South Dakota Farmers Applaud Trump’s Decision to Lift Summer Ban on E15

SALEM, S.D.-  It’s been a tough year for farmers economically.

“We have a surplus and with the trade wars going on we need to find another outlet for our corn,” said Kurt Stiefvater, a Salem Farmer.

However, Salem Farmer, Kurt Stiefvater is one of many farmers in South Dakota who are feeling hopeful.

Especially after President Trump announced his plan to lift a federal ban on summer sales of E15. It’s a blend of gasoline and 15 percent Ethanol. Generally what’s sold is gasoline with ten percent Ethanol. This would create more Ethanol production meaning a greater need for its main ingredient, corn. This would be an increase of two billion more bushels of corn a year according to Poet, one of the leading producers of Ethanol worldwide.

“We always like to get our income from the marketplace so I definitely think it’ll be a positive thing,” said Stiefvater.

Ninety percent of Stiefvater’s corn yield is sold to Ethanol plants. He estimates the change will help his income by 3 to 5 percent.

“The extra income will help offset some of the negative effects of having the tariff that’s been imposed with our trading partners,” said Stiefvater.

It won’t only create new demand for farmers.

“I believe it’ll be beneficial for everybody,”  said Stiefvater.

Ethanol producers like Poet agree.

“It will clean up our air in our dirty cities, it will lower costs for consumers, we see this day as a win win win for everybody in America,” said Jeff Broin, CEO of Poet.

The EPA currently has a restriction on E15 because of concerns it could have negative effects on the environment. Advocates for the Ethanol industry say that claim is unfounded. So for now farmers are working on bringing in a good crop to make this a good year.  

Just about all gas station in our area sell 10 percent blended Ethanol. However, there are currently more than 100 gas stations in South Dakota that offer higher Ethanol blends.


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