Deal with Refiners on RINS Could Cost Corn Farmers 25 cents per bushel

Farmers, Ethanol Owners Meet with Rep. Marshall Over RFS

Several Kansas Corn members participated in a listening session on Saturday with First District Congressman Roger Marshall. The congressman held the listening session to hear concerns about efforts that would have a negative impact on the ethanol and corn industries. Over the past two weeks, corn growers have been concerned about meetings being held with oil refiners that could result in a deal that would significantly harm the RFS by capping the price of Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). RINs are the market mechanism that drives biofuels blending. A cap on RIN values or RIN waiver credits would disrupt this market mechanism and take away the incentive to blend biofuels.

According to Iowa State research, this proposal would take away 700 million gallons of ethanol demand and cost farmers as much as 25 cents per bushel at a time when farm income is already at its lowest level since 2006.

Representing Kansas Corn Growers Association at the meeting were Dennis McNinch, Arnold; Matt Splitter, Lyons and Geoff Burgess, Sterling. Congressman Marshall is a member of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus.

“We are lucky to have Congressman Marshall taking a strong leadership role on this issue,” McNinch said. “Corn farmers and the ethanol industry play a big part in our state’s economy. Congressman Marshall understands this is not the time to roll back the market access that the Renewable Fuel Standard provides for ethanol.”

KCGA board member Matt Splitter told the congressman about the importance of the ethanol industry.

“I’m a fifth-generation farmer – came back to take over the farm when my father died. We’ve grown substantially in size, and a lot of it’s due to the ethanol plant. We’ve got a steady, reliable market that pays at levels we can make profitable on our farm,” said Matt Splitter, who farms in Rice County and sits on the board of the Kansas Association of Corn Growers and Central Prairie Coop.

KCGA member Geoff Burgess said, “At the moment we’re at about a 12-year low in farm income,” said first generation Reno County farmer Geoff Burgess. “This coming season we’re just getting started, and it’s already projected to be a 6.7 percent reduction further. It’s gonna hurt demand for corn and drive our prices down even more, and that will be really hard to swallow. There’s a lot at stake here.”

Visit Kansas Corn’s RFS Resource Page