The Ethanol Mandate’s Effect on Farmers

September 3, 2014

Lucas Deniz of Deniz Dairy, a family-run farm in Petaluma, California, said that the Renewable Fuel Standard — America’s ever-increasing prescription for biofuels — has been financially devastating due to skyrocketing feed costs caused by increased demand from biofuels producers for corn.

And he’s not the only farmer experiencing hardship since this policy has been enacted. Here’s a shocking stat for you: the median U.S. farm income is negative $1,453.

But if you listen to the ethanol lobby, you’d never know that family farmers are hurting.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), despite its original intentions to protect our environment and increase corn prices, has become just another form of corporate welfare, benefiting ethanol producers while average farms struggle to remain competitive.

In order to cash in on high crop prices driven by the ethanol mandate, famers across the country have converted millions of acres of land to corn fields and abandoned other less in-demand crops. After years of land conversion America now finds itself with a glut of corn, pulling the prices of the commodity back down.

Thanks to mandated demand and low input costs, ethanol producers are experiencing record profits while average farmers struggle.

We like farmers, in fact almost one-third of our coalition represents farmers, but this policy only helps big business and its negative environmental consequences continue to manifest across the country — it’s time to end the failing policy.