Ethanol fuels discussion at Iowa Pork Congress

US - The subject of this year's Iowa Pork Congress was supposed to be swine, but ethanol was the talk of the two-day show.
calendar icon 26 January 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

As President Bush was calling for the production of 35 billion gallons of renewable fuels such as ethanol in the next 10 years, many hog producers were wincing at the rapid run-up that would mean for already-high corn prices.

Ethanol's unquenchable thirst for corn threatens to derail a record-breaking run of profits, hog producers were told. And consumers should expect to pay higher prices for pork.

Also, an Iowa State economist said, the sky-rocketing price of corn might even reach a point where investment in the ethanol industry itself is choked off.

Agricultural lender Mark Greenwood, vice president of commercial lending at AgStar Financial Services in Mankato, Minn., said higher corn prices have raised the cost of producing pork enough that hog producers probably will lose money this month for the first time in three years.

Hog producers will receive $115 to $120 for every hog they sell this month, Greenwood said, but it will cost them $120 to $125 to raise that hog to market weight.

Source: Des Moines Register

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