Grants set to “Prime the Pump” and Boost the Corn Market
In June of 2015, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announced the availability of competitive grants to fund select states through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP). The grants will be given with the goal of expanding infrastructure for higher ethanol blends of fuel. According to the CCC, “U.S. farmers are producing record amounts of feedstocks for renewable fuels. However, lower commodity prices, paired with this record production, have created uncertain times for U.S. feedstocks producers.”
The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, stated that the USDA will invest up to $100 million in grants for fuel pumps. These filling stations will distribute higher ethanol blends known as E15 and E85. Through state-led efforts, the USDA will administer competitive grants that match state funding. The matching contributions may be used for pump installation costs, marketing, education, data collection, program evaluation and administrative costs. With this partnership, Vilsack and the USDA hope to provide consumers with more access to renewable fuels, expand marketing opportunities for farmers, and grow America’s rural communities.
Indiana is one of twenty one states slated to receive federal grant money aimed at increasing the number of E15 and E85 fuel pumps. It has been reported by Wish TV News 8 that there will be approximately 110 new pumps added in Indiana through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership.
In addition to 110 new pumps in Indiana, Farm Futures has compiled a preliminary list of other state finalists and the estimated number of new fuel pumps for each:
|Colorado – 28||Florida – 892||Illinois – 428|
|Iowa – 187||Kansas – 174||Louisiana – 110|
|Michigan – 89||Minnesota – 620||Missouri – 171|
|Nebraska – 80||North Carolina – 190||North Dakota – 90|
|Ohio – 148||Pennsylvania – 308||South Dakota – 74|
|Texas – 763||Virginia/Maryland – 191||West Virginia – 107|
|Wisconsin – 120.|
Funding for this effort has not been limited to government allocations. Prime the Pump is a nonprofit organization that was formed with the intent of offering grants to retailers in an effort to expand E15 and E85 infrastructure. Prime the Pump has received good industry support in terms of contributions. The NCGA committed an additional $500,000 to the Prime the Pump program bringing their total contribution to $2 million within the last year. Chip Bowling, President of the National Corn Growers Association, stated “Family corn farmers are faced with the lowest corn prices in more than a decade and increased ethanol utilization is an efficient way to turn around and help the U.S. economy and environment at the same time.”
Farmers Filing Lawsuits to Recover Losses from Falling Corn Prices
As the National Corn Growers Association attempts to boost the U.S. corn market, corn farmers are also looking for compensation from damages in the Syngenta suit. ADM, Cargill, and Trans Coastal Supply Co. have already made claims seeking damages for a corn seed sold by Syngenta that was not approved by a large consumer of U. S. exports. These three large agribusinesses are not alone. Nearly 35,000 farmers have filed individual claims against Syngenta seeking damages for a soiled 2013 and 2014 corn market. If you or someone you know grew corn in 2013 and/or 2014, contact Hensley Legal Group, PC for a free consultation.