Poultry Industry Fired up by Biofuel Support

by 5m Editor
16 June 2008, at 7:53am

US - The United States’ poultry industry is concerned by a recent letter that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer and U.S. Secretary of Energy Sam Bodman sent to Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., stating their respective department’s continued support for biofuels. Bingaman is the chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

In a letter dated June 11, the USDD and U.S. DOE said preliminary analysis suggests current biofuels-related feedstock demand plays only a small role in global food supply and pricing, reports the Ethanol Producer Magazine.

According to them, that expressed position by Schafer and Bodman sparked the ire of some in the poultry industry who do not agree with it. In a written statement dated June 2 Dr. Thomas Elam, president of FarmEcon LLC, said the prices of many other agricultural commodities have been profoundly affected. “For some important products corn prices are very important,” Elam said. “The 2008 increase in corn prices caused by ethanol production has increased the feed costs of the U.S. broiler industry by over $4 billion. The implications for beef, pork, poultry and dairy producers are not small.”

Lonnie Pilgrim, chairman of Pilgrim’s Pride, also voiced his disagreement in a letter sent to partners and growers. Pilgrim said the federal renewable fuels standard (RFS) mandate has created an artificial demand for corn ethanol which has caused an increase in production costs for his company.

View the Ethanol Producer Magazine story by clicking here.

5m Editor