With most of the Corn Belt suffering from the worst drought in more than 50 years, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is urging U.S. pork producers, employees and allied industry representatives to add their support to waiving the nation's Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

"Over the last six years, passage of the RFS and the rapid development of the corn-based ethanol industry, have fundamentally changed domestic grain markets," according to a NPPC statement released Friday. "With the addition of this year’s drought, the RFS mandate is sending the pork industry into its most severe economic crisis."

NPPC is urging U.S. pork producers and their employees to explain to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) how waiving the RFS mandate will benefit your business.

With USDA forecasting corn yields of just 123.4 bushels an acre, while all signs point even lower, it is all-but-certain that there will be a short corn supply. As a result, prices for corn have stretched to record levels. Livestock and poultry producers are struggling because of it.

Support suspending the RFS mandate for one year

To allow you to send comments to the EPA without having to navigate the government’s website, NPPC has created a web site to easily send your comments.

If you are a pork producer please click here.

If you are an employee please click here.

If you are a member of an allied organization that works with pork producers please click here.

Farmers and ranchers are worried about having enough corn, soybeans and other crops to feed their animals, according to the NPPC statement. "These are not unfounded fears."

USDA’s recent crop report found that just 31 percent of the country’s corn crop is rated good or excellent while 38 percent is rated poor or very poor. To offer pork producers some relief, NPPC has asked USDA to make additional purchases of pork for various federal food-assistance programs. NPPC has also asked USDA to reform its loan guarantee program for pork producers.

In addition, NPPC and other livestock, poultry and agricultural organizations along with 178 members of the U.S. Congress and at least eight governors have all separately requested that EPA waiver the RFS mandate for a period of up to one year.

In 2012 The RFS requires 13.4 billion gallons of corn-ethanol to be blended into gasoline and 13.8 billion gallons in 2013.

Comments on whether EPA should waive the RFS are due to the agency by Oct. 11.

If you would like more information, please contact Bryan Humphreys at humphreysb@nppc.org.