Saturday, June 9, 2007

Ethanol Strikes Again

First, it was Mexican tortillas, then it was German beer, now it's both Tequila:

"Mexican farmers are setting ablaze fields of blue agave, the cactus-like plant used to make the fiery spirit tequila, and resowing the land with corn as soaring U.S. ethanol demand pushes up prices.

"The switch to corn will contribute to an expected scarcity of agave in coming years, with officials predicting that farmers will plant between 25 percent and 35 percent less agave this year to turn the land over to corn."
and pork:
"A record 3-1/2 year stretch of profits for hog producers appears to be coming to an end this year due to high corn costs, but a growing export market could again bolster profits in coming years, a leading agriculture economist said.

"'The cost of corn comes in as the number one concern among big producers,' said University of Missouri agricultural economist Glenn Grimes, who was on the sidelines at the World Pork Expo industry gathering this week.

"'The odds are about 90 percent that we will see some red ink for at least one or two or three months this fall.'

"Surging demand for corn from ethanol producers helped drive corn prices to the highest level in a decade in February. The cost of producing hogs was currently about $7 to $9 per hundredweight higher than a year ago, Grimes said."
Question: where was congress while we were all being charged "unconscionably excessive prices" for pork and the meat producers were raking in "windfall profits"?


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