Farmers worry ethanol mandates changes will hurt their corn sales


Central Illinois farmers took their concerns regarding recent changes to ethanol mandates to their U.S. representative on Thursday afternoon.

“Ninety-five percent of the corn grown on my farm goes to ethanol or ethanol-related products and when President Trump let the mandates fall off where they don’t have to blend as ethanol it’s really going to hurt the price of corn and hurt my bottom line,” local farmer Dan Magarity said.

Magarity is just one farmer who went to the grain elevator in Roanoke to talk to IL. 18th Dist. Congressman Darin LaHood about applying pressure to the Trump administration to get them to stick to the original ethanol mandates.

The president recently gave out waivers to small oil refineries that allow them to reduce the amount of ethanol they put in their final products. A move LaHood calls a mistake.

“I think it was the pressure from the oil and gas companies the petroleum industries it’s not based on solid policy and it needs to be rejected. It’s hurting rural America and our ag community,” he said.

He said he plans on continuing to be an advocate for agriculture on Capitol Hill as he says many of his fellow legislators, who are not from rural America, may not see the impact policies have on farmers.

Yet many many still worry the changes will reduce the demand for corn and for Mark Marquis, CEO of the country’s largest dry mill ethanol plant Marquis Energy, this is a big concern.

“We use about 500 loads of corn every day and produce a million gallons of fuel-grade ethanol and about 3000 tons of animal. So it’s really important to the corn market in this part of Illinois and these farmers that we have a strong market for their corn,” Marquis said.

Marquis called the presidents actions problematic and says they are more about supporting oil companies and not farmers.

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