BEEF Daily

The Elephant in the Room: Corn, Ethanol, Livestock Production

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In the last couple of years, it seemed new ethanol plants were popping up faster than thistles in a neglected pasture. The promise for corn producers to gain high prices in an effort to create renewable fuels led to an unprecedented increase in corn production. Yet a debate soon ignited that the subsidized ethanol industry was artificially driving demand and price for corn, leaving cattlemen in a bind as corn prices escalated to historic highs.

Undoubtedly, there are producers on both sides of the fence in this discussion, and I have been hesitant to talk about the big elephant in the room: corn, ethanol and livestock production, because of that reason. However, a reader recently sent me an email requesting this topic in an upcoming blog post. The producer wrote, "Amanda, when will you begin to address the most pressing problem in this business? Please talk about input costs driven by the government-created ethanol business."

So, let's talk about this heavy issue. What side of the fence are you on? What do you see as the pros and cons of corn production for ethanol? How has ethanol production helped or hurt your operation? What is the future of corn production, ethanol and livestock? I can't wait to hear your thoughts. BEEF Daily is your soapbox; take the stand and voice your opinions in the comments section below. Thanks for your participation!

What's BEEF Daily?

BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

Contributors

Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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