Category: New Uses

Minnesota distilleries (and corn!) shine in craft spirits competition

Earlier this month six Minnesota distilleries competed in the first-ever Heartland Whiskey Competition, which brought together 75 distilleries from the 10-state region in America’s Heartland. Sponsored by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA), the competition featured craft distilleries that utilize corn in their spirits.

The whiskey competition was held, in part, to highlight the burgeoning farm-to-table movement. Customers are interested in the story behind their spirit, and for those distilleries participating in the competition that story starts with the corn base often acquired from nearby farms.

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Minnesota Harvest

The latest market for corn: Tires

The United States rubber industry, especially for car tires, has depended on petroleum to make its product since World War II, when supply of the rubber tree prevalently grown in Asia was no longer available to America. Researchers with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Sustainable Polymers are now working to again transform the industry by returning to a natural source for rubber – Corn.

Associate Professor Paul Dauenhauer and his team set out to use starches derived from a source like corn,

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American corn and ethanol find receptive market in Taiwan

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The US grain harvest in 2012, which was smaller than expected, forced loyal customers like Taiwan to look elsewhere for the poultry and hog feed previously provided by U.S. farmers, causing U.S. share of Taiwan’s grain market to drop 40 percent.

Not taking the change passively, the U.S. Grains Council developed the Grain Quality Condition report, which informs markets like Taiwan on the quality of U.S.

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Grain Bin

U.S. Grains Council on 2017 trade during World Trade Month

For World Trade Month, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association spoke with U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight on the latest from our nation’s capital and what to expect in what will be a crucial year for the corn export market.

Shortly before the calendar switched over to May, a report came from the White House that wasn’t necessarily in the spirit of the trade appreciation month, as President Donald Trump publicly considered withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico.

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ALAMN Station Event

MCGA takes comprehensive approach with ethanol investment

Biofuels have long been a focus for the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA). Investing nearly $23 million since 2008, here are a few highlights of how MCGA has worked to advance and expand the use of ethanol.

ETHANOL/EMISSIONS RESEARCH:

Over the last three years MCGA has worked with the consulting firm DeFour Group to move mid-level blends, specifically E25, into the marketplace. The multi-faceted approach included engine testing through the National Corn Growers Association,

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Researchers seek triple win with refinement of DDGS

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

With a few small changes to improve the nutritional profile of distillers grains, also known as DDGS, research scientists at the University of Minnesota hope to deliver a triple win.

A mid-protein, high-phosphorus animal feed, distillers grains are an ethanol co-product made from corn after fermentation. The enriched distillers grain these researchers hope to produce would deliver more nutrition, offer another co-product to increase profits for ethanol makers,

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MN Planting 2017: Reason for optimism

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

If USDA estimates prove true, farmers will plant 450,000 fewer acres of corn in Minnesota while increasing soybean acres by around 700,000 acres. The total state planting in these principal crops will be 8 million acres and 8.25 million for corn and soybeans, respectively.

According to the USDA, corn planted area nationwide for all purposes in 2017 is estimated at 90.0 million acres,

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Green Biologics, Little Falls

Next gen green chemicals coming off the line at Little Falls plant

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

What does firing up a charcoal grill in LA have to do with field corn raised in Minnesota?

A lot, when that corn has gone through the brand new Green Biologics retrofitted facility in Little Falls, Minn. The facility processes corn into butanol, the main ingredient in lighter fluid. And it’s renewable—that’s a plus in many markets, now.

Green Biologics also turns corn into renewable acetone,

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MN Capitol

Legislative Update: Health insurance re-emerges as significant issue

During the first few weeks of this year’s Legislative session, Republicans and Democrats worked quickly to pass a bipartisan bill to provide $326 million in premium relief to people who obtain their health insurance through the individual market exchange. When passing the bill, legislators and Gov. Dayton acknowledged that a more permanent solution was needed to avoid skyrocketing insurance premiums for 2018 and to ensure that insurance companies wouldn’t abandon the individual market. During March,

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Demmer Family

UMN Farm Family of the Game: The Demmer Family

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

Julie and Jerry Demmer, Clarks Grove, Minn, were recently honored as a University of Minnesota (UMN) Gopher Hockey ‘Farm Family of the Game’. UMN and the Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) are honoring farm families this hockey season, spotlighting the importance of using best management practices that help preserve Minnesota’s rich natural resources.

In recognition for their conservation work, UMN hosted the Demmer family at a men’s hockey game this past month.

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