Ethanol Production Used More Corn than Farmers in Past Year
October 13, 2011 1:01 PM
comment(s) - last by
Much of the ethanol produced from the corn was exported overseas
When it comes to removing our dependence on foreign oil there are other options than using electricity or hydrogen to power cars. One of the options is using
to replace some of the petroleum used in our gasoline. The big downside is that most of the ethanol produced in the U.S. today is made from corn.
Corn is an important food crop that is consumed by humans and used as feed for livestock and other animals. Scientific America reports that for every ten ears of corn grown in the U.S. today, only two are consumed by humans as food. The other ears are used for animal feed and ethanol production.
The numbers show that for the year spanning August 2010 to August 2011 the biofuel industry used more corn than farmers used for animal feed and residual demand. This is the first time more corn has been used for ethanol and shows a shifting balance that could spell trouble in the future. Over that year span, farmers used 5 billion bushels of corn and ethanol production used 5.05 billion bushels. Some of that corn did return to the food supply as animal feed and corn oil.
The fear is that the shift from food being the largest use for corn and fuel taking the top spot is a concern that could have significant impact on the world grain market. One of the reasons for the shift to ethanol use for corn is the government subsidies and the import tariffs on foreign ethanol.
Steven Rattner said in a piece written for the
, “Because of the subsidy, ethanol became cheaper than gasoline, and so we sent 397 million gallons of ethanol overseas last year. America is simultaneously importing costly foreign oil and subsidizing the export of its equivalent.”
That means much of the corn being used for fuel isn't making it into American fuel tanks so we still have to import more foreign oil to meet our fuel needs. Some in Congress are working hard to get the subsidies repealed and to lift the import tariff so that cheaper biofuels made from sugarcane can be imported from Brazil. There is also a lot of research going into making ethanol from other crops like
Rattner also wrote, "Even farm advocates like former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman agree that the [ethanol] situation must be fixed. Reports filtering out of the budget talks currently under way suggest that agriculture subsidies sit prominently on the chopping block. The time is ripe."
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: What the ****?
10/13/2011 3:29:42 PM
Oh yeah silly me, the BIG one being transportation costs. Food has to be delivered to the stores obviously. When diesel fuel hit $4/gal food prices jumped up big time. And have never really gone back down.
RE: What the ****?
10/13/2011 8:43:57 PM
Considering the economic outlook i'd worry more about inflation then gas prices. Inflation has been rising since december 2010. It's now as high as it was was in october 2007 (as well as octrober 2008, high point was in july 2008) and rising.
The big difference being the benchmark interest rate then was 5%, now it's been <0,25% for a long time. That interest rate controls other things, like the amount it costs to service the national debt. How much difference does that 5% make? Thanks to the US government it's easy to show:
In fiscal 2008, the amount of interest paid on the national debt was $451 billion
In fiscal 2011, the amount of interest paid on the national debt was $454 billion
In fiscal 2008, the national debt amounted to $10 trillion
In fiscal 2011, the national debt amounted to $14,8 trillion
So there are 2 options: raise interest rates to combat inflation again, and watch that $454 billion turn into a trillion at 5% interest rates (which still isn't enough because before the crisis it was still rising at those rates and your not printing less money),or don't raise the interest and watch inflation raise prices. Guess what will happen.
...well it's that or the trillion in national debt interest causes so much layoffs that prices will have to decrease which causes a deflationary spiral.
At this point it's dealer's choice really. Do you prefer massive inflation or massive deflation?
"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes
Researchers Harvest Enzymes From Heat-Loving Fungi for Cheaper Biofuels
October 3, 2011, 1:17 PM
Switchgrass's Dirty Secret May Make Seaweed Biofuel Crop of Choice
August 30, 2011, 12:01 PM
EPA Drastically Cuts Cellulosic Ethanol Requirement in Fuel for 2012
June 22, 2011, 11:50 AM
Hot Air? President Obama, G7 Pledge to Eliminate Most Fossil Fuel Use by 2100
June 8, 2015, 5:40 PM
Study Predicts Self-Driving Vehicles Could Rake in Billions
March 6, 2015, 8:34 AM
Dual-Motor Tesla Model S P85D's "Insane Mode" Shocks Passengers
January 28, 2015, 11:18 PM
2016 Cadillac CTS-V Packs 640 hp Punch with 200 mph Reach
January 23, 2015, 3:25 PM
BMW Testing Tech to Allow Users to Auto-Park, Summon Cars Via Smartwatch
December 16, 2014, 9:30 AM
Lamborghini Offers Up $6,000 Leather-Bound Android Smartphone
December 12, 2014, 3:12 PM
Most Popular Articles
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Windows 10 to Get New Features in October Service Release 2 (SR2)
July 30, 2015, 5:50 PM
Cortana Help Button is Coming Soon for $23
July 30, 2015, 5:07 PM
EA Set to Milk the Star Wars Cash Cow w/ Video Games
July 31, 2015, 12:36 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information