It’s no secret that the Carolinas are grain deficit states, and this year’s Midwestern drought has put a real financial pinch on pork and poultry producers in the terms of feed costs. Randy Gordon, President of the National Grain & Feed Association in Washington addresses feed costs, and other issues regarding grain production:
“We really need to have a good crop next year. One of the things NGFA is pushing for is to try and get some relief in releasing some acres from the Conservation Preserve program. Our foundation did a study this year that showed of the 29 million acres, there are at least 8 million acres that are productive farm land that could come out and be farmed in a very environmentally sustainable way. We are very supportive of the House farm bill language now that would mandate that USDA offer a penalty for the early out of those kinds of acres if they have been in CRP for at least five years. Right now the economic penalties are so high that it prohibits producers from doing that.
Unfortunately some of those acres are in areas that did get quite a bit of rain and are producing a lot of corn right now. But it would all depend on the weather.
One of the bio tech issues we are working on right now with a number of producer organizations like National Corn Growers Association and American Soybean Association is bringing all of our stake holders together to talk about how can we better manage bio technology introduction in the US and the future to make sure those crops are marketable. We have some discussions starting this month to talk about issues like we don’t want to delay the introduction of planning of bio tech in the US because we are supportive of it and we need the volume. We do need to draw some agreements if trade is introduced early before foreign markets prove it. What kind of stewardship plans do we need to have in place and what liabilities should be associated with those so that commodity does not get loose in the general commodity stream before these foreign market approval come about.”
President of the National Grain & Feed Association, Randy Gordon.