DC, June 14, 2004, Crop Choice: A just-completed
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 The Wind 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.
Dan 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 energy
- 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 energy projects.
- 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
- 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
- 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 capacity.
- 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 farms.
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 have posted
the complete survey results and marginal reports at