Rocky Ormiston planted the message in a sorghum field
By Diego Flammini
A Kismet, Kan. cash crop producer is using one of his crop fields to call on legislators to support the biofuel industry.
Rocky Ormiston, who grows corn, soybeans and sorghum on more than 7,000 acres of irrigated and dry land, used a mixture of red and yellow sorghum varieties to spell out #SupportEthanol in a field.
The field is located beside an ethanol plant Ormiston’s family is invested in.
The general message has multiple meanings, Ormiston said.
“It means more bushels going into ethanol production, more markets for ethanol and more legislation,” he told Farms.com. “There’s not enough legislation to go from E10 to E15 to E85, and there needs to be more of that.”
Supporting the ethanol industry would also position the U.S. well as companies and consumers are looking for environmentally friendly fuel options.
“We have the resources here to raise an energy that consumers use,” Ormiston said. “I think we should look at ethanol compared to electric cars. I’m not saying electric isn’t the way of the future, but it takes a lot of energy to build that car.”
Providing more opportunities for the ethanol sector could also reduce the volume of oil the U.S. needs.
The U.S. imported almost nine million barrels of oil per day in 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says.
“We’ll still need oil but we’re in a good position to fill in any gaps,” Ormiston said.
Ormiston is no stranger to using his crop fields as canvases.
In the past, he’s recreated his Ormiston Farms logo, the Kansas City Chiefs logo and a Trump 2020 banner with a U.S. flag.
He uses a John Deere DB80 planter he purchased three years ago and reconfigured it with precision ag technology. Satellites, drone imagery and prescriptions guide the planter and the seed placement to create the images.
“Most of them I do just for fun and I have the technology to do it,” he said. “So, it doesn’t take me any longer to do a Chiefs logo than it does to do no logo. But when it came down to the ethanol message, the ethanol plant is right there, it’s struggling, so I wanted to see if I could do something to help it out a little bit.”
Rocky Ormiston photo