The National Chicken Council (NCC) expressed concern following The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release earlier this week of the proposed 2017 biofuel required volume obligation (RVO) under the renewable fuel standard (RFS), which will require refiners to blend up to 18.8 billion gallons of biofuels into the U.S. fuel supply next year. The mandate for conventional corn-based ethanol was proposed to be 14.8 billion gallons, up from 14.5 billion gallons for 2016.
The concern from the poultry industry stems from the impact RFS has shown to have on the price of corn. In the broiler industry, the cost of corn makes up a vast majority of the cost of feed, with corn composing up to 70 percent of the total feed composition for broilers. Since the implementation of the RFS began in 2005, the broiler industry has faced $53 billion in higher actual feed costs.
“EPA is proposing to guarantee a record domestic volume to ethanol producers for the fifth year in a row,” said NCC President Mike Brown. “In creating an artificial demand for corn based ethanol beyond what the fuel market can bear, the EPA’s proposal will certainly have unintended consequences for other corn users who are not guaranteed market growth for their products. If the EPA proposal stays put, consumers will see higher prices at the pump and on the plate.”
Brown noted that the proposed volume equates to nearly 10.4 percent of projected total fuel use in 2017 according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) projections.
“The unrealistic volume for ethanol proposed today by the EPA ensures that the chicken industry, as well as all of animal agriculture, remains only one flood, freeze, or drought away from another crisis,” he said.