Indiana Farm Bureau
November 12, 2013
For more information: Kyle Cline, 317-502-7415 (cell) or 317-692-7845 (office)
Andy Dietrick, 317-452-6697 (cell) or 317-692-7818 (office)
Kathleen Dutro, 317-692-7824 (office) or 317-727-0607 (cell)
Statement on corn ethanol
The 25x’25 Alliance, a coalition united behind the goal of securing 25 percent of the nation’s energy needs from renewable sources by the year 2025, has put together a fact sheet on the inaccuracies and omissions in the Associated Press article on ethanol.
We are disappointed by the Associated Press article on corn ethanol. It is a poorly researched and poorly sourced article that presents a completely unbalanced account of the effects of corn production and ethanol on the environment and parrots Big Oil propaganda that’s designed to undermine the ethanol sector.
A much more balanced picture is available from a recent multi-state land-use study done by Decision Innovation Solutions, an Iowa-based economic research firm, which used National Agricultural Statistics Service figures to provide hard data about changes in land use and to identify the factors that contributed to that change. Indiana Farm Bureau joined with six other Midwestern states to fund the study.
Among the findings of the study:
- The increase in corn acres in 2012 and 2013 has been achieved through crop-switching, not through cultivation of non-agricultural acreage such as prairieland. Farmers have reduced plantings of other crops to accommodate the increase in corn, and yields for all crops have continued to trend upward. Total cropland continues to trend downward and is roughly 5 percent lower than levels in the late 1990s.
- Total field crop acreage in Indiana was 12,900,000 in 1998 and then steadily decreased until the early 2000s where it has remained relatively flat since. In 2012, total field crop acres planted was 12,400,000.
- In Indiana, there was greater net change of grassy habitat to non-grassy habitat to soybeans than corn. The total net change of grassy habitat in Indiana from 2007-2012 was only 0.3 percent or 80,000 acres.