Farmers hoping for E-15 waiver for ’24 following year-around approval beginning in 2025

The executive director of the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers says he’s pleased with the EPA’s recent year-round E-15 announcement. 

But, Tadd Nicholson tells Brownfield some questions remained unanswered. “The start date on that announcement was June 1 of 2025,” he says.  “So it has to wait for next year.  That leaves in question what we’re going to do this summer.”

He says an emergency waiver is needed for 2024, similar to what has been issued in recent years. “So the entire country could sell E-15 year round and all the retailers that are currently selling it didn’t have to stop,” he says. “They could keep on doing that. That’s what we’re hoping happens this year and you know down here at Commodity Classic administrator Regan is going to be speaking on Friday. Let’s hope he brings some good news that is similar to that.”

Nicholson says increasing corn use for ethanol is crucial for farmers “Selling E-15 is selling 50% more corn every time somebody fills up, so if anybody changes from E-10 to E-15, that’s corn demand,” he says. 

He says increasing access to E-15 helps grow demand for U.S. corn now, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel is the future. “It’s a huge market,” he says.  “So large that not one feedstock could ever fuel it. So we are really fighting hard to make sure that corn ethanol is one of the feedstocks that can be made into sustainable aviation fuel and that’s all about lowering the CI score. The Carbon Index score and our ethanol plants on our farms.”

Nicholson says while lowering the CI score may seem like a daunting task, many growers are already implementing practices that address the issue. 

Brownfield interviewed Nicholson during the 2024 Commodity Classic in Houston. 

AUDIO: Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn & Wheat

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