A crop report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today shows U.S. corn supplies for 2012-2013 will hit a nine-year low due to the nation’s record-breaking drought and other factors, which will drive record corn prices even higher.

According to the crop report, corn is projected at a record $7.50 to $8.90 per bushel, up sharply from the $5.40 to $6.40 per bushel projected in July.

“These numbers highlight the crisis faced by livestock and poultry producers in simply trying to feed their animals. The report makes a waiver of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) ethanol mandate, which is exacerbating corn demand and prices, even more urgent,” says American Meat Institute (AMI) President J. Patrick Boyle.

“Last week, we joined a coalition in calling upon the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator to waive the Renewable Fuels Standard ethanol mandate,” Boyle says. “While we can’t force the skies to respond with rain, the government has the power to act immediately to ease pressure on corn by waiving the RFS.”

In the last week, 156 members of the House of Representatives and more than 30 senators have signed letters in support of an RFS waiver. Major newspapers like the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune also have urged EPA to act.

“We must ask: if this isn’t the tipping point for action on an RFS waiver, then what is?” Boyle concludes.