WASHINGTON, June 14, 2004—A
national survey of corn producers, conducted by RMA
Research, Inc. of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for the American Corn
Growers Foundation (ACGF) found a strong, majority level of support
among farmers on a range of critical issues related to the future
growth of the U.S. wind industry. The ACGF Wealth From
survey, funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, was
completed on June 10, 2004. Five hundred farmers were polled in
sixteen top corn-producing states with over 90 percent of 2004
planted corn acreage based on USDA data. The random, scientific,
statistically valid survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent
at the 95 percent confidence level. Farmers surveyed had at least
one hundred acres of corn.
The eight major corn states of Iowa, Ill., Neb.,
Minn., Ind., S.D., Ohio and Wisc. accounted for eighty-four percent
of the farmers polled and the acreage. Iowa had the largest number
of farmers surveyed.
McGuire, CEO of the ACGF said, “U.S. corn farmers are unified to the
tune of seventy, eighty or ninety percent on the essential federal
and state wind energy policies needed to realize the tremendous
community-based renewable energy and rural economic development
potential that wind energy offers.” The survey shows that:
Ninety percent of corn farmers support the development of wind
Eighty-nine percent want the U.S. House of Representatives to
quickly pass the same wind energy production tax credit
extension as the U.S. Senate in order to encourage new wind
Seventy-two percent want a mandatory funding level of $23
million or greater in the Energy Title (Section 9006) of the
farm law in the 2005 Bush Administration budget for the purpose
of grants and loans to farmers, ranchers and rural America to
purchase renewable energy systems.
Eighty-nine percent want farmers, industry and public
institutions to promote wind as alternative energy.
Eighty-one percent are more inclined to invest in wind energy
because it helps clean the environment.
Seventy-seven percent want farmers to be offered financial
incentives such as production tax credits through government
programs to encourage wind energy development.
Seventy-seven percent want Congress and the Administration to
make a major commitment to the promotion of wind energy and
seventy-nine percent want them to encourage new transmission
Eighty-eight percent want other state legislatures to follow the
Minnesota wind incentive model.
Eighty-five percent want rural electric cooperatives to support
and promote wind energy.
Eighty-five percent want rural electric coops to follow the law,
the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA) in accordance
with the November 2003 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
ruling that ordered a rural electric coop to connect a
farmer-owned wind turbine to the electric grid.
Eighty-two percent agree that farmers, landowners and investors
should be able to sell electricity from wind turbines to public
power districts. They agree that public power districts should
be required to purchase electric power from farmer-owned wind
Gale Lush, ACGF
chairman from Wilcox, Neb. said, “Eighty-two percent in a
Nebraska-specific question agree that the Nebraska Public Power
District (NPPD), as a publicly-owned electric power reseller,
distributor and provider should be required to purchase electricity
from farmer-owned Nebraska wind farms. That’s great since Nebraska
is the only totally public power state in the country. Ninety
percent in Nebraska want rural electric cooperatives to work with
farmers by facilitating wind turbine connection to their power grid.
Nebraska has the sixth largest wind resource in the U.S. so it is
time for Nebraska to move ahead at the state level and capture this
great opportunity. The American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) is
keeping national policy makers informed on wind energy issues.”
Both the ACGF and ACGA websites will post the complete survey
results and marginal reports in the near future.