Corn Commentary

Indirect Land Use Has Direct Effect on Family Farmers


Indirect land use is the theory that corn-based ethanol changes the crops planted on acres in the Midwest and through a series of assumptions (think butterfly effect), changes the face of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.  We also think it’s a bunch of baloney.  (Click Here for more on today’s guest blogger.)

The US Environmental Protection Agency is currently penalizing corn-based ethanol for causing the deforestation of the Brazilian rainforest in their current revision of the Renewable Fuels Standard (also called RFS II).  They have no scientific basis to do so.

 They are also forgetting that corn growers are increasing their yields at an exponential rate due to top-quality genetics and breeding.  Just today, reports from the USDA forecast a yield two percent higher than they forecasted last month and seven percent higher than 2008.  If what they say is true, this year will mark the highest bushels per acre on record and the second highest corn production, behind 2007.

 Tell me, why we need to convert additional acres to corn in America when we can grow corn like this!?  And that’s the exact premise of this indirect land use theory - that we are converting historically soybean acres to corn in order to make more ethanol and those soybean acres have to be replaced in Brazil. 

 I’m sure you agree with us that this hypothesis simply isn’t plausible.  So take a minute to tell the US EPA about the increasing yield on your farm.  You might even want to ask your friends to tell the US EPA about their farms as well. 

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