The Buzz

Biodiesel making headlines.

We focus an awful lot on ethanol, here in "The Buzz." But when you think about it, biodiesel – conventional diesel fuel blended with various percentages of vegetable or animal fat oil – makes a lot of sense for Kansas farmers. So, here are a couple of biodiesel items for you to think about. Incidentally, these tidbits are a bit more topical because yesterday was the birthday of Rudolph Diesel.

From now on, whenever you buy a new piece of Case IH agricultural equipment equipped with an engine, that engine will be ready to use a 5% blend of biodiesel fuel, according to the company…

  • Many of the company's diesel-powered products are capable of running a greater blend of biodiesel. More than 90% of the models sold in Europe and North America – including Magnum tractors – can use B20 (20% biodiesel blends), providing that operators follow proper maintenance and fuel handling requirements. And nearly half of the models sold globally, including the Axial-Flow 8010 combine are approved for B100 use…
  • Furthermore, every engine powering Case IH equipment around the world is leaving the factory with a biodiesel blend in the tank, the company says…
  • According to the National Biodiesel Board, more than 225 million gallons of biodiesel were used in 2006. Seventeen biodiesel producers nationally are accredited BQ-9000 producers – the quality standard set forth by the industry…
  • Biodiesel is making headlines around the world. Hays farmer Harold Kraus, a former member of the National Biodiesel Board, has kept us abreast of the story of Earthrace, a biodiesel-powered high-speed yacht that is attempting to break the around-the-world record by boat. Kraus has purchased a "leg" of the cruise – from Maui, Hawaii to San Diego…
  • Unfortunately, the Earthrace ship – which was due to set sail March 10 - has suffered several delays. And while Kraus says there is some "extra time padded into the schedule," the trip may or may not occur. As of Kraus' last report on Sunday, the ship is in Guatemala…
  • Still, it's a fascinating tale of David vs. Goliath, so to speak – a determined crew, working night and day to ready and sustain one of the most interesting seacraft ever built. Read more about it at www.earthrace.net
  • Kraus – a veteran of the U.S. Navy – will man the "…regular watch at the helm of 2 on 2 off (port and starboard). They have dumbed down everything today so navigation is a snap but you still have to avoid collisions…"
  • He continues: "I spent 9 days on her in Sept. 06 from Santa Cruz to Newport. Lost 10 pounds and got very little sleep as we went between ports over night and showed the boat during the day. There is no sugar daddy for this venture. We would show about 5000 people through the boat per day at $5 per pop."
  • Says Kraus in living this modern day adventure: "This is a fairy tale, isn't it. Country boy rides a world sanctioned race." We hope to have a feature story in the print edition of Kansas Farmer after the trip is complete.
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