Three billion gallons of ethanol production capacity will come online in 2007, giving supplies an opportunity to come into balance with demand, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) was told recently.

Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), made a presentation to the NCGA Corn Board, meeting in Washington, D.C. With increased production and the growing supply of E-85 vehicles, ethanol will move beyond its role as a clean-air additive to become a true alternative fuel, he said.

Along with increasing overall production capacity, the ethanol industry is making important strides in producing ethanol from corn stover and other cellulosic materials, said Dinneen.

NCGA President Ken McCauley agreed with Dinneen’s assessment. “The industry is a lot closer to manufacturing ethanol from corn cellulose than many people think,” McCauley said. “Corn cellulose will become as important to the ethanol industry as corn starch already is.”

Dinneen also said that ethanol produced from corn would always be the foundation of the renewable fuels industry. “I value our partnership,” Dinneen told Corn Board members. “We have common objectives and a common vision.”

NCGA’s Corn Board was in Washington, D.C. to meet with Congressional leaders, discuss NCGA’s National Farm Security Act proposal and deal with NCGA business.