Omaha Public Radio News
3:11 am
Mon August 18, 2008

Senate Agriculture Committee brings ethanol hearing to Omaha

Omaha, NE – Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson want to know if ethanol is to blame for higher food and feed prices.

Senators Harkin and Nelson held a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing Monday in Omaha. Testimony came from the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Pork Producers Association, ethanol advocates, and ag industry experts.

Senator Nelson acknowledges that ethanol isn't perfect, but he says the fuel additive is being blamed for many problems. Iowa Corn Growers Association President Tim Recker says ethanol is important to that state's economy. He blames high oil costs for increased food and fuel prices.

Iowa Pork Producers Association President Dave Moody says supply and demand is causing a wide variation in commodity prices. That, he says, is hurting livestock farmers. He called on Congress to invest more money in research and development.