The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) applauds the U.S. Senate for today’s passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package, which includes investments in important areas to corn growers.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime investment in America’s infrastructure, and we are extremely pleased that it includes funding for priorities that are important to farmers and rural America,” said President of the National Corn Growers Association John Linder. “The legislation will benefit agriculture for years to come, and it is encouraging for corn farmers to see Senators working together on a bipartisan basis.”
Among the items included in the bill:
- $17.3 billion for the nation’s ports and inland waterways. With 60% of corn exports utilizing these waterways, NCGA and coalition partners have a track record of advocating for these key resources.
- $65 billion for broadband internet access, including $2 billion specifically for rural broadband, which will provide more farmers and residents of rural areas with high-speed internet access. An estimated 29% of farmers don’t have access to internet service, an important tool for marketing crops and planning for planting season.
“Whether it’s shipping corn and corn products on America’s highways and waterways or using technology to order supplies or sell crops, farmers rely on a safe, stable and reliable national infrastructure,” Linder said. “Corn growers need these investments in infrastructure to continue to be successful and competitive globally.”
While NCGA supports many aspects of the bill, NCGA was disappointed the Senate did not take up important amendments to fund infrastructure to support the use of higher ethanol blends and to provide a narrow fix to ensure continued full market access for ethanol blends at 15% of the volume of gasoline year-round (E15), Linder said.
“Greater market deployment of higher ethanol blends would immediately lower greenhouse gas emissions and help clean the air, and higher blends save consumers money at the pump,” he said. “We will continue to work with members of Congress and the Biden Administration on pathways to include infrastructure and other support for higher blends of biofuels as an effective clean energy solution.”
Linder said he thanks Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) for submitting a biofuels infrastructure amendment and Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Deb Fischer (R-N.E.) and 11 bipartisan co-sponsors for filing an amendment to ensure continued year-round access to E15.
The legislation, which does not include tax increases for individuals or corporations as previously proposed, now goes to the House of Representatives.