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AMI Offers Suggestions to Ease Adjustments Caused by Diversion of Feed to Fuel

Thursday, March 8, 2007
 

Congress must balance our nation’s food and fuel needs and take practical actions to moderate the impact that U.S. renewable energy policy is having on animal feed costs and food sold to consumers, according to American Meat Institute (AMI) President J. Patrick Boyle. Boyle made his comments in testimony submitted today to the House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry.

Boyle said that dramatically increased demand for corn has pressed market forces to demand higher feed prices. As a result, animal agriculture producers are considering alternatives to their feeding, nutrition, and dietary regimen which, in turn, impacts meat and poultry quality, consumer offerings, livestock and poultry farm efficiency, and the management of livestock and poultry operations.

Boyle urged Congress to take actions in four key actions to mitigate the impact of dramatically increased feed demand:

1) Expand research in ethanol byproduct safety, quality, and usability and renewable energy technologies. “Federal research investment in applied meat and poultry nutrition could provide livestock and poultry producers with tools and supplements to help adjust their feeding regimen to incorporate distillers grains and other byproducts more easily than is currently possible,” Boyle said. “A number of very reputable studies on distillers grain impacts have been done. However, animal agriculture producers are in need of dietary solutions that they can employ on their farming and production operations. Research can also offset other challenges of distillers grains including the high degree of nutritional variability from plant to plant and its storage and transport problems.”

2) Establish equity of incentives for all renewable energy including renewable diesel and methane conversion. “It is AMI’s perspective that the U.S. and the world need a policy that supports a broad diversity of energy options and renewable energy sources to supply the energy and transportation needs of today and the future,” Boyle said. “AMI supports alternative fuels and new sources, such as those from renewable diesel, methane conversion, and cellulosic. Consumers and businesses can benefit from many new energy sources from such raw materials as animal fats, tallow, and animal waste products as their feed stocks as long as the law does not prejudge a feed stock.”

3) Support a working lands conservation program to encourage environmentally friendly feed stuffs production. This type of program “would remove the regulatory and/or legislative restrictions on producers that elect to grow crops on land currently locked in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), but still maintain environmental benefits to the land,” Boyle said.

4) Expose consumers to more renewable fuels by allowing the ethanol tariff to expire. To aid consumer confidence in renewable energy and expand the market, it would be in Congressional interest to allow the ethanol tariff on imported product to expire in 2008. This would potentially expose consumers to more renewable energy and broaden the diversity of our energy sources.


For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
202-587-4243
dray@meatinstitute.org
Janet Riley
Sr. Vice President, Public Affairs
202-587-4245
jriley@meatinstitute.org

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