NPPC expresses concerns about ethanol fever

23-03-2007 | |

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in the US continues to express its concerns about the adverse affects on pork producers of the rapid expansion of the corn-based ethanol industry.

The NPPC emphasised its concerns at an energy meeting sponsored by the 25x’25 Alliance, a group of mostly agriculture organisations, hoping to get 25% of the nation’s energy from renewable resources by 2025.

Maize availability

The council raised the issue of maize availability for livestock feed, pointing out that the ethanol industry is projected to use more than 5 billion bushels of maize once ethanol plants now under construction come online.

Speaking to those present, Joy Philippi, immediate past president of NPPC, said, “Pork producers continue to have the jitters over the rapid expansion of the maize-based ethanol industry and the challenges that expansion presents to maintaining our competitiveness with domestic and international meat protein competitors.”

“Additionally, we are concerned about not having an adequate transition period to adjust to the rapid expansion of the ethanol industry.”

High demand

Also, said NPPC, the high demand for maize has pushed the per-bushel price up to $4 from $2 last summer, raising pork producers’ feed input costs to $65 per pig from $35.

With that increase, pork production may need to decline by as much as 15% to allow the industry to recoup higher production costs, according to a November 2006 study by Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development.

Related websites:
• National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
• Iowa State University’s Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)
• 25 x ’25 Alliance

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