News & Ideas


RFS Field Hearing Testimony from Jerry Calease from Golden Grain Energy

Full testimony as given by farmer and Golden Grain Energy Board Member Jerry Calease during RFS Field Hearing on June 25, 2015

A Farmer’s perspective of the EPA’s decision to lower the RVO’s of the RFS2      6-16-2015

  As a child from a farm family of 10 I would go with my father to help measure ASCS government acres in Butler County ,Iowa. When I asked my Dad why we had Kennedy{Government} acres his direct answer was because we farmers can produce too much corn. That is also why we have so many government loan seal stickers on the corn cribs we measured as the farmers put the corn under loan in the Farmer Owned Reserve.

On my 21st birthday {4-6-73} my wife and I started farming and our landlord{ a retired attorney who lived thru the depression & the New Deal Era} also advised us to participate in the government programs. His viewpoint was the US government knew best how to keep the economy growing and that if the farmers had dollars to spend it would help everyone.Well we have had to learn many acronyms and programs in the past 42 years from ARC to LDP to PIK plus many more like CCP , CSP & CRP.Each program had a purpose and run for a period of years.

Today with over 5 billion bushels of corn making it’s 1st stop at an ethanol plant to be processed into ethanol,corn oil and DDG’S I have to wonder just how big the Farmer Owned Reserve would be and how low the price of corn would be without the RFS2.

 As a child we thought 80-100 bushel per acre was a great corn yield.Today we produce in excess of 200 bushels using much less commercial fertilizer per bushel.We also use best management practices to sustain our soils and protect our waterways with CRP buffers.

Our farm equipment & technologies as well as the seed germplasym is so much better today than in past years. Just think of the yield increases our farmers have produced since the RFS1 was passed by Congress.This incremental increase in yield per acre should in of itself been enough to make the RVO go up for dry grind corn ethanol production!

The American Farmer answered the challenge of Former President George W. Bush when he asked us to help end our addiction to foreign oil. We not only grew the corn but we also helped build a Renewable Fuels Industry that went from 300 million gallons of production to a capacity of over 14 billion gallons.Many of these plants were built and financed similar to Golden Grain Energy LLC with 700+ shareholders investing their hard-earned dollars to create jobs and a market for their corn.

Unfortunately the EPA has created an aura of distrust and uncertainty over the past couple years due to their inability to make timely positive growth decisions for the RFS2.If the EPA has the authority to decrease the RVO of RFS2 by Congress intent under what scenario or set of circumstances will the EPA increase the dry grind portion for corn ethanol? Obviously the EPA did not when we have produced 2years back to back of 14 billion bushel corn crops and corn prices plummeted

Over 50 % or when E-85 blends are selling at the pump for $1.00 less than regular gas? I can not understand the EPA’s possible reasoning for lowering the RVO’s for dry grind corn ethanol

Production.

 I have no doubts our farmers and the industry can produce all the ethanol needed to move to E-15 & higher blends nationwide.This would help immensely in reaching our national goals of less than 25% imported fuels by 2025.

 I fully understand the economic impact the RFS & RFS2 has had in our rural communities and how that affects the jobs in peripheral industries as well . The farm equipment,grain bin manufacturers and auto industry have all benefited.The Renewable Fuels industry also has had a huge impact on the state and federal tax revenues as well.

The EPA’s indecision of the past has stymied investment opportunities not only for dry grind corn ethanol but also for the biofuels technologies as well! I have visited with the EPA administrators {Karl Brooks & Janet McCabe} before about this and I sincerely hope you not only hear but also listen to what the people here today in Kansas City, Kansas have to inform you.Together we can build a stronger more energy self reliant nation and a robust economy.

Thank-You for allowing me to share my opinion with you today.Please don’t Mess with the RVO’s of the RFS2.We need the growth for our families and our nation.

  Jerry A. Calease

 


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