Corn Price Problems
Some Twin Tiers farms are struggling in this economy, but one Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to repeal a mandate to help local growers break even.
August 14, 2012
Northern Tier (WENY) - Some Twin Tiers farms are struggling in this economy, but one Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to repeal a mandate to help local growers break even. U-S Senator Pat Toomey was at Mansfield University to talk about job creation among other issues. It was a packed house at the town hall meeting and local dairy farmers say they're looking for more answers, especially when it comes to making it through the nationwide drought. Senator Pat Toomy represents a lot of dairy farmers. Farmers like Jeff Barns. Jeff's family owned and operated dairy farm has been around since 1847, but if things don't change in Washington, it may not be around much longer.
“We still have to buy our soy beans and our minerals. Then we have a year where it doesn’t rain like it didn't for six weeks then you wonder what your going to feed your cows,” says Barnes.
The problem is Ethanol mandates and the recent drought which are driving the price of corn way up. The mandates force fuel blenders to put corn based ethanol into gasoline, but Senator Toomey says it's taking corn away from the market.
“It's actually 40 percent of all the corn we grow in America is being used this way its not an efficient source of transportation fuel its not even good for the environment and it's terrible for the agriculture sector. So this is one of the reasons I would like to repeal this ethanol mandate,” says Toomey.
Jeff is lucky, he can save some money by growing his own corn and use that in his feed. Despite the issues and barley breaking even he says he loves his job.
“If I didn't love dairy farming I probably would have quit a long time ago. I grew up with it its in my blood hopefully some day my kids will like it and love it.”
Right now legislation to adjust or eliminate the ethanol mandate is stalled in election year gridlock in Congress.