Congress should restore the balance between food and fuel in the nation&squo;s energy policy, according to Bill Roenigk, senior vice president and chief economist of the National Chicken Council, commenting on the Iowa State University on biofuels released here today:
“We believe Congress should take action to restore the balance in the equation between food and fuel. A good first step would be for Congress to approve a much more modest renewable fuel standard (RFS) with a much longer time frame than the currently contemplated RFS.
“We compliment Dr. Bruce Babcock, Dr. Dermot Hayes, and their colleagues at Iowa State University on a very professional and credible study on the impact of the ethanol boom on corn supply and utilization in the United States. The study provides some much-needed facts and perspectives on this issue.
“The diversion of corn into ethanol and away from animal feed has already driven up the cost of feeding chickens by 45 percent and has led to price increases for wholesale customers and for consumers. Families across America are already paying more for chicken because of government-subsidized ethanol programs. Production is also being curtailed due to high costs. We project that the total production of chicken this year will be less than it was last year, the first year-over-year drop in production since 1975.”
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.