The National Corn Growers Association’s conference on land use and carbon impacts of corn ethanol, concluding today in St. Louis, has offered participants a broad view of a significant topic as Washington braces to continue debates on climate change legislation and the future of ethanol.

“With the U.S. Senate expected in September to take up a climate bill passed by the House this summer, and the Environmental Protection Agency considering a request to expand the allowable blend of ethanol into gasoline, the conference has provided a deep and broad look at the impact of ethanol production on agriculture and the environment,” said Steve Ruh, an Illinois farmer who chairs NCGA’s ethanol committee. “It’s been a day and a half of penetrating presentations, thoughtful questions and friendly debates.”

said that NCGA, with its reputation as an honest broker, was perhaps the best organization to pull together so many respected speakers and different viewpoints. “We’re proud to have put this together for the participants and we know it will serve as an important resource for the next several months of briefings, hearings, meetings and negotiations.”

Wednesday, the full day of programs included three breakout sessions and remarks by Dr. Pat Westhoff of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, Dr. Bruce Sherr of Informa Economics, Joel Velasco of the Brazilian Sugarcane Association, Tom Darlington of Air Improvement Resource and Chris Holdgreve of the National Grain and Feed Association.

AgriTalk, a radio and web news program, featured the conference for two hours Wednesday morning. Click here for video and audio coverage.

Click here for a photo album of Tuesday’s sessions.