Rift Between Illinois Pork and Grain Sectors

by 5m Editor
26 June 2008, at 12:08pm

ILLINOIS - Because of the rise in grain prices, there appears to be a rift between Illinois grain farmers and pork producers.

At the Illinois Agricultural Legislative Roundtable, the Illinois Pork Producers' Association made it clear that it is against the current ethanol policy.

According to the Prairie Farmer, the comments came after Adam Nielsen, Illinois Farm Bureau director of issue management, discussed the recent showdown between ethanol and the Grocery Manufacturer's Association.

"When you run out of that pre-purchased corn ($4), the shock hits."
Phil Borgic, president of IPPA

Phil Borgic, president of IPPA, says the organization first felt concern when the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) was passed in 2005.

"The mandates and subsidies were coming too fast," Borgic notes. "When 70% of your cost is feedstuffs and that has doubled in the past 18 months, that's a big change."

Borgic claims to have heard of large pork producers who have reduced sow herds by 10% in the last 18 months because of corn costs. He says the blender's credit and ethanol tariff have created an unfair marketplace in the corn hunt.

Right now, pork producers are nervously waiting for the sticker shock of $7 corn to become a reality. "When you run out of that pre-purchased corn ($4), the shock hits," Borgic says.

Despite increased feed costs, Borgic says pork production has remained fairly stable. He attributes this to a 50% increase in pork exports in the past year.

View the Prairie Farmer story by clicking here.

5m Editor