I would like to clear up some misconceptions about ethanol production. First and foremost it is not taking food out of the mouths of animals. The shortage of wheat and the high price of grain is not due to corn acres increasing. The demand for ethanol drove the production of it. We are not allowed to build any new oil refineries right now(thanks so much environementalists) so they made grain refineries to help with our fuel production shortage. The result of ethanol production was a byproduct that is being used to feed animals at a cost that is less than the raw grain with almost the same feed value. I have fed cattle and know many in the business and they are extremely happy with the results of corn byproducts. When I fed cattle it took approximately 65 bushels of raw grain to fatten an animal. When feeding ethanol byproducts this number gets cut in half because of the nutritional value of the byproducts. Wheat acres and production compete with corn in very few areas and is not a huge factor. The wheat shortage and resultant high prices are from a drought in the wheat belt, not from a shortage of acres. Now that wheat became such a high priced commodity the rest of the grains that are traded on the CBT are being influenced from outside fund investors. There is no shortage of corn or soybeans any where, there are piles of it all over the place here and many bins and elevators are full also, so no real reason for the price to go this high other than CBT trade price overinflation due to outside investor inflation. I am a farmer and all that I have recieved so far for my higher paycheck is a whole bunch of people standing around with there hands out wanting their piece of my pie. Higher land rent prices, higher seed and fertilizer prices, and higher equipment prices. On top of all that higher fuel prices for my equipment and I don't get to pass it all on like the guy in town does. Farmers are the only businessmen in the world who get told how much they get for what they produce. The businessman in town tell you how much you get to pay him for his service/product. I personally believe that we would see almost double the price for fuel if it were not for the amount of ethanol we are producing now, because the fuel shortage would be astronomical by now from lack of production of gasoline. We need more oil refineries in the worst way. Switch grass and all cellulosic ethanol production have a very inflated position. IMHO it has a long ways to go to be viable, as the switch grass itself has a very overinflated production goal. As far as the research on ethanol so far, liars figure and figures lie. I can tell you that ethanol does not consume more energy than it takes to produce, period.
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