With the latest USDA forecast showing tighter grain supplies, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry is holding a hearing Wednesday on the concerns of livestock and poultry producers about feed availability and ethanol is likely to be a target for blame.
In advance of the hearing, officials with Growth Energy have sent a letter to the committee leadership urging them to remember that the ethanol industry produces animal feed in the form of distillers grains (DDGs). “More than one-third of all grain used in the production of ethanol is returned as a nutritious distillers’ grain, which is 25 percent cheaper than corn and can displace a greater amount of corn in feed rations, ultimately saving livestock producers’ input costs,” wrote Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis and president Jim Nussle in the letter to sub committee chairman Rep. Thomas Rooney (R-FL) and ranking member Dennis Cardoza (D-CA).
Growth Energy noted that there are many factors that are contributing to tighter grain supplies and higher prices, but stressed that the productivity of American agriculture is capable of meeting all demands for feed, food and fuel. “Consider this, despite the worst weather conditions in recent history, from cold spring rains to searing summer droughts followed by early autumn floods, our nation’s farmers are expected to deliver a near-record harvest of corn,” they wrote. Corn production this year is now forecast to be 12.5 billion bushels, just slightly more than last year and the third largest crop on record.
Scheduled to testify at the hearing on Wednesday at 1:30 eastern are representatives from the beef, dairy, pork, and poultry industries.