USDA’s latest projections showing declining corn supplies in the United States will continue to push corn prices skyward and consumer food bills significantly higher.

“Declining corn supplies will put demand for corn by the ethanol industry and livestock and poultry producers on a collision course that can mean just one thing: higher feed prices and higher food prices,” says American Meat Institute (AMI) President J. Patrick Boyle.

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) projects that U.S. corn production for 2011-2012 will be 417 million bushels lower than expected; corn yields across most of the Corn Belt are also forecasted to be lower. Globally, corn stocks are also expected to decline.

“If the message wasn’t clear already, this latest report puts a bold exclamation point on the need to end national policies that encourage the burning of food for fuel. This policy hurts our nation’s livestock and poultry sectors and it hurts American consumers,” Boyle says.

Boyle adds that an ethanol blender’s tax credit and tariffs on imported ethanol should be allowed to expire at the end of 2011. All government policies concerning corn-based ethanol should be reviewed and addressed, such as the Renewable Fuels Mandate and efforts to increase the ethanol blend levels in gasoline. This is the first time in history that the ethanol industry is expected to use more corn than is used for animal feed.

“With our nation’s economy stalled and Americans struggling to make ends meet, it is essential that we curtail our federal policy of burning food for fuel,” he adds. “There are some economic factors that are difficult to control, but this is a situation where our government has not allowed the marketplace to work.

Boyle encourages Americans to visit to learn more, sign an online petition and find helpful information about stretching your meat dollar.