There is no empirical evidence to support the argument of a University of Wisconsin study, which claims U.S. cropland has expanded since 2008. USDA data clearly show that the area planted to field crops was more than 1 million acres smaller in 2012 than in 2008.
One of the questions posed by the House Energy & Commerce Committee asked whether ethanol and the RFS have impacted corn prices. Our response? Yes, of course ethanol expansion has added value to corn prices—that was the point!
As expected, this morning's supply-demand estimates from USDA showed a big reduction in the size of the 2012 corn crop and average yield. Today's report estimates average yield at 123.4 bushels per acre (bpa), down nearly 23 bpa from USDA's July estimate and the lowest yield since 1995.
Tomorrow morning’s USDA World Agriculture Supply-Demand Estimates (WASDE) report may very well be the most highly anticipated report in the agency’s long and storied history. It will offer USDA’s first survey-based estimates of the 2012 corn crop and average corn yields; and the universal expectation is that the persisting hot, dry weather in the Corn Belt this summer has substantially reduced the size of the crop.
Extreme hot and dry weather across much of the Midwest this summer has caused government and private analysts to significantly reduce their projections of the size of the 2012 corn crop. This white paper briefly examines the potential impacts on the RFS and outlook for the ethanol industry.
An in-depth analysis of U.S. land use patterns released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows total cropland decreased by 34 million acres from 2002 to 2007, the lowest level since USDA began collecting this data 1945. The RFA said the new report is one more addition to the mounting body of evidence that proves increased ethanol production has not resulted in expansion of total U.S. cropland or a decline in grassland and forest.
In a letter sent to President Obama today, the Renewable Fuels Association urged the President to take pride in the U.S. ethanol industry, as they detailed the dynamic state of the industry. The letter was prompted by remarks the President made during his Twitter town hall event earlier this week, in which the President seemed to question the commitment of ethanol producers and advocates to innovation.
For ethanol interests, the United States Senate was a cauldron of confusion this week. As is often the case in Washington, things are not as they appear. This week's ethanol debate had little to do with ethanol and even less to do with true energy policy. It was old fashioned political theater.
Today was a busy day for ethanol and grain market data junkies. First, USDA released its June supply-demand estimates, which showed a downward revision to 2011 planted and harvested corn acres. Second, government data on April exports of ethanol and distillers grains was released, showing another record month of ethanol exports and huge shipments to Brazil.
Distillers grains have become an important component of the livestock feed market. Still, some in the poultry industry would rather malign this nutrient-rich feed product in the hopes of returning to a day when they could buy corn from farmers below the cost of production. As the RFA pointed out, distillers grains are not going anywhere and their benefit in the livestock feed market cannot be dismissed.
All Americans know it - the price of everything is up today. Many Americans recognize that the price of oil and the price of gasoline dictate the price of everything we buy. But some are seeking to mislead Americans by blaming domestic ethanol production.
Yesterday, USDA’s first estimate of 2011 corn supply and demand; and March ethanol export data was released. The USDA released it's first estimate of the 2011 corn crop, as well as 2011/12 demand. USDA is predicting 92.2 million acres of corn to be planted, 85.1 million harvested acres, and an average yield of 158.7 bushels per acre. This would produce a total crop of 13.5 billion bushels, an all-time record.
This morning, the USDA release their April WASDE report, which will likely ease some of the tension in the world corn market, as the report showed that the corn supply and carry-out are generally expected to be larger than most market participants were expecting. The following is the RFA's analysis of the report.
Food prices around the globe are rising and as a result, many are quickly searching for a scapegoat. Far too many are still recycling half-truths and misconceptions about the role of rising corn prices in food price escalation and demand for corn created by America’s ethanol industry. In a new look at the distribution of each dollar spent on food in the U.S., the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found just 11.6 cents of each dollar spent makes its way back to the farm. In other words, the raw ingredients in retail food items account for just 12 cents of every consumer dollar spent, while energy costs, labor, transportation, packaging, and other supply chain costs account for the other 88 cents.
As turmoil and violence rattle the Middle East and Northern Africa, the fragile American and worldwide economic recovery is being put into jeopardy as oil prices continue their climb over $100. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is voting on provisions that would limit use of the only widely available alternative to imported oil…Ethanol.
The USDA has released its February estimates of U.S. and global grain supplies. Some revisions, all of which were expected, slightly reduce USDA's estimates of leftover corn at the end of the marketing year. Let the wild claims and "alarm bells" ring from ethanol's detractors begin.
As millions of Egyptians engage in a life and death struggle for the future of their country, pundits in the Western media are taking the opportunity to blame all of their favorite scapegoats for the insecurity. American ethanol production is not escaping their wrath. As has always been the case, the “facts” used by these pundits just don’t match the world reality.
The final USDA report on the size of the 2010 corn crop and subsequent supply is out. Not surprisingly, USDA has adjusted its final estimates to reflect increased ethanol demand, the importance of distillers grains and other feed coproducts, and the difficult growing season American farmers endured. Right on cue, prolific End of Days prognosticators like Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute are pointing the finger of blame at ethanol for lower than expected corn supplies. But, as is always the case, there are far more factors that must be considered.
Today I will be speaking at the Cellulosic Biofuels & Biorefineries Summit this morning in Washington, DC. I plan to talk about key issues within the cellulosic community including the U.S.Department of Agriculture's Loan Guarantee program, investment into cellulosic ethanol and indirect land use and carbon accounting. Read my full remarks by clicking the link above.