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ACGA: Protecting American farmers, consumers and market investors from the impacts of radical market shifts

The American Corn Growers Association, announced Dec. 18 that it is calling for support for federal policy reforms to protect American farmers, consumers and investors from the negative impacts of radical market fluctuations caused by natural disasters, economic downturns, and the growing worldwide demand for food and biofuels.

According to Keith Bolin, President of the American Corn Growers Association, "Our policy recommendations will help protect against radical market shifts and help stabilize and ensure returns for farmers, consumers and investors. We want to help temper market swings triggered by climatic, speculative and increasing new market demands such as with the Ethanol and Alcohol Fuel industry. The recent VeraSun bankruptcy filing underscores a need for Federal market stabilization policies that will prevent further setbacks to the fledgling American farmer-driven renewable energy industry by enforcing contract commitments and providing food and fuel reserves. Clearly good policy decisions now can help ensure healthy stable growth across the board."

Should court rulings in the VeraSun filing be used to establish economic and business precedence, food, grain and fuel feed producers will have no assurance that when they deliver to an ethanol facility (or granary supplying biofuel plants), that their signed contracts will be honored and paid as agreed, on a timely basis.

ACGA is strongly urging its members, American farmers and local, state and Federal legislators to support the following policy recommendations:

--Forward contracts held by buyers of farm commodities to be treated no differently than delivered goods or services in a court of law

--Federal credit guarantees to be given to struggling ethanol companies

--Transparency be increased on speculative positions in futures trading

--Minimum prices be set on ethanol through a price support mechanism and a strategic ethanol reserve

--Realistic price supports be enacted for grains and oilseeds

--Strategic grain reserves be enacted to ensure adequate feed stocks and allow for supply buffers

Bolin (a corn and hog farmer from Bureau County, Ill.) added, "Congress has the power and the new administration has the authority to rapidly adopt these recommendations. The policies are necessary to protect and reward the investment America's farmers are making in developing sustainable solutions for food, fuel and renewable energy production. This should be viewed as the very core of homeland security. Increasing job opportunities, improving yields and guaranteeing fair market values will invigorate and sustain our rural economy making it possible for farmers to continue providing for the needs of our great nation."

1/12/09
All Editions\7-A

Date: 12/29/08



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