We pray that the disastrous flooding and historic rainfall over the past few months will abate and that families will be able to recover from the losses and disruptions they are facing. We ask that federal officials do everything in their power to assist these families, in the interest of both these communities and the nation, as we need to get these producers back to producing a severely needed crop to continue to provide food and energy for America.



This year's weather is very disconcerting considering our knowledge about the effects of climate change on weather conditions and we hope that this does not become a trend toward more volatile weather in the future. At the same time, we know that this only underscores the need to move toward a larger/greater renewable energy portfolio for the global community. We must not go back on our move toward this goal when it comes to policies that have helped encourage increased biofuel production.



Certainly, we face a very challenging situation regarding maintaining an adequate supply of corn and other commodities for this coming year. We only wish our proposals for significant grain reserves would have been pursued by policymakers in time to prevent the risk of inadequate supply that faces us.



In light of this situation, ACGA urges calm and steadiness by all those affected by this situation. The market has finally understood how valuable a bushel of corn is to the demand side of our agriculture economy. Just as in the energy sector, supply is being challenged, not only by production issues, but also by increasing global demand and monetary changes that have quite rapidly increased the value of our commodity. With respect to oil, corn has not increased in price to anywhere near what petroleum prices have over the past 10 years. At the same time, corn producers' costs are raising lock step with the price of oil, which is dramatically increasing the risks associated with producing a bushel of corn. This, in conjunction with the perils of increasingly volatile weather, means that producers, young and old alike, will be dealing with a very different and challenging production system in the coming years. At times there will be financial rewards, which will hopefully offset the losses of the past and future.



U.S. farmers have the potential to produce vast quantities of feedstock for food and fuel production for the world. Rapidly changing technology and improved financial opportunities for grain production will further increase the gains made over the past years in added volumes of supply. While there may be a few years of adjustment as we enter this new arena, we can be assured that biofuels are the energy of tomorrow and hold great potential.



Steadiness, efficiency in usage and just-in-time production will allow us to survive these challenges in the upcoming year. Going back will ultimately bring about even worse energy costs, climatic conditions and production shortfalls. We call on all those involved in agriculture to realize the need and again rise to the occasion to produce the best crops this year and in the coming years to fulfill the needs of a world that understands the importance of growing.