Iowa 250 Showcases Contributions of Enogen and Ethanol
Ethanol, more specifically E15, has helped power NASCAR nationwide since 2011—the same year Syngenta introduced Enogen® corn enzyme technology, an in-seed innovation that delivers the alpha-amylase enzyme directly in the grain to enhance ethanol production. During this time, NASCAR drivers have driven more than 11 million miles on the fuel, in turn, making consumers more aware of its benefits.
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In addition to fueling their cars, ethanol also contributes to the economic well-being of many Iowans. According to the Iowa Farm Bureau, the ethanol industry supported 39,592 jobs in the state, accounting for $4.2 billion of Iowa’s gross domestic product in 2015. Ethanol plants in Iowa made more than a quarter of the ethanol produced in the U.S. in 2017, using about 1 billion bushels of corn, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.
And an increasing number of growers in Iowa and throughout the Corn Belt are planting Enogen corn. Syngenta forecasts that growers will produce more than 280 million bushels of Enogen corn on about 1.5 million acres by year’s end. That corn will be used to make an estimated 7 billion gallons of ethanol at about 30 ethanol facilities currently using the enzyme.
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For producing Enogen corn, growers can earn premiums, the total of which paid over the past few years could exceed $100 million in 2018. Those earnings benefit rural economies several times over. And agricultural resellers benefit, by providing a product that adds value and differentiation to their offerings, says Chris Tingle, head of commercial operations for Enogen at Syngenta.
Back at the racetrack, engine builders give ethanol a green flag, because it burns cooler and has a higher octane level than regular gasoline, Tingle says.
And what about the Iowa 250? From green flag to checkered flag, driver Justin Allgaier dominated the race. He swept all three stages and earned his second NASCAR Xfinity Series victory in 2018.
“NASCAR fans are very loyal, and when they see a product like ethanol that supports their sport, they tend to seek it out and use it.”
Allgaier summed it up nicely, “Incredible. We’re in the middle of cornfields—how could you not enjoy this?”