Farm Industry News Blog

New USDA grants add to growing flex fuel infrastructure

The USDA announced this week that it is providing funding for 12 flexible fuel pump projects in eight states. These new pumps will help sell more biofuels which, in turn, supports farmers who raise feedstocks for biofuels production.


The USDA is providing funding for 12 flexible fuel pump projects in eight states. This brings the number of flex-fuel projects funded to 65 in fiscal year 2011, with 266 new pumps being installed in 30 states, the USDA reports. Flexible fuel pumps are designed to dispense fuel blends containing up to 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. They may also dispense mid-level blends, such as E15 and E30.


Farmers Union Oil Company of Velva, N.D., for example, has been selected to receive a grant of nearly $160,000 to buy and install six flexible fuel dispensers. Cory Schmaltz, general manager of the company’s Velva, Butte, Drake and Martin locations, says the grant will go a long way in helping to purchase and install the flex-fuel pumps. The purchase and installation of such pumps can cost as much as $25,000 or more per pump, Schmaltz says. Current demand for flex fuels is not huge, Schmaltz says, but he sees it growing in time, particularly as more flex-fuel vehicles hit the market. “The world is changing,” he says, adding that the company expects to complete a C-store next spring in Velva which will feature the flex-fuel pumps.


USDA listed the following companies as receiving grants:



Freedom Rock Renewable Fuels, LLC #1

Freedom Rock Renewable Fuels, LLC #2

Heller Implement, Inc.

Marcus Junction, LLC

Mid-Iowa Cooperative



·         CC of Hays, Inc..



·         Zeeland Fuel Services, LLC



·         Farmers Cooperative Oil Company



·         NCP Fuel Services, LLC


North Dakota

·         Farmers Union Oil Company of Velva


South Dakota

·         Stone Oil Company, Inc.



·         CP Fuels, LLC


These grants can finance up to 25 percent of a project's cost, not to exceed $500,000 for renewable energy. The USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a network of state and local offices. Rural Development has a portfolio of more than $155 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit


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