JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Soybean Association and Missouri Corn Growers Association have jointly announced their opposition to building biodiesel and ethanol facilities in counties that have adopted health ordinances to restrict livestock and poultry production.



According to MSA and MCGA leadership, soybean and corn farmers cannot afford to invest millions of dollars in biodiesel and ethanol production facilities in counties that refuse to support animal agriculture.



In addition to limiting livestock and poultry production, county health ordinances also eliminate marketing potential for the high protein co-products that are created while processing corn and soybeans into biodiesel and ethanol, they said. Without animal agriculture in close proximity to biodiesel and ethanol plants, the ability to utilize these co-products is diminished and the plants themselves become less viable.



"When corn is produced from ethanol, only the starch portion is used. An excellent high protein feedstock for livestock and poultry remains," explains MCGA CEO Gary Marshall. "If a county restricts the ability for an ethanol plant to access local markets for distillers grain co-products, then they lose an inherent advantage over ethanol plants located in other counties and states which do not limit animal agriculture."



Agriculture has been the backbone of Missouri's economy for the last 100 years. MSA CEO/executive director Dale R. Ludwig said he believes that to arbitrarily eliminate animal agriculture without a scientific basis and extensive research is flat wrong. Instead, plant and animal agriculture must be able to coexist with Missouri citizens.



"When a county decides to eliminate animal agriculture, a domino effect occurs," says Ludwig. "We have grave concerns about locating a biofuel facility in a county which has adopted a health ordinance for the purpose of limiting animal agriculture. It is our intent to partner with progressive counties where economic development including crop and livestock production is a primary focus."



Biodiesel and ethanol plants provide jobs, economic stimulus and tax revenues to communities where they are located, the associations said. To learn more about biodiesel in Missouri, visit www.mosoy.org. For more information on ethanol, go to www.mocorn.org.



SOURCE: Missouri Soybean Association, Missouri Corn Growers Association.