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Farm Margins, If Any, Narrowing Over Ukraine Crisis

President Biden has announced an embargo on Russian oil, and a farmer in the U.S. Senate says farm margins, if any, are greatly narrowing as Russia continues to prosecute its war against Ukraine. Biden; “We’re moving forward with this ban, understanding that many of our European allies and partners may not be in a position to join us, but there’ll be costs as well here in the United States.”

Ahead of Biden’s action against Russian oil, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley conceded farm margins are disappearing as fuel, fertilizer, and chemical costs soar. Grassley; “Even if there’s a profit, it’s going to be a lot less of a profit, and I just read in the Iowa Farm Bureau Spokesman about how income for farmers is  going to be down this year.”

Grassley argues the U.S. can ramp up production quickly as the U.S. embargoes Russian oil and do so without lifting a ban on oil from Venezuela—a Russian ally. “Isn’t it such a stupid thing to be energy-dependent and then ask Venezuela to export oil to us?”

Russia’s closest ally in South America and whose leader Nicolas Maduro is accused of crimes against humanity. Grassley says the solution’s not dirty Venezuelan, Russian, or Saudi oil, but homegrown American renewable fuel like ethanol. “President Biden ought to look to the Midwest and think about how ethanol and biodiesel can fill these voids. These producers in the Midwest can make up the difference in production that we need.”

To the tune of about one million barrels of oil a day. Grassley points out that E15 was 30 to 40-cents a gallon cheaper than E10 last week, and ethanol was a dollar-20 cheaper than base gasoline.

Grassley says he and the Iowa delegation are writing EPA chief Michael Regan that biofuel producers stand ready to ramp up production to replace the volume of gas lost by banning Russian oil.

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