Rail shipping delays cost corn farmers $72 million

A new report from the University of Minnesota says rail shipping delays cost Minnesota corn farmers $72 million in lower prices from March to May. The report also said 330 million bushels of corn still being stored on farms throughout the state was worth $122 million less because of rail backups.

The losses average about 30 cents per bushel of corn, which can be the difference between making or losing money in a given year for a corn farmer.

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Are the biggest retail gasoline chains offering consumers a choice at the pump?

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has graded some of the largest retail gasoline chains on whether they are providing consumers with homegrown and less expensive options like E15 or E85 at the pump.

Unfortunately, the “big five” oil-company owned chains gen a big fat “F” on their report card.

Fewer than 1 percent of Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Shell stations offer American made renewable fuels. More than 25 percent of independent retailers give consumers the option of filing up with ethanol-blended fuel.

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MCR&PC elects new officers

The Minnesota Corn Research & Promotion Council (MCR&PC) recently elected new officers:

Gerald Tumbleson, Chairman
Gerald grows corn and soybeans and feeds pigs on a farm in Sherburn that has been in the family since the 1930s.

Doug Albin, Vice Chair
Doug began farming in 1976 and grows corn, soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on his farm in Clarkfield.

Chad Willis, Treasurer
Chad has been farming for 18 years in Willmar,

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Corn farmers invited to attend ag freight forum on July 10

The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is co-sponsoring a forum from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 10 in Alexandria on the future of agriculture freight in Minnesota. Farmers have faced challenges securing space on rail to move grain and receive inputs such as fertilizer or propane.

The forum, “Envisioning the Future of Agriculture Freight in Minnesota,” is being planned and coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). Experts from railroad companies,

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More Minnesotans are choosing homegrown ethanol

More Minnesota flex-fuel drivers are choosing homegrown, cleaner-burning and less expensive E85 this year.

According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, first quarter sales of E85 — a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline — are up 49 percent compared to the same period last year.

In all, 3.77 million gallons of E85 were sold from January through March. Second quarter numbers should be released in early July.

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