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Corn: Shucked Again…

Posted by admin on April 4, 2011 in Uncategorized with No Comments


I am saving spare change in a big jar, and hoping to be able to afford to buy gas for my garden tractor to cut the grass this summer. Filling a 5 gallon can costs what it once cost to fill the car. And I do not expect to be saved by “biofuel” or any other proposals coming out of Washington. Aside from the fact that ethanol absorbs water and reduces gas mileage; there are serious questions about its financial and environmental practicality.

May corn futures rose by nearly $3.70 (a little more than the average price of a gallon of gas) to $7.30 per bushel. A bushel of corn will distill slightly more than 2.5 gallons of ethanol. Already the price of ethanol is close to the price of gasoline before the refining process even begins. It takes tremendous amounts of energy to process and distill the ethanol. The energy for processing is usually electricity, produced by fossil fuels. It took a tremendous amount of fossil fuel in the form of fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides to grow the corn. It took a tremendous amount of gasoline to plant, cultivate and harvest the corn. Then it took more fossil fuel to transport it. You don’t need a calculator to know this whole process is running in the red.

The only reasons commercial interests are involved in the production of biofuel are the subsidies and tax breaks that make it profitable for them. These subsidies are being paid with borrowed money. Petro-pharma, Monsanto is selling tons of GMO seed corn. Again, you don’t need a calculator or a degree in economics to know that this is a costly charade to make us think something is being done. In the end we are deeper and deeper underwater in tax debt, while the same fat cats pocket their subsidies and avoid a fair share of the taxes.