Touting Ethanol-Free Fuel in Corn Country Not Wise

Iowa corn producers not happy with Iowa based company

Published on: Dec 11, 2013

When an Iowa corn producer pulls up to the fuel pump of an Iowa-based company the last thing he wants to see is an advertisement flash across the screen reading: "Did you Know? Our premium has no Ethanol. Thank You from your Hy-Vee"

But that is just what happened to Iowa farmer Brad Koenig, and he let Iowa-based grocer Hy-Vee know he wasn't happy via Twitter immediately.

Koenig's tweet set into motion a string of tweets between not only Iowa corn producers and Hy-Vee but producers across the US. Koenig said, "If you want to sell more premium don't submarine ethanol to do it. An Iowa based company...I don't understand their thinking."

Hy-Vee is an Iowa founded and based company with headquarters in West Des Moines with locations all across the Western Corn Belt.

Still big petroleum imports: The U.S. imports approximately 40% of it petroleum needs today.  This number is down significantly since the rise of the ethanol industry.
Still big petroleum imports: The U.S. imports approximately 40% of it petroleum needs today. This number is down significantly since the rise of the ethanol industry.

Currently, Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production, producing 26% of the nation's total supply, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. Together, the ethanol and biodiesel industry supports nearly 83,000 jobs in Iowa and adds 9% to Iowa GDP, IRFA figures show.

Someone on Twitter picked it up and moved the conversation to New Ag Talk as well, where Hy-Vee actually registered but only to make the statement, "The messages were put into play after the sub-grade conversion this fall.  We'd be happy to send you more information."

The company does state that they are merely letting customers know that while some changes have taken effect in their fuel, their premium fuel is still ethanol-free.

But as Steve Volkert pointed out in one of his tweets: "Maybe equal time? 'Did you know that our E10 blend is approved for use in all gasoline engines.' "