Indiana corn checkoff works to expand markets for ‘home-grown’ ethanol
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dave Blower Jr. at 317-644-0980; email@example.com
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 20, 2022) — Domestic, or home-grown, sources of fuel are critical when prices at the gas pump are rapidly rising. The more fuel that can be developed in our own country, the lower those prices will go. No fuel is more “home-grown” than the ethanol that is grown in the cornfields of Indiana and around America.
According to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), ethanol for the past few weeks has been selling for $1.50 less per gallon than gasoline at the wholesale terminals where gasoline is blended. E85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline. Starting June 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved the year-round sales of E15, also known as Unleaded 88, which is a blend of 15 percent ethanol with 85 percent gasoline.
RFA CEO Geoff Cooper said blending more low-cost fuel with gasoline will result in a lower pump price for finished fuel. “We’re certainly seeing that at retail stations across the country,” Cooper said. “The lowest-priced fuel available anywhere in the country today is going to be the fuel with the most ethanol in it, and right now that’s E85. But even with E15 blends, we’re seeing those priced 30 cents, 40 cents per gallon less than E10 – and often 60-80 cents below the cost of gasoline without ethanol.”
Ethanol-blended gasoline is also good for the environment. The American Lung Association reports that ethanol improves air quality by replacing some the most harmful components in gasoline. This results in 43 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline.
Indiana ranks as the fifth-largest producer of U.S. ethanol – generating more than 1.2 billion gallons per year. A 15th ethanol plant will go online in Indiana in 2023, and the Hoosier State produces 8.1 percent of the total U.S. ethanol output. Collectively, these ethanol plants consume nearly 47 percent of Indiana’s total corn crop – more than 461 million bushels.
The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) has several programs designed to promote the use and production of ethanol. Encouraging ethanol exports to global customers is among those programs. In May, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) collaborated with ICMC to host a group of key ethanol stakeholders and influencers in the USGC’s emerging ethanol market development countries to visit the United States and attend the Indianapolis 500-mile race. The purpose of the joint program was to promote ethanol’s economic and environmental benefits and enhance the relationship of the U.S. ethanol industry with key ethanol stakeholders globally.
“The Indianapolis 500 is an internationally known event, and it’s right here in our backyard in Indiana,” said ICMC Board Director and USGC Vice President Joshua Miller, a farmer from Anderson, Ind. “With the cars on the track using ethanol, we can clearly tell the story of how ethanol is good for engines and better for the environment than gasoline alone. We were very happy to tell this story and host these stakeholders from around the world.”
These stakeholders were from Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. Upon arriving in Indiana, the stakeholders had the opportunity to meet with several drivers competing in the race. “The Indy 500 was an innovative opportunity to show the benefits of ethanol within the racing industry,” said Joana Hassan, USGC manager of global ethanol programs. “Participants were intrigued to hear IndyCar drivers talk about the engine performance and safety ethanol provides as a racing fuel.”
After visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ICMC hosted an educational session on ethanol blending and its benefits. The group heard from many speakers including Casey’s Fuels Director Jake Comer, Indy’s Garage CEO Mark Bayles, Shift-S3ctor racing CEO Jason Huang, Pearson Fuels Head of Training and Supply Tim Kjosness, and eFlexFuel Technology executives Tuomo Isokivijarvi and Juha Honkasalo. The presentations facilitated technical conversations about best practices for ethanol blending among participants from the various countries.
USGC officials said exposing international stakeholders to the U.S. value chain allows them to learn and incorporate practices that have helped develop the U.S. ethanol industry. Stakeholder visits like this help position the United States as a technical resource to countries interested in developing favorable ethanol policies to help meet their carbon reduction commitments.
These groups also visited farms and ethanol production facilities in Illinois and Missouri before wrapping up their trip in Indiana.
Hassan said face-to-face connections are vital to enhancing the USGC’s of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives. By welcoming these stakeholders, the USGC and ICMC were able to showcase the high-quality commodities they represent and the relationships they have with growers and industry representatives across the country. “We are grateful to our state partners, Illinois Corn and Missouri Corn, for hosting the teams in their states and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council for the opportunity to show ethanol’s benefits,” she said.
In addition to Miller, others helping to host the tours were ICMC President Paul Hodgen, a Putnam, Ind., farmer; Indiana Corn Growers Association President Scott Smith, a Windfall, Ind., farmer; ICMC Board director J.R. Roesner, a Ferdinand, Ind., farmer and a member of the NCGA’s Ethanol Action Team; ICMC Biofuels Director Helena Jette and USGC Vice President Cary Sifferath.
About Indiana Corn Marketing Council: The Indiana Corn Marketing Council was established by the Indiana General Assembly to promote the interests of corn growers in the state and to manage corn checkoff funds. The Council is composed of 17 voting directors who guide investments of corn checkoff funds on behalf of more than 20,000 Indiana corn farmers. The ICMC works to assist corn farmers through its strategic initiatives of market development; environmental, social and economic sustainability; value creation and producer engagement. Learn more at www.incorn.org
About The U.S. Grains Council: The U.S. Grains Council develops export markets for U.S. barley, corn, sorghum and related products including distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. With full-time presence in 28 locations, the Council operates programs in more than 50 countries and the European Union. The Council believes exports are vital to global economic development and to U.S. agriculture’s profitability. Detailed information about the Council and its programs is online at www.grains.org
This communication was funded with Indiana corn checkoff dollars.