The Wisconsin Corn Growers Association (WCGA) is asking farmers to submit comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the agency’s proposed renewable fuel rule and its draft ecological assessment for atrazine. Both issues could impact the prices and cost of production for corn farmers.
On renewable fuels, EPA has proposed to set the renewable volume obligation (RVO) annual target for corn-based ethanol 200 million gallons below the amount set by Congress in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The proposed 2017 RVO standard would effectively cut corn usage by 71.4 million bushels.
“EPA continues to short-change ethanol in its proposed RVOs,” said Casey Kelleher, president of WCGA. “There is no doubt the RFS and ethanol is working for America. EPA’s reduction in statutory targets takes us backward on the gains we’ve made on our environment, our economy and our energy security.”
Corn growers have until July 11 to comment on EPA’s proposed corn-based ethanol target. Growers can comment on EPA’s RVO proposed rule online at: www.ncga.com/rfs.
The EPA also issued its draft Ecological Risk Assessment for atrazine. EPA recommends reducing the aquatic life level of concern nearly three times less than current levels, and seven times less than scientific studies have indicated as acceptable.
WCGA said EPA has used false logic in its ecological risk assessment, which would effectively ban the use of atrazine in most farming areas in the U.S.
“EPA has discounted 7,000 rigorous, high-quality scientific studies and didn’t adhere to its own high standards,” said Kelleher. “Studies suggest farming without atrazine could cost corn farmers up to $59 per acre and would require much more tillage, leading to water and nutrient loss.”
Corn growers have until August 5 to comment on EPA’s proposed atrazine risk assessment. Growers can comment at www.ncga.com/atz.
WCGA is a membership organization that represents the interest of state corn growers in the growing and managing of corn grown both for on-farm feeding and commercial sale. WCGA brings together corn growers to provide information and education at regional corn conferences and the annual Wisconsin Corn/Soy EXPO. As part of NCGA, WCGA represents corn grower interests nationally and internationally and also sponsors annual corn yield contests.