Two U.S. states that depend on the livestock industry are adding their voices to a string of states asking Washington to ease pressure on corn prices by suspending rules that send a large share of the crop to produce ethanol.
Georgia, the center of U.S. poultry production, and New Mexico, with its large cattle industry, this week asked federal officials to suspend a program that encourages converting corn into ethanol fuel.
Roughly 13 billion gallons of ethanol are due to be blended with gasoline this year under a federal renewable fuels mandate meant to bolster domestic energy sources. The rules can be waived under a formal appeal from a state to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Livestock farmers complain that demand for ethanol wrongly diverts a large share of the feed corn they need and drives up prices already inflated by a long dry season.