A report issued last week by the National Research Council (NRC) found that the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has “contributed to upward price pressure on agricultural commodities, food and livestock feed since 2007.”

The NRC report concluded that the “(livestock) market has experienced increased competition from the biofuels market.”

The NRC discovered that while distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), which is a byproduct of the ethanol production process that can be fed to livestock, can reduce some of the pressure, its use is limited because it impairs “efficient production and the quality of the (livestock) products.”

Finally, the NRC found that it is highly unlikely that the ethanol industry can meet the RFS mandate to produce 16 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2022.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has repeatedly warned about the negative – if unintended – consequences of U.S. biofuels policy on the U.S. pork industry, especially in the event of a feedgrain shortage.

“A thorough evaluation of the nation’s renewable energy policies can lead to solutions that support production of renewable energy without damaging pork producers and other feedgrain users or without unnecessarily raising food costs for consumers,” says NPPC Vice President Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, MN.