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Legislation presented to change government support on corn-based ethanol

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association commends Representatives Joseph Crowley, D-NY, and Mary Bono Mack, R-CA, for introducing critical legislation to level the playing field for corn supplies.

The Affordable Food and Fuel for America Act will phase out government support for corn-based ethanol over five years and encourage the commercial development of second generation biofuels.

After 30 years of support, corn-based ethanol is still reliant on government support to be commercially viable. It is time to allow it to compete on a level playing field, and to stop propping up one industry at the expense of another.

Since January of 2008, cattle feeders have lost a record $5.2 billion in equity due to high feed costs and economic factors which have negatively affected beef demand. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, in 2008, feed costs for livestock, poultry and dairy reached a record high of $45.2 billion--an increase of more than $7 billion over 2007 costs. Yet farm gate cattle and calf receipts have essentially remained flat, at between $49 and $50.2 billion during the past five years.

Soaring feed costs and government payments to the ethanol industry are hurting small businesses and family ranches. Cattle producers don't ask for subsidies, just equal footing.

The legislation introduced by Reps. Crowley and Mack allows for a market-based approach to our nation's competing demands for corn, and helps us meet both our food and fuel needs.



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