Maize Matters: Wins for Corn this Spring

Aug 07, 2023  |  Today's News |  ICGA |  Locks and Dams |  Ethanol

This story is a feature article in ICGA's PAC Newsletter: Maize Matters


State Boost for Ethanol

The Illinois General Assembly’s spring session wassuccessful for ICGA as the state legislature passed retail tax incentives for higher blends of ethanol.


The ethanol tax incentives reduce the percentage of retail sales tax on E15 blends of gasoline by 10 percent; mid-range blends by 20 percent; and reauthorizes the 100 percent reduction of sales tax for E85. The tax incentives will sunset on December 31, 2028.

“We thank the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker for supporting the ethanol industry and corn farmers through this legislation,” said IL Corn Director of Public Policy Brad Stotler. “We were excited to see the retail tax incentives, which have been in the works for many years, make it across the finish line.”


The provisions were initially introduced inlegislation sponsored by Senator Pat Joyce (D-Essex), and ultimately included in the revenue omnibus package (SB 1963). “When the demand for ethanol-based fuel goes up, we see the demand for Illinois corn rise as well,” said Joyce (D- Essex). “This new tax structure will not only help farmers, but it is also better for our environment.”


Wins for Waterways

Illinois farmers will also benefit from improvements to the states waterways systems, as this spring ICGA helped break ground at a brand-new 1,200-foot Lock 25 near Winfield, MO. The river infrastructure improvements come after decades of advocacy, education, and diligence.  

This important advancement would not be happening without the partnership of the Waterways Council, Inc, as well as the coalition members who have joined corn farmers in pursuit of upgraded river infrastructure along the way. Many thanks to the MidAmerica Carpenters Regional Council for their tireless advocacy for the jobs this project will provide as well as the conservation groups that joined our voices asking for environmental restoration to accompany this project.

“Finally getting to this point is cause for celebration,” said Matt Rush, President of the IL Corn Growers Association and farmer from Fairfield, IL. “I am speaking for all corn farmers today – corn farmers that attended barge tours, that called their elected officials on this issue, that walked the halls of Congress with their association to ask for new locks and dams – when I say how excited we are to see this progress."


According to Jim Tarmann, IL Corn Managing Director who has worked on this issue for most of his career, “The U.S. currently has a cost advantage of $5.35 per metric ton over Brazil when shipping grains from the Midwest to China, via the inland waterways system,” said Tarmann. “When we continue to invest in our inland waterways system, barge rates decrease. These improvements then increase the U.S. cost advantage when shipping grain to China to an estimated $22.55 per metric ton over Brazil by 2045.”