Thursday, May 19, 2016

U.S. calls for more ethanol

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants more ethanol to blend with gasoline, but the “ambitious” goal calls for only a small increase in ethanol distilled from grain corn.

This proposal comes in the context of predictions that the corn crop to be harvested this fall will set another record.

The proposal for grain-corn ethanol is an increase from 14.5 to 14.8 billion gallons this year.

The total for all types of biofuels is an increase of 700 million gallons to 18.8 billion this year.

The EPA will hold public hearings June 9 in Kansas City, Missouri.

The government requirements for biofuels are a rich subsidy to corn producers by moving prices higher than they would otherwise be. 

The U.S. prices also heavily influence prices for all feed grains in Canada, including corn, barley, feed wheat and soybean meal.

As expected, the farm organizations representing poultry and livestock producers complained about the EPA’s proposed increase because it drives their cost of production higher.

For example, feed is about 70 per cent of the cost to raise chickens.
The National Chicken Producers Council said that since the Renewable Fuels Standard was implemented, the broiler industry has faced $53 billion in higher actual feed costs, the group said. It’s the fifth year in a row that the volume has been increased.

“The unrealistic volume for ethanol proposed today by the EPA ensures that the chicken industry, as well as all of animal agriculture, remains only one flood, freeze, or drought away from another crisis,” NCC President Mike Brown said in a news release.