• Josh Flint

    Planting Corn in June Is a Real Possibility

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on May 9, 2013

    With more rain on the way and not a planter to be seen in my neck of the woods, yesterday, I thought “Geez, is anyone planting?”  I took to Twitter and posed that question to Illinois farmers. Judging from the response, it appears I wasn’t the only one wondering. In short, they’re going like gangbusters north of I-80. A lot of them will have logged nearly an entire week of corn planting depending on whether they stayed dry with this latest line of…

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  • Josh Flint

    Junk Science Gives High Fructose Corn Syrup a Black Eye

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on November 28, 2012

    This had me screaming at the television last night. Our local news picked up the story and just ran a blanket summary. It went something like this: “High-fructose corn syrup has been linked to a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes. According to a new study, type 2 diabetes is 20% more common in countries that use high-fructose corn syrup, such as the U.S.” And, on to the next story. Before even digging into the matter, I yelled, “Correlation does not equal…

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  • Josh Flint

    There's a Lot of Nitrate Still in the Soil

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 5, 2012

    After speaking with several nutrient experts, one thing is clear – there’s a lot of nitrogen left in the field after this drought year. Here’s the catch, most of it’s in the nitrate form. As most know, that means it’s extremely susceptible to loss via leaching (moving out with the water) and denitrification (evaporating from water-logged soils). Dan Schaefer, director of nutrient stewardship with the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, has been pulling…

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  • Josh Flint

    Livestock vs. Ethanol: The Scene Is Set for a Showdown

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on July 25, 2012

    Don’t kid yourself; this corn crop is going to be small. Just how small is up for debate. A lot of folks are clinging to an average yield estimate in the 140 bushel range. Others, including many Illinois farmers, say this is wishful thinking. During the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Commodities Conference, University of Illinois economist Darrel Good examined various rationing scenarios for the coming year. With an average yield of 135 bushels, Good notes price will have to ration…

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  • Josh Flint

    I'm Thankful To Be a Part of the Ag Industry

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on November 23, 2011

    This week, the Illinois Corn Growers Association honored me with their Excellence in Media Award. First and foremost, thank you to the folks at ICGA. It’s a top-notch group that is doing some tremendous things for Illinois farmers. Afterward WIXY Classic’s Gale Cunningham asked me a few questions relating to my career for his radio show. It got me thinking back on my career thus far. I know; that’s a dangerous proposition. I’ll have been with Farm Progress four…

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  • Josh Flint

    I Hope VEETC's Demise Renews Our Focus on Ethanol

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on June 20, 2011

    If recent activity in Congress is any indicator, it appears support for ethanol blending credits is drying up. While much of ethanol’s old guard will likely lament the eventual demise of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit, I see this as an opportunity. As long as VEETC exists, too many ethanol support groups will pour money and effort into renewing it. Instead of keeping a blending credit alive, we need to focus all of our energy on moving this homegrown fuel to the next…

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  • Josh Flint

    Understanding Auto Manufacturers' Concerns with E15

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on February 21, 2011

    There’s been a lot of talk about the EPA’s recent E15 waiver at the 2011 National Ethanol Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. When the waiver notice came out, I knew right away it wasn’t likely to fully satisfy ethanol proponents. Expanding the waiver to include vehicle model years 2001 and newer was commendable, but as Renewable Fuels Association’s Bob Dinneen points out, that’s only about 61% of the U.S. auto fleet. One thing I didn’t give a lot of thought…

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  • Josh Flint

    This Editor Prefers the Taste of HFCS Over Sugar

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on March 24, 2010

    If you haven't heard, high fructose corn syrup is once again under attack. Duke University recently published a study that supposedly links HFCS to liver scarring. During my recent trip to Washington, DC, several Illinois Corn Growers' members met with the staff at the Corn Refiners Association.   Apparently CRA cannot determine the funding behind the research. However, most folks have probably put two and two together and arrived at a logical conclusion: the sugar…

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  • Josh Flint

    How Does Cellulosic Ethanol Remove the Food Vs. Fuel Scenario?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on January 15, 2010

    During the University of Illinois' Bioenergy Feedstocks Symposium, none of the speakers actually said, "Corn ethanol is bad."   However, there was a noticeable subtext that advanced biofuels (i.e. cellulosic ethanol from miscanthus or switchgrass) are the wave of the future and corn-based ethanol is on its way out. For those who haven't seen these biomass crops, both look like extremely tall prairie grasses. Miscanthus grows about 10 feet tall, while switchgrass is a bit shorter.   Sarah…

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  • Josh Flint

    The Refuge Management Game Is Evolving

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on August 19, 2009

    Regardless of how you're currently managing refuge on your farm, I'm willing to bet you'll be using an entirely different system within the next couple years.   Two big seed companies, Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred, are working to change the game. Recently, Monsanto received approval for SmartStax' reduced refuge from 20% to 5%. In 2010, SmartStax will be available for approximately 3 to 4 million acres.   The science behind the refuge reduction deals with multiple modes of action…

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