Tag Archives: USDA

USDA Trade Mission Spurs Record Ethanol Exports to China

The following article was originally published by the USDA Dec. 23, 2015. The original article can be found here.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a significant jump in ethanol exports to China this year, following a USDA-led trade mission to the country last year. Representatives from nine state departments of agriculture and 28 U.S. companies, including renewable fuels businesses, traveled to northeast China to explore opportunities for trade in the region.

China is the largest market for U.S. food and farm products – U.S. agricultural exports to the country tripled over the last decade, now accounting for nearly 20 percent of all foreign sales of U.S. agricultural products.

“Our objective for every trade mission is to create new markets for farm products made in rural America,” said USDA Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse, who led the mission. “U.S. ethanol exports to China have jumped from $8 million to more than $86 million since our May 2014 visit. In October, we exported more ethanol to China than in the previous 10 years combined.”

Scuse led the delegation to promote U.S. agriculture, and explore the role that renewable fuels might play in China’s long-term clean energy strategy. The delegation met with gasoline companies, fuel blenders, oil companies, commodity traders, and government officials to promote the benefits of using higher ethanol blends. During October, the U.S. exported 32.5 million gallons of ethanol to China, valued at $57 million, or 46 percent of total U.S. ethanol exports for the month. Previous U.S. exports of ethanol to China averaged less than $3 million annually from 2005 to 2014.

Earlier this year, USDA partnered with 21 states through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) to nearly double the number of fueling pumps nationwide, expanding the ethanol refueling infrastructure by nearly 5,000 pumps, a $210 million investment that will give consumers access to clean, American-made biofuels, and provide more choices at the pump.

“These are the kind of initiatives that strengthen our rural communities, and open new doors and help our farmers and ranchers capitalize on the tremendous export potential for American agricultural products,” said Scuse.

The past seven years have represented the strongest period for American agricultural exports in the history of our country, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $911.3 billion between Fiscal Years 2009 and 2015. In fiscal year 2015, American farmers and ranchers exported $139.7 billion of food and agricultural goods to consumers worldwide. Not only that, U.S. agricultural exports supported more than 1 million American jobs both on and off the farm, a substantial part of the estimated 11.7 million jobs supported by exports all across our country. Record agricultural productivity and exports are one example of how USDA has helped to bring transformative change to Americans living, working and raising families in rural America.

Applications Being Accepted for Ethanol Flex Fuel Pumps

Up to 80 Flex Fuel Pumps to be Installed Across Nebraska

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Flex fuel pumps offer higher ethanol blends

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Nebraska Energy Office is accepting applications through December 31, 2015 for funding through the Access Ethanol Nebraska (AEN) grant program to install ethanol blender pumps across the state of Nebraska, allowing greater access to ethanol for Nebraskans and out of state visitors. Over $6 million in federal, private and state funds will be available for the blender pumps, fuel storage tanks, necessary infrastructure, marketing and education.

Access Ethanol Nebraska is a public-private partnership between the Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Ethanol Board and Nebraska Department of Agriculture, with the Energy Office as the lead agency. Federal funding for the AEN came from the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) grant through the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation, which requires a dollar to dollar match from the state, private industry and foundations.

A portion of the matching funds will come from Legislative Bill 581 (LB 581) passed by the Nebraska Unicameral last session, which allows for some ethanol infrastructure. Additional funding will come from the Corn Board through the state corn checkoff, which is paid by Nebraska corn farmers.  Funding also will come from the Ethanol Board and “Prime the Pump;” a non-profit organized and funded by the ethanol industry to improve ethanol infrastructure. The Energy Office is also pursuing matching funds from Nebraska ethanol producers.

“We encourage Nebraska retailers to take advantage of this program to not only increase access to ethanol blended fuels for motorists in Nebraska, but to increase the sales of ethanol,” said David Bracht, Director of the Nebraska Energy Office. “Typically sales of mid-level ethanol blend fuels have increased 45 – 55% at Nebraska stations that have installed multi-product ethanol dispensers.”

Nebraska ethanol plants produce around 2 billion gallons of ethanol a year, of which over 95% is shipped to other states or countries. In 2014, Nebraska motorists used an estimated 77 million gallons, or approximately 10% of the 764 million gallons and Nebraskans consume over 77 million gallons of ethanol meaning there is an abundance of a Nebraska made product to sell to other states creating economic development/prosperity for the state.

This collaboration reflects Governor Pete Rickett’s mission to Grow Nebraska with employment and economic development through a variety of areas highlighting Nebraska’s best resources. It also will further the Energy Office’s mission to “promote the efficient, economic and environmentally responsible use of energy.

Letters detailing the program and requirements were sent to Nebraska fuel retailers this week. Information and requirements of the program, as well as the application are available at http://neo.ne.gov/cleanfuels/AEN.htm.

The Nebraska Energy Office was created in 1977 to promote the efficient, economic and environmentally responsible use of energy. It is an authoritative voice and comprehensive resource center for energy issues in the State of Nebraska. In addition, the energy office plays an important role in fostering new growth in our renewable energy industry and helping Nebraska lead the way in the new clean energy economy. For more information, please visit www.neo.ne.gov.

USDA Announces State Finalists for the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Sept. 10, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 21 states will receive grants through the Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) to add infrastructure needed to supply more renewable fuel to America’s drivers. Since announcing the program in May 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) received applications requesting over $130 million, outpacing the $100 million that is available. With a more than 1:1 match from private and state resources, USDA estimates that the BIP grants will support nearly 5,000 pumps at over 1,400 fueling stations across the country.

“The quality and geographic diversity of the applications, backed by supportive state and private partners, demonstrate the strong demand across the country for cleaner, more affordable fuel,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership is one approach USDA is using to aggressively pursue investments in American-grown renewable energy to create new markets for U.S. farmers and ranchers, help Americans save money on their energy bills, support America’s clean energy economy, cut carbon pollution and reduce dependence on foreign oil and costly fossil fuels.”

A typical gas pump delivers fuel with 10 percent ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable energy most consumers can purchase at the pump. USDA estimates that this investment will more than double the number of stations that offer intermediate blends of ethanol, mainly E15 fuel levels, nationwide.

Through BIP, USDA will award competitive grants, matched by states, to expand the infrastructure for distribution of higher blends of ethanol. BIP funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation must be used to pay a portion of the costs related to the installation of fuel pumps and related infrastructure dedicated to the distribution of higher ethanol blends, for example E15 and E85, at vehicle fueling locations. The matching contributions may be used for these items or for related costs such as additional infrastructure to support pumps, marketing, education, data collection, program evaluation and administrative costs. This partnership will expand markets for farmers, support rural economic growth and the jobs that come with it, and ultimately give consumers more choices at the pump.

The preliminary list of state finalists and estimated pumps includes:

Colorado 28

Florida 892

Illinois 428

Indiana 110

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

TOTAL 4880

Funding amounts for each state will be announced at a later date. For more information about BIP, visit the Energy Programs website.

USDA Offers $100M for Ethanol Pumps

This article was originally published on The Hill and can be found here.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering states up to $100 million to encourage the use of gasoline pumps that blend high amounts of ethanol into the fuel.15NEIC-001 Ethanol Forum pocket agenda_HR3

The effort is meant to bring more ethanol to consumers that can use high blends, like 15 percent or 85 percent ethanol.

The announcement came Friday, the same day the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disappointed corn growers and others involved in ethanol production by proposing an ethanol blending mandate lower than than the targets set in law.

“American-made, clean energy sources support the environment, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and sustain the economy in rural communities across the country,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

“With this partnership, USDA is helping to ensure the infrastructure is in place for consumers to access more renewable fuels, expand marketing opportunities for farmers, and grow America’s rural economies,” he said.

The USDA program will match state funds to help install so-called blender pumps, which allow consumers to specify the amount of ethanol in their gasoline.

Only certain vehicles and engines can handle more than 10 percent ethanol in gasoline, a factor that has affected how high the EPA will go with its mandate.

But for owners of the engines that can handle higher blends, the special pumps could be the key to injecting more ethanol into the market, the USDA said.

The USDA hopes to double the number of ethanol blending pumps in the country through the new grants, it said.