USDA Invests in Renewable Fuel Infrastructure


U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Sept. 10, 2015, a major investment in renewable fuel infrastructure. Through Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership (BIP) grants, USDA will aid states in delivering higher blends of renewable fuel.

The effort will result in an estimated 4,880 new pumps at approximately 1,400 stations across the U.S. The $100 million contributed by USDA to jumpstart BIP will be matched one-to-one by state and private industry funds, including a contribution of $250,000 by the sorghum industry.

“This is monumental news for the renewable fuels industry and the thousands of sorghum farmers that rely on the markets it provides,” said Sorghum Checkoff CEO Tim Lust. “The sorghum industry has pulled together in a way that will benefit both local and national interests, and we look forward to helping fill the demand that will result from this investment.”

With a combined contribution of $250,000, the Sorghum Checkoff along with the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and the Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board affirmed the sorghum industry’s steadfast alliance with renewable fuels and belief in the industry’s future.

“Sorghum farmers sent a strong signal in support of renewable fuels,” said Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission Chairman Stephen Bigge. “Market access for renewable fuels is critical to the future of American agriculture.”

Texas Grain Sorghum Producers Board Chairman Chuck McDonald also praised and further emphasized the significance of this large investment.

“For far too long renewable fuels have faced seemingly insurmountable infrastructure challenges,” said McDonald. “BIP will help us end that.”

Though individual award amounts were not made available, Secretary Vilsack estimated the number of pumps that will be installed in Kansas and Texas are 174 and 763, respectively. Other Sorghum Belt states to be awarded funds through BIP are Colorado, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The effort is expected to result in the installation of 1,400 new pumps throughout the Sorghum Belt.

Funding amounts for each state will be announced at a later date. For more information about BIP, visit USDA Farm Service Agency’s Energy Programs website.