According to the US Department of Agriculture, farmers are anxious to cash in on the demand for ethanol. So much so, that soy and cotton will be taking a back seat to corn-growing to the tune of 13.5 billion bushels.
The food vs. fuel debate among growers has intensified because the US Government has legislated that ethanol be used as a â€œblender with conventional petrol,â€ causing a surge in demand for the product.
It is expected that Brazilian and Argentine growers will produce more soy to off-set the void created by US farmers. The trade-off is the US will pay more for animal feed made from imported soy.
Over the last three years, I have noticed a rise in the price of corn at my local roadside market during harvest season. In 2004, ears of sweet corn were priced at $2.50 a dozen; in 2005 the price went up to $3.00; last summer corn hit an all-time high of $3.75 a dozen. This year, I'm ordering corn seeds out of the Burpee Seed catalog, till in some cow dung, grow it myself, and have it for 50 cents a dozen, with a little left over for moonshine.
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