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Old 05-23-2008, 10:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Bror Jace View Post
"Corn producers or ethanol producers, to whom are you referring?"

I was referring to corn farmers that sell their crop to produce ethanol.

Ok, RE farmers, now what are they going to do to ethanol?

"In what way is that farm bill ridiculous?"

Farmers are having a record year. Taxing citizens to pay farmers subsidies when they are doing better than they ever have is ridiculous (subsidies in general are economically inefficient ... should be used as a last resort to keep producers afloat, etc ...).

Glad you brought this up, even Washington doesn't know what's going on. Prices are high because there is nothing to sell! The 2008 crop was contracted over a year ago at what appeared to be a good price. Since then commodity prices have gone up 75%. This forced all grain elevators to stop contracting any grain because they could not pay their margin calls. In the mean time many ag inputs (fertilizer, fuel, etc,) have gone up over 100%. So now farmers are caught, nothing on hand to sell, no way to forward contract and lockin these high prices, huge bills from buying inputs this spring, unable to plant because of the wet weather (only 51% corn planted as of Tuesday). Now the next dilema is if they have a short crop, they will have to buy commodities back at the inflated price to deliver on their contracts at a 75% loss. This all together could have global impact.

The cost of the farm bill is spread over many years, not one year.

Energy is only part of the cost of combustion, how do you pay for the oxygen you use? Farmers raise crops which turn CO2, H2O into, of course, O2 and eatable carbon. How can we pay people to make oxygen? Maybe if we put a price floor under them so they don't go out business, they will keep doing it for free. Let's hope so.

"Switchgrass grows well in a tropical climate?"

I have no idea. I thought I'd toss it out there for discussion. Maybe it could use its own thread? Maybe I should have searched here for "switchgrass" first?

Each crop requires different equipment attachments, and besides corn stalks can be used for bio-ethanol.

"Fuel economy in what units? Btu's per mile? $ per mile?"

I was calculating MPGs. I suppose $ per mile is just another conversion factor from that figure. No idea how to arrive at BTUs per mile without doing some research first. ... just hadn't occurred to me.
Energy will be priced by heat units eventually, that is still shakin' out, but it has to happen.

Last edited by diesel_john; 05-23-2008 at 11:13 PM..
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