June 18, 2008

Speech highlights positives of corn ethanol


Nebraska Corn Growers Association president Randy Uhrmacher gave a speech recently at an ethanol plant ribbon cutting celebration. In it, he addresses several issues that are important to corn producers today.

Here are is a portion, but you can view the full speech here:

As a corn grower, I became frustrated over the last year as I saw my input costs – for things like fertilizer, chemicals and diesel – go up in price considerably. In some cases, my input costs have doubled in the last year or so.

Being involved in a hog and cattle operation, I have seen our input costs go up, for everything from feed to trucking to animal health products. It seems like a never-ending cycle of escalating prices for just about everything. I can understand the frustration of all livestock producers who are also facing increased input costs.

But we need to be careful in where we place that frustration. In the grand scheme of things, ethanol is part of the answer and scaling back the Renewable Fuels Standard or wishing we could go back in time will not solve the problem.

Now more than ever we need renewable fuels like corn ethanol. Every week we hit new oil price records, gasoline and diesel fuel costs go up and we all pay along every step of the food chain. Yes, there is no doubt that high oil prices impact corn production, meat and milk production, food processing, packaging, transportation, storage, delivery and so on. Then we all pay again when we go to the grocery store – at the gas station on the way there and in the store itself in terms of higher food costs.

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