Corn Farmers Disappointed By Tariff Aid, Continue Year-Round E-15 Push

August 28, 2018 05:30 PM
Corn farmers, who will receive the lowest direct payments under a tariff relief program announced by USDA this week are now pushing the Trump administration for the approval of the year-round sale of E-15. 

Corn farmers, who will receive the lowest direct payments under a tariff relief program announced by USDA this week are now pushing the Trump administration for a bigger economic boost: approval of the year-round sale of E-15. 

“There's some no-cost things that the administration can do that would add value to corn,” Kevin Skunes, a North Dakota farmer and president of the National Corn Growers Association told AgriTalk host Chip Flory, adding that stopping small refinery waivers and allowing ethanol blending higher than E-10 year-round would benefit farmers. 

In his statement following the tariff aid plan announcement, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) also pushed for E15 approval. 

“To help corn farmers, the Administration should announce its approval of E15 for year-round sales,” he said. “This technical correction will help farmers and lower the cost of Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) compliance for oil refineries by producing more Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) which are used to ensure biofuels are being blended into our nation’s fuel supply.”

For years, corn farmers and ethanol supporters have pushed for year-round E15. That drumbeat has grown more aggressive over the past few months as corn markets continue to struggle. So far, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is yet to give in to corn grower proposals. During a visit to the Iowa State Fair, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler met with corn farmers and ethanol groups to listen to their concerns. 

“Wheeler said the agency is ‘looking into’ those proposals, saying he wants to be certain the agency has the legal authority to take such action,” said Jim Wiesemeyer, Pro Farmer’s policy analyst. “He again said any approval of E15 for year-round access likely will be part of a package deal. But ag leaders say any concessions to the oil industry as part of any such deal will weaken the mandate. He also said EPA is looking at the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) situation which is a key on being able to sell E15 year-round, saying they are looking ‘what we can do.’” 

According to Skunes, corn farmers expect the administration to support the RFS as they have previously promised. 

“We know how important biofuels and ethanol are to the U.S. We're helping to clean the air and the fuel supply,” he said. “We have another market for corn growers so we can more profitable.” 

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Spell Check

Rusty Hesson
Ames, IA
8/29/2018 02:22 PM

  The Iowa corn growers association . Has apparently figured out as well. The Ethanol doesn't help corn prices. Announced they will no longer sponsor IndyCar 300. In a statement said, they were not looking for corn use in that area.

Mn Farmer
Kenneth, MN
8/29/2018 08:42 AM

  Ethanol plants generally use about as much water be gallon as gasoline refineries do at this point. So how is the cost of the water not being considered? Also, remember, the vast majority of all ethanol is made from corn grown on dryland acres.

Douglas Street
Newton, KS
8/28/2018 06:00 PM

  so ' corn growers,,, can,,, be more profitable'. Ethanol mostly works with 'cheap corn'. and no way accounts for the full cost of water.