This is an exercise in economics and nutrition. A University of Missouri researcher warns of potential damage to part of Missouri agriculture caused by the rush to produce ethanol. Animal scientist Gary Allee says the rush to produce ethanol in Missouri could mean higher pork and poultry prices—and even jeopardize some producers. He calls it a national conflict between energy policy and food policy. Differing estimates say it takes 28 to 36 million bushels of corn to make 100 million gallons of ethanol. Present or planned Missouri ethanol plants are designed to produce more than 450 million gallons a year, consuming 128 to 164 million bushels of corn a year. That’s about half of Missouri’s 300-million bushel corn crop. Allee thinks corn price increases will make corn unaffordable for some pork producers… He says Missourians need to realistically understand the tradoff that is being made–that the prime source of livestock feed is being diverted to energy production. He says that will have a detrimental effect on food prices. Allee says this is not an issue for the distant future. He says some areas where two or more ethanol plants are operating or being built could move quickly from corn surplus areas to corn deficits..
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