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View Diary: We'll run out of beer before we run out of oil (281 comments)

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  •  This is economically wrong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mataliandy, TexasTwister

    The reason there will not be a shift is because the farmer can get more $$$ per acre for the ethanol subsidized price of corn, so he will not plant barley unless he can get a price per acre equal to or greater than corn.  The problem is not that no one would plant barley, but that the prices would cause a real bout of inflation in this country (and world) that would impact the poor/middle class the most.

    •  people (0+ / 0-)

      people plant all sort of produce and crops and not just the ones who have the best profit yield ratio.  As long as money can be made, it will be planted.

      If you were right in your assessment, we would only have one type of crop planted in this country.  That isnt the case.

      Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

      by pissedpatriot on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 07:27:49 AM PST

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      •  Actually no (5+ / 0-)

        In most areas only a few crops will grow economically, so these are the ones that are planted.  They also tend to have similar yields (in price) per acre, which means that the farmers decide what they want to plant (unless they have contracts) based on where they think prices will be at the harvest.  What is happening now is that corn prices have gone up to such an extent that many people are going to plant corn instead of winter wheat or soybeans because the yields are twice what they were a year ago.  This will in turn drive up the prices of wheat and soybeans (along with everything corn based or fed by these crops or their byproducts), which equals inflation.

        •  but (0+ / 0-)

          but this will only be in the short run. New farmers will enter the market, either in this country or elsewhere.  Supply and Demand will take care of this.  Farming is not that difficult of an industry start up.

          Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

          by pissedpatriot on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 08:11:51 AM PST

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          •  It would be nice if it were that easy. (0+ / 0-)

            Something tell me it is not that easy, not these days.

            Change is inevitable, embrace it.

            by The House on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 08:34:30 AM PST

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            •  never (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JuliaAnn, The House, Allogenes

              never that easy especially since ethanol is not the answer. It just isn't a viable option. It still takes more energy to create and harvest than it produces.  Even when we streamline the situation, it still will not be a good, clean energy source.

              Its a waste of time. Time we could be spending working on harvesting the suns energy.  We have all the energy we ever need all around us, but I guys not enough scumball rich people can make enough of it, so it gets shelved.

              Generals gathered in their masses Just like witches at black masses.. Evil minds that plot destruction Sorcerers of deaths construction..........

              by pissedpatriot on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 08:59:44 AM PST

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              •  No (0+ / 0-)

                It's net energy positive, between 1.2/1 to 6/1 ratio, depending on source. Now Corn is just stupid, running in the 1.x ratio area, but sugar cane and beets run closer to the 6:1 ratio.

                Not saying its the best solution, just saying that it doesn't take more energy to harvest and create than it puts out.

          •  Meanwhile, as global-warming drought (0+ / 0-)

            hits the grain belt, wheat harvests will crash in the next few years. You got it backwards. We are going to see a contraction in available acreage.

            This might be a good time to start buying grain futures because La Nina can deliver droughts and La Nina may be returning.

            "It's the planet, stupid."

            by FishOutofWater on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 09:43:35 AM PST

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          •  Sure is easy to say stuff, ain't it? (0+ / 0-)

            Farming is not that difficult of an industry start up.

            I think you're wrong on this. Climate, cost of capital equipment, long time lag, transportation costs. Easy?

            Listen Before You Talk.

            by ormondotvos on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 01:33:42 PM PST

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          •  U hoh (0+ / 0-)

            New farmers will enter the market, either in this country or elsewhere.  

            You mean, like the farmers that have burned and cleared most of the Brazilian rain forest that formerly acted pretty much as the 'lungs' of the world in terms of CO2 exchange?

            I think we can do with less of that, please.

      •  but prices are skyrocketing until they adjust (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity

        yes, you are right to say farmers will switch if they see profit BUT in the meantime, barley prices skyrocket because supply has been cut because farmers switched to corn BECAUSE it got very profitable. Now some may/will switch back to barley but it is all a lag effect.  it's Feb. and I suspect farmers have bought seed for what they plan to plant in March and April.  I don't know the timing of all this but alot of these decisions have been made months ago.  

        The problem remain, the cheap energy issue is putting pressure all over the economy, if it's not directly on oil, it hits corn prices or then soy or then barley.  The problem creates volatility and price spikes.  and in it all is a big planting lag issue and effect.
        Jerome's fundamental point stands, "We need to find smart ways to reduce our consumption of energy, or we'll end up running out of beer before we run out of fuel in our desperate quest for endlessly available energy."

        •  In California (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gaspare

          The biggest item in the cost of beer is tax. And the demand for ethanol will spur production. However, the production does not have to come from corn.

          And as for the production of biodiesel, it also does not have to come from soybeans. We can raise and create higher oil content crops than soybeans.

          Does pressing the oil out of soybeans make it somehow unsuitable for feed?

          We can trust market forces to take care of filling demand on renewable resources, but we can't have the same faith on fossil fuels.

          Lefty!!!

          "There is a time for compromise, and it is called 'Later'!"

          by LeftyLimblog on Mon Feb 26, 2007 at 09:47:59 AM PST

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