The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed further reductions in ethanol and biofuel production in its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014. These cuts will limit the amount of renewable fuel to fewer gallons than the industry manufactured in 2013. A coalition of livestock and poultry groups released a statement supporting the changes to the RFS.
This alliance, which National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre has dubbed the “Free Corn Coalition,” blames the ethanol fuel industry for increased corn costs and unstable viability of their businesses. While the price for corn reached a record of almost $8 per bushel in 2012 due to the drought, it has since decreased to almost half that price. The Free Corn Coalition believes limiting ethanol fuel production will bring the price of corn closer to its historical, if unsustainable, $2 per bushel.
Barbre claims, in an article he wrote earlier this month, “Were it not for the ethanol marketplace, corn farmers would not have been as well-placed to survive the 2012 drought. And that’s as it should be. The demand for corn for feed is flat, and we’re growing more corn per acre. Our success in good years helps us survive challenges like 2012; and now, with the record crop harvested in 2013, we’re rebuilding corn stocks with a projected carry-out, or surplus, of nearly 1.5 billion bushels.”
In contrast to poultry and livestock businesses, farmers from all over the country have written to the EPA and Congress to support the ethanol industry and protest the proposed limitations in the RFS. Representatives from the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union have added their support to the ethanol industry and objected the changes to the RFS.
Barbre states, “Doesn’t everyone eat? Farming is not a special interest – it’s a general interest critical to our country. And a strong, stable ethanol industry helps everyone by providing for stronger, more stable farm economy.” To read his full article, visit https://www.ncga.com/news-and-resources/news-stories/article/2014/03/our-view-beware-the-free-corn-coalition.