Livestock farmers seek pause in ethanol production

Livestock farmers and ranchers seeing their feed costs rise because of the worst drought in a quarter-century are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency waive production requirements for corn-based ethanol. The Obama administration sees no need for a waiver, siding with corn growers – many of them in presidential election battleground states Iowa and Ohio – who continue to support the mandate.
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Livestock farmers and ranchers seeing their feed costs rise because of the worst drought in a quarter-century are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency waive production requirements for corn-based ethanol. The Obama administration sees no need for a waiver, siding with corn growers – many of them in presidential election battleground states Iowa and Ohio – who continue to support the mandate.

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Federal law requires that gasoline be blended with ethanol or other biofuels. About 40 percent of the nation's corn now goes toward ethanol production. But in a year when dry weather will mean less corn and higher prices, Minnesota's Chip Cravaack is among Congressmen urging that more of the crop be used as food.

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