USDA Boosts Harvest Estimate to Record 14.48 Billion Bushels

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) most recent World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report increased the projected corn harvest to a record 14.475 billion bushels, and boosted average yield per acre to 172.4 bushels per acre. Estimated corn acres to be harvested slightly decreased to 83.1 million acres, down significantly from the 2013-2014 estimate of 87.7 million acres harvested.

clip_image002_513“The current WASDE projections and recent reports from the [U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization] and Bureau of Labor Statistics further confirm that there is virtually no correlation between U.S. ethanol production and consumer food prices,” stated Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “In report after report, we see that the American farmer can produce an abundant amount of food and fuel. It is clear that the food and fuel myth is completely unfounded and does a great disservice to the hardworking men and women that help feed the world and fuel our nation.

Buis continued, “As integrated livestock and poultry companies brag about their record profits and margins to their stockholders and investment bankers, the Turkey Federation, National Chicken Council and The National Council of Chain Restaurants, all allies of Big Oil, continue their campaign to intentionally mislead Americans about the cause of rising food prices in the U.S.”

clip_image004_073Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen added, “[American Petroleum Institute] has spent millions upon millions of dollars on ad campaigns trying to sell people on the canard that ethanol drives up food prices in a misguided attempt to garner opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But their argument is bankrupt. Because of the RFS, farmers have invested in technology and increased yields to assure ample supply for all users. Today’s report demonstrates the API campaign is intellectually dishonest.

“Indeed, [the recent] USDA report should be the closing argument in the debate over the 2014 RFS final rule. When farmers made their planting decisions for the 2014 season, they anticipated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House would continue to enforce the statutory RFS volumes. But in one fell swoop, the EPA’s proposed rule wiped away demand for 500 million bushels of corn and grain sorghum. Now, farmers are faced with corn prices below the cost of production and the risk of returning to an era of increased reliance on federal farm program payments. The White House has an opportunity to help alleviate this situation simply by fixing the badly misguided 2014 RFS proposal and getting the program back on track.”

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