Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

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Thread: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

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    Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Last March, oil was at $60 a barrel and corn was at $4 a bushel. Today, oil is at $102, and corn is at $5.25. So in the past 12 months, oil's price has increased 70% and corn's price has increased 31%.

    The United States produced the following amount of corn:

    2007 - 13,200,000,000 bushels
    2006 - 10,500,000,000 bushels
    2005 - 11,100,000,000 bushels

    The United States produced the following amount of ethanol (in gallons):
    2007 - 6,500,000,000 (est.)
    2006 - 4,860,000,000
    2005 - 3,900,000,000

    Since a bushel of corn makes 2.7 gallons of ethanol, we can calculate that the ethanol industry used about the following amounts of corn:

    2007 - 2,400,000,000
    2006 - 1,800,000,000
    2005 - 1,400,000,000

    Finally, we subtract what the ethanol industry used from what American farmers produced to find out how much corn was available for food:

    2007 - 10,800,000,000
    2006 - 8,700,000,000
    2005 - 9,700,000,000

    So there you have it. Even after the ethanol industry takes its share, the American farmer is putting more corn on the kitchen table now that ever before. The only conclusion that you can reach is this: food prices are NOT going up because of a shortage of food corn (there is more food corn than ever). Rather, the price of food corn is going up because the price of oil has increased 70% in the last year, and farmers use a lot of fuel.

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Price of oil goes up = everything eles goes up!

    just more reasons we need the Volt and hydrogen powered vehicles!

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    These are simply just data-supported facts. Why should I believe them over the propaganda spewing anti-ethanol coalition?

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    I dunno. To me, regardless of whether corn supplies are affected by ethenol, I just have some fundamental issues with it altogether.

    I know many will argue this, but I feel it is a civic duty of post-industrialized countries to help out impoverished countries when they can, I don't know if I could sleep well at night knowing the car or truck I drive is going on corn, when children all over the world are starving to death every day.


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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesota Nice View Post
    I dunno. To me, regardless of whether corn supplies are affected by ethenol, I just have some fundamental issues with it altogether.

    I know many will argue this, but I feel it is a civic duty of post-industrialized countries to help out impoverished countries when they can, I don't know if I could sleep well at night knowing the car or truck I drive is going on corn, when children all over the world are starving to death every day.
    Children will starve all over the world whether or not you drive a corn-powered car.

    Think of it this way. If you did not have to send people like me to the middle east to protect oil interests, then you could deploy people like me to protect the U.S. border from illegals, pass out AIDS medications, prevent tribal genocide, feed the poor, and go hug the rain forests. (I really would not enjoy most of that either, but it beats fighting for oil.)

    Getting rid of our oil addiction would actually make us better suited to do some of the things you think we should be doing as a superpower.
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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon View Post
    Last March, oil was at $60 a barrel and corn was at $4 a bushel. Today, oil is at $102, and corn is at $5.25. So in the past 12 months, oil's price has increased 70% and corn's price has increased 31%.

    The United States produced the following amount of corn:

    2007 - 13,200,000,000 bushels
    2006 - 10,500,000,000 bushels
    2005 - 11,100,000,000 bushels

    The United States produced the following amount of ethanol (in gallons):
    2007 - 6,500,000,000 (est.)
    2006 - 4,860,000,000
    2005 - 3,900,000,000

    Since a bushel of corn makes 2.7 gallons of ethanol, we can calculate that the ethanol industry used about the following amounts of corn:

    2007 - 2,400,000,000
    2006 - 1,800,000,000
    2005 - 1,400,000,000

    Finally, we subtract what the ethanol industry used from what American farmers produced to find out how much corn was available for food:

    2007 - 10,800,000,000
    2006 - 8,700,000,000
    2005 - 9,700,000,000

    So there you have it. Even after the ethanol industry takes its share, the American farmer is putting more corn on the kitchen table now that ever before. The only conclusion that you can reach is this: food prices are NOT going up because of a shortage of food corn (there is more food corn than ever). Rather, the price of food corn is going up because the price of oil has increased 70% in the last year, and farmers use a lot of fuel.
    That is a excellent way of explaning it. Most people have no idea about any of it other than the one sided crap they read on the internet. And its not just fuel prices either, nitrogen plays a HUGE part in it also. (Nitrogen prices fluxiate closely with fuel prices)

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnesota Nice View Post
    I don't know if I could sleep well at night knowing the car or truck I drive is going on corn, when children all over the world are starving to death every day.
    I think you missed the point. Last year there was MORE food corn than in prior years. No one is staring at empty shelves. If poor countries cannot afford corn, it is not because of a supply shortage. Rather, it is because the cost of production has increased. The way to lower the cost of production (and therefore make corn cheaper for poor countries), is to reduce the world demand for oil.

    Last edited by HoosierRon; 02-29-2008 at 04:04 PM.

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    How much corn was available prior to 2005?

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by TiburonJT View Post
    How much corn was available prior to 2005?
    In the mid to high 1 dollar, and LOW 2 dollar range depending on the time of year and region. So ya know, the same price it was 50 years ago before 50 years worth of inflation and technology!


    Quote Originally Posted by TiburonJT View Post
    How much corn was available prior to 2005?
    Sorry, my dislexia kicked into high gear and I read: "How much was corn prior to 2005". instead of what you really posted. Useful figure none the less!
    Last edited by ctaylorzl1; 02-29-2008 at 04:53 PM.

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    I recently became aware of how dependent our modern agriculture industry is ON petrol fuels; not only for fueling tractors and transportation, but also the massive amounts of pesticides and fertilizers we use that are made out of petrol views to increase productivity.

    The argument basically said that ethanol is still so heavily dependent on a petrol based system it is not feasible as a replacement. And when you take the big picture into consideration (energy put into the agriculture process, not only the production process of ethanol), it really isn't a positive energy gain.

    Any thoughts?
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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by TiburonJT View Post
    How much corn was available prior to 2005?

    1995 - 7,400,000,000
    1996 - 9,200,000,000
    1997 - 9,200,000,000
    1998 - 9,800,000,000
    1999 - 9,400,000,000
    2000 - 9,900,000,000
    2001 - 9,500,000,000
    2002 - 8,900,000,000
    2003 - 10,100,000,000
    2004 - 11,800,000,000
    source source

    So when you subtract from those amounts the corn used by the ethanol industry, you are left with the conclusion that American farmers put more corn on the kitchen table in 2007 than any other time. During most of the 1990s corn was at or under $2/bushel.

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by GM_Fanatic View Post
    I recently became aware of how dependent our modern agriculture industry is ON petrol fuels; not only for fueling tractors and transportation, but also the massive amounts of pesticides and fertilizers we use that are made out of petrol views to increase productivity.

    The argument basically said that ethanol is still so heavily dependent on a petrol based system it is not feasible as a replacement. And when you take the big picture into consideration (energy put into the agriculture process, not only the production process of ethanol), it really isn't a positive energy gain.

    Any thoughts?
    When everything is taken into consideration, ethanol is a net energy gain -- about 1.3 units of ethanol energy out for every 1 unit put into the process. However, most of the energy that goes into making ethanol is not petroleum based, but is natural gas or electric (i.e., coal) based.

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    [sarcasm]

    Geez, you'd almost think that the oil industry is "muddying the waters" with misinformation and half-truths...

    [/sarcasm]

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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GM_Fanatic
    I recently became aware of how dependent our modern agriculture industry is ON petrol fuels; not only for fueling tractors and transportation, but also the massive amounts of pesticides and fertilizers we use that are made out of petrol views to increase productivity.

    The argument basically said that ethanol is still so heavily dependent on a petrol based system it is not feasible as a replacement. And when you take the big picture into consideration (energy put into the agriculture process, not only the production process of ethanol), it really isn't a positive energy gain.

    Any thoughts?


    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon View Post
    When everything is taken into consideration, ethanol is a net energy gain -- about 1.3 units of ethanol energy out for every 1 unit put into the process. However, most of the energy that goes into making ethanol is not petroleum based, but is natural gas or electric (i.e., coal) based.
    To expand upon your answer a little bit HR, many do not take into account the amount of energy expended finding, extracting and refining crude oil. That cost isn't generally included in the calculations (that I have seen).

    If anyone is familiar with any kind of brewing, or distilling of spirits, there's always a 'mash' (of some kind) leftover, after the alcohol has been captured. That mash can be resold as feed, or used in another process later on.

    I didn't see this in the stats, but people have to remember there's a difference between the corn used in feedstocks for animals and corn syrup, etc., etc., and the stuff we eat (sweet corn).

    Is there a way to break down sweet corn vs. feed corn?
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    Re: Definitive proof that ethanol is not creating a food corn shortage

    Quote Originally Posted by GM_Fanatic View Post
    I recently became aware of how dependent our modern agriculture industry is ON petrol fuels; not only for fueling tractors and transportation, but also the massive amounts of pesticides and fertilizers we use that are made out of petrol views to increase productivity.

    The argument basically said that ethanol is still so heavily dependent on a petrol based system it is not feasible as a replacement. And when you take the big picture into consideration (energy put into the agriculture process, not only the production process of ethanol), it really isn't a positive energy gain.

    Any thoughts?
    Prices of pesticides/herbacides/fungicides and fertzlizers are on the same level as fuel prices.(dont know how to word that correctly, they are on the same level as fuel as a expence cost, I guess is what I am trying to say???) Ah, got it. They are eaqually as important as fuel prices!

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