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Senior Advisor

Re: I can fully sympathize with feeders

But in the real world we have to compete for supplies. Seeds fuels fertilizer chemical feed grains proteins, etc.

 

This not exclusive to feeders but I notice they aren't taking on the beverage industry, only ethanol. At least ethanol will propel a vehicle down the road and it is better used for that than for a mind altering drug that my cause highway deaths.

 

Ban the boose and the budweiser and you just might have enough low cost feed ingredients.

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Advisor

Re: Ethanol the down fall of American Farming

We easily forget that both political parties have been in bed with each other and big business. Deregulation began on Reagan's watch. Clinton helped it along and Bush gave it a big shove.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol the down fall of American Farming

Wonder when you factor in the transport of additional inputs - fertilizer alone - if there is even a net 3% total.  

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Senior Advisor

Re: Ethanol the down fall of American Farming

 Logistics will be the Achilles heal of the shift of traditional ag to  opposite regions of the country ---

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Ethanol the down fall of American Farming

Quoting highyields (my reply is in bold):

 

But there has been major problems in implementation of the bio fuels industry.    One was the idea that we can produced every drop of bio fuel from corn.  --The idea was not to produce every drop of bio fuel from corn--hello cellulosic ethanol.

 

Corn was already a major crop in the US and the world, but we allowed everything to get out of balance.   You are implying that things were in balance--hello $1.30 corn, LDP's, big govt. payments to keep grain farmers from going broke etc. etc.

 

 Now in 2012 we are having a very rare event something that only happens once in 30 years, and that is a major drought in both hemispheres and a drought in the heart of the corn belt in the United States.  Since we are out of balance due to ethanol and corn demand now other industries are going to suffer.   We are going to suffer because we are having a once in 30 years event-- Ethanol actually gives us the flexibility to shut down plants and still have corn for other needs.  One of the reasons we planted 96.5 million acres of corn was ethanol.

 

What we have done by adopting ethanol as our poster child for corn production, we have left our old loyal customers in the shadow of ethanol plants.   You are implying that things were better off before ethanol because we had loyal customers who are now getting pushed aside by ethanol.    If you hadn't noticed grain farming was a thin margin, govt. welfare dependent, eke out a living, no kid coming back to the farm situation.  Now we have a thriving ag economy with more interest in farming than at any time I can remember.

 

Animal agriculture, feeding corn through the animal to market the corn  IS THE FIRST AND ONLY VALUE ADDED COMMODITY available for farmers.  Hello, we are adding value through ethanol. 

 

There has been rumors that they may lift the mandate to produce ethanol.  Will they place it back on?  

All of this will be going on the face of higher money cost due to higher interest rates in years to come.  Now you are going to blame higher interest rates on ethanol too?  That would seem as logical as everything else you have said.  

 

Agriculture will looking remarkably different in 20 years,  most of the change will be traced back to a 6 -8 year period we are living in right now.  

 

Corn ethanol was a non sustainable option when it was brought to the table years ago,  But yet its here and we have to live with the consequences. OMG--grain farming on the public dime because of perpetual surplus of grain was not sustainable. 

 

If you wan to talk about changes at the margin that could make ethanol more sustainable.  That would be fine by me.  But I don't think that is where you are coming from at all.

 

 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol the down fall of American Farming

Highyield,

I gotta disagree also.  The more i think on this one you paint the picture with a distorted brush.  Life before ethanol was not healthy for grain production.   

A healthy ag economy may have been as close to reality the last three years it has ever been-----post WW2.  Drought has been the spoiler for those years.  We have had it each year somewhere.  Otherwise it has been a pretty good environment for a farmer.  That was not true when you had to figure out the LDP Riddle to survive or work a family without pay to get another $0.50 a bushel through livestock.

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Contributor

Re: Ethanol the down fall of American Farming

Corn price should always be somewhere plus or minus whatever its worth for ethanol.  Since large amounts of energy go into growing corn, its value should somewhat represent the energy inputs to grow it.  The laws of supply and demand with decide whether its feasible for ethanol use or not.   With time the price of beef will do the same and the consumer can decide with their pocketbook what they will pay for each.   I for one will keep buying gas and beef.  The entire farming sector and soils would be healthier if there really was a long term beef shortage.  There has been cattle on our farm for periods in all three generations.  Always quit because it was always cheaper to buy it than grow it.  People gotta do some pretty strange math to believe beef pays.  ie    Sell the corn to the cattle at the cost of production.   Or grow red clover and GIVE it to the beef cattle telling yourself its good for my rotation.  Even then they only  breakeven over the long haul.   People buy a premium cut of meat for the same reason they buy a pack of cigarettes or a six pack of beer.  They want it.  The ratio between good cuts and poor cuts and burger for the everday meal to feed your family can change.    Why not wine about how they put the price of fuel so high that it became viable to burn whisky in our cars.  Probably because its way over your head.   But ethanol is simple, so lets blame that.

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Contributor

Re: Ethanol the down fall of American Farming

What was the price ratio of a bushell of corn to a barrel of oil when ethanol first came to the table.  Also the yield of ethanol per bushell.  Oh that dont matter, cause thats  too complicated.

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Contributor

Re: I can fully sympathize with feeders

Feeders will never be profitable regardless if corn was 1.00/bu and fats at 3.00 live weight.  They would just bid the stockers up till there at the breakevenpoint anyways.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol the down fall of American Farming

Ethanol takes the beating, so to speak, because all the other end uses had been factored into the price of corn BEFORE the ADM Rule forced the issue of diverting so much of it to distilleries for energy.  More precisely, as a fossil fuels additive...which is all it really is at this point, anyway.  (Probably all it will ever be, for the most part.)

 

My theory is that it was all meant as a means of allowing the oil companies to pick up a replacement for MTBE, without having to invest in the infrastructure and fight NIMBY.  When cooperatives of local farmers want to distill ethanol, local governments toe the line.  If an outside interest wants to site a facility that does precisely the same thing, there would be hell to pay from the public. 

 

Which huge ethanol concern went bust, and was being picked up by Valero?  Case in point....

 

Ethanol has come into the energy realm at the same time as a global depression - we keep calling it a recession, but that is a sleight of hand trick - has driven, or at least is driving, a large percentage of people down to subsistence level living, even in the First World.  Europe is one decision by the Germans (that they are tired of bailing out profligate nations like Italy and Greece) away from crashing and dragging the rest of us with it. 

 

Also, the Third World is rising up, notably China and India, and starting to actually compete for all resources.  It is a supply and demand situation we have never witnessed in the history of the world...creating challenges for our nation like none we have ever dealt with before. 

 

Sad to think, as I do, that the bowing to special interests will trump the cause of the general welfare of our people.  I hope we have the gumption to tough it through this one.  Our parents were the Greatest Generation, that saved the world from Hitler.  I hate to think we haven't got enough of that right stuff in us.... 

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