There has been a swift, loud backlash after the Associated Press published a report this week called “The Secret, Dirty Cost of Obama’s Green Power Push,” The Indiana Corn Marketing Council (ICMC) was among those releasing information refuting many of the claims by the authors of the report. President of ICMC Dennis Maple said if he scouted his Howard County farm fields like the AP scouted for the truth about ethanol, he would be in trouble.
“Well I don’t think I’d be very successful actually,” he told HAT. “If I didn’t uncover the truth about my crop any better than they did on this story I wouldn’t be successful as a farmer.”
ICMC said AP seemed to misunderstand farm conservation programs and omitted important facts about today’s farming practices. One example Maple cited was the AP statement that Indiana has pulled 5 million acres out of Conservation Reserve Program land to plant corn for ethanol. He says it has not.
“The 2008 farm bill cut back the number of acres eligible for CRP, or that could be enrolled in CRP, so we lost some CRP acres that way. But the acreage actually for corn has increased last year because we had a low supply from the previous crop year. Farmers responded to that and planted more acres of corn, whether they took it out of soybean acres or wheat or barley like they did up in the northern states. I think the inaccuracy of what’s been taken out and stating that virgin ground has been put in production, that’s not true. It can’t be because of the farm bill. It’s illegal to do that.”
To view Indiana Fact Sheet on Ethanol & the Environment, go to www.incorn.org.