It’s been a tough year for Iowa corn farmers.
“Are we going to have a short crop this year? Yes we are,” said Amanda Taylor, the Senior Policy Advisor for the Iowa Corn Growers Association.
The USDA is predicting the lowest yields since 1995. However, hope is coming in the form of high prices that could reach $8.00 per bushel in the fall.
That’s not sitting well with the governors of Maryland and Delaware who are asking for a waiver of the renewable fuels standard, which puts greater emphasis on ethanol.
“We need 40% of our corn crop in Iowa to go to ethanol,” said Iowa farmer, Allen Burt.
In letters to the EPA, those two governors say that waiving the standard would make more corn available for feed and drive down the price.
The Iowa Corn Growers Association disagrees, referring to a study by Iowa State professor of economics Bruce Babcock.
He says waiving the mandate in 2012-2013 would only reduce prices by 28 cents per bushel.
What would hurt Iowa corn growers however is a full repeal of the mandate.
With a repeal, more corn would be used for feed which goes at a lower price instead of using corn for ethanol.
“That’s a long term policy that if it went away, would have a huge impact on Iowa farmers,” Taylor told Channel 13 News.
Corn growers also argue that it’s only August and that corn is still in the ground.
“Farmers across the state are saying we’ll never know what we’re actually going to get until we run the combines,” said Burt.
“If you talk to any farmer, they’ll tell you they don’t know what’s in the field right now. It’s variable across the state and variable within their own fields,” said Taylor.
They’re hoping that the EPA realizes that a waiver is premature.