Sees need for carbon pipelines
To the editor:
I am a fifth-generation farmer in Humboldt County. The corn I raise is delivered to Gold Eagle Coop and is manufactured into livestock feed or ethanol, and the beans are manufactured into oil and meal. For more than 20 years, I have also worked off farm in the livestock industry. I understood that the grain I raised needed to be used locally to keep the basis strong and demand high. When the ethanol boom took off in the early 2000s, I was a supporter of this transition for some of those same reasons. Both the livestock and ethanol production in our area have allowed us to consistently enjoy profits over the last 20 years.
Today we are at the next step to keeping ethanol viable for the foreseeable future. Customers of our ethanol product across the globe are asking for low carbon fuels. In fact, many markets are paying a premium for low carbon fuels and Iowa ethanol, supported by Iowa corn growers, can help meet that demand through carbon sequestration. I first heard about these types of projects more than two years ago, and it piqued my interest and as a result I looked into it further. After I understood how the process worked and the value that can be added from the CO2 that is currently being produced and released, I started following one of the pipeline companies progress closely.
One year ago, I switched from my years in the livestock industry to working with one of the pipeline companies to do what I can to help get the project completed and running. I truly believe this is the next step to help support demand for our corn crop for years to come. And as the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association found in a recent report, the inability to advance carbon capture projects will result in ethanol producers losing $10 billion annually and that loss of production will cut one billion bushels of demand for Iowa corn. We can’t afford to allow that to happen.
I believe we are at an exciting time in farming and the economics supporting the pipeline are the same that are growing the soybean crush plant expansion in the Midwest, and are driving the methane capture projects at livestock facilities. We need to position ourselves to be the fuel source the customers around the world want. These projects can do that and will benefit the sixth generation that will grow a crop on my family’s ground.