Ethanol related issues top the list of concerns for members of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) preparing for their annual policy meeting ti be held this week in Anaheim as part of the 2010 Commodity Classic.
NCGA president Darrin Ihnen, a corn grower from South Dakota, says among those concerns are the use of indirect land use change in making regulations for low carbon fuels and increasing the allowable blend level for ethanol in gasoline to 15 percent. “The other thing that is looming is tax policy when it comes to the ethanol industry – VEET (volumetric ethanol excise tax credit) and the import tariff,” Ihnen said on a visit last week to the Missouri Corn Growers Association annual meeting. “Those will definitely bring a lot of discussion in our resolution sessions and our policy decision making.”
Corn growers are also concerned about the threat posed to animal agriculture in individual states by activist groups, which affects them on two levels. “Number one, the livestock industry is our largest user of corn,” Ihnen says. “The second thing is that we supply a lot of corn to the ethanol industry, which produces DDGs, which comes back to the livestock industry.”
Ihnen sees the animal activist threat as a unifying issue for the agriculture industry, which is sometimes divided when it comes to ethanol. “We can’t be separated when it comes to agriculture,” he said. “We need to work together.”
Listen to or download my interview with Darrin Ihnen here.