(Posted Tue. Aug 12th, 2014)
With the U.S. Department of Agriculture today estimating a record corn supply of 15.2 billion bushels this coming year, the National Corn Growers Association is keeping a close eye on prices and pushing back against efforts that will reduce demand for the bountiful supply.
“Now is not the time for our federal policymakers to be cutting into the ethanol standard, imposing undue regulations or going slow on trade agreements,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “Our farmers are doing their part, working hard and smart on their farms to bring in a good crop. It’s time Washington removed obstacles and cleared a path so we can sell America’s biggest and most versatile crop at a good and fair price.”
In its crop production and supply-and-demand reports released today, USDA estimated a record average national corn yield of 167.4 bushels per acre. Factoring in 83.8 million acres expected to be harvested brings the 2014 crop at 14.0 billion bushels and the overall supply at 15.2 billion bushels.
Due to the increased production, the average farm price was lowered a dime from its July estimate, to a range of $3.55 to $4.25 per bushel.
When it comes to corn prices and the cost of growing corn, Barbre cited three areas NCGA is watching in particular that affect its grower members. First, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed cutting by 10 percent the amount of corn ethanol in the Renewable Fuel Standard for 2014, a step that means future years also may see reductions.
At the same time, EPA has proposed new regulations regarding the Clean Water Act and the definition of which waters will be covered. Farmers need clarity and the proposed rule regarding “Waters of the U.S.” needs to be fixed. Farmers cannot afford more regulatory uncertainty that drives up costs, Barbre said.
Finally, to help exports of corn and corn products, NCGA is pushing for modernized Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation as provided in the bi-partisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014. This would improve our nation’s ability to advance trade agreements that open markets for U.S. farmers.