Grower survey shows strong support for wind power development

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2001 — In a survey of the nations’ corn growers, the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) found overwhelming support for wind power development and its positive impact on production agriculture.

At the same time, the survey shows farmers continue to question the seriousness of the global warming debate and any detrimental effects it would have on farm productivity. The survey was conducted by Robinson and Muenster Associates Inc. of Sioux Falls, South Dakota as part of the ACGA’s Wealth From the Wind Program. In all, 509 farmers were surveyed with a reliability factor of +/- 4.5 percent.

“Corn producers recognize that wind power generation can be a positive force in diversifying farm income and making land more productive if proper governmental incentives are offered,” said Larry Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of the ACGA. “While 88 percent of those surveyed support the development of wind power, 49.5 percent believe that wind power can provide additional farm income and another 47 percent would be willing to invest in wind power projects.”

While wind programs drew a positive response, 62.3 percent of corn growers believe the debate over global climate change is either overblown or imaginary, 53.6 percent don’t take the threat of climate change seriously and 64.6 percent do not believe the productivity of their farms are threatened by a changing climate.

“Although farmers have a negative response to concerns about climate change, 56.4 percent believe that carbon sequestration can reduce greenhouse gas emission. Another 85.1 percent said that wind power should be promoted if it helps reduce emissions and helps reduce the threat of global warming,” said Dan McGuire, Policy Committee Chairman of the ACGA. “Even though farmers may be skeptical about global climate change, they recognize that positive and proactive measures by production agriculture, including wind power generation and ethanol utilization, can help clean the environment and reduce harmful emissions.”

The Wealth From the Wind Program, developed by the American Corn Growers Foundation, recognizes the economic and environmental benefits of wind power generation on America’s farmers and rural communities and unites production agriculture in the promotion and development of farmer-owned wind cooperatives and other wind projects all across the Midwest.

The complete survey can be found on the Internet at http://www.acga.org or http://www.acgf.org .

SOURCE: American Corn Growers Association

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