Corn and Ethanol.
A couple quick thoughts. I read a couple articles today.
Headlines today are that 5 ethanol plant are in the planning stages for my area. Ag experts say that "There ain't enuff corn to supply them all." Blue collar guys at work that are part time farms say "Bring on the $8 corn." Point is the corn supply will be very badly depleted and the amount of fertilizer and water required to make a good crop will skyrocket. Demand for seed corn, fert., water, fuel, and crop chemicals will all be stretched. Prices for all will go up as demand goes up and they will still not have enough corn to supply that many plant. Water table will drop because farmers will buy irrigation pivots to increase production.
Now the big one some do not see coming.........................How many food and drink products are sweetened with "high fructose corn syrup"? Plan on paying a bit more for those items. How about cereals? Corn syrup equals corn ethanol. The byproduct of ethanol can be feed back to livestock, but you can bet meat and dairy prices will go up because of the marketing hype.
How much of the price the ethanol producer get for their product is tax subsidies? Brazil makes ethanol work because they are in the perfect spot for..........sugar cane, the most perfect plant for ethanol.
On the surface ethanol looked good to me, but now I am beginning to see a different path. Ethanol in the US is a Pandora's box. Soil erosion, depleted water table, anhydrous ammonia, farm chemicals, green field margins, chemical run off, increase fuel usage, higher food prices, and more tax money to subsidize with.
Here is another kicker. To produce ethanol it requires more fossil fuel btu's that is returned from the ethanol. In Brazil it is the opposite because they use the sugar cane. Transportation cost go up because ethanol can not be piped. To corrosive.
We will be paying more for ethanol and doing more damage to the environment than if we would just burn the fossil fuels. I am getting the feeling we just bought a big white elephant.
Feel free to poke holes in my rant.
Socrates: "Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequaled alike."