Building corn demand is a top priority for your IL Corn Checkoff, as it is administered by the IL Corn Marketing Board. One way to build demand is to grind more corn for ethanol. To accomplish that, your corn checkoff has several programs in place, all geared toward higher corn prices and increased profitability.
You’ll see here in the roadmap image that we’re starting with the assumption of an E10 gasoline blend. Over 95% of all gasoline sold in Illinois is a 10% blend. We also have a standing number of flexfuel (think E85) pumps out there. One way to add additional pumps is by offering grants to fueling stations that incentivize them to choose pumps that can carry higher ethanol blends. We’ve also partnered with one of the nation’s leading pump manufacturers to work on their production of gas pumps at the factory level. If you saw our exhibit at the Farm Progress Show you already know this…Dresser Wayne pumps are coming off their line now capable of pumping up to E25.
We’re also working with the UL, Underwriters Laboratory, to complete the certification of those pump/dispenser components to be compatible with higher blends. You corn checkoff supports the so-called “soak tests” that are used to establish the component compatibility. That leads to the UL Certification.
On a parallel track, IL Corn is involved in discussions with automobile manufacturers who are tasked with creating vehicles with improved emissions profiles and higher performance standards. That’s great news for corn farmers, as higher-octane fuels meet those needs. And you know what the most widely available, least expensive source of octane is? That’s right, ethanol. So as the automobile companies design those newer higher compression engines that need a high-octane fuel, we’ll be right there with the feedstock for the ethanol. And with our other checkoff funded programs, the infrastructure will be in place.