Corn and Soybean Organizations Asking All Grain Farmers to Send Comments to EPA
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (January 16, 2014) — The late fall announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they want to lower the required volumes of corn-based ethanol and soy biodiesel produced in the U.S has grain farmers wondering why the EPA wants to renege on their support for renewable fuels from American’s heartland when there is bumper crop of corn and soybeans.
USDA’s 2013-14 record-breaking corn production equaled 13.9 billion bushels with Indiana producing 1.04 billion bushels, a record for the state and 73 percent above last year’s drought-stricken crop. U.S. soybean production in 2013 totaled 3.29 billion bushels with 265 million bushels coming from Indiana, up 17 percent from the previous year.
The EPA proposed a drop to 13 billion gallons of corn ethanol in 2014, a drastic reduction from the original 14.4 billion gallons. That cut represents 500 million bushels of corn. As for biodiesel, they proposed a drop to 1.28 billion gallons, which is less than the 1.7 billion gallons that the U.S. expects to produce this year.
Farmer leaders from the Indiana Corn Growers Association (ICGA) and Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) say the EPA’s proposed rule to reduce ethanol and biodiesel is pulling the rug out from under rural America’s economic revival that has taken place because of the renewable fuels industry.
“We grew more corn in the state than ever before in 2013, and prices have fallen to at or just below cost of production. Now, EPA is proposing to lower the ethanol numbers in the Renewable Fuel Standard, that doesn’t make sense to us,” said ICGA President Herb Ringel. “The rule would push demand down even further and that’s not good for family farmers and rural Indiana, especially our communities with ethanol and soy biodiesel plants.”
Indiana is home to the world’s largest integrated soy biodiesel plant – Louis Dreyfus in Claypool – and 13 ethanol plants. The state ranks fifth nationally in ethanol production and corn production. The Indiana ethanol industry has added $47 million to the state’s tax revenue, created more than 3,575 direct and indirect jobs for rural Indiana and added $520 million to the Gross State Product.
“Farmers are mad and frustrated with the EPA, the President and members of Congress who want to shut down the renewable fuels industry in our rural communities,” said ISA President David Lowe.
There are still a couple of weeks left in the comment period, which ends on January 28.
“Taking a few minutes to go online or make a phone call is a small price to pay for voicing your opinion on a rule that could end up costing you more than 500 million bushels of corn demand this year,” said Ringel.
Farmers and folks whose job depends on our biofuels industry should make an official comment to the EPA docket, and can go to the Indiana corn website at www.incorn.org/rfsfor instructions.
The Indiana Soybean Alliance works to enhance the viability of Indiana soybean farmers through the effective and efficient investment of soybean checkoff funds and the development of sound policies that protect and promote the interest of Indiana soybean farmers. The ISA is working to build new markets for soybeans through the promotion of biodiesel, livestock, aquaculture, environmental programs, grain marketing, new soybean uses, and production research. ISA is led by an elected farmer board that directs investments of the soybean checkoff funds on behalf of more than 28,000 Indiana soybean farmers and promotes policies on behalf of the ISA’s 950 dues-paying members.
The ICGA board, which works with the state and federal governments to develop and promote sound policies that benefit Indiana corn farmers, consists of 15 farmer-directors who provide leadership to the organization on behalf of the nearly 600 ICGA members statewide.
This communications was NOT funded with Indiana soybean or corn checkoff dollars.