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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Ethanol fuels largest corn sowing since 1944

Lets talk some more on bio fuels and farmers.

Matt just mentioned is his blog "Holy unintended consequences..." farmers are growing bio fuels instead of food for consumption. On this evening's NBC Evening News, this story about how farmers growing corn are having a "banner"year was broadcast. The article metions that farm land is at a premium. On the video were scenes of farmers hard hit in 1985. And while the closing coment from a farmer was "this helps, but we have a lot of catching up to do.", the general concensus is that farmers are going to start making some money again. And I think this is great for the farmers. Of course, there was one obvious question that was avoided by the news, but one which I asked; "What about the subsidy?"

In the latest budget bill(s) circulating thriugh congress, around $18 billion is being sought by farm lobbys. With corn prices being up nearly 75% this year, what is the subsidy needed for? I suppose it will go for the reduced crops of cotton and soybeans. Maybe the subsidy should just disappear and let the market work. This article already talks about how chicken farmers think that feed prices will drop. But what about other subsidies?

In the video, it is mentioned that Bush is meeting this weekend with the president of Brazil. I know Brazil relies heavily on bio fuels and I think their main fuel is sugar ethanol. There is a HUGE subsidy for sugar farmers in the US. Is this help for corn farmers going to cause a bigger increase for sugar farmers?

Just a couple of more thoughts. The article mentions that "On Thursday, Cuban leader Fidel Castro wrote in an editorial for the Communist Party daily newspaper that President Bush’s ethanol plan could deplete corn and other food stocks in developing nations, putting the lives of 3 billion people at risk worldwide." I think this is very interesting that, while I know the comments were made towards Bush, the "evil America" that our "foes" see us as, we are really a country which helps so many in the rest of the world.

Also, Bush has said he will veto any bill that comes before him with a time table. I think he should have said any bill with pork.

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