Ethanol boom puts pressure on farm
by Coral Davenport, CQ Staff, CQ GREEN
SHEETS April 16, 2007
As U.S. ethanol production booms, the White
House and many corn growers are squaring off
against environmental groups over the
conversion of preserved environmentally
sensitive land into farmland for corn and
other biofuel crops.
The House Agriculture Conservation, Credit,
Energy, and Research Subcommittee on Thursday
holds a hearing on the issue as it looks
toward reauthorization of the Farm Bill.
Pressure from both sides is expected to spark
debate as lawmakers revisit the billís
Currently, the Conservation Reserve Program
preserves 36 million acres from crop
production for environmental protection.
But under a White House budget proposal,
the Agriculture Department would not enroll
new acres in the Conservation Reserve Program.
The demand for corn ethanol is so great that
it would be more lucrative for farmers to
plant more corn rather than enroll their acres
in the land preservation program, USDA