Farmers want year-round E15 now
Like many farmers across the Corn Belt, Patty Mann of Ohio is watching for a permanent fix allowing year-round E15 sales.
“The ethanol industry is still waiting for year-round E15. That’s top of mind for corn growers to get that fixed permanently. I think we’ll get there eventually, but ethanol production is hinged on that announcement so we’re waiting to see what happens there.”
She tells Brownfield it would give corn growers some certainty.
“It would give a signal to the ethanol industry that consumers and everyone is into ethanol full tilt,” she says.
But, western Iowa farmer Kevin Ross, a former president of the National Corn Growers Association, says he questions the Biden administration’s commitment to biofuels.
“It seems like the government wants to hold it hostage,” he says. “I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop as to what negative news they’re going to put out there before they give you something, it seems like anymore.”
He says expanded access to E15 is needed to help lower fuel prices.
“I’ve seen a lot of people waiting in line at the E15 pump,” he says. “That is because that price differential is a better price break for the consumer.”
Mann says the Next Generation Fuels Act would help provide a permanent fix.
“There is bipartisan support behind that bill. If we would ever get that through, that would be our answer and I think the ethanol industry would continue to grow,” she says. “It seems like we’ve been fighting for the same thing for years and years and its one step forward, two steps back.”
The EPA has said it will allow year-round sales of E15 beginning in 2024. Ethanol and ag groups are seeking a fix for 2023.