Perdue Talks Ethanol in the Cornhusker State

Dec 13, 2019  | 2 min  | Ep4517

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue travelled to the Midwest this week. He told reporters markets forces are indicating another round of MFP payments would be necessary next year.

Perdue also spoke with a gathering of producers to emphasize the president’s plan for the future of ethanol.

John Torpy reports. @TVTorpy

While giving opening remarks at the Farmers Business Network Conference this week, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue brought some welcome news about ethanol.

A crowd of almost four thousand farmers and ranchers attending the 5th annual gathering also dubbed the Farmer2Farmer conference, learned future blending limits for ethanol will be set at 15 billion gallons and will not be affected by exemption waivers.

Sec. Sonny Perdue, USDA: ”The President has the attention here, and he wants me to assure you, that 15 billion gallons going forward is going to be 15 billion gallons. The small refinery wavers will still exist, But what you need to know, that exemption will be accounted for on top of the line here for a net of 15 billion gallons.”

Blending requirements have been a sticking point for the biofuels industry, who have been at odds with the EPA over the issuance of Small Refinery Exemptions, or SRE’s. The exemptions allow refiners to forego the federal requirement of blending ethanol into the nation’s gasoline supply. Ethanol industry officials have routinely challenged the waivers with the Trump administration, siting they diminish the bottom line for farmers in rural America.

Sec. Sonny Perdue, USDA: ”Farming is a business and we like it, we love it as a way of life but it's gonna be a livelihood as well and we got up ensure that our farming community across this country in a sustainable fashion is a sustainably profitable than that way.”  

Jeff Broin, CEO of POET, the nation’s number one ethanol producer, welcomed the news with a bit of caution, saying the EPA needs to be held accountable to the agreement.

Jeff Broin, CEO, POET BIOFUELS: ”For a farmer to get to sustainability, he has to be profitable, we're gonna have to use bio fuels as the bridge

Broin added getting back to 15 billion gallons could help reopen shuttered ethanol plants, bringing back jobs and helping rural towns.

Jeff Broin, CEO, POET BIOFUELS: ”Very exciting Future I think for agriculture. If we can grow bio fuels the E 15, get the price of commodities up, make farming more sustainable, and drive cleaner fuels and cleaner environment.”

       For Market to Market, I’m John Torpy

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