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US Corn (zea mays) Use For Fuel Ethanol as Percent of National Production

Source: EarthWatch

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Jun 26th, 2007 at 11:58:25 PM EST
Do I read that right as saying 20% of US corn is used to produce ethanol?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 02:36:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can only offer anecdotal evidence, but in the three supermarkets I've visited in the past week the availability of fresh corn has been extremely limited.

Usually at this time of year their are huge piles of the stuff, but I've only seen small displays with perhaps 100 ears in them.

I think the price has gone up as well. In the height of summer one can get five ears for a dollar, now it is more like two or three.

Since most of the US food supply depends upon corn one way or the other the implications will be interesting. Pigs, cows and chickens are all fed corn. Most sweetened products contain high fructose corn syrup. Even farmed fish like catfish is fed a corn-based feed.

Milk and diary products have just gone up in price and the excuse is the higher cost of feed for the cows...

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 10:03:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweet corn is however a separate crop from cattle-feed corn. The way sweet corn supply might falter, though, is that farmers might see a better profit growing regular cattle-feed corn for ethanol, than in growing sweet corn.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 28th, 2007 at 10:16:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that is it ... I have not seen hard numbers, but I have read that Ohio's soybean production is likely to be off, because of shifting fields into corn production.

When I was a kid growing up in the countryside east of Columbus, Ohio, sweet corn was commonly rotated in after some years of soybeans ... because we were one country over from a city of half a million. But its not there anymore ... outer suburban sprawl ate the countryside.

But sweet corn is more labor intensive, and if regular corn is bringing in high prices, farmers'll switch.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Jun 29th, 2007 at 03:00:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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