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Author Topic: Sweet Corn vs field corn Back to Topics
goldseeker

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West Virginia

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Message Posted: Oct 22, 2011 3:41:52 AM

Some folks would lead you to believe that the price of sweet corn has sky rocketed due to increased use of field corn to ethanol.

Here in my area sweetcorn is priced the same as it has been for the past 5 years. Now I am not saying that is true throughout America, I am only saying that is true in my area.

There are folks claiming that farmers have quit growing sweet corn in order to plant more field corn as it is more profitable. I doubt that is true. And here is what I base that on.

Many sweet corn hybrids have a growing season of only 58 days. Not so with field corn. Most varieties of field corn has a growing season of 105- 120 days.

Todays market value of field corn is at around $6.00 for cash bids in the corn belt states.

Locally sweetcorn is selling for $5.00 per dozen. Sometimes I can find 5 ears for a dollar at Walmart. That is a good price, but local corn is better.

Now if a farmer sells a bushel of field corn at say $6.00 per bushel that represents a lot of corn. Remember a bushel of field corn is shelled corn and represents many ears.

In field corn, the average number of kernels per ear is 800 (according to Corn: Chemistry and Technology) and it takes an average of 1,300 kernels to weigh one pound. A bushel is defined as 56 pounds, which would mean 72,800 kernels (56 x 1,300 kernels per pound). Dividing 72,800 by 800 kernels per ear gives you 91 ears needed to make one bushel.

Based on 5 ears for a dollar that means that farmer Jones would have to get $18.20 per bushel to equal the price of sweetcorn. Or if you went by the typical dozen price in my area the farmer would have to get $37.91 per bushel to equal the price of sweetcorn. Not going to happen.
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MikeCapeCoral
Champion Author Cape Coral

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Message Posted: Dec 4, 2012 12:09:19 AM

Very good info. thanks
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pricewar
Champion Author Ogden

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Message Posted: Sep 28, 2012 2:47:47 AM

high bread maybe.
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23kimbo
Rookie Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Sep 25, 2012 8:37:16 PM

Thanks to all the Farmers.!!!
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Sep 25, 2012 2:21:45 AM

"Humans are really picky eaters..." Yep! That is why I raise my own or buy direct from the farmers. I know what I am getting, and the quality is better.
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hailsupersport
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Sep 24, 2012 10:02:18 AM

It's all good as long as the farmers are making living from
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eccerr0r
Champion Author Fort Collins

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Message Posted: Sep 23, 2012 10:31:55 PM

I still wonder how much Walmart pays the farmers for sweet corn.

If farmers only direct-sells (which Walmart would NOT like them doing, because they're in the business of being the middleman) then of course the farmer is more profitable growing edible corn. But not all farmers can direct sell, direct selling involves significant costs.

However I don't know the profit margin of Walmart. Based on what I've seen for retail markups, the Walmart cut is significant. If they're forced to sell at reduced rate for Walmart, Safeway, etc., then I think the margin between ethanol corn and edible corn is much closer...
Plus there's no waste for ethanol corn... half-grown ears are still useful where people would balk at eating corn that has half the kernels looking strange...

Now one thing I'm not sure of, is whether ethanol corn can be fed to livestock... Probably. Then that's another benefit for growing that kind of corn.

Humans are really picky eaters...



[Edited by: eccerr0r at 9/23/2012 10:33:33 PM EST]
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Banjoe
Champion Author Winnipeg

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Message Posted: Sep 22, 2012 8:09:26 AM

It's all good - as long as the farmers are making living from all the sweat they put in every year.

Many thanks to those boys & girls for every kind of crop you grow for us.
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GM1954
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Sep 22, 2012 7:46:26 AM

"Beef, pork, prices go up. "

Beef and pork prices are a function of supply of animals and people willing to buy those animals. Just because the livestock producers cost of production increases, does not mean wholesale or retail prices will increase.

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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Sep 22, 2012 7:36:28 AM

"for every bushel of field corn that's used for ethanol, that's one less bushel to be used for animal feed."

A typical false statement from people that do not have a clue.

For every bushel of corn used ethanol produces nearly 1/2 the bushel weight in feed a food products.

Just this past week 93,077 metric tons of livestock feed, 82,979 metric tons of which were distillers grains. The rest is comprised of corn gluten feed and corn gluten meal. Additionally, ethanol producers were providing 4.34 million pounds of corn oil daily. Corn oil can be produced as food or fuel grade.
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RalphHightower
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 22, 2012 6:42:41 AM

Well, field corn, besides used for ethanol, is used for animal feed; so, for every bushel of field corn that's used for ethanol, that's one less bushel to be used for animal feed. Beef, pork, prices go up.
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tdioiler
All-Star Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Sep 17, 2012 12:59:56 PM

If sweet corn prices are up, they are done so by the buying public. Unlike the commodity selling of corn, if you don't buy as much then the prices stay down.

My area the price has been stable. But we didn't buy as much as in year's past. Mainly affect of fewer kids home for summer than in the past.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Sep 17, 2012 2:08:37 AM

Was up in Maryland yesterday, and purchased some nice sweetcorn at a roadside stand for $3.00 per dozen.

Also some of the local Md corn is nearing maturity, and other stands is still nice and green and filling out.
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terfar77
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2012 6:21:13 AM

going up
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olympusman2004
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Sep 13, 2012 12:44:43 AM

Sweet corn is rising
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GM1954
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2012 10:13:03 AM

"That may be true, but fighting off deer, raccoon, skunks and other pests is not all that easy. I planted twice this year and varmints got it all."

Go to a farm supply store and buy a high voltage stock fence. We've run a single wire six to eight inches off the ground and the corn is protected from coons. One coon will get knocked down and tell all his friends.

If you ran a wire at the 4 foot level, as well, it might deter the deer long enough to get some decent corn. If full grown bulls avoid these things, deer will too.
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Cummins2500
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Sep 8, 2012 8:31:34 PM

That may be true, but fighting off deer, raccoon, skunks and other pests is not all that easy. I planted twice this year and varmints got it all."
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I don't have any big problems though I did have a baby bunny get in the garden this year, I later out found out it was living under the shed and it only damage 4-5 corn stalks a few weeks after they came up, then it went after 3 of the wife's cantaloupe and then it was gone, the squirrels that pass through all most daily don't stop to eat guess they don't like what we planted, the birds only go after the over ripe tomatoes I threw on the ground and I know of many others in my area that also have gardens and don't have any problems like you have.
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As for Deer I see their tracks with in 6 feet of my garden several times a year and I'm sure the 24 inch bunny fence around it will not stop any deer if it wanted my sweet corn or other things we grow, but why would they when they can eat at any of the hundreds of acres of corn & soy with in 1 block of my garden.
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Don't know how you put up your corn but what we freeze taste just as good as the day we freeze it. I just thought it may be because we vac seal our corn.
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Brad410
Rookie Author Idaho

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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2012 12:15:13 PM

They all leave poor paying jobs in the government for the good jobs they helped in the private sector
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Sep 6, 2012 4:44:37 AM

"Why pay $3-6.00 for 12 ears of sweet corn when for $2.00 I bought sweet corn seed to grow enough sweet corn to fill my freezer with enough corn to last my wife and I until August 2013."

That may be true, but fighting off deer, raccoon, skunks and other pests is not all that easy. I planted twice this year and varmints got it all.

Also fresh sweet corn is better than frozen sweet corn. I have had frozen sweet corn for over 50 years and it is not bad, but not near as good as fresh sweet corn.

At $3.00 per dozen I will not complain about the price.
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Cummins2500
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Sep 5, 2012 3:53:33 PM

Why pay $3-6.00 for 12 ears of sweet corn when for $2.00 I bought sweet corn seed to grow enough sweet corn to fill my freezer with enough corn to last my wife and I until August 2013.
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Maintroll
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Sep 5, 2012 10:08:42 AM

Sweet corn in the grocery here was about $3-$4. per dozen depending where and when you bought it.
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Kado101
Sophomore Author Oklahoma

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Message Posted: Sep 5, 2012 9:51:31 AM

Sweet corn is $6 per dozen in eastern Oklahoma
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stickyvalves
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Sep 3, 2012 10:20:23 PM

Local sweet corn has been priced at $5/doz all summer. I think this is called drought pricing.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Sep 3, 2012 10:24:38 AM

Bought some very good sweet corn yesterday at $3.00 per doz at a roadside stand. Lots of farmers sell sweetcorn and other produce at roadside stands in my area. I even saw tomatoes at $7.00 per bushel. This sure beats the Walmart price at $2.00 per pound. And the quality and flavor is much better.
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ChuckByf
Rookie Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 4:03:17 PM

The price of SC should not be effected by ethanol. It's still it's inflated price as always around here.
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AccordV6MN
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Aug 24, 2012 9:53:45 AM

the downside of your story is that wholesale vs retail.

Walmart probably buy sweet corn for about ~$4 per equivalent bushel of field corn. which probably about the same profit for both kind of farmers.

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terfar77
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Aug 23, 2012 6:15:37 AM

good to know
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tropicalmn
Veteran Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Aug 20, 2012 1:13:35 AM

“The difference between sweet corn and field corn is largely the farmer's choice as to what to plant.”

It is not largely the farmer’s choice. It is the sweet corn processor’s choice (Birdseye, Seneca Foods, etc) They only will offer contracts to farmers to grow a limited number of acres of sweet corn each year. As has been the case for the last 30 years in my area there is a very slim chance that a farmer who hasn’t grown for them before would get a sweet corn contract next year. (MN by the way has a very good sweet corn crop this year). They are not interest in over supplying the market & losing money each year simply because the consumer thinks they are entitled to cheap food. You want more sweet grown everybody needs to eat sweet corn three times a day. They will respond & contract with farmers to grow more! Again won’t be any cheaper!

“As to the claim that ethanol is not starving the world's poor, it is primarily Americans who are spoiled on sweet corn and will not eat field corn. The rest of the world eats the same field corn used to feed livestock and ethanol distilleries.”

Field corn is primarily a FEED grain another starch Rice is primarily a FOOD grain. Rice is the primary food of more than 3 billion people around the world & most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake. The world’s poor are not eating corn fed livestock. You don’t grow rice where you grow corn. So how is it that ethanol is starving the world’s poor?


[Edited by: tropicalmn at 8/20/2012 1:15:18 AM EST]
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PissedATthePump
All-Star Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 11:52:21 PM

Local sweetcorn is about 50 cents an ear here in NE PA and southern tier NY
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GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 8:22:57 PM

The difference between sweet corn and field corn is largely the farmer's choice as to what to plant. If the price of one rises then the other will rise next season when less is planted in favor of the other.

As to the claim that ethanol is not starving the world's poor, it is primarily Americans who are spoiled on sweet corn and will not eat field corn. The rest of the world eats the same field corn used to feed livestock and ethanol distilleries.
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terfar77
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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 10:29:56 AM

corn will be so expensive soon it wont be an issue
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annettemendieta
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 5:01:16 AM

I love sweet corn.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 3:43:26 AM

Was up in Maryland yesterday. Noted several farmers selling sweetcorn at roadside stands. Many just had a serve yourself stand with a money box. Most was priced at $3.50-$4.00. I talked to one of the farmers and he said that this has been his best growing year ever.

Ummm good.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Aug 19, 2012 3:43:26 AM

Was up in Maryland yesterday. Noted several farmers selling sweetcorn at roadside stands. Many just had a serve yourself stand with a money box. Most was priced at $3.50-$4.00. I talked to one of the farmers and he said that this has been his best growing year ever.

Ummm good.
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luvmyburgi
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jul 31, 2012 3:37:03 PM

interesting
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vulcan96
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jul 29, 2012 3:29:46 AM

local is almost always better
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Cummins2500
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2012 7:09:50 PM

Have seen one person sell sweet corn $3.00 for 15 that was a big surprised being everyone else is selling it at $5.00 a dozen.
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reb4
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2012 8:11:08 AM

sweet corn at local store is 50 cents still... or 2 / $1.00
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 28, 2012 12:08:42 AM

Saw some local sweet corn for $4.00 a "bakers dozen" today.
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Edpap
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2012 7:12:54 AM

Local corn in my area is only $3 a bakers dozen when it is plentiful...about 2 weeks away. Early corn here now is at5, except Giant Eagle Grocery Chain had excellent out of atate corn for $3 until last week.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Jul 13, 2012 5:48:24 PM

Have been buying local sweet corn now for three weeks. Ummmmm good.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Jun 16, 2012 9:46:46 AM

Local sweetcorn is now in tassel, so I feel there is a good chance I will be eating some for the 4th. And the local farmer claims he will sell it at $5.00 per bakers doz.

Oh, by the way cash bids for yellow dent corn in central Iowa is $6.03 per bushel.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: May 31, 2012 7:09:31 AM

Jacksfan: I agree. I almost always buy my sweetcorn direct from the farm. Our first crop should be available by July 4th.
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jacksfan
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Message Posted: May 30, 2012 12:21:09 PM

IMO, the corn passed off as sweet corn in Walmart and grocery stores at this time of year is an insult to sweet corn everywhere.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: May 30, 2012 7:12:01 AM

Don't know about Walmart, but local sweet corn is now knee high which is way ahead of last years crop.
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ethanolbob
All-Star Author Maryland

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Message Posted: May 29, 2012 5:37:55 AM

Ahhhh, love that sweet corn. Saw some at Walmart today for 10 cents an ear.
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GM1954
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2012 9:51:16 AM

"By the way, we maximized our per acre yield but, at what cost? How did we double the output per acre from a few decades ago?"

No-till farming practices, genetics, safer chemicals, GPS for precise chemical application, better conservation practices, larger equipment, and more.

"Can you really argue that using corn for fuel does not raise the price of food?"

Yes. As market demand for grain has increased, grain farmers have increased production, proportionately. That incremental increase in corn production, not only made the ethanol, it produced hundreds of millions of tons of animal feed. The US is a surplus producer of grain.

Ethanol is not the prive driver of corn price. The prive driver of any US commodity prices is the value of the US dollar.

"It just doesn't seem as if we have a reasoned plan for the future. Did we produce a scientific study outlining a future path for energy consumption and production?"

You don't need to see a study. Private enterprise will meet the market's needs.

"We should be moving away from burning anything for energy."

Why? Hydrocarbons are going to oxidize, with time, regardless of whether you place them in your fuel tank or not. Do you really think the earth stops it's natural processes, just because you stop driving your car?
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ConsumerGuy
Sophomore Author Baltimore

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Message Posted: Dec 1, 2011 1:55:46 AM

Ethanol is certainly better than the MTBE that it replaces. That has contaminated lots of wells in my area. I think it can be used in limited ways for now. I just don't see it as a solution in 50 years. I was all for ethanol at first, but then I started reading the fine print and discovered it wasn't perfect.

I am old enough to remember the thousands of farmers losing their family farms so, I am sensitive to their plight. It would make me much happier if it were more of those thousands of small family farmers now reaping these benefits.

By the way, we maximized our per acre yield but, at what cost? How did we double the output per acre from a few decades ago?

Can you really argue that using corn for fuel does not raise the price of food? It does not make sense to me to keep raising the price of our food so we can drive our SUVs to the grocery store. Where does it end? Is $10 a bushel corn possible? $20? What would that do to us?

It just doesn't seem as if we have a reasoned plan for the future. Did we produce a scientific study outlining a future path for energy consumption and production? I haven't seen one and if there was one, would the special interest groups let it live?

For instance, with existing technology, we could have built houses that were so much more energy efficient than the ones they replaced that you could practically heat them with a candle. That could have reduced our energy needs by perhaps 20%. Instead of building them 30 years ago after the first energy crises, we went through a long period of building mini-mansions that some are now struggling to heat.

I had a friend who complained about their $500 a month utility bill for their old house, until they received a $1,200 bill for their brand new house. That was about 10 years ago.

We should be moving away from burning anything for energy. That will take a huge effort but, what's the alternative?

I hate to bring up a hot button but, it looks like even the most radical predictions of global warming were not radical enough. Polar ice caps are melting at a rate far faster than anyone had predicted.

India and China are poised to add millions of cars to their new roads.

Doubling our population every few decades isn't going to reduce our energy needs either.

We do not have to become the USSR with 5 year plans that do nothing but a comprehensive plan based on science, not money or influence, is essential. Instead, we focus on who had an affair or who stained a dress. Misdirection is a wonderful thing, isn't it?

We have lots of issues to tackle and no plan to tackle them.

I say let science rule. Switchgrass, fuel cells, geothermal, solar; whatever is the most efficient answer is what we should be pursuing.
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goldseeker
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Nov 22, 2011 5:27:45 AM

Consumerguy: You ask if I am a farmer. Yes/no. I have always been a farmer at heart. I grew up on a small family farm. I lived and worked on a major grain farm (peanuts, corn, soy beans) in Va. I have worked closely with the farming community all of my adult life. I sometimes get frustrated in here answering up to what I call armchair experts or folks that only know what they hear on the news or can goggle up on the computer.

I am pretty much anti-establishment. I pay little attention to what is being reported by the press as they often get it wrong.

"I can't help but assume that it isn't science holding us back but politics."

I also would say that is right. Look, I have never said that ethanol is the silver bullet. However, it is definitely a piece of the pie. We need a diverse approach to energy security. We need ethanol, methanol, butanol, CNG, LP, biodiesel, electric and even hydrogen.

Lets take a look at the trillions we have spent in the middle east. The war in Iraq is over and we will soon be out of there. The same goes for Afghanistan. However our presence in the Persian Gulf will remain......for as long as oil is there. If it was left up to me, I would take the money that we spend on guarding the Persian Gulf and develop natural gas and other forms of energy to fuel the auto fleet. We can do it, as natural gas is plentiful. It is far less harmful to the environment as it burns much cleaner. Instead, we are using enough natural gas in Alberta to heat 2 million homes, in order to heat up the tar sands just to extract the oil from that gooey mess and ship most of that oil down here to the US. Cost to produce a barrel of oil from the tar sands is about $40.
The tar sands project is most likely the largest energy related environmental disaster in the world. They are turning a once pristine forest into a lunar landscape the size of Florida. The ugly scar up there is so large, you can now see it from outer space. I could go on for pages on this, but lets move on.

Sweetcorn maturity? I have indeed seen it as low as 58 days, but I have never raised it myself. Here in my area a lot of people raise what is called bi-color. I am looking at Burpee's site right now and they have a Variety that is 70-73 days to maturity, which is still much quicker than field corn.

This year the local farmers were selling sweet corn by mid July, but the first field corn was not ready until late Sept..

Now for alternative choices for ethanol. Switchgrass is a good choice. On the plus side you plant it once. You will not have to replant every year, it takes less fertilizer, and less pesticides and herbicides. However, you will not harvest a crop the first year. The first crop will likely be harvested on the second year. This process is currently being developed in a joint effort by Dupont/Danisco at a site in Tennessee. You must remember that in order to make ethanol, methanol, and butanol, you must first break down the cellulosic fiber to release the sugars before the fermentation process can begin. We have known how to do this at laboratory levels for many years, but gearing up to do it at commercial levels that is profitable has been a slow process.

At this time there are six plants that are producing cellulosic ethanol here in the US. While it is true, they are small, you have to start somewhere. It should be noted that there are also 7 more cellulosic plants under construction.

And there are millions of acres of farmland that are doing nothing but producing weeds at this time. Actually most of these acres come under the CRP program which means farmers are getting paid to do nothing with this land.

We could indeed raise more sugar cane in this country, but it could only be grown in just a few states. Sweet sorghum would be a better way to go as it can be grown in most of the lower 48 states. Both sweet sorghum and sugar cane have certain advantages. Once mature, you press the stalks to get the juices which is high in sugar content, which can be placed in a Vat that will then allow the fermentation process to begin. The remaining spent stalks or bagazze can then be processed further by the cellulosic process to produce additional ethanol.

I have been disappointed that sweet sorghum has not caught on. I know that it is currently under development, but the process is far too slow in my opinion. There are disadvantages to cane ethanol. Once the stalk has been cut you cannot store it for long periods of time, as the sugar content will not remain high forever, whereas corn can be stored for months and even years.

Algae fuels have great potential, both as bio-diesel and also ethanol. Algae grows at a phenomenal rate and can double in volume in just a few hours. It can be grown almost everywhere, even in the desert. And you can even use salt water and waste water from sewage treatment plants. You can potentially produce several thousand gallons of biodiesel and/or ethanol per acre.

This process is slow to develop as we are currently in a credit slump and no one wants to invest in a new technology, that is why I say, take the money that we are currently spending in the mid east and develop alternative forms of energy. It is time to thumb or noses at the Arabs, and make America strong again.

Folks like to cite the $2.00 per bushel in 2005 vs the $6.00 per bushel today. So are you saying that it should go back to $2.00 per bushel? If that happens the price will have to be subsidized or farmers will quit growing it.

There are plenty of market forces at play here, not just ethanol. When the US dollar is strong, foreign countries do not buy corn, when it gets weak they buy tons of corn. The dollar is on the up side now. Corn futures for December are now down to $5.50. If the dollar gets weak China will likely buy mega tons of corn, driving the price up again.

"Growing crops for energy would seem to be a losing proposition as an ever expanding population would require more crop land than is aVailable so, it is not a long term solution anyway."

I beg to differ. Growing crops for energy is a valuable piece of the pie. We have over a billion tons of annual waste products that can and should be converted to usable forms of energy. The only losing proposition we have is to do absolutely nothing.

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ConsumerGuy
Sophomore Author Baltimore

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Message Posted: Nov 21, 2011 11:40:03 PM

You seem to be quite knowledgeable on the subject. Are you a farmer?

I wasn't suggesting that sugar cane was more efficient than corn in producing fuel, just that another country with fewer resources than the US has managed to become energy independent using it. My real point is that a technologically inferior country to us has done something we could not. I can't help but assume that it isn't science holding us back but politics.

By the way, the sweet corn I normally grow takes about 4 months to reach maturity.

The numbers I have seen for producing fuel from switchgrass is something like 500% more energy per acre than is used to produce it, unlike corn, which yields about 25%.

If there are other crops that can be used more efficiently, such as those you have suggested, than lets use them, in the short term. That is, if they do not increase the price of my dinner.

The price of a bushel of corn has gone from $2.00 a bushel in 2005 to $6.00 a bushel, more or less, today. There has also been a corresponding increase in food prices. Field corn is used to feed cattle, hogs, chickens and also used as sweeteners, starches and other components of processed foods, is it not?

During that time, the percentage of the US corn crop used for ethanol production has gone from 5% a few years ago to about 40% today.

Does the price of oil play into that? Of course. It takes oil to produce the fertilizers and pesticides and to harvest and transport the crops.

I do not know if crop land formerly used to produce sweet corn has been switched to producing field corn, which might increase the price if there was less sweet corn available.

Growing crops for energy would seem to be a losing proposition as an ever expanding population would require more crop land than is available so, it is not a long term solution anyway.
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goldseeker
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Message Posted: Nov 21, 2011 1:39:28 AM

Consumerguy: I am sorry but you have been misled into believing that ethanol from corn is less efficient than ethanol from sugar cane. It takes 6 months to grow a corn crop and 12 months to raise a sugar cane crop. Ethanol has several valuable co-products, sugar cane does not.

Labor in Brazil is dirt cheap (about $1.00 per hour). Brazil produces hydrous ethanol, the US produces anhydrous ethanol which drives the price per gallon up about 30 cents.

While it is true that sugar cane yields about 600 gallons per acre, several of the corn belt states has a yield from corn that is nearly that good.

There are also other crops that can out yield both corn and sugar cane. For instance sweet sorghum can yield 1000 gallons per acre and in can be grown in most states, plus in the southern tier states two crops can be grown per year.

There are other possibilities such as algae that can out yield them all. It will take time to see if that ever comes to be.
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