Farmers fall short of corn planting forecast

Deterred by trade war, the pandemic, and a bit of bad weather, U.S. farmers effectively chopped 1 billion bushels out of this year’s corn crop by planting far less of the crop than they had planned in early spring, USDA data indicated on Tuesday. “This was a huge acreage …

In new fuel clash, oil refiners ask for 52 retroactive ethanol exemptions

Oil refiners are attempting to evade an adverse appellate court ruling by asking the EPA for retroactive exemptions from the ethanol mandate, said biofuel trade groups on Thursday. Refiners have filed 52 petitions for exemptions stretching as far back as 2011, potentially creating a chain of annual waivers that would allow them to seek exemptions now.

When it comes to RFS petitions, Wheeler makes no promises

Senators with opposite views of the ethanol mandate verbally leaned on EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler on Wednesday, with one asking for relief from the requirement to mix the biofuel into gasoline and the other calling for him to unflinchingly enforce it. Wheeler said he has not reached a decision on petitions to waive the RFS during the coronavirus pandemic. (No paywall)

Worst may be over, says ethanol leader

Ethanol production fell to record lows during April due to the coronavirus but is showing modest signs of recovery, said Geoff Cooper, chief executive of the Renewable Fuels Association. "It seems that the worst may be behind us," Cooper said during a teleconference.(No paywall)

Depressed ethanol consumption to last through 2021

U.S. gasoline consumption will be 11 percent lower this year than in 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the accompanying economic slowdown, said an Energy Department agency in a monthly report. Ethanol use will experience a similar decline, according to the Short-Term Energy Outlook. (No paywall)

Coronavirus could pare meat consumption by 10 pounds per American

The coronavirus, which has shut down meat plants and put millions of people out of work, will reduce American meat consumption by 4 percent, or 10 pounds per person, this year, said the government on Tuesday in a new assessment of the impact of the pandemic on food and agriculture. Beef, pork …

USDA funds higher ethanol and biodiesel use

The USDA will issue cost-share grants of up to $5 million per project through its Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Monday. The USDA announced the grant program on Feb. 28, with details to follow. Some $86 million will be targeted toward …

Coronavirus may bring lowest season-average corn price in 14 years

This year's corn crop could sell for the lowest price in years — probably around $3.10 a bushel — depending on how quickly demand for ethanol rebounds and whether or not farmers plant less corn land than they planned to in March, said an economist at Kansas State University. (No paywall)

With half the ethanol industry offline, sales to drop $10 billion

More than two-thirds of U.S. ethanol plants are idle or running at reduced volumes in the greatest crisis the industry has ever seen, said a trade group leader on Monday. As a result of the coronavirus and reduced demand, The Renewable Fuels Association said in a report that ethanol sales could drop by $10 billion from the $23 billion expected year.