Ethanol's agricultural impact is mixed

Oct 19, 2005

Purdue University economists say converting more corn into ethanol might profit many interests, but not all in the agriculture industry would benefit.

Agricultural economists Chris Hurt and Otto Doering say corn growers, beef producers and the dairy industry would gain from an ethanol boom. But hog and poultry producers, grain elevator operators and grain shippers might be negatively affected. Soybean and wheat growers could go either way, they said.

Hurt and Doering outlined possible impacts to agriculture from a new federal renewable fuel standard that calls for a near doubling of current annual production by 2012.

To meet that goal, ethanol plants would use 2.5 billion bushels of corn, an increase in current usage of 1 billion bushels, said Doering.

Even if the renewable fuel standard is met, ethanol and other biofuels won't replace fossil fuel in the near term, Hurt said.

"As a nation, our gasoline appetite is about 140 billion gallons a year," he said. "So if we reach 7.5 billion gallons of renewable fuel, we'll only be approaching 5 percent of total gasoline use.

"Ethanol cannot supply all of our liquid energy needs, but it can contribute to the solution."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Greenland darkening to continue, predicts CCNY expert Marco Tedesco

Related Stories

Fuel to the fire? Fuel exports soar under Obama

Dec 08, 2014

Solar panels glisten from every thatched hut on this crowded island, one of the largest in this remote chain off the Panamanian coast. But the tiny emblems of green energy offer no hope against climate change.

WHO sets guidelines to reduce indoor pollution deaths

Nov 12, 2014

The World Health Organization on Wednesday announced its first-ever guidelines for indoor air pollution related to cooking, heating and lighting, a problem estimated to kill more than four million people per year.

Life can survive on much less water than you might think

Nov 04, 2014

"Follow the water" has long been the mantra of our scientific search for alien life in the Solar System and beyond. We continue seeking conditions where water can remain liquid either on a world's surface ...

Recommended for you

Expert offers advice on how to 'pitch' a good research idea

6 hours ago

For many students or junior academics—and even for senior investigators—initiating a new piece of research can be a daunting experience, and they often do not know where or how to begin. A recent Accounting and Finance ar ...

A better grasp of primate grip

6 hours ago

Scientists are coming to grips with the superior grasping ability of humans and other primates throughout history.

Oldest fossils controversy resolved

7 hours ago

New analysis of world-famous 3.46 billion-year-old rocks by researchers from The University of Western Australia is set to finally resolve a long-running evolutionary controversy.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.