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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7ca0000Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Like Harvest Public Media on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @HarvestPM.

EPA Ups Corn Ethanol Targets

Grant Gerlock
Harvest Public Media/File photo

The Environmental Protection Agency has increased the amount of renewable fuels that must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply next year, by nearly six percent. For Harvest Public Media, Sarah Boden reports on what this means for corn and soybean producers.

Every year, the EPA adjusts the amount renewable fuel it requires oil refiners to pump into our gas. After initially signaling lower renewable fuel goals, the agency reversed course.

Economist Scott Irwin at the University of Illinois says the EPA’s decision to up the number of gallons in the renewable fuel standard is good news for corn producers—maintaining demand for ethanol creates stability.

But the ruling is even better for growers of soybeans—which are often turned into advanced biofuels.

"The advanced component of the RFS standards is growing rapidly right now," Irwin says. "Whereas the convention ethanol is capped out."

Oil industry group the American Petroleum Institute calls the ruling “a bad deal” for consumers.