The USDA just released a report that projects more corn will go to the production of ethanol, than feed for cattle. That is the first time that has ever happened in this country. At the same time, other crops have experienced loss in yields:
For the first time ever, more of the corn crop may go into gas tanks than into the stomachs of cattle and poultry destined for kitchen tables.
The prediction drew little response last week when it was released by the USDA in its Crop Production and Supply/Demand Report for the 2011 crop season. The USDA kept its prediction for ethanol production demand for corn at 5.05 billion, but lowered demand projections for livestock feed by 100 million bushels to 5 billion bushels.
That fuel now tops livestock as the primary user of corn struck at least one observer as noteworthy.
“That’s a first-time-ever type of change,” University of Missouri Extension economist Ron Plain said in a statement released by the university.
Ethanol is heavily subsidized. When the federal government pushes or favors a particular industry or product that tends to have a ripple effect:
Soybean yields will be 169 million bushels, or 5.24 percent lower than the July estimate of 3.225 billion bushels, the report indicated.
The USDA predicted Iowa’s total corn production will rise from 2.15 billion bushels in 2010 to 2.43 billion bushels in 2011. Iowa’s harvest is predicted to yield 177 bushels per acre. That is higher than last year’s 165 bushels per acre, but shy of the record of 182 bushels.
Anyone who has been in a grocery store can testify to the rising cost of food. Now, we have American families stating that they are going hungry:
The latest report focuses on households with children. It found that 40 of the largest metro areas nationwide had at least 25 percent of households that could not buy enough food for everyone in the home at some point during the past year. Every one of the 100 largest metro areas had 15 percent or more of such households with children.
Food is in high demand, yet short in supply:
In addition, there have been substantial cuts in The Emergency Food Assistance Program, or TEFAP, which represents 38 percent of the food Second Harvest delivers, she said.
Though the local Second Harvest agency continues to get food through the federal TEFAP program, there are empty shelves at the warehouse, said Clyde Fitzgerald, the executive director for Second Harvest Food Bank.
"They've been empty since late last week," he said. "We have had a great daily need for food assistance, and a sharp decrease in supply due to no food-drive donations in several weeks and a marked decline in retail grocery store donations. When your supply goes down sharply and the demand is strong, that depletes supply in a heartbeat."
There are always consequences when the federal government gets involved in the market. It’s quite disturbing when a scientific theory is more important to our elected representatives than its people.