Thirty-four of the nation's governors would like USDA to alter the way it reports the use of corn for ethanol production. According to a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack the monthly corn supply and demand reports downplay the growing importance of distillers grains to meet livestock feed demand and provides an inaccurate rhetorical weapon for ethanol opponents.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, representing the Governor's Biofuels Coalition, write that by identifying corn demand for ethanol without immediately noting it as gross demand and not the net use of the starch portion of the corn kernel, the report overstates the use of corn for ethanol by as much as a factor of two or more.
National Corn Growers Association President Bart Schott agrees with the governors, stating that NCGA is proud of the role ethanol plays in creating jobs, improving the environment and growing energy independence and wants to ensure an accurate representation is made of the important work the nation's growers are doing to meet all needs for feed, food and fuel.
Growth Energy Public Affairs Director Chris Thorne says more than a third of all corn that goes into ethanol production is returned to the food chain in the form of highly-valued, nutritious livestock feed that replaces a greater volume of field corn. He says the Governor's Biofuels Coalition is to be commended for pointing out that the way corn use is counted in the U.S. leaves a great deal on the table uncounted in the form of DDGs.