Livestock farmers are demanding a change in the nation's ethanol policy, claiming current rules could lead to higher meat prices if corn growers have a bad year.
The amount of corn used by the ethanol industry and demand overseas has farmers worried if corn production drops sharply, feed costs could skyrocket, forcing them to reduce their herd size.
That, they say, could result in smaller meat supplies and higher prices at grocery stores.
The ethanol industry says that's unlikely but farmers have the backing of food manufacturers, who also fear a federal mandate to increase ethanol production will protect that industry from any rationing amid a corn shortage.
A Virginia congressman has introduced a bill that would partially waive the ethanol goals when corn inventories are low.