Friday, November 18, 2022

Thursday November 18 Ag News

 Governor-Elect Pillen Announces Lifelong Livestock Producer as New Ag Director

Nebraska Governor-elect Jim Pillen announced he will be appointing family livestock producer, Sherry Vinton, as the next Director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

"Sherry will be a key partner in helping implement my vision of growing Nebraska agriculture," said Governor-elect Pillen. "As a lifelong Nebraskan and livestock producer, she is a leader in Nebraska agriculture who knows the importance of the industry for the future of our state. Sherry will work to protect farmers and ranchers against anti-agricultural policies & groups, promote free & fair trade, ensure competitive markets, and defend our land."

Vinton is the First Vice President of the Nebraska Farm Bureau. Since 1983, she has run her family cow-calf operation near Whitman where she manages the business end of the ranch's operation. She is an active member of the Grant County Farm Bureau at both the state and local levels. Vinton represented Congressional District 3 on the Nebraska Environmental Trust board for 14 years. She attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she studied accounting.

Vinton will officially be appointed after Governor-elect Pillen is sworn into office.

"I am grateful to Steve Wellman for his years of service to the state and his help in growing agriculture," said Governor-elect Pillen. "As a lifelong farmer, Steve will continue to be a leader for agriculture in Nebraska."

Rural Mainstreet Economy Shrinks for Sixth Straight Month: 1 of 5 Bank CEOs Expect Farmland Prices to Decline in 2023

The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) fell below growth neutral for a sixth consecutive month, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.

The region’s overall reading for November once again sank below the growth neutral threshold. The November index did increase to a weak 45.7 from 44.2 in October. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral. This was the sixth straight month the overall reading has fallen below growth neutral.

“The Rural Mainstreet economy is now experiencing a downturn in economic activity. Last month, almost one in four bankers, or 23.1%, reported that the economy was already in a recession,” said Ernie Goss, PhD, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.

Farming and ranching: The region’s farmland price index rose to 68.2 from October’s 58.0.  This was the 26th straight month that the index has climbed above 50.0.

Bankers were also asked their expectations for the direction of farmland prices in the next 12 months. Approximately, 60.9% expect farmland prices to plateau at current prices, while 21.7% expect prices to decline over the period. The remaining 17.4% of bankers expect prices to expand, but at a slower pace.

Farm equipment sales:
The farm equipment-sales index jumped to a strong 59.5 from October’s weak 47.8. The index has risen above growth neutral for 22 of the last 24 months.

This month, bankers were asked if their bank was asking for greater upfront financial commitments for farm loans. Only 13.6% indicated an increase in such commitments. The remaining 86.4% reported no change in upfront commitments for farm loans.

Bankers were asked this month about their recommendation for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate action for next several months. Approximately 30.4% of bank CEOs recommend that the Fed cease raising rates. The largest percentage of bankers, 39.1%, recommend a half-percentage point increase (50 basis points) at its next meetings on December 13-14.

Below are the state reports:

Nebraska: The Nebraska RMI remained below growth neutral for November but did rise to 44.7 from October’s 40.1. The state’s farmland-price index rose to 69.2 from last month’s 55.2. Nebraska’s November new-hiring index dipped to 50.7 from 51.5 in October. Over the past 12 months, BLS data show that Nebraska’s Rural Mainstreet Economy experienced a 2.9% increase in non-farm employment, while urban areas in the state added 2.5% in non-farm employment.

Iowa: Iowa’s November RMI increased to 47.0 from 45.6 in October. Iowa’s farmland-price index climbed to 70.2 from October’s 60.4. Iowa’s new-hiring index for November moved upward slightly to 51.9 from October’s 51.8. Over the past 12 months, BLS data show that Iowa’s Rural Mainstreet Economy experienced a 3.4% increase in non-farm employment, while urban areas in the state gained 1.9% in non-farm employment.

The survey represents an early snapshot of the economy of rural agriculturally and energy-dependent portions of the nation. The Rural Mainstreet Index is a unique index covering 10 regional states, focusing on approximately 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300. The index provides the most current real-time analysis of the rural economy. Goss and Bill McQuillan, former chairman of the Independent Community Banks of America, created the monthly economic survey and launched it in January 2006.

Scoular’s new high-speed shuttle loading facility opens new markets to Nebraska farmers

Producers in southwest Nebraska will have new markets for their grain, plus significantly faster unloading speeds and increased storage because of Scoular’s new high-speed shuttle loading facility.

Scoular celebrated completion of the project with a grand opening event Thursday at the facility, located in Grainton. Scoular CEO Paul Maass, plus other Scoular leaders and railroad representatives, joined for the ribbon-cutting event.

The facility is only the fourth of its kind in southwest Nebraska, which includes Scoular’s facility in nearby Venango. Scoular’s new Grainton shuttle loader provides high-speed loading and unloading capabilities and has track capacity for 110 cars. The facility has the capability to receive farmer grain at a rate of 45,000 bushels per hour, even while loading out railcars at 60,000 bushels per hour. That is five times the loadout volume than before the upgrade.

Previously, Scoular’s Grainton facility consisted of a standard elevator with track space for 25 cars that, along with truck transportation, provided farmers access to markets primarily in southwest Nebraska and Colorado.

The vision for the new Grainton facility began with Regional Manager Ty Knispel and his desire to put the Perkins County, Nebraska, farmer production onto the 110-car BNSF network and supply the world with high-quality produced grains.   

At the new facility, the Nebraska, Kansas, & Colorado Railway (NKCR), an affiliate of the OmniTRAX rail network, provides access to the BNSF mainline, opening farmers to markets in such places as Mexico and Texas. Officials with BNSF and OmniTRAX, the Colorado based parent company of the NKCR, joined Scoular leaders at Thursday’s event.

The upgrade:
    Quadruples track capacity to 110 cars.
    Expands storage capacity to 6 million bushels with new twin, 140-foot-high concrete tanks. 
    Adds two high-speed receiving legs and two receiving pits, boosting unloading speed and efficiency as well as adding a high-speed shipping leg to the new facility.
    Enhances sustainability by taking greater advantage of the fuel efficiency of moving grain by rail versus by truck. 

“Our company thrives on helping farmers and customers succeed, and this facility is a great example of our service to them,” said Ron Bingham, Scoular Senior Vice President and Grain Division Manager. “With these upgrades, farmers will get in and out quickly, and we know how important that is for them.”

The upgrades follow major improvements completed this summer at Scoular facilities in Pratt and Coolidge in Kansas, and in Adrian, Missouri. Those facilities and Grainton are part of Scoular’s Midwestern grain handling network that includes over 50 facilities in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.   

New Water Quality Publication Provides Information for Pork Producers

Water is the most essential nutrient for pigs. It is critical for normal metabolic function, and vital for regulating body temp, excreting waste and maximizing feed consumption. Optimal water availability in pig barns is well understood, but many producers have questioned whether the quality of water being delivered to the pigs could be limiting their performance. Understanding water quality and how to interpret water test results is valuable for producers, managers and consultants.

That’s where a new publication from the Iowa Pork industry Center comes in. Water Quality in Swine Barns – How Do We Define It? highlights the parameters pork producers should focus on when testing drinking water in pig barns.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach swine specialist Matt Romoser is one of the authors. He said he hopes the content can help producers better understand what their water test results mean. It also can help when troubleshooting production issues, and determining which situations need corrective actions to improve water quality.

"Water quality in pig barns can vary dramatically from site to site," he said. "And although pigs are surprisingly resilient to various levels of water quality, knowing what role the water supply could have at a specific site can help rule out contributing factors specific to water." 

The publication reviews elements and substances commonly assessed in a water quality test. It also explains recommendations and research results for specific substances, the impact on pig performance and at what level producers should use mitigation strategies. Download the three-page pdf publication IPIC 204 at no charge from the Iowa State University Extension store.

Circular systems make sense for Iowa farms

Solutions from the Land

More than four years ago, the Iowa Smart Agriculture (IASA) Working Group, composed of Iowa farmers and value-chain partners concerned about the future of their livelihoods, came together for a discussion. They saw volatile markets, supply chain issues, extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions were making it more difficult to operate.

They explored questions like:
    “What conditions are you facing on your farm or in your operation?”
    “How much knowledge do farmers have about what the future might hold?”
    “Are we adequately prepared with strategies and plans in place to help us meet current and future challenges?”

By the end of that July 9, 2018, talk in Corning, Iowa, the farmers realized their discussion had only just begun. After more than two years of additional conversation, IASA has released a white paper outlining its vision for Iowa agriculture and offering recommendations for farmers, public and private partners, and consumers working together to meet global challenges, like climate change.

IASA’s vision is to manage Iowa’s working landscapes to safely and sustainably provide an abundance of food, feed, fiber, and fuel, while protecting and building health in our soil; filtering and storing water; sequestering carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and ensuring economically compelling opportunities for our livestock producers, farmers, their families and communities.

The paper, “Iowa Smart Agriculture: Circles of Life, A Vision for the Future,” also offers a path forward for finding and putting in place Iowa solutions for the land and concludes with a farmer-to-farmer call to action in support of Iowa’s food system and agricultural economy. One key solution: circular systems.

About Circular Systems
Circular systems are dynamic, continually adjusting and adapting as other parts of the system shift and change. In agricultural production, they efficiently use resources from on and off the farm and produce multiple benefits:
    Outputs (such as food, fiber, feed, renewable fuels and energy) for consumption beyond the farm gate.
    Retained on-farm value, in the form of farm-produced inputs that substitute for off-farm resources (for example, livestock waste produced on-farm reducing need for purchased fertilizer).
    Ecosystem services, like soil carbon sequestration, water cycling, and enhanced wildlife and biodiversity.
    Improved livelihoods, health and well-being.

Innovative farm-level circular systems increase resilience, yield and profitability, income stability, water quality, soil carbon and other ecosystem services.

Circular systems, or the “circular economy,” has long been a concept used in discussions related to national and international discussions on reducing greenhouse gas and carbon emissions. It was referenced often by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and others at the United Nation’s International Climate Change Conference (COP27) and at numerous Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture meetings. Iowa farmers have led the way in advocating for agriculture as a solution to global challenges, in part through circular systems.

Real-World Examples
The report showcases examples of Iowa farmers—including IASA co-chairs Ray Gaesser, Bryan Sievers and Kellie Blair—using circular systems.

Gaesser, a corn and soybean farmer in Corning, works with local livestock producers to provide grazing—and manure fertilization—on his crop fields.

Sievers, from Stockton, runs a beef cattle feedlot that reuses and recycles cattle manure and industrial food waste from nearby food processors into biogas with two 970,000-gallon anaerobic digesters.  

Blair’s farm in Dayton produces co-products from corn, soybean and oats that can be used as inputs for their livestock production so there is no need to purchase feed grain or bedding off-farm. Manure and bedding outputs are recycled as compost to benefit crop production.

With the release of “Iowa Smart Agriculture: Circles of Life,” IASA invites all farmers and agricultural stakeholders to join the conversation. IASA will be moving into its second phase of work, forging consensus on the priority building blocks needed to achieve its vision.

Solutions From the Land applauds IASA’s leaders for their future vision and action plan for scaling up agricultural solutions to local, state, national and global challenges. We urge all agricultural and food system stakeholders to review this timely body of work and put in motion the pragmatic recommendations they offer.

EIA Report Spotlights Increased Ethanol Blend Rate, Lower Cost to Drivers

A report released this week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration demonstrates clearly that higher blends of ethanol helped moderate fuel prices in the wake of the Ukraine invasion. The report noted that the U.S. ethanol blend rate hit a record summer average of 10.5% in 2022 and averaged 10.6% in June and August. “Fuel ethanol’s price discount to gasoline was one factor that led to the higher summer blend rate in 2022,” the report stated. “Although ethanol prices have been high in 2022, they have been low relative to gasoline prices, which were at their highest since 2014 this summer because of low domestic inventories and constraints on refining capacity.”

“This new analysis from EIA confirms that American drivers gravitated toward lower-cost E15 and E85 this summer as war in Ukraine drove pump prices to record heights,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “The report also demonstrates that President Biden made the right call by issuing emergency waivers to allow the continued sales of E15 through the summer months. The Biden administration’s emergency waivers helped stave off fuel shortages and ensured consumers had uninterrupted access to E15, which was typically priced 20-40 cents per gallon lower than regular gasoline. EIA’s analysis also shows that consumption of lower-carbon renewable fuels increases, as expected, when the Renewable Fuel Standard and its RIN market mechanism are allowed to work as intended. This report comes at a critical time and underscores the importance of permanently removing the summertime barrier to E15 sales and implementing robust RFS volume requirements for 2023 and beyond.”

The report matches a recent analysis by RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman, which found that an additional 194 million gallons of E15 were sold during the summer as a result of the Biden administration’s RVP waivers, saving American consumers $57 million. In a column in the August issue of Ethanol Producer magazine, Cooper reflected that “At gas stations across the country, the cure for high prices isn’t more high prices—it’s ethanol. Refiners and blenders can lower gas prices for consumers simply by adding more ethanol, which has been $1–$1.50 per gallon cheaper than gasoline for much of the summer.”

EIA in its report stated that it raised its forecast for the average 2022 fuel ethanol blend rate to a record 10.4%. “This year’s annual average blend rate has been higher so far than in prior years, averaging 10.3% from March through July, compared with 10.1% for the same months in 2020 and 2019—the most recent year that EPA set RFS targets for ethanol at the current maximum. Following August’s average blend rate of 10.6%, the 2022 annual average blend rate increased to 10.4%. We forecast the annual average fuel ethanol blend rate to remain near current levels and end the year at 10.4%.”

EIA also noted that E85 sales have been on the rise. “From June–August 2022, U.S. production of E85 conventional gasoline was at record levels, averaging 21,000 b/d over those three months. In comparison, conventional E85 production averaged 15,000 b/d from June–August 2021 and was generally lower in all prior months. … In addition, E85 is becoming increasingly available. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, the United States had 4,331 E85 fueling stations as of January 2022, a 10% increase (385 stations) from the prior year.”

Genetics Symposium Panel explores future genetic opportunity

Take a look into the future and what do you see? For the Angus breed, the future includes leaps into enhanced genomic comprehension and expanded maternal tools for breeders. The 2022 Angus Convention featured a Genetics Symposium, sponsored by NEOGEN, which hosted a panel of industry leaders to discuss the future of genetic data.

Speakers included moderator Kelli Retallick-Riley, Angus Genetics Inc. (AGI®) president, and five panelists – Larry Kuehn, USDA Meat Animal Research Center geneticist; Andre Garcia, AGI geneticist; Gale Haynes, owner of Haynes Cattle Company; Alan Miller, owner of Prairie View Farms and 2021-2022 AGI board chairman; and Duc Lu, AGI geneticist.

For several years, the focus to understand and leverage maternal traits has been a top priority and only continues to become more important. Providing a progress update on the Functional Longevity EPD research for the American Angus Association®, Garcia explained the EPD relies on robust data in mass amounts.

“For those maternal traits it comes down to the data,” Garcia said. “We need to collect those records in order to characterize the genetic variability in the population. To get good spread and accuracy behind those EPDs, we really need to have sires with a lot of daughter records in the population specifically for functional longevity which is lowly heritable.”

As with any EPD, the prediction has little value without accuracy. Lu explained how accuracies shift — when new progeny data is added to an EPD with low accuracy, the accuracy shifts. When new data is added to a high accuracy EPD (accuracy > 0.90), the accuracy isn’t likely to change much because the bull himself is already proven with progeny data. If the animal is already genotyped, this change, or forward movement, can only occur from the collection of more phenotypic data.

“Animals with low accuracies need to have more data because there is not much information estimating that particular animal,” said Lu. “You have to increase the number of phenotypes. You need to collect on that particular animal or its relatives in order to move the accuracy.”
Kuehn added that to increase the spread in EPDs, phenotype and genotype must be used in tandem to create variation in the population.

“We’re actually tying together parts of the family and assumptions about how [animals are] inheriting genetics from those families much better with genomics than what we were ever able to do with pedigree-based genetic evaluation systems alone,” said Kuehn.
Garcia reminded breeders that genetic change cannot occur overnight. He said through careful planning and selection, breeders will see progress.

“Not only is it important to create a breeding objective and have clear goals of where you want to go, but also being disciplined because to make genetic change, it takes generations,” said Garcia. “Creating those goals, being disciplined and following those goals along the way, I think that’s what really is going to move the needle to see the population evolving.”

To aid this forward movement, the Association must continue to add value to the database and tools for the membership. Miller stressed the freedom the Association grants AGI to work with industry partners in order to develop new tools to leverage the competitive advantage.

“We have to make sure we provide that next level of tools so our membership can really be at the forefront of quantifying all sorts of traits and not fall behind any competitors out there,” said Miller.

Grain Market Outlook Conference Offers Korean Buyers Corn Quality, Supply Updates

Held annually by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) and the Korean Feed Association (KFA), the 2022 USGC-KFA Joint International Grain Market Outlook Conference took place last week in Seoul. The event offers the Korean feed and corn processing industry the latest information on U.S. and global grain market outlooks, key market issues and U.S. corn quality and availability.

"The Council's Korea office and the Korean Feed Association holds this annual joint seminar to provide market, foreign currency and ocean freight information to help the Korean feed and corn processing industries establish next year's business plans," said Haksoo Kim, USGC director in South Korea. "For Korean corn buyers, this year's seminar was more important and more interesting than ever because of high grain prices, strong U.S. dollar and many uncertainties. The Council hopes the price competitiveness of U.S. corn will recover and Korean buyers will take this opportunity to purchase more U.S. corn."

With 194 participants from the feed, corn processing and grain-related industries taking part in the event in person, this program served as an opportunity to expand purchasing opportunities for U.S. corn in 2023 by educating Korean buyers on the superior quality and sufficient supply potential of U.S. corn.

In addition to hearing about U.S. and global market issues, along with the grain outlook for the 2022/23 marketing year (MY), participants learned more about what’s happening on the ground in the U.S. from three USGC member-farmers. Will Cannon from Iowa; John Greer, USGC Western Hemisphere Advisory-Team member, from Nebraska; and Mark Wilson, USGC corn sector leader, from Illinois, shared insights from each of their operations.

“Participation from our producer members is essential to programs like this where we are discussing U.S. corn quality and availability. The answers to these questions vary across the corn belt from state to state, so we were very grateful to have three producers speak to the quality and yield they are expecting on their farms as well as the averages across their states so our Korean customers could be provided with a more holistic picture of U.S. corn production this year,” said Emily Byron, USGC director of global programs.

South Korea came in as the sixth-largest market for U.S. corn in the 2021/22 MY, purchasing 1.4 million metric tons, or 54 million bushels, worth $504 million. The country has been a longtime market for U.S. corn, and the Council is celebrating its office in Seoul this week as it reaches its 50-year mark.

Farmland to Normalize in 2023 as Fed Raises Rates

Jason Burbage, President, National Land Realty

The Federal Reserve has increased interest rates in June, July, September, and November. This has slowed real estate markets as the borrowing rate has reached 4%. Buyers now have significant additions to cost, which means they are seeking lower prices overall. Sellers are now adjusting to this market change, and it will take time for those two sides to come together.
Land Tied to Food Production Hitting All-Time Highs

Land markets are impacted by these changes, especially for land that requires financing. However, the land market tends to revolve around more cash and instruments like 1031 exchanges, so it has not seen the whiplash we see in residential markets. We still see this when it comes to land tied to food production. Farmland with ready access to water is at an all-time high, and in several Midwest states, it is still inching upward. Land is real estate, but not all real estate behaves the same.

Food production has faced challenges in terms of natural gas and diesel supply, fertilizer prices, and additives such as nitrogen continue to be expensive and have experienced supply shortages. However, the good part here is that commodity prices are also high, and most sections of agriculture not affected by water shortage are seeing good returns in 2022. This combination of external factors has strengthened the value of the land on which food is grown.

Western Land Markets Are Normalizing

As we move into 2023, we see increased conversation revolving around economic downturns and market corrections. There is a lot of fear-based language in markets, but that has historically been a good thing for the land industry. Many investors push money into land to hedge against market volatility. Rural land tends to be a protective investment against this kind of market volatility.

One place where we see a bit more market correction is out West, where demand over the past two years has been extremely high. This high demand drove land values to some of their highest levels on record. We look at this as a proper market correction. We hear “decline,” but that’s not how we see it. We are witnessing a market slowly moving back to a more realistic and sustainable level than we have seen over the past two years. So, the Western markets are not so much correcting as they are normalizing. Keep in mind, though, that areas experiencing water crises might see a bit more price fluctuation than other lands.

This is a blanket statement, and there are always exceptions, but for the past two years, we have seen land selling merely for the value of land. There were a lot of purchases made by individuals who wanted a more rural lifestyle and first-time farmers. We are seeing more emphasis on what is actually on that land, whether hunting tracts, farmland with plentiful crops, or ranches with plenty of pasture and water. We are seeing more experienced buyers who plan on working the land themselves, and they know the value of it.

Corteva Agriscience Unveils a New Postemergence Corn Herbicide to Use in 2023

Corteva Agriscience today announced the launch of a new postemergence corn herbicide. Kyro™ herbicide will be the first product on the market to combine the active ingredients acetochlor, topramezone and clopyralid into one premix. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved registration of Kyro herbicide — and the new solution will be available for U.S. corn farmers for the 2023 growing season, pending individual state registrations.

“We are thrilled to add another innovative solution to our portfolio of powerful, flexible corn herbicides,” said Kelly White, U.S. product manager, corn herbicides, Corteva Agriscience. “Kyro herbicide is a unique offering for the market that will help control troublesome weeds, including glyphosate- and/or ALS-resistant weeds. By using Kyro herbicide, corn farmers can help keep their fields clean late into the season for optimum yield potential — and prevent and mitigate weed resistance.”

Kyro herbicide will offer corn farmers several key benefits:
    Powerful postemergence weed control. Kyro herbicide combines three effective modes of action for control of more than 65 of the most difficult, resistant weed species and can provide extended residual control at higher use rates. Kyro herbicide provides excellent control of waterhemp, Palmer amaranth, giant ragweed, marestail, barnyard grass, fall panicum and woolly cupgrass.
    Excellent crop safety. Kyro herbicide is formulated with an encapsulated acetochlor for excellent crop safety. Less crop response helps keep corn plants healthy until harvest for better yield potential.
    Application flexibility. Kyro herbicide can be applied on corn up to 24-inches tall to fit a variety of management programs. It also can be used on traited and nontraited corn products, including seed and popcorn.
    Tank-mix compatibility. Kyro herbicide is compatible with a wide array of tank-mix partners, including atrazine, glyphosate, fungicides, insecticides and micronutrients. This allows farmers to fully customize their applications to their individual needs.
“At Corteva Agriscience, it’s our mission to continually work to provide our customers with the solutions they need to overcome the challenges they face in the field. We are committed to offering farmers a full pipeline of innovative products. That’s why we decided to launch two game-changing herbicides in one year,” White said. “This announcement for Kyro herbicide comes just a few months after we received U.S. EPA registration of Resicore XL herbicide. These two solutions can work powerfully together in a two-pass program with Resicore XL herbicide applied preemergence and Kyro herbicide applied post to help ensure clean cornfields through crop canopy for maximum yield potential.”

United Becomes First U.S. Airline to Invest in Biofuel Refinery

United Airlines Ventures has announced a strategic investment in NEXT Renewable Fuels, which is permitting a flagship biofuel refinery in Port Westward, Oregon, with expected production beginning in 2026. NEXT is a Houston-based company developing the biorefinery which, at full production, could produce up to 50,000 barrels per day of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), renewable diesel, and other renewable fuels. UAV could invest as much as $37.5 million into NEXT, as long as the company meets certain milestone targets.

"Right now, one of the biggest barriers to increasing supply and lowering costs of sustainable fuel is that we don't have the infrastructure in place to transport it efficiently, but NEXT's strategic location and assets solve that problem and provide a blueprint for future facilities that need to be built," said Michael Leskinen, President of United Airline Ventures.

NEXT's biorefinery offers several unique benefits including access to a deep-water port, an existing industrial-grade dock, and multi-modal logistics options, which facilitates access to feedstock options and fast-growth SAF offtake markets on the west coast. NEXT has secured an agreement with BP for sourcing 100 percent of its feedstock, further de-risking supply issues smaller facilities have historically experienced.

The company has also received a crucial air permit from the State of Oregon. Once all the necessary approvals and permits are obtained and the biorefinery is operational, it has the potential to be used as a platform to scale SAF and deploy additional future technologies.

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