E85 Boondoggle of the Day: Corn Growers Raking It In

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
e85 boondoggle of the day corn growers raking it in

Corn prices hit an all-time high price of $6.025 per bushel yesterday, then settled to a not-much-better $6. Ethanol producers are feeling the hurt, as the corn they use now costs more than they're currently getting for the ethanol they make from it. Earlier this week, Michael Jackson (no, not that one– the president of Syntec Biofuel) explained: "For years, corn was cheap and fermentation processes for ethanol production came to completely dominate the biofuel industry in North America. Now, with corn prices well over $5 a bushel, corn ethanol economics have gone out the window." That isn't slowing the ethanol producers though. The American Farm Bureau Federation estimates that about 20 percent of last year's corn crop went to ethanol production and predicts that'll go up to 30 percent for the next crop year. With 147 plants in production and another 61 planned, the situation will only get worse. In the meantime, corn growers are reaping record profits while consumers can expect higher prices for anything that's corn-based. Sounds vaguely familiar, doesn't it?

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  • Kevin Kevin on Apr 07, 2008

    97escort"Funny how when crude oil prices go from $30 to over $100/barrel no one resents it. Even when the biggest beneficiaries are Saudi Arabian sponsors of terrorist attacks on the United States. What planet are you from? I'd say approximately 99% of the population resents the rising price of oil very much, which is why it's in the news constantly. You live in a cave?

  • Kevin Kevin on Apr 07, 2008

    re: high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and Coca Cola -- may as well point out that foodmakers switched to corn syrup and HFCS largely because it was cheaper than sugar ... and it was cheaper than sugar only because the government decided to place massive protectionism around Louisiana's sugar industry, making 100% of Americans pay many times the world price for sugar, strictly so as to protect the jobs of the .0001% of Americans who make sugar. I think I'm sensing a pattern here ... government subsidies and protectionism wreak havoc wherever they are applied ...

  • Engineer Engineer on Apr 07, 2008
    In Columbia MO. as of two days ago. Regular unleaded $3.29 E-85 $2.64 and available at many stations. I know the E-85 is less efficient…but. Your call! DT But... it's not rocket science. On E85 cars get between 20 and 25% lower mileage (some claim more, some claim less, in reality your mileage may vary). A 20% reduction means the two prices are equivalent ($3.29 ~ $2.64/80% = $3.30). If you get 25% lower mileage, the gas is cheaper as the equivalent cost of the ethanol would be $3.52 (= $2.64/75%).
  • Tgrfan2 Tgrfan2 on Apr 07, 2008

    I would suggest checking out the April issue of Popular Mechanics for some good reading on ethanol production from sources other than corn. PM also covers new oil exploration and recovery techniques that show great potential.