WASHINGTON – A coalition of the US livestock and poultry industry associations requested a hearing to discuss the Renewable Fuel Standard’s (RFS) impact on the economy in a letter to the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. Continuing pressure on domestic feed grain supplies and the discovery of $9 million of fraudulent renewable identification numbers were pointed out by the groups as justifications for such a hearing.
“In light of the ongoing pressures that the RFS is placing on the domestic feed-grain supplies, something must be done to protect livestock and poultry producers from excessively high corn prices because of the rigid RFS compliance system,” the groups wrote to Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-Okla.). “Therefore, we request that the Senate hold a hearing to examine the continued pressure on grain supplies and the impact that it is having on the bottom line of livestock and poultry producers.”
A 2011 National Academy of Sciences study found that since 2007, the diversion of portions of the corn crop to ethanol production has been a contributing factor to the increased strain on livestock and poultry producers, the letter noted. Although other factors play a role, the RFS mandate is the sole area the US government can control, the groups said.
“Not only are the meat and poultry industries asking the Senate committee to make an attempt to understand the impact on farmers and ranchers, but we also are asking the committee to consider the impact on the American consumer,” the groups said. “The livestock and meat and poultry coalition thinks an EPW committee hearing to examine the continued merits and impact of this broad reaching policy would be timely and relevant.”