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RFA: USDA relief longtime coming to help producers reduce pandemic effects

USDA recently announced that $700 million would be available for biofuel producers to help restore markets that were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper says demand and production were cut nearly in half in 2020 resulting in massive and unexpected market losses. “It really took a toll on the industry, and it created some enormous challenges and headwinds that the industry is still getting over.”

USDA is making payments to 195 facilities to support maintenance and viability for markets for corn, soybeans or biomass that support production.

He tells Brownfield the money will help offset record inflation costs. “Pay off some debts or use it to help pay for inputs and other feed stock costs. Natural gas prices right now are crazy through the roof. It’s coming at a time when we are seeing costs for ethanol producers really escalate whether we’re talking about corn prices or natural gas or other inputs.”

USDA says investments will support producers in Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin and other states.

Some include:

Southwest Renewable Energy in Iowa is receiving $3 million after losing more than 14 million gallons of ethanol during the pandemic.

In Illinois, Adkins Energy is getting more than $750,000 at its biomass-based diesel production facility that lost nearly 4 million gallons. 

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