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Illinois Earns EPA Approval for Higher Ethanol Blends
Illinois Ag Connection - 02/26/2024

Illinois has recently become one of the eight states approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to sell higher blends of ethanol, specifically E15. This approval holds significance for Central Illinois, where corn crops play a crucial role in the agriculture industry.

According to a representative from the Illinois Corn Marketing Board, ethanol is considered environmentally beneficial as it burns cleaner compared to regular gas. The assertion is that using ethanol can contribute to reducing dependence on oil, given its cleaner combustion and potential as a fuel substitute.

The push for nationwide adoption of E15 is supported by the belief that it could lead to more affordable gas prices. This development is seen as positive for farmers in the region, as the removal of the ethanol ban is expected to alleviate financial challenges faced during previous summers.

Farmers anticipate an increase in demand for corn, which is seen as a positive development amid current challenges, including depressed prices and projected losses for 2024. The significance of corn crops is underscored, with their top three uses highlighted as livestock feed, human food, and the production of E15. The approval of higher ethanol blends in Illinois reflects a broader trend toward promoting cleaner and more sustainable fuel options in the agricultural sector.

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