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Frequent Contributor
Mike M2692830
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
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Food/fuel debate

I sympathize with the livestock producers who have to find a way to absorb these high grain prices into a profitable situation. I was a hog producer until the 90's when hogs went to .08/# and finally decided it was time to focus on grain farming. Who I don't sympathize with are those third world countries out protesting for better gov. It has been said on this website that this is what we get get when we use food to produce an alternative fuel and with people starving, they will revolt. That gov's need to have a world food policy. Why does it seem that the US will send in billions of pounds of food to help out these countries only to find out the food never got where it was going. Has nothing to do with price. How come when we send those billions of pounds of food that we seemed to be able to produce easily was never traded for what that country has to offer like oil. I hate to say this as a grain farmer but if the supply of our foodstuffs is compromised by the use of it for alternative fuel then that in itself will cause its demise. Foreign countrys will beg for our food. We will offer it to them for their oil. US solidfies a trade agreement food for fuel and in a few years we will be placing 2 billion bu of corn under a reserve program. That used to be worth almost $7/bu. That, in my opinion, will be what a world food policy will do...MikeM

Veteran Contributor
sonoma72
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-13-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

Isn't it something that at the same time we have food shortages we have an obesity problem in the west, over 90 million in this country alone, type 2 diabetes running amuck, and that is obese not overweight.  I might buy into the food/ fuel debate if grains were the only commodities sky rocketing, but that isn't true, and in the past years it hasnt been just commodities.   perhaps instead of sending raw grains to unfortunate folks in other countries we should airdrop in happy meals...    In short, I have yet to here a comprehensive argument against ethanol that addresses, the speculators, overconsumption by a good chunk of the population, national defense concerns, etc.  When someone filters it all out and spits out a bushel number, then corn farmers can say we need another X bushels per year to keep everyone happ, but we never will.   On a side note, who is to blame during the record oil price era, that people in oil producing countries can't eat?  Is it our fault these guys are buying arms, developing nuclear tech., and neglecting their infrastructure and people?  The Saudi Royal family has enough money to open soup kitchens for all their fellow muslim brothers, maybe somebody should point the finger in the right direction,  but it is a lot easier to blame the evil corn farmers.

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hardnox604008
Posts: 5,518
Registered: ‎05-14-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

I think the first observation to make is that a very generous analysis of the corn ethanol program is that when it gets to the 15 bg mandate cap it will-maybe, if you work real hard to jimmy the numbers- make a net contribution of about 1% of total US energy demand. It contributes almost nothing to the US energy problem. 

 

It is basically a New Deal (Republicrat version 2.0) make work program that creates a lot of externalities, redistributes a lot of income and contributes nothing to the national interest.

 

The only possible national interest is, as you suggest, there was an agenda to hasten a push to a global food crisis and then to somehow capitalize on that. I remain uncertain on that matter but am pretty sure that they guys who have done such a marvelous job with Iraq, keeping watch on Wall Street etc. can capitalize on such an agenda, much less understand that they are playing with fire.

 

 

 

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason."

J.K. Galbraith
Senior Contributor
teaspoon73
Posts: 210
Registered: ‎05-17-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

              Do you think the world will produce more food if corn was $2.00 next year.  Your rural economy will be broke in 2 years. The US trade deficit will soar because of importing a billion gallons of gas each month. Do you think gas prices will rise just 10% More like 30%..  The oil companies will be laughing at you as you buy $5.00 diesel to produce 1.87 corn. Air Quality in your cities will drop and cancer rates will rise. The US as you think you know it will be a third world economic power kissing the hand of the king of Saudi Arabia. Think we will go to the electric car? We are short off Micro Minerals now. China has cornered that market. Wake up, this is economic war !  In Three years you won't be able to buy a barrel of oil because your dollar will be worth nothing. There has not been a petrol refinery built in the US since 1978. Yet in 10 years there was 12 billion gallons of ethanol capacity built. That 10% of ethanol in gas you buy goes back into America! Of that other 90% of a gallon of gas . 3/4 of it leaves this country. You can drill baby drill but the refining capacity is not here. Do you think tax income for your state or fed will increase if you have loan rate corn for two years? This is economic war, and if you loose you loose your life style and become a slave to who ever pumps the oil.

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hardnox604008
Posts: 5,518
Registered: ‎05-14-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

I see you have the RFA talking points at hand.

 

Don't worry, the existing program is unlikely to be touched. More likely the ridiculous "2 bridges too far" of e-15 and the blenders credit will suffer. Ho hum, but the lobbyists have to be doing something for their money so maybe talk e-20?

 

The biggest insult of this is simply the clear demonstration that we are incapable of even having a serious discussion about our energy problems and grain ethanol is merely a distraction (and a WPA government boondoggle).

"People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage. Intellectual myopia, often called stupidity, is no doubt a reason."

J.K. Galbraith
Veteran Contributor
unlgrad
Posts: 93
Registered: ‎06-08-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

Why did Brazil get serious about their energy shortage in the 70's and develop ethanol made from Sugar.   The subsidies that oil gets today compared to ethanol does not compute in how that ethanol is bad for the US.  It is time that we have an energy solution, Brazil is so far ahead of the US on this issue that it ain't funny.  22% works well down there, up here we have a cow if it would go to 15%.  The technology was developed up here to run the cars down there on any blend of ethanol.  Are we STUPID or What?

Veteran Advisor
Palouser
Posts: 2,289
Registered: ‎05-13-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

'World Food Policy' is a red herring. We don't have one. We won't have one. Yes, we do occasionally make donations but it isn't the trade promoting cornerstone it once was due to trade agreements made.

 

Trading food for oil won't happen. It would take massive government interference and agreements that Congress will not allow. We did have 'food as a weapon' policies at one time. They were troublesome and inneffective. We won't return to that era.

 

 

Frequent Contributor
Mike M2692830
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

P, I agree we won't trade fuel for food etc. I was trying to think up some cause and effect scenerios to those who suggest there should be some world food policy controlled by some gov or gov agency. We all know what that would do...MIkeM

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jrsiajdranch
Posts: 2,124
Registered: ‎05-03-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

[ Edited ]

I am a little touchy today about all this but lets just say what is gonna happen  when you don't have anything to pour on your danged cornflakes in the morning?  I wonder how ethol works for a milk substitute!  You guys make me laugh. WHo said you had a right to profit from selling corn! 

 

This was directed toward Teaspoon, and it was just out of line sorry. But I am still really miffed!

Frequent Contributor
HMVE
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎07-15-2010
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Re: Food/fuel debate

 THIS POST IS NOT DIRECTED AT ANYONE PERSON

Corn is a commodity NOT FOOD and I will sell my Commodity to the highest bidder.

30% of my production goes to feed Squirrels, wild ducks and deer and such.

50% is burned in home heating appliances

20% goes for pet food

and I get more $  than Chicago is offering for it

If you don't  like the price of corn   do something about it. Either grow your own to feed your cows or raise real food like peas and carrots or SWEET corn.  Stop complaining about what everyone else does with there Commodities and make your business profitable  Be an independent Farmer :smileywink:  OK I'm done now

 

 

I get along with all my neighbors even though they can't get along with each other