University of Illinois study reports more ethanol production

The U.S. will produce and consume more ethanol fuel in 2016, according to a University of Illinois report published on the agribusiness website AgriMarketing on Tuesday.

Production statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show the U.S. is on pace to produce a record volume of ethanol in 2015. The current production level is 3.6 percent higher than the same point in 2014, which was itself a record-setting year of 14.313 billion gallons. 

The report estimates to finish out the year at the current record-setting pace would mean the ethanol fuel industry had consumed approximately 5.25 billion bushels of fuel material, which is usually conventionally grown corn.

The report comes just over a week after the federal government released new benchmark goals for the national output of biofuels, which call for more than 1 billion additional gallons of biofuels next year.

Despite the increase in production, the report found that consumption of ethanol would stay relatively the same unless ongoing low oil prices motivate consumers to buy more gasoline.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 2008 and 2009 farm businesses planted approximately 800,000 additional acres in corn for every billion gallons of new ethanol produced.

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