Friday, June 12, 2009

Farmers Can Be Optimistic, But Doubling in 5 Years?

From Chris Clayton's post on House Ag hearings:
Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D-S.D., also highlighted that technology is expected to continue boosting farmer yields for corn dramatically in the next five years. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack reiterated this perhaps a dozen times in his testimony. So if technology is going to allow corn yields to soar, perhaps come close to doubling, then why do we need an arbitrary 15-billion cap on corn-based ethanol in the Renewable Fuels Standard?
Of course, I may be misunderstanding this. But if corn yields are at 150 bushels or more, it's taken about 35 years for them to go from 100 to 150.

I know I'm old and have my head in a dark place (as Tom von G used to say) but when I hear of corn being used for ethanol I've just the beginnings of the same qualms I have when I hear of good farmland growing houses. Corn is for food. Yes, I know better, but that's my upbringing.

1 comment:

  1. Sheesh, I'm not that optimistic. :)

    If it's true, what is the impact on nutritional content? From what I've heard, yields have increased over the years, but nutrition has gone down - ? Measuring the harvest by yield alone seems misleading to me...

    It is hard to witness that premium farmland being bulldozed for housing developments (used to live in south central Minnesota).

    Ron

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