September 17, 2009

Farmers urged to speak out on EPA's RFS-2 proposal

The Nebraska Corn Board is encouraging farmers to contact the Environmental Protection Agency with comments on the expanded Renewable Fuels Standard regulations -- commonly known as RFS-2 -- because the proposal could have a significant impact on corn-based ethanol.

The comment period ends Friday, Sept. 25.

Farmers and others who are interested can submit comments by going to the Nebraska Corn Board's website and clicking on the Action Alert icon. Or by clicking here to go the the National Corn Growers Association Action Alert page.

“While components of the RFS-2 proposal have merit, other portions incorporate unscientific assumptions and ignore yield advances and crop production forecasts made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said the Nebraska Corn Board’s Kelly Brunkhorst in a news release. “Bottom line, the RFS-2 proposal has some serious flaws that need to be reworked.”

Brunkhorst explained that the proposal might place a significant burden on corn growers who deliver corn to ethanol plants because they would have to prove their crops were grown on land that was in production prior to 2007.

The RFS-2 also penalizes corn ethanol for assumed indirect land use changes.

“EPA is trying to say that producing corn ethanol here increases greenhouse gas emissions in other countries, like Brazil, because those countries will till up new land to increase their output,” Brunkhorst said.

“Yet I look out at the record corn crop in Nebraska that is being produced on fewer acres, and these assumptions make no sense. There are too many variables involved in deciding what to plant – for farmers in this country and around the world. Plus, for every bushel of corn we use for ethanol we produce nearly 18 pounds of distillers grains, a great animal feed that can replace corn, soybean meal and urea in rations,” he said.

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