The latest report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows that acreage planted to corn this year is now estimated at 92.9 million acres, up 19 percent from 2006 and 14 percent higher than 2005. Farmers increased corn plantings 3 percent from their March intentions, resulting in the highest planted area since 1944 when 95.5 million acres were planted for all purposes.
According to the Renewable Fuels Association, “assuming that trend yields continue, American farmers could produce well in excess of 13 billion bushels of corn, more than enough to satisfy the needs of food, feed and fuel markets.”
Responding to this increase in production and countering critics who have sought to blame ethanol for everything from higher pizza prices to a shortage of tequila, RFA President Bob Dinneen issued the following statement:
“American farmers have heard the market signal loud and clear and they have answered that call. Such a response leaves no question about the ability of our agriculture industry to continue feeding the world and renewably fueling our nation … It is becoming abundantly clear that we must move away from imported oil with increasing haste. While ethanol is no panacea, it does provide a pathway to greater energy self-reliance and America’s farmers are helping lead the way.”