Nebraska corn farmers frustrated by new SAF tax credit rule

Nebraska corn farmers frustrated by new SAF tax credit rule
May 1st, 2024 | Bryce Doeschot

Nebraska corn farmers expressed frustration and dissatisfaction with the recent announcement from the U.S. Department of Treasury (USDOT) regarding limitations on corn-based ethanol’s role in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), through the 40B tax credits.

An update to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne GREET model requires that corn-based ethanol must now be cultivated with additional on-farm conservation practices to qualify for tax credits outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Updates to the GREET model include assessments of land use changes associated with commodity production. These alterations, deemed unjustified by the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NECGA), adversely affect ethanol’s carbon scores, posing challenges for corn’s eligibility as a feedstock.

Additionally, the revised model mandates farmers to adopt no-till practices, utilize efficient fertilizers, and implement cover crops. This mandate, according to NEGCA, proves impractical for all acres across the diverse geographic landscape where corn is grown.

“This announcement sets Nebraska farmers back as corn should continue to be a viable source of low-carbon feedstocks for ethanol and ultimately sustainable aviation fuels,” said Chris Grams, president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. “The guidance has very limited positive outcomes for Nebraska farmers and farm families as it forces voluntary practices to become mandatory for farmers across Nebraska’s variation of environments where the practices may not be feasible.”

The association said when farmers all over the U.S. are forced to implement practices to qualify for market access, the one-size-fits-all approach is unworkable.

“NeCGA will continue to defend Nebraska farmers as the rule making process begins.”


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