The combination of more corn planted this year than expected and more corn stocks could mean a better chance of the ethanol blend rate being increased.
According to Terry Francl, senior economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, “For the 2009/2010, the greater availability of corn supplies makes it more likely that the EPA will increase the ethanol blend rate from the current 10 percent to 12 percent or 13 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2010,” Francl said. “That will in turn utilize some 400 to 500 million more bushels of corn in the 2009/2010 crop year and reduce corn ending stocks by 300 to 400 million bushels. It is also important to remember that about one-third of the corn that is utilized as ethanol comes back as distillers dried grain, which replaces corn and some protein meal.”
USDA’s planted acreage report out this week estimated the second largest corn crop since 1946 at 87.0 million acres, and corn stocks were pegged at 4.27 billion bushels as of June 1, up 6 percent from June 1 of last year.