Citing concerns about the availability of corn to feed pigs, the National Pork Producers Council has asked Congress to let an ethanol tax credit and a tariff on imported ethanol expire and to allow conservation lands to go back into crop production. The organization testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Horticulture on the impact of the rapid expansion of the ethanol sector on the livestock industry.
NPPC told the subcommittee that some projections show the ethanol industry using 10 billion bushels of corn by 2010. The
Corn availability concerns prompted pork producers at NPPC’s annual business meeting last week to approve several resolutions related to ethanol, including supporting the incremental early release – without penalty – by USDA of Conservation Reserve Program acres back into crop land to boost corn production and allowing the 51-cent per gallon ethanol blender’s tax credit and the 54-cent tariff on imported ethanol to expire. The blender’s credit is set to expire Dec. 31, 2010; the import tariff Dec. 31, 2008.
Those subsidies have allowed the ethanol industry to bid up the price of corn, which now is going for more than $4 a bushel, up from about $2 last summer. With soybean prices chasing corn prices, pork producers’ production costs have risen dramatically in the past year – feed costs are now about $65 per pig compared with $35 last year; overall production costs have risen 30 percent.
The pork industry will adjust to changing costs and corn availability constraints, said NPPC in its testimony, citing a study by
“We want a level playing field to compete for corn,”
Source: National Pork Producers Council