Congress still needs to pass the Farm Bill. The Senate did their part, now its in the House of Representatives hands. Food, drought relief, assistance to low-income families, renewable energy are all on the line in this Farm Bill.
Please join the Nebraska Farmers Union in helping us email and tweet Rep. Terry, Fortenberry and Smith urging them to pass the Farm Bill now.
#1. It is urgent to let your Congressional Delegation that we need a Farm Bill! Nebraska may be experiencing one of its worse droughts ever, but this is no time for farmers and ranchers to be left in the dust.
#2. Nebraska Farmers Union is not only raising the issue of the need for a Farm Bill, but also the importance of a Farmer Owned Grain Reserve, or a Market Driven Inventory System (MDIS) as a key component. In drought years like this, MDIS would ensure a supply of feed for livestock farmers while helping to stabilize commodity prices. This would also yield additional markets for farmers, serve as a safety net, create a steady supply of bio-fuel stock, and cost very little money to implement.
#3. Don’t mess with the RFS. Taking down the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) will not solve any current problems. The RFS, which ensures transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuels such as ethanol, is in large part the reason that commodity (& indirectly livestock) prices have been higher over the past few years. Temporarily or permanently shutting down the RFS would endanger this trend.
Also, if the price of corn goes up (as with this drought), ethanol plants will likely cut back production or temporarily shut down on their own (as is the case currently).
On top of this, all ethanol plants already make use of Distillers Grains, the byproduct of ethanol, which is used as feed for cattle, therefore not wasting corn as feed.
Finally, ending the RFS would be halting the expansion of the bio-fuel industry which means no new markets for farmers with 2nd generation bio-fuel sources such as cellulosic ethanol and bio-diesel.