Grain Shortages, Rising World Food Prices – and Ethanol Backfires?

“Achieving the 15% (Bush) goal (to replace 15% of domestic gasoline with biofuels in 10 years) would require the entire current U. S. corn crop, which represents a whopping 40% of the world's corn supply.”

- Colin Carter, Ph.D., UC-Davis

Corn ethanol plant in South Dakota. Image © 2006 by Greg Harp. 
Corn ethanol plant in South Dakota. Image © 2006 by Greg Harp.

April 18, 2008  Davis, California - In February , I received a phone call from a North Dakota farmer who I had talked to before on other farm issues. He said he and his wheat farmer colleagues were having a hard time finding durham wheat seed to plant for a crop later this year. He wondered why there was such a short seed supply. Wheat prices have risen from $4/ a bushel in 2007 to around $25/bushel this spring of 2008.

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