Expanded Grain Based Ethanol Production Expected to Impact Feed and Food Supplies

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 2268. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 11 October 2006
clock icon 3 minute read
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Farm-Scape, Episode 2268

One of western Canada's largest swine producers is expressing concern over the potential impact of expanded grain based ethanol production on feed and food supplies.

By 2012 US ethanol production is expected to reach 7.5 billion gallons per year.

Big Sky Farms CEO Florian Possberg notes in the US mid-west over 100 ethanol plants are in business or about to begin business and, in speaking with US producers, they're quite concerned with how much corn will be available for livestock production.

" To give you an example, Iowa is the largest producer of corn in the United States and we were told that in 2004 roughly 40 percent of their corn crop was exported.

By 2008 they could actually be a net importer.

I might add that, even if American corn production increases by an average of 15 bushels per acre per year, with the additional ethanol plants coming on stream within the next five or ten years, the United States could be short of corn for internal purposes much less exports so it's a pretty simple issue.

If you put corn in your tank through ethanol, it's not available for you to eat and sustain yourself so our concern here would be similar to the American producers is government policy needs to keep in mind that, yeah, it's important that we have fuel.

It's also important that we have the grain stocks to feed out population so it needs to be in proper balance.

Possberg suggests it's great to have fuel in the car to make it run but, if we get to the point where it's a choice between putting it in your tank and having something to eat, it's going to be interesting times.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

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