Livestock Producers Face Ethanol Makers Over Cost Of Corn

The flooding and record heat that have combined to shrink this year's corn crop are feeding new calls from livestock producers to weaken the government's ethanol mandates.

Producers told the House Agriculture Committee that tightening grain supplies are driving up feed costs further and threatening to push many poultry farms and others out of business.

"We have serious, immediate concerns about the availability and cost of feed ingredients caused by the mandated use of corn-based ethanol," says Ted Seger, president of Farbest Foods Inc., a turkey producer in Indiana.

More than 20% of the chicken industry, as measured by production, has been sold to foreign-owned companies because of bankruptcies in the U.S. industry over the last three years, he says.

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