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Corn Checkoff Changes Add Flexiblity on Ethanol

Corn Checkoff Changes Add Flexiblity on Ethanol
Council can address more than E-85 blends when aiming to expand flex-fuel options in the market.

The recent legislation that passed affecting the corn checkoff in Indiana will allow the Indiana Corn Marketing Council more flexibility in dealing with how it funds ethanol-related projects, and which projects it funds. That's the word from Megan Kuhn with the Indiana Corn Marketing Council.

BEYOND E-85: Legislation has changed for the corn checkoff allowing more blends, and more options for spending.

The original law specified that a certain percentage of the money be collected be devoted toward promoting E-85 development in the state. That included helping encourage station owners to install E-85 pumps. The legislation was specific - it had to be toward E-85 fuel. And the program was carried out for the Council by the State of Indiana. The Council simply wrote a check to the state for the program, Kuhn says.

"As our directors on the Corn Marketing Council looked at the current situation, they believed the money could be better spent helping promote installation of blending pumps that offer more than just E-85 for flex-fuel vehicles," Kuhn says. In fact, the Corn Marketing Council has been using other funds to help fuel station owners install blending pumps. Most of these pumps offer E-30 and E-85, both for flex-fuel vehicles. So far, the Council has assisted in installing these pumps at 14 stations across Indiana. The latest was installed at a station near Ft. Wayne.

Once the state meets obligations to stations owners who were installing E-85 pumps under the original legislation, the Corn Marketing Council will have future control of those funds. The funds can be used for more than just E-85 promotion. It is no longer specified in the law. While it's uncertain what the Council might do, Kuhn says it appears they will continue to support those who want to install blender pumps that also include other ethanol blends besides just E-85.

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