A growing number of livestock producers are at least anxious about the impact on feed prices and supplies if corn is redirected to ethanol.
A reply from USDA Under Secretary J.B. Penn:
“All of a sudden we’ve seen a real increase in demand for corn for ethanol. This is a really big development. Suddenly, we have the opening of a market that has never been there.
Since the time of Christ, corn has been food. But now agriculture is trying to produce industrial products. And this situation has been greeted with great glee in farm country.
Now we’re in a short-run situation where strong ethanol demand and strong livestock demand for feed are competing. We’re trying to get more markets open for products like beef. This is one of those great situations for farmers.
In the past we’ve all been concerned about surpluses. My sense is that we may have some short-term frictions here. Don’t underestimate the technology and the entrepreneurial spirit when folks put their minds to something. I think we’ll be able work through things and capitalize on the renewable fuels and meet the demand for feed and exports.”
Change is neither global nor universal.
Solutions will vary by location, region and company.
Regional resources, infrastructure and taxation are critical factors.
Choices are actions by many not headlines for many.