In Washington, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Farmers Union released a white paper highlighting that “net cash income for American farmers and ranchers is forecast to decline by 26 percent in 2015 from peak levels in 2013.” The authors added, “That devastating forecast is worse than originally projected, and it represents the lowest farm income levels in nearly a decade, and it could get worse.” The authors pointed squarely to how the EPA’s proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard is threatening farm income and rural economies across the United States.
“The RFS has been an American success story since it became law in 2005,” the authors continued. “Corn farmers have led the way to major growth in the ethanol industry, increasing production through investments in technology, improved yields, and sustainable practices. This has created more than 852,000 jobs nationwide, particularly in rural communities, as well as higher farm incomes across the country. But escalating uncertainty and the EPA’s weakened proposed rule have cost the renewable fuel industry – shuttering ethanol facilities and threatening the livelihoods of our farming communities.
Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has projected net farm income for American farmers and ranchers will decline by 50 percent by the end of 2015 from the peak levels of 2013. This is the lowest net farm income level in almost a decade. And it will only continue to get worse unless the final rule gets back on track.”
Roger Johnson, President of the National Farmers Union said, “The EPA’s proposed rule and the uncertainty around it have frozen investment in rural communities and sources of income for farmers in the advanced and cellulosic biofuels industry at a crucial time.”
President of the National Corn Growers Association Chip Bowling said, “Our country’s farmers and biofuels producers have met the challenges of the RFS, investing in renewable fuel production and creating jobs in rural America that can’t be outsourced to other countries. Thanks to the RFS, we are helping to reduce foreign oil dependence with clean, secure American-made renewable fuel.”