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Pick on this. Please.

According to my rough math based mostly on memory.   If we take an acre of soys at say 44X60=2640lbs/ac X 40% protein= 1056 lbs of protein/acre.   Compare that to corn used for ethanol where 165 bu becomes 3079 lbs of DDG @  22% protein = 677 lbs of protein.  One could argue that corn for ethanol is causing a shortage of protein in the animal feed sector.  However every acre of corn grown on a ( should of been soy acre) produces 3079 lbs of DDG with 90 % TDN=  2770 lbs (2770 lbs of corn equivalent energy)  .  What is my point you ask?   An acre of corn is so much more efficient at capturing the sun and converting to usable energy and protein  ( being a C4 plant).  That even after converting the starches to ethanol were still left with almost as much as an acre of soys.  And if a protein shortage is really your concern,  grow an acre of alfalfa in place of an acre of soys where the protein per acre is at least 2000 lbs/acre.   One third of the corn crop going for ethanol production is really not that big of a deal.  Supply and demand will balance the acres to keep the proportions of needed ingredients in check.

 

  About 10 years ago when corn stoves first started to become popular.   I calculated corn was about the same price as natural gas per mn btus.  However it was about a quarter the price of diesel per mn btu's.  If it is immoral to burn corn that should be food.   Then it is immoral for corn to be worth more in a fire than on a plate.    One could also argue even more so that it is immoral to raise or eat beef, since the equivalent of at least 30 lbs of corn energy is required for one lb of steak..   Mind you that steak is 90% water so lets make that  300 lbs of corn.  Fell free to pick apart my math or ideas cause Im just getting started.

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Re: Pick on this. Please.

First let me say spraymaster that you have a great post. Putting out some ideas to stretch all our old preconceived ideas whether right or wrong.

 


@spraymaster wrote:

@According to my rough math based mostly on memory.   If we take an acre of soys at say 44X60=2640lbs/ac X 40% protein= 1056 lbs of protein/acre.   Compare that to corn used for ethanol where 165 bu becomes 3079 lbs of DDG @  22% protein = 677 lbs of protein.  One could argue that corn for ethanol is causing a shortage of protein in the animal feed sector.  However every acre of corn grown on a ( should of been soy acre) produces 3079 lbs of DDG with 90 % TDN=  2770 lbs (2770 lbs of corn equivalent energy)  .  What is my point you ask?   An acre of corn is so much more efficient at capturing the sun and converting to usable energy and protein  ( being a C4 plant).  That even after converting the starches to ethanol were still left with almost as much as an acre of soys.  And if a protein shortage is really your concern,  grow an acre of alfalfa in place of an acre of soys where the protein per acre is at least 2000 lbs/acre.   One third of the corn crop going for ethanol production is really not that big of a deal.  Supply and demand will balance the acres to keep the proportions of needed ingredients in check.

 

I will not get into arguing your numbers but my big point is the 'quality' of the protein in the different plants.

Would have to research all the good and bad points of each but when DDG became available I think it was considered only a maximum of 40% of protein could come from them for swine. The rest was recommended to come from soy meal. Even then I think a different premix had to be acquired and my memory seems to indicate it was more expensive than soy premix.

Net was the savings at that time were only available to the largest producers or commercial feed mills.

Extra handling, bins etc did not warrant DDG in most on farm feed rations.

Things may have changed it was a few years ago that I was checking.


@spraymaster wrote:

 

  About 10 years ago when corn stoves first started to become popular.   I calculated corn was about the same price as natural gas per mn btus.  However it was about a quarter the price of diesel per mn btu's.  If it is immoral to burn corn that should be food.   Then it is immoral for corn to be worth more in a fire than on a plate.    One could also argue even more so that it is immoral to raise or eat beef, since the equivalent of at least 30 lbs of corn energy is required for one lb of steak..   Mind you that steak is 90% water so lets make that  300 lbs of corn.  Fell free to pick apart my math or ideas cause Im just getting started.


Good points. Why should one alternative use of corn be wrong and not others and it has been noted before just how many people could be fed from an area of ground required to produce red meat.

And yes I know cattle can use ground that will not produce human food BUT the way we raise cattle uses a lot of potential human food.

 

Look forward to more thoughts about this.

 

 

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Re: Pick on this. Please.

Your mathematics looks valid. Won't argue your figures. Over the course of a single growing season, the value of 1 pound of protein probably changes back and forth from corn, soybeans and alfalfa. My planting plans this spring are based on the economics of the crop and my rotation strategies, not what crop has the most protein. I think some of the confusion about farmers crop rotations by those who don't farm is that it isn't that easy to just plant corn in any field enviroment and also, planting beans following beans in our area has yield drawbacks. Not always, but most of the time I would say farmers in our NC Iowa area already know what they will plant the fall prior to planting season. Usually weather will change a rotation plan more than simple economics.

Now, after I reread your post, I may have rambled on a bit here. I see where you are going with this and it appears you are directing this conversation towards our livestock producer. But this gives me a chance to vent just a titch. The only sector that has a legit complaint about high grain prices are those livestock producers. There is not enough raw corn or beans for that matter, sitting on the shelves of the grocery stores to cause the general public to be in this high food price uproar. Uninformed is a word that comes to mind. A farmer is responsible for generating a safe food supply; he has little control over the price of that commodity whether it be to a ethanol plant or a feed mill....MikeM

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Mike M

Actually Im not going after anyone in particular.  I have some beef cattle myself.  Weaned calves should be worth 1000 average and finished steers 2000.00 average.   Then maybe you would see beef farmers buying land at these bargain prices.  Every time I do the math on beef, it amazes me there is any beef in the stores to buy.  Also, if prices were to stay up like they are, and farmers not slit there own throats like they always do,  we could pay the kind of wages,benefits, hours etc that the steel mils, utilities etc do.  Farmers are expected to be on the cutting edge of efficiency and productivity with some of the lowest paid people in the work force.  I have lost 2 good men in a row to steel mills.  The first one says he would come back in a minute for 28.00/hr plus overtime.  If anyone actually stayed long enough to actually get even half as qualified for the job as  i am I would pay that in a minute.  But as long as the industries will pay 70,000 a year to do one meager task well.  And only do it 3.5 days a week, then I guess I gotta pay 150,000 per year if I want the best of the best.  Does society realize the kind of productivity we could get out of agriculture with the very best technology,and the smartest, hardest working people on every arable acre in the world.  We could flood this world in commodities in a heartbeat.  Our operation is quite large and diversified, but is still a long ways from maximizing production on every square acre.   Not enough time and noone to help do it.    How many topics have I  covered so far? I could go on for days..

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Re: Mike M

You do make some very valid points. And not that it matters to you and I, we farmers are some of the most misunderstood group of people known to man and probably deserve it. What happens to be one of the oldest professions next to prostitution, we haven't advocated for ourselves enough positvely. For what you just said, our industry hasn't deserved the money we are earning today....MikeM 

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Re: Mike M

     Spraymaster, shouldn't the protein on your DDG's be 27% ?

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Re: Mike M

Yes probably.  I wrote everything from memory.  Thanks for pointing that out.  Thats better, now there is no protein missing from the overall picture.  The beef guys can feed the ddg and leave the soy protein for the hog guys.  I think we just solved all the worlds problems in less than an hour.

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Re: Mike M

Yes, I had to sleep on it and now feel better. Good conversation is fun....MikeM

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Re: Mike M

Corn isn't fed for its protein value.  It's fed for its energy content.  Feeding too much protein has the same affect as those who were on the Atkins diet.  How's that value for corn stoves compared to natural gas holding up now?  My math shows it will cost roughly $200 or more a month using a corn stove.  This is why I never converted over from my old wood burner.  I couldn't even make the math work when corn was 2 bucks a bushel. 

 

Cattle are not great for efficiency.  This is more than likely the reason China has more than ten times the amount of hogs as we do in the U.S.  Actually, you'd have to add up the next 19 countries to get similar numbers of hogs as China has.  Hogs are much better converters.  They also don't require near the land mass that cattle do from birth to slaughter.  I guess we're just spoiled here.  In the end, it matters very little.  We already have groups working on mass producing meats in a vat.

 

 

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