Let’s face it, 2019 was a challenging year across agriculture. From trade disputes, to an extremely changeling weather year, it’s safe to say we’ve experienced plenty of headwinds. The biofuels sector in particular has come under fire by Washington, D.C.
While we’ve seen some positive news in the state recently, including Governor Reynolds’ order to increase the number of state vehicles with diesel engines using B20 biodiesel (a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum-based diesel), and a potential extension of the biodiesel tax credit, the overall biofuels picture continues to be a major area of concern.
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Adding to the uncertainty for Iowa farmers is the EPA’s final renewable fuel standard rule that was just released. From an Oct. 4 deal struck with producers, the EPA was to reallocate biofuels volumes from the 85 Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) granted in the past three years – the same exemptions that have cost producers 1 billion bushels plus of lost corn demand.
Instead of using a three-year rolling average to account for actual lost biofuels volumes, the EPA pulled a sort of bait and switch and will be using Department of Energy estimations, which have proven unreliable. This new rule fails to create market certainty, which is desperately needed.
April Hemmes, Hampton