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I got a kick out of this story from the newest issue of Subsidy Watch:

New research from Missouri refutes allegations that ethanol mandates save money

A report from a Missouri-based research organization debunks the claim that Missourians are saving money through a state law requiring that retail gasoline contain a minimum of 10% ethanol. The report is in reaction to an assertion by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Association (MCMA), alleging that Missourians will save more than US$ 285 million through the E-10 mandate in 2008, and nearly US$ 2 billion over the following decade.

The MCMA arrived at these numbers by taking the price difference between pure-grade gasoline and E-10 blended fuel, and multiplying it by Missouri’s projected annual consumption.

However, the report by the Show Me Institute reveals two fundamental flaws with this calculation. One is that it fails to take into account the fact that E-10 blended fuel is cheaper because ethanol producers receive tax credits and other subsidies.

“Government officials cannot simply take tax dollars from the public, give those tax dollars to ethanol blenders, and then have ethanol supporters tell the public that ethanol is saving them money with cheaper fuel as though the subsidy never existed,” write the report’s authors, Justin P. Hauke and David Stokes.

The MCMA also does not take into account that E-10 blended fuel is about 2.5% less efficient than pure-grade gasoline, meaning that Missourians will be filling their tanks more often.

When both of these factors are taken into account, the ethanol blending mandates are shown to be costing Missourians about US$ 118 million per year.

“Although Missourians may pay nominally less for gasoline at the pump after the E-10 mandate, these savings will not reflect the actual cost Missourians would pay in complying with new ethanol fuel standards,” write the authors. “Ethanol subsidies are not free money — they are simply a wealth transfer from one taxpayer to another.”

The full report, “The Economic Impact of the Missouri E-10 Ethanol Mandate”, is available on-line by clicking here.

I hear these kinds of stories all the time. The corn/ethanol lobby wants credit for gasoline not keeping up with escalating oil prices (claiming it is ethanol that is keeping gasoline prices from keeping pace, but ignoring of course the fact that gasoline demand is softening due to the high price). They do not, however, want anything to do with claims that they have had an impact on food prices. So they won’t be happy about this:

Biofuels behind food price hikes: leaked World Bank report

LONDON (AFP) – Biofuels have caused world food prices to increase by 75 percent, according to the findings of an unpublished World Bank report published in The Guardian newspaper on Friday.

The daily said the report was finished in April but was not published to avoid embarrassing the US government, which has claimed plant-derived fuels have pushed up prices by only three percent.

The report’s author, a senior World Bank economist, assessed that contrary to claims by US President George W. Bush, increased demand from India and China has not been the cause of rising food prices.

“The report estimates that higher energy and fertiliser prices accounted for an increase of only 15 percent, while biofuels have been responsible for a 75 percent jump over that period.”

Expect the RFA to mobilize for a response in 3, 2, 1….

And Happy 4th to those of you who celebrate it. I plan to get away from the computer today.

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July 4, 2008 - Posted by | ethanol prices, ethanol subsidies, food prices

37 Comments

  1. How does biofuel raise food prices that high in that short of a time? Ethanol uses field corn that we don’t eat, and it takes a long time to change the ratio of what farmers produce.

    Comment by gc | July 4, 2008

  2. This is about as dumb a posting as the one where you said US farmers were averaging $83k/year household income and then wouldn’t back out when you read to page 2 of your own link that showed that only 13% of it was from the farm (and that’s with a 30% increase in 2007) and 87% of it was from off-farm jobs to supplement the almost non-existent farm profit. The last couple of years have been better, but tell that to a farmer that now puts $1000 of diesel in a tractor that used to be a $500 fill-up.

    What in the world makes you think that profitable farming is a bad thing in any shape or form?

    The blame-biofuels-for-the-food-price increase has to be a fact. I’m pretty sure that the doubling of the fuel cost of harvesting, processing and hauling groceries had zero effect on my Canadian food price, but US ethanol actually doubled the price of grapes at a Canadian Safeway.

    But whatever is to blame for increase agricultural commodity prices, it’s a good thing. If farmers were caught with $2/bu corn price and a doubling of almost every input in a short period, THEY WOULDN”T SEED ANYTHING, or at least extremely lower inputs (and yields).

    Don’t you get it? Sorry for the ad moninem, but: You are so openminded you could see through a keyhole with both eyes.

    What do you think would have happened to US agriculture without the ethanol mandate. Corn was $2/bu. just a few years ago. All the inputs at least doubled in the last 2 years. Massive bankruptcy of farms (or lowered inputs causing lowered yields) until… guess what… a 20% drop in production pushing corn price to $7/bu.

    The positive thing is that ethanol put the agricultural commodity price a bit ahead of the oil driven input cost hike and if worse-comes-to-worse, it’s a lot easier to shutdown ethanol plants than to find someone to operate an abandoned farm.

    Comment by Bob Rohatensky | July 4, 2008

  3. Probably the same logic behind it.

    But any thoughts on this separate study by Iowa State’s CARD program?

    http://www.card.iastate.edu/publications/synopsis.aspx?id=1076

    Comment by GreyFalcon | July 4, 2008

  4. Also, whats the deal with this Merrill Lynch guy saying that Ethanol lowers the price of a barrel of oil by 15%?

    http://campaign-archive.com/?u=7d130313400c2a99c83c23c38&id=SkPPB33esK&e=

    Same deal?

    Comment by GreyFalcon | July 4, 2008

  5. Happy Fourth.

    A question on blending of gas and ethanol.

    Lets say normal 100% gasoline they sell 87, 91, and 93 octane grades.

    When they make 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol do they start with lower octane grades and mix it with ethanol (which has a higher octane level) and end up with 87/91/93? Or do they mix the ethanol with 87,91, 93 and you end up with a slightly higher octane that is undisclosed?

    Comment by Anonymous | July 4, 2008

  6. Anon – There is a special blend called “RBOB” or “Reformulated gasoline blendstock for Oxygenate Blending”. It has a lower octane and vapor pressure so that when you add the 10% ethanol you get 87 octane.

    Ethanol blends cannot be shipped by pipeline and must be blended at the terminal.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 5, 2008

  7. Rice prices have increased more than corn in the last 5 years,and nobody makes ethanol from rice. The U.S. is a small player in the world rice market,so blaming farmers for shifting from rice to corn won’t work either.

    Why should corn be the only commodity NOT going through the roof?

    Comment by Maury | July 5, 2008

  8. “We’ve asked all the international oil companies that buy from us if they want more oil,” Mr. Nasser said. “But we can’t find customers.”

    http://tinyurl.com/5nbh46

    Comment by Maury | July 5, 2008

  9. Maury, what you’re missing is that Nasser is only selling this Saudi Light Sour Oil at the same price as Arabian Light Sweet oil, so its little wonder no one wants this sour oil which is more expensive to process.

    Its true that demand is satisfied right now. Ie, there is no demand for any more oil at this price.

    However there would be considerably more consumption if the oil were only $80bbl.

    Oh, and as for the comment that no one uses rice for bio fuel is incorrect.

    You forget that farmers can switch acreage from one crop to another and customers can change their diet from one staple to another.

    In the face of high wheat & corn prices are poorer people turning to rice?

    Are the rice farmers of the American south west, turning acreage over to more profitable wheat?

    There are interconnections and simply saying that no one uses rice to make ethanol is a poor analysis of the situation.

    To a large extent that’s what got us into the biofuels mess. No one analysed the knock on consequences of mandating X billion gallons a year of ethanol/biodiesel.

    Andy

    Comment by andytk | July 5, 2008

  10. “In the face of high wheat & corn prices are poorer people turning to rice?

    Are the rice farmers of the American south west, turning acreage over to more profitable wheat?”

    The first question is an obvious no,because rice prices have outpaced corn and wheat. As for what American rice farmers are doing….it doesn’t matter,because the world rice harvest smashed all records last year,and rice prices soared 100% anyway.

    Inputs are 40% of grain costs. Oil is 7X higher than it was 7 years ago. It makes perfect sense that grain prices would be 3X higher as a result.

    Comment by Maury | July 5, 2008

  11. Maury-
    Evidently, there is a full-on glut of sour oil. The Iranians are filling up oiil tankers, as they have no market. The Algerian oil minister recently said they cannot find buyers (late June, on France24.com). And now Aramco says they cannot find buyers (although it is unclear from the quote whether the lack of buyers pertained only to sour oil, or all oil).
    Supposedly, there is a hsortage of refineries to handle sour oil, although new refiniries are being built.
    This misfit between sellers, who say they cannot find buyers, but rising prices on the NYMEX suggests speculation or manipulation.
    The NYT article is odd in many ways. It, like so many MSM articles, refers to “soaring demand.”
    World demand has been rising at around one percent a year, although at these prices I suspect we are now declining, globally. My fave saying, “Peak Demand.”
    My guess is that the MSM will be a year coming to the Peak Demand mantra. Sometime in June 2009 when the new BP report comes out, showing a decrease in global demand in 2008, then perhaps MSM will change its tune.

    Comment by benny "peak demand" cole | July 5, 2008

  12. Benny,you’re probably right about peak demand. But,demand has little to do with current oil prices. If oil drops $3 monday,Chavez will threaten to stop selling oil tuesday. Or,Iran will threaten to wipe Israel off the map. Or,one of the trading houses will predict $500 per barrel oil. Can you predict when we’ll see peak headlines?

    Comment by Maury | July 5, 2008

  13. Ethanol uses field corn that we don’t eat, and it takes a long time to change the ratio of what farmers produce.

    Yet field corn is fed to cattle and chickens, which we do eat. It also competes with farmland that grows things we do eat.

    RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 5, 2008

  14. This is about as dumb a posting as the one where you said US farmers were averaging $83k/year household income…

    Just to refresh your memory, that post was discussing windfalls. As I pointed out, the real windfall came about as a result of the increase in land values. So the average family farm with only a little on-farm income has still seen their land values go through the roof. A guy farming 250 acres in Iowa has seen his land value increase by a million dollars. That’s a pretty good windfall, even if he makes most of his living off of the farm. So spare me the whining about the poor, downtrodden farmer. Ethanol has made many of them very rich at the expense of everyone else. I am not talking about bumping up their income a bit. I am talking about making their land worth millions of dollars. But that’s a digression from the heart of your post:

    What in the world makes you think that profitable farming is a bad thing in any shape or form?

    I can see from your post that ad homs and straw men arguments were the way you chose to go. Fine, I will deal with them.

    I don’t have any problems with profitable farming, Bob, UNLESS that comes about as a result of a wealth transfer from others who are also deserving of making a profit. That is exactly what has happened here. I just got back from my Dad’s place, where he has now sold all of his cows because feed prices have gotten too high. But guess what? Some other guy in Iowa is now holding land worth a million dollars as a result. Should I celebrate?

    I think we get your point. You were singing the same tune when corn was $4, then $6, and now $8. You will probably be singing the same tune at $20. Farmers deserve it. Take the money away from low-paid teachers, mechanics, factory workers, ranchers and give it to the farmer. Why? Because they are farmers, for crying out loud. Unlike the teacher, we can’t live without the farmer.

    Unlike most businesses, we subsidize and subsidize, and if the business owner in this case makes too much product – we have to protect him from that business decision. We can’t let him make the decision to switch to another crop or grow less, like most business owners. Why? Cuz he’s a farmer! If ranchers raise too many cows, can we mandate that everyone eat beef? Would that be fair? No, because the rancher isn’t a farmer and doesn’t have such a powerful lobby. And while the farmer eats chicken and beef and sends their kids to school – let’s set the farmer up on a pedestal above those groups. Let’s pass laws that transfer money from them to the farmer. Oh, wait. We have done that.

    I’m pretty sure that the doubling of the fuel cost of harvesting, processing and hauling groceries had zero effect on my Canadian food price, but US ethanol actually doubled the price of grapes at a Canadian Safeway.

    That’s a very weak strawman, Bob. You know that I have spoken about the impact of high fuel prices on everything. In fact, the report I cited said that higher fuel prices are responsible for 15% of the price rise. I am not like the ethanol lobby, who likes to pretend mandated ethanol hasn’t had much of an impact on food prices. But as I have pointed out, they like to have their cake and eat it too. They want to claim a good energy balance – which implies low energy inputs – and then they scream that fuel costs are killing them.

    But whatever is to blame for increase agricultural commodity prices, it’s a good thing. If farmers were caught with $2/bu corn price and a doubling of almost every input in a short period, THEY WOULDN”T SEED ANYTHING, or at least extremely lower inputs (and yields).

    Of course corn prices way more than doubled. And what’s wrong with letting farmers make decisions where if those inputs did go up and they did seed less – price would go up and they would make money? That’s how most businesses work.

    What do you think would have happened to US agriculture without the ethanol mandate.

    What do you think has is happening to US ranching with the mandate? Ranchers are dealing with higher energy inputs, but also feed costs that have gone through the roof on them. This is your blind spot. You don’t seem to see that the mandate is hurting other industries. You are simply robbing from Peter to pay Paul. And for what? To recycle natural gas into ethanol. You might as well mandate that you throw a third of the corn crop into the Mississippi River. Hey, it would be great for agriculture!

    What would have happened without the mandate is that prices would have had a slower rise, giving people the chance to adjust. You think food prices should be higher, to put money in the farmer’s pocket. I think oil prices should be higher, so people will start conserving oil. Where we differ is that I recognize the dangers of a rapid run-up in prices. We have all sorts of industries struggling mightily under the fast run-up in prices. In the case of corn, the run-up was partially government mandated, and industries that depend on corn have been caught flat-footed. Sure was good for the farmer, though.

    The positive thing is that ethanol put the agricultural commodity price a bit ahead of the oil driven input cost hike and if worse-comes-to-worse, it’s a lot easier to shutdown ethanol plants than to find someone to operate an abandoned farm.

    How about an abandoned ranch, Bob? Oh, I forgot. That gets into your blind spot. You are OK with the wealth transfer, as long as it is to the farmers. Damn those whose wealth was transfered.

    RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 5, 2008

  15. Maury-
    I predict we will see “Peak Demand” or similar headlines in about a year. I also suspect we will see mild glut out three years.
    In a world of free markets, we would see gluts galore (we never would have had this shortage scare) but almost all the world’s oil is controlled by thug states, such as Libya, Venezuela, Iran, Iraq, Russia, KSA, Mexico.
    Geologically, I think we are eons from Peak Oil (I incude unconventional fossil production), but we are in Thug Oil right now, and bingo big time.
    Even so, Mr. Price Mechanism is a power hitter in commodities markets. Demand is waning, and production is still going up. The Volt and similar very high effective mpg cars are coming to market.
    Biof-fuels are a bust, but perhaps jatropha will pan out, or maybe some other bio-oil.
    Shell claims they can pump shale oil at $30 a barrel.
    At some point, the speculative money in oil will leave — could lead to an oil crash.

    Comment by benny "peak demand" cole | July 5, 2008

  16. But any thoughts on this separate study by Iowa State’s CARD program?

    Just answered the same question at The Oil Drum. I could really rip a hole in that study, but here was the short version:

    this Iowa State Study was completed when gasoline prices were a bit lower than at present. They found a savings of between $0.29 – $0.40 gallon.

    So they found a “savings” that is less than we pay for the subsidy. In other words, if we add the $0.51/gal subsidy into the mix, then there is an overall cost (ignoring things like the impact on corn prices) of between $0.11 and $0.22/gal. You would hope that the savings was at least as great as the subsidy.

    But there are several problems with the study itself (often the case with these non-peer-reviewed studies). Among the more serious:

    In order to identify the separate impact of ethanol on gasoline prices, we need to separate the impact of ethanol from the other forces driving gasoline prices. We do so by examining the price of gasoline relative to the price of crude oil.

    So, what does that mean? If gas prices fail to keep pace with oil prices – and demand has definitely softened as oil prices has skyrocketed – that is credited to ethanol. There was no attempt to quantify the impact higher oil prices has had on refiners margins. That’s one reason their r-squared values are only in the 0.6 to 0.7 range.

    And you have to love this piece:

    The availability of ethanol essentially increased the “capacity” of the U.S. refinery industry and in so doing prevented some of the dramatic price increases often associated with an industry operating at close to capacity.

    Yes, thank goodness there have been no dramatic price increases.

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 6, 2008

  17. Belief in ethanol is like a religion, one for which I was a former adherent and now branded a heretic. (I graduated from a big ag school and did work on ethanol in the late 1970s.) The ethanol subsidy and mandates have distorted markets and are increasing food prices. Common sense tells you that when you divert 30% or so of a crop into a new use prices on the other 70% have to go up.

    Speaking of religion, there was a good op. ed. piece by Penn Jillette in the LA Times . It seems that Penn & Teller’s answer to AGW theory is “I don’t know.”. Which is an unacceptable response to the members of the worldwide church of Global Warming.

    I am reminded of one of the mottos of the skeptics: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” It seems that both ethanol’s impacts on markets and AGW theory fail to meet the threshold of “extraordinary proof”.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 6, 2008

  18. Rice,the staple food for half the world, rose to a record U.S. $20.50 per 100 pounds in Chicago on April 4th, double the price a year ago and a five fold increase from 2001. It may reach US $22 by November, said Dennis DeLaughter, owner of Progressive Farm Marketing in Edna,Texas. End quote.

    So,why isn’t corn up five fold since 2001? With all the corn going to ethanol,shouldn’t corn prices have jumped AT LEAST as much as rice? The world had a record rice harvest last year,and nary a kernel was used for ethanol….yet it DOUBLED in price. Let’s put the blame for higher grain prices where it belongs…..higher input costs = higher grain prices. Period.

    Comment by Maury | July 6, 2008

  19. “Common sense tells you that when you divert 30% or so of a crop into a new use prices on the other 70% have to go up.”

    Only that hasn’t happened. Ethanol producers end up with damned near as much feed per bushel as non-producers do. Better quality feed at that.

    Comment by Maury | July 6, 2008

  20. My bad. Ethanol producers actually get MORE feed out of a bushel of corn than non-producers. Normal processing provides 13.5 lbs. of feed. Ethanol producers get 2.7 gallons of ethanol and 18 lbs. of feed.

    What ethanol production doesn’t provide is the 1 1/2 pounds of corn oil and the 32 lbs. of starch OR 33 lbs. corn sweetener normal processing does. However,nobody is whining about those things going up. Chicken and pork producers want to blame ethanol for soaring feed costs…but ethanol provides MORE feed,not less.

    Comment by Maury | July 6, 2008

  21. My bad. Ethanol producers actually get MORE feed out of a bushel of corn than non-producers. Normal processing provides 13.5 lbs. of feed. Ethanol producers get 2.7 gallons of ethanol and 18 lbs. of feed.

    That’s completely inaccurate. Most corn is not processed to remove the starch. It is fed directly to the animals, so a bushel of corn provides 56 pounds of feed to the animal – not 18 as is the case when the starch is diverted to ethanol. Because of this, King is right – a lot of feed has been removed from the market, and costs for meat producers have gone way up.

    RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 6, 2008

  22. So,why isn’t corn up five fold since 2001? With all the corn going to ethanol,shouldn’t corn prices have jumped AT LEAST as much as rice?

    In a very simplistic, two-dimensional analysis, perhaps. When you start to factor in real world complications like countries beginning to hoard rice and cut exports – and the fact that there have been poor harvests in both Canada and Australia – then you realize there’s a bit more to the story.

    RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 6, 2008

  23. Let’s put the blame for higher grain prices where it belongs…..higher input costs = higher grain prices. Period.

    Non-grain crops that don’t compete with corn have also seen higher input costs, yet they haven’t seen the same sort of higher output price. Why?

    RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 6, 2008

  24. Fair enough Robert. Still,it means the 30% of corn diverted to ethanol only decreased feed supply by 20%. And,since the U.S. only produces 40% of the world’s corn,it only decreased the world’s supply of corn feed by 8%. Couple that with record U.S. exports of corn,and it may have had a negligible impact on prices. I think it’s funny that 100,000 Mexican farmers recently demonstrated. They’re afraid “cheap American corn” will put them out of business.

    Hopefully,livestock producers will start using less corn in the herd’s feed. That would allow them to cut down on all the antibiotics,right? It would also be nice if soft drinks went back to real sugar. Experiments on rats using corn sweeteners got them horribly obese. Then they got diabetes and cancer. Then they died. Ridiculously cheap American corn…thanks to congressional subsidies,threw a lot of things out of whack.

    Comment by Maury | July 6, 2008

  25. “When you start to factor in real world complications like countries beginning to hoard rice and cut exports – and the fact that there have been poor harvests in both Canada and Australia – then you realize there’s a bit more to the story.”

    Ditto with corn Robert. Argentina producing less. China exporting less. U.S. exporting more.

    “Non-grain crops that don’t compete with corn have also seen higher input costs, yet they haven’t seen the same sort of higher output price. Why?”

    You mean like watermelons,peaches,advocados,tomatoes,and a dozen other veggies and fruits I can’t afford anymore?

    Comment by Maury | July 6, 2008

  26. Maury – you hit on one of my pet gripes – the US sugar program.

    Most soft drinks in the US are made from corn syrup rather than sugar because of the artificially high sugar price in the US. I wonder if high corn prices are changing those economics.

    The program disproportionately benefits just a few producers at the expense of all consumers. Like the ethanol mandates and subsidies it is an example of the unintended consequences of a government program.

    As for non-grain crops. I haven’t seen the kind of price increases on these products that I’ve seen for corn. I bought yesterday a pound of strawberries for $0.99, down from around $3. California peaches were $1.49 per pound.

    Comment by KingofKaty | July 6, 2008

  27. Those fruit and veggie prices depend a lot on location king. I can get jumbo shrimp for $2.50 lb. at local docks,drive 200 miles and hawk them for $7.50 a lb. on a street corner. I actually did it for several years. I wanted to bring them to California,where they cost an arm and a leg,and return with fruit. But,California has a law that says shrimp sold have to be caught locally.

    These guys claim they can make cellulosic ethanol for $1 a gallon. That’s even cheaper than claims made by companies working on modified yeast. If they’re right,that’ll end the food or fuel debate pretty damned quick.

    http://tinyurl.com/6c6hdc

    Comment by Maury | July 6, 2008

  28. I’d say they’re trying to be more transparent :

    http://corncommentary.com/2008/06/03/wine-glass-made-from-corn/

    Comment by Adam | July 6, 2008

  29. RR:

    1. Farm land rental and purchase price are always tied to what someone can afford to profitably farm on. The bubble in corn land values is just that. With an average farm household income of $15k/year in 2007, how much million dollar farmland is an operator going to buy? That tells you the real worth.

    2. Good for your Dad selling the cattle. Even if your Dad had enough grain acres to grow all his own feed (which isolates a feedlot from market corn price, and makes your blame-ethanol-for-my-Dad’s-feedlot-woes argument totally invalid), he still would be screwed trying to pay the inputs to grow corn, feed out beef and be profitable. The beef price needs to rise to reflect those front-end input costs and right now squeeze is on the middleman (feedlots and ethanol plants). This happened to my Dad in the early 1970’s. He had 500 feeder hogs and when grain prices jumped, it made more sense to get out of hogs and concentrate on grain farming than trying to feed out the cereals. That’s what he did. Grain farming was profitable for a few years in the 1970’s and hasn’t been since (mostly due to the US corn surplus). So… if your Dad sold his cattle, is he now an evil “Corn Farmer” taking advantage of your ethanol driven high corn price? Doesn’t a mixed farm that quits feeding out their own corn increase the corn on the market?

    disclaimer: I don’t own any corn land. I think agricultural subsidies of any sort are wrong, especially off-farm jobs to support a farm that’s bleeding cash. I don’t actively farm. I don’t live in the USA. I think higher crude and gas prices are a good thing. I think the average age of a North American farm operator of 54 is our most serious problem. I think the human race survived without crude oil for 99.9% of our existence.

    Comment by Bob Rohatensky | July 6, 2008

  30. Farm land rental and purchase price are always tied to what someone can afford to profitably farm on.

    Exactly. So while the mandates have been a windfall for the landowner – making many of them rich – it has also made the likelihood of people moving back to the family farm a fantasy. They can’t afford to.

    Good for your Dad selling the cattle.

    But if a guy grows less corn in response to low corn prices, it’s a travesty. My Dad can’t make money with cattle because his inputs have gone up. You think that’s great. Yet if a guy can’t make money with corn because his inputs have gone up, well thank God for ethanol mandates else he might be unprofitable.

    RR

    Comment by Robert Rapier | July 6, 2008

  31. Here’s another commentary about the cattle feed thing.

    Que in at about 11:50 in this video:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=287398391460321023&hl=en

    Comment by GreyFalcon | July 6, 2008

  32. http://internationaltradecommodities.suite101.com/article.cfm/leading_rice_export_countries

    The USA is the fourth largest exporter of rice. We were in second place a few years ago. We may not eat the stuff but we grow it.

    Export Land Model applies to food as well.

    Comment by robert | July 7, 2008

  33. Even if your Dad had enough grain acres to grow all his own feed (which isolates a feedlot from market corn price, and makes your blame-ethanol-for-my-Dad’s-feedlot-woes argument totally invalid)…..

    Ummmm, Bob, can’t grain farmers simply “grow their own fuel” and isolate themselves from fuel costs? Doesn’t this make your blame-input-costs argument invalid?

    Comment by doggydogworld | July 7, 2008

  34. Maury said: ~ “Only that hasn’t happened. Ethanol producers end up with damned near as much feed per bushel as non-producers do. Better quality feed at that.”

    No they don’t, and your claim that the feed is “better quality” is completely bogus.

    A 2006 study by the Purdue University of Agricultural Science says that dried distiller’s grains can replace only about 20% of the feed ration for dairy and beef cattle. (No more than 10% for swine.)

    You also completely failed to mention the Kansas State University finding of E.coli 1057 (the kind of E. coli unhealthy for humans) in meat from cattle rationed on DDGS.

    Comment by Hawkshaw | July 7, 2008

  35. Ditto with corn Robert. Argentina producing less. China exporting less. U.S. exporting more.
    US exporting more? Boy, that’s nice stuff you’ve been smoking…

    BTW, go tell that to the Mexicans who lost the local small farmer because he couyldn’t compete with cheap US exports, only for cheap US exports to evaporate, leading to a quick doubling in the price of totilla flour.

    RR,
    Keep up the good work, lad! It seems the Corn Ethanol Sect will require much truth before there will be repentance…

    Comment by Optimist | July 8, 2008

  36. ~ “the Corn Ethanol Sect”

    You mean the “Ethanolistas?”

    Comment by Hawkshaw | July 8, 2008


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