As the federal government is set to lower the Renewable Fuels Standard for this year, the US’s National chicken Council (NCC) says the policy has resulted in more than $44 billion in higher feed costs to producers since 2007.
An article written by Tim Hearden on the Capital Press website, goes on to say that the NCC asserts that chicken producers have been unable to step up production this year to their annual average because of rippling effects from the federal ethanol policy and that consumers are paying the price.
Bill Roenigk, the NCC’s senior vice president and economist, told a congressional subcommittee recently that the federal policy of diverting part of the corn supply to ethanol is “broken beyond repair.”
“I don’t think any of us had the foresight to know what would be happening in 2014” when the program began seven years ago, Roenigk said in an interview. He said higher feed costs have since caused 14 chicken companies to go bankrupt, go out of business or be sold to foreign owners.
“We’re not opposed to ethanol,” he said. “We’re opposed to government mandating a certain number every year … even when there’s not enough corn to go around.”
The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to reduce the 2014 quotas for producing biofuels to be blended into gasoline and diesel fuel. The agency is considering setting the quota for both ethanol and non-ethanol fuels at 15.21 billion gallons for the year rather than the more than 18 billion gallons called for in the law. A final determination is expected next month.