Only 10% to 20% of an ethanol plant's total corn input needs to be Enogen corn to produce the desired results. Thus, in an area of 40 miles or so around a participating ethanol plant only a certain number of farmers would be needed to grow Enogen corn. For a 50-million-gallon per year plant, for example, the plant would never need more than 25,000 acres of Enogen or roughly 25 to 30 growers contracting to produce this identity preserved corn. What's Syngenta's goal for Enogen acreage in the U.S.? Company officials aren't saying. But they do say Syngenta is targeting all dry mill ethanol plants in the U.S.—about 80% of the nation's 211 ethanol plants.
Syngenta pledges further support for renewable fuels and the RFS
Syngenta's three-year commitment to contribute $1 to the renewable fuels industry for every acre planted to Enogen corn will be used to help fund efforts to support the Renewable Fuels Standard and to promote the benefits of renewable fuels, says Witherspoon. The RFS is under fire in Washington, D.C. these days as the petroleum industry wants Congress to kill the RFS—a law which requires fuel refiners nationwide to blend a certain amount of ethanol in their gasoline each year.
"Renewable fuels are an essential part of the American Energy equation, benefitting consumers, farmers and American energy independence," says Witherspoon. "Ethanol, whether it's made from corn or biomass, is an energy source for today and tomorrow and it is driving economic growth and innovation."
This year the $1 per acre donation by Syngenta is going to an organization called Fuels America, a broad coalition of stakeholders committed to protecting America's Renewable Fuel Standard and promoting the benefits of all types of renewable fuels. "Agriculture has benefitted significantly from the RFS and ethanol," Witherspoon told Wallaces Farmer in an interview after the press conference at Iowa Speedway. "Ethanol has increased the demand for corn, improved prices for farmers and is helping rural America grow in many ways by creating and supporting jobs in the ethanol industry. Syngenta is a company that has been supporting ethanol all along but we're bolstering our effort even more now."
First check is for $65,000 and is presented as a contribution to help the organization "Fuels America" promote and garner support for ethanol
The Enogen dollar-per-acre contribution which starts this year was presented as an "oversize" check for display purposes by Witherspoon at the press conference. The check was for $65,000 made out to Fuels America. Syngenta has 65,000 acres of Enogen corn under contract in 2013 as the program is in its second year of getting started with grower contracts. The goal is to expand Enogen corn acreage in years to come as more ethanol plants participate and offer the price premium to farmers for growing this corn.