Major poultry producers are worried about future corn prices they say could be driven up by rising ethanol demand. Speaking at the National Chicken Council's annual conference, leaders from companies including Gold Kist Inc., and Pilgrim's Pride, warned of a potential bidding war between poultry producers and ethanol plants, according to wire service reports.
One official told the group that by 2008, ethanol could consume up to 25% of the corn produced in the United States; such demand would push the corn price higher. The same official told the group that to meet that demand, the U.S. needs to pull about 35 million acres of land out of the conservation reserve program. The aim is to make sure there's enough land for corn production.
However, officials comment the spike in corn demand and the resulting price rise may be a short-term issue. Research is already underway for other feedstocks to make ethanol.