Michigan corn farmers want Congress to increase ethanol content in gasoline

A push to increase the ethanol content in gasoline is gaining support from Michigan corn farmers.

Congressional legislation would increase the percentage of ethanol in gas to 15% year-round. Currently, there are federal regulations that limit ethanol content to 10% during certain times of the year.

Jim Zook is the executive director of the Michigan Corn Growers Association.

He says congressional action would help farmers, ethanol producers and gas retailers plan for the future.

“Bail is the biggest issue that everyone wants in their life,” Zook said.

The increased ethanol content would be good news for Saginaw County farmer Don Morse. About 40% of its corn crop is destined for the ethanol market.

Morse says changing the law now will help him plan for next year’s harvest, amid rising fuel and fertilizer costs.

“For next year, this legislation (we) can know there’s a place for corn,” Morse said.

Some concerns have been raised against increasing the ethanol content of gasoline.

For example, AAA warns that high ethanol content can harm some vehicles. Critics also claim that expanding the use of E-15 will cause more corn to be produced, which will lead to more tillage and lead to the pollution of waterways from agricultural runoff.

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