| December 19, 2013

Meddling hurts ranchers, consumers

One of my morning rituals is to grab a cup of coffee and read the Oklahoma Farm Report from Ron Hays. A recent edition had a very interesting snippet regarding Senator Tom Coburn and how the Renewable Fuel Standard is impacting producers in our state. Sen. Coburn, along with Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), recently introduced the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2013. It once again offers the perspective that the free market does it better. But don’t simply take my word for it. Listen to the words of Michael Kelsey, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association:

We’re very much united on this. Speaking for my brothers and sisters, we’re pretty much in agreement: When the government comes into the marketplace and starts establishing artificial supply or demand—and, in this case, an artificial demand—it really jukes the market up, if you will. It throws it off. And we’re even seeing supplemental effects beyond just the price of corn in terms of forage availability and those types of things.

Hays was interviewing Kelsey for the Beef Buzz, where Kelsey said “letting the market decide on how a bushel of corn will be used in this country is something that the cattle industry has been interested in for years.”

The Renewable Fuel Standard causes about 40 percent of the nation’s corn crop to be redirected toward ethanol production. Because corn is such an important feedstuff for cattle, hogs, and poultry, the policy increases the costs of production for livestock producers and the cost of meat, eggs, and dairy for consumers. All that while creating virtually no net environmental benefits.

We encourage you to read the entire article here.

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