Ethanol And Corn In Victory Lane At Iowa Speedway

Iowa Farm Scene

Farmers can earn a premium for growing corn that has special trait for ethanol production.

Published on: July 22, 2013

The Enogen corn contracting program started as a pilot program with an ethanol plant near Holstein in northwest Iowa—Quad County Corn Processors at Galva. Last year was the first year Quad County had growers producing Enogen under contract. "The crop being grown in 2013 is our second crop," says Delayne Johnson, general manager of Quad County Corn Processors. "We're now getting ready to contract for our third crop of Enogen corn, which will be grown in 2014."

Growers earn premiums for producing this identity preserved corn, and ethanol plants lower their cost of producing ethanol

Quad County Corn Processors in 2013 has contracts in place with 27 farmers to produce Enogen corn, paying an average premium of 40 cents per bushel. Last year was the first year and with drought conditions it was difficult to make yield comparisons. "But the feedback we've been getting is Enogen corn is yielding the same or very close to the same as other commercial corn hybrids," says Johnson. He notes that 90% of the farmers who grew Enogen corn last year contracted to grow it again this year.

Enogen corn has allowed the ethanol producers who are participating in the program to increase the amount of starch they put in the fermentation tank and use less water in the distillation process. He says the Quad County Corn Processors facility's natural gas usage is about 5% less per gallon of ethanol produced.

"We're always looking for ways to become more efficient and improve our productivity in the ethanol industry," notes Johnson, "so any technology that can help save us money while also increasing our output of ethanol interests us. The idea of creating added value for our local farmers is an additional bonus. Thanks to the Enogen corn we don't have to buy the alpha amylase enzyme and add it to our production process. Along with other savings generated by using Enogen corn in our plant that means we can pay the price premium to our growers and help keep nearly $500,000 per year in our local community. It's a definite financial benefit for us to not have to buy alpha amylase enzyme and add it separately to our processing plant to make ethanol."

For more information visit the Enogen website.