Report: EPA to scale back proposed cuts to Renewable Fuel Standard

A report from Reuters citing industry sources says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will partially backtrack on drastic cuts to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) it proposed in November.

The original RFS reduction proposal would have cut the target for the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline from 14.4 billion gallons to 13 billion gallons in 2014. The Reuters report says that the final number will likely be 13.6 billion.

From the Reuters story:

The EPA shocked biofuel supporters in November with a draft rule that slashed federal requirements for biofuel use in gasoline and diesel.

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Minnesota's prevented planting dates for corn approaching

Unfortunately, Mother Nature has delayed corn planting once again this spring. Farmers who can’t even get in the fields due to the cold and wet spring may end up using the prevented planting coverage of their crop insurance policy.

Prevented planting occurs when an insured crop fails to get planted by the final planting date designated in the insurance policy. For the southern two-thirds of Minnesota, the final plant date for corn is May 31 (June 10 for soybeans) in order to receive full crop insurance coverage for 2014.

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Making diesel engines more efficient with hydrous ethanol

Inside a square room at the University of Minnesota’s new T.E. Murphy Engine Research Laboratory in Minneapolis, Will Northrop is working to refine a cleaner and more efficient diesel engine.

With funding support from the Minnesota Corn Growers Association and AURI, Northrop and his team at the U of M’s Department of Mechanical Engineering are developing technology to use hydrous ethanol as the primary fuel in diesel engines.

When used in diesel engines,

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An Agvocate at the Capitol: South Dakota State student shares her "Day on the Hill" experience

Written by Andrea Tomschin, MCGA Agvocate

I’ll be the first to admit that history, politics and government have never been my favorite subjects. So when the Minnesota Corn Growers Association went to the state capitol in St. Paul — aka “the hill” — to talk about current issues, I can’t say that I was all too excited.

However, when the day came I quickly began to realize that my first time at the state capitol was going to be a lot more fun than expected.

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#Plant14 update: Minnesota corn farmers made progress last week

Minnesota corn farmers took advantage of the sunny and dry weather over the weekend to plant more than 22 percent of the state’s corn crop according to the latest USDA crop progress report.

Currently, 53 percent of Minnesota’s corn crop is in the ground. That’s 28 percent behind the 5-year average and 10 percent behind last year’s pace.

Best of luck to all the corn farmers out there battling Mother Nature and trying to get this year’s crop planted.

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