The Buzz

In Harvey County, ethanol all around.

Published on: Oct 1, 2007

Harvey County Commissioners last week approved a special-use permit for an ethanol plant to be built near Newton. Days later, two brothers from north central Kansas announced that they wish to build an ethanol plant in Kansas, with a site near Hesston – in Harvey County – one of five proposed locations…

  • Terry and Gerry Frager, Morrowvile, head up North Central Energy Group. They are working with a company in Kansas City to build one plant, with locations near Hesston, Perry, Concordia, Wamego and Morrowville…

  • The attraction of the site near Hesston is that the land is available for purchase, there is plenty of water available and the area grows enough grain to support the plant. They plan to work with the Kansas City group to build the plant and hope to gain funding from farmer-investors and federal grants, according to the Hutchinson News…

  • In the same newspaper last week was a report of a grain storage crunch in western Kansas, where many elevators are still full of a bountiful wheat crop. Access to rail cars has been spotty, at best, so elevators are forced to move stored grain via truck – a slow process…

  • What this means, of course, is that while fall harvest is in full swing – there is no place to put an equally bountiful corn and grain sorghum crop, except on the ground…

  • The storage crunch is one reason the Alliance for Rural America sent a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure last week, imploring the Committee to pass the Railroad Competition and Service Improvement Act, which would boost competition among rail lines. The Alliance is a group of 13 Farmers Union organizations, including the Kansas Farmers Union…

  • "Agriculture has been 'tapped on the shoulder' to…help provide alternative fuels and other energy needs for America while continuing to supply ample quantities of commodity for our food system," says ARA spokesperson Larry Mitchell. "We call on the rail industry to step up to the plate and provide the services required with reasonable rates and timely service to help deliver the largest corn crop ever produced in this nation."…

  • Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is trying to thwart a rumored provision in the 2007 Farm Bill that would reduce direct payments, or at least place them on a sliding scale. The money saved would be used to pay for other programs, according to Washington D.C. rumors…

  • Roberts and several Senate Ag Committee peers sent a letter to Committee Chair Tom Harkin, D-Iowa and ranking minority member Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, asking them to nip the rumor in the bud…

  • "This year, many areas of the south, west, plains states and upper Midwest have suffered significant crop losses due to drought, flooding, or freezes. Producers without crops to harvest will likely receive no benefits from the loan or counter-cyclical programs due to high prices. However, they will receive benefits from direct payments. Under these circumstances, why would we want to cut direct payments?" Roberts wrote…

  • Lastly, we'd like to turn to the accomplishments of young people. The Cherryvale FFA Chapter will compete at next month's National FFA Convention in the Chevron Delo Tractor Restoration Competition…

  • Cherryvale's project is a 1956 John Deere 720, which was restored by cousins Cory and Shane Blaes. The projects will be graded on restoration process, results and documentation, as well as oral presentation and safety precautions. They are competing for a top prize of $2,500.