We’ve been saying it for quite some time from this office, and your checkoff dollars have provided the research to prove it. The notion of “indirect land use change” is nothing but a fairy tale. Now the US Department of Agriculture has provided its own data to debunk this claim.
It is an effort of the IL Corn Marketing Board to provide the research that helps to prove false claims false and assert the scientific evidence to back up the truth. Whereas in the past, corn checkoff dollars have focused in other areas, it’s becoming increasingly important to provide evidence that proves so many false accusations to be just that: false. Surveys have indicated that corn farmers want reduced regulations, not more. It’s just this type of research that’s necessary to prove that more regulations aren’t the answer.
Specific to indirect land use change, the USDA research now supports IL Corn’s position that ethanol production does not cause cropland expansion. In fact, the USDA analysis of land use patterns shows total cropland in the U.S. actually decreased by 34 million acres from 2002 to 2007.
Interestingly the growth in land use came from urban sprawl. The USDA report shows a dramatic increase, with land in urban areas estimated at 61 million acres in 2007, up almost two percent since 2002 and 17 percent more than in 1990.