A pair of commodity groups is pointing to recent USDA harvest estimates for corn and beans as proof there has been little change in land use despite fuel uses of corn and beans.
Based on the latest USDA report American farmers are expected to produce more than 12.7 billion bushels of corn this year, and more than 3.1 billion bushels of soybeans. The corn figure is second highest on record and the bean figure is a record.
U.S. Grains Council CEO Ken Hobbie says, "The United States is more than able to continue supplying domestic and international customers with necessary feedgrains," as well as meeting the needs of the fuel and food industries. "This report emphasizes again how important building and maintaining both domestic and international markets are to the overall profitability of U.S. farmers," he notes. "Both ethanol production and coarse grain exports are projected to heavily contribute to the bottom line of U.S. producers going forward."
Also, from Washington, D.C., Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, an ethanol producer organization, says, "Today's record breaking estimates of this year's corn and soybean harvest are proof of what the ethanol industry has been saying from the start: the theory of indirect land usage is flawed and not based on facts. Based on these reports, it's silly to still think that the demand for corn in the U.S. to make ethanol would displace land used to plant soybeans and in turn cause deforestation in other parts of the world."
The 2009 harvest forecast indicates U.S. production is sufficient to meet domestic food and fuel needs as well as additional supplies to export.