BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—Farmers knew it and now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that the 2013 corn crop is large enough to handle world demand, including the originally slotted U.S. ethanol blend requirements for 2014.
USDA’s 2013-14 record-breaking corn crop comes in at 13.9 billion bushels, validating the Illinois Corn Growers Association’s (ICGA) position that condemns the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule to reduce ethanol in our nation’s fuel supply as unwarranted and short-sighted.
“We grew a record breaking corn crop this year, and prices have fallen year over year more than they have in the last four decades. What’s wrong with this picture? EPA’s proposed rule,” said ICGA President Gary Hudson. “The rule would lower demand even further and that’s flat-out bad news for family farmers and their communities.”
“Illinois needs to show up with a good number of people voicing their opinion against the EPA plan,” Hudson explained. “We’re hearing from DC that we really need to be seen on the EPA docket and heard with phone calls into our Congressional offices. Numbers matter on this issue.”
Illinois has 14 ethanol plants online right now, and is one of the top five producers of corn-based ethanol in the country. The state comes in number 2 in corn production. The Illinois ethanol industry means $76.5 million in total public revenue, more than 4,000 jobs, and $258 million in labor income.
“Our absence in this discussion would certainly be conspicuous. It’s time to get plugged-in to this issue and take action,” Hudson said.
“Thinking that the other guy will handle this one for you is dangerous and could end up costing you more than 500 million bushels of corn demand this year. Take a few minutes and use the system we’ve developed to make a couple phone calls and add your comment to the docket,” Hudson added.
Anyone interested in learning more, calling Congress, and making an official comment to the EPA docket should go to the Illinois corn website at www.ilcorn.org/PluggedIn and follow the four steps outlined there.