Six more ethanol plants have signed trial agreements within the last six months to use Enogen corn, featuring a trait that helps enhance efficiencies in ethanol production. They join Siouxland Ethanol, Jackson, NE; and Golden Grain Energy, Mason City, IA, which are currently testing the corn. Ethanol producers that already have signed agreements to use the corn commercially are Quad County Corn Processors, Galva, IA; Bonanza BioEnergy, Garden City, KS; and Plymouth Energy, Merrill, IA.
Enogen corn hybrids are genetically modified to express the alpha amylase enzyme in the corn kernel. This eliminates the need for liquid alpha amylase in the ethanol production process, and helps reduce costs for ethanol producers, says Jack Bernens, Enogen marketing manager and stakeholder relations. The corn reduces the slurry viscosity of corn mash, which enables higher levels of dry solids loading. This helps reduce consumption of natural gas, electricity and water, Enogen reports.
Syngenta will introduce 18 new Enogen hybrids (85- to 118-day RM) for 2014 planting. Two of these hybrids will include the Agrisure Artesian trait for season-long water use efficiency. Bernens adds that in 2015, Syngenta hopes to have Enogen hybrids available with the Agrisure Duracade corn rootworm trait.
Ethanol plants contract directly with farmers to produce and deliver Enogen corn, paying an average premium of $.40 per bushel. “For some farmers, this can mean an extra $80 to $90 per acre,” Bernens says.