Miller attends ASA International Marketing Committee meeting in Seattle
The American Soybean Associaiton recently held an International Marketing Committee meeting in Seattle, Washington. ASA Director from Nebraksa Jim Miller of Belden says the quality of U-S soybeans was again discussed. Historically, U-S Soybeans have a lower oil and protein content than South American beans. But Miller says our soybeans are still of higher value because of additional information from near-infrared tests...
(click link below to hear audio)
09-22-11 Miller cut28 :28 "... more energy as well."
Some international feed companies have placed a 30-dollar per ton premium on U-S soybean meal because of those qualities highlighted in N-I-R testing.
While at the meeting, Miller also heard about some exciting export opportunities that are being developed for U-S soybeans and soy products. Soy-utelization education programs in India have paid off. He says India has been an exporter of soybeans. But by 2015, they will be using all their own soybeans, and most likely the year after that will start importing soybeans. However, Miller says there is one issue...
09-22-11 Miller cut23 :23 "... India used to sell to."
Miller says China will continue to be a big consumer of U-S soybeans as they ramp up their own livestock production. A-S-A has five international marketing offices that conduct promotion of U-S soybeans and products in about 70 countries total.
Wisner Pilger FFA Annual Plot Nite
The Wisner-Pilger FFA is hosting its annual corn and soybean plot night on Tuesday, September 27,2011. It will be just West of the High school in Wisner. We will begin serving hamburger at 6:00 p.m. The progam will start at 6:30. Hope to see you there!
New Website Shares Insight into Nebraska Farming, Food Production
Those interested in learning more about where their food comes from and the farmers/ranchers who raise it can learn more by visiting the A-FAN, the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, newly re-launched website... www.becomeafan.org.
“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.
The new site features web videos allowing viewers a chance to see Nebraska livestock farms up close and personal in a way that most people never experience. The five videos highlighting beef, pork, dairy, poultry and egg farms are available for viewing by visiting the A-FAN website at www.becomeafan.org and are available for download.
According to Holoubek, the purpose of the videos is to help reconnect the consumer with agriculture, a connection that has been lost over generations as fewer and fewer people live and work or have direct ties to farming and ranching.
“People want to feel good about where their food comes from. The reality is that farmers/ranchers feel the same way. They care very much about the land and their animals and work very hard to ensure a viable food supply. Farmers have a tremendous amount in common with their urban counterparts when it comes to community values. The videos will give audiences the chance to see that first hand while learning about livestock farming and food production,” said Holoubek.
Chevron Selects Finalists for FFA Tractor Restoration Contest
Chevron Lubricants, maker of the Delo brand of technologically advanced engine oils, lubricants and coolants, today announced the finalists for its 2011 Delo Tractor Restoration Competition (www.DeloTractorRestorationCompetition.com). The event will bring the nation's top teen tractor restoration specialists to Indianapolis -- during the 84th National FFA (Future Farmers of America) Convention -- to compete for the much-sought-after national title. Twelve finalists from around the country have been chosen to compete in this year's event. Projects will be presented on October 19 and 20 with the champion crowned on the evening of October 20.
"Dedication, perseverance and teamwork are extremely important in life and business" All contestants to the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition have to present a workbook outlining the whole tractor restoration process, from mechanical overhauls of the engine, transmission and auxiliary and ancillary systems, to the external appearance of the tractors.
The 2011 entries have been narrowed down to twelve finalists. These finalists have been invited to the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis to present their projects to a panel of qualified tractor restorers. Projects will be graded on restoration process, results and documentation, as well as oral presentation and safety precautions.
The finalists and projects for the 2011 Delo Tractor Restoration Competition are:
-- Central City FFA: Central City, Nebraska -- 1943 Model A John Deere
-- Buckeye FFA: Medina, Ohio -- 1954 Allis-Chalmers WD-45
-- Decatur FFA: Decatur, Texas -- 1936 John Deere Unstyled A
-- Devine FFA; Devine, Texas -- 1969 Case 530
-- Eufaula FFA: Eufaula, Alabama -- 1968 Massey Ferguson
-- Forreston FFA: Forreston, Illinois -- 1941 IH Farmall H
-- Gonzales FFA: Gonzales, Texas -- 1948 IH Farmall M
-- Lindsay FFA: Lindsay, Texas -- 1937 Minneapolis Moline ZTU
-- Louise FFA: Louise, Texas -- 1984 Hesston 566
-- Northwood FFA; Nappanee, Indiana -- 1961 John Deere 4010 Diesel
-- Oran FFA: Oran, Missouri -- 1946 Farmall
-- Sequim FFA: Sequim, Washington -- 1954 Farmall, Super C
The prizes are: Champion: $5,000; Reserve Champion: $3,000; and Third Place: $1,500.
Since 1995, the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition has rewarded the determination, mechanical skills and business savvy of high school aged FFA members from around the country. Through the restoration of an antique tractor, participants develop skills applicable to the modern business world. The skills needed for success in the program -- equipment maintenance, teamwork, project management, budgeting, planning and marketing -- help develop the participants into future leaders in the agriculture community.
"Dedication, perseverance and teamwork are extremely important in life and business," said Channing Reeder, indirect channel marketing specialist, Lubricants Marketing Americas, Chevron Products Company. "Being part of a program that encourages so many teens to exemplify these traits is very rewarding for everyone at Chevron. We congratulate all the 2011 Delo Tractor Restoration Competition finalists and the family, friends, teachers and community that helped them along the way."
Social media is a major part of the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition. The event is supported through a number of social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The Delo Tractor Restoration Competition Facebook page and Twitter feed will be used to post pictures, video and status updates live from the event. Videos from the 2011 Delo Tractor Restoration Competition submissions -- as well as past years -- can be found on the event's YouTube channel. For those who can't attend, these social media channels are the next best thing.
Beef Board release on 2012 Plan of Work
Operating Committee approves 39 proposals for checkoff funding
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board will invest about $39.8 million, from a total budget of about $42.1 million, into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in Fiscal Year 2012, if the recommendation of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee is approved by USDA, following review by the full Beef Board.
In action concluding its two-day meeting in Denver this week, the Operating Committee — including 10 members of the Beef Board and 10 members of the Federation of State Beef Councils — approved checkoff funding for a total of 39 “Authorization Requests,” or proposals for checkoff funding in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2011. The committee also will request full Board approval of a budget amendment to reflect the recategorization of the FY2012 budget in accordance with the programs approved.
"After some rough seas over the last couple of years, I was just so pleased with how well our Operating Committee meeting went," said Beef Board and Operating Committee Chairman Wesley Grau, a cattleman from New Mexico. "We had great discussion on our checkoff priorities and all of the plans presented. It was a demonstration of true cooperation and respect between the Beef Board, the Federation of State Beef Councils, checkoff contractors, and individual state beef councils.
"I think the producers and importers who invest in their beef checkoff will be proud of the Plan of Work the Operating Committee has moved forward," Grau continued. "We are leveraging every checkoff dollar to meet our goals the best we possibly can with the limited budget we have."
National organizations that had proposals approved by the Operating Committee (and the number of proposals and dollar amounts approved) are as follows: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (19 programs totaling $30.2 million); U.S. Meat Export Federation (13 programs totaling $6.38 million); Cattlemen’s Beef Board (one program totaling $1.8 million); American National CattleWomen (two programs totaling 483,360; Meat Importers Council of America (three programs totaling $475,000); and the National Livestock Producers Association (one program at $35,000).
On Tuesday morning, committee discussion started with stories from producers and state beef councils in Texas and Oklahoma, where devastating drought may mean more checkoff collections for a year, but will hit the industry hard for years after. Based on that grim outlook for checkoff collections in the next few years, the Operating Committee voted to leave about $1.2 million “unallocated” in 2012 to lessen the extent of the blow looking forward to Fiscal Year 2013 and beyond.
"It's important for us to plan ahead," Grau said. "Just like on our own farms and ranches, we can't spend everything as soon as we get it if we know there are leaner times ahead. We have to spread things out. And we're committed to running your checkoff with that same sense of responsibility, so I think this was a very prudent decision."
Broken out by budget component, the Fiscal Year 2012 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget includes:
* $17.8 million for promotion programs, including consumer advertising, retail marketing, foodservice marketing, new product and culinary initiatives; a Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative to build demand in densely populated Northeast states, and veal marketing and communications.
* $5.8 million for research programs, focusing on a variety of critical issues, including beef safety research, product enhancement research, human nutrition research, and market research.
* $4.4 million for consumer information programs, including a Northeast public relations initiative, national consumer public relations, the 2011 National Beef Cook-Off, a "Telling the Beef Story" speakers bureau, National Beef Ambassador Program, and nutrition-influencer relations.
* $3.1 million for industry information programs, comprising beef and dairy-beef quality assurance programs and dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from anti-beef groups and others, also referenced as "issues and reputation management."
* $6.4 million for foreign marketing and education efforts about U.S. beef in the ASEAN region; the Caribbean; Central and South America; the Dominican Republic; Europe; the Middle East; China/Hong Kong; Japan; Mexico; Russia; South Korea; and Taiwan.
* $1.8 million for producer communications, which includes producer outreach using paid media, earned media, direct communications, and communications through livestock markets and state beef councils.
Other categories funded through the 2012 CBB budget include $225,000 for evaluation, $180,000 for program development, $250,000 for USDA oversight; and about $2 million for administration, which includes costs for Board meetings, legal fees, travel costs, office rental, supplies, equipment, and administrative staff compensation. Fiscal Year 2012 begins Oct. 1, 2011.
Survey Findings Released During “The Food Dialogues” Indicate Americans Constantly Think About Food Production Yet Have Little Connection to Farming or Ranching; Respondents Split on Whether Agriculture is Improving or Heading in Wrong Direction
Today, findings of two national surveys about food and how it is grown and raised will be released during “The Food Dialogues,” a town hall-style discussion presented by U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA). The surveys focused separately on the opinions, attitudes and questions consumers and farmers/ranchers have about the current and future state of how food is grown and raised in the U.S. Results reveal that lack of access to information, as well as no interest or passion for the topic, have divided consumer opinion on the direction of agriculture.
“Americans have a lot of questions about where their food comes from, how it is raised and if it is good for their health long-term,” said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “USFRA commissioned two separate surveys to first ask farmers and ranchers what they wished Americans could have more information about where their food comes from. We then asked consumers what questions they have on the same topic. The findings of both surveys indicate there is an opportunity for more dialogue between farmers, ranchers and the American public about how food is grown and raised in the U.S.”
Results of both surveys will be shared and discussed during The Food Dialogues, which is taking place today in four U.S. cities. Highlights of the research include:
While nearly all Americans agree that food production is important to the success of the country, they are split over whether it is going in the right or wrong direction
Consumers think about food production constantly, yet know very little about how food is brought to the dinner table
Overwhelmingly, farmers and ranchers share the same values as consumers on issues related to environmental stewardship and animal care
Additional Consumer Survey Highlights
The purpose of the consumer survey was to ask Americans what additional information they want to learn more about related to how food is grown and raised in the U.S. The survey revealed that consumers have become disconnected from their food, yet think about the subject regularly. According to the survey findings:
72 percent of consumers know nothing or very little about farming or ranching
69 percent of consumers think about food production at least somewhat often
70 percent say purchase decisions are affected by how food is grown and raised, with three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans saying they think about this topic while purchasing groceries
42 percent or two-in-five Americans say the way that food is grown and raised has improved in the last 10 years, while a slightly smaller group say it has worsened (37 percent)
Those who say the way that food is grown and raised has improved cite food safety (22 percent) and food quality (17 percent), whereas respondents who said the way food is grown and raised has worsened also cite food safety (21 percent) and food quality (21 percent)
Of all the aspects of how food is grown and raised, Americans are most satisfied with the availability of healthy foods (73 percent) and food safety standards (66 percent)
One in five consumers who say food production has worsened in the last 10 years cite environmental impact as the top area of demise
79 percent of consumers say producing healthy choices for all consumers is very important for farmers and ranchers to consider when planning farming and ranching practices
Consumers also were asked to identify the top five topics they want more information about; responses included:
How chemicals are used in farming/ranching
How pesticides are used in farming/ranching
Food safety standards
Effect of government regulations on farming/ranching
How antibiotics are used and genetic engineering in crops
Additional Farmer/Rancher Survey Highlights
The goal of the farmer/rancher survey was to identify topics that farmers and ranchers wished Americans had more information about when it comes to food and how it is grown and raised in the U.S. According to the survey, farmers and ranchers said the top misconception they need to overcome as an industry is that a few “bad actors” are representative of the entire industry. Additionally, farmers and ranchers identified the effect of pesticides, antibiotics and fertilizers on food as the most important priorities they should address when communicating with consumers. Additional findings included:
86 percent of farmers/ranchers responded that the average consumer has little to no knowledge about modern farming/ranching
58 percent of respondents in this survey felt consumers have a completely inaccurate perception of farming and ranching
Nearly all farmers and ranchers say that protecting the environment (99 percent) and practicing humane animal care (96 percent) are very or somewhat important goals or practices related to their business
80 percent of farmers/ranchers say that consumers have little to no knowledge about proper care of livestock or poultry
83 percent of farmers/ranchers responded that new ways of improving yields with fewer environmental inputs will have a major impact on farming/ranching in the future
When asked which top five topics were most important to educate consumers about, farmers and ranchers responded:
The effect of pesticides, fertilizers and antibiotics on food
Where food comes from in general
Proper care of livestock and poultry
Effect of government regulations on farming/ranching
Economic value of agriculture
“We hope the results of the survey combined with today’s Food Dialogues event will continue the conversation between farmers, ranchers and anyone who is interested in learning more about how food is grown and raised in the U.S.,” added Stallman. “We want all Americans to join us to ask questions and regularly get information from farmers and ranchers who are growing and raising their food. We invite all to join the discussion online at www.fooddialogues.com.”
Cattle Producers Join in New Dialogue with Consumers
Cattle producers are looking forward to the chance to directly visit with consumer influencers through an interactive event created by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) this Thursday, Sept. 22. The event, called The Food Dialogues, is a town hall-style discussion that will address questions Americans have about how their food is grown and raised and the long-term impact of the food they’re eating on human health and the planet.
The Food Dialogues will take place Thursday in Washington, D.C., New York City and locations in the Midwest and California. They will include four panel discussions featuring leaders in food, food service, media and policy, along with farmers of all types and business leaders. These panelists will share different viewpoints about the current and future states of food, and how food is grown and raised.
“Those of us who raise cattle are proud of our ability to care for animals and the fact that we produce wholesome food for consumers,” according to David Dick, a member of the USFRA board representing the NCBA Federation of State Beef Councils. “At the same time, we can learn a lot by listening to those who eat our product and answer questions they may have about the products and animals for which we’re responsible.”
The event will begin in Washington, with the final panel taking place in California. The entire event will stream live online from 11:30 a.m. EDT through 5 p.m. EDT, providing everyone an opportunity to register to watch and participate in the discussion online.
Among the participants will be Claire Shipment, a television journalist and senior national correspondent for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” who will host the event from Washington, D.C., and Chef John Besh, who will host in New York. Also participating will be Max Armstrong of Farm Progress Companies and Jane Wells of CNBC.
“Our industry is certainly a diverse one, and consumers have a right to know just what goes into producing the beef they eat, and how it affects their health and environment,” said Dick, a beef producer from Sedalia, Mo. “Whether they’re large or small, producing natural and organic or conventionally raised beef, producers welcome the chance to directly discuss with consumers their operations, their products and the efforts they’re making to put food on this country’s tables.”
USFRA was established in 2010 and is headquartered in Chesterfield, Mo. It represents more than 50 of the top farmer- and rancher-led organizations, which includes prominent agricultural groups at the national, regional and state levels that have collaborated to lead a dialogue about the commitment to continuous improvement and best production practices. The beef industry is helping fund the event and other USFRA efforts through the Beef Checkoff Program, the Federation of State Beef Council’s and NCBA’s policy division. For more information on the Alliance, visit www.fooddialogues.com.
Trade Mission to Vietnam Aims to Create American Jobs and Business Opportunities for U.S. Agriculture
Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse will lead USDA's first-ever agricultural trade Mission to Vietnam in the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from Sept. 26 to 29. Vietnam is one of the world's fastest-growing economies and an important market for U.S. agricultural products. Two-way agricultural, fish and forestry trade with Vietnam reached nearly $3.4 billion in 2010.
Fifteen U.S. companies representing a wide range of food and agricultural products will take part in the mission, which aims to promote U.S. agricultural exports to Vietnam. Throughout the mission, these companies will meet with nearly 150 Vietnamese producers, importers, buyers, distributors, and investors to develop trade relationships.
"U.S. farmers and ranchers are seeing record sales of farm goods abroad and looking forward to some of the best net incomes in decades thanks to global demand for the American brand," said Scuse. "Since 2006, no other major U.S. agricultural export market has grown as quickly as Vietnam. This is a significant and growing market for U.S. producers and a driver for the American economy, helping to support more than 28,000 jobs here in the United States through exports of American products. USDA trade missions have a successful track record of helping to support U.S. job creation and business opportunities for American food and agricultural companies. Establishing partnerships and creating opportunities for trade is how we will build an economy that continues to grow, innovate and out-compete the rest of the world."
While in Vietnam, Scuse will meet with Vietnamese government and agricultural officials, U.S. agribusiness, and visit agricultural production and development sites. He will also join U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear to open the USA Pavilion at Food and Hotel Vietnam (FHV)—one of Southeast Asia's premier food trade shows—on Sept. 28. The sold-out USDA-endorsed USA Pavilion will feature 28 exhibitors displaying a wide variety of food and agricultural products to an expected 8,000 visitors.
Some of the companies that will be a part of the trade mission include Case New Holland, ConAgra Foods, and John Deere.
USDA recently forecast fiscal year 2011 and 2012 exports will reach a record $137 billion, $22 billion higher than the previous record set in 2008 and $28 billion above 2010. Strong agricultural exports contribute to the positive U.S. trade balance, create jobs, and boost economic growth. The Vietnam trade mission and U.S. participation in the FHV show support the strategic priorities of President Obama's National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double all U.S. exports by the end of 2014 and create millions of new American jobs.
Changes Enhance Foundation for the Future Policy Proposal
John Wilson, DFA Senior Vice President
The National Milk Producers Federation’s board of directors voted to incorporate important changes into the Foundation for the Future dairy policy reform proposal.
As part of the proposed changes, the basic coverage of the Dairy Producer Margin Protection Program will be set at 80 percent of base production. Additionally, producers will have the option of purchasing supplemental coverage on up to 90 percent of their base production as adjusted for milk production growth.
The Dairy Market Stabilization Program has been made voluntary, offering producers options for managing risk on their operations. The Federal Order proposal has been simplified and is limited to requesting the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a hearing to change the current end product pricing formula for Class III to a competitive price.
These changes are expected to result in similar changes to the draft dairy policy reform legislation released by Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).
Dairy Farmers of America Senior Vice President John Wilson says:
“We support the changes to the Foundation for the Future policy proposal, which provide producers more options to protect their margins and strengthen our ability to export. We applaud National Milk Producers Federation’s board and management for their efforts. Additionally, we appreciate Reps. Peterson and Simpson for leading dairy reform efforts on Capitol Hill and urge other members of Congress to cosponsor their bill, which is modeled after this policy proposal. Dairy producers have been discussing needed changes to dairy policy for more than two years. It is extremely gratifying to be part of this effort and to see this proposal — which so many have contributed to — be presented to Congress with such positive momentum.”
World Dairy Expo Announces Larger Trade Show for 2011
Wisconsin's largest dairy show will also be adding on to its already-huge trade show event. World Dairy Expo has announced that its Outdoor Trade Mall will be expanding again this year, which will feature even more space for companies to show off their larger dairy equipment.
This year, producers will be able to view a wider range of new products in the Trade Mall, from the new side-entry skid loaders to giant TMR mixers.
"We're in the unique position where demand for the exhibit space exceeds the supply. That means that we can be very selective about only allowing the best new exhibitors into the show each year," said WDE Sales Manager John Rozum. "It's all about making sure that we have the latest products and services that the dairy industry has to offer. That's what the producers come to Madison to see."
Rozum says this year promises to be the best commercial exhibit display at World Dairy Expo to-date, featuring over 130 companies making their first appearance at the event. This year, 120 of the 800 exhibiting companies are from outside of the United States.
World Dairy Expo takes place at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison from October 4-8.
USDA Cold Storage Highlights
Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on August 31, 2011 were down 2 percent from the previous month but up slightly from August 31, 2010. Butter stocks were down 12 percent from last month but up 7 percent from a year ago.
Total frozen poultry supplies on August 31, 2011 were down 4 percent from the previous month but up 2 percent from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were down 7 percent from the previous month and down slightly from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were down slightly from last month but up 4 percent from August 31, 2010.
Total frozen fruit stocks were up 11 percent from last month but down 6 percent from a year ago. Total frozen vegetable stocks were up 21 percent from last month but down 12 percent from a year ago.
Total red meat supplies in freezers were up slightly from the previous month and up 11 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were up 3 percent from the previous month and up 11 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were down 3 percent from the previous month but up 13 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were down 49 percent from last month but up 110 percent from last year.
IGC Cuts World Corn Crop
International Grains Council Thursday cut its estimate for world 2011-12 corn output by 4 million metric tons to 845 million tons due to diminishing prospects for the U.S. harvest.
The London-based body reduced its forecast for this year's crop in the world's largest corn producer by 10 million tons from its previous estimate to 315 million tons -- which would be the smallest crop since 2008-09.
And despite a 4 million ton upward revision to prospects in both Brazil and Argentina, which are now expected to produce a total of 95.2 million tons, the IGC said world consumption is still expected to outstrip supply in 2011-12.
"The further downward revision in the U.S. maize production forecast is only partly balanced by an enhanced outlook for crops shortly to be planted in South America," it said.
Still, improving prospects for the world wheat crop, which was revised up by 2 million tons to 679 million tons thanks to "upward revisions for Russia, Ukraine and Australia," means "there is little overall change in the 2011-12 supply and demand outlook," said the council.
National Farmers Organization Supports NFU's Farmer-Owned Reserves Policy Approach
Today, the National Farmers Organization’s Executive Board announced its support for a Farmer-Owned Reserves policy proposed by National Farmers Union and the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at University of Tennessee last week.
“National Farmers Organization has supported re-enactment of a farmer-owned grain reserve for several years, and this new study by Dr. Daryll Ray confirms the benefits it would offer farmers and consumers, while saving tax dollars,” said National Farmers Ag Policy Analyst Gene Paul.
Many farm groups believe funds available for the 2012 Farm Bill will be lower than in the past, and are searching for ways to maintain a farm safety net for producers.
NFU’s new policy approach combines the following options.
* Farmer-owned reserves
* Increased loan rates
* Elimination of direct payments
* Reduced reliance on other government payment instruments
“In view of all the budget concerns in Congress, this proposal offers a method to help drive down costs of the next Farm Bill,” Paul said. In the reserve, farmers would be paid at commercial storage rates, and it could not be brought back into the market for less than 160 percent of the loan rate.
During the study period of 1998-2010, the farmer-owned reserves approach would have moderated grain price volatility, and government payments would have been cut more than one-half.
RFA Dismisses E15 Label Lawsuit
The Renewable Fuels Association today dismissed new litigation from automotive and engine interests aimed at preventing the use of E15 ethanol fuel. The new litigation would prevent EPA from finalizing a consumer label for the proper use of E15 in cars, pickups, and SUVs model year 2001 and newer. These groups are also suing EPA over its decision to allow E15 to be used.
"EPA's label more than adequately informs consumers as to the proper use of E15. Similar labeling, such as for the use of E85 ethanol fuel, have been around for years without incident. In fact, since the adoption of the E85 label, we are not aware of any gas station being found liable for misfueling. EPA’s E15 label is far more descriptive as to the approved uses for E15 and eliminates the guess work for consumers. We believe the American motoring public will be quite capable of determining if E15 is right for their vehicles.”
The legal challenge, titled "Regulation to Mitigate Misfueling" was filed Wednesday by the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
According to the OPEI and the other groups, the EPA's labeling effort is "completely inadequate to protect consumers and avoid potential misfueling and damage to millions of legacy products not designed to run on any ethanol fuel higher than E10."
The automotive and engine industry filed new litigation that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from finalizing a consumer label for the proper use of E15 in cars, pickups, and SUVs for model year 2001 and newer. E15 contains 15% ethanol in petroleum-based gasoline. Currently, E10 is allowed to be used in all gasoline road vehicles. Some cars are also equipped to use 85% ethanol or E15 and are sold as "flex-fuel" vehicles by automakers.
The EPA granted a waiver Jan. 21 for E15 use in model year 2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, based on test results provide by the U.S. Department of Energy and other test data related to vehicle emissions. On June 23 of this year, EPA issued regulations to help reduce the potential for vehicle, engines, and equipment not covered by the partial waiver decisions to be misfueled with E15, EPA said earlier this year.
These groups are also suing EPA over its decision to allow E15 to be used.
One Million Miles of Proof Verify Performance, Quality of Ethanol
Since the February Daytona 500, Americans with questions about ethanol's performance characteristics have been getting answers at NASCAR races nationwide. Every driver from Dale Jr. to Clint Bowyer, in all three NASCAR racing series has been running on a 15 percent ethanol blend. Today, NASCAR confirmed what millions of viewers have seen by officially announcing mid-level ethanol blends have now demonstrated their high-performance for more than one million driving miles. Considered by most America's toughest proving grounds, E15 has proven its fuel quality in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series by maintaining high levels of performance while consistently providing normal mileage.
"Ethanol is an agricultural success story. It is an American success story. Now, it is a NASCAR success story too," said Michigan Corn Growers Association President and National Corn Growers Association Ethanol Committee Member Jeff Sandborn as he joined NASCAR to announce the study findings. "Jobs, less air pollution and reduced dependence on oil imports are all good reasons to use more ethanol. But first and foremost, consumers must be comfortable that it will perform well in their car. I can't imagine a better way to build that consumer confidence than having it track-tested by NASCAR."
The 'white paper,' "One Million Competition Miles on Sunoco Green E15" report, contains concrete data verifying E15's qualities as a fuel and substantiating these conclusions. With more than 1.3 million miles accumulated in practice, qualifying and racing laps in NASCAR racing vehicles, the report relies on a broad set of meticulously collected data. With everyone involved in this sport, from crew chiefs to fans, watching engine performance and mileage, no issue with E15 has emerged.
Additionally, drivers and crew chiefs have reported seeing a boost in horsepower related to ethanol because of its higher octane rating.
"The report's findings verify what farmers, ethanol producers and many in the automotive industry have known for decades, that ethanol is not only domestically produced and sustainable, but it is also a quality fuel that provides excellent performance," said NCGA CEO Rick Tolman. "But, it boils down to something much simpler. If this fuel is good enough for NASCAR champions like Jimmie Johnson, it is certainly good enough for me."
The release of the report is particularly timely as the Environmental Protection Agency, and environmental officials and Americans nationwide, are currently celebrating National Pollution Prevention Week. According to the EPA, pollution prevention is the cornerstone of sustainability.
"Before NASCAR switched its fuel to Sunoco Green E15 at the start of the 2011 racing season, there was extensive analysis and deep consideration about the decision," said Mike Lynch, Managing Director of Green Innovation for NASCAR. "Successfully transitioning to the new fuel and surpassing a million miles, all on America's toughest proving ground, is a validation of Sunoco Green E15 as a high-performance racing fuel and is part of our overall effort to go green. NASCAR is proud to use this American-made product because it creates American jobs while also reducing harmful emissions."
In switching to E15, NASCAR not only chose a quality alternative fuel that reduces harmful emissions, it invested in American jobs, American agriculture and American energy independence. Economic studies prove that ethanol creates and supports more than 400,000 jobs domestically which cannot be outsourced.
"Ethanol brings renewed prosperity for family farmers as well as the businesses that rely on them," said Sandborn. "Ask equipment makers, seed companies, rural banks, schools and local governments about the impact ethanol-driven corn demand has had on their success."
NASCAR's switch to the new fuel was borne out of a partnership with American Ethanol. Representing a wide array of ethanol supporters, from farmers to bio-engineering firms, American Ethanol was established by a collaborative venture including NCGA, Growth Energy and others. By establishing a marketing partnership with NASCAR starting with the 2011 racing season, the same year that NASCAR switched its fuel to Sunoco Green E15, American Ethanol aims to educate and inform the broader American public about the benefits of U.S.-made ethanol.
"Farmers across America have been using ethanol fuel in engines, large and small, successfully for decades and NASCAR's move to Sunoco Green E15 has thrown public acceptance into a higher gear," said NCGA President Bart Schott. "E15 is performing like a champ in the most rigorous driving conditions on the planet and that's good news for everyone who supports renewable fuels."