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Exports still important for corn growers

by 5m Editor
23 February 2007, at 10:29am

US - With all the attention focus on renewable fuels, the export market has not been getting much attention. Yet corn growers say it is still an important part of the ag economy.

National Corn Growers Association First Vice-President Ron Litterer says some think, with the advent of a national fuels market for ethanol, there’s no longer a need to export corn. He says they’re wrong. Litterer says, those who assume the US can stop exporting corn don’t understand how important trade is for all of agriculture.

He argues agriculture can’t stand to lose the coming battle in Congress over renewing presidential Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) which runs out June 30th. “Our Japanese customers…they very much want to buy corn…and they know they’re going to have to pay more for it. So, trade is still going to be a big part of all the ag commodities’ business…and, not only corn, but the livestock. Ten-percent of our pork, today, is exported. So, it’s very important for states like Indiana, and other Midwestern states, that we have TAP…and we can move these bilateral agreements forward,” he said.

Meantime, Litterer understands the argument made by some livestock groups that want to scale back ethanol tax breaks, but argues, with the industry is still in its “infancy” and trying to meet soaring demand, now’s not the time.

Source: Hoosier Ag Today

5m Editor