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Most in county to see benefits of ethanol

by 5m Editor
22 February 2007, at 10:07am

US - Most people seem to comprehend the pros and cons of supply and demand. But when it comes to differences in the business of grain and livestock production, Carroll County farmers may have a better understanding than most.

As local farmers witnessed the emergence of corn-based ethanol as a fuel option in the past year, they simultaneously saw the price of a bushel of corn almost double its value.

Jim Cripe of The Andersons Inc. said the simple concept of supply and demand is paying off big for grain producers.

"A new market requiring a lot of corn has come available," Cripe said. "Naturally the price will rise dramatically."

Cripe said crop farmers are experiencing corn prices around $3.80 per bushel, almost $1.80 higher than one year ago.

"It's great for grain producers and buyers," Cripe stated. "The country will need to grow more corn, so it will cut back on soybean production, in turn driving up the price of beans. With an added market for corn growers, how can we lose?"

Cripe said there would be two billion bushels of new demand for corn nation-wide in the next 12 to 14 months, representing an increase of approximately 18 percent over last year's production.

He said about 18 million bushels of corn are produced annually in Carroll County, about two million bushels higher than Indiana county averages.

Cripe said about 5.4 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in the United States last year. An additional 6.1 billion gallons are planned for production once plants under construction are functional.

The Andersons Inc. has vested interest in two of those plants, located in Rensselaer and Clymers.

"With this much more demand, crop prices will continue to rise," Cripe stated. "That means more income for farmers as well as the county."

Excel Co-op General Manager George Green explained it would take virtually all the corn from Carroll and five surrounding counties to supply the three nearest ethanol plants.

Source: Carroll County Comet

5m Editor