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US Pork Producers Voice Concern Over Ethanol Industry Expansion

by 5m Editor
10 October 2006, at 12:21pm

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2267. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

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Farm-Scape, Episode 2267

The US based National Pork Producers Council is voicing concern over the dramatic expansion of the North American ethanol industry and the impact it will have on the availability of grain to feed to hogs.

Figures from the University of Minnesota indicate US ethanol production is running at about 4.8 billion gallons per year and that number is expected to rise to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.

National Pork Producers Council President Joy Philippi fears reduced corn stocks will mean higher corn prices, in the neighborhood of $4.28 per bushel according to some projections, which will mean higher production costs, potential shortages of grain to feed hogs and difficulty for producers to stay in business.

" What we're doing, and we had a hearing with our house ag committee in the United States and, at that hearing, we let them know we've got the jitters over this.

Our organization definitely supports renewable fuels but we don't believe that that should come at the expense of our producers.

Because of those things we are working with others to make sure that we get all the information available.

We're encouraging those that can to get some research done on the use of the DDGs in our pigs and we're also asking legislators to make sure that we see some balance in how our next farm bill may be put together so that mandates on ethanol use do not outweigh the things that we need to be most successful in our industry.

Philippi notes hog producers believe this will be a short term problem as advanced corn hybrids increase corn production and as new feeding techniques allow more efficient use of the by-products of ethanol production, dried distillers grains.

However she fears the short term implications will be similar to the those of 1998-99 when production costs were high and markets were low because of explosive expansion of the hog industry.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor