WPX 2011: Concerns Rising for Feed Shortages

by 5m Editor
10 June 2011, at 5:34pm

US - Concerns are rising that the US could suffer a shortage of corn for feed this year as the growing areas have been hit by both drought and floods, writes ThePigSite editor in chief Chris Harris.

Michael Formica from the National Pork Producers Council speaking at World Pork Expo in Des Moines said that the pork industry is in a precarious position over feed.

He indicated that while the NPPC had backed the renewable fuel standard, there have been concerns that events beyond producers' control could upset the corn supply.

He warned that there was a low carry over of corn for feed supply of around just 17 days.

And he added that while concerns were being voiced about the impact of the amount of corn going for ethanol production and that there is volatility in the markets because of subsidies, if these ethanol subsidies were eliminated it would do little to take away demand.

He said that there was a need and a hope for a significant harvest this year, but more land needed to be set aside for corn.

For the future moves have been taken for a task force to secure more feed and calls had been made to allow land where compensation had already been paid because corn crops had been ruined or prevented by weather and environmental conditions to be release for growing crops.

The USDA has estimated that around 92 million acres had been set aside for corn crops but floods in areas such as the Mississippi basin have hit the potential to grow corn in these areas.

In all in these areas it has been estimated that 450,000 acres of corn production and 300,000 acres of soybean production in this region have already been lost.

"If we do not get the 90 million acres for corn, we are going to have difficulties," said Randy Spronk, NPPC vice president.

"We are in a precarious position."