Ready for Spring? Spring in the U.S. means different things to different frames and ranches. What do those on the ranch or farm do to prepare for the seasonal changes? This #AgChat brings in questions about the time of year and what decisions need to be made before the next season arrives.
The weather is seriously stressing many crops this year. Corn, specifically, is also being stressed because of the demand for biofuel (ethanol) and livestock animal feed.
Dr. Thomas E. Elam, FarmEcon LLC, released a presentation and detailed analysis of why the USA Renewable Fuel Standard, in this current weather and economic environment, needs to have flexibility in its application [background via EPA]. Dr. Elam's key point: Ethanol policy has increased and destabilized corn and related commodity prices [detailed analysis paper PDF] [summary slide deck PDF].
Dr. Bob Wisner, Iowa State University, and Joel Newman, President and CEO of American Feed Industry Association, provide some highlights of the report titled "Future Patterns of U.S. Grains, Biofuels, and Livestock and Poultry Feeding". This is a another report that highlights the conflicts of having corn being used as a feed grain and a source of energy (ethanol): "Biofuels: A Major Driver of the Changing Feed Cost Environment" is one of the first executive summary points [audio] [report PDF].
What is it with the Grain Situation?I am NOT opposed to ethanol. I do prefer it aged in oaken barrels or pretty glass bottles! sums up how Dr. Meyers feels about corn used in ethanol. This presentation (with lots of charts for the data included) shares some other thoughts about the markets, grain, and the future of animal feed [video].