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I am going to do a bit of research between storm preparations, but I was listening to NPR today, and there was a story on Here and Now about the increase in use of Corn for Ethanol, and that there is a push to create a fuel with an even higher percentage of corn alcohol for sale at fuel stations.

You can read/listen to the story that got me to thinking here: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/...

More corn now goes to make ethanol than to feed livestock. And production is on the rise, even though the federal government this year phased out the subsidy it had been giving refiners to add ethanol to their product.

The growth worries environmentalists who say ethanol isn’t much cleaner than gasoline. Livestock farmers are also grimacing as more corn goes to fuel and feed prices rise sharply.

Has corn crop creation increased as a result of Corn Ethanol production? Yes according to the USDA
Changes Expected to the Agricultural Landscape

Higher demand for corn, for biofuel as well as for animal feed and human food, has increased corn production in traditional corn-growing regions and elsewhere. As farmers responded to higher corn prices, prices and production levels for other crops adjusted as well. Crop producers have generally benefited from higher returns to corn and other grain crops. Some livestock and poultry producers, however, are worse off. More corn going to biofuels, together with reduced production of soybeans, sorghum, and other feed crops, has contributed to a net increase in grain feed costs for livestock producers. The availability of distillers’ grains, a byproduct of corn-based ethanol production that can be used as a feed supplement for some livestock, may lessen the impact on feed costs (see “Grain Prices Impact Entire Livestock Production Cycle"). These changing feed markets, according to ERS analysis, will prompt a slight decline in animal production.
http://www.ers.usda.gov/...

Growth in corn crops are expected to keep rising. So that means more opportunities for rural , and perhaps even some suburban bee keepers to deal with exposure to massive amounts of Neonicinoid exposure due to talc clouds at planting times, and increased infection rates due to suppressed immune systems in their bees due to consumption of sublethal amounts of neonicotinoids via nectar, pollen, and guttation. {remember that weeds in these corn fields also take up neonics and express them in their nectar, and pollen and guttation as well]. So you get it from corn pollen and weed pollen/nectar as well.

If corn is being slated to be used for ethanol production, do those crops need to be protected from pests in the same manner as food crops? I ask because I would think that ethanol production-corn wouldn't have to be as pretty as corn slated for your table or even for animal feed?

Would Corn producers with ethanol crops consider backing off of use of certain pesticides such as NeoNicotinoids, if they weren't necessary, because perhaps the visual quality of the corn might not be as stringent, as corn that would be used for human consumption or animal feed?

Does that matter?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think it's cleaner, it is surely not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, northsylvania

    cheaper,it makes food costs rise, reduces a car's mpg and it ruins older engines and small engines.  Your thought  is a good one but I hate the ethanol bit altogether.

     I am even more worried about producing GM corn for the ethanol industry which will migrate into the food supply and seriously damage it.  

    I get sick now when I eat many (snack) foods which are made from corn or are made with corn oil; this never used to happen to me.  Canned and fresh corn still seem to be OK, so I'm more inclined to think it's about the oil. Could be the pesticide or the GM. It makes my gut hurt.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:15:02 PM PDT

  •  Does this pesticide get into the water table? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, weck

    Especially the Oglallah aquifer, the one now being threatened by Simmons the burier of nuclear materials at the southern end of same.  I am wondering as it is whether the presence of either this pesticide or that radioactive stuff, from food grown in reliance on the soon if not already contaminated aquifer will carry the pollutants to all those who eat the grains from there or not? Anybody know something scienfic about this. I did my last science class before Rachel Carlson ever wrote her book.

  •  Meanwhile, in the short term, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weck

    though I hope you and yours are well prepared and in a safe place, may the weather pass you by.
    ...and weck, last time we visited the States, we both got sick on the food, even in our favourite restaurants. Maybe it was the meat, maybe it was the oil used to cook it, maybe it was our imagination, but it's taken weeks to get straightened out.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 02:25:59 PM PDT

    •  There are lots of snack foods we cannot eat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, northsylvania

      and we live here.

      No hamburgers, they make us break out in big boils, no artificial sweeteners, they make us throw up or develop severe headaches.

      It makes you wonder about a lot of things.

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