Biofuels and their impact on animal agriculture was the main topic at opening general session of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture annual meeting this week in Sacramento, California.
The keynote speaker was Bill Jones, chairman of Pacific Ethanol, whose topic was “Corn, Cattle and Carbon Credits – a California Perspective.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to speak at this conference because California does have a unique perspective on this issue dealing with biofuels and the relationship to animal agriculture,” Jones said in an interview. He cites two main reasons for that unique perspective: a localized dairy industry which allows them to feed distillers’ grains in the wet form instead of dried; and the state’s carbon credit program which allows biofuels producers to take an active role in reducing greenhouse gases.
Jones notes that higher prices for corn affect the ethanol producer just as much as the livestock producer, and he is just as anxious as any user of corn to see prices decline. “Being a farmer myself, being a person that raises cattle myself and feeds corn, I also appreciate the need to have this evolution take place very quickly,” he said. “Is it going to go back to $2 a bushel, I don’t think so.”
However, he adds that corn growers do have a hard time sustaining production at $2 a bushel, so he believes there is a middle ground that can be reached that can maintain profitability for both the crop and livestock sectors.
Listen to the entire interview with Bill Jones. Bill Jones (10:00 min MP3)