Wisconsin Corn Growers Association executive director Bob Oleson of Palmyra and association member Nancy Kavazajian of Beaver Dam used the twilight meeting at the Fond du Lac and Dodge County Corn Growers Association to address several pending issues and upcoming activities.
Oleson cited the federal Renewable Fuels Standard, which mandates the annual use of at least 13.5 billion gallons of ethanol (made mainly from corn) in fuel blends and the pending legislation, which would eliminate that requirement.
Kavazanjian encouraged corn grower association members to call their Congressman to express opposition to that idea. She reported that three Wisconsin Congressmen who represent major corn growing areas (Tom Petri, Reid Ribble, and James Sensenbrenner) have all signed in support of that legislation. She and Oleson suggested that a 15 percent mix of ethanol — up from the current 10 percent — or the blenders' choice of a higher percentage would be appropriate instead.
All farmers should join the Farm Bureau's "Ditch the Rule" push that would stem the proposed effort by the federal Environmental Protection Agency to greatly expand the definition of what portion of the landscape would be subject to certain water flow rules, Kavazanjian advised.
On a Wisconsin topic, Oleson mentioned the new Implements of Husbandry legislation, which addresses weight and width limits for travel by agricultural equipment on roadways. He acknowledged that the livestock and custom operator sectors "led the charge" in obtaining some changes.
Despite some improvements in the legislation, Oleson noted that travel on roadways by rubber-tracked farm vehicles is still illegal. In light of the probability that they travel on a roadway to and from corn fields only twice a year, he also called for consideration of the fact that triple-wheel tractors exceed the width limit at 17.5 feet.
Corn growers were reminded of the corn yield contests in Wisconsin, which features three divisions including counties and another for other growers throughout the state. In each division, the cash prizes are $500, $250, and $100 for the top three places.
On Friday night, Aug. 15, the state's corn growers are hosting a night of racing at the Madison International Raceway that will feature drivers using fuel with 15-98 percent ethanol content. Admission is free for association members who recruit at least one new member by Aug. 12, $15 for those who do not, and $25 for the general public. Call 262-495-2232 for more details on that promotion.