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News from around Farm World

Ethanol plant construction
to start this summer

ROCKPORT, Ind. (AP) — A Pittsburgh company plans to start work this summer on a $180-million ethanol plant that will create 50 full-time jobs and consume 43 million bushels of corn each year.
International Steel Services Inc. will build the plant through a subsidiary, Biofuels International Inc., the company said. It expects to complete construction in two years.

The plant will make 100 million gallons of ethanol a year, but could be expanded to handle twice that amount.
The project “represents one of the best possible ways to stimulate our local economy, to help the nation’s environment and to decrease our country’s dependence on foreign oil,” said Tom Utter, executive director of the Lincolnland Economic Development Corp.

It will use corn provided by suppliers within a 50-mile radius of its southern Indiana location.

Champion horse one of 7
killed in Kentucky barn fire

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A barn fire killed seven horses worth more than $1 million, authorities said.

The fire early on March 23 destroyed the 12-stall barn at Hipp Farm, a division of Clifton Farm, in Lexington. Calhoun Clifton, 23, daughter of the farm’s owner, said among the horses killed in the blaze were champion saddlebred Chat and Maui Girl, one of the first saddlebreds to be sold for more than $1 million.
Maui Girl was the dam for My Chanel, the winner of the Ladies Five Gaited Gelding Stakes.

“We never even considered putting a price on them, and that is pretty rare for our family because this is what we do for a living,” Clifton said. “They have just been a part of this family for as long as we have had them. There is no amount of money we would have ever sold them for.”

The cause of the fire was under investigation, fire officials said.

Corn-based runway deicer
uses product from Tenn. plant

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — A southeast Iowa company has formed a partnership with leading chemical companies to market a corn-based airport runway deicing fluid.
Fort Madison-based Cryotech Deicing Technology said the new product will be marketed as Cryotech BX36.

It is a product made from Susterra propanediol, which was developed by DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products and is produced at a plant in Loudon, Tenn. Corn-based Susterra propanediol eliminates the need for petroleum-based materials while providing low toxicity and biodegradability to applications such as deicing fluids, antifreeze and heat transfer fluids, the companies said in a statement.

The formulation meets FAA-approved specifications as safe for runways, they said. It is applied with existing equipment and is active at 20 degrees below zero and colder.
Delaware-based DuPont Tate & Lyle uses a patented biological process to convert corn into Susterra propanediol. Production of the material consumes 40 percent less energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent versus petroleum-based propanediol, the companies said in a statement.

“Our customers now have an option that not only comes from a renewable resource, but also addresses industry concerns,” said Keith Johnson, president and CEO of Cryotech.
BX36 was successfully used in field trials at international airports, including Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Mo., this winter.
In addition, Cryotech is completing a trial with a courier airline for use of BX36 on their ramps.

BX36 will be available for use at airports this year for the upcoming winter season. It will be packaged and distributed from the Cryotech facility in Fort Madison.

Cryotech Deicing Technology is a division of General Atomics International Services Corp., a San Diego-based company specializing in energy-related research and product development.

State appeal dropped
in raw milk investigation

GREENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Gov. Ted Strickland ordered the state Department of Agriculture to stop its effort to prevent a western

Ohio dairy farm from supplying raw milk to shareholders.
Strickland told the department to drop its appeal of a judge’s ruling that overturned the state’s decision to revoke farmer Carol Schmitmeyer’s milk-producing license.

Darke County Common Pleas Judge Jonathan Hein ruled in December that state agriculture officials failed to show that Schmitmeyer’s farm illegally provided raw milk to 165 shareholders.

Farmers in Ohio cannot sell raw milk for human consumption, although they can drink the unpasteurized milk from their own cows.

Schmitmeyer operated a herd-share program that allowed people to pay $50 for a share in a cow, plus $6 a gallon for the milk, instead of selling the milk directly.

She argued it was not illegal because those who received the milk owned part of the cow.

The herd-share program factored in to Strickland’s decision, spokesman Keith Dailey said.

“Gov. Strickland does not believe there is sufficient evidence to indicate part-ownership in a herd is problematic, and he ... doesn’t believe it’s in the state’s interest to file an appeal,” Dailey said.

Agriculture officials said they began investigating after a 63-year-old man and a 4-year-old boy who drank raw milk from Schmitmeyer’s dairy became ill in January 2006.

The state argued the herd-share agreement was a thinly-veiled attempt to shield Schmitmeyer from liability for selling milk illegally.

Supporters of raw milk say it’s full of vitamins and does not bother those who are lactose-intolerant.

But health officials warn milk that hasn’t been pasteurized to kill E. coli and other bacteria could make drinkers sick.

This farm news was published in the March 28, 2007 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.