Investment in California Ethanol Market Aims to Benefit Nebraska Corn Growers

Sep 14, 2021

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By Matt Olberding

Agriculture officials from Nebraska and two other states have decided to put more investment into the California ethanol-based fuel market.

The Nebraska Corn Board announced this week that it and corn checkoff organizations in Kansas and Missouri will provide California fuel retailers $1.25 million over the next year to increase availability of gasoline with an 85% ethanol blend, known commercially as E-85. The fuel will be supplied by Pearson Fuels, the largest E-85 distributor in California, which has nearly 250 retail stations located throughout the state.

It’s the second investment in E-85 in California by the Nebraska Corn Board, which earlier this year provided two grants to Pearson to pay for E-85 pumps at two gas stations in the Los Angeles area.

“These stations are moving a tremendous volume of E-85,” said John Greer, the Corn Board’s District 2 Director. “One station alone would use about 50,000 bushels of corn in the form of ethanol in just a year. The investment is already proving worthwhile for our corn growers.”

California is by far the largest E-85 market in the country, accounting for over 40 million gallons in 2020 and on track to reach 50 million gallons in 2021. Despite that, it has fewer E-85 stations than either Iowa or Minnesota, which combined have less than one-fourth the population.

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