08-31-2013 06:24 AM
Well this past weeks heat has got me beat down and tired. Thought I would start something here and sit back and watch! LOL
Food to fuel is folly
By Michael Marsh, CEO
Aug. 23, 2013 - - If you eat or use motorized modes of transportation, US ethanol policy is hurting you and it is hurtful to the environment as well. This policy has been catastrophic to the people who produce your milk, your poultry, your beef and your pork.
That was the message delivered Wednesday evening, Aug. 21 at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.
Visualize this. A semi-truck and trailer operating on the highways of California is 80 feet in length. Imagine the trailer is filled with 50,000 pounds of corn bound for an ethanol plant. Now imagine a line of corn laden semis lined up nose to tail, nose to tail, nose to tail and so on travelling Interstate 80.
If you were to now visualize how long that line of semis would be hauling one days’ worth of corn feedstock to US ethanol plants, how far do you think that line of trucks would stretch?
The answer? The semis would stretch from San Francisco to 5 miles east of Reno, Nevada! 223 miles! Now visualize that line of semis moving into US ethanol plants every day, 365 days per year. Every day. Astounding!
Ethanol makers claim that moving that much food into fuel doesn’t increase food costs to people who eat. That is preposterous. And, the ethanol folks are working tirelessly to try and prod EPA to bump the mandate to 15% ethanol from the 10% blend in gasoline we have today. They want to stretch that line of semis to 334.5 miles!
By the way, according to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, AAA has performed a survey revealing that only 5% of US automobiles could operate with E15 gasoline. Further, the ethanol producers see E15 as a step towards E30. Will we all have to retrofit our cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, lawn mowers, etc., or buy new ones just to satisfy ethanol mandates?
As gasoline consumption in the US has fallen due to more fuel efficient vehicles (mileage and efficiency that ethanol reduces, ironically), gasoline makers are required to blend ethanol into gasoline they have no domestic market for. Then they’re stuck either exporting the surplus or, in the alternative, purchasing Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) from someone else. Valero is reported to be purchasing $800 million of RINS in 2013 for just this reason. Does anyone think that Valero’s shareholders will absorb that additional cost? Consumers of Valero gasoline will pay as will the rest of us.
The renewable fuel standard needs to go away. This misguided policy has literally taken food out of the mouths of babes and exacerbated hunger issues in places as far flung as Pakistan, Egypt, Guatemala, Mexico, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento. The ethanol mandate needs to become extinct.
Micheal Marsh is CEO of western united dairyman. I have talked with him twice. Once in 2009 and then last year. 2009 was aweful in the dairy industry. This year seems worse to most.
Micheal is finally doing something I topld him to do in 2006 FIGHT E! Livestock groups are finally getting this message. I suspect that Dairy, Poultry, and Pork will come out very strong against the mandate in the next 6 months.
Finally you guys think the rise in the markets was due to traders worried about this crop?
with the 10 year bond mkt. making a run several times in the last two weeks towards 3 and a potential huge war in Syria. This thing isn't about fundamentals at all. This is about the Good old Greenback.
Throw some stones if you would like but expecting USDA to ration anything is Like believing that the Hawkeyes are gonna not have somebody arrested for stupid this year!!!!!!!!!!
Remeber USDA said that we could produce enough for Food and Fuel. DO you think they are gonna reverse course now? They have to deny the obvious to save face.
08-31-2013 06:50 AM
I think maybe you should've just sat back and kept watching.
Does this guy realize the feed value of the DDGs?
Besides, the USDA has said since February that a record corn crop is on the way, lowering the price of corn significantly.
I'm sorry, if the livestock guys have to pay more than a buck eighty for their corn....You want to see the price of food rise? Let's go back to buck eighty corn.
I might add that NO American blood has been shed defending our ethanol supply.
FWIW, Grain farmers in the 80s, 90s, & 20s had to adapt........or get out.
The ones who worked their butts off and stayed hardly need to apologize for a few years of prosperity.
Moooooooove on here. There is nothing to see.
08-31-2013 07:30 AM
08-31-2013 08:31 AM
Come on jr your "dog in the Hunt" is showing.
"If you drive"
I have over achieved in that dept the last week. Over 3000miles, Ok most on that diesel PU.
not by choice but by the fact the little flex fueler couldn't pull a baler 400 miles or go get that corn head. 500 miles of that total was with the e85 burner and at less than 11 cents a mile last Wed. for fuel costs on e85 verses 13.6 for gasoline kind of hard not to consider it at fillup.
Best part is I sold most of the last of my corn Thursday afternoon before yesterday's collapse of the corn market based on phony bologna # from the Govt.
Kind of like double dipping? Maybe just supporting myself?
My farming career has had many ups and downs in the last 41 years since I started it on my own. Used to raise hogs farrow to finish, then it became more profitable to buy feeders on the dips. (usually Aug and the week between Dec 25 and Jan 1. ) That went away a few years later. So did my raising hogs career in 1986. My favorite thing to do in all of farmdom is/was to finish out my own calf crop to fats. That was also taken away by big ag, the consolidation of the packing industry, formula cattle contracts etc. I made another change and suffered another 10 years.
Just a few momma cows and cash grain. WOW was I ever into something at the right time the last few years. Not sure I am going to put another hay crop into over wintering the ol girls. Another change on the horizon?
My belief is you are blaming the wrong sector for your struggles. You might look into the mega dairy thing and simple over supply of the market?
The one constant I have noticed in 41 years and counting of farming is CHANGE. Either go with it or get buried by it. Or find a niche market.
08-31-2013 08:37 AM
08-31-2013 09:30 AM
Jr, lets do a smell test. You breathe in your gasoline fumes all day and I will breathe ethanol fumes all day.
Petroleum products are the number one cause of cancer. It amazes me how big oil cons the public one that one issue alone.
The best part of E85 is no rotten fumes when you fill up, and they are not coming out the exhaust either.
There is nothing like good health.
Most Americans need to eat less, so the cost of food argument is invalid. Want cheaper food prices? Weigh people and give them food based on their BMI. Food consumption would immediately drop by 1/3. Wouldn't you like to see that, JR? Less food consumption?