Livestock and Poultry Groups Call for End of Ethanol Subsidies, Protective Tariff
WASHINGTON - NCBA and other major livestock and poultry trade associations are asking the Senate leadership to allow a 30-year-old tax credit and a protective tariff for ethanol to expire as scheduled at the end of the year. The request was made in a letter signed by the American Meat Institute, the National Turkey Federation, the National Chicken Council, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the National Pork Producer's Council and the National Meat Association.
"Although we support the need to advance renewable and alternative sources of energy, we strongly believe it is time that the mature corn-based ethanol industry operate on a level playing field with other commodities that rely on corn as their major input," the groups said in its letter. "Favoring one segment of agriculture at the expense of another does not benefit agriculture as a whole or the consumers that ultimately purchase our products."
The Senate Finance Committee now is considering whether to extend the ethanol blender's credit and the tariff on imported ethanol. Both expire at the end of 2010.
A September 2008 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) stated that the dramatic increase in livestock production costs were attributed to higher costs for feed. The CRS report said that "the main driver was feed, which may account for 60 percent to 70 percent of total livestock production costs in any given year." Between 2005 and 2008, corn prices quadrupled, reaching a record high of more than $8 a bushel, a pattern that is unsustainable for our industries, the groups said.