, which has many benefits such as reducing erosion, increasing water absorbtion and increasing soil quality.

Unfortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has asked for public comment about atrazine use and to see if this chemical should be banned. Back in 2007, an issue was raised about the use of atrazine and the EPA at that time conducted studies to see if atrazine had an effect on human life or amphibian life. The results ended up showing that there was no link to atrazine affecting human life or amphibian life.

So how did this come about again, especially after the EPA declared that atrazine had no affect on amphibian life or is a cause of cancer in humans back in 2007? A group called “Save the Frogs” has claimed that atrazine affects frogs and that this chemical is harmful to the environment. Some of these affects to frogs include hermaphoditism and reverses the sex of male frogs. The group also says that atrazine is commonly found in our nation’s water supply.

So to bring this to the EPA’s attention, the group got over 10,000 signatures and sent 50,000 emails to the EPA. After the group got the EPA’s attention, the agency decided to submit a Federal Register notice which includes a public comment period allowing people to voice their concerns or thoughts on a federal ban of atrazine and atrazine products. The comment period is open until November 14, 2011.

As most of us know who are involved in production agriculture, a federal ban on atrazine could cause a major problem for U.S. farmers. Instead of making advances in being better stewards of the land by using minimum or no-till options with the use of atrazine, we would actually be taking a step back instead of a step forward.

If we are going to feed 9 billion people in the future, we are going to need all the resources available, and shouldn’t be banning resources that are beneficial to increasing food production and helping farmers be better stewards of the land. Make sure to visit the EPA’s public comment site and voice your concern about the federal ban on atrazine!

To see previous posts on atrazine, click here, but be sure to check out information on atrazine and frogs and Atrazine: What's the safety limit?

Another good website on atrazine is AGsense.  

September 22, 2011

A-FAN brings new face to agriculture

Nebraska farmers and ranchers have always been a trustworthy, hard-working and compassionate breed. They now enjoy more tools to help them do what's right. According to large animal veterinarians, advancements in technology and medicine are resulting in a higher level of animal care. As a result, the food we feed our families is safer and healthier than ever before.

A-FAN, the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, has a great new video and TV commercial with such a veterinarian and great advocate for agriculture: Dr. Angela Baysinger.

Dr. Baysinger is a licensed large animal vet from Bruning, Nebraska. She's also a rancher and a mom.

Click to watch the video below to hear why she believes Nebraskans can be trusted to do the right thing when it comes to caring for animals. Dr. Baysinger discusses the advantages of modern science and technology, and a time when animals were far more vulnerable to disease, predators and the elements.

The new video coincides with an updated A-FAN website, which you can find at

“We believe it’s extremely important in this day and age that Nebraskans and others around the country have a true picture of how their food is produced and a chance to get to know the people that are producing it for them. This site will give people a chance to hear directly from Nebraska farmers/ranchers who work every day to provide the food and fiber that keeps Nebraska and America going,” said Willow Holoubek, A-FAN Organizational Director.

September 21, 2011

Virtual classroom: Texas third graders visit rural Nebraska

By Mark Jagels, District 2 farmer-director on Nebraska Corn Board

I had an interesting call from our middle son, Brett, early last week. Brett and his wife, Kristin, recently moved to Austin, Texas, where he is teaching third grade at St. Paul's Lutheran school.  He asked me if I would help him with his lesson on Friday, showing his third graders where their food came from, with a virtual classroom on our farm.
My wife and I thought, “Wow! What a terrific way for us here in Nebraska to help educate some kids over 1,000 miles away about the crops we grow and the livestock we raise.” With the technology we have today, even for a person that struggles with all the advances of technology, what an opportunity this was. 

Brett helped me get our Motorola Xoom tablet ready for a virtual classroom tour of our farm. Friday morning came and I got online via iGoogle video. I walked around our farm, showed them equipment we use, started a tractor, walked in a corn field, showed them ears of corn, shelled a couple of ears of corn, both yellow and white, showed them our shop, grain bins, cows, calves and the feed they eat, all live via the video on the Xoom. 

Mark shared live images with the virtual classroom, like
equipment, cattle, corn, grains bins and baby calves.
I described some of the different jobs we do on the farm and how we do them, trying to put it in terms they could relate to.

Some examples were: one acre is about the size of a football field; one bushel of corn weighs the same as some of the 56-pound third graders; if 200 of the third graders stood on a football field, that is what our corn yields per acre; it would take 21,000 third graders to fill one of our grain bins, and many more examples of thinking like a third grader. I then went in the house and got on Skype to visit with them about questions they had.  Wow, was that an eye opening experience!

They asked a lot of great questions about the equipment, crops, livestock and general questions about rural life in Nebraska. For example, “how many ears of corn are on one stalk”, “how many stalks in an acre”, “how many stalks in an average size field, how many hours a day do you work”, “what do you do with the corn”, “what items in the grocery store come from your farm”, “how much does a baby calf weigh”, “what does a calf weigh when you take it off the cow”, “what does a cow weigh”, “do you process cows on the farm”, “how many cows and bulls do you have”, “do cows and calves get sick”, “what do you do if they get sick”, “what do you do besides farm”, “is farming hard”, “do you like Nebraska football” (is there another team?). 

They even asked some questions about the reproductive side of livestock that I had a tough time putting in terms for a third grader. I was very impressed with the quality of questions they asked and the interest they showed in what we do and how we do it. Brett asked if we could do this again throughout the year, showing harvest, field work, winter, calving, planting, irrigating and more – to help educate his third graders on the importance of livestock and grain production.

Wow, virtual classrooms showing Nebraska agriculture, both crops and livestock to third graders in Austin, Texas. Thanks Brett, for keeping in touch with Nebraska!

September 20, 2011

Renewable Fuels Month proclamation video featuring Gov. Heineman, Kenny Wallace

Renewable Fuels Awareness Month in Nebraska was proclaimed by Governor Dave Heineman at Husker Harvest Days last week. He addressed the crowd and media, as did NASCAR Nationwide driver Kenny Wallace.

The proclamation was coordinated through the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board, who said they hosted the event to recognize the contributions of Nebraska farmers and agribusinesses to the nation’s renewable fuel supply.

For more on the proclamation, check out this post.

Otherwise, enjoy the videos below.

With harvest getting underway, farmers encouraged to be safety-minded

This is National Farm Safety and Health week, and the Nebraska Corn Board is encouraging farmers – and motorists driving on rural highways and byways – to exercise caution and be safety-minded as harvest and fall field work jump into high gear over the next few weeks.

“We’re expecting another good crop this year, and it looks like farmers will enjoy good prices, too. Yet none of it is worth injury or fatality that could have been prevented by taking appropriate precautions or simply taking time,” Alan Tiemann, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board, said in a news release. “While we all recognize the excitement and enjoyment of harvest, staying focused and resting regularly can help a lot in keep things safe around the farm for everyone, including family members helping to bring the crop in.”

Since first proclaimed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in1944, National Farm Safety and Health Week has been an annual proclamation by every sitting U.S. President. You can read this year's Presidential proclamation at the White House website.

The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, which promotes National Farm Safety and Health Week, said there were more than 50 grain bin incidents, auger related injuries, power take offs (PTO) incidents and more than two dozen fatalities in the U.S. last year.

“Grain production and handling continues to be one of the most dangerous aspects of crop production,” Tiemann said. “With more than 1 billion bushels of on-farm storage capacity across Nebraska, grain bins and associated equipment are common on farms and deserve extra attention.”

Last year there was a special focus on grain bin safety, and the Nebraska Corn Board featured a discussion on it in a CornsTALK newsletter. The National Corn Growers Association also produced a special grain bin safety video. You can access both by going to this blog post.

Tiemann also cautioned motorists driving on rural roads during harvest. With additional traffic during harvest, there's an increased chance for accidents to occur between slower moving farm equipment and vehicles moving at highway speeds. In addition, rural intersections will have heavier-than-normal travel and dusty conditions may limit visibility, as can sun glare in the morning and evening. Standing crops in the field may also block a clear view of oncoming traffic.

In its news release, the Nebraska Corn Board included a list of things for farmers, families and farm workers to consider this fall:
  • Ensure that trained family members and employees are operating powerful equipment.
  • Develop a set of safety rules that everyone should follow – and enforce them. Also consider developing an emergency plan so everyone is on the same page.
  • Check that PTOs are well protected to avoid contact with clothing or people during operation.
  • Check to make sure safety shields are in place on all equipment everyday – they are there for a reason.
  • Always be aware of power lines that can come in contact with moving equipment and augers around grain bins.
  • Grain bins deserve special attention and caution when grain is being loaded and removed. Safety measures should be put in place to avoid any risk of entrapment and suffocation.
  • Take periodic breaks to help avoid fatigue. Take a rest break for a few minutes, go for a short walk or check in with family members.
  • Use extra caution when backing equipment. It is easy to overlook something or more importantly, someone, especially a child.
  • Protective eye and ear wear is important in many situations.
  • Equip tractors and combines with a fire extinguisher, as dry crop residue is fuel for a fire.
  • Remind family members and workers that safe practices come before expedience.
Be safe – and have a great harvest!

September 19, 2011

FREEDOM film promotes ethanol

freedom Last week, the screening of the documentary film, FREEDOM, was in Lincoln, sponsored by Green Plains Energy and The Joslyn Institute for Sustainable Communities.

The film focused on the use of ethanol as the most sustainable fuel for transportation –the energy that is in the biggest demand. These important points were covered in the film:
  • Ethanol does not require more energy to make than it yields.
Argonne National Laboratory research has shown that corn ethanol delivers a positive energy balance of 8.8 megajoules per liter. The energy balance from second-generation biofuels using cellulosic sources is up to six times better, according to a study published in Biomass and Bioenergy Journal.
  • Ethanol does not take food away from humans.
Only 1 percent of all corn grown in this country is eaten by humans as sweet corn. The rest is No. 2 yellow field corn, which is used in animal feed, food supplements and ethanol.
  • Ethanol does not emit more greenhouse gases than gasoline.
A 1996 EPA study analyzing sources of air pollution confirmed that gasoline vehicles and non-road equipment are the largest contributors to vehicular gaseous hazardous air pollutants. However, another study showed ethanol reduces tailpipe carbon monoxide as much as 30 percent and tailpipe particulate matter emissions by 50 percent. Also, the Journal of Industrial Ecology at Yale University published a study in 2009 that found that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by up to 38-59% when using ethanol as a transportation fuel.
  • Ethanol can be made from waste.
Cellulosic ethanol can be made from agricultural waste and biomass such as corn cobs and stover, wheat straw, wood, energy crops & even municipal waste.
  • Ethanol is cleaner burning.
Compared to gasoline, ethanol reduces every single tailpipe emission (CO; CO₂; smog; particulates; NOx and SOx) because ethanol contains 35% oxygen and results in a higher temperature burn.
  • 12 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in Canada and the US in 2010.
This will grow to 36 billon gallons by 2020. Currently, the ethanol industry replaces 364 million barrels of imported oil each and every year in the USA and Canada.
  • There are 8 million flex fuel vehicles already on the road, which is 3% of US vehicles.
We’re adding 800,000 to 1 million new flex fuel vehicles each year. There are already over 2,200 E85 and ethanol blender stations with over 60 E85/blender stations per month being installed.
  • Ethanol creates jobs and is good for the economy.
A major study by the Windmill Group identifies 645,000 jobs created by ethanol in the USA and $92 billion.
After the film, they had a three-member panel including:
  • Todd Becker, CEO of Green Plains
  • Cecil Steward, Pres/CEO of The Joslyn Institute
  • Lt. Gov Rick Sheehy
There was good discussion and interaction from the attendees. Lt. Gov. Sheehy was first to boast on Nebraska’s great position being the best situated for corn, ethanol and livestock production. The ethanol industry in Nebraska produces 2 billion gallons per year, which escalates into job creation, new technology and co-products to be used by livestock.

The discussion of first-, second- and third-generation biofuels was an important topic and Todd Becker explained how corn’s role is so important in that. In corn-ethanol production, one-third of the kernel is the starch used to make ethanol fuel, one-third is protein that is passed through to use in distillers grains to feed livestock, and the last one-third goes into CO₂. The role of second-generation biofuels comes into play in using the CO₂ to grow algae, for example, which is then able to make food, feed and fuel again.

For more on the film, watch the teaser below or go to

September 16, 2011

Podcast: NCGA leadership academy helps develop strong grassroots leaders

In this podcast, Jay Reiners, a farmer from Juniata and member of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, talks about the first session of the National Corn Growers Association's Leadership Academy he attended in August in Minneapolis, Minn.

He noted that corn grower groups like the Nebraska Corn Growers and National Corn Growers are grassroots-driven organizations with growers comprising the board of directors.

The Leadership Academy, sponsored by Syngenta, is one way the national organization can help ensure it develops strong grassroots leadership year after year, but it also benefits state organizations by helping growers gain new skills that will be useful at the state level, Reiners said.

In January the group will go to DC for the second and final session. There, they will focus on public policy, providing the ins and outs of politics and how things work in DC. "This includes each attendee scheduling his or her own visit to the Hill to visit with their Representatives and Senators. A challenge, for sure, but a skill we all can develop," he said.

For those who have successfully completed the leadership academy, NCGA has launched an advanced leadership program that puts a much smaller group through a more rigorous program. The first six students graduated last year and another six got their start this week.

Nebraska Corn Kernel podcasts are also available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.

September 15, 2011

Gov. Heineman, Kenny Wallace and corn, soybean growers highlight ethanol, biodiesel

Gov. Heineman and Alan Tiemann with the proclamation.
In the midst of a NASCAR driver and corn and soybean growers, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman proclaimed September Renewable Fuels Awareness Month at Husker Harvest Days yesterday.

He addressed the crowd and media, as did NASCAR Nationwide driver Kenny Wallace, Nebraska Corn Board chairman Alan Tiemann and Nebraska Soybean Board chairwoman Lisa Lunz.

The proclamation was coordinated through the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board, who said they hosted the event to recognize the contributions of Nebraska farmers and agribusinesses to the nation’s renewable fuel supply.

Lunz, Wallace, Gov. Heineman and Tiemann (at mic).
“Nebraska’s renewable fuels sector contributes to local communities by providing good paying jobs for thousands of Nebraskans,” said Heineman. “Renewable fuels are a critical component of becoming energy independent and by providing an alternative to imported oil. We are fortunate to have a strong biofuels industry with thousands of Nebraskans working to fuel America.”

One of Wallace’s sponsors this year is American Ethanol, which is supported in part by Nebraska farmers through the Nebraska Corn Board.

“I’ve been across the country meeting farmers and it is really exciting to see their commitment to ethanol and all renewable fuels,” Wallace said. “Biofuels bring so much good to rural communities and they keep more of our energy dollars in this country where they belong. I’m proud to promote ethanol and really appreciate knowing that there’s ethanol in every tank when we’re on the track each week.”

Wallace addressing the crowd.
In a Grand Island Independent article, Wallace said, "Biofuels bring so much good to rural communities, and they keep more of our energy dollars in this country where they belong. I'm proud to promote ethanol and really appreciate knowing that there's ethanol in every tank when we're on the track each week."

NASCAR switched to Sunoco Green E15, a 15 percent ethanol fuel, for races beginning this year.

“Across the country ethanol provides more than $3 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues and provides thousands of jobs, including more than 2,000 in small-town Nebraska,” said Tiemann, a farmer from Seward. “At the same time, ethanol plants produce millions of tons of the livestock feed distillers grains, which are widely used not only in the United States but around the world.”

Tiemann noted that ethanol production across the country is at an all time high and surpassed 13.2 billion gallons last year.

Wallace signing autographs.
Lunz, a farmer from Wakefield, Neb., said soy biodiesel is seeing new and exciting uses across the country, including in BioHeat, a heating oil blended with biodiesel used to heat millions of homes and businesses, primarily in the Northeast.

“The increased industrial demand of soybean oil for biodiesel, including for BioHeat, ultimately increases the supply of the feed ingredient soybean meal. That’s good for livestock producers right here in Nebraska,” she said. “We thank the Governor for his support of Renewable Fuels and Nebraska agriculture and we know that by working together, the future looks brighter, cleaner and greener for Nebraskans.”

While at Husker Harvest Days, Wallace took time to sign autographs and pose for photos with fans.

Below is the video from NTV, but for additional reports on the event, go to Nebraska Farmer, KHAS-TV and Nebraska Central News (10/11).

September 12, 2011

Nebraska corn farmers stay within reach of record crop

Weather issues during the growing season were behind USDA's move to lower its estimated Nebraska corn yield to 160 bushels per acre in today's crop production report. That's 6 bushels below last month's estimate and 6 bushels below yields Nebraska farmers saw last year.

If such yields are realized, Nebraska farmers will produce a 1.54 billion bushel crop, which would be the second-largest on record for the state and off just a hair from the record 1.58 billion bushels produced in 2009.

Despite the drop in its yield estimate, USDA's crop progress report still shows the state's overall corn crop to be in great condition. That report, out this afternoon, pegs 76 percent of Nebraska's corn crop as good to excellent, with 17 percent fair and only 7 percent poor to very poor.

As for maturity, USDA said only 9 percent of the state's corn crop was mature as of September 11. That's off from last year's 23 percent mature and the five-year average of 20 percent mature as of this point. A year ago, 2 percent of the state's crop has been harvested by Sept. 12; we need some warm, dry weather before that will happen, although some areas are getting close.

Nationally, 53 percent of the crop was in good to very good condition, with 27 percent fair and 20 percent poor to very poor. Meanwhile, 29 percent was mature, compared to 50 percent last year and the five-year average of 33 percent.

As for national yields, USDA lowered it's estimate today to 148.1 bushels per acre, down 4.9 bushels from its August forecast and down 4.7 bushels from last year. The drop was a bit more than anticipated but within range. If harvested acres are as forecast, that will put overall national production and 12.5 billion bushels.

While smaller than last month's estimated 12.9 billion bushels, the crop would be slightly larger than last year's and would still be the third largest on record.

The National Corn Growers Association noted the many events over the growing season that impacted yields — from heat and drought to hail and floods — and yet farmers may still produce the third largest crop on record.

Only 10 years ago, the average national yield was 138 bushels per acre and production totaled only 9.5 billion bushels. The decade before that, the average yield reached 107 bushels per acre nationally and production totaled only 7.5 billion bushels. Even as estimates are revised down to account for the damage done to the 2011 crop by weather, the strides made through innovative technology and techniques continually allow growers to excel even under difficult circumstances, NCGA said.

While USDA did lower U.S. corn ending stocks 672 million bushels (down from its 714 million bushel estimate last month) in its supply and demand report (.pdf), global corn ending stocks actually increased 114 million bushels from August, with increases in South America and Europe more than offsetting the reduction projected in the U.S.

This week's photos come to the Nebraska Corn Board's 2011 crop progress photo set at Flickr. The top one is from the Howells-Clarkson FFA Chapter and the bottom one is from the SEM FFA Chapter.

Revving our engines for Husker Harvest Days

The Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association are revving up their engines to share about the many benefits of ethanol at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, September 13-15, 2011.
On Wednesday and Thursday, September 14th and 15th the #33 American Ethanol Chevrolet will be on display. Just on Wednesday from 10:00 am - 12 noon, NASCAR Nationwide driver Kenny Wallace will be at the site talking about the unique relationship of American Ethanol, farmers, and stock car racing. Alson on Wednesday at 10:00 am, the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Soybean Board will declare September as Renewable Fuels Awareness Month in Nebraska.

The theme around Nebraska Corn will be all about NASCAR, using ethanol and membership benefits. The Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Ethanol Board are partnering together to provide information for consumers about flex fuel vehicle education, ethanol education, and blender pumps. The Nebraska Corn Growers Association will be unveiling their new membership software. Displays and presentations will show farmers the new features that will help them continue to be advocates for the industry.

You can find the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association located in the Ag Commodities Building along Main Street. As always, don’t forget to stop by for a cold can of Coca-Cola sweetened with Corn Sugar.

SAVE ON FUEL! If you drive a Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV), you can save big money during big events in Grand Island! Check your owner’s manual to see if you’re driving a FFV (tens of thousands of Nebraskans do!) If so, don’t miss this chance to save on ethanol-blended fuel for a limited time!
  • E20: Save 20¢ per gallon
  • E30: Save 30¢ per gallon
  • E85: Save 85¢ per gallon
Discounts available during these dates only
  • HUSKER HARVEST DAYS Tuesday, Sept. 13-Thursday, Sept. 15
Two Grand Island Locations
  • BOSSELMAN’S PUMP & PANTRY 1235 Allen Drive • Grand Island
  • AURORA COOPERATIVE “A” STOP 4155 E. Highway 30 • Grand Island

Food, it's one of the hottest topics of conversation yet much of the talk doesn't include the people behind most food - America's farm families. CommonGround wants to change this and there is a movement to show your support for modern food production. We want consumers to understand and trust the people and the work behind their food.

At Husker Harvest Days, CommonGround volunteer farm spokeswomen will be at the Ag Commodities building and all around the grounds. They will be handing out free blue grocery bags and information to dispel the misconceptions about food production. You can help join the movement by getting your photo taken waving as if to say, "When you want to talk about food, talk to a farmer."

It's your chance to be heard! Learn more about CommonGround.

Tuesday, September 13:
  • Visit the Ag Commodities Building
    • Talk with farmers and CommonGround farm women
Wednesday, September 14:
  • Visit the Ag Commodities Building
    • Check out the NASCAR #33 American Ethanol Chevrolet car on display
    • Talk with farmers and CommonGround farm women
    • 10:00 am – Renewable Fuels Proclamation presentation
      • Gov. Heineman
      • Kenny Wallace, NASCAR Nationwide driver
      • Alan Tiemann, Nebraska Corn Board Chairman
      • Lisa Lunz, Nebraska Soybean Board Chairman
    • 10 am - 12 noon - Kenny Wallace will be in the Ag Commodities Building
      • Pictures and autographs with fans; answer questions about NASCAR, being a driver, American Ethanol, etc.
Thursday, September 15:
  • Visit the Ag Commodities Building
    • Check out the NASCAR #33 American Ethanol Chevrolet car on display
    • Talk with farmers and CommonGround farm women
For more on Husker Harvest Days, visit!

September 11, 2011

Beatrice pork producer honored at Nebraska State Fair

Brian Zimmerman and his family were recognized by the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Pork Producers Association at the recent Nebraska State Fair.

Left to right: Alden Zuhlke, board member of the Nebraska Pork
Producers Association; Tammy Zimmerman;
Brian Zimmerman; Austin Zimmerman, and Bob
Dickey, farmer-director on the Nebraska Corn Board.
Zimmerman, owner/manager of Zimmerman Hog Farms near Beatrice, and his family were honored for their commitment to Nebraska agriculture, the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Pork Producers said in a news release. The annual award is given to a dedicated individual or family in the pork industry in Nebraska who shows respect and devotion to improving Nebraska agriculture.

Bob Dickey, farmer-director on the Nebraska Corn Board, and Alden Zuhlke, board member of the Nebraska Pork Producers and long time family friend, were present to honor Zimmerman and his wife, Tammy, and children, Austin and Shelby.

“I’m proud to be here today to honor a deserving pork producer and his family, for their commitment to Nebraska agriculture,” Dickey said during the presentation.

“Brian has always worked to promote opportunities in agriculture and the pork industry for youth leaders. It’s fitting for him to receive this award at the Nebraska State Fair, where so many 4-H and FFA youth get their start,” said Zuhlke.

Zimmerman has been very involved in the state as a past president of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association and has served on the board since 1996. Nationally, he is just finishing his term on the National Pork Board, has served on the National Pork Board’s Administrative Committee, Animal Welfare Committee and Demand Enhancement Committee. Locally, he is member of the Blue Valley Pork Producers and has served as president and state director.

September 10, 2011

Podcast: NASCAR coming to Husker Harvest Days

In this podcast, Dennis Scamehorn, a farmer from York and member of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, notes that there are a couple NASCAR connections coming to Husker Harvest Days next week.

He said right out front the Ag Commodities building on Husker Harvest Days main street will be the show car for American Ethanol #33 driver Clint Bowyer, one of the top NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. The fully decked out Chevy is available for close examination and photos all three days, he said.

Another NASCAR connection arrives just in time for the Renewable Fuels Month proclamation on Wednesday, September 14 at 10 a.m. That’s when NASCAR Nationwide driver Kenny Wallace arrives. Scamehorn said Wallace make a few remarks to the crowd in front of the Ag Commodities building as part of the proclamation.

He’ll stick around until noon to sign autographs and pose for photos.

The Nebraska Corn Growers will be handing out ice cold, corn-sugar sweetened cans of Coca Cola all three days of the show — and hosting a social hour for those participating in the National Corn Yield Contest. The social hour begins on the back porch at the close of the show Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 13 and 14). "It’s a great time to visit with other growers and let the traffic ease a bit," he said.

Nebraska Corn Kernel podcasts are also available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.

September 9, 2011

USFRA to host food dialogues Sept. 22

The U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) said this week it is hosting The Food Dialogues, a town hall-style discussion to address Americans' questions about how their food is grown and raised, on September 22. The dialogues will be held at four locations across the country and online.

Topics for the interactive event also include the long-term impact of food people are eating – on their own health and the health of the planet — as well as findings from recent surveys of farmers, ranchers and consumers conducted by USFRA.

The event kicks off at 10:30 Central time with lunch at host sites in New York and D.C. Other host sites are in Indiana and California. Following lunch in the Eastern time zones, introductions and panel discussions get underway, gradually moving across the country. The event wraps up about 4:00 Central time following Q/A opportunities at every location - with questions coming from those invited to attend and others via Twitter and Facebook. (Check out this Facebook app, it's a great way to organize and host an online watch party with your friends and family.)

Announced participants include Claire Shipman, television journalist and senior national correspondent at ABC's "Good Morning America," who will moderate the event from Washington, D.C., and chef John Besh, who will moderate from New York. Additional participants include Max Armstrong of Farm Progress Companies and Jane Wells of CNBC.

USFRA said it will announce the full list of panelists prior to The Food Dialogues event - go to for details.

For more in USFRA, check out this podcast.

September 8, 2011

Grain donation program nets $66,588 for Red Cross earthquake, tsunami relief

On the main stage in the Nebraska State Fair's Exhibition Hall on Sunday, the Nebraska Corn Growers Association presented a $66,588.07 ceremonial check to the American Red Cross. The check represented money raised through the Nebraska Corn Growers grain donation program that supported Red Cross relief efforts in Japan and the Pacific following the earthquake and tsunami there in March.

Nearly 9,000 bushels of grain – mostly corn – was donated and sold through the program, with money being sent to the Red Cross every couple of weeks. Some cash-only donations were also received.
Joel Grams presents the check to Susan Epps of the Red Cross.
“Nebraska farmers came together in a big way to support Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. For many years Japan has been one of our top global corn customers, but it’s also an important market for many other Nebraska ag products, including beef and pork. Supporting people there through the Red Cross was a great way help our neighbors in the global market, and we appreciate all who contributed,” said Joel Grams, a farmer from Minden who is vice president of the Nebraska Corn Growers.

The grain donation program began April 1 and ran through July 30. It was launched by the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, Aurora Cooperative and the American Red Cross, with farmer-owned KRVN rural radio also supporting the initiative. Cooperative Producers Inc. (CPI) also joined in the effort by accepting grain at all of its locations.

“Response to the grain donation program was simply tremendous and we appreciate everyone who contributed. Money raised through the program was passed directly to Red Cross efforts in Japan and the Pacific where it helped make a difference for so many,” said Susan Epps, executive director of the Cornhusker Community Chapter of the American Red Cross, who was on hand to accept the check.

John Willoughby (left) and Bill Schuster.
As part of the program Sunday, farmers John Willoughby and Bill Schuster shared some of their photos and stories gathered while taking part in a mission to Japan in July. They and several others went to promote U.S. beef but also to prepare and deliver meals to evacuees. For more on their mission, click here.

For a compilation of posts relating to the Red Cross efforts, click here, and for photos from the presentation, click here.

September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Corn Damaged from Hail


This field of corn was hit by a hail storm in early August. As you can tell, the hail damaged the ears of corn.

September 6, 2011

Last chance to win Husker football tickets


Win Husker Tickets!Today is the last day to register to win FREE Husker Football tickets from the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Ethanol Board!

One pair of tickets will be awarded to each game:

  • September 10, Nebraska vs. Fresno State
  • September 17, Nebraska vs. Washington

To register, click here or on the Husker Football Icon.

Winners will be chosen at random TODAY, Tuesday, September 6 at promptly 2:00 pm CST and notified by email and phone, as well as listed on the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Ethanol Board websites. No purchase necessary.

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September 2, 2011

Podcast: Red Cross check presentation at the State Fair this weekend

In this podcast, Curtis Rohrich, a farmer from Wood River and member of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, covers some of the great corn-related events going on at the Nebraska State Fair this weekend.

One big event, of course, is the ceremonial check presentation to the American Red Cross. The check will be for the full amount of money raised through the corn donation program for relief efforts in Japan.

The presentation is Sunday, September 4th at 1 p.m. on the stage in Exhibition Hall, the same building the Nebraska Corn Growers booth is located. On hand for the presentation will be representatives of the Growers plus the executive director of the Cornhusker Community Chapter of the American Red Cross, Rohrich said.

He noted that farmers who helped organize the program and who recently went to Japan as part of a mission to promote Nebraska beef and provide meals for evacuees will also be on hand.

Two State Fair events taking place on Saturday, September 3, that Rohrich mentioned are the Do You Flex Fuel panel on the stage from 3 to 4 p.m. and the Cookin’ with Common Ground from 5:15 to 6 p.m. Both are on the Exhibition Building stage.

Plus there’s E-20, E-30 and E-85 discounts this weekend at two locations in the Grand Island area. The discounts will save you 20, 30 or 85 cents per gallon, up to 20 gallons.

For details on the fuel discount and all this weekend's activities, click here.

Nebraska Corn Kernel podcasts are also available on iTunes! Click here to subscribe.