(Posted Tue. Oct 29th, 2013)
Oct. 29: At a Capitol Hill briefing this morning on the Renewable Fuel Standard and the concerns of sportsmen and boaters, National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Chip Bowling shared his story as a corn grower, ethanol advocate, boater, hunter and fisherman who lives and farms alongside the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
In his remarks, Bowling talked about how the RFS and ethanol have helped corn farmers, and how this economic boon has spread beyond the corn field – supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America; helping drive more conservation, not less; and helping clear the air while decreasing dependence on foreign oil.
“Corn farmers have responded to increased demand of ethanol from the RFS by producing more corn on roughly the same amount of land,” Bowling said. “In the last 30 years, corn production has improved on all measures of resource efficiency, by decreasing land use per bushel by 30 percent, soil erosion by 67 percent, irrigation by 53 percent, energy use by 43 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent.”
Bowling also pointed out that, at the same time the RFS has been in effect, all agriculture has been seeing success. According to the USDA, total net agriculture income has risen since the passage of the RFS. In 2006, average farm income was $57.4 billion. In 2012, farm income was $112.8 billion, a 97 percent increase.
Livestock receipts have increased over this time period as well. U.S. meat output has grown steadily since the original RFS was enacted in 2005. 2013 production of red meat and poultry is projected to be the second-highest on record (only behind 2008) and 7 percent higher than output in 2005.
The Washington briefing was held by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation in conjunction with the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Congressional Boating Caucus. Click here for more information.