Several US pork organisations have officially addressed the American Senate Agriculture Committee to express their concerns about the rapid rise in ethanol demand.
Jointly the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) tried to convey pork producers’ views on the matter, while also expressing their support for the development and use of alternative and renewable fuels.
Several challenges for pork producers were quoted, like diminishing maize stocks, rising maize prices and issues with using distiller’s grains – an ethanol by-product – in pig diets.
A study by the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University found that current crude oil prices and government policies allow the ethanol industry to pay up to $4.05 per bushel of maize.
The ethanol industry receives government subsidies of $1.53 per bushel of maize and a blender’s tax credit of $0.51 per gallon of ethanol and there’s a federal mandate on ethanol production.
“These incentives have the ethanol industry growing at an almost unbelievable pace,” said Gene Gourley, a pork producer and swine nutritionist from Webster City, Iowa, testifying on behalf of NPPC and IPPA. “New plants are springing up everywhere, and they’re using a lot of corn.”