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Grocery cart economics, ethanol

 
 
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 08:13 am

http://townhall.com/columnists/annarittgers/2011/06/21/grocery_cart_economics_why_the_price_of_corn_pops_keep_rising

Quote:

I (like most women) do all the grocery shopping for my family, so I have first-hand knowledge of the rise in food prices. Women be warned, things will probably get worse: Earlier this month, the USDA projected the 2011 corn harvest will be even smaller than previously expected, causing corn futures to soar.
The basic principles of supply and demand are in part to blame: If demand for a good remains the same (or increases), and supply is reduced, prices will rise. In addition to being a staple for humans, corn is a chief component of livestock feed. So we can expect these higher corn prices to push grocery prices higher , and not just for corn-based food like fresh corn and corn meal. Dairy products, meats, and foods containing high fructose corn syrup will be more expensive to produce, and producers will pass along some of these increased costs to consumers via higher prices or smaller product sizes.

What caused the reduction in corn supply? First and foremost, crop prices are affected by the weather. Good weather and bumper crops bring lower prices; droughts and floods bring higher prices. Wet weather and flooding in the Midwest affected this year’s planting season, and thus farmers planted fewer acres of corn.

But the corn supply was tight and prices rising before the bad weather struck, thanks to the federal government’s corn ethanol polices. Around 40 percent of the nation’s corn harvest goes to ethanol production. That means that the supply of corn available for food was already relatively small even before bad weather affected planting......

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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 3,161 • Replies: 23
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 08:47 am
@gungasnake,
The United States is the world's largest producer of ethanol fuel since 2005.

Quote:
In the United States, ethanol is mostly made from yellow corn, and as the market boomed for alternative fuel, yellow corn went up in price. Many farmers saw the potential to make more money, and switched from white corn to yellow corn. White corn is the main ingredient of tortillas in Mexico, and as the supply dropped, the price doubled, making the base of most Mexican foods unaffordable.[19] Many people[who?] see this as unacceptable, and want no overlap between food crops and fuel crops.[20][21] Others[who?] point out that the earth is thought to be able to support double the current human population, and press that the resources available, such as unused farmable land, should be better handled.[22]
Source: Wikipedia ('corn ethanol')
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 01:42 pm
@gungasnake,
I forget which branch of congress it was, but I do believe they voted to drop the subsidy as well as eliminate the tariff in imported ethanol. That doesn't mean it will ever find its way into law, but it sounds like the honeymoon is wearing a little thin.
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 02:24 pm
Ethanol's a Big Scam, and Bush Has Fallen for It: Kevin Hassett

Producing ethanol from corn is the biggest scam that Bush the lesser foisted on the American public since the Patriot Act. The ethanol scam was a simple political act to cement the Midwestern farm states to the GOP and to repay big corporate agriculture lobbyists. Only now is the American public starting to realize that GW Bush, Dick Cheney, and the GOP sold the farm to their corporate masters.

Rap
H2O MAN
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 03:03 pm
@raprap,
Ethanol has been in use long before you idiots decided to blame Bush for everything.
roger
 
  0  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 03:08 pm
@H2O MAN,
Yes, and quite a while after his departure, including two years of President and both houses of the opposite party. How long's it gonna take?
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  2  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 03:44 pm
@H2O MAN,
Ethanol from corn--yes, but not for fuel. Ethanol for fuel from corn barely breaks even, and yes this cockamamie idea doesn't entirely lie right at the feet of the Bush/Cheney, it also includes many of the present GOP 2012 presidential cadre..

Try these.

From 2004 Election-year ethanol talk is good politics, bad math

From 2005

Bachmann’s Tricky Ethanol Politics - She’s for it, but she’s also a Tea Partier.


From 2006
Deal Sweeteners

From 2007Iowa's Stake in Ethanol Distorts Our Politics

From 2008Ethanol: great politics, ineffective energy

And from the Sate of the Union (2007)
Bush Pushes Biofuels in State of the Union

Oh yes corn based ethanol is the basis for bourbon, but I burn bourbon internally, not in my car

roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 04:39 pm
@raprap,
From sugar cane, as it's done in Brazil it begins to make sense. As I may have mentioned, they (congress) are seriously considering knocking of the ~ $.50 per gallon tariff.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 05:44 pm
@roger,
It's still hard on engines and the supply of petroleum in the world is increasing at a fabulous rate. There is no rational reason for using any food source for ethanol.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 06:16 pm
@gungasnake,
Un huh. It's hard on engines, and doesn't deliver real good gas (alky) miles either. Whether supply is increasing or not depends on how you defien 'supply'. Proven reserves may or may not be increasing. The amount still in the ground isn't, unless you have some very surprising news for the rest of us.
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 08:34 pm
@roger,
You haven't been keeping up. Petroleum and natural gas turn out to be part of the planet's body chemistry, and are in fact being replenished at all times.
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 08:35 pm
@roger,
Brazil recognized ethanol based on sugar cane as beneficial in the 70's. Wise decision for Brazil. Unfortunately corn is not sugar cane--corn requires fertilizer and intensive cultivation both of which requires petroleum.

I've heard it said that 5 gallons of ethanol from corn needs 4 gallons of petroleum to produce--not a good return when compared to sugar cane, sugar beets, sorghum, or switch grass.

Rap
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 11:50 pm
@gungasnake,
That's the surprising news I was hoping for. Can you furnish details.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Jun, 2011 11:52 pm
@raprap,
I often wonder why sugar beets wasn't adopted as a source. They grow that stuff in Germany and Colorado. That's quite a range of climates.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2011 12:18 am
@roger,
Sugar beets are the source of about 40% of the German ethanol production.
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2011 12:32 am
The whole corn industry's been sucking the teat of government for decades, leading to excessive production, leading to a need to maintain demand. But if it drives corn-product-based food-prices up and forces people to eat food with less corn-derived crap in it, something good will have come of it. And since the family farms are being bought up and consolidated into corporate entities under the current ridiculous situation, I've got very few compunctions about what happens to the industry.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2011 12:41 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Sounds like a good choice.
0 Replies
 
raprap
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2011 01:36 am
@roger,
I believe Ganja is referring to the abiotic hypothesis of the origin of oil.

Abiogenic petroleum origin- Wikipedia

Quote:
Abiogenic petroleum origin is a discredited hypothesis that was proposed as an alternative to theory of biological petroleum origin. It was relatively popular in the past, but it went largely forgotten at the end of the 20th century after it failed to predict the location of new wells.

The abiogenic hypothesis argues that petroleum was formed from deep carbon deposits, perhaps dating to the formation of the Earth. Supporters of the abiogenic hypothesis suggest that a great deal more petroleum exists on Earth than commonly thought, and that petroleum may originate from carbon-bearing fluids that migrate upward from the mantle. The presence of methane on Saturn's moon Titan and in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune is cited as proof of the formation of hydrocarbons without biology.


Rap

raprap
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2011 01:39 am
@roger,
Sorghum is grown from the Ohio Valley south.

Rap
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2011 08:44 am
@raprap,
I've noted this before...

Wikipedia is an immensely valuable resource for any topic for which no controversy could plausibly exist. For anything else, it is totally worthless.

This is the kind of topic for which wiki is worthless.
0 Replies
 
 

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