Sustainable Aviation Fuel: Taking the Midwest Economy to New Heights

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production provides a substantial opportunity for Midwestern states, Midwestern farmers, and Midwestern renewable fuel producers to prosper in the coming years. But, this potential cannot be fully realized without Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) for ethanol.


Iowa’s premier agriculture economic research and analysis firm, Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS), found that without a new market like SAF, overproduction will lead to falling prices and eventually reduced acres. DIS determined that without SAF, by 2050 corn acreage would drop to 68 million acres resulting in a loss of farm income totaling $259 billion, or nearly $10 billion per year.

Without SAF:

  • $10 billion per year equates to a loss of $120 per acre of corn.
  • For a typical 1000-acre farm with 50/50 corn-soybeans, revenue would drop $60,240.

With SAF, corn production on traditional acres will increase enough to supply growth in non-ethanol demand as well as enough excess corn to produce an additional 13 billion gallons of ethanol over the needs for light duty vehicles. This ethanol would be available for conversion to SAF. As ethanol plants pay a premium for corn, corn growers would realize about $441 million in additional revenue with SAF.

With SAF:

  • For typical 1000-acre farm with 50/50 corn-soybeans, revenue would increase $11,670.

What does Iowa have to gain?

Key state economic findings with SAF:

  • Nearly 36,000 constructions jobs adding over $3 billion to Iowa’s GDP and $2.2 billion in income
  • More than 22,000 permanent new jobs
  • About $950 million in new household income
  • $2.7 billion added to Iowa’s GDP
  • 770 million bushels of new corn grind per year in Iowa
  • For a typical 1000-acre Iowa farm with 50/50 corn-soybeans, $13,000 additional farm income per year

IRFA’s summary of the Iowa results.


IRFA’s summary of the full study results.

The full study from DIS.