Corn board meets at Monsanto
Members discuss ethanol, other issues; elect officers.
For the first time ever, the Nebraska Corn Board met at the Monsanto Water Utilization Learning Center.
At the all-day Monday meeting, the nine-member board made up of corn farmers from across the state, elected officers and conducted other business.
Some of the business centered around how the board will continue to push for the approval of higher ethanol blends in gas pumps in addition to more use of E85 in flex-fuel vehicles.
Unfortunately, a federal tax credit for businesses who offer blender pumps will end in December of 2010.
Blender pumps are those that offer a percentage of ethanol above 10%—such as 30% to 50%—for flex-fuel vehicles
However Don Hutchens, director of the Nebraska Corn Board, said the board has an incentive package to help stations install blender pumps.
Hutchens said it was unusual to see two E85 pumps in Gothenburg—one at I-80 Pit Stop and the other at Ampride.
Board members agreed that they need to re-evaluate the value of ethanol to farmers and others.
For example, companies manufacture agricultural equipment with engines that operate totally on ethanol but farmers seem afraid to buy the equipment.
“We need to make sure we equally use fuel produced with corn,” Hutchens said.
Ethanol is by far the largest user of Nebraska corn at 35%, according to 2009-10 Corn Board statistics.
On another matter, Hutchens said the corn board chose to give $150,000 to the National Corn Growers Association which is supporting NASCAR’s effort to use and promote ethanol on its racing circuit.
The corn board is funded and managed by state corn farmers who support the organization at a rate of one-fourth cent per bushel of corn sold which Hutchens said is the lowest marketing checkoff in the nation.
Nebraska corn checkoff funds are invested in market development, research and collaboration.
Corn board members meet nine times a year.