Pork Council Calls for Review of Ethanol Policies

20 August 2012, at 8:42am

CANADA - In the wake of rising feed grain costs the Canadian Pork Council is calling for a review of policies that encourage the use of food to produce fuel.

The USDA's cuts to its US corn production estimate and its forecast that US 2012-2013 corn ending stocks will be the smallest since 1995-1996, are blamed in part for a rapid increase in corn futures pricing.

Canadian Pork Council vice-chair Rick Bergmann notes 40 per cent of the US corn crop is expected to be made into fuel for cars and trucks compared to 36 per cent for animal feed.

Rick Bergmann-Canadian Pork Council:

In the US on a good year they use four out of ten rows of corn for ethanol production so my question is how many rows of corn are going to be used for ethanol production this year and certainly if that's going to continue on that would be a very significant concern of producers.

But the problem is even larger than that.

I think as society we need to review and look at if we want to use a feed stuff, a feed to either feed livestock and humans or to create fuel with it so I think that's the bigger question and the debate has to happen in Washington.

It has to happen with the political leaders of the United States.

Certainly again, it boils down to do we want to use a grain to produce food or do we want to produce fuel with it?

As a society that in the past, at least the recent past 40 to 50 years, we've had an abundance of food.

Now when we're taking food and we're going to covert it to fuel are we actually posing a bigger problem for ourselves and for the world who consumes our products?

Mr Bergmann says it's a challenge for hog producers who are being forced to compete with a very highly subsidized ethanol industry when they are not receiving subsidies.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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