September 30, 2013

Renewable Fuels Help Consumers Save Money at the Pump


sept renewable fuels monthSeptember is Renewable Fuels Month! We are celebrating by conversing about the benefits and talking out the issues around the renewable fuels industry here in Nebraska to Capitol Hill.

A rapid spike in gas prices can take a big hit on wallets. But Nebraskans who use ethanol or own a flex fuel vehicle (FFV) have options at the pump to save money and farmers have the option to use biodiesel.

Flex fuel vehicles are able to operate on any blend of ethanol and gasoline up to E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Flex fuel vehicle owners can fill up with any blend in any amount at any time. Since ethanol is priced lower than gasoline, the higher the ethanol blend, the lower the price.

As gas prices rise, the cost of E85 has become even more attractive. “When you are filling up your flex fuel vehicle, look at the price of E10, E30, E85 and other ethanol blends to save money. Even with some reduction of mileage with the use of E85, it may still be economical for flex fuel vehicles to use E85 and other ethanol blends, " said Don Hutchens, executive director for the Nebraska Corn Board. “Instead of looking at your miles per gallon, calculate your cost per mile.”

One in ten Nebraskans drives a flex fuel vehicle or FFV-that’s over 150,000. "There are enough flex fuel vehicles in Nebraska to nearly fill Memorial Stadium twice! Many drivers don't realize they have an FFV since they don't look any different or cost any more than a standard vehicle," Hutchens said. "All you need to do is check your owner's manual or see if you have a flex fuel badge somewhere on the exterior of the vehicle." Some FFV's also have a yellow gas cap.

In 2011, ethanol saved American households over $1,200 and reduced gas prices by $1.09. As gas prices increase, FFV owners have even more reason to choose ethanol blended fuel.

E85 pumps and flex fuel pumps offering E10, E20, E30, E85 and other options can be found across Nebraska, including Omaha, Lincoln, York, Fremont, Grand Island, North Platte, Ogallala and other communities. Locations can be found at or by downloading a flex fuel location app on a smartphone.

Ethanol isn’t the only renewable fuel helping consumers. Biodiesel was named America’ first advanced biofuel and has continually exceeded the production benchmarks set forth by the EPA. Over half of the farmers in Nebraska use biodiesel on their farms. Additionally, co-products from biodiesel production add value to livestock in Nebraska-as much as $13 per head of cattle and $3 per head of hog.

There are a number of economic, environmental and energy security benefits when choosing ethanol and biodiesel blended fuels.

September 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Members of the USGC Japanese trade team tour the Green Plains ethanol facility in Central City, Nebraska!! 

September 24, 2013

Will We Finally Have a Farm Bill? By: Casey Campbell

The Farm Bill will finally be going to conference now! Can y’all believe it? Despite all the work I did over the summer and all the nights I prayed for a new Farm Bill to pass, I still can’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still waking up in the night panicking that somehow all of our effort will be wasted and we’ll end up back with the 2008 bill again, but I’m a heck of a lot more hopeful now. Since the House passed their SNAP half of the Farm Bill my hopes are up, but the clock is still desperately ticking.

We can definitely expect some heat with the Senate’s $4 billion cuts over 10 years versus the House’s $4 billion cuts annually. With not a single Democrat vote for the House’s SNAP Bill Thursday, it will be impossible to pass without lots of compromise. On the positive side, at least the SNAP programs will finally be put back in the Farm Bill like they belong after the House wasted all our time splitting it.

September 30 is coming fast though and House Majority Leader Cantor still hasn’t even named the House members who will be part of the conference with the Senate. Maybe he hasn’t looked at a calendar to see how soon the 2008 bill is expiring, but just cancelling their planned recess for this week is not going to cut it. The Democrats and Republicans, urban districts and rural districts all need to work together. This bill is important for every single American and too much has gone into the bill to just extend the 2008 one again.

September 23, 2013

Agribusiness Virtual Roundtable–Chris Kalkowski


*The Business Leaders "Virtual Roundtable" discussion was gathered for the Spring 2013 CornsTalk publication. The responses of these business associates were consolidated for the publication, but you can find the full responses through this blog series.

SONY DSCChris Kalkowski, Vice President, First National Bank of Omaha

How does Nebraska's strength in agriculture—and corn, livestock and ethanol specifically—influence your business/organization? How does the fact that you are located in Nebraska provide a competitive advantage or growth opportunities for you?

First National Bank of Omaha’s (FNBO) footprint mirrors very closely that of our nation’s food production. The fact that Nebraska is at the heart of both agricultural production and our bank network puts FNBO in a great place to support opportunities in agriculture far into the future.

A long-time ag lender once challenged me, “Show me a vibrant community and I will show you a strong community bank.” FNBO is a strong regional bank. Its strength is created by its location, its people, and its family ownership. Nebraska is the model of agricultural strength and productivity. As one of the nation’s largest livestock and ethanol lenders, FNBO plays an important role in Nebraska agriculture today and will continue to do so long into the future. We are proud to be born and raised in Nebraska.

What should Nebraska do to leverage its strength in agriculture to enhance economic vitality across the state—and position the state for long-term success in meeting global demand for food, feed and fuel?

Nebraska is in a unique and enviable position. If one were to map the primary production areas, each in its own unique color, for corn, livestock production, meat processing, irrigation, and ethanol production, he/she would find that they all overlap right over Nebraska. On top of that, the map would also show that we are right in the center of the United States. This may seem trivial, but it illustrates the leadership role that Nebraska plays in meeting the global demand for food, feed, and fuel. Nebraska is in the prime location to continue that leadership into the future. It is important for Nebraska to steward its resources, especially the strength of their common sense people, to lead by example, and to ensure that we feed a growing world.

What do you think Nebraska consumers—especially those in urban areas—need to better understand about Nebraska agriculture and your organization's relationship to agriculture?

Nebraska consumers need to understand that Nebraska farmers and ranchers work very hard to provide safe and nutritious food for people in the state and around the world. They do this every day, even when there is a blizzard, drought, or flood. They have a foundation of strong values and a great work ethic. They conserve the resources with which they are entrusted. Nebraska’s agricultural producers care.

It doesn’t matter where you work or live in the state; Nebraska’s agricultural producers have a positive effect on our state’s economy – and, as a result, the good life that we all enjoy.

How important is it that Nebraska corn farmers continue to invest in the future of their industry through their checkoff?

The diversity of Nebraska’s farmers increases the importance of the corn checkoff. A single farmer does not have the economy of scale to develop programs of research, education, market development and promotion to enhance profitability of corn production. By coming together, these farmers create a powerful stage from which to act. The checkoff helps develop the script from which the future will be viewed.

What concerns you most about the future of agriculture in Nebraska? And what will it take to address those concerns?

We as a society are becoming further and further removed from the farm. Each generation seems to understand less about where its food comes from. Children believe their milk comes directly from the store, or that chocolate milk comes from a chocolate cow. Adults don’t seem to understand that our state’s economy is driven by agriculture.

According to a study completed by the Nebraska Policy Institute, one of every three Nebraska jobs is derived from agriculture. Included in the one-third count is production agriculture, with backward linkages to farm suppliers and forward linkages to agricultural processors. Excluded from the selection are restaurants and grocery stores. The study shows that the overall contribution of agribusiness to the state’s economy is increasing. In 1990, twenty-five percent of the state’s total employment was directly or indirectly the result of agribusiness activity. In 2002, the same percentage grew to thirty-one percent. It seems to me if one industry provides one-third of our state’s jobs and is the largest economic activity that we need to make a concerted effort to provide the members of our society with a basic understanding of agriculture and its role in our lives.

With this belief, I am very concerned that only fifty percent of our state’s high schools offer agricultural education. It concerns me even more to note that only thirteen percent of Nebraska’s high school students are enrolled in an agricultural education class.

I am not promoting that we require every student to enroll in an agricultural education curriculum that teaches all about “cows and plows.” I do believe it is important that every student receive a foundation of knowledge about agriculture and its economic impact. Agriculture has a universal importance to every student. Everyone eats. Everyone wears clothing that comes from the toil of farmers’ hands.

Teaching agriculture is unique in that it can fit almost any subject matter. Math concepts can be taught and reinforced in many agricultural teachings. Accounting classes can use a multitude of agricultural case studies to learn basic principles. Science curriculums provide even greater opportunities to delve into agriculture. Agriculture is the most pure form of a perfect competition for those students learning economics. Agriculture can be used to teach leadership, entrepreneurship, business, English, and even music. With its universal importance to every one of us and its applicability to every curricular specialty, we need to strive to touch every child.

These students are our future voters who will elect the officials who will determine future policy. Many of these students will be the future leaders who will make those decisions. If we are concerned about policy created today, imagine what it will be like as we continue to develop young people with little understanding of agriculture. It is our obligation to ensure that the next generation be educated about the importance of agriculture in our state and nation. We need to stand up and play a role in establishing a foundation for our children’s future.

Any other comments or perspectives regarding Nebraska agriculture that you wish to share.

As I watched the election results reported on television in November, one map intrigued me. This map showed red and blue by each county of each state across our nation. The majority of the nation’s counties were highlighted bright red while the counties that are home to large cities were a shiny blue. Those blue counties covered much of the East Coast, West Coast, around the Great Lakes, etc. While contemplating the meaning of what was happening, I realized that we are not so much a nation of red versus blue as we are a nation of rural versus urban. I then realized that Nebraska is impacted by the same issue I was seeing in a map of our national election. Our forefathers saw this as an issue and thus we have a two-house system in which to enact our laws. Because of the differences between city and country, it is extremely important for the people in agriculture to tell their story. The urban dwellers of our country need to eat, they want to know more about their food and they want to know that their food is safe and wholesome. Nebraska agriculture will play a huge role in feeding the world and educating our customers.

September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

As we move into #Harvest13 we encourage you to take pictures of the hard working farmers out in the fields. Share them on our Facebook or Twitter feeds for a chance to be featured in a "Wordless Wednesday" post!

September 17, 2013

Renewable Fuels Provide Energy Independence


sept renewable fuels monthSeptember is Renewable Fuels Month! We are celebrating by conversing about the benefits and talking out the issues around the renewable fuels industry here in Nebraska to Capitol Hill.

Here’s what you need to know about the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

The RFS continues to be scrutinized in Congress, by groups such as the American Petroleum Institute (API), grocery manufacturers, and other industries.

The RFS was created under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and required 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be blended into gasoline by 2012 to reduce our dependence on imported oil and provide energy independence and security.

In 2007, the RFS program was expanded to include diesel, increased the amount of fuel required to be blended into transportation fuel to 36 billion gallons in 2022, created new categories of renewable fuels including advanced, cellulosic, and conventional and evaluated the lifecycle of greenhouse gases to ensure each category was meeting a minimum threshold.

The RFS is doing exactly what it was intended to do. “Each year we are producing more renewable fuels in the United States. In 2012 we reduced our imported crude oil by nearly 600 million barrels and 1.1 billion gallons of imported petroleum diesel,” said David Merrell, corn farmer and District 7 director for the Nebraska Corn Board.

Biodiesel and ethanol are homegrown and locally produced and contribute to our energy independence and security. But that is not all. Over 1,500 are employed in rural Nebraska because of renewable fuels.

“There are rural communities that probably wouldn’t have the opportunities they do today if it wasn’t for renewable fuels,” said Merrell. “Renewable fuels support the local farmer and provide as much as $3 million in tax revenue for Nebraska.”

The RFS is reducing our dependency in imported oil, providing a homegrown, locally produced renewable fuel, creating jobs, providing tax revenue, and more. Renewable fuels are a win-win situation for the farmers, rural communities, and consumers.

September 16, 2013

Temperatures Still Above Normal

This corn is almost ready for harvest
For the fourth week in a row temperatures averaged above normal. Rainfall was expected across most of the state but came to late to boost dryland crops. Corn silage harvest was active in many areas and harvest of high moisture corn for feedlots has started statewide. All together producers had 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 60 percent short/very short, 40 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated72 percent short/very short, 28 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. All corn conditions rated 7 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. Irrigated corn conditions rated 81 percent good or excellent, higher than the 76 percent average. Dryland corn conditions came in at 36 percent good or excellent, compared to 59 percent average.
Leaves are drying out in the fields

Corn dented was 91 percent which is behind last years 100 percent but near the 92 percent average. Corn mature was 16 percent, behind 71 percent last year and 29 percent average. Corn harvested was 2 percent, behind 21 percent last year and 5 percent average.

To view all crop progress photos submitted this week visit our Flickr or Pinterest pages!

September 13, 2013

Intelligent Jock - by Curt Tomasevicz


Grade schools, high schools, and colleges have started the fall semester this past week. Summer vacation is over and kids are headed back to school for another year of education. Often times, kids ask why school is necessary or more specifically, why certain subjects are necessary. By the time kids are in high school, many have begun to set goals pertaining to their eventual career. So they may wonder why a banker needs to take biology. Or why does a future engineer need to study accounting? Is physics really going to be a necessity for a student that wants to be a salesman?

I’m sure any farmer could explain to a would-be- farmer the need to have adequate math skills. For example, a farmer needs to be able to calculate the right rotational speed for an irrigation pivot in order to apply the needed amount of water. Or he may need to use basic geometry to determine the right size of a grain bin to build for the amount of estimated corn yield for the harvest season. And of course there are a number of mathematical formulas that attempt to predict the trend of grain prices in the market. Furthermore, with the speed at which technology is improving, any farmer would tell you that having a grasp on the computer skills and communication skills is very important and can mean the difference in potentially thousands of dollars’ worth of corn production at the end of the year.
Farm Math

I’ve learned that the same holds true with bobsledding. From the outside, most people would assume that my job as a brakeman is pretty simple. Any “dumb jock” could do it. It seems to be a matter of grabbing the two handles at the back of the sled, going for an intense 5 second sprint, and then go for a minute roller coaster ride. However, in order to become a brakeman on the best team in the world, the job requires basic skills that I learned in high school as well as many advanced skills that I learned in the subjects that I took in college as I was earning my engineering degree. 

Obviously, physics and math are two subjects that directly apply to helping make a sled go faster. Calculating velocity and acceleration as a sled goes down a hill leads to predicting a team’s downtime. All the while, many forces are acting on the sled including drag, gravity, and friction between the ice and runners.

Forces on a bobsled
In addition to physics and math, we use a variety of foreign languages while competing on the international circuit. Most of our competitors use German as a first language, but there are also some teams that speak Italian, French, Russian, and other eastern European languages. In order to interpret rules and even to simply translate the start time of the race, we need to communicate seamlessly. 

In bobsled, we even use some accounting skills that I learned in high school as we need to keep organized records while we test a number of variables to find the fastest setup for the sled on a specific track. We may need to test different combinations of runners during a practice session. So often times, making a spread sheet that helps us keep track of down times, start times, air temperature, ice temperature, sled weight, crew make-up, etc will help us determine the fastest set of runners.

Heck, I even use sanding skills I learned in high school shop class to polish our runners to an extremely smooth almost frictionless surface. I never would have thought that I was going to spend another minute sanding anything after I spent countless hours on an oak headboard in Mr. Shanahan’s wood working class!
A couple years ago, I began to use a concept called “Fuzzy Logic and Neural Networks” to try and simplify our athletic testing combine. I learned this advanced theory while taking an Electrical Engineering class at the University of Nebraska. But it can be applied to an infinite number of situations. Bobsled coaches use a scored system of sprints, squats, cleans, broad jumps, and shot-put throws to measure an athlete’s potential pushing ability. Without going into complicated detail, my hope was to develop a new testing method that would eliminate the unnecessary tests without overlooking any athletic attribute that a good push athlete has.

The “dumb jock” persona rarely rings true with any sport in today’s society. Playbooks are inches thick (if they’re even printed at all. Some universities give out iPads with apps that contain the playbook!). Teams use sports psychology as well as nutrition to prepare for games as much as physical conditioning. It takes a brain that goes along with the brawn.

Just as farmers’ jobs are made easier and more profitable by using their brains in addition to their backs, bobsledding championships are not won by mindlessly pushing a heavy sled. A knowledge of sciences, math, English, foreign language and even shop class help make a well-rounded and successful bobsledder.

September 11, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wonder which side is irrigated and which is not? Thanks Don Batie for posting this photo on our Twitter page. You can also be featured in a wordless Wednesday post by submitting photos to either Facebook or Twitter!

September Corn Products Spotlight: Corn Board

Well, school is back in full swing and if you spend time on a college campus long enough you are sure to find one thing. That one thing is something that few people have mastered but, many are trying. This item is no longer a bike. This one thing I am talking about is a long board, and surprisingly enough, you can purchase a long board made out of corn wood. Yes, you read right there is such a thing as corn wood.

A company that goes by the name Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc. is the company responsible for this idea. I have done some research on how this mysterious corn wood is made and the answer is from corn stover. Corn stover is an abundant and underused biomass substance that can be pressed into a hard material that is similar to wood. Scientists at the University of Illinois discovered the process of making this product and have now patented the material calling it “Corn Board”.

Corn Board Manufacturing, Inc. is able to make anything out of corn wood instead of plain wood. They make tables, chairs, pallets, the world’s longest long board, you name it! The best part about this company is they realize the environmental advantages corn wood has. One acre of corn uses 8 tons of carbon dioxide in a growing season, so growing corn is an easy way to help reduce the effects of greenhouse gasses. Also by using corn, which grows faster than trees, we are able to save forests.

I have never thought about using a long board as a way of transportation. Mainly because I’m positive I would fall and break something; however, if I was a dare devil I would purchase a corn board long board!

September 10, 2013

2014 Summer Internships available to Nebraska Students

The Nebraska Corn Board is again partnering with the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) to provide internship opportunities for Nebraska college students.
Five of the six programs are summer programs to start next Summer 2014. One internship is hosted at the Nebraska Corn Board office in Lincoln and is a full-year internship (full-time in the summer and part-time during the school year). NEW this year is an international internship with the U.S. Grains Council in Panama!
The best part is that all of these internships are paid besides allowing students the opportunity to gain invaluable experience and networking with key industry professionals.
Please take time to read about each intern opportunity, share with Nebraska college students and when the deadlines are to apply!
2014 International Internship – Panama (Deadline October 15!)
2014-15 Communications & Outreach Internship (Lincoln, NE) (Deadline November 1)
Policy, Promotion and International Relations Internship in Washington, D.C. with US Grains Council (Summer 2014) (Deadline November 1)
Corn Industry Leadership Internship in St. Louis, MO with National Corn Growers Association (Summer 2014) (Deadline November 1)
Policy, Membership and Corn Industry Leadership Internship in Washington, D.C.with National Corn Growers Association (Summer 2014) (Deadline November 1)
Promotion and International Relations Internship in Denver, Colorado with US Meat Export Federation (Summer 2014) (Deadline November 1)

To learn about the past interns experiences, check out their blogs here.

September 9, 2013

2013 Husker Harvest Days ready for big event


New technology is always center stage as Husker Harvest Days offers farmers and ranchers a one-stop opportunity to see the latest in agriculture.

There will definitely be a lot to see at the 36th annual Husker Harvest Days this year, scheduled for Sept. 10, 11 and 12. With a sold-out exhibit field filled with more than 600 exhibitors, there will be plenty for farmers and ranchers to check out.

Nebraska Corn
Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association will be featured in the Commodities Building on Main Street (Booth #8). 

The Nebraska Corn Board focuses on creating new markets for corn and value-added products, as well as working to further develop our livestock and ethanol industries in the state. At HHD, we will have a strong focus on getting a new five-year Farm Bill passed with crop insurance and financial support for FMD/MAP funds that further allow our corn, value-added and corn-fed beef and pork products access to international markets. As 96% of the world lives outside of the U.S., this is critical timing for these issues to arise and discuss among Nebraska farmers attending Husker Harvest Days. The Board also wants to make sure that ethanol has a place in providing renewable energy to our consumers and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. With September being Renewable Fuels Month, there is no better place and time to provide these options and support renewable fuels.

The focus of NeCGA is to emphasis on the economic importance of agriculture of the state of Nebraska. The group will be gathering producer input and thoughts regarding the states place of tax moderation and water needs funding.

As always, don’t forget to stop by for a cold can of Coca-Cola and share a conversation with our organizations!

Latest tech
From the new fall equipment introductions, crop protection products, additional farm and ranch products and services, and latest seed and crop tech for 2014 planting, to the traditional services producers need for their crops and livestock, it’s all at the show. Husker Harvest Days always is a standout resource for production and profitability ideas.

Field demonstrations
Visitors to this year’s Husker Harvest Days will once again be treated to watching machinery in the fields during field demonstrations. New combines and headers will debut in the field. Corn harvesting demonstrations are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.

Other crop production demonstrations at Husker Harvest Days include spraying, shredding, tillage; GPS ride ‘n drive opportunities and haying demonstrations.

Livestock and equine events
For those more interested in livestock than crop production, Husker Harvest Days has demonstrations and exhibits geared toward livestock producers and horse enthusiasts.

Cattle handling demonstrations will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the northwest corner of the show site. Lifelong horseman and rancher Ron Knodel will demonstrate his horse training techniques and share his wild-horse gentling philosophies at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily at Lot 1054. Stock dog demonstrations are returning to Husker Harvest Days this year, too. Members of the National Cattledog Association will be presenting demonstrations four times daily at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. These demos will be located north of Flag Row.

Arts and crafts
Located on West Avenue, the Craft Tent will be filled with more than 40 crafters selling candles, jewelry, paintings, toys, quilts, pottery, jam, clothing, yard ornaments and additional items. You’re bound to find something new. 

Health, wellness and more
The Nebraska Farmer magazine's Hospitality Tent, located at Main and Central, is prepared to serve Husker Harvest Days visitors. While in the Hospitality Tent, visitors can register to win prizes, meet the editors and staff of the Nebraska Farmer and additional Farm Progress publications, tour the new website services and check on their subscriptions. This year, visitors can register for a chance to win Miller welding products.

Approximately 30 booths with medical professionals and health organization representatives will be located in the Nebraska Farmer Hospitality Tent. Visitors can take advantage of several health screenings including skin cancer screening, blood pressure testing, hearing testing and a variety of additional services.

Plan to attend
Husker Harvest Days is located west of Grand Island, 1-1/2 miles north and 2 miles west of Alda in central Nebraska on Husker Highway. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 13-17, and ages 12 and under are free. Adult tickets are available for sale on the Husker Harvest Days website and at the show gates.

For additional information, visit

September 6, 2013

Podcast: NCGA DuPont New Leader Program

In this podcast, Dan Nerud of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association, shares about the need to develop young agricultural leaders who can take part in a national conversation—and build credibility, trust and support for American agriculture. The goal is to create the next generation of leaders, advocates and spokespeople for U.S. agriculture..

The National Corn Growers Association and DuPont have announced a new program designed to do just that. The NCGA DuPont New Leader Program brings young farmers and young farm couples from across the nation to two sessions to develop and hone their communications and leadership skills.

The application deadline is September 13th. There is no cost for participants. For more information, call Lindsay at the Nebraska Corn Growers Association office in Lincoln toll free at 1-888-267-6479.

Listen for more!

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

September 5, 2013

It's not crazy to care about America's energy future.


Currently, our dependence on oil is more than a little crazy -- half of it comes from other countries! Of course, oil companies think this is okay, since they're raking in the profits. But it's ordinary Americans who are getting hit the hardest.

Domestically produced, all-American renewable fuel can free us from our dependence on oil.

Across the country, farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers are finding ways to use renewable fuel. Even the U.S. Navy is boosting its fuel efficiency and increasing its use of other renewable fuels.

It's not crazy to care about America's energy future -- we need a stronger, cleaner America.

Watch this video to see how much one supporter believes in the importance of renewable fuel -- there might be a tattoo involved -- and then share it with your friends and family so they too can help us in our quest for independence from oil.

September is Renewable Fuels Month!

September 4, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

What does your view look like driving down the highway? Take a photo and send it to our Facebook or Twitter feeds and have a chance to be featured in a wordless Wednesday post!

Why So Hot?

Corn kernels are starting to dent
For the week ending September 1st, temperatures were well above normal combined with limited rainfall. This further reduced soil moisture supplies and stressed dryland crops. According to USDA's NASS pockets of rain occurred during the week, but no wide spread rainfall was received in Nebraska.

Over half the corn crop has reached the dent stage. Statewide producers had 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork.

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 64 percent short/very short, 36 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels came in at 74 percent short/very short, 26 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus.

Corn is still around 7 feet tall!
All corn conditions rated 6 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 19 percent excellent. Irrigated corn conditions were 82 percent good or excellent, compared to the 75 percent average. Dryland corn rated 39 percent good or excellent which is considerably lower than the 58 percent average. Corn in dough was 93 percent, behind 100 percent last year but near the 95 percent average this year. Corn dented was 51 percent, behind 91 percent last year and the 70 percent average this year. Corn mature was 1 percent, well behind 34 percent last year and 9 percent average this year.

To view all crop progress photos please visit our Flickr and Pinterest sites!

September 3, 2013

Corn: an inexpensive ingredient


Curious about the value of corn in some food products?

We were, too! That’s why we took a look to see the value of corn (or, in some cases the value of corn used to make a food ingredient) if corn is priced at $5.00 per bushel.

We refer to this as Kernels of Truth because there are misconceptions out there with  people stretching the truth on the impact of corn prices on food — and some truth stretchers are still trying even though many sources have said that ethanol’s role in food prices is minor. In fact, food prices rose just 1.8% in 2012, the second-lowest annual rate in the last 20 years, according to recently released consumer price index (CPI) data.

Corn-an inexpensive ingredient2

Looking into these numbers more, here is what we found out…

Corn-an inexpensive ingredient

You can be confident that farmers are doing the best they can to produce more with less!