Illinois corn farmers stormed Capitol Hill this week, carrying with them a multitude of issues that impact corn farmers in Illinois and across the nation.
Their primary focus was the need to reduce the Federal deficit and cut inefficient spending across all programs and line items. This concept was approved by the delegates to the National Corn Growers Association’s Corn Congress in Tampa, FL on March 3 and 5.
And that overarching sentiment in Washington framed many of the talking points Illinois corn farmers carried to their delegation. New policies that transition away from direct payments focus instead on crop insurance and other risk management tools were well received.
Other new policies seek to place corn’s largest customer, the livestock industry, on a level playing field with other customers by transitioning away from the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit by the end of 2011 and turning to safety net programs and market access for the ethanol industry. Corn farmers discussed the need for Flex Fuel Vehicles with Ford, GM, and Toyota as well as encouraging blender pump installation and higher allowable ethanol blends with Congressmen and agencies.
Lock and dam upgrades, always a priority of Illinois corn farmers, were high on the list as well. Illinois Corn Growers Association, Waterways Council, Inc, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters continue to push their Capitol Development Plan which makes industry a partner with the Federal government to fund these needed upgrades.
If you would like to know more about these issues, please check out these new fact sheets, prepared specifically for the Illinois Congressional Delegation and other agencies and NGOs that we visited.