Ethanol alone is not causing food shortage
Ethanol is doing exactly what it was supposed to do -- help provide a buffer for the U.S. on foreign-oil dependence and energy price shocks, writes David Cruse, president of CommStock Investments Inc., and author and producer of CommStock Report on DTN/FarmDayta.
In an opinion piece on the DesMoinesRegister.com web site, Cruse says "we should be jumping up and down in glee over the positive impact ethanol is having on fuel costs today."
The basis of his argument:
"Ethanol naysayers would have everyone believe that ethanol has taken corn out of the mouths of babies and hogs. Food and feed usage of corn has not conceded any corn to ethanol production, and corn exports have expanded during this period on the productivity of U.S. corn growers. We produced enough corn for the ethanol industry by making the pie bigger and in doing so brought economic prosperity to the heartland.
"Another very important fact the ethanol naysayers leave out, from those calculating net energy to those simply stating ethanol usage of corn, is the production of distiller's grain and the contribution that makes to the feed supply. Roughly one-third of the nearly 5 billion bushels of corn going to ethanol comes back pound for pound as an enhanced feedstuff. I say enhanced because the feed value of the corn and soy meal that it displaces in feed rations is closer to 40 percent of the amount of corn used by the ethanol industry. Distiller's grain will exceed soy meal as the second-largest feedstuff utilized in the United States this year, and the anti-ethanol pundits appear oblivious to that fact."