Corn producers are providing enough corn to meet the demands of the bustling ethanol industry and all other markets. National Corn Growers Association Vice President of Public Policy Jon Doggett delivered this message in Washington, D.C., Wednesday at "Biofuels and the Future of U.S. Energy," hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman gave the keynote address, emphasizing the importance of advancing the biofuels industry. Speakers included a broad array of government, industry and academic representatives.

Doggett participated on a panel that addressed key supply issues facing the biofuels industry. Availability of feedstocks for the production of renewable fuels, emerging technologies that will enhance the efficiencies of ethanol production, biotechnology and enzyme development for cellulosic ethanol were among the topics the panel discussed.

"Consumers have seen rapid technological advances over the last 10 years, and corn production technology is no less dynamic," said Doggett. "Corn growers recognize the need for increased production, which is why they are working steadily on improving efficiency in corn production, using such tools as biotechnology and better farming practices. Increased yields will aid in expanding the ethanol industry as well as supplying our traditional customers."

Doggett presented the association's 15 x 15 x 15 vision that calls for corn growers producing 15 billion bushels of corn to produce 15 billion gallons of ethanol by 2015.

"Through increasing corn yields, improved seed technology and overall improved ethanol plant production efficiency -- among other things -- this vision is very conceivable," he said.

Doggett also addressed the issue of ethanol as a viable solution to the country's energy problems.

"Ethanol will be one of many solutions, including new feedstocks, to break our imported oil habit," Doggett said. "Energy independence will take years to achieve, but it can be achieved."

Every gallon of ethanol makes this country one gallon less dependent on foreign oil, lowers consumers' cost of fuel, builds the nation's rural communities, reduces government outlay on farm programs and adds to the country's food supply, Doggett added.

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SOURCE: NCGA news release.