WASHINGTON – US Department of Agriculture data showing declining corn supplies in the US and around the globe will continue sending corn prices skyward, which will also send consumer food bills significantly higher, according to the American Meat Institute.

“Declining corn supplies will put demand for corn by the ethanol industry and livestock and poultry producers on a collision course that can mean just one thing: higher feed prices and higher food prices,” said J. Patrick Boyle, AMI president.

US corn production for 2011-12 will be 417 million bushels lower with expected yields down from last month across most of the Corn Belt, according to World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) projections. A global decline in corn stocks is also forecast in the report.

“If the message wasn’t clear already, this latest report puts a bold exclamation point on the need to end national policies that encourage the burning of food for fuel. This policy hurts our nation’s livestock and poultry sector and it hurts American consumers,” Boyle said.

An ethanol blenders tax credit and tariffs on imported ethanol should not be renewed when they expire at the end of 2011, Boyle said. All government policies concerning corn based ethanol should be reviewed and addressed, such as the Renewable Fuels Mandate (RFS) and efforts to increase the ethanol blend levels in gasoline. Boyle pointed out that for the first time in history, this year the ethanol industry is expected to use more corn than is used for animal feed.

“With our nation’s economy stalled and American’s struggling to make ends meet, it is essential that we curtail our federal policy of burning food for fuel,” he added. “There are some economic factors that are difficult to control, but this is a situation where our government has not allowed the marketplace to work.”

Boyle urged Americans to visithttp://www.cornforfoodnotfuel.com/ to learn more, to sign an online petition and to find helpful information about stretching their meat dollars.