WASHINGTON — New estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirm that farmers have produced a record-setting corn crop, and that the surplus remaining after all demands are met will hit a 10-year high. USDA’s WASDE report pegged the 2014 crop at 14.48 billion bushels based on a record yield of 174.2 bushels per acre. The report also projected that global grain ending stocks will reach a 14-year high.
While the bountiful corn crop underscores the tremendous efficiency and productivity of the American farmer, it also highlights the continued need for demand certainty and market expansion. USDA projected that prices will average $3.40 per bushel, the lowest in eight years and below the cost of production for most farmers. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen offered the following statement:
“API has spent millions upon millions of dollars on ad campaigns trying to sell people on the canard that ethanol drives up food prices in a misguided attempt to garner opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). But their argument is bankrupt. Because of the RFS, farmers have invested in technology and increased yields to assure ample supply for all users. Today’s report demonstrates the API campaign is intellectually dishonest.
“Indeed, today’s USDA report should be the closing argument in the debate over the 2014 RFS final rule. When farmers made their planting decisions for the 2014 season, they anticipated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House would continue to enforce the statutory RFS volumes. But in one fell swoop, the EPA’s proposed rule wiped away demand for 500 million bushels of corn and grain sorghum. Now, farmers are faced with corn prices below the cost of production and the risk of returning to an era of increased reliance on federal farm program payments. The White House has an opportunity to help alleviate this situation simply by fixing the badly misguided 2014 RFS proposal and getting the program back on track.”