Biofuels play an important role in Indiana’s economy. I had heard about biofuels before, but when I started my job at AgriNews I learned that the ethanol industry is a big deal.

Claypool, Ind., is home to the world’s largest integrated soy biodiesel plant, Louis Dreyfus. We have 13 ethanol plants total and rank fifth nationally in ethanol and corn production, according to a press release from the Indiana Soybean Alliance.

The ethanol industry has support from organizations such as the Indiana Corn Growers Association and from many members of Indiana’s government, including Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann.

Biofuels create extra demand for corn and soybean growers across the state.

The Renewable Fuels Standard is a law that requires a certain amount of corn or soybean fuels to be produced in the fuel supply. The Environmental Protection Agency is pushing to lower ethanol numbers.

If the standard is changed to reduce ethanol, farmers across the state will face lower demand for corn.

“Hoosier farmers grew a more corn last year than we ever have before, and corn prices have fallen to at or just below the cost of production,” said Mike Shuter, a farmer from Madison County, in a press release.

“Now the EPA has proposed lowering the ethanol numbers in the Renewable Fuel Standard, and that would push demand down even further. That’s not good for family farmers and rural Indiana, especially communities with ethanol and soy biodiesel plants.”

I stand by our farmers and the role they play in biofuel production. I wish everyone luck this year as we try to make strides in the biofuel industry.