Archive for Monday, December 10, 2012

Brownback applauds EPA’s ruling on grain sorghum

December 10, 2012


— An Environmental Protection Agency decision to qualify grain sorghum as a renewable fuel under federal standards is being hailed as good news for Kansas, which raises more of the crop than any other state.

Gov. Sam Brownback said last month’s EPA decision that ethanol produced from sorghum qualifies under the Renewable Fuels Standard Program could be a boost to state’s economy.

“The RFS requires the United States to produce 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022, with an increasing requirement for renewable fuels from non-corn sources,” Brownback said. “This pathway will open the door for Kansas sorghum farmers and Kansas ethanol plants to help meet both the conventional biofuel and advanced biofuel mandates under the RFS.”

The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the governor noted 60 percent of Kansas-produced ethanol comes from sorghum, which also is known as milo.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture said in a statement that a determination signed by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson on Nov. 30 found that grain sorghum ethanol produced at dry-mill facilities that utilize natural gas for processing energy meets the 20 percent greenhouse gas emission reduction threshold necessary to qualify as a renewable fuel under RFS guidelines.

According to the Kansas Grain Sorghum Growers Association, sorghum thrives in hot, dry conditions and looks a lot like corn, just smaller. It’s primarily used as feed for livestock, but lately more of it has been used to produce ethanol as well.

Brownback recently sent a letter to Jackson urging approval of sorghum’s RFS qualification and invited her and EPA staff members to visit Kansas ethanol plants that use sorghum grown by farmers in the state.

The ruling could benefit Western Plains Energy, an Oakley company that plans to use waste from beef feedlots, swine operations and landfills to generate methane gas used in its sorghum-produced ethanol plant. Another beneficiary, Garden City-based Conestoga Energy, uses carbon dioxide trapped in oil wells as part of its sorghum-ethanol production.

“The ingenuity found in Kansas is second to none,” said Dale Rodman, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture. “These ethanol plants, and likely many more, have made significant financial investments necessary to produce ethanol from sorghum and meet advanced biofuel standards.

“Approving the sorghum pathway is a critical step forward in our nation’s quest to become energy independent,” he said.


Ken Lassman 5 years, 4 months ago

Been there, done that. We didn't have cabs on our tractor pulled combines, either.

tolawdjk 5 years, 4 months ago

Growing up out west I remember the piles of it outside the elevators that were still full of wheat. It was always stunning to see the different hues in that pile from the various fields.

corey872 5 years, 4 months ago

Good to see some new feedstocks enter the mix, especially right as some interesting new flex fuel vehicles are hitting the market. It's always great to have a choice and be able to burn which ever fuel gives the most 'miles per dollar'.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

It's corporate ag that wants to burn crops for fuel, not "greenies." Get a clue.

gr 5 years, 4 months ago

bozo, do you think corporate ag is the one who created: “The RFS requires the United States to produce 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022,"

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Greenies would prefer to use other sources and get rid of the combustable engine wherever possible. This is bandwagoning, not innovation. The Kochs have recently started investing heavily in biofuels. Coincidence?

Crazy_Larry 5 years, 4 months ago

I agree, starch-based ethanol production is wasteful and dumb when considering the energy inputs and overall costs--cellulosic ethanol production is the future--the green aspect of ethanol is debatable. However, we must keep in mind and consider all aspects of ethanol. For instance, one major benefit of ethanol production in the USA is the reduced consumption of foreign oil. Every dollar spent on ethanol is one dollar feeding the American economy and one less dollar going into the pockets of people in the Middle East who would like to chop off the heads of the infidels.

tolawdjk 5 years, 4 months ago

Ain't that the truth. I remember the good ole days of walking milo stubble for phesants with blockers down in the draw. Now you walk it (if it isn't already plowed under) and you wonder why you bother. No grain spill is no birds.

Still remember my first opening weekend. Had a hen and a rooster pop up practically three feet in front of me in some beaten down unharvested milo. Between practically pissing myself in surpise and fumbling for the safety I managed to down my first bird. Murphy's law dictated it was the hen and Ultimate Murphy's Law dictated that the ranger was waiting for us back at our truck to talk to my uncle.

Innocently, or maybe nievely, I walked up to him, pulled it out of my back pouch and told him what I had done. He looked at me and said "Son, if you had just kept that back there, I would have never have noticed. I admire you for your honesty, and I think Fish and Game can let this one slide for a boy's opening weekend. Just pay better attention next time."

Now days you can't find a field that isn't some variation of pay-per-hunt or over trampled public hunting.


Glenn Reed 5 years, 4 months ago

The thing that's rarely mentioned is how much fuel is going into the production of the fuel. If all of the farm's vehicles were run on ethanol, how much ethanol would such a farm produce?

Charlie Bannister 5 years, 4 months ago

Nothing at all is going to grow here or anywhere else unless we get a considerable amount of moisture, and quickly.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.