At the 70th annual convention of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting this week in Kansas City, ethanol and farm groups were reacting to a recent national story by the Associated Press that claimed ethanol was bad for the environment. The assertion was that farmers were plowing up highly erodible CRP land in order to plant corn for ethanol. Tom Buis says that assertion is ludicrous, “Farmers are the best conservationists, and besides they have a vested interest in protecting and maintaining the land.” Buis added the reason there has been a decline in CRP acreage is because the federal government has cut the number of acres allowed into the program.
He told HAT all the charges leveled against ethanol are just diversions to hide the real issue, “The real issue is big oil does not want to lose any market share to renewable fuels. We have already taken 10% of their market, and they don’t want to lose an ounce more.” He said all the issues and criticism are just an attempt to divert everyone’s attention from the real issue at hand.
Jeff Broin with POET, the largest ethanol producing company in Indiana, says farmers need to join the fight to defend ethanol in order to protect the sizeable market for corn, “Farmers need to join organizations like Growth Energy. They need to write to their congressman and write checks to support those are on the right side of this issue.” Broin said farmers have a lot to lose if big oil is successful in stopping the growth of renewable energy, “We are going to produce a 13 billion bushel crop this year; and, without ethanol demand, the corn carryover will increase and corn prices will fall sharply.” Almost half of the Indiana corn crop goes into ethanol.