WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Corn Growers Association said that comments made yesterday by the Environmental Working Group and associated Grocery Manufacturers Association groups are just another attempt to prevent the ethanol industry from decreasing the United States' dependence on foreign oil. NCGA further asserted that there are many environmental benefits from corn ethanol and that corn farmers continue to be good stewards of the environment.
"These environmental groups are stirring up fear for the American public at a time when Americans are already struggling due to the faltering world economy, job losses and high costs of food brought on by some food companies' record profits and greed," said NCGA President Bob Dickey.
"The fact remains that 'made in the U.S.' corn ethanol is here -- and available today -- to strengthen the U.S. economy, create new, U.S.-based jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Wind and solar power are good options for energy; however, these will take years to have the same impact that ethanol is having now," Dickey said. "Furthermore, corn supply is ready and available for ethanol expansion since corn growers have increased corn stock to 1.8 billion bushels."
Recent studies, including the University of Nebraska study released earlier this year, show that ethanol has many environmental and economic benefits, including:
In January 2009, the "Field to Market" Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture program issued a report providing the first-ever framework for measuring agriculture sustainability.
The initial index shows that soil-loss efficiency trends have improved substantially -- by 30 to nearly 70 percent -- for the four crops evaluated. Energy use per unit of output is down in corn, soybean and cotton production by nearly 40 percent to more than 60 percent. Irrigated water use per unit of output has also decreased -- 20 percent to nearly 50 percent -- while carbon emissions per unit of output have dropped by about a third for these three crops.
Specifically, corn has seen the following changes between 1987 and 2007:
The National Corn Growers Association is a national organization founded in 1957 and represents approximately 35,000 dues-paying corn growers and the interests of more than 300,000 farmers who contribute through corn checkoff programs in their states. NCGA and its 48 affiliated state associations and checkoff organizations work together to help protect and advance the corn producer's interests.