As I travel the district and talk to the farmers I represent, one issue comes up again and again in conversation: grain prices.  Farmers will tell you they’re pretty happy not only because grain prices are going up, but because they’re rising during harvest, which almost never happens. It’s not a modest rise, either.  Corn prices are up 50 cents a bushel in the last three weeks!

The reason for the spike?  Experts say it’s because of the anticipated demand for ethanol created by the 2005 energy bill.  Our Energy Policy Act nearly doubled the standard for renewable fuel consumption, ensuring there would be a market for ethanol and biodiesel.  The results will be cleaner air and, as we’re already seeing, higher farm prices.

I advocate we continue to build on the success of the 2005 energy bill by increasing the Renewable Fuel Standard to 25 billion gallons a year by 2025.  While there’s more work to do, it is clear our efforts are showing positive results.