USDA Preliminary 2012 Farm Census Data Shows RFS is Revitalizing Rural Iowa

Press Contact: T.J. Page


IRFA: “It’s no coincidence the increases in the RFS since 2007 have coincided with the most impressive run of rural prosperity in Iowa history”

JOHNSTON, IOWA –The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) noted today that based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Preliminary 2012 Farm Census data, it’s easy to see that increases in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) have revitalized rural Iowa.

The USDA data shows that since the increase in the RFS in 2007, Iowa has experienced nearly a 51 percent increase in the value of Iowa farm products, with a more than 67.7 percent increase in crop values and a more than 33.5 percent increase in livestock values. These value increases took place during a time when the amount of land being farmed in Iowa actually dropped 132,193 acres to 30.6 million acres.

“It’s no coincidence the increases in the RFS since 2007 have coincided with the most impressive run of rural prosperity in Iowa history,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Throughout history, farmers have been so innovative and productive they usually produce themselves out of profitability. This time, the growth in renewable fuels provided new markets for increased production, resulting in the positive economic results detailed by the USDA. However, if the Obama Administration’s proposal to slash the RFS is allowed to move forward, we could see a complete reversal in this rural revitalization.”

Iowa was not the only state to benefit from the growth in renewable fuels. Nationally, farm product values increased 32.8 percent from 2007 to 2012, with crop values increasing 47.9 percent and livestock values increasing 18.7 percent. Meanwhile, U.S. land devoted to farming declined by nearly 7.5 million acres.

To view the USDA’s Preliminary 2012 Farm Census Data, please click here.

The USDA’s 2012 Farm Census Full Report is scheduled to be released in May 2014, according to the USDA website.

 Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.