Citing a new study by the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri, Senator Kit Bond, R-Mo., on Tuesday warned of the disastrous effect the Democrats' cap and trade legislation will have on Missouri farmers. The FAPRI study found that the legislation will cost the average Missouri farmer an additional $11,000 a year in 2020 and more than $30,000 a year by 2050.
During a July 14 hearing by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Bond outlined the higher costs Missouri farmers will face under H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. He called the current bill a "new bureaucratic nightmare that will impose new energy taxes, kill jobs and punish Midwest farmers."
The FAPRI Study, which examined farm production costs representative of Missouri farms across the state, found that under the cap and trade bill, farmers will face higher costs for seed, fertilizer, chemicals, custom hire and rental, machinery fuel, drying and irrigation energy, machinery repairs and operating interests. Specifically, FAPRI found that a farm representative of a 1,900-acre feed grain-soybean farm in Lafayette County would face an additional $11,649 in energy costs in 2020, rising to $30,152 in 2050.
Bond also took aim at the massive costs associated with carbon-offset programs being supported by the Obama administration and congressional democrats. Many have suggested farmers begin planting trees to earn carbon sequestration revenues.
According to a local Missouri nursery, to plant trees on a 1,900-acre farm would cost more than $2 million, a cost of $1,200 per acre. This investment would earn a farmer only $75 per acre in sequestration revenue rather than the $750 per acre that farmer would have made from a corn and soybean harvest. It's an investment that will not "pencil out" for any Missouri farmer.
Rather than massive taxes on Missouri farmers and families, Bond has long supported reducing carbon emissions through increased use of zero-carbon nuclear power, low-carbon biofuels, increased investment in clean coal technologies, low-carbon hybrid and plug-in vehicles, and solar and wind power where it makes economic sense.
To read a summary of the MU-FAPRI study #05-09, "The Effect of Higher Energy Prices from H.R. 2454 on Missouri Crop Production Costs," visit www.fapri.missouri.edu.