The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Monday announced additional details on the $100 million in grants available to fuel retailers and distributors under the Higher Blends infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP). HBIIP is intended to increase the sale and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel by expanding infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products.
“American ethanol and biofuel producers have been affected by decreased energy demands due to the coronavirus, and these grants to expand their availability will help increase their use during our economic resurgence,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said.
Perdue first announced this funding in his address to corn farmers at this year’s Commodity Classic in San Antonio.
One of the program requirements outlined by USDA is for all funded equipment to be certified for use with at least 25 percent ethanol blends, an important feature supported by NCGA to ensure the infrastructure funded today to support greater sales of E15 also supports sales of future higher blends going forward.
A vital market for corn farmers, ethanol producers have idled more than half of all production capacity due to the fallout from COVID-19. Spurring new demand for higher ethanol blends will be an important part of a future economic recovery for the ethanol industry and farmers, and this infrastructure deployment will help support that growth.
More information, including guidance for applicants, is available at the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program web page. Applications for fuel retailers and distributors are expected to open in mid-May, with a 90-day application window. USDA will be hosting webinars on May 19 and June 4 to provide additional information for applicants.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.