NCGA defends RFS during historic drought

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2012 - National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Garry Niemeyer said today that the drought covering nearly two-thirds of the country “has led to numerous inaccuracies and exaggerations, especially when it comes to the impact on food supply and retail food prices.”

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“Yesterday at the White House, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack noted that farmers only receive a fraction - about 14 cents - of every dollar spent on food at the grocery store,” Niemeyer said in his statement released during the week of NCGA's Corn Congress meeting. He noted that the corn in a box of Corn Flakes costs about a dime, and just over 25 cents in a pound of beef.

Niemeyer defended the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for ethanol and other biofuels and criticized calls for changes to the standard, which requires that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel be blended into transportation fuel by 2022.

“The RFS is revitalizing rural America, reducing our dependence on foreign fuel and reducing the cost of gasoline,” he said. “Making changes to the RFS now would only ensure that consumers suffer due to significantly higher fuel prices.”

“And while it is true that our corn crop is suffering, it's still in the field,” he said, noting that the actual size of the 2012 corn crop will not be known for months. “In the meantime, the market is working. All corn users are responding to market signals. Ethanol production and exports are down. In addition, there is currently an ethanol surplus in the United States that will further reduce demand on the 2012 corn crop.”

Animal agriculture groups, including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council, National Pork Producers Council and National Turkey Federation, are hosting the release of a study today that argues it is time to reform the current RFS.    

“Corn users other than the ethanol industry need assurance of automatic market access in the event of a natural disaster and a sharp reduction in corn production - a fact that is right around the corner,” according to the release.


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